Right after I made a renewed commitment to focusing on Bartonella, coiling for it several times a day everyday, a friend called me to tell me about Alfons Ven and his Lyme remedies. It sounded so incredible. When I hear about a new treatment, my internal alarms go off; all of the ones in the past have been too-good-to-be-true. On the other hand, when I hear about people feeling better quickly and staying better, I have to check it out. I’m not coiling because I want to take forever to get well. I’m doing it because nothing else has allowed me to improve and not lose those improvements over time.
Anyway, the story of the Alfons Ven remedies includes several people who use coil machines in the same city. One person started the program about six months ago. She herxed from the pills and started to see big improvements. Other people from the coiling support group started using the formulas. They are starting to feel better. The supposed “proof” that it works is that the original person coiled for Bartonella, and she didn’t experience a herx.
I listened to the whole story. I called my friend back and asked for more info. I asked some other folks who use alternatives to medicine if they knew about it. I read the websites. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. What I found out is that it is similar in many ways to homeopathy, but it isn’t quite the same. When I read the explanation of how it works, I wanted to dismiss it as quackery. (That’s also how I felt about acupuncture when I read about it. Fortunately, it was already helping me a lot before I read the book about it, otherwise I never would have tried it.) I felt a strong pull to try the Alfons Ven remedies anyway, maybe concurrently with my coiling program.
As I thought about the “proof” that it “cures” people of tick-borne infections, I had my doubts. I no longer herx from a single coiling session of Bartonella. It takes several coiling sessions over several days before the herx starts. In fact, last year, when I used traditional Chinese herbs, the herxing stopped for a while. I wasn’t cured of Bartonella; instead, I just cleared out my detoxification routes and the toxins passed through me without causing symptoms. Also, I know that anything that suppresses the infections will prevent herxes. So the “proof” didn’t seem like proof at all. In fact, it seemed like another way to postpone getting rid of the Bartonella infection once and (maybe someday) for all.
Every time I get started on Bartonella, I start to feel like something else is wrong besides the Bartonella. I come up with all sorts of creative theories and plausible theories. Sometimes I think it’s another infection, maybe one of the others that I have trouble with like Lyme and Babesia, or maybe some unverified infection that other people have, like Mycoplasma fermentans, or one that will herx if I coil for it, like Epstein-Barr, but which doesn’t go away while the Bartonella is active. Other times, I come up with something else I want to try, coiling for another infection, traditional Chinese herbs, a different kind of supplement, or, more recently, the Alfons Ven remedies.
I’ve given in to temptation many times. That is part of the reason that almost five years after starting to coil, and almost three and a half years after the first time I tried to take on Bartonella, I’m still struggling with it. The temptation to do anything else is so great.
This time, though, I had a breakthrough of sorts. I realized that the part of the herx that affects my brain, i.e., the psychological symptoms, include the feeling that “something (else) is wrong.” It is a huge deal to recognize this pattern. It helps me stay on task. So what if it took three and a half years for me to figure it out…even longer if you include the anti-Bartonella antibiotics I stopped back in 2010.
Bartonella herxes generate other psychological symptoms, notably a feeling of hopelessness that I’ve written about before. The thought and feeling patterns include: “I’m never going to get better;” “No treatment will ever work;” “I’m going to have to coil forever;” and a general sense of despair about anything that comes to mind. I know this happens. I now warn my husband that it might come on when I’m ramping up my coiling program for Bartonella so that he doesn’t get sucked in by my despair. That helps me to see the feelings for what they are: a Bartonella herx.
Once I realized what is going on, I took stock. The feeling that “something is wrong” may not be altogether wrong. I think it happens when I can’t detox as fast as I’m killing off Bartonella bacteria and flooding my body with toxins from the die-off. To combat this problem there are two obvious things to do: kill the bacteria more slowly and increase support for my body’s detoxification mechanisms.
The first one is psychologically harder. I want this infection gone as soon as possible. However, the more times I get sidetracked, the longer it takes me to get rid of the infection. I usually coil three times a day for Bartonella. Then I get my whole cascade of Bartonella herx symptoms (listed in my last post), plus a few that take longer to show up, like hair loss, abdominal swelling, night sweats and joint pain. One option is to coil for Bartonella only twice a day. This is what I recently tried.
The other half of the equation is detoxification support. I know what I need to do. I need to take baths (which I planned on doing, but only did once more beyond the original bath a few weeks ago). I need to juice greens (which takes time and planning, but seems more doable if I’m only coiling twice a day). I need to do mild exercise, like yoga, to keep the lymph moving (also easier when I’m not coiling three times a day). I need to keep up the herbal supplements, teas, hydration and kombucha. The last set of activities is the one I do best at.
Since I haven’t been able to keep up with the detoxing the way I should, my body gets more inflamed over time. The inflammation triggers the Lyme infection, so then I need to coil for Lyme, too. The Lyme infection makes my joints hurt even more, which makes it hard to do yoga or other exercise. And if I don’t stay on top of the Lyme infection, the Babesia wakes up, too, which forces me to coil for Babesia, leaving less time to coil for Bartonella.
On top of all that, Bartonella toxicity makes me more prone to respiratory infections. I ended up with a real case of bronchitis for two weeks (yellow sputum and all). I’m keeping my head and neck warm till the cough is gone. Plus I treated it with traditional Chinese medicine, which worked to get me through the worst of the infection without triggering a Babesia relapse (I think). I’m finally starting to understand the recurrent cough I’ve been getting over the last two years.
Bartonella toxicity is a real problem if I want to get rid of the infection. So I’m trying to think about it without my previous urgency and recognize the smarter way to tackle it.
I realized all this long before today. The first thing I did was cut my daily Bartonella coiling time to twice a day. For about two and a half weeks, I changed the protocol so that I was focusing on my shoulders, since that was making me herx the most. (I knew this because I had been doing a reduced Bartonella coiling protocol which didn’t coil my shoulders much while I was coiling for other infections. When I went back to Bartonella, I herxed much, much more.) The result was that I’ve been able to type, crochet, and draw without much pain in my wrists or shoulders.
Temporary Bartonella Coiling Plan
(twice a day, once in the morning, once at night)
- each shoulder knob – 10 minutes
- head: each side, top – 2 minutes per
- back of head – 5 minutes
- upper spine – 5 minutes
- spine: middle, lower – 6 minutes per
This is subject to revision when I get back from my December trip to Williamsburg, where I am now.
The other part of the plan is to take a bunch of detoxing herbs while I’m away from my coil machine. On the list is: chanka piedra, milk thistle, artichoke extract, n-acetyl cystine, turmeric, and dandelion root tea. (I’m also trying a dandelion root plus other herbs in a different detox tea.) When I get back, I’m going to try juicing, bathing and making kombucha again. As soon as I can manage it, either during my trip or at home, I will start doing yoga again.
A last note about inflammation: it’s in my heel, the one that’s been bothering me since October. I finally went to a doctor about it. The news is complicated, with enough information for another blog post. The most salient thing is the bursitis in my left ankle. It is likely from either Lyme or Bartonella. While I do my best to detox, I’m hoping to get the problem under control, or at least to reduce the swelling.
What’s hard about all this is that I’m having a Lyme flare, with all my joints popping and cracking, and consistent pain in my right ribcage. I was able to get rid of the joint pain and popping for 5 days at a time when I coiled for Lyme. I’m without my coil machine until I get back home (another two weeks from now), so I’m trying to decide what to add that will prevent a worsening flare and full relapse before then. I’m hoping to keep it restricted to joint symptoms so I can enjoy my Christmas visit with my family.