Tag Archives: worm therapy

Nearing month 6. Comparison photos and observations.

Hi everyone.

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.

Top left: before of chest. Top right: after of chest. Bottom left: before of hand. Bottom right: after of hand.
Top left: before of chest.
Top right: after of chest.
Bottom left: before of hand.
Bottom right: after of hand.
Top left: before, arm. Top right: after, arm. Bottom left: before, arm. Bottom right: after, arm.
Top left: before, arm.
Top right: after, arm.
Bottom left: before, arm.
Bottom right: after, arm.

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. 

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Day 49. Mega (b)itch.

I know, I’ve been MIA with regards to blogging.

No significant changes to report, pals. I’m the same with regards to the huge skin flares. I’m itchy all of the time. Itchy and red and raw. I’m also having some gut aches that may be worm related or may be related to killing all of the good bacteria in my gut when taking antibiotics.

The real truth is, I’ve been in a huge funk. It’s hard for me to openly admit that for all to see but… so be it. I censor myself enough in real life and on Facebook. The purpose of this blog is to let it all out and that’s what I’m going to do. (Well, sort of.)

When I say huge funk, I mean the big D word. It’s really rough having unrelenting issues like this. It’s rough on my family, too. I don’t want to sound miserable. No one really wants to listen to whining or be around someone who is so down. But, I’ve been miserable. I’m in a constant state of being uncomfortable. Being constantly itchy with really large burning plaques on my skin is wearing on me. It’s isolating. It’s hard to get up and face the day when the only time you don’t feel miserable is when you’re heavily medicated with sedating antihistamines and passed out.

To further validate the above, here is an article from ABC News with the catchy headline of ‘Chronic Itching as Debilitating as Chronic Pain’. It may put things into better perspective for anyone who thinks I’m a nut job.

That said, I do try to put on a happy face and just buck up and deal with it. I try my best. I’ve even been working out a bit. It does help my mood but not my skin. Winter in Cleveland isn’t so great for keeping cheery either.

I promise to have a more interesting, less whiney, and fun filled post coming up soon. I’m working on compiling a few helminthic therapy success stories that I think are quite uplifting!

Day 7. No bounce.

Hey folks.

Not much going on here that’s out of the ordinary. Just having a giant skin flare-up that’s causing me much grief today. I’m a huge, itchy, wanting-to-cry mess. I’m not sure if this is from the immune response to my new, still microscopic pets but I’m looking forward to better days. I know they’ll come eventually. I’ve also had some weird tingling/numbness in my hands and wrists that isn’t quite normal for me.

So, again, here is what could potentially be going on with me right now. This is taken directly from the document titled, Hookworm timeline: what to expect after inoculation with hookworm larvae, written by John Scott:

Day 6 to end of Week 2

Typically, not much happens during this period, unless it is a continuation of symptoms that started within the first few days. The only change that may occur is a possible ‘bounce’. This is a fairly unusual phenomenon observed in some subjects but not described in the literature.

The ‘bounce’ is a period in which all the subject’s usual symptoms (Crohn’s, asthma, allergies, etc.) disappear, sometimes completely. It typically occurs around the end of week one, perhaps as early as day five and even as late as week two. It can last about a week, but may appear for only 3-4 days, or, rarely, last for almost two weeks. Often this cessation of symptoms is accompanied by a wonderful feeling of calm, serenity, well-being and happiness.

It is easy to take a ‘bounce’ as evidence that the worms have ‘worked’ and that all will be well form this point on. Unfortunately, the ‘bounce’ never lasts, so one should not suddenly abandon whatever medications one is taking, or the diet one is following! This phenomenon is only temporary and not an indication that one has achieved remission in record time.

The appearance of a ‘bounce’ may be due to the fact that the body suddenly finds it has an appropriate target at which to aim its immune artillery. Alternatively, it may be due to something that the larvae are doing that elicits a strong response that quells inflammation. Either way, the ‘bounce’ is something to be enjoyed… while it lasts.

The worms are now maturing in my intestines. Soon they will be visible to the naked eye. Cool, huh?

I’ll post some more interesting bits tomorrow. In the meantime, if you’re reading this and would like me to cover a question you have or another related topic please comment and let me know.

Day 3

Still alive here. Haven’t died from the worms yet.

I’m going to include some information I have here, and this will probably be a regular thing as the timeline progresses, from a document I have obtained from the wonderful Helminthic Therapy Support Group on Facebook. These folks know their stuff and have been a terrific resource for me and for countless others. Facebook isn’t always so bad. (Thanks HTSG!)

The following smaller italicized text is taken directly from the document titled, What to expect after inoculation with hookworm, written by John Scott, April 2012:

Days 3-5

Having migrated from the skin, via the bloodstream to the lungs, during the first two days, the still-invisible larvae then burrow through the lining of the lungs to join all the particulate matter – dust, smoke particles, pollen, etc. – being swept up along the ‘escalator’ of hairs that lines the inside surface of the lungs. This ciliary conveyor belt eventually transports the larvae to the throat, where they transfer from the airway to the gullet before continuing on their journey down to the stomach and on to the lower intestine, where they will spend the remainder of their 3 to 7 year life span (average 5 years). 

Occasionally, the migration of the larvae through the lungs may make some people cough, though this dose-related effect is actually quite rare. Coughing up phlegm and/or spitting should be resisted from days 2-5 to avoid expelling larvae that might be passing the throat at the time, on their way from the lungs to the gastrointestinal tract.

Common side effects at this stage are, in descending order or occurrence: a flare of the skin rash at the site of inoculation, fatigue, diarrhea, cramping and gas, nausea and vomiting. Children may display behavioral changes akin to those seen in a child with flu or allergies – lethargy, crankiness, etc.

(Yes. People do treat their children with helminths. Don’t judge.)

So far, no side effect to report here besides the inoculation rash. As I’ve mentioned before, the rash is not bothersome to me in the slightest due to all of the other skin eruptions I’m dealing with currently. The site actually feels a bit sore when I touch it. Maybe that’s to be expected? I did, after all, have 35 hookworm larvae crunching and munching their way through my dermal layers. Delightful, eh? I think so. Check out the photo at the top of this post and you can see their ‘dental plates’. He looks quite angry about something.

That’s all for today. I’ll educate you some more tomorrow.

Inoculation Day: Take 35 helminths and call me in the morning!

Well, I did it.

My worms arrived this afternoon.

I had considered posting photos of all of the materials that arrived but I thought better of it. As I’ve mentioned before, I won’t do anything that could potentially jeopardize my providers operations. I’d like to continue to receive therapy from them and I’d like for others to be able to continue as well. So, I’ll have to do it the old fashioned way and describe it all in writing. Don’t worry, I’ll throw up a few photos to keep things interesting.

After allowing the materials to come to room temperature, I started to prepare for inoculation. Two small vials, one bulb pipette, and a gauzy bandage were received. (No instructions come along in the package in case of interception by unknown entities. You’re sent all instructions via email.) One vial contained 35 hookworm larvae (which are not visible to the naked eye). The other vial was an unknown solution of perhaps saline that was simply used to rinse out the larvae vial and bulb pipette after placing all of that material onto the center of the bandage. After all of this was complete I slapped the bandage onto my inner, upper arm.

inoculation bandage!
inoculation bandage! there are worms in there!

That’s really all there is to it friends! But wait, I haven’t really gotten to the good stuff yet.

In my instruction packet, I had read that you should start to feel a stinging/burning/itching sensation right around the 7 minute mark. This proved to be fairly accurate in my case. This is how you know your larvae arrived to your home alive. You’re feeling them burrow into your skin. No big deal, right? Honestly, it’s not a big deal at all. It’s much less horrifying than it sounds. And for me, a person who has burning/itching skin on the regular, this shit has NOTHING on what I deal with daily. For example, the hives I have elsewhere are much more bothersome to me right now. So much so that I don’t even feel the inoculation rash at all. However, I’ve read and am told that the inoculation rash can get worse as the treatment timeline progresses.

The photos below show the current state of my skin. I have other areas that I haven’t photographed out of decency. These photos show the reasons why I’ve infected myself with parasitic worms today.

crook of my arm; urticaria/eczema.
crook of my arm; urticaria/eczema.
stefarm2
crook of my other arm; urticaria/eczema.
stefchest
chest, shoulder,neck,breast; urticaria/eczema.
stefhand
hand and wrist; urticaria/eczema.

 

I’m about 6 hours post inoculation and I’ll be leaving the bandage on for a full 12 hours. All larvae should have wriggled into my bloodstream by now.

I have access to a great document (written carefully and expertly by a fellow helminth host) that includes a rough day by day timeline of what to expect post inoculation. It contains information on where your larvae should be in your body and when and what side effects you’re likely to experience on certain days.

I’ll be documenting all side effects and anything that I feel at all here. I’ve been in touch with my provider this evening and have let them know that my worms arrived alive. My next dose of hookworm should be arriving in 3 months time. Exciting!

Stay tuned until tomorrow when I post photo(s) of the inoculation rash. I’m afraid it(they) may pale in comparison to my urticaria photos from today.