Last night I spent 10 hours in bed and got 7 1/2 hours of sleep. Not bad. My Zeo says I woke up 8 times in the night, which I hardly noticed – it was so much better than my usual 15 or 16 times. This is the longest stretch of over-7-hours-of-sleep-nights I’ve had in as long as I can remember. Ever? And I feel stronger. Is it the low-dose naltrexone? I am still skeptical. I started keeping my thyroid medication next to my bed, so when I wake at 6 or 7 or 8am, I take it and then tell myself I can go back to sleep for an hour. It has really helped. I have to take my thyroid hormones on an empty stomach and wait an hour before eating or taking other supplements, so it has always been the thing that gets me out of bed (when I’m not working).
Yesterday, was uneventful symptom-wise, which is wonderful. I did a bunch of housework and then relaxed. I was tired, but not exhausted. I had muscle aches, but nothing severe. My main concerns were: the painful tingling in my left thumb, my itchy, clogged ears, my neck pain, my mood, and my body’s complete lack of effective thermoregulation. That is nothing, believe me. There have been so many months when I would say, my main concern is not dying, so this is great. And I don’t want to jinx it by getting too excited. I still have ridiculous constipation and the breakout on my chest, but I’m sure these are transient problems that will go away once my body gets used to the diet change and pills.
Speaking of pills, I may as well give you the run-down on the prescription medications I have on top of the supplements. Bear in mind, most people with CFS / ME — or any of the other afflictions that cause muscle pain/ cramping, IBS issues, sleep issues, mood disorders etc. — are on many, many more drugs than I am. I have been told by multiple doctors to try steroids, anti-anxiety meds, anti-depressants, stronger pain killers, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, anti-spasmodics, anti-convulsants… It goes on and on. I keep refusing. Not only do I have a sensitive system that seems to react to everything on the planet, I also have an addictive personality that cowers at the thought of any sort of withdrawal symptoms.
I take T3 and T4 for my thyroid, which doesn’t function anymore after I had radiation treatment to kill two toxic multinodular goiters a few years ago. I have an albuterol inhaler. I use prescription antihistamine eye drops and nasal spray every day because the optometrist said allergies were causing my gritty eyes and the ENT doc said allergies are causing my bothersome ears. I never had either of these symptoms before this year and I don’t really know if the Rxs are helping, but I keep using them. I have a prescription for an epipen (I’ve been in the emergency room five times for idiopathic anaphylaxis). I take a birth control pill continuously for my severe dysmenorrhea, which has landed me in the emergency room five OTHER times from vasovagal syncope. They call it fainting, I call it flatlining. Awful, terrifying experiences. I don’t need to be on the pill for birth control — it’s only so I don’t get a period and risk the collapse. I’ve had two periods in two years — when I was switching pill brands. Other than that, I take the low-dose naltrexone, of course, I use “Traumaplant” on my neck, curtesy of my Czech bff, and I always carry diphenhydramine and acetaminophen.
One of these days, I will post my back story (not a story about my back, but my history) and tell you about the doctors I’ve seen, the tests I’ve had done, and the horrors of what CFS / ME can be. But not yet… not yet.