Thursday Thoughts — Research

What I will say about the techniques of research in this newsletter apply to virtually any medical/health condition. I will use the condition  Fibromyalgia  to illustrate how to do research.

Those folks who have met me or known me over the last twenty five years probably would be surprised to know that my first schooling after  high school was focused on Chemistry. When I attended the University of Calgary my plan was to be a High School Chemistry teacher. My focus on playing Hearts with the other science students vs. studying led to a failing grade in Physics. I could have written a supplemental exam but by then I was less than enamored with my career plans. Teaching a bunch of teenagers a subject they didn’t want to learn did not seem that appealing.

So I decided to go to SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology)  and enrolled in the Chemical Research Technology program. This time I applied myself. Pulled countless all niters. And, graduated with Honors and was awarded the Chemical Institute of Canada Silver Medal  for having the second highest grades in a Chemical Technology program in any technical school in Canada. The first three jobs I had were is research labs.

I love research. My love likely stems from my passionate curiosity about almost everything. I have an eclectic mind so I am interested in many subjects. But I would say the four subjects I am most interested in are Science, Psychology, Politics, and Entertainment.

My background in science and the scientific method biases my believe in what articles say and where they come from. So, I tend to be skeptical of so-called new age cures/remedies.

Enough said.

Let’s talk about how and where to do research.

Step 1: Formulate a Purpose and a Question

Sometimes I just want a quick answer (that’s my Purpose). For example, when I was first diagnosed, I wondered, “why do I feel pain when it Chinooks?” I confess that I am a Google Fanatic, so Google is my first choice/ The first sentence of Google’s response gave me a clue: the pain was caused by pressure changes. So I asked a second question (I already knew that Chinooks were associated with low pressure), “Why does low pressure cause pain?”

AHA! The answer, “Less air pressure surrounding the body can allow muscles, tendons, and other tissues around joints to expand.” Since Fibromyalgia is primarily related to muscles that’s why I feel pain all over.

In my next Thursday Thoughts more on Formulating a Purpose and a Research Question. 

Copyright 2003, Lyle T. Lachmuth, All Rights Reserved