Three years ago, (wow, I can't BELIEVE it's been that long) there was a lot of chatter about
the U of I studies on TSO. Unfortunately, at the time, you had to be a resident of Iowa. A few of us here joked about
renting a room and all of us using that as our address just so we could apply to the study! We even planned Margarita parties to kill off the old worms before we got our next dose! LOL
At the time, I was suffering terribly from the joint pain of Spondylitis, which is closely associated with IBD. Although I was on Pentasa for my guts and Enbrel for my joints. Neither was helping much and I was still having gut complaints, however, my test results weren't really showing much, so the Docs wouldn't consider putting me on any additional meds. I was sick enough to be miserable, but not sick enough to qualify for stronger/more aggressive medications and I didn't come close to qualifying for any of the other clinical trials underway. This left me literally between a rock and a hard place and I was willing to try almost anything to find relief.
Then the FDA changed the rules and the U of I could not afford to continue their trials, even though they had proved so successful. They had to find a partner to continue the development for them and they chose Ovamed. Now, I can no longer remember what Ovamed's name was at the time, but they had been around for years producing (or breeding??) leeches for medical use, so they did at least have some experience in this field.
Some research lead me to the Ovamed website and I discovered that all I needed to get some TSO was a lettre from my physician to the FDA stating that I had failed my current meds and TSO would be a last ditch attempt to restore my health. Oh and he had to guarrantee that he would monitor my treatment acordingly. It seemed easy enough for me and I knew my Doc well enough to know he'd agree to it if I just provided him with copies of the reports. I even wrote the letter. He just signed it and kept a copy for my chart. Out came my VISA card, I faxed the order on Thursday, it was shipped in Germany on Monday and I took my first dose on Tuesday! Customs cleared the package electronically while it was over the Atlantic Ocean.
So, I chose TSO at the time, because it was the only option easily available. Now, having a choice between TSO and hookworms, I would likely still choose the TSO. Truth be told, I don't like the idea of being infected with worms which would normally thrive in a human host. I would turn away from the possibility of using human whipworms too. I like the idea that Ovamed uses porcine whipworms which do not live long enough to reproduce and therefore pose little risk of further infestation to myself, my household or my community. If I need more worms, I just need to drink more ova. That's easy enough. Plus, I don't have to have that awful sounding cough, deal with a skin rash or marinate my stinky poop! That last one alone is very significant since I live in a tiny apartment. The stink could have the neighbors at my door in mere hours, expecting to find a dead body!
I've got to say, that story about
the trip to Cameroon was certainly a bit over the top - even for someone like me who was desparate. Perhaps I've just worked in Health Care too long and have become too paranoid about
the risks of Infectious Diseases, but I doubt there is any chance you'd ever find me walking barefoot through human excrement anywhere!
And so, that's my story. Anyone who has any questions should feel free to ask away. My email is also available for anyone who'd like to talk that way too.