I went to a party tonight, an Indian BBQ. The balcony was full of people milling around the fire pit, acrid smoke combining with incredible smells of cooking marinated meats. I bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and he remarked I looked “really good”. I thought for a moment and remembered the last time we’d met was at this same house, months earlier, after I had been flaring badly with colitis. Back then I was a near stick-figure.
We caught up for a while, and I began to describe my adventures in helminthic therapy — the edited version, since folks were eating. As I told the tale there were a few raised eyebrows, but I explained the Old Friends hypothesis, and pretty much everyone who heard about it was intrigued.
It was obvious my helminth friends had real benefits, too, such as my increased weight — but one fairly dramatic change struck me right then, in the moment. “Remember the last time I came to a BBQ here I was sitting over by the front door the whole time?” A friend finished the thought for me “Oh, right — you were having trouble breathing. Asthma attack.” Indeed, only a few months ago I had been unable to stand anywhere near the fire, and there I was tonight, surrounded by thick smoke. Unaffected.
Progress! Bit by bit, every day a new reminder.
Next time I hope to be eating all the food… with a little help from my friends.