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Don’t feed the beasts

Sunday, April 3, 2011

If you’ve been following along for a few days, you’ll know that I have a pretty extensive list of foods I don’t eat, and won’t until I’m infection free. Prior to the Lyme saga, I was a vegetarian and had been for 8 years. I stopped eating meat (as in mammals) because it made me feel sick. Then I got tired of chicken. Then there was a big scare about water pollution, and seafood was no longer welcome on my plate.

Let’s just say that when dairy and eggs were off limits, I started to panic.

That wasn’t enough of a problem. You see, my doctor asked me to stop eating grains and fruit and soy. (Breathe, Rose…even the memory is a heart stopper.) The reason for the grains and fruit prohibition was yeast. He knew I would be on antibiotics for a long time. Yeast and other microorganisms (like the Lyme and Bartonella bacteria and the Babesia protozoa) are much better at consuming sugars and starches than human bodies are. So any time I ate sugars, including naturally occurring fructose, I was feeding the bad guys much more than I was helping myself. The same was true for the readily available, easily digestible starches in grains.

Initially I opted for whole grains and skipped out on the fruit. It made some difference. Then the systemic yeast infection got out of control. I didn’t know that’s what it was, but when I told my symptoms to my doctor, he put me on an anti-fungal drug and told me to lay off the grains.

I believe I rolled my eyes. It took months to convince me to stop eating grains. I reduced my grain consumption to twice a week, less than a full serving (as listed on the package) each time. Still the yeast wouldn’t go away.

Eventually I took the plunge. I went off grains completely. No immediate difference. Then a slow amelioration of my joint pain, almost unnoticeable because it was in such small increments. I didn’t associate it with the absence of grains. It was one of those times I cheated that I realized what a difference it made not to eat them.

I had whole wheat pasta on one occasion, brown rice on another. The following morning, my joints, all of them–and you don’t realize just how many you have until they all hurt at once–were in terrible pain. I had muscle aches. I generally felt worse. I had a headache. My intestines were inflamed, along with my abdomen. I didn’t want to get out of bed. It was like all the microbes in my body had a bachelor party in Vegas, and I had the hangover for all of them.

Let’s just say I’ve done this many times. I learn my lesson, then I want so badly to be able to eat real food, and I think it won’t be so bad this time. Truth be told, it was less severe when I was on both antibiotics and anti-fungals. And it was worse at the beginning when my infection load was higher.

Recently, since I started coiling and have stopped both antibiotics and anti-fungal drugs, I’ve reintroduced apples. They have a high fiber to sugar ratio, slowing down the digestion of sugar, not causing a blood sugar spike to feed the beasts outside my digestive tract. I always add lots of peanut butter, which slows down the sugar processing even more and evens out my blood sugar. These days half an apple with the skin on agrees with me.

I tried brown rice. It seems okay in rather small quantities as part of a high fat, high protein meal (like stir fried tofu and veggies). I also tried long grain wild rice. I can tolerate that a little better than brown rice, but I still make sure I eat it with lots of protein and fat (like TVP, veggies and olive oil). My final foray in this category has been soba noodles (the wheat-free kind) in a soup chock full of veggies, seaweed and tofu. This has been more problematic, but still in the tolerable range. So I indulge maybe once a month.

I anxiously await the day when I can have a meal at a Thai food restaurant that includes noodles or sticky rice and not have to worry about the morning after

(See also my previous posts on food allergens, allergic reactions, the egg problem, and nut skins.)

Coiling

Somehow, last night’s Lyme coiling session wasn’t so bad. I’m going to try again on Monday or Wednesday, adding 15 more seconds. Tonight is the Bartonella/Babesia part of the rotation.

  • Bartonella, abdomen, 4 minutes 15 seconds
  • Babesia, chest, 1 minute
  • Candida, abdomen, 10 minutes

I had the usual reaction to Babesia coiling: chest constriction, lump in my throat and a newly realized reaction I’ve been having for a while but didn’t see the connection, one of the vertebra in my upper back started hurting 5 minutes after I coiled. This is the same one that was behind me starting in on Babesia so soon in my coiling project.

Detox

My observations of the BioMat have not been very systematic. I’m still in an exploratory phase. I have a feeling that I’ll get into more of a groove at some point, but these days, I’m just enamored with how much I relax and how much my pain level decreases when I use it for a good chunk of time. It would be a very expensive piece of equipment if all I got was pain reduction. I’ve had some good sweats when I wanted them. I’ve also had deeper, more restful sleep since I started spending the first half or so of the night on it.

I wish I’d found the BioMat the first year, long before I knew I had Lyme. I can’t imagine I would have thought it was worth the money, but I bet my mother would have talked me into buying it. By now it would have paid itself off in reduced symptoms.

For other Lyme patients, I can’t suggest the BioMat has a curative effect because it hasn’t had one on me. The other benefits, while definitely noticeable and wonderful, don’t get me to the root of my infections. Instead, it makes life tolerable while I do everything else.

  • homeopathic support
  • kombucha
  • juiced greens
  • skin brushing
  • BioMat/infrared heat (4 hours sleeping on level 2, 90 minutes awake on level 4)
  • castor oil pack on abdomen

Body

As mentioned earlier, I haven’t gotten a big Herx from the last coiling session. I’m simultaneously grateful and curious. I’d rather coil more often and have small Herxes, assuming that’s equally effective, than coil infrequently and knock myself out. I just don’t know if it’s working if I’m not Herxing.

I did have an immediate reaction last night in my chest, and it was hard to settle down to sleep. I found myself extremely tired today. I’m not sure if I can attribute that completely to a Herx since I had a long week with more activity than I’m used to, and my period started. So it’s a toss up. It was the first time in several weeks that I found myself in bed for several hours during the day. I felt a Herx type headache coming on tonight, top of the head sharp pain and eye pain adding in shortly after that. Still, not too bad.

I had one night sweat (shirt-changer) last night, but I was dry when I woke up.

Today, I had cramps and spent an hour lying down with a heating pad (not the BioMat). If this was all the suffering my period generated for the rest of my life, I would be satisfied.

My other few symptoms have been: neck/shoulder pain, pain in the left hip/upper thigh area, some knee and foot pain, some floaters in my vision, hypersensitive peripheral vision, earaches in both ears (the right side started last night after coiling, the left side started yesterday with the jaw pain), and continued tension in my jaw.

Harry Potter

In lieu of the Good Stuff category, I want to mention Harry Potter. I watched the second half of year 5, The Order of the Phoenix, with my dad tonight. It makes me cry. Neville makes me cry. Sirius’ death makes me cry. Hermione telling Harry they’re all in it together makes me cry.

Well, maybe not cry, but I get teary and choked up. I think it’s because the characters suffer so much loss and still choose not to go it alone. They keep finding out that they can lean on each other (and on many good adult allies along the way). The best way to get me crying is to tell me about people sticking up for each other. Any time love trumps power or cynicism, I feel like we all win. I love the Harry Potter series for demonstrating that over and over.

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