Oathkeeper

Until recently I was a Game of Thrones holdout. A few years ago I inadvertently caught a scene where a man lures his mother into a kennel of rabid dogs for her to be eaten alive and I thought, “Mmm…pass. Hard pass.” I’m five seasons in now and can’t un-see what I’ve seen. I’m so depleted by the existence of a character like Ramsay Bolton that I’m left with two options: quit now — slightly more than halfway through the whole thing — or see it through to the end. Sound familiar?

Mayo. Mayo, Mayo, Mayo. In last month’s episode I was about to meet a bunch of new specialists and take a bunch of tests. We did so. An MRI, an EMG, a chest X-ray, a spine scan, a swallow test, a blood panel looking for 52 kinds of genetic myopathy markers, and finally an HMGCR antibody test. No new finds; everything that should be negative was negative or as expected. Two specialists at Mayo in Rochester also reviewed the samples taken from my 2013 muscle biopsy. Their assessment, “Diagnosis: 1. Myopathy, active and chronic, with minimal inflammatory reaction,” was in agreement with what Northwestern Memorial Hospital concluded six years ago.

I did learn that modern medicine has uncovered a lot more about polymyositis since my original biopsy. My new neurologist vernacular-shamed me for using that term because researchers have parsed “polymyositis” into a dozen or more subset diseases since I was first introduced to it. That last part of Mayo’s conclusion, “with minimal inflammatory reaction,” makes my case less typical. So there’s that.

My neurologist has suggested that we do a second biopsy next, this time of my tricep. A second procedure would rule out a “sampling issue” with the first one, but he acknowledged that it’s equally possible that we’ll learn nothing new.

While all of that was going on — the testing, the waiting, the ordering, the analyzing — I anchored myself in the AmpCoil. And things started to shift.

Symptoms I’ve never experienced started happening right after coiling sessions… and then they started popping up on their own without provocation from the coil (hives!). This seems to be the purpose of a PEMF device for chronic cases like mine: to align body parts to a healthy frequency over and over again until the body remembers how to do that on its own. Once I realized that I had transitioned onto this ideal trajectory with the coil, my grant was extended (thank you SO much, WFHF!!). You can dive into the details of my “shift” in part two of my self-driven case study here.

I’m not getting another biopsy right now because none of the experts who reviewed the first sample questioned its quality. With all of the other tests coming back okay (this isn’t a genetic issue, there’s no tumor on my spine, etc.), my decision five years ago to abandon the steroids and pursue alternative medicine has been vindicated. My sense of relief outweighs the frustration of there not being an obvious way out.

I’ve come too far and know too much to hit the brakes. I will finish working through the undetectable actors that are holding my muscles hostage; that is my promise. The coil, other alternative therapies, and God’s grace, will get me there. I’ve also got an appointment with a Mayo rheumatologist in September to see if that department has any new ideas.

As with any intense drama, Game of Thrones has its reprieves and one is named Brienne of Tarth. Her swordsmanship, fearlessness, and blatant defiance of traditional gender roles are undeniable. Accompanied by her sword named “Oathkeeper,” she will stop at nothing to do what she has promised to do. Brienne’s heroism is a welcome reminder that nothing can squelch the power of a determined woman… not even the strugglebus.

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!