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Emboldened

Friday, September 27, 2013

Today I’m reducing the number of supplements I take in an effort to let the Lyme bacteria wake up from their dormant form. It’s a big deal for me. Over the past few weeks, I’ve slowly been reducing the number and dosage of supplements, specifically the ones that have strong antioxidant properties. Now I’m cutting down to the bare bones.

Looking back at the supplements I was taking, it fell into four categories: nutritional assistance, detoxification, sex hormone regulation and bone builders. As I was considering what I could get rid of, each seemed very important. What I’ve decided to do is to reduce or eliminate what I’m taking from each category, with the expectation that I’ll start up what I think I need when I stop getting Lyme herxes on this reduced plan.

What I got rid of

I got rid of all the antioxidants, which means almost everything from the detoxification category: vitamin C, vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid, N-acetyl cysteine, sulforaphane glucosinolate. I kept the milk thistle extract and the Renavive, so that my liver and kidneys would have support in cleaning out the toxins that come from the Lyme and Bartonella herxes.

I got rid of the entire category of bone builders. This was a tricky one for me since I continue to be very concerned about the bone loss I’ve sustained through this illness. I was able to put some minerals back into my bones over the past year and a half of increased movement and some exercise as well as using a variety of supplements. But these supplements, such as magnesium and vitamin D, are tricky because they have a pretty strong effect on the immune system. I have lots of these pills left. For sure I will start taking them again some time in the next few months.

I got rid of the multivitamin, which has lots of antioxidants in it.

What I kept

At this point, I’m down to six different supplements (alright, that seems like a lot), totaling twelve pills a day. Here they are:

  • Detox: milk thistle (for my liver) and Renavive (for my kidneys)
  • Nutrition: digestive enzymes (because I need to absorb everything I eat) and probiotic foods
  • Sex Hormone Regulators: DIM and Vitex (because I don’t want to add menstrual problems while the Lyme is flaring)
  • Heart: co-enzyme Q-10 (new category, added because I’ve been having a lot of heart symptoms with the Lyme flare)

Lyme Flare and Herxing

Even though I’m only beginning the full supplement reduction today, the interim reductions are already having their effects. My joints are popping. My muscles are achy and tense. I’ve been getting headaches and some light and sound sensitivity. My vision is off (in focus, but I see my nose and the 3-D aspect seems flat) and I’ve got tons of floaters. I’m more tired and sleeping longer than I was only two weeks ago. My head feels fuzzy. My intestines seem somewhat inflamed and more sensitive, causing tenderness in my abodmen. My heart palpitates intermittently and I have chest pain. My hips are starting to hurt and get stiff.  And I’m feeling more fragile emotionally.

I would say that cutting down on the supplements is having an effect.

Meanwhile, I took a peak at what I found to be my Lyme Herx Sequence, from when I first started coiling. (I’m so glad I made those records because they help me solve the same mysteries over and over!) I seem to be skipping some of the steps I originally recorded. No diarrhea. The join pain is moderate or mild. But I’ve got the headaches, the insomnia, the strange dreams, the fatigue with listlessness, the odd skin sensations and the temperature dysregulation. So I know I’m herxing, it just doesn’t seem as dramatic as it used to.

I’ll do a full coil on Lyme tomorrow. With any luck, the Lyme symptoms will die down and the herx will be the main source of discomfort, at least for a few days.

Bartonella

I didn’t realize it when I came up with the protocol for coiling for Bartonella with only one coil, but coiling for 5 to 6 minutes in a row on my head and spine is more dramatic than coiling 3 to 4 minutes on each twice a day. So I’ve been herxing from coiling for Bartonella.

The Bartonella herxes have followed the familiar sequence. Originally, I had severe headaches, insomnia and kidney pain. As that died down, I started getting constipated. Now the rest of my digestive tract is in on the action: heartburn, difficulty swallowing, abdominal swelling. The difficulty swallowing also feels like there is something perpetually stuck in my throat. (This turns out to be a good incentive to cut down on the number of pills I have to swallow!) My neck, upper back and shoulders are tight. I have an earache on both sides with random pulsing sounds in my eardrums. My hands joints are stiff. I have episodes of feeling hopeless about getting better and feeling like I haven’t earned my place on the planet. My typing is difficult, with more mistakes than usual.

10 Days

Just about 10 days ago, I was worried that the progress I’ve seen and the wellness I was experiencing might turn out to be fleeting. Today, I feel much worse, but for the most part, I feel like I’m up to the challenge. I’ve been talking myself through the hard times ahead, the increased symptoms and the lost days to come. But I keep looking back and realizing that each time I’ve challenged my body to face these infections, I’ve come out ahead. The more I let go of all the crutches of wellness and instead focus on getting rid of the infections, the better I end up feeling.

Hopefully, 10 days from now, I’ll be through the worst of this round. Even if I’m dealing with the ugly parts of healing, I’m still healing.

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