In true me style, it took weeks to realise that I’ve been able to play my guitar for longer than usual. Being extremely happy to be playing again, I didn’t question it. Tending to go through life heavily sedated – my defence feels secure when I admit this.
I did, however, finally twig last week when I got to the end of a three minute song without having to take a break to massage the hand. So, of course I got to thinking about how I could suddenly do this.
What have I done that is different? Self analysing is common when you are perceptually poorly, apparently it’s natural. To comfort myself, whilst thinking, my right hand went to my left hand to massage the nodules on my knuckles. I’ve been doing this to help with these ‘growths’ for around two years now, as per Rheumatologist’s instructions.
As I started the rhythmic, circular motions something was feeling unfamiliar. I was massaging my knuckles and they were unusually flat. No lumps. I did the cursory checks over the rest of my hands…to see if they had migrated (?) but they are definitely gone. I have waited a few days before announcing – just in case they returned, but I’m exceptionally pleased to say that the my lumps on my hands have gone!
Now, to the query of how. Or rather my theory as to how.
The most recent addition to my medical defence against my illnesses has been the introduction of a chemical called Acetylcysteine, also known as N-acetylcysteine or NAC. It was originally discovered in the 1970’s but I’d never heard of it. Apparently it was a big deal when they did discover it and many people across the world use it to aid health.
For myself, I’ve come across NAC by error and accident. Initially it was prescribed by my COPD nurse at my GP surgery. It took weeks for the chemist to obtain it, as he hadn’t come across it either. I picked up the effervescent tablets with the same nonchalance as I usually view my medication with – rare to find items which work I’ve become a cynic.
Usha (lovely nurse btw) intended to have the medication as she’d read, in a magazine, how helpful it had been for COPD patients suffering from bad absorption of nutrition and I had lost over two stone in weight which she could see from my health records.
It was only an accident because it is not licenced for use in the NHS for treatment of lung conditions. She wasn’t supposed to prescribe it to me (error) and then, on top of that, a GP okayed the script without realising (accident).
When I asked for a repeat of the wonderful script I was told the bad news. There had been an error that had resulted in the accidental prescription of a drug I wasn’t allowed. So, I couldn’t have it again. The surgery apologised. They gave me a medicine called carbocysteine but this sickly sweet alternative with added flavour does not work.
However, to imagine that I would just leave it, having now found something which made me feel better, was unrealistic. As NAC really had improved many things for me, I decided to find a private source and a quick search online saw me discovered how popular Acetylcysteine is and that it was available without prescription globally.
Thankfully many outlets do sell a form of NAC but none are effervescent type in the UK. As I am unable tolerate capsules or tablets I searched a little further and found a Spanish supplier which has a similar dissoluble tablet, only this one is lemon flavoured – yuk – I prefer plain because of the chore of my stomach and bladder.
Mesh injured and citric acid is not a good combination. Vitimin C is citric acid and as such it triggers cystitis and over active bladder symptoms. However, all drugs have some sort of side effect. So with this in mind and determined to get something with active NAC within, I thought I would give it a try and purchased, off Amazon, anyway.
When it plopped through the letterbox onto the doormat, weeks later, I couldn’t get the canister open fast enough. First day was great, but immediately my bladder had kicked off. Within days, my kidneys were beginning to become painful and I knew the product was too much for my system.
I cut the dose from daily to once a week because of these side effects. Results are now good, my energy levels are much improved and so is my appetite. I am happy with this product – the one I buying via Amazon is called Aquilea Mucus. The added Vitamin C will be of benefit generally once the bladder mesh is removed (I’m awaiting this on NHS).
I’m sharing my experience of this product because I want to share, I’m not on a commission or anything like that. I have no agenda other than that of my experience to be shared.
Please do bare in mind this product was my only choice in a small market! I’ve just ordered enough to see me through Brexit. Just in case you guys suddenly decide to try it too and stocks get low in the UK.
I did my research and wiki sums it up quite well.
wiki says, “Acetylcysteine, also known as N-acetylcysteine, is a medication that is used to treat paracetamol overdose, and to loosen thick mucus in individuals with cystic fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It can be taken intravenously, by mouth, or inhaled as a mist. Some people use it as a dietary supplement.”
So, NAC has many uses. It seems that different firms highlight the relevant beneficial areas to market their product. This can make it difficult to see the whole picture of what NAC is able to do for some people. Costs are pretty cheap compared to other drugs.
There are many articles on NAC so as I am not recommending and am just sharing my experience, I’ll leave it to you to do the research if you want to try it for yourself or recommend it for someone you know.
My GP says it’s only licenced for paracetamol overdose in NHS and will not allow me this medication for COPD so I take it as a food supplement.
I’m not a doctor or medically trained in any way. My qualifications are mainly in electricity but I do have a keen interest in biology. I have the first hand experience of how things affect my body and I know that I feel better than I have for years regarding energy levels and tightness of chest.
The research calls NAC an non essential amino acid. Amino acids are essential for absorption from what I remember from biology so my COPD nurse is one of heroes now. Usha, the nurse, listened to me and helped me – ten years under a consultant at respiratory thoracic department at Watford General Hospital haven’t done as much.
…and the nodules, I call them ‘lumps’, that have disappeared from my hand? They really have gone completely and the pain associated with them. I’m thinking that the cleansing processes of the Acetylcysteine on the body are just what my body needed. I couldn’t be happier with it.
So, far from being the usual ball’s up, the NHS’s error in prescription has benefited me. Which is nice. Being Brits we pay into our national healthcare system by paying our tax and insurance when we work, it’s nice to know it’s there when you need it.
It is unusual to be able to say something positive about England’s health system and I’m not sure this article is. I see the British spirit as making the best of a rubbish situation, as it could always be worse.
From handling my mental health issues, I know that positive outcomes are important to be recognised, regardless of how they come about.
Thanks for reading folks.
Have you had an error which benefited you in ways you didn’t imagine it would?