Astrid from Norway shares her Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) story 2019

Linda Elsegood: Today, I'd like to introduce Astrid from Norway who uses LDN for MS. Thank you for joining us today, Astrid. 

Astrid: You're welcome. My pleasure. 

Linda Elsegood: Can you tell us how long ago was it when you first noticed your MS symptoms? 

Astrid: That's a good question. I was diagnosed in 1996 at 29 years old, and I was diagnosed during a period where our boss was getting sick too and the diagnosis was three weeks.

I have all kinds of strange methods for this because normally people are kind of sick for a long time and don't figure out what's wrong with them. But my MS was like a big surprise for me when I got this, I was kind of shocked. But I had a friend who I had grown up with, who had played with us.

Both these ladies were real role models. I can say they were very happy, had a good life, even though they were using a wheelchair and you can really see they were sick, but they have a very good life and are very happy. I was like, not so scared, but of course, very surprised when I got the diagnosis.

But when I look back, from a research perspective, I can find episodes and also some issues that had been bothering me. During the year before I got MS but I didn't recognize it as something. The doctor would. I got to the Agnos and at the moment I was kind of … didn't manage to put the buttons on my blouse and had the talk that I needed to use the wheelchair for a while, but kind of recovered, kind of. I felt like it was nothing to worry about, so kept ongoing, as I did before, and didn't want to recognise that I was sick really. This went on, for almost two years.

Then I had to have surgery for my back and a couple of weeks after that surgery, I got another attack which kind of put my feet away. Then the doctor explained the reason for this attack was the... what do you call it? I was completely awake during the procedure and they explained that it was you that triggered this attack, they explained. 

I still didn't get any offer for any medicine for MS. Only for pain. I use all this bad stuff for this medicine for epileptic normally and I was kind of more and more affected by the fatigue, the new neural pain, because of MS more and more. 

Then the doctor couldn't really help me. I wasn't qualified to get the medicine to slow down the MS because I was still considered different. Or whatever you can call it in a different category at the time, considered to give medicine to slow down their progress.

Today, I know the Norwegian doctors are starting to give this right away, but in 96 and 98 when I had these two big episodes, it was not common yet. Then I had my daughter in 2002 and I had a really good pregnancy and I was feeling very sick. MS unusually got better during pregnancy.

Of course, I was concerned that the birth could trigger another attack. I was right because this is what I did during the birth. I did use only the needles for pain relief and I didn't get any help to do it all or things like that.

They were careful with what they gave me when my daughters started to grow, I had more fatigue and more pain. Whatever the doctor was giving me didn’t help with the pain or fatigue. There wasn’t really any medicine which was working. I was trying it and it's something called for a while, but… What do you call it? A tree gets it. It was like more fatigue. Then I met this lady, I don't know if you know about this program that we had in Norway in 2013, it was the program in general. The lady with MS who was telling her story in that program, I met her in a training camp for MS and she told me about LDN, and then I figured out that this is something I want to try because she was like all over the place, the allergy and I find out I would give it a try. I ask the doctors, they said this is not proven, so we can't give it to you.

But they told me how to get it. They said if I go to a primary doctor and the primary doctor was given the risk perception... But prescription, it's okay, and we can't really say that you shouldn't take it, because of policy and blah, blah, blah, they have decided that all of the Norwegian neuro doctors will not write this prescription.

In May 2012 I started using LDN, and I have been reading a lot on Facebook because it started to pop up groups in Norway and in Denmark. Sharing stories and also a special group only MS and LDN and I read and concluded that if I start, I need to start with the low dose, very low dose and increase very slowly.

And I did. So I started in May and at the end of July, I was able to go on holiday with my family for 10 days. We started at a wedding which normally was so exhausting that I would be on the couch for the rest of the week after just one night. We went on to a park for my daughter who was 10.

I was for the first time able to spend the whole day walking around in the park together with her. Then we went on for a long ride with the car and we were away for 10 days and when I came back I was exhausted.  It was like, wow, something has changed.

Some radicalized change. I still was taking some pain medicine but I started reducing it. By February 2013, my doctors stopped prescribing the drugs with the opioids for me.

I went back to work, not full time, but I have been 100% since then. Like you call it auto work since 2001. I have been more or less, sometimes also in more than a hundred percent in hours working in pay and stuff today, no pain at all. I very often had this problem with my bladder, so I had to... what is the name of it in English? I didn't really manage to consolidate. So I had a lot of accidents, of course, but I also got a lot of infections. 

Linda Elsegood: In your bladder? 

Astrid: Yeah, yeah. In my bladder. Yeah. It was constantly infected and two times it almost cost me my life more or less because I got this sepsis, what they call it in Norway, the blood then got infected. So two times I went to the hospital and was really, really critical. After I started on LDN I have never any cold or any flu or things like that. My allergy has gotten better. I also use the catheter to help to empty the bladder because it didn't empty completely itself. That's the reason. 

Linda Elsegood: So you're self catheterizing?

Astrid: Yes, I did for several years. Of course, that was a nope. Done that. I haven't done that since I started on that. All-day I can feel like I need to go to the bathroom for an hour and I don't have the accidents anymore either. So definitely affected my bladder in a very good way. Who is really saying that you can't?

You are, so you can't see it. I feel like I'm more or less without any diagnosis really at the time. It's the combination with the LDN and I also take something called… natural medicine based on D mannose. Take it to flush out your bladder. I think it's like a drink. I drank it and the oils from seeds with black cumin seed in it. It's like the respiratory seed and it's shadow make rapeseed.

Then this is also very good for them. For infections, prevent the faction infections and so this should combination with the LDN. So it's been like life-changing. 

Linda Elsegood: If you were to say, what's your quality of life was like before you started on LDN and 10 being the best, what would it have been?

Astrid: I would say between three and four, maybe. 

Linda Elsegood: What would you say it is today? 

Astrid: Wow. Wow. Yeah. Amazing. Oh, I can do whatever I like to do. I can say yes to what I like to do and I don't need to say no. I'm measuring. If anything was supposed to happen, I needed to value, is this going to cost me too much or is it gonna give me any value? Everything was like that. Of course, since I have a little daughter, everything was focused to give her the best possible life. So when she went to kindergarten and school, I was residing on the sofa, doing nothing so that I can play with her. When she came back from her with school so that she could have friends over and so on.

So everything was kind of focusing on giving her the best what I really wanted. I'm the kind of person who is used to, I went to school and I went to college and high school and university, I was working. Besides, I have also been always using use to have a very high capacity of what I thought something used to work a lot and to enjoy working and always kind of this.

Suddenly I had to be this no person in many aspects. Even though I wanted, I knew that this is gonna cost me, so it wouldn't be worth it. Everything is back to where it was, I'm the person I am. I can say yes to what I like to do. It works.

Linda Elsegood: Oh, that's fantastic. You don't get the pain anymore? 

Astrid: I said, that's gone. No. That was really the big difference. The biggest, I think because the pain gave me a sleep disorder because I was having very bad sleep, even though I was always tired and being on the couch, I didn't really like... if I was lying on the couch and I felt like going to the bathroom because I needed to, it was like, I wait a minute, did two, I wait the five minutes. It was exhausting just to go to the toilet. So everything was so hard. It was like constantly like something was going on. I felt like my whole body is like when you take your muscles on you, you squeeze them as hard as you can and you feel like how the body's anxious and in a strain, it felt like this all the time, even though I was lying in bed.

The body was relaxed, but it didn't feel like it. This pain is all gone. When I lay down now it feels like I'm relaxed and I don't have any pain or neuro pains. They’re gone. Also, it's more like pain in the ears, eyes, and mouth.

It's like lightning balls coming and give you pain for just a few seconds to a minute. I had a lot of these neuro pains and they are also all gone. It's very good. It's so many things that disappeared. I don't remember all the pain though, because it's since 2013 I felt like my life, we started again.

I'm talking a lot about it and gave everybody's psyche, you have to try. So they are always asking me all, you're selling this or what? I say you have to go to the doctor and ask for it. So when I started, I had to order a box with a special delivery to my pharmacy in my city. So in the beginning that was like a special order. Out of curiosity, asking if I go to a new pharmacy and if the people know about them, ask them if they have a lot of customers and a lot of them say that it's been common and there are more and more people using it for more and more sickness. They recognize that this is something that is working. It’s good for so many people for so many reasons and different reasons to use it. They recognize it in the pharmacy too.

Linda Elsegood: We've come to the end of the show and we're so pleased to have heard your story today, Astrid. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. 

Astrid: My pleasure and I hope everybody is able to try it, LDN, because I think it's worth a try. Anyway, thank you very much. 

Linda Elsegood: My pleasure. 

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