Unsurprisingly I did not get much sleep the night following my procedure. Although I was feeling far less nauseous, it was very difficult to find a ‘comfortable’ sleeping position and I kept waking up in pain, but I was very grateful for the tramadol which I was taking as often as I was allowed and kicked in pretty quickly. Despite the lack of sleep I still felt pretty alert and energetic when I woke, but due to the soreness I didn’t feel up to the walk, so we took a very short Uber ride to the clinic for 9am. I was straight up to the penthouse for my IVs and waited a little on the terrace for Hollis to sort out some of the other patients. Because of the strict instructions I had been given to avoid toxins and chemicals completely for the first 100 days post-Stem Cells, we had taken a trip to Whole Foods earlier in the week to pick up some chemical-free makeup and skincare. I had been pretty good at sticking to only chemical-free cleaning and bath products since starting treatment with my current Lyme practitioner in London the previous September, but I had resisted exchanging my tried and tested makeup favourites, as I just didn’t really know where to start. However, Dr Kim had stressed how important it was during this early stage of recovery so I was armed with my new products and ready to commit. One of my chemical-free purchases had been a non-toxic sunscreen, and whilst attempting to put some on whilst waiting on the terrace, I discovered it was so thick it was extremely difficult to apply and made my tanned skin from a month in California so white it almost looked blue. I suspected this would not be the last time I was disappointed by a non-toxic product substitute, but knew it would be worth it to protect my fragile immune system and new cells!
After two failed vein Hollis got me hooked up to the IV line and I was started on my final Myers Cocktail, to be followed by Glutathione. I was silently thankful that today was my last day, as my poor veins were well and truly giving up and I wasn’t sure how much more I would have been able to take! Alex went to get coffee and breakfast for us and I chatted with the other patients and staff, feeling pretty good aside from pain. Just after lunch I was started on my final IV; it was NADH which I can only tolerate very slowly ,so I guessed that would take me the rest of the afternoon, and I settled in on the terrace. A little while later Dr Kim sent for everyone who had received the procedure this week to go down to the first floor for the final information session. She ran through all the instructions regarding the first 100 days; which medications we had to stay away from, which products we could use, and she then went through and explained the home programme in detail. The home programme is a fifteen-month protocol of supplements and therapies that Infusio recommends each patient takes to make the recovery process as smooth as possible and enhance healing. I will write a separate post on the home programme as it is quite a lot of information, and it took a while to explain each recommendation and answer any questions. She instructed us to try to introduce each supplement one at a time, which as someone who is allergic to a lot of medications and supplements from having Mast Cell, I knew this would be especially important for me. After the session I had my individual exit interview with Dr Kim, where I was able to ask her all the questions I had (which were many!), and as always she was extremely patient, helpful and reassuring in answering all my concerns. It was really sad to say goodbye to her; with there being a total of zero specialist Lyme Literate Doctors in the UK it had been a completely life-changing experience to be under the care of someone so knowledgable about my condition and what I was going through. Not only that but Dr Kim is so compassionate and truly just a lovely person, I was so incredibly fortunate to have been treated by her.
I went back upstairs and finished up the NAD IV, after which the only treatments I had remaining were the Nova Infared Bed and the Slimyonik Pants. I was scheduled for twenty minutes in the Nova bed and found it difficult to get in and out, having to lie on my front as my back was too sore, which was not very comfortable and I found it very hot so I was happy to get out of there by the end! I then had fourty-five minutes in the Slimyonik suit whilst the cycles completed, which again wasn’t the most comfortable but I kept distracted talking to Caryn. Once the cycle finished she informed me that I had officially completed treatment and I was free to go! I couldn’t believe I was finally done, and it was time to say goodbye to everyone, which was a very emotional experience for me, and even for Alex as well. I had never in my life experienced such incredible care, kindness and even friendship in any medical setting; there just truly could be no comparison in this regard, and I could not have been more grateful. it was the wonderful staff at Infusio who had somehow managed to ensure that what had been an incredibly challenging and painful three weeks, in honestly probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do, turned out to also be one of the most positive, powerful and empowering experiences I had gone through. From the bottom of my heart I truly felt so blessed to have had the opportunity to not only receive life-saving treatment, but also to have met such wonderful people, staff and patients alike, and to have found a little bit of my voice and fight again. It had been the first time in at least eighteen months that I had felt like I had some kind of personality back and found myself truly laughing. it was also the first time that I had properly opened up to people, and allowed myself to fully accept and come to terms with my diagnosis, despite living with Lyme Disease for almost three years. I felt inspired for life again, and like I had a chance to fully recover, regain my health and live well; I knew the journey ahead was not going to be an easy one, but I felt renewed hope that it was one worth fighting for. I said my tearful goodbyes to Caryn and Hollis, before heading downstairs to check out for the final time and say goodbye to Wendy and CeCe at the front desk. Wendy had arranged for all my supplements to be ready for collection so we settled the bill and packed up the dozens of bottles I would be needing for the next four months. I also booked my 100-day follow up consult for the 17th of September, which was when Gena and Ashley were also hoping to return as well so it felt good to have that to look forwards to, and knowing I would be coming back made the goodbyes a little easier.
I was still feeling very sore, more just battered and swollen than anything else, but everything was healing up nicely with just a bit of bruising starting to show which was good. My energy was still decent so we went to Cafe Gratitude for vegan milkshakes, before browsing a little in some of the shops on Rodeo Drive and Alex very kindly bought me a little treat for finishing treatment. We went back to Il Pastaio for dinner because it was just so good, and got chocolate cake for dessert from Cafe Gratitude, before getting an early night. Three weeks of treatment finished and I was very much looking forwards to enjoying some sunshine over the weekend without being attached to an IV drip, whilst I recovered to be well enough to fly home!