A LYME PATIENT'S JOURNEY TOWARD HEALING
Week 2 Down
I am feeling more energy since being here! Overall, I am feeling less fatigue and less brain fog and my spirits are up! Brandon even mentioned that I seem more alert and that I'm talking more. Yes, there are certain IVs that seem to kick my butt and wipe me out, but I seem to recover quickly from them and overall, I'm feeling a bit better. Two weeks of optimizing the cellular terrain must be doing something.
Ten-pass ozone was administered once each week. It stimulates white blood cell production, kills pathogens, improves oxygenation, helps the body fight infections, and stimulates the body's metabolism. It's an interesting process since you are an active participant and have to pump a soft foam ball to help vacuum a pint of blood from yourself into a suspended container. The collected blood is given medical grade ozone and then it is pumped back into you. This process is done 10 times. It made me feel a bit woozy and I slept for the entire afternoon on those days, but nothing too challenging with the treatments despite how intensive the program was.
Our first rental wasn't available for the full two weeks, so we rented this place near The Grove which is also just 4 miles from Infusio. It was actually nice to have a little change of scenery for the second week, especially for Brandon since he was working from the apartment all day. Both locations gave us a discount and were much cheaper than getting a 2-bedroom at the Residence Inn in Beverly Hills. With L.A. traffic, it takes about 20-30 minutes via Uber or Lyft, depending on the time of day. The ride is super easy and I'm educating Uber/Lyft drivers about Lyme and stem cells one driver at a time!
Our second location is also comfortable and very clean and I am having no mold reactions. Huzzah! Both locations also have a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's within a 5-10 min walk. Double Huzzah! This rental is another respite for rest and relaxation. With Brandon working at the apartment, we also wanted him to enjoy his time as well. Hence, the "need" for a pool and gym. Twist my arm. While I am at the clinic for 4-5 hours each day and am very tired, I am trying to find some energy to enjoy the beautiful sun while we are here...then I crash.
If you would like to see a list of AirBnBs that patients have recommended please see Places to Stay.
The best part of treatment is wheeling the IV pole out on the sunny rooftop and hanging with my buddy, Hollis the nurse. All is going well! Some periods of feeling wiped out after certain IVs, but overall, feeling more alert, having more energy, and having less brain fog! My bladder pain that has been troubling me on and off since September disappeared after the first day of treatment! I really don't want to leave this place. The Infusio staff is so kind and supportive. I haven't felt this type of positive energy from a medical clinic ever or in my years of treating Lyme disease.
The Beverly Hills Infusio clinic definitely operates differently from that of a typical Western medical office. For instance, there is no "waiting room" or barrier of a front desk where you receive treatment. There is a "transparent" feel to the penthouse office suite that you immediately sense from both the aesthetics of the clinic and from the open communication with patients. Their main office is located on the 3rd floor and that is where you check in on the first day and receive a patient orientation. The atmosphere is calm, supportive, and tranquil. Several of the staff members are former Lyme patients themselves who have gone through the program and are in complete remission (or near remission). This brings comfort to the patients getting treatment. All of us feel like we are in good hands.
While there were times that some of us felt that we didn't get a full explanation of the treatment protocol, we felt comforted to "let go" of the control of knowing every detail of our treatment. This seems to be part of the philosophy at Infusio - that part of healing means "trust" and to "give in" to healing. I'm starting to understand that now. I'm starting to understand that having such tight control is part of the "sick patient rut".
Next week brings the same type of IV treatment based on each day's Global Diagnostics scan and we'll have our stem cell procedure on our second to last day. For those wondering, my IV therapies this week included rounds of the following:
This place is amazing. I can tell already that this is a place where healing happens. There are five other Lyme patients here with me in my "lyme patient cohort" and I'll be with them during the 10-days of treatment. Normally, there are 11 days of treatment, but our patient group came during Memorial Day holiday week, so they are doubling up on the therapies on the last few days. Infusio gets six new Lyme patients every week on a rotating basis. Each patient is at the clinic for 4-5 hours each day receiving various intravenous cocktails and other supportive therapies and then the final stem cell transplant at the end of treatment.
Here are scenes from this morning's view. Today's intravenous therapies include (as noted in Infusio's Lyme brochure):
Calcium EDTA - typically used to remove lead from the blood stream. However, it is known to have many benefits in optimizing the cellular terrain and helping cells rid themselves of metabolic waste and toxins.
Glutathione - naturally made by the liver, glutathione deactivates the destructive free radicals. Glutathione helps to recycle coenzyme Q10 - an enzyme found in the energy-producing mitochondria of all cells - back to full strength after it neutralizes free radicals.
Artesunate - is an antimicrobial generally used to treat malaria. However, in this context, I'm guessing we are targeting Babesia with me since Babesia is a "sister" of malaria.
Dioxychlor - Dioxychlor is a natural antimicrobial which supplies oxygen to the cells. Administered in an infusion, it may help eliminate toxins, parasites, bacteria, viruses, and yeast.
Neuro Amino Acids - This proprietary mix of amino acids is designed to support detoxification and repair of the nervous system.
I also received a thymus injection and trigger point therapy with De'Leon, the handsome 'Gladiator' massage therapist. Tasty bone broth soup, nettle tea, and green juice were also given to all patients.
Thymus injection is administered every day and plays a strong role in helping to support and restore the immune system. My bum will have to get used to that poke and sting every day! Yowzers!
We made it. I see palm trees and nice bearded travel companions. Our AirBnB for the first week is fantastic. It is located in West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip near Beverly Hills and just 4 miles from Infusio. We're on the 5th floor and have a spectacular view of the city (see below). The apartment is clean and appears to be mold-free as I don't seem to be reacting. If anyone would like information about where we are staying, please contact "The Let". I found them on AirBnB and Trip Advisor. Brandon is heading to the gym soon. For me - it's time to rest. Treatment begins in 2 days on Tuesday, May 30! Eek! I'm nervous and excited.
Tomorrow I leave for a 2-week monumental journey. I will be starting at a Lyme treatment program in Los Angeles that incorporates stem cells and I can't thank you enough for your support and help with getting me there! I am beyond nervous and excited. For those wondering, here's what's going on. I thought I would explain it all in one place:
What? Stem Cells?
Yep. Since incorporating stem cells in their program, the clinic has seen an 85% success rate with Lyme patients. 5% they don't hear from again and 10% stagnate or don't improve. Kelly Osbourne, celebrity with Lyme, also went to their clinic in Germany, and she recently spoke about how they saved her life. These are NOT embryonic stem cells which can carry a risk of cancerous tumor formation. These are adipose stem cells, or stem cells derived from a patient's own fat. There is no risk of rejection with these type of stem cells. I'll have a procedure at the end of the 2 weeks which liposuctions stem cells from my "love handle" area with two incisions in the tush area. Then, they become activated and pumped back into me via IV, where they can "go to work" and start repairing damage and rebuilding my immune system.
What Happens After the 2 Weeks?
My body will be in a healing state. The first 100 days, the stems are working hard and replicating 10 times every 10 days. This may be a period of a lot of ups and downs. Some patients start to see some improvements during this time, while others crash or have a roller coaster of symptom flares. This is normal. The stems are working hard to rebuild and the body is trying to recalibrate. During this "fragile" stem-building time, it is recommended to do anything to remain stress-free and to rest, as stress can affect how stems rebuild. After the 100 days is when the real benefits start to take place and it may take up to 1 year to see the full benefits. Some patients report not feeling a real "shift" until about month 6 or 7. If it takes me a year to get better, I don't care. When you're stuck in bed or the couch and have dizzying neuro symptoms, you'll do whatever it takes.
If you want to read more on the clinic's Lyme program, here is the link.
Big thank you to everyone for your support and to the person who donated their sky miles to get me there!
Phew. This stuff is complicated. If you have questions, please ask away. I'll be happy to try to answer. Wish me luck. I'll need the encouragement and reminders that my body will be hard at work beating this. I'm pretty nervous. I will be posting updates and pics as things progress, but not of my tush.