I’ve been in bed for most of the last ten days because Disulfiram works. It started when I increased my dose from 250mg nightly to 312.5mg nightly. I had a good day and then the herx hit me pretty hard. It was the usual stuff, severe headache lasting 3 days, urgent loose bowel movements, fatigue, low appetite, problems regulating body temperature. It is what I expected.
After the three day headache subsided, every part of my body hurt: muscles, bones, joints, intestines. My abdomen swelled up. I couldn’t sleep for a night or two.
Then things changed. The body pain level went down by half. All I wanted to do was sleep. I was dizzy when I was awake. I would get up, eat, and lie down for a moment…and wake up three or four hours later. Then I would get up, eat and fall right back to sleep. When I was awake, I was sleepy and woozy. The world my eyes saw did not match my balance. I had a funny feeling in my head and a numbness around my neck and shoulders. I figured that this was then end of the herx, that I just had to get through this part. I started taking Bonine for the vertigo and it helped about 10%.
But a week later, I’ve changed my perspective. Some more symptoms have arrived: pain in my breasts, swelling in my feet, intermittent tingling in my arms and legs, sore soles on my feet when I get up from sleeping, urinary hesitation, difficulty starting bowel movements, episodes of blurry vision, and ringing in my right ear. Today, between naps, something told me to look at some old blog posts that I’ve written. That’s when it hit me. This is a Bartonella flare.
Disulfiram does not treat Bartonella
I’ve been reading about the question of whether disulfiram treats Bartonella in the Facebook groups, and the consensus seems to be that it doesn’t. In fact, many people are experiencing big flares in Bartonella symptoms after they get through the first die-off reaction on disulfiram. I think, now, that this is where I’ve landed.
In the past, using the coil machine, I’ve noticed that when the Lyme infection is no longer very active, the Bartonella infection gets much worse. I could see this happening recently with neuropathy in my hand and feet upon waking, symptoms that didn’t happen every day. So I was reluctant to add any other treatments until I was sure.
With the coil machine, however, I never let the Bartonella infection go completely untreated. That’s why I got confused (on top of the brain fog from the Lyme herx) about the dizziness and somnolence. It took me a long time to see it as part of a dysautonomia pattern, that for me, has usually been a clue to reactivated Bartonella.
Starting about two hours before I’m writing this post, I coiled my central nervous system for Bartonella at 832Hz. I started big, 15 minutes on the back of my head, 10 minutes on my sacrum, and five minutes on the rest of my spine and my shoulder knobs. That was enough to clear my head to take the dogs for a walk in the neighborhood. But it wasn’t enough to clear the vertigo in one session, so I’ll do it again tonight.
When a Lyme Drug works…
Another clue, nagging at the back of my mind, was that I keep thinking that I’m ready to increase the dose of disulfiram. I couldn’t square the one thought, that I needed to wait out the herx, with the feeling that it was time to increase the dose. Sometimes, my subconscious gives me clues about the things I can’t think through logically, by creating a persistent thought. This time it was the need to increase the disulfiram dose.
Bartonella is tricky. It is the infection that causes me to put the breaks on, to wait things out, to not act, to feel paralyzed and that nothing will ever work. It’s hard to get past that.
But the biggest clue that disulfiram is working is that I’m only having Bartonella symptoms. No night sweats. No low blood pressure. As the herx has waned, so have many of the joint symptoms. I want to do many things that I do when I feel well, if I could only stay upright and awake.
I had no confidence that the disulfiram would work. Now, I think it is doing many things, finally attacking the dormant forms of Lyme and Babesia. I just have to keep the Bartonella in check while it works.