Where I Stand, According to Figure 15

My recent symptoms-setback has forced me to reevaluate where I stand in treatment. I figured I would be part of the “stall phase” camp, those individuals that experience little to no symptom relapses, but rather a temporary plateau of symptom improvement. The last few weeks have opened my eyes to the possibility that a plateau was merely wishful thinking.

According to figure 15 on page 52 of “Amalgam Illness: Diagnosis and Treatment by Andrew H Cutler, PhD,” the dump phase is graphed to present itself somewhere between six- to nine-months following dental amalgam removal. Following this dump phase, symptoms again start to slowly improve.

I was curious to see where I was, so I created a new chart, based off of Dr. Cutler’s figure 15, and marked where my “dump phase” fell. First, I determined that my first recorded entry about symptom reversal was on September 7th, 2014. I then calculated how many true rounds into the protocol I was. Since I have had a few rounds end early, using the current round count (46, as of this writing) would be incorrect. After crunching some numbers, I came to 42.19-weeks, or 9.7-months in.

In the chart above, the vertical bars represent two possible ranges my “dump phase” currently falls within. The darker bar represents where my “dump phase” fell if the journey lasts 24-months, whereas the lighter bar correlates with a 12-month battle. While I was hopeful that 12-months would work for me, the experiences of others have helped me redefine the finish line at 24-months or greater.

Monday’s Are So…

For the past few weeks, Mondays have been a bit rougher than normal. For a visual simulation of what I mean, I will now ask Garfield to explain:

Monday’s are one of the two worst days of the week for me. It’s the day I start my rounds, and it seems that I have issues with the first few doses. By Wednesday I am feeling (somewhat) back to normal, and Thursday — my first day off round — reminds me just how much is stinks to stop a round.

I have been making steady progress, albeit slowly, towards a time when my light intolerance, dizziness, vertigo, and eye fatigue will be manageable, and hopefully nonexistent. But it has been a journey, and I only notice my slight improvements when my symptoms return to their previous glory.

For the last few weeks, I have been feeling worse than usual. Activities like walking in the grocery store, turning my head at a normal pace, and looking at monitors/screens for short bursts have all been harder to do recently. Every week at the grocery store I am reminded how far I have come, now that I am being forced to experience it as I had just nine-months previous.

Last week I blamed a cold; I figured that the head congestion exasperated my condition, making me more dizzy than usual. I have no excuse for today. I woke up with my normal level of congestion (still chronic), and yet I was hit with a short bout of vertigo while walking through my kitchen. I was even forced to lower the contrast on my monitor to be able to look at it for any period of time.

I have no idea what could be causing these sudden increases in symptoms. Some online have written about a “dump phase”, which this could very well be. Reading the link from the previous sentence:

The dump/stall phase will NOT take years and years! Maybe a couple of months for most as the chart suggests, for a few rare folks longer (and/or maybe as Brian suggests, worse sfx for those with not only Hg + but also many other kinds of metals which cause bad synergies during the dump/stall?)

Based on the results from my doctor, mercury is not the sole heavy metal that I am dealing with. Aluminum and cadmium make an appearance, and arsenic had shown up on initial scans. Maybe what I am experiencing is the dump phase, only made worse by the fact that my body is a hoarder of different heavy metals.

Whatever the cause, I will continue fighting until I am better. I have made it this far, and I am not about to throw in the towel.

FDA vs. Over-the-Counter DMSA

Just as we had seen in 2009, the FDA again has declared DMSA to not be a supplement, halting U.S. citizens ability to source it over the counter (OTC) at home. In June, the FDA warned against the use of OTC chelation supplements because there are no FDA approved OTC chelator agents. A check at Vitamin Research Products (VRP) no longer lists DMSA as an available product, and those U.S. based sites that resold DMSA also list the products as out of stock.

Moving on Up

Packing my chelators tonight was a breeze because I have finally graduated to 50mg doses of ALA. For the next few weeks, I will be taking one 25mg DMSA capsule and two 25mg ALA capsules every three-hours. No need to pull out the scale and capsule filling devices. I now only need to remember how many of each full capsules I must take when it’s time.

To make matters even better, it appears Kirman Labs also has ALA in 50mg capsules, and they are only 23% more than their 25mg counterpart. It’s like a double-bonus. It’s easier to take (less capsules to count) and is 62% less expensive. Once I run out of my current ALA (three-round) supply, I will switch to the 50mg capsules.

Sunday Night Ritual–Round 32

Here are the numbers for the last round where I prepared ALA:

Start Time End Time Length
ALA / DMSA 9:19 PM 9:32 PM 13 min
Total: 13 min

Tonight’s numbers are:

Start Time End Time Length
ALA / DMSA 9:02 PM 9:18 PM 16 min
Total: 16 min

Considering it has been over two-and-a-half months since the last time I packed ALA, I am not surprised it took me longer than it used to. What can I say? I am rusty and out of tune. The good news is that after nine-weeks on the same strength, I am ready to titrate my ALA up to 50mg. It’s just one more step along this long, winding path.

I am also roughly halfway through David Hammond’s book Mercury Poisoning: The Undiagnosed Epidemic. The book is a good read and I plan to publish my own review once I complete it, but if you can’t wait for that post, please check out the review Eric wrote over at How I Recovered. And while you’re there, check out all of his posts—a lot of good information can be found.

An Unexpected Pause

What an unexpected surprise. While packing my supplements and chelators for the week I discovered that I only had a single 25mg capsule of ALA remaining. It appears that I managed to somehow unconsciously sabotage myself, forgetting to reorder supplies when I ran out of borage oil.

Maybe this is for the best. After all, I have gone for 29-weeks without a real break. Sure, I have accidentally ended a couple rounds early, but I have never taken a week off. I will look at this like a vacation; one week to enjoy a normal sleep schedule for all seven days!

Tomorrow I will place my supply orders (I also need vitamin C) and start planning for next week’s run. Who knows, this time off could be the pause I need.

Taking an Unexpected Nine-Dose Break

It appears my body is in need of deep sleep. Really deep sleep. The kind that drops you in a state of unconnectedness, where the outside world is distant and silent. Explosive thunderstorms, howling winds, and even a snoring dog are unable to wake you from this slumber. From what I now know, alarms are also exempt from the list of waking sounds.

I have written in the past of how I have missed a dose (usually over halfway through), forcing me to retire the round earlier than expected. This happened again in round 25, but with a twist: I managed to only get nine-doses in before failing. This allowed me to take a nine-dose break (~27-hours) and pick up where I left off. Since I did take a break, I counted the second part as a new dose (round 26), since it really was.

I wonder if I am still in the process of becoming comfortable with the current strengths of ALA and DMSA I am taking. Earlier, I predicted that the upcoming round would be the next increase for ALA strength, but I am reconsidering that. Maybe the deep sleep is a way for my body to let me know it is really tired from the round it is on. I have no way of knowing the true answer to this, but I feel that pushing out the strength increase by one more round can’t hurt.

Sunday Night Ritual–Round 25

Multitasking: that thing we claim to be good at, but science has proven otherwise. I was so preoccupied with watching a show on the television that I forgot to time myself. It’s a good thing I remembered to actually pack my supplements.

Next week, round 26, is the next big step. I will increase my ALA dose strength to 37.5 mg, one step closer to the max. Once I max out ALA, I will then move on to DMSA titration.

I wish I could report on my positive results, or how I am feeling loads better, but then I would be lying. Every time I start to get down about my progress I remember that this is a marathon not a sprint. Many people have been down this path before me, and their journeys all lasted beyond two-years, with some stretching out three-years plus. Every slight, noticeable improvement along the way is a small celebration towards the finish line. I just wish I could see the finish line.

Sunday Night Ritual–Round 24

Here are the numbers for the last round:

Start Time End Time Length
Supplements 11:16 PM 11:25 PM 9 min
Total: 9 min

Tonight’s numbers are:

Start Time End Time Length
Supplements 10:10 PM 10:18 PM 8 min
Total: 8 min

I managed to get back down to eight-minutes. I would like to think that next week is when I up ALA to 37.5 mg per dose, but that is highly unlikely considering round 22 ended six-doses early. Looks like round 26 will be the next time I increase a chelator dose.

Sunday Night Ritual–Round 23

Here are the numbers for the last round:

Start Time End Time Length
Supplements 8:54 PM 9:02 PM 8 min
Total: 8 min

Tonight’s numbers are:

Start Time End Time Length
Supplements 11:16 PM 11:25 PM 9 min
Total: 9 min

An extra minute squeaked by, but nothing drastic to report.