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les genser

a potential new option

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I talked with Mike's pain Doc today (we see the same guy - different pain problems). Sez he's taking him off the methadone. Sez he doesn't want to be the guy who kills him. I guess this could be a blessing in disguise though I don't know what he expects him to do or take to cushion the pain. I'm just afraid of Michael getting to the point where ending it all becomes preferable to the suffering. A good chance that rebound HAs are a big part of Michael's problem and if that's the case and he quits smoking/drinking at the same time maybe it won't be as tough a job as we expect it to be.

Maybe we'll also get some kittens. Now, if someone would be so kind as to show us how to prepare them...

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Hang in there Ron! 

You guys are in my prayers.  It's not going to be pretty, but it could be life changing.  I hope the Doc is going to taper him down.  Tell Mike he can call me anytime.

Bob

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Hi folks.

Ron, all will be well. I thought about what I wanted to ask and you have already provided the answers,mostly. If it was me, this is what I would do. I am going to assume that the dolophine (you know who its named for, right?) is going to be removed. As the drug is titrated down, I would stop nicotine and alcohol intake. Totally. It is so worth it. Read those nicotine posts; it really does have a sneaky delayed effect on the neuralgias that I did not want to accept, after 48 hours I proved it to my own satisfaction. It is hard, but the results were astonishing. The good news (for me) is that methadone as an opioid analgesic will not half life down like some other shit so I can start remediating right away. You, I mean I, am in SoCal. Herbalists have to be dropping from trees. I can perhaps give you some names from other parts of the state. I cannot overstress the value of Skullcap in this situation, as a nervine specifically indicated in circumstances of withdrawal (from the nicotine, primarily as I assume the methadone will be titrated slowly). The best tinctures, and by far the most effective, are made from the whole (aerial) fresh plant. I would take it liberally and as often as needful. Some authorities will give it in five drop increments every fifteen minutes until relief is obtained.

I would concentrate on mechanical aborting methods. Ice; cold showers to rapidly reduce overheating, immersion in cold water (outstanding fast relief if available). I would avoid energy drinks and excessive caffeine intake. I would guess that within 48 hours of removing nicotine and alcohol I would be feeling much better. I would absolutely be doing this before the methadone is lowered; one withdrawal at a time, thank you. As I said to someone else here, if you can do it for just 48 hours the improvement should be enough incentive to do it another 48. Anyway, that is exactly what I would do. Now.

If you are an episodic, not inclined to associated neuralgias, then busting works great and you walk away. For those of us in the other camp, the neurogenic stuff is I think 70% of the problem. This is where rebound happens; it would be so nice if maybe there was an announcer at the beginning (this episode of skull-f-ing abominable agony brought to you by those five cigarettes you had this morning!). This is my problem with many pharmaceuticals; they are like boomerangs that totally miss their target on the way in but smack you right in the head on the way out. There is no easy or really scientific way to approach this, but I do know that if you remove the triggers the pain stops.

From what I can determine, strangely enough, licorice root does not seem to interact badly with analgesics, so you would have to ask the pain doc but I don't think you would be precluded from using it as well.

Remember, 48 hours. You can tolerate anything for 48 hours. Alright, maybe not Jersey Shore, but almost anything.

In the interest of full disclosure, I lifted the kitten joke from Jon Stewart. The idea of looking at kittens as an antidote to being driven batshit crazy is so funny  to me now that just the thought of the kitten joke has become sort of a humor mantra to me. If I wasn't a vegetarian, I probably would prefer them batter dipped.

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I thought it was named after everyone's favorite super-hero, Dolph Lundgren. Urban legend has it that it was named after Adolph Hitler. It was actually Eli Lilly and Company that named it after Professor Vincent Dole.

We'll get some Skullcap and follow your lead, Les. Much appreciated information. Many thanks. I'm sure Doc won't cold turkey my kid but he didn't suggest to me anything he might give him for help with the HAs. It's kinda scary imagining him with nothing - but maybe a combination of Licorice, Skullcap, cold water and the elimination of tobacco/alcohol will be enough to get him through. I sure hope so.

The kittens would need to be shaved before batter-dipping them. Anyone tried them sauteed in butter with some sweet onion? 

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Its not really urban legend. Germany had no source of morphine available during the big one, so Scientists there in a huge and frantic push synthesized methadone, naming it 'adolphine' after fearless leader and Drug Addict #1. After the war, methadone was war booty like all their rocket scientists. The name would not have gone over well had they left it alone.

The doctor will most certainly titrate the methadone down, very,very slowly. Methadone withdrawal is brutal. Not giving anything additional for the headaches is merely honesty on his part; nothing will work.

I would be willing to wager a large part of my completely nonexistent wealth that nicotine and alcohol removal will make a huge difference, and the sooner you do it the better. No cheating; for complicated metabolic reasons its worse.

If the doctor OKs it, use the licorice root regularly and liberally as it will certainly relieve anxiety and depression.

I really feel you will be pleasantly surprised, but not half as much as Mike.

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Ron, this feels like butting in, but ... Since, as Les says, methadone withdrawal is brutal, often considered more difficult than heroin withdrawal, are you involving an addiction specialist in any direct way?  Have you considered some kind of in-patient setting?  I can't imagine anyone who would care for Mike more devotedly than you, but is this far enough beyond your skill level that professionals should be more directly involved?  You don't have to answer these questions, but I felt I had to ask them.  I completely understand that you're both at the end of your ropes, and it breaks my heart because I have come to admire you so much and care so much about you, but ought you to give it one more look before you act?

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Thanks, Les. Damn, I sure hope you're right about both of us being pleasantly surprised and I sincerely appreciate the time that you've taken to help us. I don't understand this sentence: "No cheating; for complicated metabolic reasons its worse." Do you mean that he shouldn't cheat by having an occasional "puff" or beer; that for "complicated metabolic reasons" his withdrawal will be more difficult if he does?

I'm sure glad you're here, Jerry, and that for some odd reason you seem to like me. I think it will turn out both that I'm inadequate to the task and that Michael's addiction is so deeply entrenched that at least part of his withdrawal will need to be conducted in a hospital setting. We've got a lot to learn about and we've just now started so I don't at this point know what will be involved and the best way to go about it. It'll depend on his insurance coverage (Medicare) and our shared finances as to what we can do when the time comes.

Ron

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Les, I got some of the liquorice tincture for my son. He has come off the Verapamil and has started taking the tincture. He is a chronic sufferer of CH. He started taking it whenever he got the beginnings of a CH and sometimes it does stop it developing. The good news is when he takes it at night he doesn't wake up in the night with one like he used to.He used to get 2 clusters a night. He is still getting clusters but this tincture is helping. He is still on injections though. He is still very nervous about taking it to counteract a full blown cluster. I'm not sure what he means about that not having them myself but I'm sure you will understand what he means about taking the tincture at the beginning and it taking it away. There must be different stages of the clusters if the tincture takes it away but being nervous about taking it to stop a full blown cluster.

The thing I wanted to ask you is he thought it might be a good idea if he could put this tincture in an itomised bottle and be able to squirt it into his mouth at the start of a cluster. This would probably help at work or if he is out driving somewhere for work to help ward off an attack. Do you think this is a good idea.

I think its wonderful how you help people so much. Watching my son in an attack is terrible and the doctors don't understand. They just don't like you taking the injections. He has an appointment on thursday with the doctor as he wants to assess the injections. I hope this doesn't mean he wants him to come off them.

Thanks again for all your help. You're an angel and you don't know it.

Geordie Girl

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Hi. Licorice root, although it will work as a quasi-abortive, is best used at a regular 3x daily regimen for prophylaxis. This has seemed to completely block sleep hits for most people who have tried it. (Honestly, if it did nothing else I would be happy. Night hits suck tailpipe). I am a little concerned, though;- I assume by injections you are referring to Imitrex or other triptans. They work primarily as vasoconstrictors slightly downstream from the HPA axis; licorice root raises blood pressure;,, more pressure + narrowed plumbing= headache. That is my principal difficulty with them. That and the fact(s) that they don't work and they suck money from your wallet like crack. (Not a problem for you, I presume. We live in the third world).If the doctor wants to stop them, good on him/her; they are as useful as a hedgehog in a balloon store.

Also, be aware that just as with any medicinal substance, there is a point at which too much is too much, and licorice is an exceptionally powerful herb, so here is what I would do:

1. Read the thread again. Dose 3X daily, as preventative.

2. Use with Skullcap tincture. My respect for this little swamp weed is immense. It will restore destroyed nervous systems, at ordinary levels it will not make you drowsy, yet its sedative and calming powers are amazing. Used with the licorice (3x daily, same dosage amt.) it reduces secondary neuralgias (shadows) and if your system is clean it just stops them. Get a preparation made from fresh plant if you can; they are much more potent.

3. As an emergency abortive,either or both tinctures may be used in this fashion: Five drops under the tongue, or as we say in order to be obtuse, sublingually. Wait thirty minutes, repeat if needed until relief is obtained, but always wait thirty minutes between applications. That is the safe way to do it.

4. If it stops the night hits for your son, you may assume its working. The cleaner he gets, the better it will work and he won't have to think about aborting full on hits.

5. If either one of these applies: stop alcohol use. stop tobacco use. I know, but I am not a Mormon missionary... you will not believe the difference this makes. Read the nicotine research. I am still having trouble myself, but if I don't smoke, I don't get shadows. It is really that simple.

I hope this is useful, and I am glad he is making progress.

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This is slightly off topic, but instructive. I was reading one of those complimentary large format 'alternative health' magazines I picked up at an organic market downstate the other day, and there was an article about herbal first aid for parents, being summer and all. The article was written by a woman (obviously a heavy advertiser in this rag) who was something called a "sound" and "color puncture" (???) therapist. (Note: this mag is published in the same county as one of the premier schools of herbal medicine in the country, Tai Sophia Institute. They couldn't find a real herbalist?). It was concerned with cuts, scrapes, insect stings, poison ivy, that sort of thing. I wound up flinging it in disgust and ranting to my wife that no wonder people question the efficacy of plant remedies when morons are allowed to print nonsense. She recommended arcane plants and things like seaweed, which no one is likely to carry around.

The truth is that the solution to simple summer medical problems is usually right at your feet. In the interest of restoring some integrity to my calling, I present just three common weeds which I guarantee to perform wonderful things.

(Please google pictures of these plants so you make sure you've got the right stuff).

1. For cuts, scrapes, mosquito bites, bee or wasp stings:

Plantago Major; plantain.: Not the banana thing. A ubiquitous weed found almost anywhere in the world Europeans have been (it is naturalized here; it is known as the 'white mans' footprint'), it is found wherever people are, and not where they aren't. One of the finest medicinal plants in existence, the first herb I ever learned and still one of the most useful, internally and externally. It will stop bleeding and absolutely eliminate the itch and pain of stings. It will suck toxins, splinters and debris from wounds.Simply take a leaf (make sure no chemicals have been sprayed, if its from a lawn) and chew it up a bit to crush and release the ingredients, then slap it on the wound or bite and hold it there for a few minutes. Ta da.

2. Achillea Millefolia, Yarrow. Named for Achilles, who healed his warriors' wounds with it. The feathery, fernlike leaves and flowers (the wild white kind, not the pink ornamental garden variety) when crushed, will stop even relatively serious bleeding almost instantly. (Internally, the tincture is a wonderful fever reducer moving heat from the core to the surface. The plant habitually grows in hot, dry soils. Coincidence?)

3. Impatiens capensis, Jewelweed. Called spotted touch-me-not, this is the premier poison ivy remedy, often found growing right near it. It prefers damp, wet areas. The sap from the hollow stems and the crushed leaves neutralize the toxins in PI. You can take the juice and freeze it in ice cubes to use when the plant is not available. Stops spread of rash, and use with plantain as well to remove itch.

Thats just a couple that actually work, and I use these on a regular basis. OK, I feel redeemed.

But I thoroughly understand the attitude of folks who are skeptical of herbal medicine given the profusion of snake oil salesmen (and women) out there.

Hope everyone is well.

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I stopped by here yesterday to see if I could be useful, and did something I never do, I checked out the boards on CH.com. It was basically endless permutations of 'the doctor tried this chemical/that chemical' and 'this chemical is no longer working but I'm on to the next' and so on. It bothered me all day. I was reminded of an often co-opted Sufi story:

A man is walking down a street at night when he sees his friend, the Master Nasruddin, on his hands and knees under a streetlamp. He asks whats wrong and the master says he has dropped his key. So, being a good friend he gets down on his hands and knees and starts looking too. After some time, he asks the master where he was when he dropped the key, and Nasruddin says back in the alley. So the friend, exasperated, says why aren't you looking there? and the Master replies 'because the light is better here'.

Check out and read the excellent FDA post/interview that Ricardo put up, and then realize that as damning as that interview is, it is the tip of the iceberg. Note that he said, as I'm sure many of you know or suspect, that doctors don't read labels, they prescribe based on information provided to them by drug companies. The pharmacological training received by doctors is virtually nonexistent considering they spend most of their time pushing drugs on people.

Almost everyone who comes to this site has done so because they are tired of having been used as walking chemistry sets to no good purpose, they are unwilling to accept inadequate treatment, and they know there are better choices and dammit they will go out and find them.

Let those who choose to, stay under the streetlamp.

I will be back in the alley with you guys.

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Les's Nasruddin story reminds me of.... me, last night.

Michael and I were flying home from San Fran and I wanted to see the city lights below so Michael and I sat in window seats in different rows on the same side of the plane. I was sitting looking out a single window when I noticed that the seat opposite mine on the other side of the plane had the advantage of double windows. I actually did move. Not for more than just a moment, but I did move. Stupid. Stupid.

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I tried liquorice root tincture (one from Herbal Remedies) for a week. I was too lazy to browse the whole board and to read this whole thread. I am currently on verapamil so I have no business trying liquorice root but during that week my shadows disappeared. I was on the edge of my cycle starting. So my little experience tells me this is really working. If I ever manage to get rid of verapamil I will try this tincture as a preventative again. Thumbs up for Les.

:)

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yes i am in my 4th week now. i only use it now if really necessary. i had the most wonderful pain free time the last 3 weeks. i did found a few sure triggers in that time like my perfume, mowing the lawn, second hand smoking. the first time i tried it it didnt really work but i was on HRT. this time i stopped the HRT a week before i started the licorice and i used vit B5 like Les said. i did start working again on monday and i do find i am triggered more so its not like if it is gone.  i had my first beer in 2 months last night and slept like a baby.

i think it helps but you must not be on any other medication!

heilette

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3 weeks into my latest cycle (2-3 years between them) I stumbled on to this thread, and since I'm not on any medication other than red bull I thought I would give licorice a try.  After taking the amounts and frequency that Les suggested my CH were gone after about 7-10 days.  The licorice root definitely worked for me, my cycles usually last 6-8 weeks so at the very least it cut it in half which is amazing.  The thing i liked best is I didn't need a prescription for this, just pay $14 for the licorice root in a health food store.  Thank you Les!

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Seems to me that this was rather an effective option, how come there has not been any discussion about this anymore. Are you people still using this or have I missed something ?

Few people here in Finland tried this when this thread first was posted and I have reports that liquorice root that Organic Herbal Remedies sold was the right kind and it did it's job.

Thing is, the label on their current liquorice root has changed. Would anyone know is this still the right kind? The dosage is different and the country of origin.

The old label said

"This product only contains tincture of organically produced liquorice root. Ratio of herb to alcohol 1:3. This tincture is an extract using 25% v/v organically produced pure grain alcohol. Herb from China. Manufactured and bottled in the UK."

and the new one says

"Ingredients This product only contains tincture of organically produced liquorice root. 1ml is equivalent to 500mg of dried herb. This tincture is an extract using 25% v/v organically produced pure grain alcohol. Herb from India. Manufactured and bottled in the UK."

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I suppose it is okay as long as you go with the dossage but I am not in Finland. I am still using it now and then if really needed. I read the book Les suggested (When The Body Says No) ,what an amazing eye opener. I am a bit "numb" about my past and now made an appointment for psychotherapy to help me, because I believe our problem came from repressed emotions!

heilette

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