Life on LDN – Week 1


Well, it has been 4 full days on Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) and I thought I would give everyone an update. 

From what I was reading online I guess a lot of people build up to the normal dosing.  Sadly, since my GI didn’t know too much about the drug, I went right to the full dose of 4.5 mg.  I have had some side effects from it but nothing I can’t handle.

The first major side effect is insomnia.  The medicine kicks in around 3 in the morning and gets the endorphins jumping.  That is what wakes you up and keeps you up.  For 4 nights now I haven’t had much sleep.  Once my body gets used to the drug this should stop and I can not wait for that to occur.

Another side effect some people get on the 4.5 mg dose is a headache and I have had some on and off.  It isn’t so bad and I haven’t even thought about taking Tylenol for it.  Another side effect which I have read about are nausea and lack of appetite.  I get this later on in the day around late afternoon and night time.  Hopefully this too will go away.

Overall, I don’t feel normal right now.  I have been very irritable and agitated but I think this is due to the lack of sleep.  I am not my normal self and even my wife has noticed it, but more important is that I have noticed it.

As far as the Crohn’s go, I haven’t had it bad so I can’t say there is an improvement, but it hasn’t gotten worse.  I have had a little more gas but I don’t know if that is because I am getting better or worse.

So…..for the first week, I am having a rough time of it, but I won’t give up or give in.  I am a fighter and will keep going.  Hopefully week 2 will be better and I can get some rest.  The weekend is upon us so I can rest a little. 

 

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Advice For A Terrific Life


I was going through an old blog I was doing and I found this post that I made.  I am sure I copied it from someone else..but I thought it was nice and I wanted to repost it here. 

  1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  2. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
  3. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
  4. When you say, ‘I love you,’ mean it.
  5. When you say, ‘I’m sorry,’ look the person in the eye.
  6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
  7. Believe in love at first sight.
  8. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.
  9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.
  10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name-calling.
  11. Don’t judge people by their relatives.
  12. Talk slowly but think quickly.
  13. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, ‘Why do you want to know?’
  14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  15. Say ‘bless you’ when you hear someone sneeze.
  16. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
  17. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.
  18. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  19. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  20. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
  21. Spend some time alone.

Traveling with IBD


I just came back from vacation and for the first time in my life,  I was really scared about traveling with Crohn’s Disease.  In the past I never worried about it.  On the days where I would actually be traveling, I would take Imodium and that would be that.  I never worried about food choices either because in the past food wasn’t an issue with my Crohn’s.

This year was different.  For the first time in my life, I was staying in a Caribbean country.  I went to the Dominican Republic for 7 days.  Now the trip there didn’t worry me.  I have flown many times and was just excited not nervous so my stomach behaved.   My biggest worries would be the food this time around as my breakfast choice was going to be hard.   As a reminder to everyone, I have gone Gluten Free and eggs upset my CD.  Originally I bought some Chex cereal and almond milk to bring with me, but there was no room in the suitcase for them so I had to leave them behind.

When I got to the resort it was so beautiful and relaxing I thought, this would be great.  By dinner time, my worries kicked in.  Now at the resort I stayed in, there was a buffet for breakfast and lunch and for dinner you could do the buffet or you had a choice of 2 restaurants.  There were a total of 4 restaurants but only 2 were open each day.  As I looked at the menu’s of the restaurant I saw it was going to be very difficult to eat a GF diet.   Just about everything had gluten in it.  From every menu, there was maybe one item that was just naturally GF but of course I would have to worry about cross contamination.  I could deal with that though.  So for the first night, I survived, but the food didn’t taste good.

Come morning, it was buffet time.  I knew this would be a challenge so I brought my digestive enzymes just in case I had to eat eggs.  Turns out food would be the least of my worries.  The dinning area was opened all around so birds were flying in constantly.  They would walk all over the tables and fly to the food.  They would even peck and eat at the food on the buffet.  The workers there didn’t seem to care and this started to turn my stomach.   I quickly learned that food sanitation and safety meant nothing here.  The food workers wore no gloves, used utensils to touch raw and cooked meat together, and the food never seemed hot enough and sometimes not cooked enough.

So needless to say, keeping myself healthy was going to be a real challenge.  Just looking at the dinning building would turn my stomach.  I lost my appetite pretty quickly that first morning and for a week I hardly ate anything.  The restaurants didn’t have bird issues but they still had the other issues.  I couldn’t wait to leave and get home to eat a real meal.

Over all,  my CD never acted up (surprisingly) and I survived DR.  It was a very relaxing trip aside from the food and I didn’t want to leave.  But this trip opened my eyes to what many other people with IBD must go through.  Someone with active CD or UC might have gotten really sick from those conditions.    It also made me realize that for any future vacations, I am really going to have to plan and research places well.  I will never go clueless on vacation again.

So here are some advice to others with IBD for traveling:

1)  Make sure you have anti-D meds with you and enough of your regular meds.

2) If you are going to a resort, see if they can send you menus of their restaurants.  Also ask them if they can accommodate any special diet you might have.

3) Bring some IBD friendly foods with you.

4) If your staying at a hotel, look online for some IBD diet friendly restaurants.  Most restaurants these days post their menus online.

5) Check to see if they have a doctor where you are staying.  If you’re in a tropical country, the nearest hospital can be hours away.

6) Make sure you have up to date medical records with you and if your on meds, keep a list of them in your wallet just in case of an emergency.

7) Never be afraid to ask.  If you don’t see something, ask if they carry it.  If your GF and you don’t see any GF foods, they might have some and just don’t put it out.

8) Tip the staff well.  They will remember you and help you out more than someone who isn’t as appreciative.

Well, that is all I can think of for now.    I hope these tips can help you out the next time you travel.  I know I will be planning my next trip out very meticulously and won’t make the mistakes I made this year.