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The Power of Imagination

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A lot of times, I think about how complicated yet simple antibiotics are. They are complicated in their effects on the human body and the ways that they kill bacteria. Yet they are a blunt, simple tool that can kill way more types of bacteria than the targeted infection.

In cases where the infection is not known, this can be a blessing. A single antibiotic can kill any of a variety of likely infections in the time it would take to culture a tissue sample and determine which one is causing the infection. These are life-saving drugs.

On the other hand, sometimes the antibiotic kills lots of the human body’s beneficial bacteria, e.g. in the digestive tract, and doesn’t get rid of the known infection, e.g., Lyme Disease.

What if…

I was talking to my sister last night and she mentioned using fecal transplants to cure people of C. difficile. It is a type of intestinal infection associated with antibiotic use. The infection takes hold because the person’s beneficial bacteria have been killed off and this opportunistic infection takes over.

Then I started to think about how nice it would be if biologists could engineer bacteria that eat spirochetes, even more specifically the genus of Borrelia spirochetes, but not lay waste to human tissue. If these fictional bacteria were similar to macrophages, then when they killed spirochetes by eating them, the human host wouldn’t have to go through a herx reaction. Ideally, the fictional bacteria could penetrate into all the same tissue that Borrelia species can. Then when they eat up the entire infection, they move back to the blood stream to look for more. Once the Borrelia supply is eradicated, the fictional bacteria die and are removed by the body through the normal detoxification channels (spleen, liver, kidneys, etc.), having already digested all the toxins the spirochete produces.

I love this idea. Maybe after Lyme, scientists could engineer other similar types of bacteria that prey upon Babesia and Malaria protozoa, or bacteria like the Bartonella genus, Anaplasma species, Ehrlichia species and Mycoplasma species. This could also be a new route for fighting multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and gonorrhea. The list goes on and on.

I may be having science fiction dreams. But if I’ve learned anything from watching old Star Trek episodes, it’s that reality copies the best technologies that humans can dream up.

Remembering tick bites

I’ve mentioned in several previous posts that the only known tick-bite I had was when I was two years old. That was true until a few days ago. Then I remembered.

The memory was misfiled with pimples and cysts in unpleasant places. I’ve had quite a few of them since I increased the intensity and duration of Bartonella sessions. Since I’ve been thinking about them, I remembered an incident that I believe was in 2001.

I was in the shower. I was washing my pubic hair. I felt a hard lump. I picked at it until I got it off. It was black and the size of a mustard seed. I dropped it and let it wash down the drain. I freaked out. I told myself it was a hardened ingrown hair. It bothered me for a while. I was sure it wasn’t crabs or something of that variety because it was a long time since I’d had sexual contact with anyone and crabs would have appeared much sooner. Plus, it wasn’t itchy or anything.

That’s about all I remember. I assume made no connection between it and the flue I came down with shortly after that. I had enough problems at the time, mostly from coming off psychiatric drugs, which was its own cornucopia of physical problems.

It seems odd, looking back, that I didn’t think of ticks, especially given that I lived in Connecticut. But I always thought that if I found one it would be on my arm or leg, something exposed when I was outside. I used to check my arms and legs if I went into a grassy or woodsy area. But I never did a thorough tick check back then. It wasn’t until all the controversies about Lymerix, the now defunct Lyme Disease “vaccine” that didn’t work and caused “Lyme-like arthritis,” that I learned how to check for ticks.

Anyway, I’m creeped out by the memory. And I’m relieved to know, finally, what it was I found that day in the shower.

Poetry Month Contribution

I’m continuing my contribution to National Poetry Month with another poem about Lyme Disease.

Little Black Dot

under my skin
in a private place
what is this little black dot?

yanked away
discarded and drowned
with the passage of time I forgot

years go by
lyme disease
was there a tick? I think not

paralyzed and afraid
my life put on hold
my body began to rot

mysterious illness
from where did it come?
what was that little black dot?

a petri dish
full of disease
all in that little black dot

overtaking my life
for years and years
my fate was a little black dot

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