Lithium Round 2 – Update


Happy Valentine’s Day!

I tried to explain the concept of Valentine’s Day to the local Chinese … but, well, no comprehension of the concept.


Now onto the Lithium update …

After initially poisoning myself with Lithium, I took a week off to clear my system  and then restarted at a lower dose … 450 mg per day rather than the 750 mg specified by the protocol.  I have been back on Lithium (carbonate) for two weeks now.

So far, the results have been acceptable. My blood serum Lithium levels have averaged above the 0.6 nmol/L minimum called for in the protocol, and the nausea I am experiencing is tolerable.

Unfortunately, my neuropathic pain has actually been worse over the last two weeks. I’m not quite sure what that is all about, but I intend to continue with the Lithium for six weeks as specified in Wise Young’s clinical trial paper that I posted a few ago.  In case readers want a fresh look, here’s the link to the paper:


If we do not have any success with Lithium, my Dad and I are now strategizing Plans B, C and D.

I keep reading about patients all over the world dealing with from neuropathic pain, but every individual is unique, so I may have to keep trying new things until we find a solution.

Otherwise, things are pretty slow here in Kunming right now. So it will be great to have Suzanne Edwards coming back from England in the next few days to rejoin the program.

As Chinese cities are not generally very handicap accessible, I tend to spend most my time at the gym or at home, either reading or working at my PC.  There are days when I think I may be going crazy, but I just remind myself that for the next year in China I’m attempting to put myself through a PhD trading program.  Every PhD candidate I have ever known spends a year or two locked in their office or lab working continuously.

For diversion, I’m enjoying a series of online video courses on particle physics and quantum mechanics.  I’ve always had a general interest in physics, but recently I’ve developed a keen fascination with how the universe works, from the smallest unit of matter to the mystery of black holes and dark matter.

In this regard, there is a terrific company called The Great Courses where you can purchase audio or video courses on a wide range of subjects.  Each session is about 30 minutes,  which makes the information absorbable. This is where I started for learning the basics on particle physics and concepts of quantum mechanics.  The professors who teach these courses are carefully selected from major universities and are really top-notch, both as academics and as presenters.

I’ll keep you updated with the Lithium experiment as I progress.

3 responses »

  1. Ali:

    I had my own two-year battle with pain (nowhere near as bad as yours) and came to the same conclusion as you that everyone is unique. IN the end I was the orchestra leader for a collection of therapists that included physiotherapy, chiropractic, naturopath (prolotherapy), massage and the doctor who not only prescribed anti-inflammatories when needed, but also injected muscles in spasm with lidocaine (dental freezing) to break the cycle.

    I always find your blogs newsletters inspiring, Valerie and I look forward to them.

    We have a friend — a university student here in Vancouver — whose family lives 10 minutes from your hospital room in China. Next time she visits her parents we’ll send you some hand-delivered smoked salmon from British Columbia… much tastier than the lox you get in New York.

  2. Hi Ali: Wishing you success with the lithium trial. Thanks so much for your post. I really love to read all the news. I would say physics and quantum mechanics is indeed a diversion. Thinking of your and your family and wishing to hear all good news.

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