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Precarious Progress

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Over the past few weeks, while I was away from home and coiling, as well as when I returned, I discovered that my energy level has increased to almost normal levels. Almost. I have my hours of needing to sit still and be quiet while unable to focus on anything. But compared even to the beginning of August, my current energy level seems almost miraculous.

Since I began coiling in February 2011, I’ve had periods of time when I felt better, only to relapse shortly thereafter. January 2012 and January 2013 come to mind. They were moments when both Lyme and Babesia were not active in my body. Then the spring flare comes at the end of January, and I’m back to dealing with Lyme. Okay. I can accept that the flares and relapses are part of the process.

I’ve also had good weeks. Weeks where I start things and make plans and try to finish old projects. I love those weeks. Then I have a bad day. Then another bad day. And soon enough, I feel pretty bad again. I’m back to focusing on coiling and detoxing, without energy or attention for more interesting things. I don’t resent these times. I do believe that both the good weeks and the renewed herxes represent progress. The overall trend has been better strength and stamina, and fewer, milder symptoms.

The cycles take a toll on me. I’m having what seems unheard of, fewer symptoms at a time when I normally have my autumn Lyme flare. It’s bizarre. On one hand, I want to take advantage of it and do lots of things…which is exactly what I did this weekend when I went to the Santa Cruz County Fair on Saturday and kayaking for an hour and a half on Sunday. I knew I was overdoing it. And I reveled in the joy of being out in the world and physically active.

I’m paying for it yesterday and today. The price is less than expected. Which brings me back to a thought that keeps recurring: Maybe I really will get completely healthy. It seems like bad luck to think it, let alone write it. I don’t want to jinx myself.

On the other hand, I am afraid to make any commitments. I am afraid to make any plans more than a few days in advance. I don’t know how I will feel and if I can keep this up. I am afraid that as soon as I raise my expectations for my daily life, something will hit really hard again. A return of Babesia, perhaps, or an increase in Bartonella herx symptoms, like I felt in August, or the Lyme will come back more than I’m planning for it to. I don’t know.

I’m trying to take a lesson from my Aunt Rose. She is in her late 90s and has pretty significant short term memory loss. But when she does something, she has a ball. My mother and I brought her lemon Italian ice. I put some in a cup for her. She devoured it with gusto, oblivious to everything in the room, including my presence at her side. When my mother returned from putting the remainder in the freezer, she saw Aunt Rose with the empty cup in front of her. Mom asked, “Did you enjoy the ice?” Aunt Rose looked at my mother and said, “I like lemon ice. Did you bring me some?”

The moral is the story is that she can live in the moment, fully enjoy it, and remain oblivious in each moment of what has happened before as well as what is to come. So can I.

When it comes to my health, I recognize the progress. But I can’t yet count on it. I’m doing my best to take it one day at a time, to enjoy the present day like Aunt Rose, and keep treating the infections. Hopefully at some point in the future, I can trust my body again.

Bartonella with One Coil

As I mentioned in my previous post, I busted one of my two coils. I’m focused on Bartonella and using only one coil. I came up with a temporary protocol. As usual, it emphasizes my head and spinal column as well as my abdomen and my blood stream. I’m ignoring the rest of my body for now, because most of the Bartonella symptoms are neurological or digestive. So those the key areas are my central nervous system and my digestive tract. I coil organs that have high blood flow to catch any Bartonella bacteria that are transporting themselves around my body.

I’m limited to 20 minutes of coiling at a time so I don’t overheat the coil. I’m coiling three times a day because doing it a fourth time every day cuts up the day too much.

Bartonella One Coil Protocol

832Hz

Morning (20 minutes)

  • Each side of head – 5 minutes
  • Liver – 5 minutes
  • Spleen – 5 minutes

Midday (18 minutes)

  • Spine: upper, middle, lower – 6 minutes each

Night (20 minutes)

  • Head: top, back – 5 minutes each
  • Chest – 5 minutes
  • Abdomen – 5 minutes

This much coiling is giving me an obvious herx. The first two nights, I had pretty severe headaches. The headaches have since decreased in intensity but come and go throughout the day. I’ve had night heats or light night sweats every night since I started this protocol on Friday. As of yesterday, the butt acne has returned. As of today, the constipation is back. The past few days, muscular tension in my neck, shoulders and upper back has been building, turning the area into a nautical knots display. My urine has the characteristic Bartonella smell and it turns to a day-glow color a few hours after I coil. To top it off, I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster: happy and relaxed one minute, bursting into inexplicable tears the next. This is my classical Bartonella herx.

I was having kidney pain during the last few days before I came home. I thought of it as back pain, but when I took the time to pay attention to my body, I realized it felt like kidney pain. I assumed it was because I took a break from Renavive on my trip, thinking that if I wasn’t coiling, I didn’t need to detox so much. I realize now that it takes a while to detox from Bartonella herxes, and I wasn’t doing myself any favors by not keeping my kidneys clear. I went back to my full dose of Renavive (1 pill three times a day) on Saturday. An hour or two after the second dose, my back pain cleared up.

But it came back with continued coiling. As I coil daily, the kidney pain is getting worse. I’m still taking three Renavive pills a day, but I can feel the pain most of the day. I’ve increase the amount of water I’m drinking yesterday and today. Hopefully this symptom will peter out after a week or two. In the past, the kidney pain is worst when I bump up my coiling protocol, then it slowly diminishes. I just hope it doesn’t take too long this time.

Waking Lyme

Since I had no noticeable herx when I coiled for Lyme last Thursday, I think it is time to take the next step in reducing the things that prop up my immune system. Primarily this means reducing the dosage of the supplements I take.

On Saturday, I implemented the following reductions:

  • Alpha-lipoic Acid – an antioxidant, reduced from 100mg 2 times per day to 100mg 1 time per day. (I may stop taking this altogether.)
  • Magnesium – reduced from 200mg 2 times per day to 200mg 1 time per day. (I won’t stop this completely because it is part of my bone building program.)
  • Vitamin C – an antioxidant and immune system booster, reduced from 1000mg 3 times per day to 1000mg 2 times per day. (I used to take up to 6000mg over the course of the day, eventually I plan to get rid of it altogether.)

Already I can see a difference. I’m having more floaters in my eyes today. The joints in my hands started to ache today (knuckles, wrists), as did my left hip and both shoulders. My jaw started popping.

I won’t do a Lyme coiling session until next week when the new coil arrives. Despite the fact that it is uncomfortable, I think it makes sense to wait anyway. That way I’ll be able to tell if the reduction in supplements is allowing the Lyme to come out of cyst form in enough numbers to give me a noticeable herx.

The last thought on this is for January. I’m hoping to get rid of all the supplements, except for the bone building supplements, the sex hormone regulators, and possibly the detox supplements, in time for the spring flare. I’d like to be killing whatever Lyme bacteria come out in the absence of all the ways I prop up my body.

If when the spring flare Lyme herxes stop, I’ve also stopped getting Bartonella herxes, I’ll try serrazimes. These are enzymes that are reported to break up biofilms. Then I’ll see if I continue to get herxes and kill whatever bacteria appear. That’s the current plan, anyway.

Breaking my own rules

One of my guidelines for myself is to avoid using supplements and other things that suppress herx or flare symptoms. My belief is that these things also suppress the bacteria as well as make it more difficult to figure out what is going on in my body.

That said, I’m obviously a big believer in detoxing. I think the best thing is to let the symptoms come, record and analyze them, then clear them out as quickly as possible.

Right now, I’m testing Egyptian Magic. It is a skin cream made of natural oils and bee products. It is supposed to help with all sorts of skin problems, including acne. I’ve decided to use it on my butt. I already know that Bartonella herxes give me acne there, so I don’t need to measure it so much anymore. Honestly, pimples down there get big and angry and painful. When the most recent outbreak started, I said, “Basta!” (Enough! in Italian), and decided to give it a try. After only one application, some of the newer pimples have gone down. They aren’t gone completely, but they stopped hurting.

I’m also using it for the various ingrown hairs on my legs and (of all places!) my neck. I’m hoping it reduces the redness and helps these tender areas heal more quickly.

(I’m not writing about this as an advertisement. I’m recording it so that in two months, when I try to figure out when I started using it, I can look back and here it is.)

Probiotics, revisited

While I was traveling, I didn’t have any of my yummy cultured cabbage. My digestion survived by drinking kombucha, eating goat milk yogurt and taking 3LAC pills. But it didn’t thrive the way it does when I take cabbage daily with a big serving of vegetables.

So I’m back to the daily cabbage. It is giving me the kind of gas I had when I first started eating it, only not quite so much. I picked it up at the farmers market on Saturday and have been eating since then. I suspect my digestion will calm down by the end of the week.

I did some further exploring while I was at the farmers market and found raw milk. One of my doctors said that when my gut was in better shape, if I want to eat cow dairy again, I should start with raw cow milk. I’ve read all the pros and cons. It seems that if a person has a pretty healthy intestinal microbiota, that cows milk doesn’t pose too much danger of giving the person a pathogenic bacterial infection. But if the intestinal microbiota is very weak, that there is more danger. That said, raw milk has some amount of probiotic bacteria living in it. So I want to try some.

Sometime in the next week or two, once the gas from the fermented cabbage settles down, the plan is to buy a half gallon of raw milk. I’ll drink what I can manage and share the rest with my husband. I’m not sure what kind of difference it will make or how long it will take to see the difference. But some possibilities include better digestion of: milk products, corn, and wheat; the latter two cows tend to eat.

When I take the plunge, I’ll post the results.

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