Renegade Research are collecting information on Twitter from hose of us who are desperate enough to try Nicotine Patch Therapy to cure/improve our chronic illness, using the hashtag #thenicotenetest. I deleted my personal Twitter account when Elon Musk decided it was a great idea to sack most of the staff and allow Trump his account back, so I cannot take part via Twitter, they do, however, have a survey I can complete at the end of the 7 day period.
The hashtag makes for an interesting read though, with Long Haulers and those with ME/CFS and other Chronic illness reporting any improvements (or negative impacts) to their health.
Day Two then.
I had a bad night’s sleep, waking up fairly regularly with fever-like sweats, and an tremendous thirst. I awoke in the morning with a very dry mouth and a headache and not feeling great at all. I dragged myself out of bed to find the my patch had come off at some point during the night. I replaced it with a new one and got up and was soon feeling a lot better.
Again I was able to do much more. I made a week’s worth of smoothies, including washing, drying, and putting away the juicer and blender afterwards without needing a break. Writing this down, it does not sound like a very great achievement, such a minor every day thing, but previously this would leave me quite drained and in need of rest breaks in between. It just goes to show how much I have adapted to my “new normal” that when I had finished I was surprised how I had managed to do it all. Didn’t even spill any smoothie all over the place. Go me.
I felt pretty good most of the day. Around 18:00 I suddenly felt a tightening of my chest and shortness of breath, very much akin to the symptoms I got when I initially contracted Covid-19. I started to feel very fatigued. This lasted about an hour and then the fatigue and tightness of my chest vanished, although I still felt as if I wasn’t quite breathing fully.
I was able to write yesterday’s blog, albeit in small chunks throughout the day, but I cannot remember the last time I was coherent enough to write a full blog. Certainly not since my return to full time work.
Of course, my improved energy levels and lack of PEM (post exertional malaise), could just be due to the Nicotine, which is a stimulant. Or it could be a placebo effect. There may be a crash in my future. I am just trying to be present, monitor my symptoms and not overdo things in a giddy “wheeee I have energy” splurge.
Just a note on PEM for those lucky enough to have never experienced this. PEM can be instant (directly after an activity), but it can also take several days to appear, making it very hard to pin down exactly what has caused the crash, or if it was a combination of things. This is why so many people with chronic illness may appear to be completely well – the activity you see them doing may not affect them for a couple of days, you won’t see them when they are lying on the sofa for two days, paying the price of their activity.
Check out The Spoon Theory for more information on this.
Much better night’s sleep last night.
Stay tuned for day 3.