Friday, April 9, 2010

Week 25: Levofloxacin (Levaquin) and Tigecyline (Tygacil)

This was my third course and Tygacil and Levaquin. It started out okay, as I was able to sleep through the nausea, but the next day I had reflux and an uncomfortable feeling- sort of like I had swallowed a beach ball. For this reason I changed dosing to every 2 days…(M,Th, and Sunday).

After the second IV drug day (Thur), I had a very hard night. A lot of nausea and when I got up to get a bucket to heave in, my legs began to shake/?hop uncontrollably. When I got back into bed I began to shake and had strange breathing- almost like my diaphragm was in spasm. It felt a bit like a seizure, but I conscious. It lasted about 10 minutes and then when it was over the nausea was miraculously gone. I think the nausea was die off, not a drug reaction. The next 2 days I felt surprisingly good. Active, happy, productive- slight insomnia but less than previous and no mania and very little OCD (too bad, my house could have used a "spiff up").

Unfortunately, the "beach ball," grew back in my stomach and I was just unable to ponder any more Tygacil. The nausea increased and I was able to do only Levaquin, and finally Dr J advised me to stop the Tygacil and switch to Meropenem (Merrem) the next Monday. I had made it through 13 doses of Tygacil (I think that was the count, it was all sort of a blur), and I was officially through the toughest part of the protocol.

Horrible as it was, it was working. In the weeks to follow I was to begin regaining my life.

Weeks 24: Drug Holiday, (No Antibiotics!)

I love that they call breaks from antibiotics, "drug holidays." Like your cells get to travel to an exotic land and lay around on the beach recuperating from what feels like gallons of toxic drugs. It was nice to be off antibiotics, but it was not a holiday especially because it ended with 2 days of Metronidazole (Flagyl).

Flagyl is a bitter pill, literally. I have to take mine in honey. I plunk it into the honey jar and fish it out with a spoon, with gobs of honey, and then swallow it quickly. This works. I can take it without gagging, but it still gives me nausea for a couple of days. I don't know how, (before doing the Dr J protocol, which limits Flagyl to two days, after drug cycles), I took Flagyl 1-2 weeks straight, every 6 weeks! No wonder I felt suicidal much of the time back then (before I discovered Lamictal and short pulses of Flagyl). Now don't get me wrong. I do think the long Flagyl cycles did me a lot of good. No way of knowing but I am doing very well on this protocol and I think I owe this to some very solid treatments before starting antibiotic pulsing.

There is a time and place for pulsing. It is certainly NOT a treatment that I would start with, but if you are lingering and miserable after 6 to 12 months of every day oral treatments, I think it is great and is working well with me.

Anyway, week 24 was a drug holiday. I was recovering from bronchitis and travel, and Tigecycline. Maybe that's why this week didn't feel so good.

To help, I did a detox, using Lactated Ringer infusions with added vitamin C, B Complex, Magnesium, Methyl B12, and Zinc. In addition I did Glutathione pushes every other day(1500-2000 mg).

I'm not sure, but maybe this was too much, or maybe my immune system was getting "more targeted," or maybe I was just very run down, but as the week wore on I became achier, and achier, and discouraged. It all felt like way too much. It was after all, 2 years since being diagnosed and nearly one year of IV therapies.

Alas, I did get over this and as I write this, weeks later, I am doing better!