Monday, April 30, 2012

New Info and Haircuts

I forgot to tell everyone....but I GOT MY HAIRCUT AT A SALON!!!!!!!!! Again, this to me is another huge step that I made some significant progress in Phoenix.  The last time I got my haircut was months and months ago and my cousin Paul came to the house and cut it for me.  This time, with the help of a driver..aka mom, I made the 30 minute trek to Mequon the day after my flight in from Phoenix, and arrived at Kwof, Paul's salon.  I took one precaution, which was I washed my hair before I went to aid in the process.  I also realized that the act of having my head leaning backwards in the chair was probably a major factor in the difficulty I would have and feel so out of sorts going to the salon.

I tried to get a iPhone self photo - but please, who can look into a camera and take a self portrait that doesn't look absolutely ridiculous!  I did take one by accident that was my shiny locks and the bottom half of my face, but upon further review was concerned it looked like some strange pic you might find that corresponded with a 1-900 number!  Here's Sue's latest post that made me think of the connection to my haircut.


New CFS Brain Study Shows Reduced Activity

My Yahoo Alerts e-mail this morning was filled with articles and postings on a brand-new CFS study just released (but not yet published) by the CDC (believe it or not!).  Here's a summary of the study (pretty brief and easy to understand).

This is an interesting one.  They used an MRI to measure brain activity in a part of the brain that is responsible for motor activity, motivation, and feelings of reward.  Not surprisingly,  the CFS patients in the study had far less blood flow to this area of the brain during the test (where subjects were told they'd win money when a certain type of card was chosen).

Several interesting points stand out here to me.  First, the study was conducted by the chief of the CDC's chronic viral diseases branch!  This is the first time I've even heard of this department, and it sure beats having CFS buried in the women's health department.

The author says it's not clear whether this reduced brain activity is a cause or effect of CFS, but I think it's very clear that this is an effect, closely connected with Orthostatic Intolerance/autonomic dysfunction which involves reduced blood volume overall and reduced blood flow to the heart and brain specifically.

And, perhaps most fascinating of all, is the fact that this particular area of the brain is associated with motivation.  I've often written here of the horrible, hard-to-describe lack of mental energy that occurs with crashes or flare-ups of ME/CFS.  I think we've all experienced the crushing lack of motivation that accompanies CFS (and many of us have blamed ourselves or had doctors or others tell us we're lazy).  It's nice to have some biological evidence to back up what we are experiencing.

Just an interesting little tidbit from today's news.  I know I haven't been writing much lately, but I've been really exhausted and overwhelmed.  We've had house guests since Friday, and I have been working frantically on a major writing project.  I hope you are all doing well this week!


  1. Heather, your openness and honesty is really brave and admirable. I am sure there are many who would benefit from reading your posts, as it's sure to bring relief and comfort to others afflicted with CMS or similar conditions. bravo! :)molly.

  2. Thank you Molly. You mean the world to me!


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