It’s been awhile since I’ve written about my little hook worm friends. I thought I’d share an update. As you may remember I got my first dose of hookworms in March of 2011. I got another “booster” dose in July 2011, June 2012, September 2012, and most recently in March. Let me explain further. After my initial does I opted to adopt 50 more worms. The staff at AutoimmuneTherapies and I discussed this option thinking that with the severity and stubbornness of my allergies, asthma and eczema, I might do better with a few more. The June 2012 dose was given with the same thought. I had seen great improvement but it has seemed to drop off a bit. Several weeks after that dose I realized I hadn’t gotten any of the “symptoms” I had experienced in previous doses. Sometimes the travel can be too much for the little guys so occasionally they aren’t viable when they reach their destination. The Autoimmune team and I agreed that another dose was in order.
|This is a great representation of the |
size of adult worms
The winter months came on and I wasn’t feeling quite the same as I had in my first year. My eczema was flaring and my asthma seemed to be on the brink of bad again. In January 2013 I had an asthma attack that landed me in the hospital. On one hand this was sort of an awesome discovery. Before I got hooked up I was guaranteed at least one ER visit a year for my asthma. To have two years go by without one was awesome. The downside was that I didn’t think my worms were pulling their weight. I discussed this with Autoimmune Therapies and they requested I send them a “sample” so they could determine if I still had active worms producing eggs inside me. The “sample” was not so great to obtain. The only way to measure worm egg production is when they are expelled from your body… as poop. Yup, I had to send someone a sample of my poop. I countered the “ick” factor with the thought of what Jasper had to do get his worms… tromp thorough a latrine in a third-world country. At least I didn’t have to step in poop.
|This is a how the worms migrate through your body.|
Just replace the step where you get "Ground Itch" and put in
"applied larvae to arm". The larvae then continue on their journey.
When Jasper initially got his worms, he DID step in infested soil!
So I sent my sample off to England to be analyzed. The results I received back weren’t as great as I’d hoped. There were eggs present which mean that there were still live female worms in my gut. However, with the amount of worms I had been dosed with, they had expected to see more eggs. I ordered another round. That was April 8th of this year.
So I’m exactly one month in. It’s too early to tell if there have been improvements. My skin has cleared up pretty fast, but it’s around week 4 that allergies can worsen. I’m keeping an eye on this. We’re just approaching allergy season here in Minnesota. Tree pollen has been high and flowers and weeds and grass soon to follow (hurry up worms!!) I’ve also been trying to keep a healthier diet. I figure if my little worm friends are working their butts (tails??) off for me I should step up and do my part to help. I’ve started drinking green smoothies every morning. They usually consist of Kale, Spinach, orange juice and some fresh fruit, usually a banana or some strawberries. They are delicious and don’t at all taste like the sound they might. I think eating more nutritious foods will only help in this over all process. I checked with Autoimmune Therapies about taking a probiotic as well. I don’t want to take anything that will potentially lessen any effects the worms might have on my body. Probiotics are ok!
People still check in with me to see how I’m doing. When I take a step back to analyze where I am health wise now as opposed to where I was 2 or more years ago, the results truly have been life changing. This past January when I had the asthma attack that put me in the hospital, I hadn’t realized just how exhausting asthma can be. For the larger part of my 30 years here on earth I’ve struggled to breathe every single day. I didn’t know any different. I puffed on my “rescue” inhaler a few times and went on with my day. This past January my asthma started to get bad on a Friday night. I couldn’t think of anything that had tipped it off. By the following Saturday I was really struggling, taking my rescue inhaler and then taking nebulizer treatments. I was exhausted. My whole body ached from laboring to breathe. My shoulder and neck were in knots and I was sleep deprived. When Sunday rolled around I was too tired to fight it anymore and had my boyfriend take me to the hospital. I did have the choice of being sent home or staying overnight. In the past I would have gone straight home, but that was when I was more seasoned in labored breathing. It took less effort to recover back then. So I spent the night if only to get some rest. While hospitals definitely aren’t quieter than home, they are more relaxing to me for the fact that I know someone is right there if something happens.
I went back to work the following Wednesday and it took me a good week before I finally had all my energy back. It was then that I realized just how much things have changed since I brought my little worm babies home two years ago.
I've also seen marked improvements in my allergies. While I still have symptoms they are 100% better than they were. Before the worms, I always had a stuffed or runny nose. People were always asking if I had a cold. Since my first dose, I've seldom had a stuffy nose. It's so great to be able to breathe! I seem to be less reactive to other allergy and asthma triggers as well. While I am still somewhat reactive it has been far less dramatic then in the past. I gave my dog a bath the other day and came out of it hive free. That used to be a huge chore I avoided. I'd have to wear long sleeves and long rubber gloves to avoid getting her wet hair all over me. We dove right in last week though and I had no hives or skin reaction whatsoever.
My MS (knock on wood) has been pretty much non-existent. So much so that some days (SOME days) I can almost forget about it. I am still very cautious to avoid potential triggers like excessive heat. I take care to listen to my body. If I'm tired, I take a nap. If I'm too hot, I turn on the air conditioner. It's taken me a long time to push aside the embarrassment of my health issues and focus on taking care of myself. I guess I've moved into a more accepting attitude vs. the hiding and denial I used to foster.
I’m certainly not to the point I’d like to be, but I’m realizing that nothing is an instant cure all, but taking care of me mentally and physically will support the process. So I continue to take my meds – though I have been able to back off some. I see my wonderful therapist a couple times a month, and I try to focus on what I have right now.
I’m hoping I keep heading in the right direction. The next few months will be a better indicator.
If you know someone who could benefit from this sort of treatment or if you’d like to learn more, click on the link here check out Jasper Lawrence’scompany, Autoimmune Therapies. He and his staff are truly wonderful to work with. I’m so grateful the universe put us together!