Diary of a Colonic Infusion for Blasto

THIS IS A PERSONAL ACCOUNT ONLY. IT IS NOT MEANT TO ENCOURAGE OR SUGGEST THIS TREATMENT. IT IS SIMPLY AN ACCOUNT OF MY EXPERIENCE DOING THE COLONIC INFUSION WITH DR FROOMES IN MELBOURNE - UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF MY DOCTOR AND BY SUGGESTION FROM THE NURSE AT THE CDD AFTER TWO FAILED ORAL TRIPLE THERAPY PROTOCOLS. PLEASE SEE YOUR OWN DOCTOR TO DISCUSS YOUR OWN TREATMENT OPTIONS.

I found blastocystis in a stool test in 2013, how long I had it and where I picked it up from is a mystery I'll never find the answer to. Before doing the infusion I'd done two rounds of unsuccessful CDD triple therapy protocols and one round of Flagyl over a period of about nine months. I spent six months trying the natural route prior to taking any antibiotics. I've a varied bunch of symptoms and needed to rule blasto out as a causative factor, hence my adamance to eradicate it.

The oral treatments hit me hard but unfortunately didn't eradicate the infection (I did follow up stool tests 4-6 weeks after each treatment). My body was also under a fair bit of stress so I really had to look after myself during and after each protocol. I was unsure about the infusion but figured I’d started down this path so I minds well see it all the way to the end. I wasn’t expecting eradicating blasto to be a cure all, but I was hoping it would be a massive step in the right direction. 

I had two supportive Doctors, had ruled out anything functionally wrong (via colonoscopy), had phone consults with both a nurse at the CDD and Dr Froomes so I was well educated to make my decision… Again, this is a personal account only. Treatment success and side effects vary!

Day before - 
I flew from Perth to Melbourne to see Dr Froomes to have the infusion. I flew in the day before my procedure. I also had to fast on this day, deal with a three hour time difference and then take bowel prep for three hours that night. I had a really bad sleep and in retrospect wish I gave myself an extra day or two to settle in and rest up before the infusion.

Day #1/Infusion Day- 
After only about three hours sleep (due to overactive bowels from the preparation drinks) I was up at 6am to get to Essendon Private by 7am. I was greeted at the main office by a friendly receptionist and filled in some forms. I was only waiting about 10 mins before being called into the nurses station. I was then taken into a room with about six chairs where I waited maybe another 10 mins to fill out forms with a nurse and get set up in my gown for the infusion. I watched TV in the room with other people going through the same process (the intake process, not the infusion, but apparently Dr F does 1-2 infusions on both days a week he is in theatre). At 8.30am I walked through to a larger room where the procedure was to be done and was put on a bed and did a bit more paper work. After about 15 mins I had a chat with the anaesthesiologist, then a wee chat to Dr Froomes, who was lovely. Soon after I was wheeled through to the procedure area and put under, I think it must have been about 9am at this point. I woke up at 9.50am, the infusion itself only taking about 20 mins. 

When I woke up my guts were a bit sore, slightly burning but nothing major. They gave me some time to wake up properly and I was put into a wheelchair and taken back to the initial room I started in to recover. I did an H Pylori breath test, had some water and food and then was able to get changed to leave. I left at about 11am, four hours later. I was given Nitazoxanide (antibiotic/antiprotozoal) and ondansetron (anti nausea) to take for 10 days AM and PM. The staff were all really friendly and the whole hospital experience went well. I slept for four hours that afternoon and felt ok when I woke up. I was passing the antibiotic liquid a little bit in the evening which Dr Froomes warned me about. My urine was also fluorescent yellow!

Day #2 - 
I took a sleeping pill last night so I could sleep, I woke up nauseous and barely able to walk as I was so dizzy. I’m not sure if this was a reaction to the sleeping pill (which I’m normally fine with) or the after effects of the procedure. I took an anti nausea med and slept it off. When I woke again I was groggy and it took me till 4pm till feel ok. By 7pm I’d had a reaction to the oral Nitazoxanide dose I had earlier in the day as I didn’t have it with the anti nausea pill and I was back in bed with the shakes and major nausea - seems nausea is a common reaction for me! They infuse you with half of what you would take over a 10 day period with second line oral treatment in one hit and I was very sick on that so it makes sense. I slept it off and was ok taking the night time dose of Nitazoxanide with the anti nausea med (thank goodness!) Felt good before bed.

Day #3 - 
My guts are still sensitive. I’ve had pain, bloating, and feel a bit backed up since the day of the infusion. I'm guessing this is normal though as it got water blasted with high dose meds and there’s probably no good flora left. I don’t have much of an appetite but eating with the meds is important so I’m forcing myself to eat. I usually eat a paleo based diet with lots of vegetables and organic meats and oils - I’m feeling more like soups and carbs at the moment so will just roll with that. No bad reaction to the oral antibiotic today but it does seem to be giving me some decent heartburn!

Day #4 - 
Extremely bad sleep last night from bad heartburn and an overactive tummy. Was dizzy and tired today and I have extremely sore trapezius muscles (neck and shoulders). No nausea today, the trick is to take my anti nausea meds 30 mins before my Nitazoxanide and take the Nitazoxanide BEFORE food not after. If I eat a good sized meal and sit down for an hour or two afterwards it also helps. This is just what I’ve found is working for me…

Day #5 - 
Another bad sleep last night, I had a few cramps in the night. Woke up groggy but energy picked up during the day and I didn't need the afternoon nap I've needed each day so far. Tummy has been a bit active today (a few extra visits to the bathroom). And I've noticed for about two hours after taking my Nitazoxanide I have major bloating, pain, cramps and a hard lump in the lower right side of my gut (usual symptom for me that flares up)... This dies down after awhile. I've also noticed that during this two hour window I get dizzy spells... Resting during that time frame helps to avoid them.

Day #6 - 
Tummy was VERY activate with pain, bloats and pooping all day. Exhausted in the afternoon after being out and about. Can't tell what food reactions I'm having so right now I’m just putting it down to the Nitazoxanide. Also, because my stomach is active I probably don't need my nightly dose of magnesium I usually use to help shift my normal daily constipation. 

Day #7 -
Feeling better! Yay! Stomach has settled a little and my energy and mood have been balanced! Less reaction to the Nitazoxanide today :-) Feeling positive for the first time this week. 

Day #8 - 
Stomach is a little slower today, no cramping and only mild bloat. Not as many trips to the toilet. Still have a hard lump on the lower right hand side (a symptom I was really hoping would go away after the infusion). Had an energy slump in the afternoon but no dizziness or nausea the last few days. The strange soreness in my traps also disappeared a few days ago. I’m able to eat my normal diet again and have a decent appetite back. Sleep is also better now my tummy has calmed down somewhat.  

Day #9 - 
A pretty normal day, stomach has calmed down a lot, no bloating or gurgling or pain. Still have slight swelling in the lower right... I did need a nap this afternoon, but I think that was mainly due to an active day out in the sun. I fly back to Perth tomorrow and am feeling ready for the flight and am confident I’ll be fine (not something I could have said up till day 4/5!) I have two days left of Nitazoxanide but that doesn’t seem to be bothering me nearly as much so I’m grateful for that! 

I haven’t been taking any probiotics up until this point, but I have been drinking a water kefir beverage and eating lots of sauerkraut. I will get back into my normal probiotic supplementation when I have finished the meds and figure out the best diet to follow once I see what foods I’m still reacting to. I’ll retest for blasto in about 4-5 weeks and see where my symptoms are at. If I’m still struggling I’ll be looking into have a series of FMT (faecal microbiota transplants) with Dr Froomes next year. FMT is becoming well known for its ability to establish gut flora in a profound way (oral probiotics are often not enough) http://chriskresser.com/all-about-fecal-microbiota-transplants

I'll keep you posted when I get test results back, a sincerely hoping this was my last chapter in my Blasto saga!

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