Thursday, October 28, 2010

HBOT and Lyme update

Yesterday I had my approximately 35th hyperbaric oxygen treatment. It seems to go relatively normally. In fact, I have no trouble doing the dives at all. I seem to be getting better and better at clearing my ears as the dive progresses. I realized that I was clearing my ears in the wrong way, blowing from my lungs instead of just trying my neck or my face. It's hard to describe how I actually do it now. But it is much easier, and I don't put my lungs at risk.

In any case, today I am a mess. Actually, yesterday in the afternoon after the treatment I was, also. But this morning I am particularly a wreck. I guess I am having a symptom flare today. Last night despite the good news of the San Francisco Giants winning the first game in the World Series against the Texas rangers, I had ridiculously bad sleep, even with nightmares, waking up in the middle of the night with chest tremors and heart palpitations, and this morning being a wiggling mass of neurons. My feet and toes are out of control, my right arm and right hands are shaking like leaves, I have tremors in my chest, and I feel pretty depressed. This must be a symptom flare, with the hyperbaric oxygen treatment finally catching up to me. I can only hope it is good news, although I am apprehensive because tomorrow I have to get on a plane and travel to Virginia to see my family.

This probably sounds like toxic buildup from the hyperbaric treatments killing off the Lyme disease bugs. This probably is true. However, I have been trying to keep up with this and keep ahead of the toxicity by having colon hydrotherapy appointments. This week I had a two hour hydrotherapy appointment in fact! :-) Boy, that is fun. Pretty interesting way to get to know someone. The woman who runs the clinic and does the treatments for me -- Anne, at Body Harmony in San Francisco -- really knows her job. Usually, after the treatment I feel quite good. Tuesday was no exception. I probably could use another one now because I probably have additional toxic build up. Oh well, one can only do so much, and afford so much treatment at any one time. I will have to struggle through this, and go to hyperbaric oxygen treatment again today and hope I am not too much of a wreck to travel tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hyperbaric update

This is about my 26th day of HBOT. Today things are feeling very edgy. I have noticed an increase in all symptoms. The hyperbaric oxygen must be doing its thing. Either that or it is causing damage, advancing my Parkinsonism. So far, what I have noticed are the following: increased tremor in everything that normally shakes - left foot, toes, right arm, hand, fingers; increased rigidity in right arm; arthritis and enlarged joints in toes on left foot; Bradykinesia - difficulty initiating movement in general, but especially rotating when standing, rising from a chair; weakness in general, especialy noticeable when trying to get out of bed. Turning over in bed is difficult; eyesight has gotten worse. I am myopic to some degree already but have worsened by about 1.25 diopters. This is supposedly due to oxygen swelling the corneas and will revert about 6 weeks after ending hyperbaric treatments. A new symptom in the last week is joint pain in right shoulder and muscle pain in the right arm when lifying or pulling. There is generalized anxiety and depression, which are worse now. Irritability is also worse. Sleep, miraculously, is ok.

There IS a plus side. Occasionally I feel a cessation of tremor, a renewed sense of well being and desire to 'stay and play' rather than feeling that old, nagging 'fight or flight' activation. In other words, the sympathetic nervous system seems to have started to chill out a bit. These brief respites from feeling plugged into an electric outlet have been rare, but I am told they will increase in frequency.

I have started meditating while in the HBOT chamber, instead of watching movies, instructional videos, or listening to lectures. I find this is more relaxing and is probably more healing. I put in foam earplugs and cover my eyes. It's like being in the womb. Luckily, I'm not claustrophic.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Adyashanti interview with Bob Cowart - Part 01 of 11

Northern California-based spiritual teacher Adyashanti speaks candidly about his own process of awakening, how he became a spiritual teacher, what enlightenment is, the various pitfalls of spiritual practice, and more. To automatically play all 11 segments, go to:

I conducted this 1-hour-and-45-minute interview in Adyashanti's house in Northern California in 2002.

This is Part 1 of 11.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hyperbaric Oxygen update

I have finished about 25 sessions of hyperbaric treatments so far . One of the problems I have had just had my ears cannot equalize properly under pressure. So I have had difficulty clearing my ears, and if your ear drums become compressed too much they will tear. So, the technicians at the hyperbaric Institute will not let me dive sometimes. This has sent me to the ear nose and throat doctor twice. We examined my ears, and did an audiology exam to check my hearing, and I had a consultation about the possibility of getting "ear tubes" installed in my ear drums. These allow the pressure to equalize easily, by allowing the pressure to pass through the tubes instead of through the eustachian tubes that are in your head. Interestingly, the insertion of ear tubes or grommets is the most common surgical procedure performed on children nowadays. It is a treatment for children who have chronically infected middle ears, which causes pain and often causes decreased ability to hear in the classroom, etc.

We also talked about the possibility of hearing loss as a result of the ear tubes. There is a possibility of low-frequency hearing loss, and also a possibility that the air holes, the holes in the ear drums, will not close completely after the tubes are removed. This can result in a inability to swim without earplugs, for fear of getting an infection in the middle ear.

All in all, this did not sound very exciting to me, because I am very attached to my hearing, being a musician. This is especially true as I am a musician who currently cannot play music, due to the effects of Lyme disease. I used to play piano quite a bit, and I can barely muster it now because of loss of dexterity in my right arm. So all I have left in the way of music is the ability to listen to it and appreciate it. The audiologist to get a baseline test of my hearing, and noted that I have a 32 dB or 30 dB reduction at 6000 Hz. This is a serious drop off. It comes back up at about 8000 Hz, but they do not test above 8kHz so I do not know what my hearing is about that. But I can report that since I started the hyperbaric oxygen treatment I have experienced the loss of high frequency response. This may be due to fluid in the middle ear, and occasionally I experience clearing, and the frequency response seems to come back. So I am hopeful that this is a temporary effect.

Ironically, hyperbaric treatment is used in cases of hearing loss to help repair hearing. However, little is known about the inner ear, and how it works. It is possible to incur barotrauma, and since the inner ear is a self-contained unit, it is possible that pressure could build up in the inner ear, causing loss of balance and the loss of hearing function. It is not common, and I have difficulty finding anything about this on the Internet. So I am assuming that it is not likely. But I can only report at this point that I have experienced the loss of high frequency sensitivity, I am very aware of this being an audiophile and listening to music and being very aware of the sounds of nature, ambient room sound, the sound of the rustling of cloth, paper, running water, etc.