Be warned: this one gets personal.
First, a required disclaimer. I am not a doctor or medical professional. Nothing in this post should be construed as medical advice. It is merely my personal experience. Always do your own research and consult with medical experts before beginning any medication. The one I am discussing here is a prescription medication, so do not seek ways to obtain it without a prescription.
So if you know me personally, or if you’ve read my About page, you may be aware that I have some chronic health conditions. Two of those, ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and Fibromyalgia, have had a significant impact on my ability to function at work, leading to be leaving my previous full time job and eventually find a part time job where I’ve been working the past few years. I love my job now, but it’s certainly sometimes been difficult to persist through the fatigue and pain.
About a year ago, I started taking a new medication (for me) called Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN). Low Dose because in higher doses it’s used for completely different purposes, and Naltrexone being the generic name of the actual compound. Typical doses can start as low as 0.25mg for some patients I’ve heard about, and some patients even take ULDN or Ultra Low Dose Naltrexone which goes into far smaller doses. I didn’t feel I needed that, so I talked to the doctors at AgelessRx, an online service with real credentialed physicians who review your medical history and other medications, and they approved me to begin LDN.
At first, like with many things I’ve tried, I didn’t notice any change. I’d read it can take up to six months or even a year to see improvement in symptoms on LDN, though, so I committed to giving it a chance to work. Within 3-4 months, I started noticing a little bit less pain in my arms and legs, but I still wasn’t sure if it was really working or not.
What really got my attention was when I started staying later at work.
See, prior to taking LDN, I would watch the clock closely for the end of my 4 hour shift at work. I often left 1/2 to an 1 hour, and even missed days regularly. I am fortunate to have a very understanding and accommodating employer, when few others would have handled my needs so graciously, but I still felt bad about it.
The day I noticed that I’d been at work an extra hour past my schedule time and hadn’t even realized it, I knew something had changed.
For the past 6 months now, my energy levels have been significantly improved over before I started LDN. No, I’m not taking up running, or even going for long walks (hey, I don’t even go for short walks). But I can manage more than my scheduled shifts regularly, and still help around the house more than I used to. I can volunteer at church a little more often and not have to sleep the rest of the day when I do.
I still have bad days. I still get tired easily. But both of those things are reduced in frequency and duration overall, even though they can be bad in the moment.
Some of these things might not sound like accomplishments to a normally-abled person without my limitations, but let me assure you, to me, this is a life-changing medication, and I hope the improvements keep coming.