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!

Six Weeks — Hooray, Helminths!

Today I woke up early feeling a touch of worm flu. I’d only slept a few hours (friends came late the night before) and for some reason I had… an odd bit of energy. Sure, I was dried out and congested, which is par for the course these days, but I just hydrated myself with water and electrolytes, and then went about my work day.

Trips to the bathroom? Oh, yes, indeed. More than a few — the usual routine. However, my earlier attention to fluids and minerals seemed to help dampen that immune reaction after a while. I trudged onward. By lunch, my appetite wasn’t huge, but I ate anyway. Several hours later, I quit working for the day.

Still feeling fairly good, I went out and took a walk, then settled in for a nap, and fell asleep easily. Not 30 minutes later, I woke up spontaneously, with a burst of… real energy. Hmmmm… my nose was suddenly wide open, my gut felt calm and happy. My mood was… really upbeat.

Taken aback by this, I tried to put all wishful thinking out of my mind and conducted an objective inventory of my senses. Nothing was quite where it had been yesterday, not at all. In fact, aside from the faintest ringing in my ears, I hardly recognized my body. For quite a while, I just laid there, grinning.

Is this the beginning of not only a new uptrend, but what it feels like to be… getting well?

Necator Americanus & Trichuris Trichiura

So I’ve got 55 hookworms now, Necator Americanus to be exact, and 500 Trichuris Trichiura whipworms. Together, they brought about a growing and intense well being, starting a day or so after I was inoculated. I could breathe through my nose, fully, for the first time in many years. I could smell the chill in the morning spring air as I made my way outside, amidst a torrent of tree-fluff allergens that would have had me gagging with asthma, and running for HEPA-filtered air, just days earlier.

Shortly thereafter, the skin on this 40-something’s face was becoming soft and smooth, not rough and inflamed, as it has been for so long. What a time machine. I ran my fingers through my hair, which even felt a bit softer, too, and noticed the seborrheic dermatitis was easing. The scaly patches that had dogged me since my late teens were giving way to a normal scalp, the redness around my mouth and nose was becoming clear and… normal. Never before has “normal” been such a wonderful word.

I tried wheat, and sugar, even beer, and tolerated all of it. Merely days ago this forbidden menu might have sent me to the ER with a flare of ulcerative colitis. Yes, it can be dangerous to throw caution to the wind, and make such drastic changes, so I soon backed off the accelerator, and stuck with my low carb diet. But it was an incredible triumph to have a bread pudding… and live to type about it.

This “bounce” lasted for five glorious days. Then, as quickly as it came, it went. Such euphoria is a normal reaction to helminthic therapy, as I’ve come to understand, for a small and lucky subset. Some who do “HT” never bounce at all, so in this sense I felt doubly fortunate: first, to be successfully hosting them, and second, to have had such a strong initial response as they entered my bloodstream.

Inoculation day was April 25, 2011. I took two hookworm doses over two days — 35, and then 20 more. About 15 minutes after application, a “ground itch” developed at their entry site on my arm, which was quite mild. I also drank a tiny vial of 500 Trichuris Trichiura human whipworm ova on day one, which were suspended in saline solution. Apart from the concept, their entrance was utterly uneventful. *Gulp* Bon appetit.



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