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Overcommitted

Thursday, March 31, 2016

It is a common pattern in healing from a long term illness: as soon as you feel a little better, you want to do everything, until you’ve done too much, and you’re flat on your back again. That basically describes my life over the past month and a half, while I’m taking the Alfons Ven remedies.

The first lesson I had to learn is that I need to rest, even if I’m not coiling. Back when I was coiling for three hours a day, it was three hours that I was lying down, reading or writing or resting my eyes. The downtime was built into the day because of my treatments. Since I started taking pills instead, I’ve had to learn to spend part of the day, usually right after breakfast or in the afternoon, resting.

The lesson is hard to accept when I want to do lots of things. I’m taking a fiction writing class, which takes up most of my computer time. I also made a kids book for my niece and my nephew and illustrated it for them. On days when I work, I don’t want to do anything else. I enjoy being able to concentrate, even if I can’t plan in advance which day my brain will be working.

Illustrating a children's book for my nephew and my niece.

Illustrating a children’s book for my nephew and my niece.

The second lesson is that the infections aren’t gone yet. I’m herxing, which means the usual problems, but they seem to pass in a matter of days rather than weeks. My impression of the Alfons Ven remedies is that they help my body peel back a layer on each illness over the course of the month. Thus the symptoms change every few days: cardiac, joints, headaches, digestive troubles, urinary tract troubles, insomnia, fatigue, brainfog, night sweats. These come and go much faster than before. I think I’ve both detoxed a lot of the residual toxins and reduced the infection load so that new toxin production, from microbial activity as well as die-offs, is much lower.

The third lesson is that I still have to take it easy. I’ve had several days in bed. Even though I’ve had some productive days, I’ve also had several days when I needed to lie down for many hours. I hate those days because they make me feel like I’ll never get to the end of this chronic illness. On the other hand, a good book makes them more tolerable. For the next month or so, I’m going to try to take it easier, try to pare down my list of planned activities, and reprioritize so that cooking food that makes my body work is more important than working on something else.

Shortly after I was diagnosed with Lyme, someone warned me that being sick is easy: you have no choices. You must spend all your time, energy (and money!) on getting better. It’s terrible to be incapacitated and in tremendous pain, but it is easier than the next step. Then he said that getting well is much trickier. There will be a strong desire to do anything other than spend another moment dealing with physical problems. I feel that now. I’ve felt that way in the past while coiling. Sometimes I want desperately to be done with the tick-borne infections and healing my body from the damage they caused. I want desperately to do other things that I’ve been dreaming about these past nine (9!) years. Other days, I’m more patient, but the desires don’t disappear completely.

Alfons Ven Remedy Update

I’ve been able to take CHIM every night and FLUOX every morning, once I started the first pack. I took a 5 day break at the end of the first pack of CHIM, during which I took only FLUOX (3 doses per day). Then I began the next pack of CHIM. I’ve been taking it every night. Tonight I’ll take dose number 15. At the beginning, I tried taking two doses of FLUOX per day, as recommended here. I found that taking 3 doses per day got rid of most symptoms by the following night. This is not recommended at the website I linked to, as it may pull out too many toxins. However, I have not had the problems related to to taking too much FLUOX. Most days, I still take 3 doses, though in the past week, I’ve forgotten the third dose a few times. This hasn’t been much of a problem.

I’ve taken AVIVA a few times, mostly when I feel irritation in my trachea and bronchi or when my sinuses get congested. Otherwise, I don’t take it most days.

One problem I’ve had, one that has been constantly present, though waxes and wanes in intensity, is pain in my left heel, foot, and ankle. This was an area I targeted with physical therapy and acupuncture. The Alfons Ven remedies have not done anything for it.

The first pack started with kidney pain, the kind that comes from a Bartonella herx. I had headaches every day the first week and abdominal bloating some nights. I also had 3 days of brainfog, moodiness and fatigue. By the end of the week I was constipated and nauseated (also Bart herx). As the second week began, my heart was a mess. I had cardiac pain, going up into the left side of my neck/throat. I needed a lot of time reclining. This lasted 4 days. After that, I had peripheral nerve problems (shocks and tingles) for a day. Then the kidney pain and fatigue came back, leaving me resting a lot during the day. My muscles ached, my joints ached. Then after dose 14, I had enough energy to go for a long walk. My foot didn’t hurt while I was walking though I paid for it later in the day. I had two more days with energy during the day, though I was out of commission by six o’clock and had to recline most of the evening. After dose 17, I started having cardiac pain again, this time with air hunger (feeling like I can’t breath enough) and a strong need to lie down. That night I had a strong night sweat (requiring a change in pjs), along with insomnia and strange, vivid dreams. The next few doses led to pain in my sacrum, constipation, strong smelling urine and itchy eyes. I continued to have big night sweats for the rest of the pack, though they got less intense. I had a toxic taste in my mouth for several days, starting after dose 22. At that point, my joints were aching, popping, and inflamed for two days. Then after the next dose, I started having bright (day-glow) urine for a few days, and inflamed bronchial tubes for the rest of the pack. I got cold and couldn’t seem to warm up the last few days of the first pack. After dose 28, my joints went crazy with pain, especially my spine.

I took a five day break from CHIM, while taking 3 daily doses of FLUOX. I had headaches and a feeling of being too hot or too cold all day and all night. I had night sweats, bronchial inflammation and very little appetite.

With the second pack, I mostly had insomnia and intense night sweats for the first six doses. From dose 2 to 6 I had cloudy urine and some incidents of loose bowels. After doses 7 through 9, the night sweats disappeared. In the past 5 days, I’ve had very bright urine again, two days of kidney pain, a lot of exhaustion, and night sweats. My spine has been in a lot of pain, the worst of it in my sacrum. I find I need to rest more than at the beginning of the pack. I’m also dealing with the too hot/too cold problem again.

I started the second pack while I was visiting my family in Virginia. My activity level there, plus the plane trips, contributed to swelling in my feet, with the left one much worse. It is mostly back to normal on the right foot, but the left one is still a problem.

In the past few days, I had the opportunity to talk to two other people using the Ven remedies. One of the conversations reminded me that when the infection load is high, the die-offs are much worse. The conversation gave me perspective that what I’ve done with the coil machine (and concomitant detoxing) has made it much easier to tolerate die-offs from the Ven remedies. The other person had finished his fourth pack. His energy is better and his brainfog has diminished. I look forward to reaching that point.

I think people have very different experiences with the Alfons Ven remedies. There are tons of contributing factors. Besides the infection load, there are the number of infections, the amount of detoxing done–before starting as well as while taking them, and what else the person is doing to support their body.

Other things I’m doing to support my body: acupuncture every 2-3 weeks, detoxing herbs (chanka piedra and milk thistle), high fiber diet, 10 minutes of yoga some mornings, and plenty of sleep.

Resting and reading when I'm too tired to do anything else. My tutor rests at my feet.

Resting and reading when I’m too tired to do anything else. My tutor rests at my feet.

I don’t yet have a conclusion about the Alfons Ven remedies. So far, I can say that they do something that leads to the infections dying. I can’t say whether they will get me to the point that the infections are gone or nearly so. I don’t “feel better” or significantly improved since I started them. It’s been too much of a roller coaster to suggest that. Maybe after I finish the next pack or two, I’ll have a clearer picture of where this is going.

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