Monday, June 25, 2007

Better living through pharmacy

I've been doing fairly well lately despite some intense stress from another person's health problems. Normally I think that this amount of stress would have rendered me bedbound, but now I'm fairly functional. My cognition is actually fairly alright these days, even though still impaired. So I guess it took some time for the piracetam (and perhaps LDN) to achieve its full nootropic effects - or perhaps they still aren't at their highest. Other symptoms have been alright as well, except for sleep, stomach pain and muscle/joint pain. The sleep problems I can attribute to stress and overly warm weather, but I'm not sure what's flaring up the rest.

I saw my doctor last week and we couldn't decide whether should get tamsulosin (a selective alpha blocker, meant for prostate hypertrophy) or nimodipine (a calcium channel blocker with some other neuropharmacological effects), so he prescribed me both (and celecoxib for my aches, since ibuprofen gives me such stomach churning these days that I feel like I'm playing Russian roulette every time I take it).

I've been taking tamsulosin in 0.4 mg depot capsules every other day since Wednesday last week, and I haven't been too impressed. It was prescribed to improve overall vigilance and to decrease the urinary frequency, but so far neither has been improved at all. My orthostatic hypotension hasn't worsened as I feared, but the med gives me rhinitis, which is annoying and interferes with my sleep. I also woke up with a massive headache last night, which I believe is related. So if I don't start seeing some results soon I'll probably discontinue it.

So, I could try the nimodipine, but the problem is that the smallest pack (100 tablets) costs 130 euros, and it isn't covered in our public insurance which covers wonderfully arbitrary 42% of almost all prescription medications - the tamsulosin cost me 5 euros for 30 capsules. The nimodipine might help me a lot, but I might not be able to tolerate it. I'll have to talk with my dad since he's the one who pays for my meds as I don't have the money myself.

I've finally tried valerian for sleep and it seems to work alright without any side effects. However, at about 15 euros a month it is quite pricey for me. But maybe if I do manage to drop the ginkgo I can start taking it. I'll have to discontinue MSM, NAC, ALC and glucosamine soon due to money issues (the MSM is fairly cheap, but it hasn't done much of anything). At least I'll need to take much fewer pills.

My doctor suggested that I go to another city for a 24h cortisol and growth hormone testing in September. 24h bloodletting doesn't sound like much fun, but it would be free of cost for me, and advancing scientific research is a big priority for me. LDN may increase cortisol levels, but I believe I'm probably still low on it (adrenal fatigue) and I suspect my GH is low too. If the latter turns out to be true we'll probably try pyridostigmine, a very cheap cholinesterase inhibitor that can increase GH secretion.

My Finnish LDN website is close to completion. I'm very happy with it, especially with the bunch of studies I've collected.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Summer heat

Some three months now. Time sure passes quickly. I got the first copy of my book, the summer is coming and stuff. I seem to be more intolerant to heat than before, I don't think it's the LDN, but residue from the prednisone - as compensation I'm much less sensitive to cold, which used to be a major culprit for me. I'm dehydrated all the time, and drinking doesn't help much, as I'm probably deficient in antidiuretic hormone.

The LDN makes me tan a lot more easily without making me burn easier. Not surprising really, as beta endorphins stimulate melanocytes (which in layman language means tanning). Not that I'm brown or anything, but usually I tan very little and burn easily.

My exercise tolerance hasn't really improved from what it was two months ago and hills are a pain, but my persistence has paid off and I've managed to lose pretty much all the weight I gained while on the pred. I still have a little paunch, but I can fit in every single one of my clothes again. Apparently my face has got a lot thinner in the past month (sadly my face has always looked somewhat chubby, even though I've been underweight for well over a decade).

The MSM doesn't seem to do that much at 6 grams a day, eg. my congestion is still there. Though now that I started large dose N-acetylcysteine it's gone except for the mornings. The NAC seems to improve my muscle endurance, even though it doesn't affect the overall fatigue.

I've started to use rhodiola more often, now that I noticed that yes,
it actually works quite well - it seems to work better on the LDN than before. I also started propolis today, when I noticed I could get three month's worth for some six euros. I still want to try creatine and olive leaf extract, but I'm trying to promise myself no more stuff after that (except for some prescriptions which I might get soon).

I can't really remember when I last had noticeable urticaria. It's not like it has been weeks, but it's becoming less and less frequent.

(Sorry for any odd linebreaks, Blogger's acting up again.)