Orbitingaround, after reading your Houttuynia experience, I am curious - what were the symptoms that let you know that you were no longer tolerating Houttuynia, and how were they different from herx symptoms (if at all)?
And how are you feeling now? Does the setback you experienced this month feel like a relapse or do you think you might have Bart in remission?
I'm curious because I have been taking Houttuynia for 4.5 months now and still reacting/herxing but it's changed form over time and gotten much less severe. I'm trying to figure out how/when I will know I might have gotten as far as I'll go and when it might be safe to stop...
Good question! Hmm, I'm not really sure how to explain how I knew... a lot of it is a science experiment/pure gut instinct. In Feb. I guess what happened is that it felt like overnight I went from tolerating 60 drops a day and herxing mildly every 5 weeks on that, to herxing like mad and not even tolerating 1 drop. My Lyme symptoms are very closely tied to my trauma history, so I was having pretty severe flashbacks, and in Feb. they increased a huge amount -- and at the same time so did my herxing. I know when I'm herxing from Bart because I absolutely stink like a rotting onion (yes it's disgusting!)
In Feb. I stopped the herbs completely and stopped my LDN for several days, and I was still herxing
and having flashbacks, and the BO smell had increased so bad. I just kind of instinctively felt that my immune system had kicked in -- a lot of this is because I am also on the LDN. I did second-guess myself a lot at that point though.
I am feeling better now, and I do not think it was a relapse in June -- absolutely not. I think for me because my symptoms are so closely tied to my flashbacks it is easier for me to judge progress. I have a theory that my brain lesions (I have like 15 lesions) were actually caused by the abuse I endured as a kid, and not the Lyme or Bartonella. And then the Lyme and Bart bacteria was opportunistic, and went deep into the injured parts of my brain. So when I have a flashback (this is my brain healing) all this bacteria gets released and my body has to kill it, and then I herx. I have been able to see this pattern over time.
In June I did worry about
a relapse...but I was on vacation staying with my boyfriend's family, and in an extremely relaxing, calm, supportive, loving environment, and I had been feeling great. A relapse just did not make sense at all. I also had 2 pretty severe, really old flashbacks/memories pop up at this time, so that could have brought out the herx or huge load of bacteria.
I would not say I have Bart in remission yet, no. I don't know what remission will look or feel like. I definitely still have symptoms, but they have lessened over time. It feels like another layer has come off. It's just frustrating because there are so many layers. This is a process, your entire body has to heal. I try to trust my body, that it knows how to heal and knows what it's doing. Even on my worst herxing, toxic, sick days, I tell myself my body knows how to heal.
Your experience with Houttuynia where the herx has become less severe is what happened to me as I increased drops. I was able to increase to 60 drops a day over time as I could tolerate more, with less of a herx. Do you keep a daily symptom log? It's really helpful. I also rate my days on a scale of 1-5, so I can look back over time and see patterns.