lizcommotion: A hand drawn spinning wheel covered in roses (spinning wheel briar rose)
From Liisa Hantsoo and C. Neill Epperson. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: Epidemiology and Treatment. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2015 Nov; 17(11): 87.

Progesterone levels are low during menses and the follicular phase and are mirrored by progesterone's main metabolite, allopregnanolone (ALLO), also a neuroactive steroid. Progesterone and ALLO increase in the luteal phase and decrease quickly around menses. This chronic exposure followed by rapid withdrawal from ovarian hormones may be a key factor in the etiology of PMDD [12]. In a recently developed animal model of PMDD based on progesterone withdrawal, rats in withdrawal from physiological doses of progesterone exhibited social withdrawal and anhedonia, symptoms characteristic of PMDD [13]. Indeed, preclinical research demonstrates that chronic progesterone exposure followed by rapid withdrawal is associated with increased anxiety behavior and alterations in γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A receptor function [12–14]. Recent work suggests that this effect may not be due to progesterone itself, but progesterone's main metabolite ALLO, as blocking progesterone conversion to ALLO blocks the aforementioned effects of progesterone [15].

ALLO is a potent positive allosteric modulator of the GABAA receptor, similar to alcohol or benzodiazepines, with anxiolytic, anesthetic, and sedative properties [16••]. It is possible that women with PMDD have developed tolerance to the arousal-reducing and GABA-enhancing effects of ALLO.

...

What is that you say about GABA?

From Pain: Hope through Research

GABA (or gamma-aminobutyric acid) is predominately an inhibitory neurotransmitter in that it generally decreases or blocks the activity of neurons. Most of what we know of its role in pain is related to its function in inhibiting spinal cord neurons from transmitting pain signals and therefore dampening pain. Chemicals that are similar to GABA have been explored as possible analgesics, but because GABA is so widespread in the nervous system it is difficult to make a GABA-like drug without affecting other nervous system functions. As we learn more about the specific roles of GABA receptors, drug development may be accelerated.

INTERESTING.

If I had all the monies I would fund a study about the link between GABA, chronic pain, and PMDD like...10 years ago. BUT ANYWAY I leave these thoughts for you my darlings, in the hopes that it may help someone.

Meanwhile a bit of my brain is still going "so, PMDD is possibly my brain suffering monthly withdrawal from its own chemicals. GREAT."
lizcommotion: a silhouette of a woman with antlers/horns (horns)
Just thinking about this most excellent pain scale that [personal profile] alexseanchai linked to.

Talking about pain is weird and hard because people experience pain differently. There is no way for me to know if the blue I see is the blue you see. And there is definitely no way for me to know if your period cramps are the same as my period cramps.

lots of thoughts about pain and issues with how we talk about it, including ableism )

Probably I could fill volumes but I'll leave this here for now as an open post, and feel free to cross link in dreamwidth (but ask before tumblr etc for the moment because different type of commenter) as I think I'm not the only one who has many thoughts and a need to talk about chronic pain not just in the medical-ese of the fucking pain scale or in a list of words like "stabbing" and "throbbing" and other things that look like they could come from a sexyfuntimes fic but are not, actually, that sexyfuntimes in this case.
lizcommotion: Spongebob's pet snail Gary wearing a chef's hat (spongebob gary chef)
I'm still sick but I have a little more energy and a strong craving for chocolate and tasty things. I also don't want to go out in the cold to get baked goods, particularly when I am perfectly capable of making them myself...especially with a few extra tools.

So I give you a few tricks that help *me* when I'm making baked goods. They may or may not work for you (i.e., YMMV). However, here they are: you are welcome to adapt at will.content note: stuff about baking and food )
That's all I got. Phew. Nine is a good number, right? Yes, yes it is.
lizcommotion: blue handspun yarn on a weatherbeaten bench with a seashell next to it (yarn blue handspun)
Had a lovely day yesterday with [personal profile] jelazakazone &co; we spent most of the time in her lab concocting ways to make wire & fiber art yak fusions for an art quilt. Yes. It was that awesome. There may also have been discussions of wire art alpacas, possibly with tiny alpaca scarves. In the end there was a yak semi-made. My contributions were some fuzzy yarn spun from locks that I spun as an experiment independently (verdict: pain in the butt on a drop spindle, and probably on a wheel too, but timely for this project) and also a handspun alpaca "scarf" for said yak made out of i-cord. Partner drew sharks with her daughter, and also had an excellent time. (Well, a shark with its tail covered by a half-eaten donut. Long story. But aren't those the best kind of sharks?)

I also seem to be accidentally making a Slytherin-Gryffindor house unity cowl. Funny how I just happened to have green, gold, red, and gray (interspersed with cream) in my stash...also funny that I didn't notice it was in Hogwarts colors until the last couple of stripes. Now I am kind of more in love with it. The cream is handspun Finnsheep.

Slytherin Gryffindor house unity cowl WIP
Close up of the Slytherin-Gryffindor House Unity Cowl, see above for description of colors. In garter stitch (yes, in the round, I am like that), so it's got texture and ridges but lies flat and is very stretchy

Yesterday also saw me obsessed with buttons. I am making Things involving buttons and upcycled felted sweaters, with the odd bit of embroidery on them to liven them up. (And did I mention some of the buttons are vintage and awesome?) And then jelazakazone gave me more buttons, and I have All The Ideas for them. (Hats! With buttons as embellishments! And Things!) I enjoyed the hand embroidery more than I expected, I think because it was something different.

picture of the sewn felted thing )

Why am I posting at almost 5 am, you may ask, when I've obviously had a very full day already? Well, because it is cold outside and I woke up in pain and unable to move. As in, I couldn't roll over and my hands wouldn't close. *gnashes teeth* Probably some of this is because I did a lot yesterday, and for awhile I used to think that if my hands were like that the solution was to not knit and sit around looking lost. What I have found, for me is that if I do just a little bit of crafting involving my hands - particularly knitting or spinning - the motion tends to lubricate my joints or something and then I can actually, say, make a dreamwidth post. YMMV.
lizcommotion: a hand drawn/colored happy cane (disability cane happy)
So it's looking like I'm SOL regarding pain medication. I'm on Lyrica already; I can't take any kind of anything that messes with serotonin; NSAIDs are out with my gut the way it is; don't want opiates because All The Reasons.

My doctor wants me to go to a pain clinic; I'm not sure what they'll do other than offer me strong opiates or something and give me physical therapy, but I'm supposed to be getting PT for my dizziness so yes that would be out for insurance reasons alone, let alone me going bananas. Anyone have experiences to offer on pain clinics?

In the meantime, my side effect journey of daisies and rainbows and leprechauns has made me leery of adding more chemicals to my internal chemistry project. Like, I've *always* hated being on this many meds and just kind of grinned and born it. But seriously? This is frelling ridiculous. And so, yes. I'm looking for non-medication ways to keep this under control, at least until a neurokinin-1 antagonists maybe comes on the market approved for pain management. *crosses fingers* But that could be awhile.

So yes, I'm soliciting suggestions in this post for pain management. I will do my best not to immediately rule them out because, say, I've tried acupuncture and it didn't work. Nothing is too woo for this post. I just want a working list to, er, work off of so I can fucking knit and spin regularly again. (I have knit TWO ROWS this week and spun nothing and it's making me cranky, who knows what I would have done without video games.)

Thank you, dear circle, for all your support!

PS fewer seizures yesterday! woo!

PPS Yes standard disclaimer regarding I know you're not medical professionals blah blah won't sue you blah blah check with my doctor blah blah.

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