We just got back from tour yesterday evening. I had a follow up with Dr. Lalezar this morning to see if my metals were completely chelated (Kee-lated) after 9 chelations and 3 tox screens. I followed up with Dr. Ruscio before I left to fill him in on the Parasites/Metal state of affairs.
The Bad News
The tricky part about chelation is that when they test you for metals the numbers aren't 100% accurate. Mercury stores in your tissue and lead in your bones, so to get it out they give you a challenge test. As you chelate, you pull more and more out (hopefully, until it's gone.) As I've tested and re tested and chelated my numbers have gone down. However, what it's looking like is that the numbers were still higher than originally anticipated. I still have a 5.9 in Lead (up a tenth of a point from the last test) and 7.1 in Mercury (up a full point from last test).
Dr. Lalezar said that she'd be comfortable with me stopping IV chelation at this point if I felt better. The issue is that even back on AIP + Low FODMAP i'm still symptomatic. This is confusing and frustrating to say the least. I'm doing everything that I KNOW WORKS... and it's not working this time.
The Good News
I don't have to continue IV chelation. I'm going to use supplements like N-Acetyl Cystine, Chlorella and foods like Cilantro to naturally detox the rest of the way.
The Part where I could Cry with Frustration
I haven't really gone into it yet but THIS SHIT IS SO EXPENSIVE. I plan on eventually detailing what last year cost me because a lot of practitioners don't take insurance, or if they do the treatments often aren't covered. It's important for people starting on this journey to be informed about the cost. So, while we've made progress since 2014, every move I make now puts me in the hole. (Being in a band isn't the most lucrative job decision I've ever made, even if it was the right choice for me.) Chelation is $1300 for every round of 5 treatments, each tox screen to see your levels is $350, you get the idea...
Beyond price, it's utterly confounding that AIP and Low FODMAP isn't enough to reset my system any more. I was still bloated and exhausted this past tour. When I spoke to Dr. Ruscio prior to leaving he agreed that going back on the diet hard core was the best plan and we'd check in in 30 days. After that, if I was still having trouble reintroducing foods we had two routes to try. We could do an Inflammatory Bowel Disease protocol of supplements with probiotic therapy. (Not a bad idea since it's possible that i have an IBD like Crohn's but i'm not "deteriorated enough" to test positive for it.) Or, we could try an elemental diet, which is a liquid diet of absorbable nutrients that gives your guts a break from breaking anything down for a period of time.
With AIP+ not working, I'm ready to try anything. Dr. Lalezar ordered a leaky gut test to see if the antibodies for broken gut junctions are present. She also ordered a stool test so we can make the next move with more information. Perhaps there's some persistent SIBO, is one of her concerns. I've ordered one jar of the elemental diet "absorb plus". It's made for people like me that can't tolerate ANY foods. I also know people who've been directed to consume this to help starve out their SIBO as well as heal their digestive tract. One friend stated that she felt like her old self again while on it because it completely eliminated all the symptoms food and toxic byproducts were causing in her system.
The worst thing that will happen is that i try this liquid diet for a couple days and it doesn't agree with me and I go back to AIP+. The best thing is that it DOES agree with me and I get a brief moment of mental and physical break from all this. oh, and food too... (side note: it's $61.50 a jar and each jar has just over two days worth of food in it. So, that's the hold up. Here's hoping It works but I only use it for a bit of time.)
Today is a challenge. I'm exhausted (physically from being on the road and mentally from still not having any answers). Brahm is rightly so keeping his distance as I'm not the best version of myself today. I'm still hopeful. I hear about people like Meghan Telpner, Mickey Trescott and Chris Kresser who've had "incurable" or "undiagnosable" ailments that have completely turned their lives around. I look forward to being the person most people see when i'm "putting it on" outside of my home, all the time.