Tag Archives: inoculation

Delayed Post: Dose 3.

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.

Weeks 12-20

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. 

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Dose 2. They’re alive! 

Hey there! It’s been awhile.

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. 

Dose 2. Inoculation fail.

Oh, hi! Long time no post, I know.

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.

IMG_3319
This photo here is where I placed my (possibly dead) worms this time.

As always, thanks for being interested!