When you’re on a long flight, you’re usually told to move your feet, bend your ankles, point and flex your toes. The reason is because extended periods of sitting in a cramped area without moving can lead to blood clots, which if they develop in the right place, namely deep veins, can swoosh that blood clot right up to your heart and plunk, no more frequent flyer miles. Of course, you can throw clots from your heart into your lungs, or the clots can just hit your lungs and become a pulmonary embolism. Or they can just stubbornly sit in your legs and be deep vein thromboses (DVTs). Either way, if your blood doesn’t flow, it tends to coagulate and clot. That’s not a bad thing. If you’ve ever seen Suicide Kings, you’ll know what happens when you drink too much and you don’t clot anymore – yep a bunch of misdirected, rich, young punks could cut off your finger.
I’m tired. I’m very tired. When I’m tired, my brain spins and I cling to free association. I beg your indulgence.
Going back to clots. Clotting is one problem that people with fibromyalgia have reported, although I’m not sure how widespread it is. I’ve had a couple clots in my legs, both superficial and deep vein. I’ve had a massive pulmonary embolism that my physicians referred to as my “near-fatal episode” until I told them to stop. I’ve chalked up these episodes to my tendency to overreact to vitamin K, which swings my INR (a measure of the body’s clotting ability) too low and I clot too quickly and easily, and an equal overreaction to warfarin, which swings my INR too high and I become at risk for bleeding. So even eating too many greens, broccoli, etc, which is rich in vitamin C could make me clot, and then countering a clot with warfarin could make me bleed out. My usual damned if I do, damned if I don’t scenario.
What I’m getting at, however, is looking at blood flow/circulation and the way it MAY not be quite right in people with fibromyalgia makes me wonder if the arteriovenule shunts that are not quite right could be the cause of this particular side effect in some people with fibro?
If so, maybe again that’s why exercise is so helpful, because it gets the blood flowing. So while I’m sitting at my desk counting the minutes draining from my life because I sit for 8 hours a day, I’ll point and flex my toes and bend my ankles and fidget and pretend I’m on a long flight over the Pacific Ocean. That I can do, and maybe it will help me circulate properly. If I’m not circulating properly. I don’t know if I’m circulating properly. Could be. Could be not. Dunno. My hands are freezing cold today. Good thing I prefer to be chilly.