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donderdag 24 maart 2011

Dag 399 Adrenaline

Weer een natte pyama. Al goed dat er wasmachines bestaan. Geen tijd om te rusten vandaag. Het wordt functioneren op adrenaline. De jongste is ziek, weeral en ik had beloofd een familielid met kanker te bezoeken in het ziekenhuis vlakbij.

Mijn voormiddag rust gaat eraan. De weg naar ziekenhuis is amper een paar honderd meter verder en volledig opengebroken. Ik besluit met de fiets van de puberzoon te gaan. Wrong choice. Bovendien blijkt de patient aan de andere kant van het ziekenhuis te liggen. Eindeloze gangen. Het ontmoedigt me om hem nog eens te gaan bezoeken. Ik ben gesloopt als ik terug thuis kom.


Leven op adrenaline

What is an adrenaline surge and how does this affect M.E. patients?

People with M.E. can sometimes operate significantly above their actual illness level for certain periods of time thanks to surges of adrenaline - albeit at the cost of severe and prolonged worsening of the illness afterward.

Adrenaline is often referred to as the 'fight or flight' hormone as it kicks into action in situations of potential danger. However, adrenaline also kicks in when the body is in physiological difficulty, which is very often what is happening to severe M.E. sufferers. Adrenaline surges make the heart pump faster and raise the blood pressure, forcing blood around the body with greater force to supply the muscles with more oxygen, so that they can make a greater effort.

Surges of adrenaline increase the metabolism. They also relax and dilate the airways so that more oxygen than usual can be taken in. Adrenaline surges can also decrease the amount of pain felt. As a result of all of these factors, adrenaline surges - while they last - have the ability to increase physical speed, strength and other physical abilities.

Unfortunately, when these bursts of adrenaline wear off - as they must - people with M.E. are left far more ill as a result for many days, weeks, months or even years of overexertion. People with M.E. are harmed by adrenaline surges, both by the physiological stress to the body of the changes caused by adrenaline, and by the extra activity which adrenaline enables, which may be far beyond the body's normal limits so that such activity causes damage. For every short term 'gain' there is a far greater loss overall.

Surges of adrenaline can last hours, days, weeks or even months at a time.

These adrenaline surges are a bit like credit cards. They allow patients to do things that they could never otherwise do, or 'afford.'

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