Linda Elsegood: I'd like to introduce Judy from the U.S. She was diagnosed with sympathetic autonomic nervous system disorder due to chronic PTSD and trauma. Thanks for joining us today, Judy.
Judy: [00:01:13] Thank you.
Linda Elsegood: [00:01:15] So could you tell us how old were you when you noticed you are experiencing problems with your health?
Judy: [00:01:26] I didn't experience, I didn't know.
I think my, now looking back, I think my mental health was, um, was a factor, um, because I, I grew up in a sick family. Basically.
So, um, you know, I mean, well, I'm not physically, I really wasn't a sick child, right. But, um, I was like in the middle of a lot of trauma in the family, a lot. And, um, I guess it affected me since I was younger. My. I, um, felt my, um, uh, like my mother, like really involved me in her life. She was, uh, she was, you know, she told me she was going to commit suicide and she would be bulimic and she, it was just like a mess.
It was until she passed. And, um. I think I think as a child I was very distraught. Uh, I, uh, I just, it just affected me. I see pictures of myself where I had like dark circles under my eyes from when I was little. So, um. You know, it's like, to the extent of it, it just, like, I'm so far past it, but it was, uh, I was in constant turmoil and, uh, and neglected, neglected.
So, um, I, I really think that it had an effect on me.
Linda Elsegood: [00:03:33] And what about your teenage years
Judy: [00:03:37] and my teenage years, I was just, um. You know, I, I think I tied myself to people that I shouldn't have tied myself to. I was over empathetic. Um, just did what people wanted me to do, wanted people to like me and felt ugly when I was told the opposite.
It just, um, it was like I looked back at it now and that's just the way I was, but I had no self-esteem. Um. I just, uh, I was a mess. Yeah. I was just, uh, uh, I just, I was like, I was sick and then everybody came and talked to, but it, but I didn't have anybody to talk to. And I did. I wouldn't, I was, I was in bed.
I was ashamed, really. Okay. And I kind of, I buried everything.
Linda Elsegood: [00:04:31] And how old were you when you got married?
Judy: [00:04:35] I was 25.
Linda Elsegood: [00:04:39] And how was your health?
Judy: [00:04:43] Um, my health was fine. Actually, I haven't had a fever since I was 22. Um, the neurologist actually added in that he thinks that I had an immune disorder also.
Um, and I didn't understand because I said I was checked for autoimmune and it was negative, but he said, he told me no, if there's an immune disorder, which is, he says you can't check for that. And I, I think, I know, I think I understand now a little bit more. But, um, yeah, so, um, yeah, it was a, it was a mental issue.
Then. Like I said, I would be, since I was 22, I haven't had a fever, but, um, my, uh, I see that like certain things, especially with this disease, it, um, it. Really, um, it regulates your temperature. So my temperature always was like 96, uh, regulates your blood pressure. I would, when I got my period when I was a teenager every month, it was extremely painful.
And during those painful periods, I would, uh, my, my, uh, blood pressure would dive down. My heart would race, I would sweat and I would almost pass out. And, uh, this is just the way my life was. I would just, my, my blood pressure always took a dive and, uh, but it felt like my heart was racing out of control.
I see that even as a youth, I, I felt full fast, couldn't consume liquids, but I didn't know any better. I think that was, that was me. I was. Over concerned about my weight. I just, because I was heavy at one point and then, uh, lost weight and people treated me different and I was just, I've always been consumed about like, I had no self-esteem, no self-awareness you see that now?
And, um, and then just life was. On. I just was, I was, as I got older, I got, I was over empathetic. I was just like, I would take care of everybody and I couldn't untie myself to them. They would, I just, I'm thinking back, I can't believe the way I was, um, until now, until, um, until this pill. I wrote something on the website just saying like, it's not even half of what I thought it was, I was just, I downplayed everything. Molestation, grade, everything.
Linda Elsegood: [00:07:45] So before you started LDN, what would you say your health was like?
Judy: [00:07:53] Okay, so I got to a point. Where I downplayed everything and I absorbed the pain and I would go to the gym and just accept that I would almost pass out afterwards.
And, but then I got pain. I got pain in my neck, like really bad. I couldn't ignore it. Um, and I heard cracking in my skull and even my husband heard it from the outside. Um. And nerve pain, like shot down my arm to my finger, to my trigger finger. And my hips were always inflamed, but I just absorbed it and I went to the gym.
So I, I went to, um, uh, physical therapy and I did about 15 sessions of that. And then my other side, I had an MRI on my neck and it said bone spurs and my other side, um. I had my bicep tendon inflamed. So they gave me an ultrasound, saw was inflamed and gave me a cortisone shot and, um, that didn't help.
The only thing that helped me was, um, I was prescribed Gabapentin at night. Um, and so all I took was Gabapentin and I took Xanax for 36 years to sleep because I never got tired. I had, um, I would rev up at night. Um, and that's, this is after kids if I didn't sleep. Uh, poor days. I was, I was, uh, I would, my body would get tight and I would have heart racing.
My hair was falling out. Um, uh, like in clumps, and they just said panic attacks and alopecia anxiety and gave me Paxil and, and it still was falling out today with breaking off. But now it's not. Now it's growing in. I just thought it was just like regular breakage now, but now I see the new growth and, and um, my husband doesn't see as much hair in the, in the, um, drain.
Um, I thought all this was normal. I had, you know, I just, I thought certain things were cosmetic, um, like I could on the site. My, my feet, my, I mean, people can't believe it, but my feet were blue all the time. My toes started getting numb. My right foot started turning out. Um, my eyes were always dilated. I just, uh, I think pain-wise I hit a wall.
Um, but I at least I got some relief from the Gabapentin at first before the LDN. so.
Linda Elsegood: [00:10:54] So when you started LDN, how long did it take before you noticed improvements in those symptoms?
Judy: [00:11:00] Well, in, I just couldn't believe it, and in like three weeks that my feet, what I thought was normal, started turning a regular color and I was, I didn't think that was possible.
I just thought these were my legs when I took that picture. That I put on this site. I, um, I, I took that picture, just sent it to my husband because my toes were down, but I thought it was the shoes and he's, and, but he even like didn't panic cause those were my feet, you know, all the time. Um, so three weeks it cleared like physical things started clearing up.
I had done it corral Asus, um, like I couldn't go to the bathroom. I always use certain things to go to the bathroom. I woke up, I started going to the bathroom. I started drinking fluids easier. Um, I didn't know that. Like that was not my normal. I started my, I wasn't full as fast and have been like that all my life, like just extended full.
Everything physically started changing. Even my depth perception, my eyes. It was like, but most of all. I got really nervous because I didn't know what was going on. I had like, I buried a lot. I had strong reactions. I see. Um. Uh, people wouldn't know this because I was joke around, but I cared about how people felt.
Everything got to me. I just like it really, I couldn't control my reactions, but I didn't voice them. I didn't communicate. And, um, uh, every, all of a sudden I'm just being like, nothing bothers me. It's very, it's very strange. I just like went from one extreme to the other, but without trying, like, without working on myself, not knowing that there was something wrong.
So, um, physically I started changing mentally. It was like just so siding. It was very, um, very straight. And my husband actually said, I think you have PTSD. And I got angry and upset because, um. That's what military people have, not, not me. No, I was embarrassed. So you know, so it just went like that and the answer, I still have the physical changes, but I just, it took me a while to get adjusted to this because it was, I was driven by extreme anxiety.
Like my father had Alzheimer's. I was afraid I was going in that direction. But I think it was the opposite. I was like, I would be so clear-minded when I didn't even know I was foggy before. And I went into, um, I went into the city, New York with, um, with my husband to see a play with my daughter and her boyfriend.
And I was in the theatre with them and I was, I was still taking low dose naltrexone, but I was in a theatre and the theatre was extremely cold. And like everybody was cold, you know, they just, , but when I came out, I had this reaction where my insides felt weak and they were, I've never felt this way before.
I've trembled before and I used to tremble all the time, but my insides felt like they were going to come out. And now I see it. While I was getting used to this, and because of this condition, my temperature goes 93 like in the house and in the theatre, it must've been like. Dropped, um, because I've, I've actually had hypothermia before, but this was severe.
This was, um, this, I felt like I must've been going into shock. Um, but that's all I can explain too. And every day it took, so it took a while for me to get adjusted to it, um, because I just felt very strange for months. And also not myself. And I was communicating. There were things that just lifted that I didn't even know were there.
And, um, I, it, it scared me. Even sleep. Sleep was so unnatural to me and now I was tired. I was never tired before. I was all hyped up. So physically, I just, even my friend said, I drive better. I was like on and off with a gaseous, my depth perception was. Well, if I was always on guard, I see that now. Um, mentally.
Um, it was, it was hard to get used to because I was just such, I became such a different person, um, than I was. And now I can look back and I feel, I don't feel like my past, I feel like, I know I was my past, I woke up and. I had, I was also somebody who was a compulsive shopper. I woke up and I looked around, I couldn't believe what I had.
Like I just started getting rid of things. I didn't have that feeling of, of uh, needing stuff. It's just like I, and to me it was, that's a normal person, but I didn't know I was abnormal. I really. It's, it sounds, I always blame things on, no, just asthmatic or whatever. But as I was getting better, if somebody upset me, I can feel the tops of my, my feet tingle.
Um, my stomach was regurgitating and I actually came home from being upset, shaking, and I, I actually. We went to bed. If I cord blood from, from my rectum, it was an, I thought, well, maybe those are haemorrhoids. But now it was just my whole nervous system affecting my nerves. My feet were tingling back up.
They were called. It was just, my reactions were still getting. Um, I was getting used to it. It was quite a ride.
Linda Elsegood: [00:17:34] What is your health like now
Judy: [00:17:35] It is like never before. Uh, I, first of all, I've, we, uh, my husband's a firefighter and, uh, he's also, um, on the medicine because when I was getting used to, he's also had like, he's his, he, he was like, I can't explain it.
He was like, I see that he didn't take social cues, and that was part of my. Like marriage things. So I like you went to the doctor, he put on medicine. He's totally different now. I am so totally different. I'm easy going. I drink fluids and eat differently. I have self-esteem. I've got nervous. I see that.
I must've lived my life as being nervous. I would never have been able to do this with you. I was just nervous. I see that I was depressed. I feel I guess I, I feel what normal people feel I used to put, getting, you know, this condition, it makes your swallowing like choking. Um, like all your natural reflexes are, they don't, they don't work.
The things that people don't think about. And I looked back and I. I see that I would like, I would choke on food as it younger child. Like it was just because this nervous system, everything that works that you don't think of your eyesight, your swallowing, your temperature, your heart racing, your stomach, your, um, I had chronic kidney disease because I couldn't.
Take in fluids like a normal person. It took me a whole day to drink a little bottle of water, and now I see, I can, I see it now that that's not normal, but I didn't know it before, so, um, yeah, even I was, uh, given medical marijuana and I was just like when I was in pain, I. I would try to smoke it and it would, medical marijuana always made me crazy, but it made my pain heightened and I was, I felt like an Alzheimer's patient and this is like, I didn't, I got a like a severe reaction for medical marijuana.
And now since I've been on low dose naltrexone, it is totally different than my whole life. It just calms me. Go to sleep. Um, before it used to make my whole body shake. It changed something in my body, uh, changed my whole life. And, uh, I just, I find it amazing because I didn't even know anything was wrong with me.
I just, I'm more comfortable with myself. I didn't have a strong sense of self. I never had it before. I don't. I liked my own company. I see myself differently. I don't see myself ugly anymore. I just, my, my body's totally different. I don't, I have very, um, I, I like people more. If I speak my mind, and, and it sounds strange, but I never did.
I always buried it. I was always, I would always listen to people. I was afraid they wouldn't like me. Yeah. Everything has changed.
Linda Elsegood: [00:21:01] We've come to the end. But what a remarkable story it was amazing.
Judy: [00:21:25] That is amazing. It is amazing. Really. I'm just so grateful that if I didn't walk into that doctor if I didn't find you guys, I don't even know what would become of me so. Um,
Linda Elsegood: [00:21:42] thank you so much for sharing your experience with us.
Judy: Thank you, Linda. I appreciate it.
Linda Elsegood: [00:21:53] This show is sponsored by our members who made donations.
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