Thursday, May 28, 2009


For the past ten months, I have been giving myself an injection of the antibiotic Bicillin. Despite some rocky early episodes, the thrice-weekly Bicillin shot quickly became routine and I was glad to be on it as my strength slowly improved. At about the eight month point the drug started to lose its effectiveness. I added in the antibiotic Zythromax to bolster the effect of the Bicillin, and a few weeks ago I added Plaquenil (an antimalarial that can also treat Lyme), but my body still needed more effective medicine. The original plan was to continue this course until the end of June. In mid-May I decided to skip the last six weeks of Bicillin and instead start the Rocephin right away.

Rocephin can be administed by IV, but this means getting some kind of plastic tube put into my veins and left there 24 hours a day for the duration of the course of antibiotics. I have chemical sensitivity, so even the smell of plastic makes me feel unwell. The idea of implanting a plastic tube in my body gave me the heebie-geebies.

The other option was an enormous daily injection of 5 ccs of pain-killer mixed with Rocephin in powdered form. Last Thursday The Poet and I went to the doctor's office so he could learn how to give it to me. It is a strange kind of intimacy to have your loved one give you an extremely painful injection every morning, but I am grateful for it. This in one that I just couldn't do myself.

The first couple days on the drug were rocky, as I expected. Some of the anxiety and despair I felt when I first started Plaquenil came back on days one and two, and I had, as usual, some trouble sleeping.

Day three we left for a weekend trip to Portland, and that distracted me enough to keep the anxiety at bay. Whenever I felt my mood plummeting, I told myself I was on vacation, I hadn't dragged The Poet with me to another state to have us both be miserable, so I should give an outward show of cheerfulness at least. And you know what? It worked. We had a good time and my anxiety melted away completely. By Sunday I noticed that my energy was generally better than I expected.

For the past five days I have felt better, and more consistently better, since I don't know when. My night time sleep is starting to even out, I haven't needed a morning nap, and my days have felt more productive than before.


The biggest trick I've learned is to move around after the injection. The Poet gives it to me in the morning before he goes to work, and after that I try to be active, even if its just watering the garden. Yoga helps, as do a few minutes meditation before my afternoon nap and before bed.

For those who are chemically sensitive or who have a stressed out liver (and who doesn't) procaine can be used in the injection solution instead of the usual pharmaceutical pain killer. Procaine is non-toxic and breaks down into B vitamins. Ask your doctor about it or leave a comment for me if you need more details.

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