Monday, May 21, 2007

Brain and other tissues

A few assorted things: I got my MRI results a few weeks ago. There were abnormalities typical of CFS, but they were of course written of as "normal". I assumed there would be such punctate changes, but it's still a bit freaky to get the results, that you have brain damage that shows up even in something as unspecific and crude as an MRI. So I have objective evidence of CFS having caused me both brain lesions and heart damage. Which is just disturbing to think about, damage to two of your most important organs. The brain lesions might also explain why I still have so much trouble with memory and concentration, even though LDN, piracetam and other things have helped them and reduced my cognitive fatigability quite a bit.

On the good news side, I've managed to lose a little weight. I've never been overweight by any stretch, but for a while I could hardly fit in any of my pants due to the prednisone-caused "paunch". I can mostly thank LDN for this, as without it I wouldn't have been able to exercise nearly as much as I've done recently. Actually I probably do too much of it as my muscles and joints are frequently sore afterwards, but at least I don't get CFS crashes. But the weather is already starting to get too hot for me already, at below 20C.

I don't know if my exercise tolerance will worsen now that I will most likely have to discontinue both acetyl-L-carnitine and glucosamine at least for a while due to money issues. But then again I'm taking too many supplements as it is. For a week now I've been trying some kind of a "brain stimulator" which is a little device with a few infrared leds. NASA has used them for healing injuries, but the guy who borrowed this device for me says it's good for brainfog. I'm not convinced but I got a free trial, so I could as well try. So far I don't think I've noticed anything.

My skin still isn't doing particularly well, but I'd say my hair and nails are definitely better than they were before LDN. Not that I had much problems with them before - CFS has made my hair brittle and it gets tangled very easily, but it has always looked fairly silky, smooth and shiny. But now I think it looks better, and my nails are stronger. Not that it's really relevant, just an observation. Shows how my body is in a better shape overall.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Two months

Two months now, not much to add to my one-month update. I still can't walk uphill well at all and I still have quite a bit of cognitive issues despite the addition of piracetam, but many things I just couldn't have done before I can do now. I even did some laundry last week, one of the most killer activities. A few days ago I vacuumed my apartment though it required taking breaks. I haven't taken a single ibuprofen tablet in the last month. I've had two moderate headaches but magnesium has taken care of them. No lymphadenopathy for ages, and urticaria has been almost non-existent.

Muscle tension has bothered me quite a bit, I think mostly due to several nights of poor sleep, and carrying too much stuff. IBS has been nasty for a few days now and I've had some nausea, which has always been a very sporadic symptom for me. I haven't done very well the last two weeks, but it hasn't been about fatigue, but tiredness/"eye fatigue" and other things. Today I was feeling super tired to the point of feeling fluish, but two ginseng tablets alleviated it somewhat. I'm also having problems with temperature regulation, which doesn't feel like feverish chills and sweats, but as if the ambient temperature just changed even if it doesn't. I wish I didn't have so many different symptoms.

The other Finnish girl who was on LDN stopped it after a month or so because it didn't seem to be working for her. I do wish she'd have gone on a bit longer, but of course nothing works for everyone. But my Canadian friend is now sure that the LDN is working for him. He has results pretty similar to my own, eg. if he exercises some muscle group only the muscles get fatigued instead of getting general killer fatigue, which is just like my own experience. He says his doctor is considering trying it for other CFS patients, which would be awesome.

I'm going to see if I could get rid of the acetyl-L-carnitine (it's the most expensive supplement I'm taking) which I've reduced from 1 g to 500 mg a day, and gingko biloba, but I'm not sure if I can pull it off. I'm taking far too many things and I'd really like to try large-dose N-acetyl-cysteine for eg. my chronic congestion.