Alan from England shares his Multiple Sclerosis (MS)  and Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) Story

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Linda: I would like to introduce Alan from England. Alan has multiple sclerosis.

Alan: Hello. Could you tell us when you first started getting ms symptoms?

Alan: Probably in my early twenties. The best part of 40 years ago. I used to get terrible headaches and tingling in my hands, and, the medical people put it down to migraines and growing pains and that sort of thing. And then they would disappear for years.

I'd get a bad headache, and I'm tingling in my hand now and again but nothing really bad. Nothing that I couldn't cope with. 

I was a young fit man and then back in the early eighties, they came back again. 

The same sort of symptoms came back, but more so, I went to the doctor.  He put me in for an MRI scan but he sort of diagnosed all that symptoms through the stress of my job because I had a massive job that was million times tiring man targets people working for me, travelling all over the country. 

Massive stress job. 

And so I changed my job and all my symptoms disappeared, so I never went back for the results of my MRI scan. 

Probably in 1988, the symptoms came back again.

And so I went back to the doctor and, he said: "Well, I'll send you for another MRI scan but you never came back for your previous scan results ten years earlier", to which I replied: "Well, the symptoms disappeared, so I wasn't really interested. And then he said: " Well, we had a doctor's dilemma that we couldn't tell you, because you didn't come back.

but we suspected you have Multiple Sclerosis at that time. 

 I was really pleased he didn't tell me because I'd had ten years of symptom-free, changed my job, moved house, did all sorts of things, without any worries that I might be able to have later on in my life. 

But when the symptoms all came back again, then they did an MRI again and told me that they were definitely a hundred per cent certain that it was ms.

And, I was totally devastated. I would say I was in the early fifties, pretty fit, playing great tennis, golf nearly every other day. I'm having a great life and all of a sudden they were telling me that in a couple of years I was going to be in a wheelchair. It was some pretty hard time.

Linda: So what were your symptoms at that time?

Alan: Well, my left leg used to get really heavy. If I was doing active things such as playing tennis, I'm like to play one set, and when I play the second set, and if I want it, that was fine. If I lost it, then I'd have to play the third set and I just couldn't run around because it felt as I just had a ball and chain instructed my leg.

So, I was losing the third set, and that was when I went back to the doctor and,  said: "Look, there's definitely something wrong with me, and I want to know what it is." So he told me about the previous MRI scan. 

And then we went from there to see a consultant and a final diagnosis.

Linda: And then what happens further down the road? 

Alan: Well, I got really depressed, terrible. I even attempted suicide and everything. I was succumbing in a terrible state and then all of a sudden I couldn't play tennis, I couldn't play golf. I couldn't go walking in the hills. I couldn't. I couldn't do anything that I used to do before.

I just got myself in a terrible state. I got really down. And then all of a sudden the guy that I was friendly with said:" Well, would you come to play bowls? And I said:" Bowls skim for old men". And he said: "I put his arm around me and said, Alan, you Bleep, bleep, bleep, cripple. And I looked at him and said, do you know what?

You're right. I can't do the things I want to. I'm a semi cripple. Why don't I go and play bowls? And it was like a new lease of life for me. I started playing bowls more than I used to play tennis and golf and things like that and got pretty good at it. Represented England in the Paralympics and, won a silver medal, Linda.

Linda: Oh, wow. 

Alan: Well, bowls saved my life. So, yeah and over the years I've had to manage my ms, until I heard about LDN and, that was just four, five or six years ago. And, I started taking LDN five or six years ago from Bob Lawrence and Swanzey, and I've been on ever since. And, my symptoms have not progressed hardly at all since in five or six years.

I'm virtually no worse now than I was probably six years ago before I started taking it.

Linda: You said you were secondary progressive. Is that right? 

Alan: I was secondary progressive. I was just gradually going down, down, down, and then It's just stopped. I'll go to the oxygen chambers every week and things like this, but,  that didn't really do, it made me feel better, but it didn't really progression.

LDN seems to have stopped it in its tracks.

Linda: Did you have any side effects when you first started?

Alan: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Within a week of taking it, all the symptoms that I had, was tiredness especially. If I played bowls, I would play in the afternoon.

I'd come home and go to bed and not do anything else for the rest of the day. But that was fine. I could manage that. That's not a problem. Sometimes I would play twice a day, and I'm five years older, and I'm doing a lot more. So I'm like,I will put it all toward him.

Linda: So what else is LDN done to help you? 

Alan: I used to be sore in my muscle all the time, but you learn to live for that, and you don't sort of taking too much of it.

But no, unless I've done an awful lot of like stay, for instance, I drove most of the way now tonight. My leg will be really sore because I'd been sitting around in a car all day and I've done a lot so I take a sleeping pill and, rub some stuff in the leg and things like by tomorrow I'll be back to normal again. The tiredness is the main thing, the pain is another thing. I used to get up three or four times to go to the loo. It may be once or twice now, maybe.

The only thing that I find that affects me is alcohol. Whether that's because of the LDN or ms, I can't drink anything  I used to drink when I was ten years younger. But can anyone of us?

Linda: I don't know. I'm not there yet.

Alan: I can't drink.  Drinking affects my walking and nothing seems to stop that at all. So, I don't drink much at all unless I'm just going from my back patio to the bed and then I might. 

But most of my symptoms are all improved when I started taking LDN.

Linda: Good. So what would you say to other people who have been given that diagnosis of being labelled with multiple sclerosis and they are thinking about the LDN?

Alan: Well, first of all, I would say to anybody that has been diagnosed. It's not the end of the world.

There are certainly lots of worse things you can get it. I'm not saying it's a nice disease, but on the other hand, there's certainly lots worse ones around. And I think a lot of ms is about how well you treat it and your state of mind, etc. So many people say:

how's LDN going to affect my other medicine?" I have no idea but why don't you try it and see what it's like?  My doctor doesn't say I can take it. So, I'm not going to take it. I said:" Fine".  "You know, probably my doctor said, you don't know what it's doing to you in 10 years time"

and I said, will you guarantee I'll be here in ten years?

I say to anybody who's thinking of taking it, try it and see. If it doesn't do you any good, don't take it. But if it does, keep on taking it. So, I'm a big believer that you should try anything that might help you and if it doesn't work, okay.

So you've paid some money, and it cost you some time and effort, I understand but it may have you some good.

Linda: Okay. Well, thank you very much Alan. Any questions or comments you may have. Please email me. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for joining us today. We really appreciate it, your company. Until next time, stay safe and keep well.