First the Basics: LDN 101

"LDN" (low dose naltrexone) is an "alternative" medication used with surprising success in treating immune disorders, both autoimmune and immune deficient. Taken orally at bedtime, LDN works by briefly blocking opiate receptors, thereby "tricking" the body into increasing endorphin production. Endorphins being a central part of the immune system, increasing their production has been shown to help correct immune defects.


Update: Spring 2009

Man, this is frustrating! I just spent over an hour trying to write this post, updating things and lamenting the toll my memory problems have taken on my life this week, etc. But when I was practically finished, I screwed up by forgetting to save my post before I went to another page, and now I have to start over! Crap!
(Shit for Brains!- I really wasn't trying to demonstrate how lame I am...)

So, let's see, where was I? Well, of course I still have M.S. (no surprise there), and I'm still on LDN, and it's still working great for me, but the bad news is that I'm running out and am having trouble getting more. OMG!

See, the trouble started when my beloved primary care physician, "Dr. Connie", who'd been taking care of me for over 30 years, closed her practice last Fall and moved to the Texas Panhandle*. (*That's like the Siberia of Texas).

"Dr. Connie" was the doctor who'd provided me with my LDN, but now the refills are all gone and the last bottle of pills will be empty in two days. This isn't her fault at all, it's mine; she left me really well set-up with refills on everything before she relocated. I knew when I won disability that my Medicare coverage would start on the first of May (last month), and naively thought I'd be able to find a female primary care doc taking new Medicare patients, but so far no luck. I've been without any blood pressure medicine for about three weeks now, and might explode at any moment...

Happily, I do still have an oto-neurologist for my chronic inner-ear issues, and since he prescribes LDN for many of his patients, I thought I could go see him and get a script for the LDN. Simple, right? Anyway, I got an appointment for last Thursday, June 4th, and had arranged to get a ride from my friend John. (I'd call him "Saint John" but that name's taken...)

By the way, I guess I haven't mentioned that I don't drive anymore; my near-total inability to multi-task seemed to me like a really bad quality in a driver, so I voluntarily let my driver's license lapse some time ago and have been staying home most of the time. That's me and my dog Claude.

I do have a really nice mobility scooter that gets me around the neighborhood and to nearby stores. At home I have cable, internet, and air conditioning, so I'm content. And John comes over most Thursdays to take me wherever I need or want to go, and that's worked out wonderfully. Thank you, Johnny!

So day-before-yesterday, sweet John took me to the oto-neurologist's office, which is just outside Austin. I would have gone sooner but Social Security had the impression that my name was still my married name from back in the '70's (shudder!) and getting that changed wasn't quick or easy since I had no current I.D.. In fact, I actually had to buy a wheelchair for the process!
See, standing in line is impossible for me because of spinal issues that have nothing to do with M.S. Anyway, gradually I managed to get a new DPS I.D., and another Thursday John and I spent two hours in line at Social Security applying for a corrected card, but I'm still waiting for my corrected Medicare card to arrive. Fortunately it's supposedly all fixed on their website, which was enough for the doctor's office.

Anyway, since my inner-ear issues had been pretty well under control (at least, until recently), I hadn't been to see this doctor for almost two years. So when I got there, I had to start over, undergoing two full hours of hearing, balance, and memory testing before I ever even saw the doctor. After I had made the appointment and before the day arrived, I had a relapse of the vertigo, so that became a primary issue.

Anyway, by the time I finally saw the doc, it wasn't the regular guy after all but a new associate, a nice guy who wasn't very familiar with LDN. (He asked the nurse if it was a "trip-scrip"; I assured him it isn't!) My head was spinning from the testing, and my lame brain was further overwhelmed by all the information I was given; I left the office with a ream of documents, 10 pages just of results from all the testing; bundles of samples of new meds and accompanying brochures (for things like "neurotransmitter support"); orders for labs; a butt-full of cortisone, but until late that night I didn't realize that I still didn't have a prescription for the LDN! That was the main reason I went there, and we did discuss it, but ultimately it sort of got overlooked. When I screw up things like this it can really get me down, but I'm trying to sort of rise above myself...

I called the doctor's office yesterday and left messages starting at 5am, hoping to be able to pick up a Rx for LDN, but they're only open a half day on Fridays and take 24 business hours to respond to calls, so I never got a call back. On Monday morning I'll start yanking their chain again...

The last time I ran out of LDN (and was without it for a week or so), I had a wicked relapse and was left with chronic inner-ear problems. Obviously I'm hoping that won't happen this time. The cortisone shot (which was for the inner ear thing) should help, but I'm sure anxious to get my LDN!

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