Hanging on for dear life

bucking-broncThat’s not me in the picture but it’s how I felt in round 18. It started off with a bang – a  powerful surge of energy  that sent me doing every kind of errand on the first afternoon, running madly around from one store to another, fixing things around the house etc.  This was my first ALA-only round and first time with 60 mg on the shorter 2 hour schedule.

By Wednesday I was jittery and exhausted and thinking of ending the round because it was too intense,  like riding a bucking bronco.  But, I slept well that night and woke up calmer on Thursday  and was able to continue the round for 8.5 days.  When I finally quit, the sleep loss combined with energy, “wired and tired” was just too much.  You could see the sleep debt around my eyes.

But I’m feeling very happy about the round because my side effects were minimal this time.   Almost no head pressure, no depression and just a few short-lived minimal headaches.  My redistribution day was also mild.  I was productive every single day even if my late afternoons were  a bit of a loss and I experienced a little euphoria.

So that’s the news —  I think the two-month break I took from chelation to ramp up methylation and fish oil has paid off as  it did for Viking.  I haven’t found a magical  dose schedule and my chelation experience is not perfect but I think it’s good enough and all going in the right direction.

During this round, I switched from Isocort to hydrocortisone without any hiccups and reached my fish oil target at 3.2 grams of omega-3.   I also increased my SAMe up to 800 mg and my Lipo C up to 2 g.  Next, I’m going to work on adding another 800 mg of metafolin.

I’m going to target two  chelation rounds a month –  five days of DMSA and ALA and seven days of ALA only (hoping to  reach 100 mg every two hours  within six months).

My next round will be 50 mg DMS  and 25 mg ALA every two hours during the day with one three-hour stretch at night. This is the schedule I’ve settled on: 11:15 PM – 2:15 AM – 4:45 AM – 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Here are my round notes:

Round 18 (8.5 days) – 60 mg ALA every 2 hours, total chelation days to date: 74

  • Monday, November 25: Started this round 11 AM after getting some important work done. I thought I had tried ALA only once before but after lots of digging it appears this is my first round without any DMSA. I’m excited to try something new! First dose gave me a nice energy surge. This comes as a relief because yesterday my energy was so low I was worried. The background: I had a migraine for three days triggered by switching from a dry vitamin D, to an olive oil-based D3. , worried that maybe the my fish oil had some unreported vitamin D in it so I switched to flax oil. That day my energy was very low, but I’m also in the process of tapering down isocort so I don’t know what the cause was. Anyway, migraine is gone and today I’m back on fish oil and increased befotiamine by 150mg to 300 mg. Tremendous energy surge lasted all day long – ran loads of errands in the afternoon and evening. Slept well to first alarm, woke early before the second alarm and took second dose early but forgot to turn the alarm off. Slept lightly and poorly for the second half of the night. This was my intended schedule: 11:15 PM – 2:15 AM – 4:45 AM – 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Tuesday, November 26: Feeling mildly energetic in spite of sleep loss.
  • Wednesday, November 27: Jittery and exhausted – feeling like giving up in the afternoon and evening, on the verge of saying this is too intense, I’m done.
  • Thursday, November 28: Slow and fatigued in the morning and feeling better and more relaxed in the afternoon. Have broken through to the other side! Switched from Isocort to HC (12.5 mg) after tapering down to 5 pellets.
  • Friday, November 29: Some euphoria and emotional in the morning on the drive to Frisco. Continued chelation and all supplements while tubing, awesome!! Exhausted in the afternoon. Felt onset of migraine but may have stocked it with cold headband, ibuprofen and ACV.
  • Saturday, November 30: Feeling worn down and headache all afternoon after getting tired out by family activity. increased SAMe by 200mg to 800mg total. heartburn at night resulting in poor sleep.
  • Sunday, December 1: Slow, fatigued in the morning from bad night, unable to nap because of some stressful situations. Oddly enough feeling somewhat energetic and better than I should in the afternoon. Inclined my bed 6 inches at the head. Slept well finally.
  • Monday, December 2: Somewhat fatigued in the morning. Restarted DHEA with 10 mg at breakfast hoping it will raise my low blood pressure.
  • Tuesday, December 3: Generally worn down but still productive, unable to nap, exhausted in the evening. no headache or other noticeable effects other than fatigue after last dose.
  • Wednesday, December 4 (off-round): Fatigued but still getting a nice pickup from supplements and feeling productive.
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  • avatar

    Jim Mulderij April 20, 2015, 2:30 pm

    Hi Eric,

    What i do not understand is how people are able to chelate more than 3 or 3.5 days. My mental status/abilities get’s quite bad after 2 nights and after the third night, my thinking is almost gone and i am very tired during the day. This happens both with low and high dose of ALA + DMSA. I have to say that my mercury problem is almost exclusive to my brain. My phisical symptoms were never dibilitating, like what you described.

    • avatar

      Eric May 5, 2015, 4:43 pm

      well Jim, I believe the experts would say you either need to take more support supplements or lower your chelator doses even further…

  • avatar

    Expat Viking December 10, 2013, 9:57 pm

    “Did those high focus days of yours happen during your rounds or after they were over? ”
    Just after, i.e. 1-3 days after round, when it first started. In my notes from when I was around 9 months (it was the first round on 200 mg for me), I wrote:
    “Day 3 off round. The 50 mg DHEA seems to work now without the rapid heartbeat. But I think that I will stay at 50 mg to be on the safe side. Otherwise, I actually feel great. I had the 2 most productive days in years yesterday and today. Cool, focused work over many hours. This is more than anything what I have been hoping for! It gives me massive motivation to keep going.  ”
    “I wonder also if you would call your recovery linear or whether you think your improvements came weighted towards the end ”
    Well, if we are talking only about the focus/energy aspect, I would say that it started quite slow with a few days and hours here and there off round  after many months of chelation and then  became more prominent over time. During the last round that I did (9 days in August), I was very productive even during round.  Otherwise, I have often been totally unable to get anything done during rounds. So I guess you could call it “weighted towards the end “.
    But if we are talking in a more general sense, I would say that my recovery was, if anything, weighted towards the beginning. Several major issues showed quite dramatic improvments early on.
    Thanks for the kind invite to Denver! If I do get anywhere near there, I will let you know, but the plans are still very loose. I also really like trains and use them a lot in Europe. It is so much nicer than flying, I find!

    • avatar

      Eric December 12, 2013, 4:59 pm

      Thanks for sharing those super interesting details Viking! I especially liked reading:

      “Cool, focused work over many hours. This is more than anything what I have been hoping for! It gives me massive motivation to keep going.”

      You are writing about a remarkable moment in your life there…

      Very interesting to hear about the focus and energy being weighted towards the end. That’s the area where I have yet to feel big improvements. It’s likely that won’t happen until my sleep improves because the two are so tied together for me. I have had some very important improvements, but it is so easy to discount them. Reminds me a little of the phenomenon of wanting what we can’t have and taking for granted what we get.

      Your quote about DHEA reminds me that you seem to have pushed through high doses of any number of powerful supplements whatever the costs, and it all worked out well. You did some brave things!

      I’m moving a little more slowly but still feel like I’m constantly pushing my limits too.

      • avatar

        Expat Viking December 12, 2013, 8:50 pm

        “It’s likely that won’t happen until my sleep improves ”
        That may well be the case. I used to have great difficulties in getting a proper sleep cycle, i.e. I would tend to stay up way to late and not be able to sleep and then I would struggle to stay awake during the day. It was more or less like that for decades. But it is now fixed! To what extent this explains the focus and energy is hard to say but there may well be a link. On the flip side, this also means that I am a bit unwilling to chelate now since I hate to mess up this really nice sleeping pattern.
        “You did some brave things!”
        That is very kind of you! But as we know, it is a sometimes very fine line between brave and stupid in this game and I am not sure that I have been on the right side all the time…. I think that I felt that I was in some bad, dark dead end 2 years ago and that I really did not have that much to loose, so I was willing to try anything that made sense.
        But I have been very scared many times. The DHEA is a good example. I did try that at the start but got a horrible panic reaction. Then I did not try again for 9 months and then it was a much milder but still very significant reaction. I now think that I understand that it was linked to sulfation issues that have now been fixed. EPSOM salts were great for this.

        • avatar

          Eric December 15, 2013, 5:30 pm

          “On the flip side, this also means that I am a bit unwilling to chelate now since I hate to mess up this really nice sleeping pattern.”

          That’s a nice problem to have! Never thought about that much but I guess it may become difficult to continue treatment to 100% after you reach a point where you’re feeling well enough that you’ve lost a significant degree of motivation.

          I also hear you loud and clear about being in some bad dark dead-end with little to lose… And got a laugh regarding the fine line between brave and stupid. Ultimately your results show which side of the line you were on!!

          Speaking of stupid, I did something dumb yesterday, increased folate on my redistribution day thinking one little 200 mcg chunk wasn’t much. I won’t do that again! when I see how sensitive I still am to folate at 2.8 mg per day, I think I should focus more on methylation than chelation, because apparently I have a long way to go still.

          I remember that you are taking 10 mg of b12, but can’t remember how much folate you used at the top end…

          • avatar

            Expat Viking December 15, 2013, 6:32 pm

            “I remember that you are taking 10 mg of b12, but can’t remember how much folate you used at the top end…”
            4 mg, i.e. 2 times 2 solgar 800 mcg and 2 times the PE B complex. I am down to half now. Same with the B12. I now do 10 mg of both versions (Metyhl and dibencocide) every second day instead of every day.

            • avatar

              Eric December 15, 2013, 6:39 pm

              Thanks!

  • avatar

    Expat Viking December 8, 2013, 10:57 pm

    One more thing:
    If you are thinking about going to China, you may want to be quite sure that you are in really good shape before you go. I have been to Beijing and the air is really horrible. It felt as is someone was strangling me when I got of the plane and several people that I was travelling with felt more or less sick during our stay there. Also, there may be quite a bit of mercury there since they burn lots of coal with minimal emission controls.
    It is a shame really, since I quite liked it otherwise. It felt very safe and there was a very positive and dynamic feeling. But I will not go back!

    • avatar

      Eric December 10, 2013, 8:57 pm

      Good point! I don’t know what I was thinking about China. I heard last week where the visibility was only a few yards. I won’t go there. It seems most of the people doing their manufacturing their don’t even need to travel at all. The funny thing is I hear many people saying their product engineers are better than ours anyway.

  • avatar

    Expat Viking December 8, 2013, 5:39 pm

    Sounds like you are doing great, Eric!
    “I think the two-month break I took from chelation to ramp up methylation and fish oil has paid off as  it did for Viking. ”
    Yes, I think that longer breaks is something that is at least worth trying. It does make some sense that if you have had issues with metals for several decades, the body may need a fair amount of time in between chelation rounds to adapt. Personally, I find it much more tolerable to do a medium long round, say 5-7 days, and then a longer break rather than the standard every weekend method. And I am very glad that it seems to work for you! And a big congratulation on the fish oil! Very well done!
    I have been focusing on weight loss the past 3 months with some reasonable success, but it is slow and difficult. But aside from that, I can now report that I have made a very significant improvement in productivity. I am really getting things done and would say that for the first time in many, many years, I am truly competitive in serious international business. The difference from 2 years ago is enormous. I a way, you could say that I have gone from being very defensive, i.e. just trying to hang on and doing as little as possible, to instead becoming active and driving. It is a truly fantastic feeling and something that makes all that I have done the past years feel worthwhile.
     

    • avatar

      Eric December 8, 2013, 9:53 pm

      Glad to hear from you Viking! Really wonderful news that you are making progress with the weight loss and feeling competitive again. I know that feeling of just hanging on – been doing that since 2007 and the last time I was really in the driver seat was probably 2001. Since a big part of my bread-and-butter business has been tanking for years I’ve been toying with starting something new which might require me to travel to Mexico or China to meet manufacturers. I’m really hoping that I will be more able and enthusiastic to travel again next year…

      On the other hand, as the economy recovers my bread-and-butter business also has potential to heal itself, perhaps along with me.

      So I’m very motivated by hearing about your final recovery steps!

      • avatar

        Expat Viking December 8, 2013, 10:42 pm

        “So I’m very motivated by hearing about your final recovery steps!”
        Sure, I will try keep you posted! But I am focusing much less on all things medical and much more on work and family (there is a lot of catching up to do….). So I do not really read any new material and have started to take down my supps. But I do plan on another 20-40 days of chelation just to be sure, so I am not quite done yet.
        You seem to be sort of progressing at about the same pace as I did. As I understand it, you have now done around 9 months and a total of 73 full days of chelation. In my first 9 months, I did 59 days. Also, you are now at 60 mg every 2 hours and I was at 100 mg every 3 hours up to day 53, so again quite similar. Finally, we are both doing iodine and some version of the Fredd protocol.
        This energy surge that you describe sounds quite similar to what I sometimes got just after rounds. As you may recall, I called that “high focus days”.It is really fantastic when you have been wandering around in a half zombie like state for a few years….In my case, it now seems clear that the hours and days that I got like that during chelation was just the start of a general recovery that has now led me to much higher general energy levels and a calm, focused mind most of the time. 
        I am also starting to think about some more travelling and that may include the USA next year. If things work out business wise, I may take the family on well deserved longer trip during the summer. I was looking at the Amtrack site and maybe that could be a great way to see your enormous country?

        • avatar

          Eric December 10, 2013, 8:54 pm

          I hear you about the catching up… glad you’ve entered a new phase and wonder if you will be tempted to overdo everything for a while.

          Did those high focus days of yours happen during your rounds or after they were over? I wonder also if you would call your recovery linear or whether you think your improvements came weighted towards the end of your 20 month treatment or towards the beginning?

          I love train travel and have been thinking about how to take my kids on the train since they’ve never been on one. The western routes would be especially interesting because the views are expansive: http://www.amtrak.com/california-zephyr-train and http://www.amtrak.com/empire-builder-train – if you come through Denver, I hope you’ll spend a day in Boulder and have dunch or dinner with us. This is one of the nicest cities in the US.

  • avatar

    Mary December 6, 2013, 6:56 pm

    Eric, could the increase in benfotiamine have been part of the cause of the energy surge – I only ask because benfotiamine, and its cousin the more common vitamin B1, have been credited by some folks on Phoenix Rising as giving them energy when taken in higher doses.  The timing of your increase just caught my eye with the energy surge you had.  Just wondered if ALA usually gives you energy, in the past too?
    I still haven’t ventured back into chelation after trying it 5 years ago, I’m just reading others’ experiences with it now to plan it again sometime in the future.  The energy surge from a just-ALA round would be interesting…

    • avatar

      Eric December 6, 2013, 7:07 pm

      No Mary, I’m actually taking less benfotiamine than I have previously and the timing with ALA is like clockwork – as soon as I start the energy comes on and as soon as I stop it lets go…

"...nothing ever goes away
until it has taught us
what we need to know.
"
-Pema Chodron

"God, whose law it is that all who learn must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God."
-Aeschylus

About


My name is Eric - I‘m 48 and saw a doctor for fatigue at 17. I lived fairly normally if a little subdued by lack of endurance at times. But then, 12 years ago I fell into a nosedive after moving to South Florida. Now, I know heavy metal toxicity is a significant source of my troubles along with genetic methylation cycle dysfunction and Lyme disease. I spent 18 months chelating the metals out and starting up methylation but stopped when I felt myself circling the drain. Currently going after Lyme and co-infections. More about me here.

* supplements
* hair test
* genetics
* lessons learned

"Battles are won in their darkest hours. Wars are won by learning something from each battle."
-Eric

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