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Bartonella Build-up

Monday, July 1, 2013

Although I’d rather be writing about intestinal microbes, the last week and a half have been hard as I’ve been coiling for Bartonella daily and feeling the toxin load build up. So instead of blogging as I’d like, I’ve been plagued by symptoms again, resulting in a lack of focus and a lot of emotional stress. I did two other significant things towards healing my body: a rolfing session and daily consumption of fermented cabbage.

Bartonella

From June 17 to June 25, I did the Lyme & Bartonella waltz, with three coiling sessions of Bartonella for two days, and on the third day, two Bartonella sessions plus a full Lyme body scan. It’s a lot of coiling.

At this point, it seems that I’m not having much of a herx from the Lyme coiling. I don’t feel much in the way of symptoms, at least that aren’t explainable by other means. I’ve been tired since I came back from Yosemite, as I probably should be since I used up all my reserves having a slow adventure there. And I’ve had some joint aches which are possibly attributable to the food I’ve been consuming. I had wheat my last day in Yosemite which usually gives me at least 3-4 days of joint pain. Then I cheated again with gluten free cookies that have potato starch (another no-no for me) after the first round of joint pain was gone. Add to those foods that I’ve been eating somewhat more fruit and I’m messing with my intestinal flora, and I guess joint aches are not a huge surprise.

In any case, today I coiled for Lyme. Barring any other obvious herx related symptoms, the plan is to stop coiling for Lyme for the rest of July and pick it up again in the second half of August. (And in the meantime, start testing out frequencies for other possible infections.)

Coiling for Bartonella has definitely caused my body to react. Some of the symptoms are very familiar: nightmares for a few nights, light night sweats, tingling and buzzing sensations in my limbs, hot spots on my skin that don’t feel warm to the touch, come-and-go headaches, constipation, back pain, numbness and pain in my limbs when I wake up in the morning. In other words, I’ve got all my classic Bartonella herx symptoms.

I’ve got a new one that I mentioned last week: a twitch in my right lower eyelid. It’s still driving me nuts. It’s like having someone tap erratically on the side of my eyeball. I’m pretty sure it is from Bartonella and I’m guessing it is an irritated nerve. Twice when I coiled the right side of  my head and it wasn’t twitching before I started, it began to twitch and proceeded to vesiculate uncontrollably for four minutes. When I finished coiling, it relaxed and stayed relaxed for several hours. Another day when it was twitching a lot, it stopped a few seconds after I started coiling and stayed relaxed for an hour or so. The reason I think it is an irritated nerve is that I have mild ear pain on the right side of my head, and an barely noticeable ache down the whole right side of my body. In fact, it bothers me only when I rest (or think about it and pay attention to how my body feels).

The next level of annoyance with Bartonella is the emotional rollercoaster. I had another episode of hopelessness and crying, feeling like I’m never going to get better. I get angry at myself and the world. I wonder if I’m going to be stuck with these illnesses for the rest of my life. I have no perspective during these episodes. The fact that my body has improved so remarkably over any six month period since I started coiling was not something I could acknowledge at the time. Beyond the episode itself, I’ve been feeling restless, unable to concentrate and wanting to find something else to do with myself, no matter what I’m doing. I’m back to having a huge list of things I want to do and unable to get to any of them. That’s Bartonella.

Sleep has flipped from insomnia to needing to sleep all the time. Long nights of 10-11 hours of sleep. Then days when I need to nap. I suspect my body is still recovering from traveling to visit my sister’s family immediately followed by a trip to Yosemite. But I have a suspicion that once I get past a certain point of Bartonella infection load, I’ll stop having insomnia and instead sleep a lot until I get to the end of the infection.

There is a third possibility why I’m sleeping so much, that some other infection is becoming active. This summer I hope to test a few frequencies and see if any of them cause a reaction. Not today, but on the list of priorities.

To combat the build-up of Bartonella toxins, I’ve increased some of the pills I take for detoxification purposes. I’m back to two pills a day of milk thistle totalling 300mg (after going down to one a day during the period that I wasn’t coiling) and a Renavive pill three times a day (after going down to once a day during the period that I wasn’t coiling). The milk thistle helps with liver detoxification and the Renavive with kidney detoxification.  I started these yesterday.

For three days I only coiled once a day for Bartonella because I felt so overloaded/toxic. By the third morning, my intestines were no longer constipated. As I went back up to the full coiling protocol, my intestines are slowing down again and the rest of the symptoms are coming back.

Rolfing

I went to my seventh Rolfing session on Tuesday. There is a standard Basic Ten Series that people normally do over a six month period. That is way more than my body could handle, so I’ve only been going every 6-8 weeks. The seventh session focuses on the head and neck, which translates to a lot of manipulation of the occipital region of my head as well as the back of my neck.

This was kind of a tough love experience. That area of my head is where the headaches come from. Usually there is pretty significant tension in the muscles that hold my head up at the base of my skull. When I get headaches, my husband pushes on them until they start to yield. It hurts like crazy, but then the rest of the knots in my skull begin to unwind.

For a few days after the rolfing session, the area was very painful and even a little puffy. I started getting night sweats the night of the massage, specifically in the area that was worked. Since then, the pain has gone away. My head feels lighter. The tension in my neck and shoulders is much less. But it feels like the rolfing session got more blood flow to the area resulting in more Bartonella symptoms, specifically extra tingling, pait and numbness in my arms.

Probiotic Feast

As mentioned above, I’ve started eating fermented cabbage that I get from the farmer’s market. It’s been a funny experience. I’m taking it in addition to the regular probiotic pills, yogurt and kombucha. In other words, I’m doing my best to alter the microbial make up of my intestines so that it contains lots of the bacteria I need and can ward off anything that doesn’t belong there.

I’ve taken quite a few probiotics over the past decade. The one that stands out the most is VSL#3, a pharmaceutical grade probiotic. It causes a lot of stinky gas. I suspect that happens as the new bacteria battle it out with the ones already in the large intestines, each trying to establish and maintain a foothold in intestinal environment. Fermented cabbage is causing the same kind of battle (and resulting gas!).

Interestingly, until yesterday, the swelling in my abdomen had gone down by about half. It was still a bit large and firm in a way that I associate with swelling, but about half the size, and no longer distended. This morning, I started blowing up again. I’m starting to wonder if it is from the fluctuations of my menstrual cycle, as I’m a week out from my period and other PMS symptoms have begun.

While I’m on the subject, I’ve read that the make up of intestinal microbe species can have an influence not only on nutritional absorption and immune system function, but on the hormonal balance in a person’s body. Thus I have even more reason to try to get my intestinal microbe colonies into a healthy balance of their own. I’ve stopped Metformin, so I’m looking for ways to naturally balance how my hormones work in its absence.

Finally, one advantage of using fermented cabbage is that it is likely to contain a large diversity of probiotic species. As nice as it seems to have a well defined list of bacterial or fungal species in a pill, it turns out that a greater diversity of species leads to a more robust intestinal environment. So I don’t know exactly what is in there, but I’m pretty sure it can help me on the road to health.

Good Stuff

I was feeling pretty good yesterday. I went to an Oakland A’s baseball game. I really got into the game, cheering and clapping, and generally having a good time. The A’s won in a hard fought, exciting game.

A day at the ballpark.

A day at the ballpark.

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