Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh!
Happy St. Patrick's Day! (I know for 2 time zones in the U.S. St. Patrick's Day is officially over but since I've yet to sleep, I'm just gonna pretend it's still my favorite holiday.)
But we'll get to St. Patrick's Day in a second. First I want to share an update on the EBV treatment I've been doing a little over a month now--I've been meaning to post an update for a while, but alas, this is the first. But I promise if you make it through the entire post, there are some fun St. Pat's pictures at the end. (However, if you're as pressed for time as the white rabbit who was running late and annoyingly repeating it as he ran, feel free to skip to the pictures ;-) )
If you want a refresher on the treatment I'm doing (or if you didn't happen to read it the first time around), this is where you should click.
Earlier this evening, I took the first half of vial number 6 in the first box of 10 for this EBV treatment. For the first month (mid-February through last Tuesday), I was taking half a vial every 3 days. The first several doses I seemed to tolerate okay, other than having severe nausea the day of/the day after taking the dose and having absolutely no appetite or ability to eat on those days. (Think mono, but like 100 times worse as far as that awful feeling where you can't even think about food without being so disgusted/sick, much less look at it, much less eat it....if you've had mono, you're probably at least familiar with the feeling).
Once I got to vials 3-5, though (doses 6 through 10, given my half-vials), it was rough. Really rough. People keep telling me how positive I am--how I don't seem to let anything get me down--how I'm always able to see the bright side to any situation--well, I'm telling you right now those doses were TOUGH. Rog and my mom can vouch for the fact that there were plenty days where I just avoided social media, mainly because I was too sick to look at a computer/tablet/phone screen, but also because I didn't have the energy to connect with people or put on a brave face (I don't get into the whole 'Facebook Facade Phenomenon' too awful much because I like to keep it real, but I'm not really into sharing all my frustrations with my entire friends' list, either). I spent a solid 2 and a half weeks where I would take a dose, not be able to eat or drink the entire next day--and sometimes part of the day after--and only be able to leave bed to crawl to the bathroom and back to bed. And day 3 of the cycle, the day of my next dose, I prolonged taking it long enough to be able to eat a few decent-sized meals, drink several liters of water, and take a shower/venture into the living room instead of staying in bed.
And then I'd take that dose and the 3 day process would start over. And as we all know, not being able to eat is not ideal. Not being able to drink is even less ideal. And coming from someone with a decade-long history of an eating disorder, you know things are bad when you're lying in bed lamenting that all you want to do is be able to eat but you can't because of the effects of this treatment. As Rog lovingly joked, "If I could take a video of this Becca now and send it back in time to the Becca in college she wouldn't believe it!" ;-) Also, despite the couple night each week where I got zero minutes of sleep (which I suspect is actually caused by taking a dose of EBV treatment--I know it sounds backwards but I'm conjecturing that when I first take a dose my immune system gets wired because there are all kinds of new little organisms to play with and then after about 8 hours it realizes they're not all that interesting and my crash ensues), I slept a LOT. During the day. Several hours during each day. Something. I've. never. done, in. my. entire. life. until. recently.
I called my doctor on Friday and he recommended holding off on the Friday dose and calling back Monday (today), and after talking with the office today, we've decided to stretch my doses out to a half vial every 5 days to help my body have an easier time with the detox. Basically we were hitting it too fast and too hard and my body wasn't able to get rid of the toxins at the rate they were entering, which causes a myriad of problems and various assorted herx reactions I've had over the past month. So I took the first half of vial 6 about 5 hours ago (hence being wide awake and writing at this time), and we'll see how it goes.
I'll tell you this, I am detoxing the crap out of my body right now--tomorrow (um, today, technically, I guess) I'm starting a very strict anti-candida diet (basically what I've already been doing as per Lyme diet guidelines, but also eliminating all grains and sugar, including fruit) in an effort to seriously starve the buggers that are eating away at every system in my body. One of my main goals with this is also to get my cognitive function back on track because while this post may seem coherent, I've had more brain fog and inability to communicate lately than I've had in months, along with processing difficulties, inability to focus/concentrate, etc. I actually did a pretty strict anti-candida diet in June/July when I was first officially dxed with Lyme, and it helped with neuro issues as well as leaky gut issues (which have been a big problem lately, again), but I then slowly started allowing myself more fruit here, more fruit there, agave-sweetened food here, etc. And I think all of that has just send the little buggers into an absolute frenzy. And I will gladly forsake my fruit, GF/vegan/RSF cookies, cereal, and anything else that is grain-y, fruity, or converted to/processed like sugar (so basically, a lot of things I tend to crave--because guess what--the bacteria/viruses actually crave the sugar!) if it means a faster healing time and symptom improvement.
On a much happier note, though:
St. Patrick's Day is my favorite holiday of the year. Except for Christmas and Easter because, well, Jesus. Obviously. But seriously, this is my favorite. Has been as long as I can remember. Something about the story of Saint Patrick, the totally awesome Celtic music, the Irish/Celtic folklore, the beauty of the Irish/Gaelic language--I just love it so very much! And I was scared the combination of the full moon and the ridiculous snowfall we had the night of the 16th (March 16th and all area schools were out of session for the zillionth--that's an approximation--time this year) would mean I'd be confined to bed all day on this most favored day, but 'twas not the case!
I personally think it's a God thing, which sounds like a stretch to some, maybe, that God would go out of His way to give me a good day on St. Patrick's Day, but I fully believe that was the case. Sure, it still took hours to actually get up, shower, and get dressed (okay, so I had two different outfits throughout the day--I really really get into this!), but by around 2 or 3 pm, I was up, had fixed my imitation Shamrock shake (spinach, banana, mint, cashew milk=yum central!), and then around 4, Rog helped me out in the kitchen by washing the dishes as I made our St. Pat's dinner.
(Rog also mashed the potatoes for me when it was time, both because I was tied up with the rest of the meal and also because I can't hold the mixer for any length of time--and he had straightened up the house earlier so it was ready for my family to come over, so he's basically Superman, although he'd prefer if we called him Batman or Wolverine)
At 6, mom, dad, Kat, and Adam came over and had a nice, "traditional" Irish dinner with us. I say "traditional" because while it was mostly traditional, I of course had to make the substitutions so it would fit a Lyme-friendly diet (which was actually quite simple because the majority of the meal was made with raw, whole foods). We had Lyme-diet-approved (GF/SF/YF/vegan) shepherd's pie and roasted cabbage. I was beyond thrilled with how it turned out, firstly because even a year ago if you told me I was capable of cooking something like this I would have laughed in your face....a lot....and secondly because everyone else seemed to enjoy it, too!
A few pictures chronicling the event if you're interested:
Okay, so it's taken me an hour or so to write this post, which means it's officially not-St.-Patrick's-Day in the U.S. anymore, but that's okay because in my mind all I have to do is think back to the many years I've enjoyed this wonderful holiday, and meditate on how grateful I am to have enjoyed it this year. Some people say they keep the spirit of Christmas in their hearts year-round (and yes, that's a great idea and I'm all about that, too), but I like to think I keep the spirit of St. Patrick's Day in my heart throughout the entire year.
And yes, that was an exceedingly cheesy and cliche and ridiculous and corny, but I guess that's just the kind of person I am. Particularly at 3:26am.
Bail ó Dhia ort
(The blessing of God on you)