Treatment Recap: Months 8 and 9

Time flies! I am nearing the end of month 9 of my treatment. I’m not going to lie, the last couple of months have been rough.

During month 8, I was on Rifampin. I got a good little herx from about day 7-14, then the rest of the month I was pretty severely fatigued and depressed. I suspect this is because rifampin alters the speed at which thyroid meds are metabolized, so I felt very hypothyroid all month long.

In month 9, I switched rifampin for rifabutin and cefdinir and energy + mood was definitely better. However, I had a strange reaction to rifabutin that basically gave me the flu for most of the month. This is listed as a side effect of toxicity associated with the drug, but my doctor insists it’s a herx. I’ll be dropping dosage a bit and continuing. We’ll see if the “herx” dies off after while. My white blood cell count has also dropped, and without any ability to fight it off, I got my first vaginal yeast infection since treatment started. And well, if I wasn’t depressed from the meds, a multi-week flu and itchy lady parts has left me feeling pretty bummed!

Overall, I’m feeling pretty “over” treatment at this point and craving some normalcy. Hopefully things in month 10 go a little more smoothly.

Things I have seen more of in months 8 and 9:

  • Depression
  • Fatigue (month 8, on rifampin)
  • Occasional pressured right ear
  • Jaw pain and stiffness, bilateral
  • Flu like syndrome when starting rifabutin in month 9
    • Fevers in 99-102 range
    • Horrible head pressure with pain at base of skull and jaws
    • Muscle aches throughout body
    • Nausea / lack of appetite
    • Full body sweating
    • Intense fatigue
    • When fever broke, temps dropped to 94-96 range
    • After several days of this, very painful cramping in calves
  • Brain fog, feeling a little dumb, and occasionally kind of woozy (month 9)
  • Eyes sort of just not focusing… it’s like eye-specific fatigue
  • One episode of both feet going numb while walking to blood draw

Things I have seen less of in months 8 and 9:

  • Under arm sweating
  • Joint pain
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sciatic pain
  • Ringing in ears is still there, but hasn’t seemed to be particularly bad as it was in month 7

I never did make it onto biofilm busters like we planned, and I haven’t done any pulsing of cyst busters either. I doubt I will in month 10 either. I’d like to get through this little rough patch, whatever’s causing it.

Cross your fingers for me!

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