Saturday, December 22, 2012

I'm Having a Decent Week

I started Flagyl at 750mg spread out throughout the day a little over a week ago. That dose is a little low for my weight but I'm not in any hurry to push the limits on this particular medication. I was expecting to herx severely but I haven't really herxed at all yet and I'm over 10 days in. Usually the third week is the worst for me though so I'm not getting too excited yet.

This week I was actually getting short spurts of time that I felt better than usual. Not as tired, more clear-headed and less depressed. The same thing happened right when I started Bactrim and Biaxin. On those two, the improvement lasted a week and then I started feeling really ill again.  I have felt terrible for a while now and I started to feel a little better almost as soon as I started Flagyl. I know it's not a placebo effect because consciously I did not want Flagyl to be the one to work for me. I was hoping it wouldn't work well because I'm afraid of taking it long-term.

I haven't been eating well for a long time and yesterday I was able to eat a small steak and some rice and fruit! That's huge for me since lately I've been eating a diet almost exclusive of almond milk, soup and peanut butter and I even had to force that.

A few days ago I changed Ceftin over to minocycline and I don't feel bad on that either. No dizziness yet.........but I have only taken 2 doses of it. I also have done 2 methylcobalamin shots so far and they are going well although I didn't feel anything particularly drastic happen instantly from them. Today I went for a walk in a snow storm for 5 miles! It was 29 degrees (18 wind chill) and I wasn't even cold! I usually can't even stand outside for 5 minutes without feeling like I have hypothermia.

I'm still having a lot of twitching and muscle spasming that's making it's way into my eye and mouth. That has increased on Flagyl. I also had a new stutter which comes randomly and yesterday I had severe back pain which was very unusual. Tonight I'm starting to not feel great again. I don't know if it's my vitamin IV wearing off, skipping a B-12 shot today or the herx starting to hit from Flagyl or Mino.

However, overall, I definitely had a few days of more energy and less depression, and since it started improving immediately when I started Flagyl, I can be pretty sure that Flagyl is what brought that improvement. I just wish it would return or stick around long-term.

Lurking in the back of my mind is the thought that I'm feeling better because my liver is not doing well. Pretty much every time I've had any hint of improvement, my liver enzymes have been elevated and I've had to stop all antibiotics or drastically reduce them.  I hope that's not the case this time, but I have a feeling it is.....On my last LFT right before starting Flagyl, my liver enzymes were very close to being abnormal (within 1-2 points).  Since Flagyl has a reputation for raising enzymes, they almost certainly went up above the "normal" range since they only had to rise 2 points. I did another test after adding Flagyl but before adding Mino. Hopefully they aren't elevated.

One potential explanation I have for the lack of a herx on Flagyl is that it's effectiveness is being significantly lowered by Rifampin. I have read that Rifampin lowers the plasma concentration time of Flagyl by 33% and the clearance of Flagyl is increased by 44%.

Another possible explanation is that the dose I'm taking of Flagyl is too low. A third explanation (although I don't have much faith in this) is that Rifampin and Plaquenil already significantly lowered my cystic Lyme load.

Whatever the reason, I'm glad I got a little break from symptoms and was able to go for a few walks. I really needed this. I was so depressed that I was breaking down and crying last week about everything. I guess the break was my Christmas present this year!