Most of you who read my blog know about Operation Hookworm. If you don’t, here’s the Reader’s Digest version: After 27 some years of asthma attacks, allergies and eczema, I was turned on to a new “treatment” for these sorts of autoimmune deficiencies. The premise: infect yourself with hookworm larva. Once the hookworms mature in your body, they secrete a substance that sort of tones down your immune response to allergens. Infected patients were seeing dramatic results. No more allergies, no more asthma attacks! The cost? A mere $3000 (not covered by insurance of course). See my December blog “Hope for My Holidays” for a better back story and how I raised the funds.
Now let’s fast forward. I "adopted" 35 hookworms on March 14th. By “adopted” I mean had them shipped from England to Canada, went to Canada, put them on my skin and let them burrow their way into my belly. It was really not as bad as it sounds.
The baby hookworms come in a tiny vial. They are so small they aren’t visible to the human eye.
|35 Hookworms in their Vials|
They are suctioned out of their vial and placed on a large Band-Aid. Once they are all there, the Band-Aid is transferred to my skin.
|Putting them on a band-aid|
I put mine on the inside of my bicep where the skin is soft and relatively hairless. Within about 10 minutes I started to feel an itch at the site. This was a good thing; it meant the wormies were on the move. What happens is the larva irritates the skin and causes it to become inflamed and almost liquefied, allowing the larva to penetrate between the skin cells. They sure are smart little dudes.
|Ready to move in!|
After they entered the skin, they moved into the bloodstream. I liked to picture them on a lazy river ride through my body, they just sort of drifted about, checking out the new territory. They moved through the lungs where they kicked up a little dust, causing me to cough and swallow. Then they found a comfy little spot to call home. And you know what they say about a new home, "location, location, location!" They found the best spot, located right below my belly, where they have access to all my favorite foods like ice cream and coffee and pineapple! I'm also pretty sure they have a great view of some pretty healthy internal organs. Once they found a place to call home, they threw themselves a little housewarming soirée. I was hoping maybe they'd have a low key dinner party, instead they had a kegger. They partied for weeks. Clearly, we had not discussed the terms of the lease.
In the outside world, where I live, I was experiencing the worst stomach ache I had ever had. Everything normal I ate, the worms hated. They only wanted cheerios and iced tea. Try to give them a pizza and they threw a FIT! This didn’t start right away. It took about 3 weeks, but then it was on! It was so bad; I would lie in my bed on my knees in a ball, waiting for the pain to stop. It was about 3 weeks before the pain subsided. Bonus side effect though, lost 5 lbs.
Back inside, the wormies were growing up. Thank goodness! They traded in their keg cups for briefcases and went to work. They attached themselves inside my intestines and began to secrete their secret sauce that makes this process work.
In the mean time would check in with Jasper, my hookworm guy in England on a regular basis. While I was seeing some results, I wasn’t seeing as many as he wanted to see. He suggested I get a few more babies, 50 more to be exact. He assured me that since I was already hosting 35, I wouldn't have such an extreme reaction as I did with the previous. At that point he could have told me I would have a stomach ache 10x as bad, I still would have done it. I felt like I’d come too far to stop. So at the end of July, I was hooked up again.
|2nd dose in and ready to work|
It’s now been a bit more than 6 months since my initial inoculation, and I'm now the proud mom to 85 hookworms and the results I have seen have been amazing! My eczema is fantastic! All summer I was able to wear short sleeves without worrying about how bad the eczema on my arms was. I stopped taking one of my asthma medicines completely, and I only have had to use my rescue inhaler about once every 2 weeks or so. BW (before worms) I was taking my rescue inhaler at least once a day. I would have to refill it every month. I have the same one now that I refilled in June.
My allergies have been a bit stubborn. It’s been a horrible summer for them here in the cities; however my reactions have stayed pretty mild. I have had some friends miss work because their allergies have been so bad, so the fact that mine are pretty status quo for this time of year is great!
The worms are also supposed to help with my MS. Granted, my MS has pretty much been benign since my initial diagnosis almost 5 years ago; I have still had what I call “ghost symptoms” from time to time. These are not real relapses. They happen when I get overheated or have a fever. The body mimics MS symptoms like tingling in the feet or hands and extreme fatigue. Since my wormies moved in, I’ve experienced none of these. I have been able to be out in the heat of the summer without problems. In a lot of ways, the last 6 months have been absolutely fantastic!
The ultimate goal is to be able to completely stop my asthma and allergy meds, and to be rid of my eczema all together. I’m very early in the stages of this process. It can take up to a whole year to see the full results. So far so good!
I want to thank every for all the support and good vibes you’ve sent my way through this process. It’s been a weird one, to say the least, but it’s really changing my life. I’m so grateful to everyone who had a part in making this happen. I’ll keep updating from time to time on here.
If you’d like to learn more, or if you know someone who might benefit from this treatment, please check out Jasper Lawrence’s site. It’s full of information and testimonies. This treatment can truly change lives, and I’m lucky enough to be proof!!
My hookworm hookup. Jasper Lawrence's Site
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