Twelve Months of Cestodes

My, how time flys.   It has been one year since my first (known) dose of parasites ever.  Sadly, I haven’t made the type of progress that I would have liked with my major symptoms.   On the other hand, I have seen some very interesting small signs of progress, and best of all I have tolerated the rat tapeworms fairly well overall.   Just tolerating the HDC was really an amazing stroke of good fortune for me, due to my extreme sensitivities.   However, there seems to be some negative effects that shouldn’t be overlooked, also.

       First, the small signs of progress: I have seen an elimination of long standing ankle and foot edema, elimination of “rust” color on my feet and shins (probably iron depositing in the skin from dying red blood cells),  a partial reversal of alopecia on my lower legs,  less intestinal distress, less joint pain in fingers, and a small reduction in burning skin (esp. on my safe diet).

       But there have been some negative effects too.  I still seem to have increased fatigue, large joint pain, and increasing exercise intolerance.  The fatigue and exercise intolerance are getting worrisome, frankly.  I now get muscle soreness from a distressingly small amount of activity.

       My problem with rheumatic hip pain is puzzling.   I think it is better.   I rarely get acute attacks of crippling pain now.   But I have diffuse pain nearly all of the time.   So, I am not sure if it is better, or worse ?

       One positive sign I have not mentioned thus far has to do with my passionate parts.  Yes, my wobblies.   For several years, I have noticed that my testicles were getting smaller and lighter.  I did not like it, but wrote it off as a natural consequence of aging.  Almost immediately, after I began taking worms, this situation began to reverse.   My testicles began to grow and grow, getting heavier, and heavier.  Now, I haven’t been weighing them on the bathroom scale, and keeping a chart of their progress, mind you.  It’s just something a feller notices.   Anyway, now they are a normal size, like when I was younger,  my “reproductive health” has increased significantly.    Quite interesting.   In fact, this study of male chimpanzees seemed to chime in with this observation, indicating that the alpha male chimpanzee had higher levels of testosterone, and interestingly enough, also higher levels of intestinal worms.   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004803/    So, we may fairly wonder, do worms actually make the man ?

      Going forward:   As I said, I haven’t made the progress I had hoped for so far.  But, in fairness, my health really was beginning to spin out of control when I started the worms.   The worms may have merely snatched me from going over the edge into a very bad place.   I don’t know.   What I do know is that so far, I am happy to be wormed up.   And barring any unforeseen consequences, I plan to be wormed up for many years to come.   I like being wormy.  I think “hosting” is a healthy lifestyle choice.

       My immediate plans for the future are to begin increasing my HDC dose with an eye towards achieving a 60 + 60 dose in a few months (double my current dose).   A number of people with autoimmune conditions take a 60 + 60 dose of HDC, and I believe a component of my illness is autoimmune in nature.   What I will be looking for mainly is to see if I can really put a dent in my burning skin, and be able to expand my restricted diet.   That would be a enormous improvement for me.

The journey continues.

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Eleven Months of Cestodes

My eleventh month of infecting myself with rat tapeworms was fair overall.   Rheumatic hip pain lurked everyday, but did not attack.   All gains and losses pretty much stayed constant from last month.  My dose was 30 + 30 HDC (Hymenolepis Diminuta Cysticercoids, aka rat tapeworm eggs).

     In fact, the biggest thing that happened to me during this period was a hand injury.   I took seven stiches in the tip of one of my fingers.   Yes, it hurt.   The bright spot of it all was that I was able to avoid taking my script of oral antibiotics by employing my usual blunt, but effective, tool of fasting.   I fasted five and one half days, until I felt most of the risk of infection had passed.   Things went pretty well, and I was able to time out my worm doses to fit this schedule (recalling that a fast of more than 24 – 48 hours will likely kill rat tapeworms, as they need dietary carbohydrate to survive).

     The downside of my injury was submitting to a DTP “tetanus” vaccine.  I was decades out of date on my tetanus shots, and at the urgings of family and friends, I submitted to a dose of vaccine + thimerosal.   I honestly haven’t felt quite right since then.   I’ve had more fatigue, more joint pain, and more signs of immune activation.   But what is a boy to do ?   It’s trading one neurotoxin for another.   Tetanus is a fearsome neurotoxin in its own right, and I felt like I had tempted fate long enough with various injuries over the years.   I was glad, at least, to be wormed up before the vaccine.  If vaccines are the gas pedal of the immune system, then worms can be seen as the brakes.

     I will continue with a 30 + 30 dose for the near future, but something is going to have to change.   While I have made small improvements in my health, it is not nearly enough.   I sense that I have plateaued with this dose of worms and need to do something different.

The journey continues.

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Ten Months of Cestodes

My tenth month of infecting myself with rat tapeworms was not a good one.  I had two attacks of rheumatic, focal, hip pain, and a general regression of my case.  My dose of rat tapeworms was 30 + 30 HDC, taken in a divided dose, two weeks apart.

      The general regression of my case, in addition to the attacks of focal, rheumatic, hip pain, were also accompanied by more generalized joint pains, and a return of excessive hair loss.  However, my gut has maintained its gains, and continues with less pain and disturbance than before.

      The cause of my regression is speculative.  A possible cause is a return to outdoors sunbathing, as the sun has returned to the northern hemisphere.   There is some relationship between solar UV radiation and autoimmune disease, but it seems confusing to me, and I have never fully understood it.   I do believe my rheumatic pains are a subtle form of autoimmunity, and they first pounced upon me after years of having a very low levels of vitamin D (less than 15ng/ml), but I did not know at the time how to correct the situation.  So, I am simply trying to keep my vitamin D levels up, and hoping for the best. ( I can tolerate no oral D supplements, and preciously little D containing foods.)   I’m also reluctant to curtail my sunbathing to see if the regression would abate, as it is a pleasant distraction for me, and I had significantly raised my vitamin D levels from it the last time I tested.

     In addition, my worm provider is not pleased with my lack of progress, and suggested I think about adding other modalities to my regimen.   I did not see this as a cop out on their part, but a genuine effort to see me move towards better health.   They suggested I think about Dr. Sidney Baker’s “Antifungal Parade”.   I saw this as a intelligent suggestion in my case, and am giving it due consideration.  I had even considered the same course independently some years ago.  In the mean time, I will continue with a 30 +30 per month dose of HDC for some time longer, though I do believe I’m going to have to do something different to get my health from where it is now, to where I want it to go.

The journey continues.

[*Footnote:  It has been twelve months since I used soap to bathe.  My skin is fine with no problems, and I do not smell, provided I do shower at least twice per week.  I still use shampoo for my hair.]

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report delayed

due to an unfortunate injury to my hand, this months report will be delayed.   it may not be available, in fact until next month.   I regret this delay, but as forest gump said, ‘sometimes people do stupid things’.

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Nine Months of Cestodes

I’m very pleased to report that, nothing much happened in the month of March.  My health was steady without anything remarkable to report.  After the last two months, this was welcome relief, and a feat I hope to repeat in April.   My worm dose in March was 30 + 30 HDC.  I have been on this same dose for 3.5 months now (if you consider the mix up in January a 1/2 dose month).  I plan to continue the same dose again in April.

    I have noticed in the last few weeks that my food sensitivities have been slightly less severe than in previous years.  I have a “safe” diet of foods that I do not react as much too, which I normally subsist upon.   But in the last two years, even my safe diet was becoming increasingly less safe.  I spent many days reacting to even my safe foods with the perpetual feeling of nails on a chalkboard raking over me.   I spent all of 2013 desperately trying to find proper medications to make my life more tolerable.  Unfortunately, I failed on all the best medications for my case, these including: Chromolyn Sodium, Ketotifen, and Rupatadine.   Only the illegal herbs relieved my sufferings.  But I am too pretty to go to jail, and too ill to seek asylum in a more enlightened climate.

      It has been my great hope that the worms would heal me of my food and chemical sensitivities, as they have for many others, and even a slight nudge in that direction is welcome.   However, I must hasten to add I am in no way yet able to eat as I would like.   A mid-month foray into forbidden foods smacked me down, and hard.   So, I must content myself with my situation at present, and bide my time until there hopefully arrives a better day.

The journey continues

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Eight Months of Cestodes

If last month was a hard month, this month was two of them.   First the winter weather was very bad, with numerous episodes of ice and snow, and very cold temperatures.  We had to ration our food to get by, because we couldn’t get to the store.  On top of that, everyone in the house got the flu.  My fever was normal at 8 a.m. one day, but by 8 p.m. that evening, it had spiked to 103F.  I don’t believe I’ve had a fever that high since I was a child.   This could be an interesting worm clue for me.  For instance, I have often heard worm hosters say things like, “I hadn’t had a fever in ten years.  But about three months after I began hosting, I had a wicked case of the flu”.   They speculate that their immune system wasn’t functioning right.  It wasn’t mounting a proper response to viruses, until they got all wormed up.   This could be the case for me also.   I don’t often have flus and fevers, and when I do, they are usually more muted affairs.   I can’t recall in the past thirty years when I’ve had a fever over 101F.   Also, my illness perfectly matched that of other household members in time fever lasted, and length of time to full recovery.   My fever was just higher by 1 degree than theirs.   So essentially, I had a very bad, but normal case of the flu.   This is a bit unusual for me, and therefore could be worm related.

     I’d like to add here that, for many years, my sole therapy for the flu was rest, and fasting.  I drink water only until my fever has broken, plus another 24 hours to make sure the fever stays down.   Doing this, I could always lower my suffering quickly, and then break a fever in 3-4 days, making a clean and uncomplicated recovery.   But this time was a little different.  This bug would not go quietly into that good night.  My mother, who was four days ahead of me in the course of the illness(the one who I suspect I caught it from – ahem), fasted also, and it took her a full seven days of fasting to break her fever.   (This was the longest fast my mother had ever undertaken.  My longest fast currently stands at 12 days.)
       Now, while I was fascinated by how rapidly my fever had sky rocketed, I didn’t think it would last very long under the conditions of a fast.  On the contrary !   I also took a full seven of fasting to finally get my fever to submit.   Needless to say, we were both very bedraggled by the time this was over, and then we were snowed in to boot.   Nevertheless, we were able to make fairly clean and uncomplicated recoveries, without any recourse to a physician.
     In regards to my worm dosing, I ended up taking 90 HDC’s in the month.   I consulted my provider about my fast, and they didn’t think the HDC would live much over two days under the conditions of a fast, as the HDC’s need dietary carbohydrates in order to survive.  So, I had to reorder my worms mid-month.   Thankfully, my new order came just in time for me to begin refeeding.
     So, I took 30 HDC’s two days before I got sick.  Then, I had a fever for seven days, while also fasting.  Then, I took 30 HDC’s a day after I broke my fast.   With all that jerking around, my poor body probably doesn’t have a clue what just happened to it.  But , we survived it all, and I kept right on taking my worms.   I guess we’ll see what grand adventures the next month holds.
     The journey continues.
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Seven Months of Cestodes

      Well, January was an interesting month, to say the least.  I got really sick in the middle of the month.  I didn’t get sick because I had worms, mind you.  It was just the opposite.  I got really sick, because I did NOT have worms.
      You see, I got wrong footed by the holidays so, I was a few days late in placing my order to Biome Restoration.  No big deal, right ?   Well, it probably wouldn’t have been a big deal, except that my new order decided to wander around the North Atlantic for 14 days in transit from the U.K., before arriving at my door like a sick, worn out, puppy.  14 days is too long for the worms to go without refrigeration.  They were unusable by the time I got them.   At this point, I had been just over 3 weeks without any worms, which is just about how long they usually live in an immuno-competent human.   Almost on cue on the 21st day without worms, I noticed my first hints of symptoms.  “That was an odd sensation”, I recall thinking.   Then, the next day, the wheels just fell off my wagon.   I was laid up in the bed with muscle and joint aches like I had the flu with a fever of 102F.  But I had no fever at all.  Of course, my back and hip rheumatic pain had to put in their appearance also.  I was in a real pickle for about three days, before I finally began to come to myself.  I had three really bad days, then three somewhat more tolerable days, but I was still far from well.    Old symptoms were beginning to return also, like stiffness in my fingers.
       Thankfully, I made Biome Restoration aware of what was going on with me, and they took care of me in fine fashion.   They expedited me a new worm order straight away.   Thank you, Judy Chinitz !
       I got my new worm order on the 30th day without worms, and took them without hesitation.  Amazingly, I immediately fell into a deep and restful slumber, and awoke two hours later feeling much, much better.   The next night, however, I had a flare up of focal hip pain.   It was the first focal attack I’ve had since being on worms.   The pain was intense.  I retired to my chamber expecting a miserable night, and pain for the next 3-4 days, as had been the case in years previous to me hosting.   To my surprise, I awoke four hours later and had almost no pain at all.  I believe the worms attenuated this pain cycle, and I have been doing better ever since.
       All these goings ons were very puzzling to me.  I wondered about what had just happened.  Did I have an expansion and collapse of polyclonal IgE ?   An expansion and collapse of IgG4 ?  The same with IL-10 producing Bregs and Tregs ?   Helminth infections are known to increase all of these immune modulating markers.  Of course, I do not know the answer.   But I’ll tell you, it was a very strange experience.   It was sort of like being caught out in a dark, violent, thunderstorm, with flashes of lightening and booming thunder all around, followed quickly by blue sky, sunshine and happily chirping birds.   You’re left thinking, “Did that just really happen ?”
        The bottom line for me is:  Worms are much more powerful than you’d think.
        The journey  continues.
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