Author Archives: Zyp Czyk

About Zyp Czyk

Until I was disabled by the progressive pain and fatigue from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, I was a high tech IT maven at Apple and Yahoo. I live in a rustic cabin in the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains just up the hill from Silicon Valley with my wonderfully supportive husband and two 4-legged kids. I use my remaining energy to run an informational blog about "Living with Chronic Pain from EDS & Fibromyalgia". I publish daily updates with selected excerpts of news, research, treatments, tips, support, and personal stories along with my own notes.

Interoceptive Sensitivity and Emotional Experience

Interoceptive Sensitivity and Self-Reports of Emotional Experience – free full-text /PMC1224728/ – Sep 2005

I’m interested in how my anxiety relates to my EDS, so I plowed through this long article. It appears that “interoceptive sensitivity” (which is usually extreme in people with EDS) seems to be not just a discrete biomarker but also a driver of anxiety (a strong arousal focus).

People differ in the extent to which they emphasize feelings of activation or deactivation in their verbal reports of experienced emotion, termed arousal focus (AF).

Two multimethod studies indicate that AF is linked to heightened interoceptive sensitivity (as measured by performance on a heartbeat detection task).   Continue reading

Stressed out? Your dog may feel it too

Stressed out? Your dog may feel it too, study suggests – by Jeremy Rehm, washingtonpost.com – June 6, 2019

After reading this, I feel very sorry for my poor little dog. We spend almost all our time together (I take him everywhere with me in the car), so we’re extremely close and affected by each other.

I know that how we really feel cannot be hidden from our dogs, no matter how well our “acting OK” fools other humans, but I didn’t realize the depth and intensity of this invisible effect. Now I have another reason to get upset: my constant stress and worry about getting sufficient pain relief, not to mention the pain itself, is hurting my dog too.

When dog owners go through a stressful period, they’re not alone in feeling the pressure — their dogs feel it too, a new study suggests.   Continue reading

Spurious Correlations

Spurious Correlations – by Tyler Vigen

Hi, I’m Tyler Vigen!  Spurious Correlations was a project I put together as a fun way to look at correlations and to think about data.

Empirical research is interesting, and I love to wonder about how variables work together.

The charts on this site aren’t meant to imply causation nor are they meant to create a distrust for research or even correlative data. Rather, I hope this project fosters interest in statistics and numerical research.

Above chart is just one example of bizarre correlations of unrelated data. (Click on chart to see full site with more of these.)

R.I. bill excludes chronic pain from Rx guidelines

Rep. Amore bill that excludes chronic intractable pain from medication prescribing guidelines passed by House – Press release – June 2019

Finally, a state government (which does have the authority to regulate medical practice, unlike the federal government) is proposing a bill to allow chronic intractable pain patients to continue taking opioids if they are the only effective treatment.

This legislation is remarkably reasonable, realistic, and would be a huge relief to pain patients.

Rep. Gregg Amore’s (D-Dist. 65, East Providence) legislation (2019-H 5434A) that would exclude chronic intractable pain from the definition of “acute pain management” for the purposes of prescribing opioid medication was passed by the House of Representatives.   Continue reading

Catastrophizing NOT predictive of poor outcomes

Pain coping skills training doesn’t improve knee arthroplasty outcomes– by Bruce Jancin – June 2019

Here’s the research I’ve been waiting for to disprove the hype around the idea that “catastrophizing leads to more pain and worse outcomes”. In this study, they expected to get results confirming this “catastrophizing hypothesis“, but they found no such thing.

They did find that when patients’ pain was relieved after successful knee replacement (80% success rate), their catastrophizing score was also dramatically reduced, regardless of which trial arm they were in.

This is contradictory to many less rigorous studies that showed catastrophizing leading to worse outcomes. But this prospective randomized study shows what pain patients have always known:

When pain is relieved, so is catastrophizing.  Continue reading

Our Surgeon General Tweeting Nonsense

Need General Surgery? Ignore The Surgeon General | American Council on Science and Health – By Josh Bloom — July 8, 2019

Over the 4th of July Weekend, our U.S. Surgeon General,  Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPHTweeted: 

U.S. Surgeon General – Jul 3
Putting in some work in the ORs. Got to help with some interesting cases and saw several people get Tylenol and other meds to help provide anesthesia and post-op pain relief with my minimal opioids. They all woke up comfy and happy!

U.S. Surgeon General – Jul 4
And here’s a study where 1000 mg IV Tylenol was found equivalent to IV morphine (based on body weight, but in some cases greater than 6 mg) Note, rib fractures are extremely painful!

This sure makes it sound like Tylenol works better than morphine. Josh Bloom from the ACSH evaluated the study and the Surgeon General’s conclusions.  
Continue reading

The Price Tag of Living With Chronic Pain

The Price Tag of Living With Chronic PainBy R. Morgan Griffin – Aug 2007

Pain was once viewed only as a symptom, the consequence of another condition. It was often ignored as doctors focused on treating its underlying medical cause.

But for almost everyone, pain is what matters. “It’s pain that brings people into the doctor’s office,” says Penney Cowan, executive director of the American Chronic Pain Association. “It’s pain that they want treated.”

“The costs are incalculable,” says Christopher L. Edwards, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine. “How do you estimate the value of lost self-worth? How do you estimate the loss of family, friends, and a sense of accomplishment?”   Continue reading

Fined for withholding pain medication

St. Anthony’s fined $25K for withholding pain medication from two patients – by Sarah Hayden, Reporter – Jul 3, 2019

I’m thrilled to finally see some successful pushback from patients who are deliberately left in pain due to opioid restrictions.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) first-quarter report, the nursing facility at 767 30th St., Rock Island, was cited for four license violations related to the abuse and neglect of the patients in December. 

The report, published in April, states the facility failed to monitor pain, establish control of severe pain and administer pain medication for two residents,” one suffering from arthritis and the other from chronic leg pain and open wounds.    Continue reading

Abandoning America’s Pain Patients

How Did We Come to Abandon America’s Pain Patients?Filter Magazineby Alison Knopf – July 2019

This is an excellent article pointing out exactly how pain patients have been neglected and dismissed by the medical system. Kudos to Alison Knopf for her exemplary work.

Overdoses—not those involving prescription opioids, but of heroin and illicit fentanyl, often combined with benzodiazepines—continue to go up. But opioid prescribing continues to go down.

Continue reading

A Mea Culpa on CDC Opioid Guideline

A Mea Culpa on CDC Opioid Guideline – Pain Medicine News – by Nikki Kean – Jul 2019

This article focuses on the flaws with how the guideline has been interpreted and applied. I’m starting to see more articles that are critical of the current overriding fear of opioids appearing in medical publications.

Almost from the day it was released in 2016, the “CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain” has triggered criticism from many patients and providers.

Nearly three years later, the agency finally seems to be listening, with two publications in April that take a hard look at the guideline and how it is being applied in clinical practice.   Continue reading