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  1. The insurance companies are horrible. They wouldn't cover my prescriptions either, despite my cardiologist doing everything they asked for. I've been getting the generic via mail order from Canada and paying out of pocket. Thankfully, my doctor is willing to work with me on this. The Ivabradine slows my heart without the awful side effects of the beta blockers, and I've tried LOTS of beta blockers as well as Clonidine.
  2. I had severe insomnia and fatigue with propranolol. Bisoloprolol was better, but Bystolic was much better. I've used Bystolic for years, I just word from my pharmacy that my insurance has decided that they don't want to cover it anymore. I'm also using Corlanor (Ivabradine) that insurance had initially covered but also decided that they don't want to pay for it. I"m noting getting Ivabradine (generic) from Canada via mail order. I may see about getting generic Bystolic from Canada was well.
  3. My GI doctor first did an endoscopy where he was able to rule out other problems (cancer, direct h-pylori culture, etc...) before having me do the gastroparesis test where you eat radioactive eggs. I was hoping for an easily curable ailment, but was diagnosed with stage 1 gastroparesis with the radioactive egg test. The intensity varies. Some weeks are better than others. Eating multiple small meals helps. Gabapentin definitely makes it worse. I also have inappropriate sinus tachycardia (IST) and mild POTS symptoms. My heart doctor said that about a third of his IST patients have gastroparesis. Acid reflux while sleeping can be a problem, but be careful with PPIs, since chronic use can cause kidney damage. I have reduced kidney function from PPIs, so I don't use them at all anymore.
  4. I have tried pretty much every sleep medication that is supposed to help sleep (both on an off label). My sleep doctor is also a really good psychiatrist who knows his meds really well. The anticholinergic meds tend to speed up my heart rate, and even a mild elevation in heart rate will distrust sleep. I get the absolute best quality sleep with Gabapentin, but it tends to slow down my stomach (I already have gastroparesis). Lunesta also works well, but it’s not quite a good as Gabapentin. Lunesta makes it really easy to sleep, but the quality isn’t as good as Gabapentin. I also find Gabapentin REALLY difficult to get off of if I’ve taking it for a long time, so I try not to use it for more than about 2 weeks at a time.
  5. I’ve tinkered with this a bit with limited success. I have an issue with inappropriate sinus tachycardia, and my resting heart rate makes me tired, yet disrupts sleep if I don’t take a beta blocker and/or Ivabradine (Corlanor). I tried this to see whether it might help to reduce my heart rate and/or make it easier to sleep. Results I actually fell asleep once with this because I felt so relaxed. This gave me hope that this technique might be useful. A few times, it seemed like it may have been mildly helpful. However, most of the time, it was just painful and not helpful at all. I tried it about ten times, and then near tried it again. Details I already had a TENS device for another issue, and I ordered additional electrodes that could be attached with a clamping mechanism. I attached one of the clamping electrodes to my ear (tragus), and I attached a standard pad electrode to other areas. The clamping electrodes were cheaply made, and I had to wrap a rubber band around it to hold it tight. It also only had an electrode on one side, which reduced the electrical contact area. The weak point of the circuit was the ear electrode, and it was painful if I cracked up the TENS power at all. I was usually really hard to objectively determine whether it was being helpful. My pulse rate is highly variable from hour to hour and day to day. Like I mentioned early, I actually fell asleep once while experimenting. Sometimes, it deep seem relaxing, but it usually required cranking up the TENS unit near my pain threshold for my ear. The ear electrode had very little contact area, so it didn’t take much to cause pain there. Determining where to place the other electrode (standard TENS pad) was also uncertain. I tried a variety of places, and it didn’t seem to matter much.
  6. My original MRI which detected the cyst was roughly 1990. They used the contrast agent at the time which made it much more easily visible than the can ~10 years later without the contrast agent. I don't remember what the contrast agent was, but it was injected with an IV drip into my hand during the procedure.
  7. I realize that the original post was over 2 years ago, but I think that it's still a good idea to leave something on record in this thread. I have a pineal cyst as well as REALLY bad sleep problems. I’ve been told a variety of things from various doctors about it. I think that the most truthful ones say “I don’t know.” Some have said that it’s completely harmless and not the cause of any symptom. I’ve had one or two say that it’s very possible that it could have a role in my sleep problems. My sleep problems got serious in the early nineties. An MRI showed ~ 1cm cyst at the time. My neurologist at the time said that I might want to get a new scan about every 10 years or so. I got another scan about 11 years later, but the doctor didn’t order the contrasting agent, so it’s pretty hard to see, but it seemed to be slightly bigger. I’m long overdue for another scan.
  8. I am a scientist and I worked on designs for detectors for detecting a variety of electromagnetic wavelengths. I have good news. Low frequency electromagnetic waves in our environment are harmless, in my experience. There are limited ways in which an EM field can interact with a human body. With high frequency waves, the energy of the photons interact with the molecules. This is usually referred to as “ionizing” radiation, and occurs when the energy of the photos is high enough to cause chemical reactions. Gamma rays can cause cancer. Ultraviolet light can cause a sun burn. As you go lower in frequency, visible light won’t cause any harm. As you go lower, you might feel the warmth from the infrared of a light bulb. The photons from a 5G cell phone have about 1/10,000 the energy than the highest energy photons from your flashlight. We are constantly being bathed in harmless and NECESSARY infrared radiation from our surroundings. Okay, so what about non-ionizing radiation? For this case, we’ll consider either static or relatively slowly oscillating fields (5G and below). Static: Your body has fairly high electric fields across all of your cell membranes, even in your brain. We live in a natural constant electric field just by being on the surface of the earth. Walking across carpet in the winter will typically result in over 1000 volts between you and the door knob. These fields are harmless. 5G cell phone frequencies and below: For oscillating external fields to interact with your body, they’d need to couple energy into your body. Your body is a terrible antenna, so this just doesn’t happen in any meaningful way. A microwave oven is able to heat water molecules because it’s essentially holding the food between two plates (efficiently forcing the field through the food) and blasting it with about 1000 watts of power. Virtually all of the power gets channeled into the food. This frequency is MUCH too low to cause direct ionization, and it heats by causing the water molecules to vibrate. Your cell phone operates at about 15 watts, and virtually zero percent of that energy gets absorbed by your body. Any energy that is absorbed will be harmless, low intensity heat. Consider a 15 flashlight bulb next to your head. You might feel a little bit of warmth if the bulb were pressed against your skin, where all of that energy is concentrated where the bulb is touching you. However, if that radiation is spread throughout your skull, it would still heat your head less than if you were wearing a winter hat. Since your head is a terrible antenna, only a miniscule fraction of that 15 watts would get absorbed by your head. Some people have hypothesized that cell phones might be able to disrupt brain signals when the phone is held next to someone’s head. However, the induced electric fields from your cell phone will be MANY orders of magnitude lower than what naturally exist across the cell membranes in your brain. I did some calculations a while back, and I seem to remember that the natural fields were millions or billions times higher. Occasionally, you’ll see an article published about detrimental EMF effects. The problems that I’ve seen with these reports include They tend to report numbers that are barely statistically discernible The data seems to be cherry picked. It can’t be reproduced by anyone else (very important) Some of the original studies were proven to be fraud, and the researcher was fired Interesting story: I helped a scientist run an experiment in a magnet laboratory at MIT years ago. They were measuring electronic properties of materials in extremely high magnetic fields. We had to left our wallets out of the room because the magnets would erase any magnetic strips. However, the facility had zero concerns about humans being in the room while the experiment were being run.
  9. There are other forms of magnesium that are less likely to cause digestive problems. Magnesium Citrate is used as a laxative, and it is going to cause problems unless you take small doses. Magnesium Glycinate: Supposed to be well tolerated. I've had good luck with it at bedtime. Seems to help with sleep. Magnesium Malate: Supposed to be well tolerated. I've had good luck with it at bedtime. This seemed to help with lethargy after getting off of Gabapentin when Mg Glycinate didn't seem to help. Magnesium Theonate: Supposed to be somewhat better for reaching the brain. It didn't seem to help me sleep. Magnesium Taurate: Supposed to be somewhat better than the others for heart rate issues.
  10. I've had good luck with magnesium malate. It's well tolerated, so that it gets absorbed without being a laxative. Magnesium citrate is absorbed well, but it's usually a laxative at anything other than a small dose.
  11. I have gastroparesis, too. I have found that it can be highly variable from week to week, with no obvious triggers.
  12. I can chug a triple shot cappuccino and my heart rate will barely go up. If I have one drink of alcohol of any form (beer, wine, liquor, etc…), my heart rate goes up and I feel extremely tired. I feel pleasantly relaxed for about 15 minutes, but I then I often feel terrible (but not always). Does anyone else have this reaction? For what it’s worth, I have inappropriate sinus tachycardia, stage one gastroparesis, and nearly POTS symptoms on the tilt table test.
  13. For me, anaerobic is much worse than aerobic, but yes, I often experience elevated heart rate for several hours afterward. Aerobic exercise is never 100% aerobic, though. I often have to pace myself if I haven't been exercising lately, because it's easy for me to feel nauseous with anaerobic. Exercise induced elevated heart rate is also a sure sign that I'll have insomnia in the evening as well
  14. There has been so many medications over the years, I had forgotten that I had switched from Bisoprolol to Bystolic shortly before finding the Ivabradine. Bystolic seemed to disrupt sleep at higher dosages (I think that I was taking 5 to 10 mg at the time). My doctor suggested that I continue to take a small dose of bystolic (2.5 mg) even while on the Ivabradine because there was no literature at the time about using Ivabradine without any beta blocker. I'm not sure that it makes much difference whether or not I include the 2.5 mg of Bystolic with the Ivabradine. If you dislike the Bisoprolol and don't have access to Ivabradine, you may consider Bystolic as an option. What dose were you taking with the gabapentin? Some doctors prescibe it at high doses (1800 mg/day) for various purposes. I was taking only 300 mg once a day at bedtime.
  15. Melatonin helps a little bit with sleep for me, but I've repeatedly found that I feel depressed after taking it for several days. I've found (and I've read about medical research that is consistent with this), that 0.25 mg works about as well as 5 mg. I'd feel slightly hung over the next morning with 5 mg, but I could easily shake it off with some coffee. It also seemed like the lower doses didn't affect my mood as quickly as the higher doses, but it also seemed like my mood would plummet after a while with the higher dose. I've also had better luck with the non-sublingual forms. With sub-lingual melatonin, I seemed to have rebound insomnia in the middle of the night. I don't know whether it's really the sublingual method, or the fact that sublingual melatonin always has vitamin B12. Gabapentin (neurontin) is another sleep aid that has helped me in the past. It's used to treat chronic pain, and I"m pretty sure that it was originally used as an anti-seziure medication. If I remember correctly, there is no lethal dose for gabapentin... they couldn't kill the rats no matter how much they gave them. Unfortunately, for me, it also makes my gastroparesis worse. I used to be able to take it before the gastroparesis, so it may be an option for you. About 300 mg was a good dose for insomnia for me.
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