Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Extreme foods I’ve been eating lately: Watermelon rinds and sprouted buckwheat. My stepson’s friend showed me this summer how you can eat the rind of a watermelon. He took just a few bites from the slice he had in his hand. Last week I chopped up the flesh of the organic farm-share melon, froze it for later, and put the rind in the fridge. Have been eating a piece or two each day. Full of nutrients and perfect to get my cholestyramine-laden digestion moving! And the crunchy buckwheat is wonderful in yogurt.


I have a policy of not going to the blog when I am down, because I can really write my way even further down, to the very bottom of the well of self-pity, and because I doubt anyone out there wants to hang out in the bottom of the well with me. (I’m sure whining and melodrama creeps into few of my posts anyway, but I do my best.)

So now I am coming clean: the first month on the Shoemaker protocol sucked me in like psychological quicksand. I was fatigued, I was overwhelmed with little medical chores that extracted my soul by the end of each day. I was barely sleeping more than I had before I started the protocol, and insomnia is scarcely a recipe for health and optimism. To make it worse, I am staying at my parents’ house, scene of my previous helplessness at the hands of Lyme disease, and I couldn’t help but wonder if time really was circular.

And I didn’t have any explanation for what was going on. I was supposed to be feeling better, and suddenly I had lost all the ground I’d gained from four years of antibiotics. Could all my progress vanish in a matter of weeks?

Yesterday I had a phone appointment with my naturopath, Amy Derksen. She reassured me all my symptoms were normal for someone starting Cholestyramine: the fatigue, trouble sleeping, over-the-top flare-up of mold allergies, yeast symptoms, continued need for blood thinners, etc.

“This just means this detox is a really big deal for your body.”

Which makes perfect sense. Two years living in extremely polluted Mexico City, then ten years of undiagnosed Lyme disease, followed by four years of industrial quantities of antibiotics while living with a compulsive collector us musty used books, and all of it, I’ve just learned, on a genetically handicapped liver. The detoxing would unquestionably be a big deal, and I guess this is just what it feels like. You’ve got to feel worse before you feel better, pain = gain, etc.

Just knowing what’s going on is enough to make me feel optimistic again.

Amy knows her stuff forwards and backwards, and she had quite a few suggestions for me, the first one being, increase your adrenal support—those poor adrenals are shot. So I’m back up to 9 Isocorts per day (had dropped it down to six a couple months ago and cheered at my progress). Other suggestions: a new technique for the enemas that helped quite a bit with digestion issues, and adding back in some neurotransmitters at bedtime, and some chromium to help with blood sugar regulation. All easy enough, all supplements I had just lying around since I’d optimistically stopped taking them a while back.

So yes, time is cyclical. I’ve looped my way back to the old pills I thought I wouldn’t need again. (Time is very frugal that way.) Time is also linear. I’m still heading in the direction of full health. Time, then, is shaped like slinky, and the bottom of the stairs is coming into sight.


Eliza Gray said...

Hi, I was wondering if you took the Questan while still on antibiotics, or was it after you'd already finished your antibiotic protocol? My doctor has recommended Questran while still on antibiotics, but being sure to take it 2-4 hours away from the antibiotics. But a lot of people on the web seem to take it at the end of treatment, after months or years of antibiotics after they feel better. Thanks for any insights you might have!

Naomi said...

Hi Eliza: In retrospect, I wish I'd taken the Cholestyramine from the start of my antibiotic treatment because the die-off during the antibiotics made it difficult for me to sleep. I took it after, but did not feel better quickly, and it turned out I still had Lyme. I am now back on Lyme meds and taking the Cholestyramine, and it seems to be working. Figuring out a schedule for when to take things can be difficult, though. Good luck!