Week One at Infusio was not what I expected.
I've spent a good amount of time complaining about the Slumber Party that has disrupted my serenity at Infusio and has complicated my mood. Last night my husband said, it felt like high school - the pretty blonde girls laughing, joking, being in their own world and not including us. If you're just joining, there was a group of about six women who spent their second week at Infusio talking and being disruptive as though they were at a cocktail party. All week. Every day. Monday to Friday. Non-Stop. They were loud. During this time, it was hard to read, sleep, or relax. What bothered me most about this wasn't so much that I felt like I was being left out. It was the blatant disregard for the other patients. I'm not the only one bothered by it, I'm just the only one writing about it.
It's true, it brought up old feelings about high school. You can guess I wasn't captain of the cheerleading squad. I was an outsider. In high school, I was a cross between Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club and Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice. (My high school experience is a long, tragic story I needn't go into here.) So yes, these women sort of made me feel a little like I was in high school or like they felt like they were in high school. They were in their own world and while I am so happy they felt well enough to party, I'm not happy that they subjected me to their raucous behavior all week.
I expected a calming spa environment; I got a disruptive, nerve wracking edition of Mom's Night Out. It's over now. They've gone home and I have another week to go. What you don't know about me is that I am sensitive. I might be too sensitive. Anxiety has been a major Lyme issue for me. I have a hard time tuning things out. I can't read unless it's absolutely quiet. I've spent the better part of the year working on my anxiety and working on my stress. Both of which have not helped my "Lyme Journey." But let's not talk about that. Let's talk about my experience so far.
The facility is clean, well maintained and modern. The science behind Infusio is sound. I spoke with my LLMD before Infusio and while she doesn't like the expense, she thinks it will help. She called it a "Detox Boot Camp". I've already spent more than $25,000 on various Lyme treatments over two years. The staff is cheerful, talented, and mostly organized. The offices are beautifully decorated. Dr. Kim is amazing. She's smart, caring, and does a fantastic job. I love her. The nurses do their jobs efficiently and I truly think they care about the patients and the work they do. The outdoor patio on the top floor is awesome.
Space - Noise - Communication
Infusio is expensive, but you get what you pay for. They stack treatments on top of one another and your daily schedule feels fast paced. The IV Lounge is designed to be a soothing, relaxing environment, but it's not. It's become a jovial, fun filled, cafeteria-like environment. At times, the nurse, his assistant, and the host all seemed a tad overwhelmed. There have been several Infusio people walking around talking to patients. No one talked to me, but I also probably didn't appear welcoming. I've felt achy and headachy almost all week. Business people, who look like investors, have frequently come in to tour the facilities; I sort of felt like I was on display. Communications are friendly, but information is sparse. If you don't ask, you won't know what they're injecting you with. They're not secretive, they just don't offer that information unless you ask.
Infusio does not run any kind of blood work so if you have a health concern, you'd better speak up. It is up to you to keep track and ask about treatments and therapies. You are expected to trust the protocol. There is little accommodation for companions. You're allowed to bring a partner, but they have nowhere to go. You often want them with you in the therapy rooms, but there is nowhere for them to sit. My husband says he wants tables so you can bring your lunch back and eat. Space is an issue. The penthouse is cramped and several services are spread out between the 3rd floor and penthouse - which means a lot of going back and forth - more walking than I've done in years.
My husband says Infusio are victims of their own success. There are too many people there. It's 6 first-week patients, 6 second-week patients, plus their companions. What is that, 24 people? Almost everyone has a companion with them. There isn't enough space for everyone. The 3rd floor office is shared with a cosmetic surgeon which means even more people coming and going.
As a final note, I can't remember everyone's names. They tell you on the first day, but it would be helpful if staff wore name tags. It also took me about 4 days to learn the names of my fellow Lymies. I still don't know the names of their companions.
Is It Worth It?
That's the big question everyone has. I believe in Infusio and that Phillip Battiade is a genius who is working on hacking the body and healing Lyme. I believe that everyone at Infusio is sincere and wants to help people. Patients who have gone to Infusio have good things to report. People are getting their lives back. At the moment, I can't tell you if it's worth it. I don't feel much better after the first week and I might not know if it works for a long time. To be honest, if you feel better during the first two weeks it's because you're getting pumped with IVs, vitamins, aminos, ozone, and detoxing. Those are all great things, but they're short-term fixes. The stem cells will repair the damage Lyme has caused, and that will take time. There does seem to be a great deal of faith involved here. I am, by nature, a skeptical and cautious person. I want to get better and if most people leaving Infusio feel better, so will I.
Final Notes for the Week
At the end of my journey, I will compose a list of helpful tips to aid those coming to Infusio Beverly Hills. I wish the facility was a soothing environment, but I will have to renegotiate my own feelings and come up with my own solutions to get through it. I expect now that the Slumber Party is gone, things will be a little quieter. I hope so. On Saturday morning, I noticed a slight increase in energy and cognition. I felt compelled to organize my make-up counter in my bathroom and did about 10 minutes of light work - which is a lot more than I've done in a year or more. That's something. I didn't finish organizing though. Maybe I will later. My hands are still shaky and my digestion hasn't changed at all. While energy has increased some, I'm still tired.
Next week I will do my stem cell procedure on either Wednesday or Thursday. I am posting random updates throughout the day on Instastories (@kristensimental) if you'd like to follow along in real time. I'm half way through the Infusio part of the story, but the rest is still yet to be written. I will continue to post daily updates during next week.
As usual, if you have questions, ask. Put them in the comments and I will do my best to answer.