Monday, May 31, 2021

Movie Monday: Chaos Walking

Since the pandemic started and theaters closed (I am not fully vaccinated yet), we have mostly avoided new release movies. Why pay for a movie at home when so many are available for free? But we made an exception this weekend when I saw that Chaos Walking had finally been released, after many delays. It is based on a book trilogy by the same name by Patrick Ness that my husband, son, and I had all enjoyed very much. It's a bit misleading because Chaos Walking is the name of the whole trilogy, and this movie (I'm guessing the first of three) is really just adapted from the first book, The Knife of Never Letting Go. My husband and I both enjoyed the movie adaptation and thought they did a good job of capturing the first book.

Todd, played by Tom Holland of Spiderman fame, is the only boy in his town of Prentisstown, where all citizens are men, and there are no women. It is clear that this is not Earth, though the terrain looks similar. The men are all afflicted by The Noise here. All of their thoughts can be heard by others; there are no secrets here. Can you imagine? Todd's mother, along with the other women, died long ago, and he has been brought up by two kind men, Ben and Cillian, who care for him on their farm. Mayor Prentiss, played by Mads Mikkelsen, can be somewhat menacing at times, though he's kind to Todd. Everything in Prentisstown changes in an instant when a spacecraft crash lands nearby, with a single occupant, a young girl named Viola, played by Daisy Ridley of Star Wars. Todd finds Viola in the woods and is shocked since he has never seen a girl before (remember that Viola can hear all his thoughts!). When the townsmen start coming after Viola, Ben urges Todd to run and to keep her safe. As the two young people, and Todd's dog, Manchee, run off through the forests, lakes, and rivers, they are chased by the men of Prentisstown but must also avoid the dangerous natives of the planet, creatures called Spackle. They are trying to find another town that Ben told them about, where Viola might be able to make contact with the next ship of colonizers that is on its way.

So, as you can tell by the description, this is a sci fi adventure/thriller, with lots of action and suspense. Being able to hear Todd's thoughts adds some elements of humor to the movie, to lighten the sometimes-tense mood. Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley are the stars here, with the majority of the screen time, and they are both outstanding actors, though the supporting cast is good, too (I was surprised to see Nick Jonas). For lovers of the books, like us, it seemed like the movie held pretty close to the events of the book (it's been a while since we read it, which is usually the best way to see a book adaptation on screen). My one disappointment was you couldn't hear Manchee's (the dog) thoughts in the movie. Hearing Manchee's doggie thoughts was the funniest part of the book! Overall, we enjoyed the movie and are looking forward to the next one--hopefully, we won't have to wait as long for that one.

Chaos Walking is a new release, so it is available in some theaters, but it is also available for a small fee at the usual pay-per-view options, including Redbox, YouTube, Google Play, and Amazon, where we watched it. Like I said, we don't normally pay for at-home movies, but I figured $5.99 is quite a bargain compared to about $30 for two tickets and popcorn in the theater!


 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

TV Tuesday: For All Mankind

When I got an iPhone last summer, a free year of Apple TV came with it, so we've been trying to seek out and enjoy any shows on Apple TV while we've got it. I previously reviewed Home Before Dark, a fabulous mystery/thriller show featuring a child detective. More recently, we've discovered For All Mankind, an alternate history of the U.S. space program that is outstanding. We're loving this show so far; it just keeps getting better and better.

The premise of For All Mankind is an alternate history of the U.S. space program, where the Soviets are the first to put a man on the moon (and soon after, a woman) in 1969, which completely changes the space race for America. Now, the U.S. is playing catch-up and is worried that the Soviets will build a military base on the moon and begin weaponizing their early position. From that first episode, the show is set in an alternate reality from what we actually experienced, though many (not all) of the real historical events that occurred are a backdrop here. The real focus, though, is on the engineers and astronauts of NASA, as they move forward, fueled by political forces that are constantly pushing them to do more and faster. Women astronauts become a part of the program, starting in the early 70's, and in this world, water is discovered on the moon, raising the stakes even higher. The real political, fashion, and cultural trends of the 70's are featured here, including the very real prejudices against being gay. This show features a huge ensemble cast with many talented actors, some playing real-life people and some made-up characters. Joel Kinnaman, featured in many top shows recently like Hanna, Altered Carbon, and House of Cards, plays Edward Baldwin, a fictional top NASA astronaut and commander of Apollo 10. Michael Dorman plays Gordo Stevens, who was a real NASA astronaut but here has a much lengthier public career. And Sonya Walger, one of our favorites from Lost, here plays Molly Cobb, one of the first female astronauts (and one of the most skilled of any gender).

This show works on every level and is one of our current favorites. It is a thriller, with some truly suspenseful scenes when the astronauts of various missions are in peril. It is a political drama, featuring the inner workings of NASA and the pressures put on the space program from the President (there are some surprises there). And it is a family drama, zooming in on the personal lives of the astronauts and others in NASA and the unique pressures put on their families. It is, at different times, heart-stopping, heart-warming, and heart-breaking. And it's all played out against the backdrop of the 1970's, with its colorful fashions and decor and unique mix of opportunities both opening up and remaining closed. For instance, it's fascinating to see how quickly the U.S.changes its tune and accepts women astronauts after a Soviet woman lands on the moon, yet how unrelenting and horribly intolerant and bigoted those same leaders are about gay people being a part of NASA. The plot is twisty and constantly surprising. We love everything about this show and can't wait to see what happens next!

There are currently two seasons of For All Mankind available on Apple TV, with a third season planned (luckily, my husband just bought a new iPhone, too). We have just finished season one, and each episode continues to move us in new ways. The episodes vary in length, as is becoming more common on streaming services, but most are at least an hour long.


Monday, May 24, 2021

URGENT ACTION REQUIRED FOR METHYL-B12 INJECTIONS!

URGENT! ACTION NEEDED NOW!

Many of us, not only with ME/CFS but with a variety of chronic illness, rely on vitamin B12 injections as a crucial part of our treatment plan. In this post, Vitamin B12 and ME/CFS, I write about what B12 does, how it helps, why it is essential, and the most effective forms and types to use. In that post, I explain why injections of B12 are the most effective way to get it into your bloodstream (oral types don't work as well, if at all), and why the most common type of B12 available commercially, the cyano- type, is not a good choice for most of us with chronic illness. Instead, I recommend using methyl- or hydroxy- types of B12 in most cases. My son and I both use those two types, made for us from a compounding pharmacy.

BUT NOW, INJECTABLE METHYL-B12 (also known as methylcobalamin) IS AT RISK OF NO LONGER BEING AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED STATES!

The FDA is currently considering whether or not to continue allowing methyl-B12 to be made by compounding pharmacies--and the track record is not promising. In the past two years, only 30% of the medications the FDA has reviewed in this way have been allowed to continue being sold.

What can you do?

Send a quick electronic comment to the FDA, explaining WHY methyl-B12 is important to you, how it helps you, how long you've taken it, etc.

The deadline for public comments is this week: Wednesday May 26!

Public Comment Link: https://regulations.gov/document/FDA-2021-N-0357-0001 (click the blue comment button)

There are multiple compounded medications being considered for removal at this time, so be sure you specify you are writing about methylcobalamin.

I received notice of this pending action from my own compounding pharmacy, so I am sharing that with you. I'll include the letter (with instructions) below as a photo, but you can also access and print the page here as a pdf. The link for electronic comments is in that letter.

PLEASE ACT NOW SO WE DON'T ALL LOSE OUR METHYL B12!

Here is the comment I left on the website (it only took a few minutes) - feel free to copy relevant parts describing the necessity of Methylcobalamin as part of your treatment - JUST BE SURE TO CHANGE THE PERSONAL INFORMATION (FIRST PARAGRAPH). If they see duplicate comments, they may not count them.

Re: PCAC Review of Methylcobalamin

My son, XXX and I, Suzan, (55) both have multiple chronic illness, including a complex immune disorder and multiple chronic infections. We live in Wilmington, Delaware. We have both taken methylcobalamin injections for 14 years, since 2007. We both self-inject every other day, alternating hydroxy- and methyl- types because that is what is most effective for us. We purchase our methylcobalamin from Hopewell Pharmacy, a compounding pharmacy, and it is prescribed by our physician. We both take 3.5 mg per dose (every other day). Because we get it from a compounding pharmacy, they can make up a higher concentration solution - 25 mg/ml - so that the amount (ml) that we inject is tiny. This makes the injections much more comfortable and sustainable over time.

Methylcobalamin is an absolutely essential part of our treatment program. Because of our chronic illness, our bodies do not absorb vitamins well, so supplementation is often necessary, as is the case with B12. This vitamin is essential for production of red blood cells and DNA and for the functioning of our nervous systems, as our disease is known to cause severe autonomic nervous system dysfunction. This means that the methylcobalamin injections help us with cognitive function, immune function, energy, mitochondrial function, and nervous system function, all of which are dysfunctional in our disease. In simple terms, the methylcobalamin injections give us the energy and mental clarity necessary for basic functioning and activities of daily living, even though the disease very much limits what we can do.

In addition, it is crucial for us to have access to injectable methylcobalamin, only available through compounding pharmacies. Many studies have shown the oral forms to be poorly absorbed, and I noticed a huge improvement when I switched from sublingual tablets to the injections. The type of B12 is important, as well. Most commercially available B12 - and ALL injectables commercially available - are the cyanocobalamin form of B12, which is not effective for us and can even be dangerous to us. That cyanide molecule requires glutathione in order to be converted to usuable methylcobalamin in the cells, but with our disease, our cells don't make much glutathione, so we can not efficiently convert cyanocobalamin. That's why direct supplementation with methylcobalamin injections is necessary.

We are not alone. I write a blog about chronic illness, have written a book about it, and have started several support groups for people with similar diseases, both in-person locally and online, with thousands of members. I know that many, many more patients with similar diseases rely on compounded methylcobalamin (either injections or in IVs) as an essential part of their treatment protocol. Please continue to allow methylcobalamin to be compounded.


 

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Prep for ME/CFS Patients Getting a COVID Vaccine


This is my third post about the COVID vaccines and ME/CFS. The first, ME/CFS and the COVID-19 Vaccines, explained about the specific kind of immune dysfunction in ME/CFS, how these vaccines work, and sources for patient experience. My latest post last week, COVID Vaccine Experience of ME/CFS Patients goes back to some of those resources for patient experience, three months later, to discuss what has been reported by thousands of patients. This third post will cover preparations that the ME/CFS experts recommend you take before getting your vaccine. Note that this third post, about vaccine preparation, will probably be helpful for people with a wider range of chronic illnesses than just ME/CFS.

There are three main concerns about getting the vaccine in ME/CFS and other chronic illnesses, with different things you can do for each to improve your chances of a good outcome. First, I will cover the basics: things you can do to help improve your ME/CFS in ways that will help you to better tolerate the vaccine (and feel a whole lot better, too!). Then, I will sum up with a list from the experts that pulls all of this together.

 

Improve Detox

It's well-known that many patients with ME/CFS over-react to even tiny doses of medications or supplements, so the concern with the vaccines is that we'll react to something in them and have trouble clearing it out of our systems. This ability to detox effectively and process toxins in our bodies is directly related to the methylation process. Methylation happens within each of our cells, and is a complex series of processes. Methylation not only controls detox processes but also the manufacture of adrenal hormones (which control all bodily functions), neurological processes, and even the manufacture of DNA and RNA. If you have poor methylation (as most with ME/CFS do), you are likely to have more trouble with the vaccines.

Fortunately, there are lots of simple steps we can take to help improve methylation, which will in turn help to improve many aspects of our disease. This post, The Methylation Cycle: Central to ME/CFS, explains more about what methylation is, what it does and how it works, and toward the bottom, steps you can take to improve methylation.


Reduce the Possibility of an Allergic Reaction

Since ME/CFS is, at its heart, an immune disorder that makes most of us over-react to allergens, allergic reactions are a bigger concern for us than for the general public. Many of us react to all kinds of things, from medications to foods to things in our environment. This tendency of our immune system to over-react to allergens puts us at greater risk of a serious allergic reaction to the vaccines.

Many of us with ME/CFS also have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), where our mast cells (part of the allergic system) are in an almost-constant state of activation. This can result in typical sort of allergy symptoms, like runny nose, sinus problems, watery or itchy eyes, hives, and even anaphylaxis (swelling/closing up of the throat and mouth). But, for us, MCAS can sometimes just add to our "normal" ME/CFS symptoms, like fatigue, lack of energy, pain, immune symptoms, and brain fog.

My son and I began treating MCAS a couple of years ago; his food allergies were ramping up and he'd had an unexplained anaphylactic episode and my "usual" allergies (mostly dust and mold) were just bothering me all year-round. Treatments for MCAS are mostly simple and easy to find, available over-the-counter without a prescription. We've both seen improvements with this approach, and I know other patients who've seen even more significant improvements from treating MCAS. You can read all about MCAS, how to treat it, and what is working for us at my post about Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) and ME/CFS. It's more than just antihistamines, so take a look.

Again, as with improving methylation, treating MCAS or using MCAS-type treatments will not only reduce your chances of a bad reaction to a COVID vaccine but may also improve your overall condition.


Improve Your Immune Function

Since immune dysfunction is at the heart of ME/CFS, improving or normalizing your immune function will help to improve ALL of your symptoms ... and will also help to ensure you respond to your vaccine as "normally" as possible. Improving immune function ahead of time can help to improve the odds that you will not relapse badly after the vaccine and that your body will do what it's supposed to and make the COVID antibodies. And, again, it will improve your overall ME/CFS condition.

Much of what I have written about here on the blog and in articles for the past 14 years has been about the immune dysfunction of ME/CFS and how to treat it. My son and I have had great success with this, and much of our improvement over the years (we now both function fairly well and live pretty active lives) is due to improving immune function. Immune System Abnormalities in ME/CFS provides an overview of how the immune system in ME/CFS is dysfunctional. And Immune Dysfunction in ME/CFS summarizes the three simple, inexpensive treatments that have helped us the most over the years, as well as a discussion of the importance of treating underlying infections. That post links to more information on inosine, low-dose naltrexone, glutathione, and more.

Finally, back in February, I wrote about my bad relapse that began in March 2020 (and lasted until two weeks ago!) and the immune issues my doctor found and some treatments recommended. I ended up getting the most benefit from a product called Transfer Factor Multi-Immune from Researched Nutritionals (we buy it directly from our practitioner, but I see a few places where you can find it online). It--like the three treatments I mentioned above--is also supposed to help normalize immune function, increasing Natural Killer Cell function and balancing Th1-Th2 (explained in the immune anbormalities post above), both very much needed in ME/CFS. It has worked well for me, and I think has been a factor in my long relapse finally ending. I started at 1 pill a day and gradually increased to 3 pills twice a day.


Experts' Recommendations

You can read advice from several top ME/CFS experts down toward the bottom of this Health Rising article. Many of them advise taking antihistamines like Benadryl or Zyrtec--that's to prevent an allergic reaction, as discussed up above and in the MCAS article I linked to.

Dr. Nancy Klimas, one of the top ME/CFS experts in the world, has recommended the following supplements, added every day, at least two weeks before your first shot:

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) 600mg
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) 300mg
Carnitine 1000mg (we take 1 L-Carnitine and 1 Acetyl-L-Carnitine - more info here)
Zyrtec (we get generic liquid gels (no lactose) or Benadryl start day before and continue for 3 days after

Everything listed here is aimed at one of the three areas I outlined above (detox, allergic reactions, and immune function), and as I said, any of these should help your ME/CFS!

There are lots of ways to increase glutathione (glutathione in pill form is not very effective). It's all explained in my post on Increasing Glutathione in ME/CFS. This will help with detox, improve immune function, and give you more energy.

My son and I were already taking all of these daily (for many years), except for vitamin C, so I added 1 g of liposomal Vitamin C daily for both of us (liposomal is better absorbed and less likely to cause stomach upset or diarrhea). I also normally only take Zyrtec at night, so I took it twice a day for a few days before my vaccine (see MCAS post).

And, my Lyme specialist also recommended increasing selenium for two weeks before my vaccine, so I doubled my normal dose. Again, I've been feeling really good, so I will probably continue the vitamin C and higher dose of selenium (after talking it over with my doctors).


And, after all that ... I got my first dose of the Moderna vaccine today! It was about 7 hours ago, and so far, I have no reaction or side effects. I am willing to put up with even 2-3 weeks of a bad crash; I just don't want to go into another long-term relapse, so I am hoping I have improved my chances of a good outcome. I feel like I have done all that I could that is within my control.

Remember, there are polls and groups where you can document and discuss your own vaccine experiences, so check those out.

Have you had your vaccine yet? If not--or if you still need your second dose--then I hope this information will help you.


Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links provide a small commission to me (pennies per purchase), to help offset the time I spend writing for this blog, at no extra cost to you.

 





Friday, May 14, 2021

COVID Vaccine Experience of ME/CFS Patients


[PLEASE NOTE: THIS POST IS ONLY FOR THOSE WITH ME/CFS, AS IT REFERENCES THE SPECIFIC IMMUNE DYSFUNCTION OF THIS DISEASE. IT IS NOT RELEVANT TO THE GENERAL POPULATION.]

Because a primary characteristic of ME/CFS is a dysfunctional immune system, many of us have been concerned about the impacts of getting the COVID vaccine. You can read more about the specific immune dysfunction of ME/CFS, the way vaccines (and specifically the COVID vaccines) work, and more in my earlier post, ME/CFS and the COVID-19 Vaccines

I wrote that back in February. I was concerned for myself because I began a severe relapse of my ME/CFS in March 2020 and was still not yet back to my normal baseline, plus some recent lab tests had shown significant immune dysfunction. In that earlier post, I explain what factors I was considering and some resources for you, too.

Now, it's three months later. I have not yet gotten my COVID vaccine, but two new developments have occurred: just in the past two weeks, I finally seem to have returned to my "normal" baseline after a 14+ month relapse and my ME/CFS specialist ran extensive additional immune testing and gave me the OK to go ahead and get the vaccine. The other factor is that I have been closely following the experience of other patients with ME/CFS, and that's what I want to share with you today.

 

ME/CFS and the COVID Vaccines Online Groups

There are groups you can find in various places online where ME/CFS patients discuss their experiences. Many of them have already been vaccinated and have shared their experience in the group. Others still waiting ask questions. I can't include names or links, but you can try searching for them.  Facebook in particular has clamped down on vaccine discussions, so the group I am in is in danger of being taken down. If you post a question or your experience in a Facebook group, use v. or vax or shot or jab rather than "vaccine" and single letter designations for the type (M or P or J or AZ) to help keep FB from removing or limiting these groups.

My impressions after being in my group for several months are that there is a wide range of experience with the vaccines, from those who had a "normal" reaction, like any healthy person would, with some symptoms that subside within days, to those who have severely relapsed to those who are actually better than they were before the vaccine! Yes, that's right - some small percentage of ME/CFS (and long-COVID) patients improve after the vaccine. Personally, I find this anecdotal information helpful but sometimes a bit scary. As you might expect, those who have a mild response usually post once or twice, but those who go into a severe ME/CFS relapse post-vaccine that lasts for a long time usually post multiple updates (which are much appreciated). These stories of long-term relapse are frightening for me, though I greatly appreciate the people willing to share their experiences, and they do get some emotional support through the group.


The Coronavirus Vaccine Side Effects Poll for ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia

Personally, being a very analytical person, I like data! The Health Rising website (a reliable source of information for those with ME/CFS and fibro) started a comprehensive poll back in January, which now contains responses from about 4000 patients! This is enough data to make it statistically significant.

You can find the poll at this linkIf you have finished your vaccine and have either returned to your normal baseline or or at least 1 month past your last shot, please fill out their simple survey so you can help other patients. For everyone else, you can see the current results of the poll (constantly updated), if you scroll to the bottom of that post and click on "View Results."

There is a lot of information to see there, including severity of illness, side effects post-vaccine (for each of the available vaccines), and how long until the patient returned to whatever their "normal" baseline is.

I have been focused on one piece of data for each vaccine: the % of patients who are still relapsed (not back to normal baseline) after 30 days. For me personally, that's the key piece of information. I expect to "crash" after the vaccine, possibly even for 2-3 weeks, and I can deal with that. My biggest concern all along, given my recent 14-month relapse and my immune problems, is that the vaccine might trigger another long-lasting relapse. 

As of today, here are the % of patients still relapsed more than 30 days after their last dose of vaccine:

Pfizer: 12%

Moderna: 10%

AstraZeneca: 14%

Johnson & Johnson: 14%

See the poll itself for the most up-to-date data. Again, that's the piece of information I was most interested in, but you can see the full poll results at the link (scroll down and click on "View Results.").

Health Rising has added an additional poll: a poll for those who improved after their COVID vaccine (within this post that also includes advice from experts). Again, you can respond to the poll if you improved after your vaccine or View the Results.

Also, this Health Rising post from March provides a summary of the poll results at that point, pluys an additional poll for those with severe ME/CFS who have had the COVID vaccine (scroll down to get to the poll).

There is also a UK-specific poll at the ME Association website. It's a more simplistic poll, with just a single question, but it shows 7% of respondents (of about 2000) still relapsed more than a week after their last shot.

Based on this information, my latest lab results, conversations with my doctor, and the end of my long relapse, I am going to get my vaccine next week, opting for the Moderna, as it has the lowest occurrence of long-term relapse. But, I am still pretty nervous about it. 10% still seems like a big chance to take after just enduring a 14-month-long relapse! Since my "normal" baseline is actually pretty good, with treatments, it feels like a big risk to me. Maybe I'll get lucky and be one of those who actually improves? I'll report back.

UPDATE 8/3/21:

Our Own Experiences:

Since I first wrote this post, my son and I are now both fully vaccinated and are both back to our normal baselines. We both reacted pretty much the same, which is typical for us; our immune dysfunction has always been similar to each other. We both got two doses of the Moderna vaccine.

After the first, we both had almost no reaction, just a mildly sore arm for the first few days, and perhaps some worsened fatigue a week or so after (though that is hard to ascertain whether it was the shot or not).

After the second, I had a bit more response, as is typical in the general population. I felt fine for the first 24 hours, then had 24 hours of feeling really bad--pain all over, flu-like, exhaustion--and then maybe a week of slightly worsened fatigue. I thought that was it, though for the next few weeks, I felt "normal" most of the time with one or two days a week when I was crashed (just really tired) for no apparent reason. Given the timing, that could have been the vaccine still, as my immune system adjusted.

My son started out just like me after his second shot: 24 hours of feeling fine, then 24 hours of flu-like symptoms. At that point, just by chance, he had an appointment with his Lyme specialist and got the IV's he always gets there: Myer's cocktail (a standard mix of vitamins and minerals) plus a bag of glutathione. That brought him back to feeling great! On the way to the office, he was wiped out and slept in the back seat, and by the time we left, he felt great and had plenty of energy. And that was it for his post-shot reaction. This is likely because glutathione helps to normalize the immune system, as I discuss in my third vaccine post, Prep for ME/CFS Patients Getting COVID Vaccines.

I hope this post provides YOU with the factual information you need to make your own vaccine decision.

Please share your vaccine experiences and/or your considerations in making the decision about the COVID vaccine in the Comments below.

[My 3rd post in this series about COVID vaccines is Prep for ME/CFS Patients Getting COVID Vaccines, which is also applicable for those with fibro, Lyme disease, EDS, and immune disorders. It features tips and advice on how to prepare ahead of your vaccine, to give your system the best possible chance of a positive outcome.]

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

TV Tuesday: Resident Alien

Are you in need of some seriously goofy fun? Maybe a mystery with some sci fi combined with plenty of laughs? We recently finished season one of the SyFy Channel's new show Resident Alien, and we loved every minute of it.

Alan Tudyk plays an alien whose ship crash-lands in the Colorado mountains. He finds an isolated cabin on a lake and takes on the human form of its occupant, Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle (the real Harry is now dead and stored in the freezer). The alien now known as Harry is hoping to pretend to be human and lay low, while he searches the deep fields of snow in the surrounding area for pieces of his ship. That plan falls apart when the local sheriff, played by Corey Reynolds, and his deputy, played by Elizabeth Bowen, come knocking on the door of his cabin. The town doctor was murdered the night before, and they heard that Harry is a doctor visiting from New York, so they enlist his help in performing an autopsy. Harry (the alien) goes along with this and agrees to help out, mainly because he's been watching a lot of Law and Order reruns in the cabin. As the local law enforcement works to solve the case, the town is left without a doctor and asks Harry to step in. Since he needs to blend in and pretend to be human while he continues his search for his ship, Harry agrees. He begins working closely with Asta Twelvetrees, played by Sara Tomko, who works as a nurse in the clinic. Harry also gets to know Asta's best friend, D'Arcy (played by Alice Wetterlund), who tends bar. The longer Harry is in this quiet mountain town, pretending to be human, the more fascinated he becomes with human beings. There is just one problem: there is a little boy in town named Max, played by Judah Prehn, who sees Harry in his real, alien form.

Describing the plot of this show doesn't do it justice. It sounds just plain silly, and ... well, yes, sometimes it is silly! But that's part of its charm. Alan Tudyk, one of our favorite actors from the excellent Suburgatory, is perfect in this unusual role of an alien trying to learn how to be human. The supporting cast is all wonderful as well. This unique show combines a classic murder mystery with small-town drama and a sci fi alien story. It's very funny, but it can also be suspenseful and warm and surprisingly touching at times, too. I know it sounds like an odd combination, but it's all put together just right for a whole lot of fun. This show was one of about a dozen we were following at once, and it was one of our favorites. We both always looked forward to seeing the next episode and are glad it looks like there will be a season two!

Resident Alien is a SyFy Channel show, so it is available on cable (we watched it On Demand) and probably on satellite, too. It is also available on Hulu and Peacock services or on Amazon for $1.99 an episode or $16.99 for the 10-episode season.