GIRL

Do you remember when Lucy and Ethel got jobs at the candy factory? It was smooth sailing at first: pieces of candy came down the conveyor belt for them to grab, wrap, and return them with time to spare. Then their supervisor cranks up the speed and chaos ensues. Bon bons are piling up, wrappers are flying, and despite their hilarious efforts, the girls are not invited back for a second shift.

Sometimes it feels like I’m standing in front of a conveyor belt at a lemonade factory. One by one I grab a lemon, cut, and squeeze the juice into a bottle. Since becoming ill the belt speed has consistently fluctuated from manageable to frantic and everything in between; as it turns out, I’m pretty damn good at turning lemons into lemonade. It’s a daily decision to proceed with realistic optimism and ground my emotions with science. It’s rare that I slide into a funk. That said, I recently found myself up to my eyeballs in citrus fruit, armed with only a dull knife.

What you feel is natural

But I don’t wanna feel this anymore

Pick yourself up off the kitchen floor

What you waitin’ for?

The last two weeks have been the worst two weeks of my autoimmune ordeal. I’m talking worse than Election Day 2016, meningitis, and The Ranch… combined. I woke up on February 12th and couldn’t stand — I couldn’t bear weight on my legs, I couldn’t raise a cup of water to my mouth, I couldn’t move.

Now, “prepared,” is my middle name. Whether I was facing final exams, a client meeting, or a first date, I went in ready to crush it while remaining astutely aware of the worst case scenario. When you have a plan B, C, D, and E, shit’s not as scary as it’s splashing you from the fan. But I wasn’t prepared for this drastic regression. I have already been there, done that, lost my old life, and will do everything in my power to never let it happen again.

Girl, won’t you stop your cryin’?

I know that you’re tryin’

Everything’s gonna be okay

In addition to the extreme paralysis a few new symptoms popped up. I ran fevers after not having had one in half a dozen years. Severe body aches (like, tear-inducing aches) and night sweats came on strong. If these sound familiar, it’s because they are indicators of a functioning immune system. On Valentine’s Day I got quantitative confirmation of this via blood test results. For the first time in six sick years my Creatine Kinase level is in the normal range.

This is big. And it strongly supports my team’s theory that in retraining my immune system to stop attacking me, it’s now free to tackle what made me sick in the first place. I worked my ass off to get my CK below 173 from 6,000 and it’s bittersweet that my anticipated celebration was derailed by a sudden slump. But as of two days ago I can stand again!

The reality is that my current trifecta, PEMF therapy, acupuncture, and an intense Rx, packs a punch by design. I have no doubt that the AmpCoil has accelerated my arrival into the normal muscle enzyme realm; I just finished a 10-day detox frequency cleanse and am switching to supportive tracks for a week or two to stabilize. Cheers to moving onward and upward🍹.

Baby, girl don’t you hang your head low

Don’t you lose your halo

Everyone’s gonna be okay

Baby, girl

Anthem lyrics are from “GIRL” by Maren Morris

Shift Happens

When I first found out about the AmpCoil I mentioned it to my local primary care physician to get his perspective. “Is it like an ab cruncher? Is it going to give you a six pack?” Not everyone possesses the desire to learn about new things. But you are here, which means that you want to better understand what I’ve been up to so…woohoo! Let’s get this party started.

What is an AmpCoil (AC)?

It’s a machine that emits pulsed electromagnetic vibrations tuned at different frequencies. Consider an MRI: a magnetic resonance image used to diagnose injury within the body. It uses powerful magnets to align our protons with their frequencies (yes, actually manipulate them) and measures the energy they emit once the field is turned off. We’ve been using magnets to diagnose since 1977 and while using them for treatment has been around longer it’s still very uncommon.

Why haven’t I ever heard of it before?

A two day trial of IVIG at Northwestern Memorial Hospital cost my insurance company $38,000. A personal AmpCoil unit that can be used an unlimited number of times, for multiple people, in the privacy of your home, to treat dozens of targeted issues (i.e. the common cold, migraines, depression, fungus, mold exposure, and Lyme) costs $8,000. Ultimately, for the pharmaceutical industry, cash is king.

Woah, that’s still a lot of money. Can you try it before you buy it?

It’s a huge investment upfront. Especially if you’ve never tried it before or, if you have, it was a one-off with your local AC ambassador’s unit. I emailed AC Support to find a rep in my area and used his one time. You don’t necessarily feel the realignment of your cells while coiling but symptomatic changes can occur hours or days later. You can also rent ACs from private individuals or receive treatments at your discretion from a holistic practitioner in your area.

Are there side effects?

Herxheimer reactions seem to be the most prevalent, at least for me. A herx occurs when a large number of pathogens die off all at once and emit endotoxins. Your body gets overwhelmed by what is essentially a poison that triggers temporary nausea, headaches, muscle weakness and other effects. These can be minimized by drinking water before and after a treatment and by taking charcoal binders that gather up all of the yuck and expedite it’s departure. Oh, and just like you can’t have phones or credit cards within a certain range while an MRI scan is being performed, the same goes while coiling. It’s powerful enough to damage the batteries in my power wheelchair so I have to coil exclusively in bed.

So, what exactly does a coiling session consist of?

It comes with an Android tablet and access to a proprietary app.

  1. First, you do a voice test by speaking slowly into the tablet’s microphone for about 90 seconds. The app uses the vibrations in your voice to quantify levels of  frequency imbalance in specific areas.
  2. You’re provided with a prioritized list of things that need realignment. For example, an organ (liver, spleen, etc.), a nutritional component (amino acids, chemical sensitivity, etc.), or a pathogen (Lyme co-infections, fungus, etc.).
  3. Decide what you want to address and select a timed track (or “journey” in AC speak) to run on the machine itself. You can do multiple tracks in the same coiling session, up to 90 minutes per day, every other day.
  4. Find a quiet space away from phones and place the coil in the recommended place, usually the upper torso or stomach. You turn the machine on while it’s connected to the tablet and press start.

Interesting. Is it working for you?

Yes. I’ve been using it for four weeks and feel like my sister and I have the hang of it (I couldn’t coil without her help!). I’ve got 8 treatments left in a series of tracks that I curated myself and want to dive into the specifics of my initial experience upon completion. More to come!

 

 

 

Thank Ute, Next

The 2018 Holiday Bowl was well underway when I woke up from my nap on New Year’s Eve. It was half time and the Utah Utes were leading my Northwestern Wildcats 20-3.

“We’re gonna crush ’em!” I asserted rather sarcastically while wearing not one but two purple shirts. My dad laughed. Every day for five days leading up to this college football match he had reminded me that University of Utah’s Coach Kyle Whittingham was 11-1 in bowl games. “That’s one thing about coach Whitt,” Utes cornerback Julian Blackmon told The Salt Lake Tribune earlier that week, “we don’t lose bowl games.”

My best friend was visiting for the holidays and lobster bisque was on the stove so spirits were high regardless of this pending loss.

“We already know Northwestern’s going to lose,” my friend said at the start of the third quarter. My guys may have had their feet to the fire but their eyes were on the prize. A few favorable fumbles and a couple of uninterrupted sprints later, the Wildcats won 31-20.

Battling chronic illness is a little like managing a football team. Five seasons in, the Strugglebus Babes have faced a rollercoaster of highs and lows but bounce back from a loss with aplomb, like Ariana Grande rebounds from a break-up. As the veteran quarterback, I’ve called the shots on this field from the jump. I feel every hit, celebrate every touchdown, study every play, and most importantly, I follow my gut. Led by a head coach MD Phd, an assistant coach ND, support staff acupuncturist, physical therapist, and hydrotherapist, my coaching staff is solid.

The Strugglebus starting lineup evolves as I take on different opponents. While I’ve got a few tried and true teammates (noted below with an *) I’ve never found the silver bullet — the treatment, pill, therapy, etc. — that brings everything together, dramatically accelerates performance, and ultimately wins us the title of remission. Excluding the *s, these guys have been benched:

  • Prednisone
  • Methotrexate
  • IVIG in large doses over a short period of time
  • IVIG in small doses over a long period of time
  • Gerson therapy*
  • Muscle testing*
  • Acupuncture*
  • Homeopathy
  • IV antibiotics
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Root canal extraction
  • Osteopathy
  • Jawbone cavitation surgery
  • E-STEM
  • OSR
  • Massage
  • Rolfing
  • Cranial manipulation
  • Low dose immunotherapy*
  • Supplements* (200+)
  • Tinctures*
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Essential oils*
  • Chelation
  • Anti-parasitics
  • Colonics
  • High dose VitaminC IV
  • Ozone therapy
  • Ultraviolet blood irradiation
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Vitamin D injections
  • Chinese herbs*
  • Cupping
  • Something I’ve forgotten

In addition to quarterback I’m also the scout. I got a lead from a friend recently about a therapeutic machine used to treat auto-immune diseases. It’s called the AmpCoil and I have to tell you: I watched one video and sensed it was the real deal. The inventor had Lyme! The catch? Per usual, the best players cost the big bucks and this Babe’s player acquisition budget is tightAF.

Still, I kept digging. How does pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy work? Are the testimonials legit? Will there be side effects? What are the odds of winning $8,000 from a slot machine? In my research I came across the Wellness for Humanity Foundation (WFH). It’s a non-profit that awards grants to families experiencing very severe cases of Lyme disease, allowing them to use an AmpCoil machine for treatment for four months. I applied, and won one of their first awards of 2019.

My family and I are stoked to see what the AmpCoil will do for us. I’ll be blogging about our experience here with the hopes of helping those considering making an investment in a unit, those who are new to PEMF (like me!), and those who’ve played too many seasons of the chronic illness game to give another newbie a shot.

Thank you, WFH Foundation for the opportunity to give this a go. I’ve learned a ton from everything I’ve tried (all of the “players” I’ve “played” with) and am wildly optimistic that this AmpCoil rookie could be my superstar MVP. Time to get to work and win this second half.

 

Stay tuned for a comprehensive State of the Union where I’ll outline where I’m starting from: diagnosis, key blood work markers, qualitative info on current functionality, etc.