I bought a BioMat. I though I would do my taxes today, but instead I spent a lot of money. I’ve been looking at IR saunas. They are supposed to be miraculous at getting a person to sweat out toxins. The problems, from my perspective, are price, space for an upright, having to sit upright in an upright, space for a dome to lie under, feeling claustrophobic in either one, and my head getting overheated in an upright.
Along comes a recommendation for the BioMat. It generates the same level of IR radiation and can make a person work up the same sweat. So far so good. It meets the basic purpose in procuring an IR device. The benefits, from my perspective, are I can lie on it in an open room either on my bed or couch, it has a special pillow to prevent the head from overheating, it has a low setting that doesn’t work up a sweat but can be used to reduce inflammation and pain, my cat can sit on it in the low setting with me if he thinks it makes him feel good, too, and if I put it on the low setting for a long time, I can watch a movie simultaneously. So it does what I need without the problems and has a few added bonuses.
Someone told me to make sure it doesn’t have any components that off-gas when heated. Why poison yourself when your pores are open? So I called a distributor who says that the official literature says it doesn’t. That’s why so many cancer patients and survivors use it. It’s also an FDA approved medical device. Somehow that makes me feel a little better about it.
So I dropped a chunk of cash on a gut feeling that this is exactly what I need next.
Lyme as a disease of Toxicity
In the meantime, I’ve been mulling over all the information I’ve gathered over the past 3 years of living with and learning about how to heal from Lyme disease and additional tick-borne illnesses.
It starts with something my doctor said when he diagnosed me, something along the lines of, detoxing is very important. It was on his checklist of treatments necessary to combat Lyme. There were three major categories on it (but not listed quite this way)
- Kill the bacteria (antibiotics, etc.)
- Rebuild your immune and other body systems
- Detoxify your body, especially as the bacteria die off
I was most interested in the “Kill the bacteria” category. That seemed like the key, based on what I read initially and in the subsequent months. There were public fights about access to antibiotics focused on doctors who would or wouldn’t prescribed them and insurance companies who didn’t want to pay for them.
I thought, if I can kill off those little buggers, my life will return to normal.
Somehow, I haven’t managed to kill enough of them, or keep the survivors from reproducing too quickly, to get well and stay well.
Meanwhile, over the past six months or so, I’ve spoken to a lot more chronic Lyme disease fighters. They take breaks from antibiotics to do detox regimens or to power up on nutrients and rebuild their immune systems. Then they go at it again. Some are even able to work full time. I’m amazed. I’m also looking back at my journey from a different perspective.
I had to stop antibiotics after about a year because my digestive tract was so torn up. It took a good six or eight months during which I used herbal concoctions to keep the bacteria at bay (not reproducing, but not dying off in any significant numbers) while I tried to glue myself back together.
Then there was the colonics argument with my doctor, which went on for five months, where he said I needed to do them, and I said I wanted alternatives. None of the alternatives panned out. When I finally did colonics for a few weeks, I stopped needing to use a cane all the time. (My gait wasn’t normal, but my no longer hip gave out unexpectedly and I stopped tipping over.)
This autumn, I did one colonic in the midst of the Rocephin treatment. My side effects and herxing symptoms disappeared for a week and returned slowly. Clearly detoxing helps.
Dr. M. has been telling me for almost 3 years to put myself in an IR sauna several times a week until I can manage it everyday. Until now, I’ve kept telling him I’ll take a hot bath with Epsom salt and Dead Sea salt over a sauna any day of the week. But then I go through periods of no baths. And I get more toxic. And I feel worse. (And I hate it, but he’s got a good track record when it comes to being right when we disagree.)
I was reminded of this in the tub today. When I got in, I was ready to amputate all four limbs because they hurt so much. By the time I got out, I felt like a person again. I still had pain, but the bath seriously turned down the volume on it.
This brings me back to the three treatment categories. If I understood then what I know now, I probably would have taken seriously all his detox protocols and suggestions. I think I might have gotten past the worst part much sooner and continued the other two steps without quite so many intensely agonizing symptoms and side effects.
Now, if I meet anyone with Lyme, I will tell them: detox, detox, detox, then get yourself something to kill the bacteria and make sure you are getting enough of the right nutrients. Detoxing won’t get rid of Lyme. It will make the process bearable.
I’m not beating myself up for not understanding this sooner. Besides the fact that Lyme causes fuzzy thinking, almost all the mainstream pro-Lyme literature is about antibiotic and herbal antibiotic treatments. Even the first two layers removed from the mainstream focus on how to kill the bacteria (you know, like the coil machine!). So it only took me 3 years of experience, observations, and talking to other patients to figure this out for myself.
And what I’ve finally come to understand is that what makes Lyme patients feel so sick are all the toxic chemicals that borrelia bacteria produce when they are alive and active as well as what they eject when they die. If I can minimize the toxins in my body as I kill off the bacteria, I can have a life again.
Today’s coiling session went like this:
- Lyme on the major joints (hips, shoulders, knees), 1 minute on each location.
- Babesia on the hands and forearms, 1 minute.
- Bartonella on the abdomen 2 minutes, and for 1.5 of those minutes also on the feet.
- Candida on the abdomen, 5 minutes.
I was poking around the Consolidated Annotated Frequency List, and I found some detoxification frequencies. I may add those to see what happens.
First of all, last night, I ended up taking a Colestid. Given my pain level this morning, I was grateful to have made that decision. I don’t want to imagine how much worse it could have been.
Today, there were the regulars: homeopathic drops, kombucha, juiced greens, lots of water and skin brushing.
I managed to go for a walk in the high winds. It was like resistance training to walk into the stronger gusts. A little exercise is always in order. (Well, except on the days when my body is completely out of order!)
I took a hot bath. It was amazing. Unlike last time, I didn’t yearn to get out. Instead, I yearned to stay in beyond the designated time. I had to remind myself that if I stay in longer, I’ll reabsorb the toxins I just got rid of. Still, the heat felt so good.
The hot bath felt good because yesterday, right around the time I got super-tired, I got cold. My hands and feet felt icy all night and into the morning. No night sweat last night. In fact I ended up putting on an extra layer of pajamas because I was so cold.
Once I fell asleep, I slept for more than 10 hours.
When I woke up, my arms and legs were in awful pain. My pinky and ring finger on the right hand were asleep. When they woke up, the pins and needles were more intense than I prefer. I dropped the phone when I went to pick it up. I was dropping things all morning…until the bath, now that I think about it.
The spot in my left hip still hurts, but only when I touch it. My left shoulder is out of whack and hurts when it pops. I need to keep popping it because it hurts worse when I don’t. My left arm still hurts. Typing isn’t helping. And I still have joint pain in my knuckles and wrists.
I’ve had a mild headache most of the day, but not enough to prevent me from concentrating. My jaw keeps popping on the left side. And after a rejuvenating bath, I’ve found myself very tired (with the heavy eyelids and itchy eyes) again by 8pm.
My low back and back ribs have been aching a bit all day, not too badly though. Fortunately, the muscle pain from yoga is gone in time for me to go to another class tomorrow.
Walking with Mom and chatting it up with her afterwards was so nice. We were talking about how bad I was the first year when I had no diagnosis and was seeing so many doctors. Looking back, it is almost funny. Enough for a chuckle. I’m not far enough out of the woods to have a belly-laugh over it.
I saw my acupuncturist today, not for a treatment, just for a social visit. She stopped by on her way home from Manhattan. Her parking fairy found her a spot right away. We got to hang for about a half hour.
I made a decision about the BioMat. I found one on eBay. Brand new (unopened box). I think it’s last year’s model, but with shipping included it $300 less than this year’s model. I feel like I got a good deal. And it should arrive on Friday or thereabouts. I can’t wait to start using it.