I can’t figure out how to get my energy back. It’s been seven and a half weeks since I returned from Williamsburg and New York and helping my parents move. It has been a rough go. I’ve been trying desperately to kick a chest cold I caught while I was there. I can manage to get rid of it for a day or three, but it keeps coming back. Or rather, the cough keeps coming back.
So where does this fit in to my healing process? That’s the big question. The cough seems to be part of a massive drain on my internal batteries. There are times in the past that I’ve thought I’m missing something, that there is another chronic infection I haven’t yet identified or treated. Most of the time, though, the missing piece was Babesia. It would drain me of my energy, have me flat on the couch, or walking around playing a recording of how exhausted I felt.This time is a little bit different. I treated for Babesia without much improvement (more on that later), and I haven’t been consistently tired.
It’s more like I came back from my trip having expended my daily energy quota, plus the back up energy reserve, plus the emergency energy supply, and I was all tapped out. So I did the things that help me feel better. I rested. I coiled. I ate well. I started to feel a little better for a day, did something more (and there have been a lot of things to do, more on that later), crashed, and started over again. I keep crashing. I keep getting right back up after a day or two of rest, doing something minor, and crashing all over again.
It feels like I can’t get access to my back up energy reserve or my emergency energy supply to fill them up again. Or really, that I can’t even recharge my daily battery to give me a shot at having a few reasonable days in a row.
This energy thing, coupled with being in bed 11 hours a day (plus naps, some days), and doing everything in slow motion, is why I haven’t been blogging. I had too many other things with deadlines. All of them were good things, not inherently stressful. But if I could, I would have just rested and rested and rested until I was bored, then rested some more…even on the days when I felt like I had energy to burn.
When I was having my summer adventure and expending my meager energy as though it was a renewable resource, I wasn’t sleeping enough. The lack of sleep helped me catch a cold. The cold taxed my immune system, so I had a Bartonella flare. The Bartonella flare taxed my immune system even more, so I had a Lyme flare. The Lyme flare knocked me out, so I had a Babesia flare. Yikes!
When I got home, I was so hyped up, I needed to do something at all moments. So I did a few things. I finished two yarn projects, a knitted sweater and a felted hat, in time for the county fair. I enjoyed those immensely.
Then I finally calmed down and slept a bunch. I got myself back onto a reasonable coiling schedule. First I started up with Lyme to get the symptoms under control. I coiled for Lyme, which I’ve continued to do every 3 or 4 days. I coiled for Babesia at 753Hz, 3 times a day using Babesia protocol, for two weeks. At that point, I was done with the night sweats, headaches and heart issues. In the midst of it all, I was also coiling for Bartonella, using a new protocol.
While I was thinking about the idea of a snowball effect, I watched the free-for-a-limited-time series on Lyme Less, Live More. It is a series of conversations between two people who have Lyme Disease and several different experts. I wasn’t thrilled with it. Mostly it seemed like a way to help people feel okay about having a chronic infection, but it had some good reminders about how useful detoxing is, how to find a diet that works for you, etc. Anyway, one of the detox experts claims that bacterial infections thrive in areas of inflammation. Basically, what he said was that if we kill part of the Lyme infection (or other chronic infection), our bodies become inflamed and the bacteria grows back more easily. The way to short circuit the process is to detox which reduces the amount of inflammation.
I thought about this a lot. I’m not sure there is evidence for his position. Inflammation is one of the human body’s mechanisms for targeting an infected area to kill bacteria and other microbial invaders. The problem with a chronic disease is that our inflammatory response gets stuck in the “on” position, and we experience the chronic inflammation as symptoms. Chronic inflammation also wears out our immune system. Detoxing does help reduce symptoms and get rid of the toxins that trigger further inflammation. Sometimes it also helps reset our immune system response in a good way, allowing our bodies to respond to the infection and not its toxic byproducts.
So while I don’t agree with the explanation of why we don’t get better if we don’t do enough detoxing, I still think detoxing helps us see improvements much faster.
Even though I wasn’t feeling well with the cough, I still had other things going on. I took a writing class that started before my trip. Most of my computer time for several weeks was related to the class or a photo book I was making for my mother’s birthday. It was a difficult month and a half because I couldn’t get better. Each day was one foot in front of the other, do the next thing that needs to be done (especially when there was a deadline), do as much as I can, then crash for the day.
The cough was accompanied by fatigue after only moderate activity, fatigue that didn’t clear up with Babesia coiling. That meant that if I had computer work, I wasn’t cooking. Or if I had housework or errands, no cooking, no computer work. I have been somewhat unhappy. I remember how long the days seemed earlier this year. I had energy to get out of bed after 9 hours sleep, then energy to prepare food 2-3 times a day, go for a walk, do some writing, knit in the evenings while watching tv. So I’ve been disappointed that I am stuck feeling ill, moving slowly, crashing after any activity or after an almost-good day.
I could tell things were off because I couldn’t decide what I wanted to knit next. I have a nice long list of things I’d like to make for myself and several other people, but nothing struck my fancy. I was making myself nuts.
In the midst of this nonsense, I started to panic about whether I’ll ever get well enough to be a parent. I don’t think I could handle caring for a child while having 4, then 5, then 6, then 7 weeks of being debilitatingly tired 5 days out of 7. Adding that emotional stress to the mix was less than helpful.
The good thing to come out of my baby panic was that I revamped my Bartonella coiling protocol. I felt like I wasn’t making much progress. I started to wonder if I would ever reach the end. Then I remembered that sometime this past year, I changed around the Bartonella coiling protocol to one that was more symmetric, 5 minutes on each of the parts of my central nervous system and my shoulders. I thought I should, maybe, get back to focusing on the places that pack the biggest punch: my sacrum and the back of my head. So I remade the coiling protocol, and that’s what I’ve been using for over a month. I was hoping that this change might get me through the chest cold and the low energy. It didn’t work, but I had some herxing when I started it. And my nervous system is finally starting to be less symptomatic.
(done 1 to 3 times per day, depending on what other coiling is scheduled)
- Head: each side, top – 3 minutes per location
- Back of head – 6 minutes
- Upper spine (plus side of coil on back of head) – 6 minutes
- Middle spine – 5 minutes
- Sacrum – 10 minutes
- Each shoulder knob – 5 minutes per
I tried a few other things during this time, including acupuncture and Chinese herbs. They helped a little, but didn’t really give me leverage on the cough and fatigue. At best, they did two things: gave me a few days of feeling better and showed me that I may have another infection lurking. One course of herbs gave me a serious herx reaction. For a while, I started thinking of coiling as an 80% solution, one that would get me to a certain point, killing off the infections, then I would need to do something else altogether to heal my body.
I’ve come back around as the Chinese herbs haven’t cleared up the cough for more than a few days at a time. Now I’m going back to a question I’ve faced before: is there another infection?
Looking for a Breakthrough
I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I may have additional, previously unidentified chronic infections. These may be pathogenic infections (like the tick-borne infections) or opportunistic infections (like the candida infection I had after three years of antibiotics). I’ve been piecing together clues as to whether there is at least one more infection:
- When I have physical stress, like travel, I come home with a chest cold every time, which takes weeks or months to resolve, and is accompanied by severe fatigue.
- Treating the other three known infections does not resolve the chest cold symptoms.
- When I started coiling, a person who was near the end of his process told me that new symptoms appear when a person gets rid of (or nearly rid of) the symptomatic infections. The new symptoms are from infections that are no longer suppressed by the more aggressive infections (like Lyme, Babesia, and Bartonella).
Having established that there is a possible, third, “sleeper” infection, I called around to see what the most likely species could be. I narrowed it down to Mycoplasma fermentans. Once someone mentioned it, I got out my “Coiling 101” notes from that initial conversation and Mycoplasma fermentans was the next infection to look out for as the Bartonella starts to resolve.
To further bolster my hypothesis, I found a few things online about Mycoplasma. The one worth reading is on LymeDiseaseResource.com. When I delved further into information about Mycoplasma, I discovered it has the usual multi-system symptomology: respiratory inflammation, neurological problems, digestive problems, joint pain and severe fatigue. Mycoplasma lives inside the cells of the host (i.e., it lives in our nervous tissue or digestive tract tissue or red blood cells). The only thing I found hard to believe is that Mycoplasma is easily cured.
When I looked at the symptom list, it kind of matched what I’ve been going through. Respiratory inflammation: check. Severe fatigue: check. Digestive problems: check. Even a resurgence of joint pain (including ribs) not resolved by Lyme coiling: check.
However, as I suggest to everyone, we have to be skeptical about what we find on the internet. So I decided to try out the frequency I’ve been given as the best one for Mycoplasma, 690Hz. I’ve tried this frequency before. I didn’t see much of a difference. However, one thing I’ve learned by coiling for Babesia last autumn is that now that I’m not totally toxic and overloaded, it may take several days of serious coiling for me to notice any change.
I coiled for Mycoplasma last night, 5 minutes on each of my chest, abdomen and liver (respiratory, digestive, blood stream). My cough was worse before I went to bed, but it was gone when I woke up. Or rather, it didn’t start up again until I was out of bed for an hour. (By contrast, the previous 2 mornings, I was coughing as soon as I sat up.)
I’m trying it again today, following a similar pattern to what I usually do for Babesia. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll finally get over this hump. After almost 8 weeks, I’m eager for a breakthrough.