Healthier, Day by Day

I’m not healed yet, but I’m on the upswing. With cervical spinal stenosis, neck trauma, plus an ulcerative colitis flare up due to antibiotic use, I’ve felt awful since June, but am really pleased with recent progress. Three weeks ago I did a 1500-egg Trichuris Trichiura whipworm top-off dose. It’s a larger number than most experts would recommend (I would have taken 1000 if it were possible to split the contents of the vial), but everyone reacts individually to helminthic therapy, and I have had only mild side effects in the past.

This time around, vague abdominal discomfort and mild diarrhea were the worst of it. I only took 5 to 10 mg of hydrocortisone for the first 5 days, as a precaution, which is basically a physiological dose, about half what my body would produce in a day. After that, I took Zyrtec at night, on and off for about a week, and only when necessary. The goal here is to be drug-free! I’ve also supplemented with 3 mg of melatonin, which has helped me sleep.

Since I’ve got stenosis and degenerative changes to my neck, which has probably affected my autonomic nerve, it’s hard to know if the insomnia is related to whipworm or caused by purely biomechanical, neurological issues. My hunch is whipworm have increased my eosinophils a bit and caused a temporary nervous tension (different from anxiety, it’s more physical) during the day, resulting in sleep disturbances at night. Note the following document here. However, keep in mind the insomnia started, and was at its worst, when my neck was injured back in June.

Here’s the good news: starting two days ago, my dysautonomia seems to have improved. My mood is better, I didn’take any Klonopin yesterday (medication prescribed for transient hypertension after the spinal injury), and I woke up feeling more rested. What caused the change? I’m saturating with VSL#3 probiotics, am eating a very low carb, sugar and grain-free diet, having twice-weekly chiropractic adjustments, using cervical traction devices to undo kyphois, and… getting regular exercise. Yes, exercise! My orthostatic intolerance has improved dramatically, to the point where I can now stand for an hour or more, and ride an upright exercise bike for 40 mins at a time. It was merely two months ago I was bed-bound, hardly able to walk or stand, and unable to ride the bike for even 5 or 10 minutes, so the progress is nothing short of incredible.

Two days ago I was having another blood pressure spike, an ongoing, daily issue for me related to high catecholamine levels. I may have hyperadrenergic POTS , but require further testing for diagnosis. Anyway, these attacks usually last for a few hours, but this episode eased up after only 30 minutes. Then suddenly I felt a familiar, deep sense of calm, much like my initial HT “bounce” back in early May, 2011, for a blissful 15 minutes. Is this the “worm magic” returning? Relaxation this deep is unique to my helminthic therapy, it’s ground-breaking and wonderful, and one reason I have come to believe in the “old friends” and hygiene hypotheses.

Thinking back, I’ve probably had low-level POTS for years, and at the time I thought it was just allergies. Cervical stenosis, likely to be congenital in my case, and neck trauma from computer use, may have contributed. But there’s also a potential mast cell component to POTS. By addressing the autoimmune aspects with helminthic therapy, I hope to conquer the allergic/immunity side, while addressing the degenerative, outward changes with neck traction, stretching, and gentle chiropractic adjustments.

All I care about is getting better, and without resorting to pharmaceuticals like Klonopin, when I can use a holistic approach instead. Positive trends gather their own momentum: laughter, love, community, happiness and connectedness — it’s all obviously part of health. My goal is to heal my body enough that I don’t even need to think about it anymore, and I can focus instead on enjoying life. Simple enough!

Advertisements

Biomechanics.

I’m not sure how typical or unusual this is, but I found out last summer the hypoglycemic symptoms I’d been having, and also the electrical jolts in my extremities, the hair falling out, numbness in my face, the dimming vision and tinnitus — I found out this wasn’t early stages of MS, as I had feared, or any other major medical situation. Instead, I was referred to a great chiropractor, he adjusted me for the first time in my life, and this treatment alleviated all these seemingly disparate symptoms.

His explanation was pretty simple: the neck can slip out of alignment from bad posture in front of a computer, this compresses key nerves that send impulses to every organ of the body. An adjustment will “reboot” the nervous system, and reestablish these important connections. Realignment of “subluxations” can also improve blood flow to the scalp and brain. It took a few sessions for the benefit to stay consistent, and for the last few months I’ve been feeling pretty good.

Don’t ask me why I didn’t just go back to the chiropractor when things went haywire a week ago. Today I did, and I’m feeling much better. Not 100% yet, but much improved.

The question remains, why did the helminthic therapy effects seem to disappear, and once my neck and spine are behaving again will I suddenly feel that “worm high” coming back? Time will tell. Today I was noticing their characteristic GI disturbance again, this after many days of a normal gut, so I know my “old friends” are still with me. For now I’m just trying to focus on the big three: adequate sleep, a good diet, and consistent exercise.

Day 53 — Stability.

Today offered the strongest clues yet that the side effects phase is beginning to resolve. I woke after a fairly sound sleep with decent energy, and only a little of the brain fog and dehydration I’ve come to associate with “worm flu”. My appetite is slowly beginning to emerge again, and I’m able to tolerate the fairly narrow range of foods in my current diet quite well. I’ll test myself with more choices later, once I know I’m not reacting allergically to the helminths anymore.

Exercise is a key barometer — I continue to not only tolerate it, but I am starting to thrive on its effects. Curiously, it really seems to mediate my body’s reaction to the HT. I can feel the strength returning to my legs, as I push myself along at a good clip, searching for fatigue that never seems to come. My breathing is consistently clear and unaffected by temperature, humidity, airborne allergens, etc. By all measures my asthma and upper respiratory complaints are gone.

And it’s also time to celebrate 3 consecutive days of no worm-induced GI disturbances. My gut no longer feels tender, and I’ve started to gain back the weight I lost due to several weeks of compromised digestion — 5 lbs in about 6 days. So I’m now 149 lbs, 11 under my ideal target weight. That’s significant!

Tinnitus is only audible these days when I’m having a reaction to the HT, which came again this afternoon. I was able to deal with the symptoms by taking five 1,000mg tablets of vitamin C. That’s half of what I’ve used in the past, and the attack only lasted 90 minutes — about half the duration of a typical episode. This is one more indication my body  is beginning to submit to the iron will of the worms. The total absence of tinnitus throughout most of the day suggests my adrenal function is normalizing.

I’ll be quite happy if the trend continues, with modest improvement, for the foreseeable future. Obviously, I’d like to start feeling some of the more euphoric moments like I did during the initial “bounce”, post-inoculation, but as my sleep patterns rebalance (I still feel a touch of insomnia), and my diet becomes more varied, I would expect the benefits to start ramping, perhaps even with some synergy.

The Fog of Worm — Week 7.

As luck would have it, a week ago, that glorious day of my last entry, was the high point thus far. A brief triumph for harmony, between a man and his helminths. All subsequent days have been filled with fatigue, GI discomfort, and various other aches and pains. Throughout it all I’ve been trying (and usually succeeding) to stay in motion, eat decent meals, push fluids and get plenty of rest. Tonight, sleep is elusive, as my stomach hurts too much to drift off.

But when I strip away the discomfort, I can still see glimpses of huge progress. For example, here i am celebrating at least 5 weeks of diarrhea. Why on earth is this a positive? Well, back in the olden days when I was suffering from active UC, just a few days of running to the can would have triggered a bloody mess of inflammation that ultimately would lead to hospitalization. The last time I flared up was a year ago, due to food poisoning in a restaurant. It took 3 days for me to flare, get a systemic infection, and by the time I landed in the ER I had a temperature of 104 and nearly croaked. Thanks for the Levaquin, doc! Now that I’m doing helminthic therapy, I seem capable of withstanding intestinal contortions of Olympic proportions. No bleeding, no inflammation at all. This is most impressive.

And despite fatigue that makes crawling out of bed in the morning pretty tough, I’ve got a surprising amount of endurance on the treadmill, or walking around my neighborhood. In fact, it feels like the more I move around, the more groovy worm secretions are coursing through my system, easing my non-transient aches and pains. For instance, I injured my knee in a motorcycle accident, and this has plagued me for years. During my “bounce” (week 1, post-inoculation) the pain disappeared, and after returning slightly during the peak side effects phase, it’s almost entirely gone again.

Nasal congestion is primarily resolved, too, once I wake up, and my lungs are perfectly clear — no asthma symptoms any more. Amazing, really. And the Happy Helminth mental boost is there, too, despite the daily grind of worm flu — depression and anxiety are now best identified by their absence. In moments, I even feel echoes of last Monday’s giddiness, but for shorter bursts. So I lay here feeling stoic, glad to have my new “old friends”. It’s becoming quite clear this is merely a waiting game now.