In the past several months, I’ve been getting nearly inundated with emails inquiring on the status of my therapy. And don’t feel bad about emailing me — I truly don’t mind! I just can’t get to all of the emails in as timely a manner as I’d like.
The news is this: I’m the same. My skin is still mostly clear with the very occasional small patch of eczema that comes and goes away in a few days. I really didn’t want to be one of those people who gets better and then disappears but that’s sort of what happened with me. So…. #sorrynotsorry?
If you’re reading this and thinking about helminthic therapy for yourself or a loved one, please note on my main page that I’ve added a new section titled Helminthic Therapy wiki. There you will find answers to most, if not all, of the questions that you email me with. I have no problem answering questions but I feel that this resource is more valuable than anything I could ever tell you.
Additionally, if you’re thinking about HT — please do some research on all available providers. I say this because I, along with a list of others, have experienced some junk with our provider. I am eternally grateful for all that this particular provider has done for the world of helminthic therapy. That said, at this time, I cannot recommend that you or anyone else use them. Just don’t give them your money. If you would like more specific details you can email me but I’d rather not discuss the drama here.
Because of what I just mentioned above, I will most likely be incubating my own Necator Americanus in the near future. I’ve had the supplies for quite some time and I have a laboratory background. I just don’t have the motivation or a great desire to mix up my own waste products.
I had someone recently ask me if they could actually eat worms. No. I’m sorry. Not the species of worms that live in MY guts anyway.
That’s about all I have in me today. I hope to write again soon friends. Thanks for reading.
I’ve been meaning to update ya’ll for over a month but haven’t.
On June 6, I received my third dose of hookworm larvae. This was my second dose of 50. They were alive and well. (cuz summer!) So, if all worms have persevered, I’m now hosting 135 of them in my gut.
And here’s a picture of the inoculation rash at day 4!
Lovely, isn’t it? It was slightly painful this time around. A good portion of my forearm was swollen and bruised. And the itch! Yikes. It was bad this time. Those of us who brave helminthic therapy seem to have more severe skin reactions with each consecutive dose.
And since I haven’t posted any progress notes from the ‘hookworm timeline’, I’ll do that to keep things interesting and more informative.
Although some hosts have reported experiencing the start of long-lasting improvement at 7 or 8 weeks, the worms only really start to ‘work’, and symptoms begin to ease, at around 12 weeks. Allergies and asthma, in particular, generally (but not always) resolve between the 11th and 13th weeks. By week 20, the worms are usually in their stride.
I’m now at week 24. So quite honestly, I can still improve from here.
I’ve had a few mild eczema flares on my hands and arms. These flares have been coming and going since March. I’ve had zero episodes of urticaria or hives since about February. The hives were pretty unbearable and I’m hoping they’re gone for good.
And! I recently did an interview with an online tech magazine about helminthic therapy and my progress thus far. It was pretty exciting, I’m not gonna lie. I’ll keep you posted on that article if/when it’s published.
I’m six months* into this worm business and now I’m here to show you some actual results. So basically, I’m here to back my shit up with photographic evidence!
As I mentioned in my last post, my skin is roughly 99% clear. I have a few small areas on my hands that are dry and itchy. I’ll take it.
That’s the funny thing with those of us who suffer (have suffered) from skin issues. We have the physical marks to show you that we’ve healed. We can show you before and after shots without much difficulty.
I won’t keep babbling on. I’ll preach more after I post the photos.
And there you have it.
I just want to sort of leave you with these photos without too much celebratory hoopla.
I know some of you will still doubt these results. I know some of you will think “Well, gee. This is just a fluke.” Or, “Well, uh, maybe her skin just cleared up on its own.” Or “placebo effect…” Or any number of speculations. And I’ll say this: That’s fine. I’m so very glad that my mind is open enough to have tried this therapy. I’m so very glad that I am who I am and that I’m not afraid to be adventurous and also not afraid to go against what a doctor would advise. I’m so very glad that I decided to not sit around and stay miserably itchy and sore day after day because I was afraid of a few worms. I’m so very glad that I didn’t wait for a drug that would never come or a doctor that would never listen.
Given the choice between chronic hives and parasites, I’d take the parasites in a heartbeat.
* Please note that while my results thus far are pretty wonderful, they are not typical. My provider has reported that it is very clear that at least 50% of those who try helminthic therapy will not see results before the 6 month mark. Most will not respond until after 6 months and some could take up to 2 years to see any results. While some hosts will see a sudden change, others will not. Some will experience such gradual changes that they will not even notice benefits. Persistence is required and you must fully commit to the therapy for two years to really know if it’s working or not. I myself still have room for improvement, of course.
My second dose of hookworm arrived this past Saturday after much “rigmarole”. I had asked that it be shipped to Florida (where we were spending two weeks of vacation) thinking that they’d have a better chance of survival due to the tropical climate. Two weeks had passed without the arrival of my little friends. Turns out that my provider had shipped them to my home address. Luckily, our mail was held in a warm indoor post office.
On Saturday, when we received our giant stack of mail I panicked a bit when I saw that special package. I immediately assumed they would be dead. I decided to try something different this time. I let them chill out for about an hour or so in a very warm spot close to a heating vent. My intention was to try and wake them up.
After slapping them on my inner forearm, I felt the burning/tingling after roughly 7 minutes. Yay!!! The little pals were alive and well. I was pretty darn excited after waiting a month for a replacement dose.
The photo above is what the inoculation site looks like today. Two days post inoculation and it has gotten redder and more itchy. It’s also starting to become raised. I’ll take it!
I know some of you are wondering how long the larvae can survive outside of a host. I’m not sure if I covered this or not. I’m told that they can survive for about a month. They were shipped to me on March 1. We were cutting it pretty close.
As for the rest of my skin (the reason I’m infecting myself with parasites), it’s been pretty great. I think two weeks of sun and water helped it but I also believe it’s due to my tiny worm friends.
Obviously, there’s been a bit of a lull. My skin has been extra itchy and angry for about the last week. But, I’m happy to report that it’s been good for brief periods here and there as well.
That was the good news.
Now, onto the bad. My 2nd dose of 50 hookworm arrived today. I’m fairly certain they were dead on arrival. There was no tingling/itching/burrowing-into-my-skin feeling. None that I could really feel anyway. It may also be that since the rest of me is already pretty itchy/tingly that I simply just couldn’t distinguish the difference between the worms burrowing and my already tremendously bothersome yet normal (for me) regular ass skin crawl.
I hope that last sentence made sense. (I drank some wine tonight.)
The only real explanation for the possible (and likely) worm death is due to the arctic temperatures. Our worm friends are tropical creatures. They’re not fans of the cold and literally can’t survive long in these temperatures.
I could also be wrong about the worms being DOA. I’ve still got the bandage in place and if I see “love bites” tomorrow then I’ll know at least some of them made it through okay. If not, then I’ll be provided with another dose. The yucky part is that I’ll have to wait another 2.5 weeks or so. Shipping these babies takes awhile due to where they’re coming from.
I’ll keep you posted on what I see on my arm tomorrow. I know you’re all on the edge of your seats.
P.S. — that photo at the top? Those are the vials that my worms came in.
This photo here is where I placed my (possibly dead) worms this time.