Monday, April 28, 2014

Movie Monday 4/28

My family has been totally wrapped up in TV series lately, so we haven't watched any movies in weeks. But Saturday night, with my husband out of town and my son occupied with two friends sleeping over, I finally had time for a movie! I browsed through the free choices on Amazon Prime and found a good one:

I watched The Giant Mechanical Man, a romantic comedy. I know the name sounds silly, but it was actually a very good movie! Chris Messina stars as Tim, the title character, one of those guys who paints himself silver and stands on the street pretending to be a robot (something that fascinated my kids on their first visit to New Orleans!). He's going through some tough times when his girlfriend leaves him and he begins to question his unique art form. The other main character is Janice, played by Jenna Fischer of The Office fame, who is similarly at a low point in her life. She was fired from her mediocre job as a temp employee and forced to move in with her pushy little sister (played by Malin Akerman from The Trophy Wife). Her sister wants to fix her up with a self-help guru who thinks a little too much of himself, played hilariously by Topher Grace from That 70's Show (I didn't recognize him at first with the long, hippie hair). Janice and Tim meet when they both get demeaning jobs at the local zoo, and Janice has seen Tim on the streets as the Mechanical Man, though she doesn't realize it's him. I really enjoyed this movie from start to finish. It is warm and funny and has more depth than the typical rom-com.

Have you seen any good movies lately? I may need another suggestion for weeknights this week until my husband gets home!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Vitamin B12 and ME/CFS

 Last week, I wrote a post about methylation and its importance to people who have ME/CFS (and other immune disorders as well). If you haven’t read that post yet, I highly recommend you go back and read that one first because these two topics are inextricably intertwined. If you want even more detail than what I am providing here, ProHealth has an excellent article on B12 and Methylation that includes 225 scientific references!

So, with that basic knowledge of methylation, we already know that vitamin B12 is absolutely essential. It feeds a critical step in the methylation process, and without it, the whole process breaks down. That’s only the tip of the iceberg for B12 and ME/CFS, though.

Why is B12 so important to ME/CFS patients and what does it do?
We know that B12 is a critical component of the methylation cycle, which regulates detoxification, as well as critical processes in adrenal function, immune function, and the nervous system. Here are other facts about vitamin B12 and ME/CFS:
  • Many people with ME/CFS and FM are actually deficient in B12
    • Many people in the general population are deficient, including 78% of seniors in one study.
    • People with ME/CFS often have low stomach acid and high bacterial growth in small intestine – both of which lead to B12 deficiency.
    • Blood tests for B12 miss deficiencies 50% of the time (so if your blood tests show you have adequate B12 that is not necessarily true).
    • B12 deficiency can cause IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) symptoms that are very common in ME/CFS; IBS can lead to a B12 deficiency since nutrients are poorly absorbed – this is another of those vicious cycles present in ME/CFS.
  • B12 helps regulate Natural Killer cells, a critical component of the immune system.
  • In multiple studies, people with ME/CFS have been shown to have elevated levels of homocysteine, which can lead to cardiac problems; B12 helps to convert homocysteine to methionine.
  • People with ME/CFS have been shown to have excess amounts of nitric acid (NO) and peroxynitrite (-ONOO), a potent oxidant. Both of these lead to problems in multiple body systems that get progressively worse, as the high levels of NO and –ONOO in turn produce more of these compounds. NO also disrupts the methylation cycle. One form of B12, hydroxycobalamin, is a potent NO scavenger that can break this harmful cycle.

This was all news to me! Many years ago, when I first heard of doctors giving ME/CFS patients B12 shots, I thought it was an insignificant treatment, something done when doctors didn’t know what else to do because there was a myth that B12 improved energy. Wow, was I wrong!

What is Vitamin B12?
B12 consists of 4 different but related –cobalamin molecules (so named because they contain cobalt):
  • Hydroxycobalamin –
    • Scavenges excess NO
    • Especially critical for neurological disorders and people with high levels of cyanide (smokers and those with certain metabolic defects)
  • Methylcobalamin –
    • Considered by many experts to be the most active form of B12
    • Used directly in the methylation cycle
    • Protects neurons against glutamate toxicity
    • Promotes nerve cell regeneration
    • Only form of B12 that helps in regulating circadian rhythms (sleep/wake cycle)
    • Because it is directly used in the methylation cycle, it helps support production of serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin, which are directly responsible for good quality sleep.
  • Adenosylcobalamin (dibencozide) –
    • Another highly active form of B12
    • Essential for energy metabolism
    • Required for certain neurological processes
  • Cyanocobalamin –
    • Synthetic form of B12 not found in nature
    • The most common form found in nutritional supplements
    • Must be converted in the liver to other forms
    • Lowest activity level of all forms of B12
    • It is, however, essential in working together with hydroxycobalamin to quench NO

Dosing/Recommendations

The U.S. Institute of Medicine recommends that all adults over 50 use B12 supplements, so given everything listed above, it seems that every ME/CFS patient could benefit from B12 supplementation. What are the best ways to get it?
  • Meat, eggs, fish, and shellfish contain the highest amounts of B12 in food but only about 50% of it is absorbed by the body (in a healthy GI tract) – IBS and other common GI symptoms in ME/CFS hamper absorption even further. Vegetarian sources of B12, like algae, are not bioavailable. So, supplementation is necessary.
  • Most top ME/CFS doctors (Lapp, Cheney, Levine, DeMeirleir, others) routinely use B12 for their patients
  • A study conducted by Dr. Charles Lapp (a renowned ME/CFS expert) found improved energy levels with B12 supplementation of 2500 – 5000 mcg every 2-3 days, even in ME/CFS patients who did not test deficient in B12.
  • Though injections have long been the gold standard, there are some newer studies showing oral and sublingual (under the tongue) types of B12 supplements to be as effective as injections.
  • Most direct benefits come from the hydroxycobalamin and methylcobalamin forms of B12, but the other two forms support and help these to work better, so all 4 forms can be helpful in ME/CFS.
  • Studies show it can take 3 – 6 weeks or more to fully see the benefits of B12 supplementation.
 From what I have heard and seen myself, many doctors still feel that injections are the best way to get B12 into the body where it can be used effectively; others use sublingual or oral B12.

Our Experiences

My son has been getting weekly hydroxycobalamin injections (1000 mcg) for several years now. We did not see an immediate effect, probably because his methylation process was so severely dysfunctional, and his system was overwhelmed by his three tick-borne infections when he started. Slowly, over time, as we addressed his methylation issues (see methylation post) and treated his infections, we saw that the B12 was having a positive effect. He feels a lot better, and we know the B12 is part of the reason why.  He also uses Black Bear Spray (a mouth spray form of B12) several times a day and finds that using it before or during a class, homework session, or a test helps to improve his mental energy and cognitive function.

He recently increased to 2 injections a week, and wow! He felt a huge burst of energy and improved cognitive function with that second weekly B12 shot. The effect was so positive that he now drives home from college twice a week to get a shot. Our next step – recently decided with the biochemist/dietician we consult with – is to switch him to daily shots that come pre-loaded so that he can do them himself at school, with hydroxycobalamin every day and methylcobalamin every third day.

As for me, last summer, I started using a product called B12 Extreme from ProHealth. I bought the product after reading that article they featured on B12 and ME/CFS because it is one of the few B12 products that contain all four types of B12. They are sublingual tablets, and, at first, I felt a mild improvement in energy when I took one each morning. I still take them every day, though I don’t notice that same burst of energy anymore, and blood tests done in December showed that I still had fairly low levels of B12. The biochemist/dietician we work with is reviewing my genetic test results to see if I have any problems metabolizing various forms of B12 and will make her recommendations based on that. I suspect injections may be in my future, too.

In summary, B12 seems to be essential to many body processes, and B12 supplementation should benefit anyone with ME/CFS. Just remember, though, that B12 is just one piece of a very complicated puzzle. If, like my son at first, you don’t see any benefits after a month or two of B12 supplementation, then you probably need to address other pieces of that puzzle, like other parts of the methylation cycle or treating underlying infections (if none of the typical ME/CFS treatments seem to work for you, then you almost certainly have underlying infections that need to be diagnosed and treated before you can move forward).

I will keep you up-to-date on my own B12 experiences, and I would love to hear about yours as well. Has B12 helped you? At what doses and in what forms? This seems to be a simple, inexpensive treatment that can help anyone with ME/CFS.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Imunovir Update and Inosine

I have been struggling a bit lately because of a shortage of Imunovir, an immune-modulating medication that helps me quite a bit, so I thought I'd give a brief update here and also find out if any of you have any experience with inosine, a generic compound similar to Imunovir.

I looked back at my last post on Imunovir, where I described my experiences with it and how much it has helped me - I was surprised to see that I wrote that over two years ago! So, I am overdue for an update anyway.

The quick version is that I am still doing well on Imunovir - in all the ways and for all the reasons I explained in that earlier post. There is no question that while on Imunovir I have more good days, fewer bad days, fewer virally-induced crashes (caused by exposure to viruses, especially in winter), reduced allergy symptoms, and fewer immune-related symptoms (like sore throat and flu-like aches).

I thought it wasn't working well for me anymore at one point last year, and then I remembered the advice about constantly varying the dose. I was pretty much sticking with 4 pills a day 5 days a week, weekends off, because I was afraid to go without it. I decided to try a dosing schedule closer to what Dr. Cheney recommends (though specific to my own needs). So, for the past year or so, I have been taking 2 pills a day for a week, then 4 pills a day for a week, with weekends off, alternating weeks with 2 and 4 pills a day. In addition, every 2-3 months, I take two weeks off completely. Like magic, this worked! He is absolutely right - when you vary the dose and take breaks occasionally, it works better. I had been afraid to take even a week off since it helps me feel so much better, but I have found that I still feel good for those two weeks off...and great when I start back on it!

So, that is all well and good, except that Imunovir is now (temporarily?) unavailable. There is only one manufacturer in the world - Newport Pharmaceuticals in Ireland - and they say Imunovir is now on "long-term backorder," with no date for when it will be available again. The good news is that they haven't officially discontinued it (yet?), but it is impossible to get for now.

When I heard this news, my son and I both took our "break" to make our remaining supply last longer. We did our usual two weeks off. Problem is that this is high allergy season, and we both noticed increased allergy symptoms without the Imunovir to even out our over-active immune systems. This week would have been our third week off...but I felt so awful on Monday and Tuesday that I gave in and began taking it again yesterday! Within a few hours, my aches faded, my mind felt clear again, and my energy returned. I felt like myself again! What a relief. However, I only have enough Imunovir left for about another two weeks...then I can try another two week break, but after that, I am out of luck.

So, I am looking for alternatives. A local friend with ME/CFS told me that she used the generic form, inosine, and that it was effective for her. From what I've read, inosine isn't the exact same molecule (Imunovir is inosine pranobex), but it is similar, and - surprise! - it is sold here in the U.S. as a supplement. It's also about a fifth of the cost of Imunovir, so I ordered some from Amazon and will try it starting next week.

I'll let you know how it goes, but I wondered if any of you have experience with inosine and if so, how it worked for you. And if anyone has been able to compare inosine and Imunovir and tried both, I would love to hear about it.

Wish me luck!

P.S. In my research this week, I also learned a couple of interesting things: that inosine is classified as both an immune modulator and an antiviral, and that inosine is being used in some very promising studies with Parkinson's patients. Imunovir has also been used in NIH studies on cancer patients, to mitigate the immune effects of chemotherapy.


Friday, April 11, 2014

The Methylation Cycle: Central to ME/CFS

I sat down to write a post about vitamin B12 supplements for people with ME/CFS and how much they have helped my son and I. I soon realized, however, that I couldn’t explain the importance of B12 without first explaining what the methylation cycle is and why it is so critical to those of us with ME/CFS (and similar illnesses). I’m no expert, but here is what I have learned:

What Does Methylation Do?
I already knew in a vague way that methylation was an important process in the body, but now I understand it is absolutely critical to multiple bodily systems. Before delving into exactly what methylation is, let’s look at its role in the body. Here are some of the vital functions of the methylation process:
  • Critical to the manufacture of DNA and RNA, the body’s basic genetic material;
  • Essential for several important neurological processes;
  • Required for the manufacture of adrenal hormones, which affect all sorts of bodily functions, including sleep, energy, temperature regulation, and neurological functions;
  • Responsible for several detoxification pathways, allowing your body to get rid of toxins, including excess medications, supplements, dead viruses or bacteria, as well as environmental toxins.

Almost everyone with ME/CFS (and many people with other similar illnesses) has a dysfunctional methylation process. It’s hard to tease out cause and effect because every one of our dysfunctional systems (immune, endocrine, nervous, etc.) causes further dysfunction in other systems. Put simply, ME/CFS is a very complex knot of vicious cycles where each problem worsens all the other problems. So, it is likely that the longer you have been sick, the worse off your methylation cycle is. In addition, the more health problems you have, the worse the methylation process gets (more vicious cycles), so someone like my son who has ME/CFS and also Lyme disease plus two other tick infections just keeps getting worse and worse – which is what we saw with him a few years ago and again this past year. Same goes for anyone with any kind of underlying infections behind their ME/CFS (which is probably most of us).

What Happens When Methylation Isn’t Working Properly?
So, if people with ME/CFS have messed up methylation cycles, what exactly does that mean? When the methylation process isn’t working properly, the following problems result:
  • Detoxification doesn’t work well (as explained above) so toxins build up in your body;
  • Less serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin (all directly linked to sleep dysfunction as well as depression) are produced, as well as less of other neurotransmitters;
  • Decreased production of adrenal hormones;
  • Elevated levels of homocysteine, which can lead to cardiac problems;
  • Decreased cellular energy production aka mitochondrial dysfunction, leading directly to fatigue and post-exertional malaise;
  • Possibly also an underlying mechanism for depression (see note on serotonin and dopamine above).

Take a look at that list again – notice anything familiar? It’s pretty much a list of most of the symptoms and dysfunctions that define ME/CFS! So, now you begin to see how important methylation is to each and every ME/CFS patient.

Methylation’s Role in Infections

Detoxification, one of the processes affected by methylation, becomes supremely important if you have underlying infections (as the majority of ME/CFS patients do) and especially if you are treating those infections. In that case, you need an efficient detox process even more, in order to remove toxins like dead viruses and bacteria and excess medications and supplements from the body.

Those with Lyme or those being treated with antivirals are familiar with herx reactions, where symptoms worsen (often severely) with treatment because the body is being flooded with dead bugs and extra medication that it can not properly get rid of, causing the immune system to react against the increased presence of viruses or bacteria in the bloodstream. When methylation is not working well (as in most with ME/CFS) and therefore detoxification pathways aren’t working well, the herx reaction can get worse and worse, until the patient is stuck in crisis mode – totally incapacitated by herx symptoms, even when the medication (antibiotics or antivirals) are severely reduced. That’s where our son was twice – first, at the end of high school a few years ago and again, this past year (sophomore year of college).

What Exactly Is Methylation?
This is where it gets somewhat complicated, but even a basic understanding of the methylation process will help you understand what kinds of treatments might help. Methylation is a biochemical process in the body that uses certain raw materials (foods, vitamins, supplements) to convert molecules into other molecules. When the process is working well, all those things listed above happen as they should: DNA, RNA, and crucial neurological components are manufactured; critical hormones (for sleep, mood, healthy adrenal function, and more) are made; and the body detoxes effectively, getting rid of those things that might be harmful to you.

I find the best way to understand the methylation process is to look at it visually:



(NOTE: Diagram is from an excellent article on B12 at ProHealth. Click on diagram to enlarge)

You may not recognize or understand all of the components, but this diagram shows how each step leads to another step and how interrelated the 3 different cycles shown here are to create the full methylation process. You can also see some of the important inputs to the process: proteins, amino acids, vitamin B12, folate & folic acid. And I think it is quite clear that if any one part of this process breaks down – for instance, there isn’t enough B12 or folate – then the entire process will fail, leading to the kinds of problems listed above.

What Can You Do?
Several methylation experts have emerged who understand the critical importance of the methylation cycle in people with ME/CFS and related illnesses and have made it their life’s work to try to help. Each of the experts has his or her own protocol, so there are some choices; however, they all rely on the critical components of the methylation cycle: vitamin B12 and folate (in various forms).

Dr. Amy Yasko is perhaps best known for pioneering a methylation protocol, designed to help repair dysfunctional methylation processes (and thereby improve the patient’s symptoms in a number of different areas). Interestingly, the focus of her work is in autism in children but it is equally applicable to ME/CFS (not the first time links between ME/CFS and autism have shown up). She has her own explanation of the methylation cycle, if you want to learn more, along with additional diagrams (more complicated than what I included here). Dr. Yasko advocates first getting some genetic testing done and then customizing the methylation protocol based on your results (more on that below).

With our son, we started with Dr. Rich van Konyenburg’s simplified methylation protocol, which I have written about here before. My son was in such terrible shape to start with that we had some difficulties, so I e-mailed Rich directly, and he was kind of enough to respond personally and help us through some of those challenges. Unfortunately, Rich died unexpectedly last year, leaving a big gap in our small world of expert ME/CFS resources. The last version of his simplified methylation protocol is available here, with an excellent Q&A on methylation written by one of Rich's colleagues here.

Typically, any methylation protocol begins with a good quality multi-vitamin, vitamin B12 (more on that in the next post!), and 5-MTHF, a form of folate. However – and this is critically important – anyone with ME/CFS should start very slowly with tiny doses and only gradually increase, as tolerated. Any of these supplements can cause their own sort of “herx” reaction, as they get the methylation process working again, suddenly getting detoxification working again and flooding the bloodstream with toxins. As with most things in ME/CFS, low and slow is the rule. For instance, our son started with just a quarter of a 5-MTHF tablet every other day, very slowly working up to his current dose of 400mcg per day.

Our son improved a bit on Rich’s protocol, but he was scheduled to start college in a month or so and was still too sick to manage it (as I mentioned earlier, his case is even more complex than most because of the 3 tick infections he is fighting along with his ME/CFS). Our Lyme doctor recommended a consultant who is a registered dietician and has an MS in biochemistry. She is brilliant and not only understands this complicated methylation process but also how that fits in with all the other complicated biochemical processes that are dysfunctional in ME/CFS and Lyme patients.

In the methylation arena, she ran a methylation panel for our son and made recommendations specifically based on his results. She also recommended dietary changes, in part because gluten, casein (the protein found in milk), and gliadin (another protein in wheat) can all block part of the methylation process. Also foods high in oxalates aren't good for people with ME/CFS (I don't fully understand why yet - still working on that one!).

With her help (and some other changes as well), our son recovered enough to start his freshman year of college alongside his peers, living on campus and taking 3 classes with enough energy left over for a social life. It felt like an absolute miracle to us, and treating the methylation problems was definitely a big part of that.

We discovered, however, that you have to be diligent to stay ahead of all the complex problems in ME/CFS and Lyme. After two months, our son gave up on the restricted diet (he was feeling pretty good by then). He kept up the folate and B12 supplements, and continued with his Lyme treatment and all of the treatments for ME/CFS. Eventually, he began gradually declining again, until he was back in crisis mode and completely incapacitated during this winter break (note: this was more than methylation problems but we could tell that was part of the picture). We got back in touch with our consultant, got him back on an even stricter diet (he was so sick, he was willing to try anything). He is again recovering, back in school living on campus, and able to enjoy a social life with his friends, too. Part of his recovery is due to treating yeast overgrowth caused by his Lyme treatment, and part of it is due to getting back on track with the methylation process.

To help with methylation and associated processes, he (and I) take the following supplements (links below), remembering that we added these very gradually and slowly:
  • 400 mcg 5-MethylTetraHydroFolate (5-MTHF) (we use Doctor's Best brand - but we followed Rich's recommendations at first until he got up to this dose and could take these capsules)
  • Xymogen ActivNutrients multivitamin with no Iron or Copper (rec by our biochemist - we buy it at cost through her office but there are online sources - apparently, it is important to leave out Iron and Copper when you have infections)
  • Xymogen ALAMax and Resveratin to assist in mitochondrial energy support (I take a different brand of alpha lipoic acid and Jamie is currently off ALA temporarily while we get his yeast problems under control).
  • Calcium D-glucarate for detox support
  • S-Acetyl Glutathione for detox support and energy (studies have shown people with ME/CFS to have low glutathione levels)
  • N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) - Jamie is off this temporarily until his yeast problems are gone, but I increased my dose after reading that 1200 mg per day can help with weight loss (it did!) plus it is critical to detox and liver support in ME/CFS.
  • Milk Thistle - brand varies, taken at end of day and helps with detox - critical for liver support.
  • Vitamin B12 - Hydroxycobalamin injections 1000 mcg twice a week (Jamie); daily combination B12 product for me (more on B12 in the next post)

More recently, my son and I both had genetic testing done through 23andme (maybe I need another post on that!) and ran our results through Genetic Genie to find out what genetic defects we each have relative to methylation. A couple of problem areas showed up for each of us, so our next step is to work with our biochemist consultant to understand what the genetic results mean and how to adjust the methylation protocol accordingly (as Yasko recommends, too).

This post turned out much longer than I had planned, but it is a complicated and important subject. Next up is a post on the use of B12, including importance, uses, dosing, types, etc. From what I’ve read, it seems that everyone with ME/CFS can benefit from vitamin B12 supplementation, but it has to be done right in order to be effective. That one is already half-written, so I hope to post it here within the next week. Please share your own experiences with treating methylation and/or questions in the comments area. I am still learning about this critical part of ME/CFS, and I’m sure others would benefit from comments and questions also.

NOTE: Someone reminded me that I didn't mention SAMe in this summary. if you look at the diagram above, you can see that SAMe is a part of the methylation cycle; however, it is not recommended that all people with ME/CFS supplement with SAMe. My son tried it and got worse. Here's the way that Rich Van Lonyenburg explained it to me:

"This was initially included in the protocol I proposed, but so many people could not tolerate it that I took it out.  SAMe will come up automatically if the partial block of methionine synthase is lifted by the methylation protocol.  I think that some people have difficulty dealing with all the sulfur if given NAC and SAMe.  The sulfur must all pass through the sulfite oxidase reaction, and if it can't handle it, sulfite builds up and gives headaches, difficulty in breathing, and/or rashes.  It also further lowers glutathione."

One of the common genetic defects related to methylation causes an inability to metabolize sulfur compounds, and this is relatively common in people with ME/CFS (both my son and I both have this defect and have reacted badly to sulfa antibiotics), so perhaps this is part of the reason why supplementing with SAMe sometimes makes ME/CFS patients worse. So if you do try it in spite of Rich's warning, watch for negative reactions which may worsen over time.
               

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

PET Imaging May Provide Diagnostic Test for ME/CFS

An exciting new research study published in Science Daily shows that PET functional imaging may be a useful diagnostic tool for ME/CFS in the future. It was a small study - just 9 people with ME/CFS and 10 healthy controls - but researchers were able to clearly show evidence of neuroinflammation (inflammation of the nervous system and brain) in the ME/CFS patients. They could even see a clear correlation between the type of symptoms reported (for instance, cognitive dysfunction) and the areas of inflammation in the brain.


This is exciting research that could lead directly to a way to diagnose ME/CFS! It remains to be seen whether this method is specific enough to differentiate between ME/CFS and other conditions that cause neuroinflammation, but at the very least, it provides incontrovertible proof of disability and illness.

Best of all, the study was reported in the mainstream media! I got this link from a childhood friend of mine who thought of me when he read it and sent me an e-mail. That alone is reason to celebrate - awareness is growing!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Movie Monday 4/7

Our college son was home on spring break all last week. He's been doing pretty well, thanks to the drastic changes we made to medications, supplements, and diet two months ago. That's "pretty well" on an ME/CFS (and Lyme) scale, so he is still struggling with stamina and cognitive functioning. But he's living on campus, taking three difficult engineering courses, and has some energy left for socializing and having fun with his friends. This was a rest-up and recuperation week for him - he spent much of the week reading (about 8 books in 10 days!), playing video games, and catching up on all the TV series he's missed while at school.

So, we didn't watch any movies last week, but I thought I'd tell you about all the great TV shows we caught up on - both old favorites of ours and some really great new shows.

In the old favorites category, he was excited to be home so he could catch up on missed episodes of Arrow, The Following, Elementary - we all enjoy these shows together and he tries to keep up when he comes home on Sundays.

My husband was out of town last week, so the boys and I also tried some new shows. All three of us watched The 100, a brand new post-apocalytpic/dystopian/science fiction show set 100 years into the future, after earth was decimated by nuclear holocaust. The remaining humans have been living in a space station, but now they are in danger of running out of oxygen. They send 100 teenagers (most are criminals to one degree or another) back down to earth to find out if it is safe to live there again. We are all enjoying the show (my husband caught up when he came home and joined us in the latest episode) - it's full of action and adventure.

Jamie and I also tried Believe, and we LOVE it! It reminds us a bit of Touch (which we hated to hear was cancelled), with a young child with special talents at its center. In the first episode, we lost track of how many different group of people were after this poor little girl! So, this is another show full of action and adventure and lots of chase scenes but also plenty of warmth and heart. The little girl playing the lead role is amazing. We are totally hooked, and this is our new favorite.

Jamie had friends over two evenings, and I discovered that it was Watchathon Week for our cable provider, meaning that many of the channels (even the pay ones) put whole seasons of their most popular shows up for free On Demand for the week. I watched a couple of episodes of Girls (which airs on HBO) and would love to see more - I'll have to request the DVDs from the library. When Jamie discovered Watchathon Week, he dove into Black Sails, a new pirate show on Starz.

I'm glad to have my husband back home now - he and I have too many shows that we're hooked on at the moment! We are enjoying some old favorites like The Good Wife (did you see that surprise ending??), Grey's Anatomy (he's not so interested in it anymore, but I still love it), The Americans, Revolution, and Blacklist (I told you there are too many!). We've also started to watch Resurrection, about a town where the dead start returning, just as they were before they died, which we are loving.

That seems like a lot of TV, but I am pretty useless past 6 or 7 pm, so it is something fun we can do together before we head up to bed to read at 9 pm.

What are your favorite TV series right now?

And if you are interested in what we've been reading this week, check out the Monday post at my book blog.

P.S. I am still learning but am so far enjoying Twitter and haven't let it take over my life! If you are on Twitter, you can follow me at @livewithmecfs