When I realized that I hadn’t had a respiratory infection since 2001 after my Lyme “flu,” I had a fantasy that if there were ever an epidemic respiratory disease, the Lyme bacteria would protect me. Some people I spoke to said that the way Lyme disease changes the human immune system does two things: first, it suppresses the part of the immune system that tries to attack the Lyme bacteria; second, it provides its own protection by killing off various other infections in the host that grow faster than it does. I can’t say this person had any kind of immunological research to back up their theory, but it fit with my experience. There were two other pieces of circumstantial evidence that corroborated their idea. One was a thing I had read about pediatricians who treat Lyme who say that a child isn’t better until they’ve had a cold and gotten over it by themselves. This was evidence that the immune system was working again. The other started in 2013 for me when I had my first cold. Whenever I have a Lyme flare, my lungs are clear, my upper respiratory system is also clear. But as soon as I get the Lyme into some kind of remission, I immediately get a cold.
In 2014, my cough lasted for several months. It was at that point in time, that I started to deal with respiratory issues over and over. For the past several years, I get sick with colds and bronchitis chronically. So my fantasy is over. I’m not really even pretending to think that Lyme would protect me from covid–19.
To make my life more complicated, right after I started disulfiram, my housemate came down with a severe respiratory infection. She’s been working in Santa Clara at a grocery store, right in the middle of a county where community transmission is rampant. My housemate only lives here part-time, and my coil machine is in the room where she sleeps. She’s been to the ER with breathing trouble, but without a fever she couldn’t get a test. We are still working on getting her tested. In the meantime, I’m assuming that my coil machine is covered with potentially infected surfaces. Thus the complication: I was planning to use the coil machine in conjunction with disulfiram, and for now I can’t.
Controlling Lyme and Babesia
After the first few doses of disulfiram and daily coiling for Babesia, the Babes infection calmed down. It seems like I don’t need to use the coil machine for the Babesia infection, as my symptoms have become fairly mild and only in the eight hours before each dose. It seems like each dose of disulfiram works for about 40 hours on Babesia. I have an herbal combination called tri-biotics on hand in case the Babesia symptoms get worse than heart palpitations and fatigue
Lyme disease is a little more tricky. It seems like I still need to do something, and for now that something is taking broccolinate (sulforaphane glucosinolate) twice a day, but skipping the dose when I take the disulfiram dose. It’s less than ideal, but it seems to be enough for now.
I can tell I’m herxing more with each subsequent dose of disulfiram. I didn’t notice this so much the last time I took it until I was at a much higher dose. Mostly it’s loose bowels and some headaches and nausea. I find it tolerable.
The Bartonella problem
My original plan was to start coiling for Bartonella as soon as I needed to, since disulfiram causes a Bartonella flare as the Lyme starts to calm down. This is already starting to happen. In addition to some Bartonella symptoms, such as tingling in my feet first thing when I wake up in the morning, I have the cough I get as Lyme starts to go into remission.
When I took disulfiram last autumn, I didn’t take the Bartonella flare particularly seriously until it was much worse than I had experienced in a long time. This time around, at the first Bartonella tingle, I’ve jumped into action. In order to suppress the Bartonella as best as possible until I have access to the coil machine again, I’m taking oil of oregano (six drops twice a day), reishi, cordyceps, and Japanese knotweed. I suspect these will make me herx more, but if they keep the Bartonella from getting too crazy, that’s good enough. If they aren’t enough, I don’t have a new plan yet.
Slow and steady
When I realized that the disulfiram seems to work for only 40 hours, I considered taking it daily (or every 36 hours). However, as I continue to herx, I’m concerned about taking too much and having side effects. If possible, I’d like to avoid the neurological side effects that I experienced last time. Instead, I’m trying to find ways to treat what needs to be treated in addition to the disulfiram.
I’m also slowing down my expectations for daily living, which kind of works out with the whole self-quarantine program that my community is experiencing right now. Herxing requires me to rest a lot.