Letting Go

Early on in my Bee Venom Therapy journey, perhaps because of how peacefully I entered into this treatment, letting go has fallen into my lap and is sitting there like a cute kitty (“cute” + “kitty” = redundant, warm and fluffy) curled up and waiting for lots of pets.  But that’s not how it started.

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      Pet the kitty

Living with Lyme Disease is complicated.  The longer the spirochetes are living in a person’s system, the wider the range of possibilities as to where they will reside and which body systems they will royally fuck up for the kind host who gives much more than a blood meal.  I have given these buggers a 5’6″ cellular buffet for 21 years.  Most Lyme patients are told indirectly and explicitly that their aches and pains and whatever seems “off” is just in their heads, that all tests are normal and they have nothing wrong with them other than needing a psych consult. After what feels like a long drawn out wild goose chase searching for a diagnosis, Lymies are fed up, tired from the chase, and wounded from medical professionals dismissing and not believing them.  So us Lymies, we search.  We search for answers.  We search for a diagnosis from our home computers.  We search for anyone out there like us. Every ache, pain, and body change is noted.  We pay attention to the details in hopes of finding the missing link that will help our doctors help us.  How hard it is to let go of a confounding type of pain and suffering.

Enter Bee Venom Therapy (BVT).  It has helped me let go of the details.  This is not how I started out with BVT, but I wised up quickly.  In the beginning of this treatment as with every Lyme treatment I have tried to date, I wanted to know everything about it.  As if somehow the knowledge would make the bee medicine work better??!? Crazy me!

Thankfully, I can’t.  I can’t know it all, I can’t study every aspect of the bee venom.  I can’t learn how it acts on the body on a microscopic level.  As much as I want to know, the information simply is not available.  So instead of researching the healing properties of mellitin, instead of studying which enzymes and peptides are viable in live honey bee venom but not in the injectable format, instead of looking for studies on what the peptides and enzymes do within the human body, I am letting go.

This is not a meditative practice or a type of high road that ought to be taken.  I’m here to tell you that letting go is possible. More than just a pipe dream or mind over matter. It has already happened early on for me with BVT treatment and plan to keep this peaceful momentum going.

Letting go means I:

  • continue with the BVT Lyme Protocol and observe the changes
  • continue to hope for and watch for signs of healing
  • lessen my urges to break it down into explanations of medical cause and effect
  • wait a few days before officially freaking out when something unexpected happens after stinging
  • be patient with the process

My best healing moments, days and weeks with BVT are when I let go of my body sensations and body changes due to stinging, and just roll with it.  Because the bees are taking care of it for me, I give it all up to Mother Nature.  SheLetting Go wins every time.

Letting go has been the most powerful piece of BVT for me.

Let Go of all your previous notions and Observe. Give your body time to get used to the Bee Medicine and simply Observe the interesting things it does.  I am glad that I don’t know, and can’t know, exactly how the bee venom works.

Letting Go

30 Days of Bee Venom Therapy

BVT stings running the length of the spine along both sides
This is what the first 30 days of BVT Lyme Protocol looks like —  the start of an abacus.

After one month of Bee Venom Therapy using Amber Rose’s Lyme Protocol, it is time to reflect on the process of BVT and how it is affecting me.  No deep thoughts here, no extended time needed to sort through my thoughts.  It’s easy to see my progress after the first thirty days.  I feel it, I know it — it is much more than hopefulness.  Change has arrived.

My three worst constant symptoms have lifted every so slightly, and the effect is cumulative: Fatigue, Insomnia, and Digestive Issues (constipation due to chronic inflammation)
Even better, I am spontaneously humming, singing and laughing from time to time. I truly did not realize how dark my world has been, until I started laughing again at moments in my daily life.

This humming, singing and laughter is a huge “tell” that my health is returning.  Just being able to enjoy life was, I guess you could say, physically impossible for a while. Physically impossible for a few years. Humour is healing, but you can’t force it — believe me, I have tried  using laughter to improve my mood and lessen pain but to no avail.  Being joyless is living in a sickly state, the doldrums being a result of the illness (i.e. Lyme Disease and its co-infections) sapping my life force away from me.  Even though I had myself convinced that my dulled and joyless existence was my own fault and my own doing, it really is not, and was not, a mind over matter thing. There is a gut-brain connection that is weighted much more in biology than it is in free will.  The gut is sometimes referred to as the “second brain” because that is where most of the body’s immunity and neurotransmitters are made.  The bee venom has improved my health, and seeing this lifting of both my mind and my emotions, I know that the medicine of the honey bees must be healing my gut.

The first thirty days of BVT take the patient on a learning curve of understanding and being able to follow the Lyme Protocol as it is designed; in getting used to the concept of having insects sting you when you were taught as a child to fear them intensely; in figuring out how to sting yourself.  In figuring out how to make peace with the death of these tiny creatures in exchange for getting your life back.  In wondering if you’ll survive the itching phase.  Wondering if you can keep up with the commitment, stinging 3 times per week for 2-3 years.  These are the first 30 days.  You get through it, because the bees know what to do and little by little, help our bodies heal from the ravages of chronic Lyme Disease.

30 Days of Bee Venom Therapy

Bravery is… A Tear in the Eye (Strong Heart, Strong Will)

Recently someone at church found out about my starting apitherapy.  He said, “You are very brave.”  I had mixed feelings about that comment!

At first reaction, the thoughts in my head were “Brave? Nah, that doesn’t describe me, I would never call myself brave. How could someone call me brave when I see it as desperation or a last resort?”  What I actually said in an effort to protect myself from possible criticism was, “They say there is a fine line between bravery and stupidity.”  Truth is, I don’t believe that statement to be true in my case at all and it was merely a self-negating comment.  I MUST STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK ABOUT MY TREATMENT.

Beekeeper working with his bees without protective gear
BRAVERY: Mr. Beekeeper, you don’t mind a little sting?  Might happen.

Later that day, my eyes welled up with tears thinking how true it is — yes, I am brave.  Brave to try a non-mainstream therapy.  Brave to do this without research trials.  Brave to follow my intuition as the master leader.  Brave to make the 2 to 3 year commitment that is required to heal from Lyme Disease using the honey bees.

It feels good to be brave.

Bravery is… A Tear in the Eye (Strong Heart, Strong Will)

Sting Session #3

2 stings to the lower back
Stung twice

This is my first time returning to the lower back. This photo was taken about about 5 minutes after stinging, showing some redness.

I do think I’m seeing subtle changes in certain symptoms the day after stinging… time will tell.

After the stingers were removed, the redness filled in more of the space over the spine à la “connect the dots.”

Today’s stinging session has made me suuuuuuuuuuper tired. Good night all!

Sting Session #3

Sting Session #2

On July 12, 2015 I asked to be stung by honey bees.

Two days later, I came back.

More stings, please.

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In the words of Oliver Twist:  

          Please Sir, may I have some more?

What? What? What? Wants some MORE?!

Today was my first time stinging the upper back. I have studied spine charts trying to learn which thoracic vertebrae and nerve pathways we are stinging each time, but it’s not gelling in my brain.  No idea which vertebrae we matched up with but the good news is that I didn’t even feel the stinger go in on the left side!

Definitely felt the venom traveling vertically on the left side, as soon as the stinger was in. Nothing was visible but I could feel very clearly where the sensation was traveling. And some “Oooooo, there’s the burn” 5 minutes after being stung.

Sooooooooooo much easier than the first sting session.

One sting on either side of the spine
                                                     One sting on either side of the spine
Sting Session #2

Bee Venom Therapy Begins with a Sting and a Yelp

Yesterday was my first sting day (July 12, 2015), and it went well.  Nervous and excited.  Forgot to bring the ice.  Beekeeper was fabulous (he stung me).  His apiary has at least twenty hives and thousands upon thousands of bees.  Listening to the hum was meditative and watching them traveling high in the sky to and from and around their hives was mesmerizing, relaxing.  I saved two bees from drowning in their drinking water, one bee scurrying nonstop on a cork like a lumberjack in a log rolling contest.  The bees were gentle and did just what we asked of them.  I got a good look at the underside of a bee, the stinger runs along the midline of the abdomen, retracted in “storage” until used for stinging.

Test sting & one therapeutic sting, at this, my very first apitherapy session.  Done.  Red welts, a bit of red/pink horizontal “brush strokes”  called “banding.” A very good sign.  Yes, the stings burn like a bitch.  But it’s so much better than living day to day in this chronic hell.  Two hours after my test sting, my ears were ringing at a moderate level.  Reminds me of my inflammation flares, when my tinnitus acts up.  So it makes me wonder whether this is inflammation ramping up temporarily to process the bee venom introduced today.  I do hope it’s temporary.  If my tinnitus ever becomes permanent, I will go certifiably insane.

The next day I was able to properly wake up. BING! My eyes are open!  Not groggy, dragging through what I “should” be doing in the mornings, like it has been for years.  And I pooped a lovely, beautiful, perfect poop in the morning.  It was like the poops the day after the nutritional IVs (Meyers Cocktail) I used to get.

So, my leaky gut issues might actually heal.  Do you hear that people?  That poop right there, that’s the SOUND OF HOPE.

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Bee Venom Therapy Begins with a Sting and a Yelp

One Year of Trying and Waiting and Trying Again

The second Sunday in July. One year ago today, I was desperate to join my local Lyme Disease Support Group and meet other people in the same boat.  I missed that gathering.  It didn’t work out because our family was at our church picnic that ended up being a full day event. What a benchmark.  This year, on the second Sunday of July 2015 it turns out I have my first apitherapy (bee venom therapy) session.  I am at my church picnic today, and the bees are calling me. Time to start stinging!  Ironically, the scheduled time is 3:00pm, the same as last year’s Lyme Disease support group.   Reflecting on the past year, I see now how important it is to have patience.  (That was one hell of a year.)   I had no inkling that one year ago today I would be actively pursuing apitherapy, that I would be intentionally stinging myself with bees and praying their venom does everything it is said to do.

Faith is trusting that a good and positive future is really going to happen, becoming nearer and more real; faith is not knowing HOW it will happen.  Patience is waiting and wading through the not knowing what that future looks like and not knowing WHEN. Faith and Patience, they go hand in hand.  Faith means being tough and enduring the shit while waiting for the universe to do its beautiful thing.  Patience is waiting indefinitely for the (brain) fog and confusion to clear.

Not quite sure how I got through it.  Not once did I say to myself, “Oh, I have so much patience, everything will work out just fine.”  It looked quite different from inside my little fish bowl of chronic illness.  I saw frustration that treatments weren’t making me feel or function better.  I saw my own anger that I can’t control these damn spirochetes (Borrelia bacteria) inside me.  I saw so much sadness and grief to have lost my verve, my creative juices, my energy to get through the day and do barely more than basic chores.  I saw fear of my illness getting worse and slowly killing me.  Patience is not easy at times like this, nor is it a simple thing to have faith in the universe.

One Year of Trying and Waiting and Trying Again