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Disarmed

Friday, February 13, 2015

Coiling progress is such a strange concept. The better I do at it, the worse I feel. Until I feel better and make it worse all over again.

I can’t quite believe that I’ve left behind my winter honeymoon. I feel worse. In some ways, it’s as simple as that. In other ways, it is the returning nightmare that makes me wonder if I’ll ever get to the end. I’ve had a good run for six weeks. I’ve been writing more (working on a novel) and going outside more. But this past week, these things are starting to slow down. I never feel like cooking. I have to force myself to go out. And I’ve started to have pain in my arms. It is the Bartonella pain that has kept me off the computer in flares past, wrist pain, elbow pain, muscle pain in my forearms, upper arms and around my shoulders, an ache in my shoulders, neck, back of head and upper back. I can’t even knit right now. I’m forcing myself to use the computer, despite the pain, because I need to record all this.

Shortly after my tick-bite in 2001, I had severe joint pain in my wrists that went up my arm and into my neck. When I saw a doctor about it, my diagnosis was “atypical carpel tunnel syndrome.” It was nonsense. There was no swelling in my wrists. I got to the point where I couldn’t type at work, walked out of the office and wandered around in tears. I passed a storefront where an acupuncturist worked. He got me out of wrist braces, and frankly, I believe, slowed the progress of the infections.

Years later, when I got diagnosed with Lyme, I thought that the wrist problem had to be Lyme. It didn’t occur to me that it might be one of the other tick-borne infections I’d picked up. Now, I think it might have been Bartonella. The Bartonella is really active again since I started coiling for it daily, and with each coiling session, my arms get worse. (Progress.) This is why I think Bartonella.

Meanwhile, my Lyme flare doesn’t quite seem to be over. I’m coiling every 4 days for Lyme. I’m herxing a little (more below). Could it be that the Lyme is contributing to the wrist problem? Not sure. But I suspect that when the other Lyme flare/herx symptoms are gone in the next few weeks, I’ll have a better answer.

Lyme Flare

I want to blame it on the weather. No rain in January. Rain in February. Then it’s over 80ºF for multiple days in a row. Winter this year is not a typical one. I feel like the dormant Lyme is slowly waking up this year. Instead of three days of feeling like I got hit by a truck, I got a few symptoms that went away with two coiling sessions. Then a week and a half later, a few more symptoms. This time, I have a dull ache on the right side of my body, floaters in my vision, and occasional odd neurological sensations: a pin prick in a tiny spot on the sole of one foot for 15 minutes, the feeling of something crawling on my toe or abdomen (nothing there) for a few minutes, etc. The herx comprises urgent bowels, popping in my joints, Lyme-smelling urine and temperature regulation issues (always too hot or too cold).

The flare seems to be coming on slowly. Very slowly. I may have to keep up the Lyme coiling for quite a while if the cysts keep waking up in waves. I’d like to see this as a good sign, that the cysts keep waking up, but I’m not exactly sure why it’s happening.

A theory popped into my head right after I wrote that. I finished the Chinese herbs. Those may have given my immune system a bit of a boost. If my immune system is now dealing with a dip from withdrawing the herbs, that might allow the Lyme cysts to wake up. I can’t test this hypothesis, but it is a possible explanation.

Bartonella Coiling Progress

Coiling for Bartonella this time around is different. Some things are familiar, like arm and leg pain (and tingling and not being able to get comfortable). Some things are new, like a pain on the right side of my head when I coil the area (that doesn’t go away when I stop). Some things are missing, like kidney pain.

The absence kidney pain, in particular, has been a blessing. Kidney pain has been the limiting symptom that forced me to coil less or skip coiling sessions in previous years. This time, however, the pain is mild when it does occur, and isn’t a constant presence. The Chinese herbs definitely had some kind of effect, because I had kidney pain in December when I coiled for Bartonella, and not since. In fact, I had kidney pain when I started the herbs, which is how I knew it was doing something to the Bartonella infection. By the end of the treatment, however, the pain was gone. It hasn’t really returned. I’m not sure if the herbs put some amount of the infection into a dormant form. (I’ve never read about a dormant form for Bartonella, but I’ve come to believe that all chronic infections create some dormant reserve, otherwise they wouldn’t be chronic.) If that is the case, I’ll know when the infection wakes up again because the pain will return. The other possibility is that the herbs repaired something in my kidneys that had been damaged by the Bartonella infection. Unless there is more damage, the kidney pain might have ceased for good. I doubt I’ve seen the last of it, but it’s nice to be able to coil and see some herxing without being in severe pain all the time.

I’m doing my best to use the information about how I’m reacting to treatment this time to coil aggressively, efficiently and sustainably. To coil aggressively, I’m using all three coils that I own, to coil for 99 minutes a day, in two sessions. To coil efficiently, I’m focusing more attention on the places that generate symptoms and less on the rest of my body…but I’m making sure to cover my whole body every day. To coil sustainably, I’m trying to make sure that I detox enough that the herx symptoms don’t overwhelm me (though I still need to improve in this area), and shifted to a twice a day schedule (from 3 times a day) because I don’t miss coiling sessions that way.

I’ve shifted my coiling protocol since the last attempt to get rid of Bartonella. I’m coiling less on the back of my head because I think I was doing too much before. But the back of my head is still a key area to coil, so I do it for 6 minutes, twice a day. My head, neck, shoulders and upper back are all very irritated by the coiling (and before that by the infection). Therefore I prioritize coiling my shoulders, head and spine. My legs, hips and feet hurt more, tingle more, and seem to have extra sensitivity. Thus I coil my sacrum extra. My heart has been bothering me more, again, with a dull ache in my chest, a funny sensation on the left side of my throat, and a feeling of malaise. So I’m coiling my heart for 5 minutes a day. Finally, I’m trying to get Bartonella out of my organs, so I’m coiling my abdomen, liver, spleen and kidneys for 5 minutes per day each.

I’m coiling my extremities less (1 minute each), even when they are symptomatic, because I think the pain is neurological, stemming from my central nervous system and its exit points from my head and spine.

Before I get to the protocol itself (changed slightly since last week), here are the additional symptoms I’m facing: fatigue, moodiness, delayed menstrual cycle with more PMS than I’ve had since September, headaches, ear aches, ringing in my ears, sleep disturbances, frequent urination, dry skin, excess gas and painful bowels.

Bartonella Coiling Protocol

Draft 11.1

831 Hz (99 minutes total)

Morning (50 minutes total)

  • back of head – 6 minutes
  • abdomen – 5 minutes
  • chest – 5 minutes
  • liver – 5 minutes
  • sacrum – 5 minutes
  • each shoulder knob – 4 minutes
  • head: left side, top -2 minutes per
  • right side of head – 3 minutes
  • upper and middle spine – 2 minutes per
  • each ilium front, each hip bursa, pubic bone – 1 minute per

Evening (49 minutes total)

  • back of head – 6 minutes
  • spleen/left kidney – 5 minutes
  • right kidney – 5 minutes
  • upper and middle spine – 2 minutes per
  • sacrum – 5 minutes
  • each shoulder knob – 3 minutes
  • head: left side, top – 2 minutes per
  • right side of head – 3 minutes
  • between legs: thighs, knees, calves – 1 minute per
  • feet through coil – 1 minute
  • each side of rib cage – 1 minute
  • each ilium back, each butt cheek, sitbones – 1 minute per

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