From Our Readers – Comments & Suggestions 11-11-09

Living on the Sidelines, but Here!

When I feel depressed, angry, lonely, hopeless, I pull this thought out. It works most of the time…. Even though I can't live my life how I want, at least, I am HERE. I am HERE for my children. I am HERE for my husband. I am HERE to listen to how their day went and how they did on their test. I am HERE to answer the phone in the middle of the night to listen to a friend. I will be HERE to watch my children finish growing up, get married, have children, and watch their children grow.

When I think my life isn't worth living, I need to remind myself that life on the sidelines is still precious. It isn't what I would choose but at least I am HERE. I may not feel like I am productive or valuable but ask my children if I am important. When they arrive home from school, or sports, or anywhere, they run straight to my room talking over each other in a rush to tell me all about their day! My husband even does it! He always walks back to our room to find me.

So, when you feel really low, depressed, or worthless, try to remember that we DO matter to our family, and our friends, and ourselves… It is just something that helps me and maybe it can help you, too. – I


Detective Work Suggests Chloramine in Water Caused Symptoms

Re: The Oct 28 “From Our Readers” letter about sensitivity to chloramine in municipal water supplies.

I am one of those folks affected by chloramine directly. I lived in a suburb of San Antonio a few years ago, and one January I noticed that my previously gone reflux/heartburn problems had returned.

It was like a switch. I had been eating healthy and had not changed a thing. I kept doing my food diary and noticed that my symptoms were worse when I drank water that I brought from home. I was using [a pitcher filter] for my tap water. I decided to call the water company, and I found out that on that exact day in January, the water company had changed from chlorine to chloramine.

From that day on, I no longer drink tap water from anywhere and have to rely upon bottled water or reverse osmosis filtered water. So far, no problems with that. Good luck. – S


For Cat Lovers

I enjoyed this little article cited on the ME/CFS & FM Message Board about how “cats appoint themselves as service animals” for people they love. – G


Celiac or Gluten Sensitive? Be Sure to Check Your Meds

One word of caution (for those with gluten sensitivity/celiac disease). If you take any meds be sure to find out if they have gluten in them. I was on a diabetes med for years and discovered it had gluten only after I called the FDA to find out. They actually called me back and told me how to check. – N

Note: One helpful listing is at


Alzheimer’s Frequently Asked Questions

To view an Alzheimer’s Frequently Asked Questions forum that offers user-contributed links to helpful resources on more than 50 FAQ topics, go to (Note the list is 2 pages long.)

Best wishes to all who are coping with the challenges of Alzheimer’s. – S


Low Dose Naltrexone 'Anniversary' – Arthritis/FM Patient

It's been about a year now that I've been taking low dose naltrexone at the 4.0 mg dose. Things are going pretty well for me – much more active, less arthritis pain & swelling, less fibro pain. I just got a raft of blood work done & a number of things have normalized. My white blood cell count is usually a little low, now in the normal range. The WBC differentials which for years have been slightly skewed have also normalized.

My liver enzymes are good as ever. My Internal Medicine doc was worried that the LDN would cause me liver trouble (I had hepatitis as a child & residually have had a bit of mild jaundice that new docs always comment on). But the chem panel looks great.

My thyroid frees are up on the LDN – including the free T3, which I'd struggled with for years. Even with slow-release compounded T3 (which caused problems of its own). I had a hard time getting into the normal range. But I'm there now. Not mid-range, bottom quartile, but it's a big change from the past. Just reporting for those of you who are interested. – S


Over the Counter Pain Meds & Diabetes

I think that acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol, or paracetamol outside the US & Canada) is the preferred pain reliever for diabetics vs. aspirin since high doses of aspirin can cause low blood sugar. But be aware of the acetaminophen content of other over-the-counter and prescription products. You should avoid taking more than the recommended amount of acetaminophen per day. Too much acetaminophen may cause false urine glucose test results. (Talk to your doctor when you notice changes in your glucose levels while taking acetaminophen.)

Other medications may interact with acetaminophen. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products, while taking acetaminophen. Many formulations of acetaminophen are available alone and in combination products. Taking too much Tylenol can cause liver damage, and possibly kidney damage. – J


Sun Brought My Vitamin D into Normal Range

I tested low for vitamin D and was offered a prescription to increase it. However, I chose to put on my bathing suit and sit in the sun for approximately 15 minutes, twice a week. I'm now in the normal range, so I do believe that we went too far in our avoidance of the sun, use of sunblock, etc. Where I live I can do this (almost) year round. – D


Dr. Mikovits’ Comment on XMRV and Vaccines

This is fascinating, so I wanted to share it with everyone. In the Huffington Post:

"Below is Dr. Judy Mikovits' intriguing statement about how XMRV could make people more susceptible to toxic vaccines, rather than the other way around.”

"This might even explain why vaccines would lead to autism in some children, because these viruses live and divide and grow in lymphocytes – the immune response cells, the B and the T cells. So when you give a vaccine, you send your B and T cells in your immune system into overdrive. That's its job. Well, if you are harboring one virus, and you replicate it a whole bunch, you've now broken the balance between the immune response and the virus. So you have had the underlying virus, and then amplified it with that vaccine, and then set off the disease, such that your immune system could no longer control other infections, and created an immune deficiency."
– E


Simple Device Really Helps Alzheimer Mom’s Anxiety

My mother is in the early- to mid-stage of Alzheimer's. She is often anxious, because she cannot remember what she needed to do, or if she has done it! This anxiety is the source of her repetitive questions, which exhaust my patience and that of our substitute caregiver.

I found that the most simplified recorder possible really helped with this problem. ( I leave comforting, reassuring messages for Mom, and she plays them over and over again. A typical message might be, "Hi, Mom, you've had a good breakfast and taken all of your medication. Mary is here with you, and I will be back after lunch." The recorder is worn as a pendant and has only one, very big button for playback. My mother is calmer and more aware of what's going on. Also, there's less tension between us. I hope this can help other families. – V


Ya-Ya Sisterhood Author Rebecca Wells’ Lyme Site

Bestselling author Rebecca Wells [has advanced neurological Lyme disease]. She offers a new book, a website, and a poignant account of her life with Lyme disease…. See


Supplements & Other Ideas that Support Our Son with ADD

We've found that our young adult son with mild ADD [attention deficit disorder] does best on EPA fish oil, magnesium, Vitamin D, and a stress-type multivite high in the Bs. This was after numerous trials of several different ADD meds, which would cause anxiety & mood issues, which were then off-set by other Rx’d psych med, which worsened the ADD – so the ADD med would be increased & it just spiraled on until he said, STOP. He now uses the above supps, plus caffeine (coffee) judiciously, and does fairly well. When his anxiety increases, he uses a device called Alpha-StimR that is wonderfully calming. – S

Note: Alpha-Stim is the commercial name of one device used for 'cranial electrotherapy stimulation’, a therapeutic mode being studied extensively for a variety of conditions.


This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is generic and anecdotal, and is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any condition, illness, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.

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