This is a post from My Health Journey, an ongoing series where I document my health progress. Follow along to see, month after month, how I implement my recovery protocol, handle stressful situations, eliminate food sensitivities, incrementally train my nervous system to handle more stress, and ultimately, how my method continues to allow me greater and greater freedom, happiness, and health!
This was the most unusual month for me in the past year. I had a couple of new milestones, little pain, and functioned at a very high level during the first two thirds of the month. Then my health dropped off sharply, and I ended up having my worst days of the past year. Thankfully, it’s progress due to the nature of what I did!
I'll explain chronologically.
I continued to make gains with my weightlifting, adding another 5-15 pounds to most lifts, except for the whopping 35 pounds I added to my deadlift. I have now gained 19 pounds in 2021, which appears to nearly all be muscle. That’s roughly one pound per week. I also went bouldering for the second time and was able to climb several more walls than back in February.
A wonderful development is that my sleep is no longer disrupted after lifting days. Since I first dabbled in returning to weightlifting in February 2020, my elevated pain from the workouts would cause me to wake up in the night sweating. I would sleep an average of 60-90 minutes less than my usual 7.5-8 hours. The phenomenon was gone by midmonth! I think upping my protein intake to a gram per pound of my weight helped.
As for the flare-up: I have had elevated blood histamine levels for the last few years. Due to my research, I developed a strong suspicion that it could be explained by an intestinal parasite, such as worms, but I kept putting off trying since it didn’t seem definitive, there were other options, and it could make me feel worse. Midmonth, I decided to try a one-month anti-parasitic protocol with mimosa pudica seed.
Boy, did I need it! I passed three worms in the first two weeks, then five in one day on the 23rd. As I’ve been saying for years and tell my clients, parasites are ubiquitous and need to be taken seriously even in the United States. I have never left the country, and this is at least my third parasitic infection during my life.
On the 23rd, the off-gassing from the worms’ noxious deaths made me very ill. I had what is called a Herxheimer reaction, which means that my body was overwhelmed by new toxins and unable to eliminate all of them. This essentially made me sick. I lost nine pounds in two days and I had a 102-degree fever. I experienced some of the worst muscle aches I’ve ever experienced, and mental confusion so potent that I couldn’t understand my own writing.
Due to travel, I ended up pausing the protocol. I plan to resume in the coming weeks. This time, I’ll add a couple of supplement binder products to assist my liver in eliminating any further toxins, so further die-off reactions should be gentler. I doubt I got rid of all the nasty fellow-travelers–the nature of the protocol is to kill off the smaller and weaker parasites first.
Over the last week, I slowly recovered from the detox reaction and was able to do something I hadn’t in nineteen years–I participated in a group sport! I played beach volleyball for two hours and only had muscle soreness after.
In all, it was a good month with perhaps crucial progress. While I failed my goal of not having a flare-up in 2021, there is the promise of even better health going forward. I am excited by my prospects. I am already feeling a bit better than I was before the protocol. By following through with the rest of the protocol, I think I’ll end up feeling even better than the high level of function I’ve achieved during my lengthy health recovery. Sometimes it takes a step back to push off in a sprint forward.