Tracking my efforts to beat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), aka CFIDS, aka CFS

Tracking my efforts to beat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), aka CFIDS, aka CFS

Sunday, September 2, 2012

September Will Be Heart Rate Monitor Month

I've had a Polar FT4 heart rate monitor (HRM) for several weeks, but I haven't done much with it besides wear it occasionally for a few hours at a time and observe general patterns.  Nothing too formal.

After watching the Pacific Fatigue Lab's webinar last week, I've decided to devote the next month to giving the HRM a full test.  This will mean wearing it every day, all day, and stopping whatever I happen to be doing if my heart rate reaches a certain limit.  When my heart rate falls back within acceptable limits, I can resume activity, but only as long as it stays  below that limit.  In my case, I'm starting off the month with the limit being 105 beats per minutes.  That's six beats below my predicted AT based on the usual formula used for CFS patients.    

If needed, I will adjust it even lower.  At the end of the month, I'll review my monthly average and compare it to past monthly averages to see if the heart rate monitor helped improve my overall health rating and reduce the severity and frequency of crashes. 

Having worn the HRM for the last two days, I can already tell it's not going to easy getting used to wearing this thing -- at least the chest strap part of it.  I have a newfound respect for the discomfort women deal with in brassieres.   

Daily Health Rating Average - August   

Meanwhile, I've calculated my monthly average for the month of August and it was the lowest since before I started Equilibrant in April: 76.93.  This is not a surprise, as I pushed it WAY too hard in August, with several family obligations.  But September should be a very mellow month and I should be able to stay home and rest every weekend.  If the monitoring is working, I would hope to see a measurable increase in my health rating at the end of September.  Either way, I'll post the results here on my blog.  

I also note that I've now been keeping a daily health log for a full year.  It's incredible how quickly that year went by.  Before I got sick, I could have never imagined having the patience to record so many details of my daily life every single day.  It's just another example of how, having lost the health that I took for granted, I'll go to almost any length to try to get some of it back.  

Month         Avg. Rating.     Notes             
Sept.          72.34                             
Oct.           77.16                  
Nov.           75.85               Started D-Ribose, Co-Q10, Acetyl-l carnitine, Vit. D3, and 
                                          vitamin powder
Dec.           80.39               Officially diagnosed; changed diet to low carb; added  
                                          ImmunoStim, NT Factor, and pro-biotics
Jan.'12       79.07               Added T3 thyroid, pregnenolone, and magnesium
Feb.           72.73               Added methylation protocol; crashed twice due to low   
                                          potassium and flu
Mar.           77.94               Added Famvir (antiviral) and Nystatin (for Candida); briefly 
                                          tried LDN
Apr.            75.50      
May            82.03              Started Equilibrant, titrating from 2 - 4 tablets per day.
June           78.52              Upped Equilibrant dosage to 5 tab/day; got a cold early in   
                                         month; ImmunoStim ran out and is on back order.
July            81.12              Upped Equilibrant dosage to 6 tab/day, plus back on 
Aug.           76.93               Stressful month, with two deaths in family; Travelled out of
                                         town twice and hosted a party at house


  1. Patrick-With the hectic schedule you had in August, no wonder your scored lower on your health index. You mentioned that you would "go to any length to gain your health back". Amen. I support that axiom to the fullest......being an active person it really hurts when pursuits you took for granted are now comprimised. I feel very fortunate to have seen some improvement in the almost 2 years of dealing with CFS. I can only hope it continues. So, it can and does happen...improvment that is. your determination will go a long way in giving you the best chance for recovery or significant improvement!

    1. Thanks Bret, I take a lot of hope from the fact that you have seen improvement in your first couple of years, and the fact that you are able to exercise! I feel like if I could get to the point where I can exercise too, I would be pretty happy with that (although I'm sure there's always a desire to get even better until we're fully back to normal.) Thanks for the encouragement.