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  February
25, 2014
me+ME: On being Dutch + on my mB12 protocol
Sections

Introduction
1. On being Dutch - the language
2. On being Dutch - the country
3. My current mB12 protocol
About ME/CFS

Introduction

This file is not about the crisis, because there wasn't much to be found about it, except for a quite good paper by Glenn Greenwald -
How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations - that I will deal with tomorrow, when there probably will be another crisis file.

Today I will not write about the crisis, but about being Dutch, or rather: about two (sides of) aspects of this, namely the language and the country, and I will also say something about my current mB12 protocol, since that changed again four or six weeks ago, and seems to help some again.

1.
On being Dutch - the language

There are many reasons why one might be wanting to be a Dutchman. Most of these have to do with the facts that the Netherlands is a quite rich country or that it is a comparatively free country. Both are quite good reasons, and though I could say rather a lot about them, I will not, and simply take it for granted that quite a few people would want to be Dutch but are not.

I am Dutch, and so were my parents and their parents; I have had a real Dutch education, that also included an M.A. in psychology and a B.A. in philosophy [1]; I have read a lot (in at least 7 languages, though most in English and Dutch); and I want to say something about the Dutch language that most Dutchmen, at least these days, simply do not see, and are not educated to be able to see.

The basic point is this: Dutch is a rather small language, in terms of the number of its native speakers. It has at present some 28 million native speakers, all told, and not only in the Netherlands but also in Belgium, Surinam and South Africa, but that is it.

In contrast, there are at least a 100 million native German speakers; at least 75 million French native speakers; while English has at least 360 million native speakers.

This in turn means that if you are a native Dutch speaker, and also either do not speak any other language, or speak it badly, as is the case with most current Dutchmen, your mental world is - rather probably - a lot smaller than if you were, say, a native English speaker. (I am speaking here in general terms: you may be a native speaker of Shakespeare's language and never read him, or any other great English writer.)

That their own language is a small language is not something most Dutchmen care much about, as may be inferred from the fact that I was among the last Dutchmen who had to learn three foreign languages in high school (and five in grammar school) in the early 1960ies, since when all one had to learn, in terms of foreign languages, was English, that most Dutchmen still don't speak well and hardly read, and especially not if this involves reading Shakespeare or Fielding or Dr. Johnson or Hazlitt or Dickens in English, and to do so for sheer pleasure, as indeed I did. [2]

I am not aware of any serious or large scale opposition to this massive stupefication of the Dutch, which means that most Dutchmen liked it, and rather were dumb than well educated. (And indeed half of the Dutchmen have an IQ below 100, as is the case everywhere, though outside Holland their influence is probably a lot less.)

Even so, from around 1865 till 1965 a relatively large amount of Dutchmen did learn at least three foreign languages (English, French and German, with Latin and Greek added for those who went to the grammar school), and could, at least, hold simple conversations in them, while a few, such as myself, could read all three languages and their literatures with ease, although it is true that this required some more practice than I got at school.

At present, I am one of the last living Dutchmen who has had this prerogative, and also one of the few living Dutchmen who used it well, namely to read rather a lot of the English, German and French literatures, and to do so not because I was forced to, but because I liked to (and also did not like Dutch literature, except Multatuli).

In any case: this is one of the main reasons that being Dutch generally, at least these days, and since 1965 or 1970, means being quite provincial, which I also say without saying anything about Dutch intelligence, for this is probably rather like that of other Europeans.

Also, Dutch literature - quite unlike Dutch painting, which is very fine - is not worth much (if you really can read English, French or German, which few can) and indeed no Dutchman ever won a Nobel Prize for literature (and deservedly so) [3].

So... if you are English, German or French, and meet some Dutch provincial boors, try to remember that they speak a native language few speak, while they also have now abolished for over 45 years the once common practice of learning English and German and French, as they did do for a hundred years.

2. On being Dutch - the country

One of the - very many - things Dutchmen are proud of is that a  considerable part of their country used to be sea, and indeed lies below sea level, and has been wrested from the sea by enormous amounts of hard labor and relevant knowledge.

This also happens to be true, and it explains why large tracts of land in Holland are as flat as pancakes, and look like so (when seen from the air):


                              (Clicking leads to the page of the image)

It so happens, as I knew already when I was a very small boy, that I love mountains.

I do not really know why, except that there is much more to see, and indeed there simply is much more land on any given area if it is hilly or mountainous than if it is flat.

Landscapes as pictured above are not really landscapes for me, even though they tend to be what one sees if one leaves the city or the village in Holland: they are pieces of the sea bottom, raked, straightened out, with all dikes and roads laid out with a straightedge, crossing at 90 degrees, and planted with grass, and I find them very boring, and always did.

This is clearly a personal prejudice of mine, that is odd in a Dutchman, but I have it, and indeed never was without it: I can still recall when I was six or seven and my parents went cycling in the polders that surround Amsterdam, clearly offering their children a treat of Real Nature - and I saw polders everywhere and thought "this is nature?!"

Well... it is, and it isn't, but around Amsterdam it mostly is. (And yes, it is also true that there are beautiful bits of nature in Holland. But there really are no mountains.)

3. My current mB12 protocol

I believe I have written enough about my reasons for adopting an mB12 protocol, and will not repeat this here. Instead, in case you are interested, I refer you to some of my previous posts, such as me+ME: My mB12 protocol from October 8, 2013. I think that is the latest one.

There also are earlier posts, which you can find by searching the indexes of the last years with "mB12" or with "B12". I think the earliest systematic post is from July 15, 2011:
me+ME: My present B12 protocol - so this is not an ill-considered project.

Then again, there are at least two basic problems with it.

First, it is speculative and it also is, when taken serious, difficult to follow, at least if you are not a bio-chemist or a medical doctor, and I am neither. But it is based on solid bio-chemistry; it is taken serious by several medical doctors; it has been lectured upon in universities - see the late Rich van Konynenburg's posts on Phoenix Rising - and it also has been taken up by quite a few patients with ME, with various degrees of success.

Second, most patients who have started it, and who had results with it, had experiences like I had: it works pretty well for some days or weeks, maybe after careful titration, but then one starts having problems, which in my case (that seems mostly normal) were of mainly two kinds. A: There is the problem of finding the right doses for metafolate and for B12, which can be quite difficult - and note that one does need to take quite a lot of either. And B: There is the problem of neither taking too much nor too little kalium (aka potassium): either leads to problems, that also may be quite radical, especially if one isn't aware of the need for more potassium.

There are more problems, but these are the main ones, and since the treatment is speculative, and various persons may differ quite a lot, the only thing one can do is experiment (which I would not do and also would not have done if the protocol had not helped me considerably, which it does, in spite of the difficulties, that may be rather serious). [4]

There also is a third problem for me, which is that I got quite serious problems with my eyes in the spring of 2012: I got keratoconjunctivitis sicca, which meant that I feel my eyes all the time, and as if they are abrasions through which I must see, and which also meant I did not sleep sufficiently for 15 months on end.

This upset all my experiments in two ways: I stopped all my supplements, to make sure my problems were not caused by them, and then, when at long last I started again, I did not have a solid baseline anymore, which had been rather reliably there for nearly 35 years of being ill.

I still have problems with my eyes, but they are, albeit quite slowly, recovering, and I also again sleep mostly well, since about 5 months now, which is a great relief (for I did not do so the previous 15 months).

Here is the protocol I have been using for something like a month now, each day, spread over two doses:


metafolin: 1600 mcg:
This is the directly usable form of folate, and part of the protocol. (2 pills.)
vitamin C: 4 grams:
I think - statistics support me - this makes sense for me. (4 pills)
vitamin D: 10 mcg:
This turned out, when tested, to have kept me on the safe side. (2 pills)
kalium: 800 mg:
This is part of the protocol. I do need at least 400 mg, given the rest. (2 pills)
vitamin mB12: 1000 mcg: Note it is methylcobalamin, and I currently use B12 infusion, from Enzymatic Therapy. (1 pill)
calcium + vitamin D: 1200 mg + 5 mcg. This is mainly because I do not use milk anymore. (2 pills)
VM-75: A multivitamin + mineral supplement from Solgar, that contains about everything, that I will not list here, also because it seems - experimentally - most is not very relevant for me. (1 pill)


And that is it, and I am doing relatively well on this since a month. Most are as I used before, but there are two important changes:

The vitamin mB12 I use is new, and comes in 1000 mcg a pill. Before, I used Solgar's methyl-B12 in 5000 mcg sizes, which turned out to be too much, and which also may have changed, according to some patients, and grown less effective.

And the VM-75 is also new, though I have used this before, as a good all in one supplement, and then stopped it because it contains folic acid. My problem is that it turns out to be rather hard to find a good
all in one supplement or indeed a vitamin B supplement that does not contain at least one daily dose of folic acid (which in Holland is also added to bread and other foods, all to prevent women giving birth to babies with spina bifida, or so it is claimed).

As I said, I am doing fairly well on these supplements, but I still have problems with my eyes,
although these still are slowly improving.

But I am at present better than I have been since June 2012, when my eye problems started, and that is good, and indeed considerably better than I feared till September of last year.

P.S. Feb 26, 2014: I corrected some minor mistakes and a major one: I do take 1600 mcg of metafolate lately. Sorry!
------------------------------
Notes
[1] I should remark though that my education also was abnormal in several respects, of which one important one was that both of my parents were sincere and intelligent communists, which certainly must have had considerable effects on my education - except that they are hard to see for me, because I have nothing to compare the education I did get to. But I am certain that my education was a lot more free than that of the vast majority of the babyboomers, and it also was better informed about politics, economy and society.

[2] In fact, I am the only Dutchman I know who did read Shakespeare and Fielding and Dr. Johnson and Hazlitt and Dickens in English, and while there certainly are a few more Dutchmen who did so (also without having taken English in a university), it is a fairly small group who can, and who do so willingly and with pleasure, as I did. Also, it is true that I attended a university, in three faculties also, and rarely met anyone who read serious English literature for pleasure, though I did meet a fair amount who read English detectives.

[3] The only Dutch writer I know who is of world class is Multatuli (Eduard Douwes Dekker), who lived from 1820 till 1887, and whose Dutch is exquisite - which shows that it is not the Dutch language that is at fault. But no one wrote like him, or indeed even comes close.

[4] I have, of course, explained this to my G.P. and asked for a test for MTHFR. According to the internet, that is a simple bloodtest and costs 125 dollars. Well... for this one has to go to a Dutch specialist (I do not know why: very probably to make them as rich as possible) and these refuse to give me the test (while up to 40% of the population may have problems with this, and also this is not much researched) - but were quite willing to have me come to them in order to get a verbal explanation that will cost over 200 dollars why they will not do it. That is Dutch medicine for you: You are treated as an idiot by some of the richest bastards in the country, who are willing and capable of screwing you every way out of money, without doing anything for you.
This is my experience with Dutch medicine, indeed with a few exceptions, for 36 years now.

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

2. Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:  
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
9.
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)



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