A while back, I figured out the connection between my vagus nerve and all of the worst symptoms of my menstrual cycle (see Surviving Vagus). I came up with an action plan that involved not triggering my vagus nerve at the onset of my cycle. The best plan, of course, is to get rid of the hair-trigger on the nerve, which will hopefully happen once the Bartonella infection is gone. But for now, I do my best to take ibuprofen the second I feel any cramps and to make sure not to bear down when I’m in the bathroom.
A quick recap of what I’ve learned so far. First, when I’m having a Bartonella flare or I’m in the midst of coiling aggressively for Bartonella, my menstrual cycle goes out of whack. It gets longer. I have more PMS. When it arrives, I get hit by a cyclone. I get lots of the symptoms of a vasovagal response. (More on that below.) Alternatively, in the months after I’ve been treating Bartonella aggressively, when I’m focusing on other infections and only coiling a minimum against Bartonella, my period comes regularly and without much fanfare. Every month, however, I take the two basic precautions: ibuprofen and no bearing down.
It’s been a long time since I had a really bad menstrual cycle. Medium bad, maybe. A long nap during the day. Some fatigue and moderate cramps once I’ve started the pain killers.
Last week was a doozy. I knew it was going to be a mess. I started having PMS (sore breasts) the day after I ovulated. Well, I guess I knew something was up because I got middleschmertz (pain with ovulation). I went for a few acupuncture treatments. These made the PMS fade to the background while I was having lots of other Bartonella symptoms, mostly neurological, that I’ve been writing about for the past few weeks. In the few days before my period started, I had insomnia, mild abdominal cramps, and a sense of impending doom.
When my period actually started, the cramps hit me like a ton of bricks. I woke up from my sleep in the morning from the pain. I ran (sort of) to the kitchen, made up some warm water, took two ibuprofen tablets, and ate a handful of nuts. (The nuts are to prevent the drugs from ripping up my stomach; warm water is less likely to trigger vomiting.) I went back to the bedroom, filled up a hot water bottle, then stopped in the bathroom. I had cramps and an urgent bowel movement. Then I had to force myself to get off the toilet. It is so automatic, bearing down in response to cramps.
I didn’t escape without some trauma. The drugs took about 20 minutes to ease the pain. In that time, I started to feel nauseated and weak. My hands and feet turned to ice. I felt exhausted. I spent most of the next ten hours in bed, with two bathroom breaks along the way. My blood pressure was low, making me feel lightheaded and tachycardic when I got up. My feet wouldn’t warm up even with five blankets (comforter, down-alternative comforter, polyester quilt, down throw, and cold weather sleeping bag) and flannel sheets. I was fine to read, but I couldn’t do much else besides that and nap. Even after I got up and made some warm food, I was tired and ready to lie down.
The worst part was that I woke up the next day feeling cold and tired all over again.
The good news is that I broke the cycle before I had a full fledged vasovagal response like I’ve had in the past: whiting out (on the verge of fainting), vomiting, diarrhea, chills and sweats, weakness in my legs leaving me stuck on the bathroom floor for hours.
This brings me back to the first thing I said. The best remedy is to kill the infection on my vagus nerve so that it doesn’t get tripped up by cramps. The second best remedy is to do my best to keep the triggers at bay.
In the meantime, I’m continuing to coil aggressively for Bartonella and sporadically for Lyme. I’m worried about Babesia because I find myself to be more tired than usual, even after the start of my menstrual cycle. I’m giving the fatigue two more days to see if it lets up a little, otherwise I’ll try coiling for Babesia and see if anything changes.
Categories: healing process