Infusio - What to Expect

I went into Infusio with almost no knowledge of what they did or how they did it. It was hard to find an exact day-to-day list of therapies, moods, or what to expect. This is all based on my experience. Start here, if you haven't already read the old posts.

Note: Infusio is changing things all the time and tweaking how they operate. This may change. As of January 2018, this is how it was. 

  1. The most important thing (I think) you need to know is that Infusio is difficult. It's not a mellow day spa. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

  2. The main areas you'll be in are the Penthouse and 3rd floor. The penthouse is the most spa-like environment and the outdoor patio is your escape from the noise and constant movement.

  3. You will receive a printed schedule of your therapies for the 10 days. This is super helpful. Rather than carry it around all day, take a photo with your phone.

  4. They divide each day into two two, three hour blocks: IVs and other therapies. This alternates every day. Sometimes IVs are in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon. Lunch is one hour.

  5. Most days ended around 5pm.

  6. Therapies currently include: Novo Bed (10-20 mins), Thymus shot, massage (20 mins to 1 hour), NAD shots, Global Diagnostic (30-45 mins), Hyperbaric Chamber (45 mins), Squish Pants - SlimYonik (45 minutes). You have a 1/2 hour to an hour block for each therapy.

  7. You will have one short consultation with a nutritionist via Skype. This is not the end all be all of your nutritional journeys, but he offered some nice advice, to those just starting out eating better.

  8. The NAD shots (12 total, every other day) hurt like a mother. Mentally prepare yourself. Breathe and relax. I did not understand I'd be getting eight shots in the stomach and 4 in the back. Breathe and relax.

  9. You'll be getting anywhere from three to seven bags of IVs per day. This is hard. Your arms and veins get exhausted.

  10. You'll be doing therapies on both the 3rd and Penthouse floor. Lots of walking. Wear comfortable shoes. Got Uggs? Slippers? Wear 'em.

  11. California weather is cold to moderate in the Winter (40-80 degrees), gorgeous and comfortable (sometimes cool and rainy, 75-85 degrees) in the Spring, hot as hell in the Summer (80-110 degrees), and cold and dry in the Fall (50-75 degrees). Winter, Spring, and Fall are cool/cold. Bring a sweater. Compared to the rest of the country, this is mild. Skies are usually clear, but we do have smog that ranges from Moderate to Unhealthy.

  12. LA Traffic is whack and Beverly Hills is not freeway adjacent. Add 15-20 minutes to most destinations. Beverly Hills is close to West Hollywood, but Hollywood is a little bit of a drive through city streets.

  13. Ask for what you want and need. I'm a shy little thing in person. I don't like to bother people, but I found that the staff is happy to help and they want to make you feel comfortable. Don't act like you own the place, but if you need something: Ask.

  14. A neck pillow would have been super helpful. The lounge chairs aren't that comfortable - although I hear they're better than the ones before. You're sitting for long periods of time. Get up and stretch if you're able - or move to another part of the floor.

  15. Drink lots and lots of water. You're getting pumped with vitamins, getting a massage, and doing major detoxing. You need to stay hydrated.

  16.  I know it's fancy Beverly Hills, but dress comfortable. I was all trying to look nice and it would have been better if I showed up in lounge wear and Ugg boots.

  17. Reading is hard when you're hooked up to IVs. Skip the analog books and download audiobooks ahead of time.

  18. Bring sunglasses. The IV lounge is SUPER bright all day long.

  19. Bring an eye mask for the Novo Bed (Light Coffin). The lights are painfully bright and hurt my eyes.

  20. Noise canceling headphones or earplugs might be useful to those with noise sensitivity. The IV lounge can be loud and chatty at times.

  21. These are long, nine hour days. I was not prepared and kind of frustrated. It feels like you're in a medical Summer camp, running from one activity to the next.

  22. The entire experience is emotional! Me and just about everyone else had emotional breakdowns at one point. You're working hard and kicking ass. Most of us don't leave the house for 10 days in a row, 9 hours at a time. This shit is hard! Give yourself credit and go easy on yourself. Feel what you need to feel and move on. Don't suck it up, cry if you need to cry. There are places you can hide out if you need to.

  23. I don't recommend going out exploring for lunch. Judi's Deli is fine and right downstairs. I know many people have never been to Beverly Hills, but just make life easy for yourself. My lunch every day was the vegetable teriyaki without the sauce, brown rice, and a green juice from Pressed Juicery across the street. Same same. Easy.

  24. You can bring a companion, but they will be very bored. Have them bring what they need to entertain themselves so you don't have to worry about them. It's nice to have someone there with you. Hopefully, it's someone who understands this is difficult and you will be tired and emotional.

  25. The Penthouse has Wifi, but outlets aren't in convenient places.

  26. I don't think Infusio objects to your bringing your kids, but please don't (if you can help it) for the sake of the other patients.

  27. I know you're nervous, but try to let people rest. Talking all day is exhausting. I don't know how people do it. The best thing for your health and the sanity of the other patients is to be friendly, but don't talk their ears off.

  28. There is a pharmacy on the ground level in the same building if you need to buy anything. And a Rite-Aid on the corner.

  29. For those coming from out of town - I heard from other patients that staying in an Air-BNB was much more relaxing than the hotels Infusio recommends. I live local, so I went home every day. However, we also endured two hours of grueling traffic coming and going. If you live local, consider doing the hotel or Air-BNB to save yourself the grief. 

  30. Infusio isn't forthright with the information. I don't think they quite understand that Lyme patients have been taking care of their own selves for years. We've been our own doctors, our own research assistants, and often our own cheerleaders. We have questions and we want to know what the hell is in that IV bag. I had to ask about EVERYTHING. At first, I felt nervous and bothersome, but whatever. Just ask.

  31. All the staff and doctors are super nice. I loved everyone there.

  32. Understand that Infusio is in its infancy and they're figuring things out as they go. I believe the science is sound, but the implementation needs tweaking. They're darn close. It may be helpful to understand that they're not perfect and they are trying to help us all.

  33. 25k does not entitle you to 24/7 personal care by the Infusio staff and doctors. I know, this sounds harsh. 25k is a lotta lettuce. You are not their only patient and Dr. Kim is the only doctor on staff. 6 new patients per week makes 24 per month. Do the math. It's not ideal and you are spending a lot of money to do this, but try to have compassion for those who have compassion for us. Like I said, they are new to this and they are figuring it out. No one else is working this hard to tackle lyme on a physical and emotional level. Be patient with them. I believe they know what they are doing, but we're all basically the early adopters, the alpha testers. I say this with the utmost sincerity, I believe Infusio cares about their patients, but are overworked.

  34. You do not have to talk to anyone if you don't want to. Build your little island and rest if you can. Don't feel pressured to chat.

  35. Set your expectations now. This is NOT an instant results treatment. You may get a small boost during or right after Infusio, but you will be up and down physically and emotionally during and after. Don't expect to feel bad, but understand this is a long process. They say up to a year for full results.

  36. If you haven't already, stop eating wheat, gluten, sugar, and dairy. Just don't eat that crap. It creates inflammation.

  37. The stem cell procedure will take place on the Wednesday or Thursday of your final week. This is a half day.

  38. They want you to wear loose-fitting black clothes for the procedure day. I wore a lightweight black pullover and sweats.

  39. Phil Battiade is not around. He may pop in now and again, but he's not there to chat or answer questions. When I was there, he was in and out, working, running around. Dr. Kim is also not around all the time, but she will sit down with you and answer questions. If you have questions, right them down and take them with you.

This is a long list, but I hope you find it helpful. If I have more to add, I will do so as time goes on. If you have questions, ask. Post questions in the comments.

Infusio - Days Nine & Ten

Note: I have tons of pics from days nine & ten, but just haven't had the energy to sort them and get them web-ready. I'll add them at a later date. Until then, use your mind pictures. As always, if you have questions, comment below. I'm writing this a little over two weeks after my time at Infusio (and posting a month later). On day ten, I had the most amazing burst of energy I've had in years! I felt normal, better than normal. I was in a GREAT mood and I could have done anything! But then I crashed. Hard.

Thursday (day nine) was my day for stem cells. They had us get there early at 6am. We walked into the 1st floor lab and surgery area. Right when you walk in, the stem cell bakery is to the left behind glass so you can see what they're doing. It's fascinating. Dr. Kim met us and explained how it would all go down. While they did the final prep in the surgery room, we sat in a private room just across the hall - a nice room with a lounge chair, water, fruit, and a frosted window. When we were ready, Dr. Kim called us into the surgery room and explained the procedure. She had one handsome male assistant whose name I can't remember.

She asked if I wanted a drug that helped with the disconnect of the procedure; it makes it so you don't associate bad feelings with the surgery. Yeah, gimme that. She injected the drug into my hip. I'll have to ask my husband what it is, but it makes you feel like everything is OK. No side-effects.

I laid down on my stomach and she numbed my lower back. She asked me what kind of music I wanted to listen to. I said 80s. She put 80s music on with her phone. Once my back was numb, she made two small incisions on either side of my spine. She inserted something inside my back to numb the inside of my body - under the skin. Gross. And then she used a long sucker tube thingy and dug right in. She gets all up in there! She's scraping and sucking out the fat in my lower back and at first I couldn't feel it, but the further in she went I could. It felt like a hot pinch. She started at my spine and went as far as the inside of my hips. She put in more numbing stuff and it felt better. I had my fat scraped out while listening to Guns and Roses' Welcome to the Jungle. Not kidding. Kind of appropriate, actually. You can feel what she's doing, but it doesn't hurt. It took only fifteen minutes and my husband they allowed my husband be in the room with us - taking photos and making commentary. She then cleaned me up and placed a blue pad on my back. She said the wounds would bleed a little and the inner numbing stuff would leak out. Ew. We went into the little waiting room and waited while they made up my stem cells.

I had no real concept of time It all felt like it took an hour, but we were down there about 3 hours. Handsome Assistant attached me to an IV and several small bags of saline. The stems were ready in about 90 minutes. Dr. Kim's assistant makes them up in the bakery lab room. He then brings them in, asked me if I wanted to take a photo with them - I guess people want to do that. I did. And then he injected them into a saline bag and they coursed through my veins. Easy. Dr. Kim was on hand to answer questions. She gave us a container of Arnica Montana - homeopathic pellets that helped so much. I took them about three times a day for a few days after. They help for swelling and pain.

I rested and then went upstairs to get a few more IVs. A Meyer's Cocktail and I forget the other one. Sorry, it was kind of a whirlwind day. After that, we went home around noon.

Stem cell day was the easiest day of the entire two weeks I was at Infusio. Essentially, you're in and out. When I got home, I felt tired, but good. I slept

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On Friday, it was back to Infusio for one last day or treatments and IVs. It was just like any of the other days, except I had massive amounts of energy. I was in a super amazing mood and I could have run errands and cleaned the house. I felt a little like I was on drugs. Happy drugs. My back was sore from the procedure, but it wasn't bad. We all did our therapies and then received a final talk about what to expect and how Infusio is there to help us, how to get answers, etc. They gave us all folders with our nutritional consultation information and a list of after-Infusio at-home procedures. This list contains things like teas, castor oils packs, and recommended supplements. We all said goodbye, took a photo together and went our separate ways.

I will write up another post that goes into how I feel after Infusio. Don't get excited, it's not awesome, but I want to document and let people know what to expect. This is about all I can do right now. Thanks for reading. Ask questions in the comments.

Infusio - Day Eight

Day 8 was the day Infusio broke me.

  • 10 Pass Ozone Treatment

  • IVs: Meyer's Cocktail, Glutathione

I woke up with a brewing migraine. Literally, right out of bed. I tried to muscle through it, showered, got ready, took a double dose of ibuprofen. We got into the Uber and I felt car sick the whole way there. When we got to Infusio, I still felt ill, but powered through the IVs. By lunch time I lost my shit. I went out on the patio to rest and the migraine was at full force. I felt like I would throw up. I bawled. Just ugly crying right there on the patio. I am not a public crier. I'm the kind of person that sneaks away to cry, but I just couldn't stop it. It was out of control.

I know I have to understand that I've been busting ass for days, more than I've done in two years. Like most of you, I've been in a cocoon - my dark apartment with only the TV light for months and months. I can hardly leave my house and my anxiety has been crazy since I started this journey. So being thrown into a brightly lit, noisy environment, for two weeks and nine-hour days...it's overwhelming. I'm like one of those animal women, raised by wolves, brought into society. What was that movie with Jodie Foster? Nell? I'm Nell. I mean, I talk to my cats more than real people.

So we went home. I was at my breaking point. I talked to the girls downstairs, and they told me it was fine. The rest of my treatments would have been Squish Pants, Global Diagnostic, Novo Bed and thymus injection. They said I could skip them.

Sigh. I was so happy to be home; I cried again. I slept hard for an hour, woke up, had lunch with my hubby, watched two episodes of Grace and Frankie, and felt more sane. I still have a headache, but it's not fire and brimstone. Tomorrow is my stem procedure. I'm whacked out. I'm taking it easy, gonna sleep and wake up and get 'er done.

More tomorrow. Thanks everyone for reading. Please ask questions in the comments.

Infusio - Day Seven

So much happened today, let me see if I can get it all down...

  • Hyperbaric

  • SlimYonik

  • NovoBed

  • Nutritional consultation

  • Lunch

  • 7 IVs - I did not get the names of them all, but one of them was atesuante

  • Thymus

The day was bedlam. Two of the staffers called in sick: The assistant nurse and the hostess. This meant that the main nurse had to handle all the IVs by himself. 12 people and each of us had at least three IVs total. I had seven. It was a lot. In the afternoon, they called in a temp nurse to help out, but she wasn't familiar with the protocols and although she did her best, it was still kind of crazy. She was sweet, but not the best IV putter-inner. One girl from the 3rd floor office came up and played hostess and she was great. She was on top of everything as far as I could tell and she's very nice. I must applaud the staff for handling it today. It was a nightmare. The IVs require someone to watch them, change them, flush the lines, solve problems that arise. It's a big job for two people, let alone one nurse and a temp.

Good arm veins no longer an option

Good arm veins no longer an option

The schedule was out of whack all day and it was stressful for everyone. The staff handled it great, but you could tell the patients were getting frustrated. Everyone did their best to maintain their composure, but some of the therapies are time sensitive. By the afternoon, things seemed to settle down. Everyone was hooked up to the IVs and the IV lounge was jammed with 1st weekers and 2nd weekers (my group) plus their companions. It got noisy in the afternoon, but I didn't mind as much today. I was in a good mood all day. I even talked to people. Best I could, I was still exhausted.

I had my consult with their Mexico based nutritionist who does calls via Skype. He does custom suggestions for everyone. For me, he wants me to go back to a mostly vegan diet. I had been a vegetarian for 25 years, but after several doctors told me to eat meat or perish, I went back to limited meat (mostly chicken). It's only been about a year and it was a hard transition. I admit meat tastes good, but I have a lot of guilt when I eat it. He says the stress of eating meat is worse than eating meat. LOL. In the 25 years I was a vegetarian, I was never anemic. It wasn't until I got Lyme that my health declined rapidly. I'm fine going back to vegetarian. I feel like I have permission now.

Around 4pm, a group of young Hollywood types walked around and appeared to be setting up for filming. No one had said anything to us so we watched and waited as they discussed shots and where so and so would sit. They came up to where I was and talked about moving us and I said, "Excuse me, I don't know if you realize this, but we're all sick people. You can't just move us." It miffed me, for sure. The head of marketing was there and while she apologized, she appeared insincere. She said, "It's not everyday Paramount wants to shoot in your offices." And I'm thinking...actually, this is Los Angeles. It happens every day. I was too tired to duke it out. She continued to apologize, and I went outside to get air. I was pretty upset and so was everyone else. By this time, my IVs were starting to hurt, and I was ready to go home. I found somewhere else to sit, but was annoyed they had barged in on us. A little while later, the rest of the patients in my group came to where I was and told me someone had asked them to move because they were talking too much. Wow. One wife of a patient went downstairs to complain. I'm glad she did. We found out it was the guy from Catfish shooting some kind of commercial or something for the Infusio hangover treatments. That got everyone riled up because of all the things to move us out for! It also upset us that no one told us anything about it.

The dude from Catfish making a video while I’m trying to heal.

The dude from Catfish making a video while I’m trying to heal.

The heads of Infusio came up and apologized sincerely.  They explained that they weren't aware the film crew wanted to use the IV lounge and they shouldn't have asked to move; that this was our space. They were great about it and offered to buy us dinner as a bonus. I was happy with the apology. Believe me, I've lived in LA a long time, this kind of thing actually does happen all the time and film crews can be pushy.

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After that, everyone went home. We all got our appointment times for our stem cell procedures. Mine is first thing Thursday morning. My energy is a little better than usual, but I'm sore. My IV sites are sore and I have a red bump on my booty where yesterday's thymus shot went in. I feel like I've been hit by a truck, despite a slight increase in energy. My arms, stomach, back, and ass cheeks are sore. My left hand is now sore - we're running out of places to stick needles. I'm weak and running out of steam, but it's almost over. Tomorrow is day 8! I'm more than halfway done!

Post questions in the comments!

Infusio - Day Six

Today started out bad. I spilled coffee all over myself as we were getting into the Uber.

  • Global Diagnostic

  • Massage (20 mins, trigger points)

  • Novo Bed

  • Thymus Injection

  • NAD Injections

  • 7 IVs (Calcium EDTA w/ DSMO, DCA, Intracell, Folic Acid + Bs, Glutathione, Liver detox,  Phospholipids)

I did this post very quickly. I was too tired to do a full info post last night and will update more as time permits. This is the gist of the day. 

Today was a long, hard day. I did the Global Diagnostic and then had a massage for 20 minutes. My body is so sore, it wasn't pleasant, but the massage therapist is wonderful and he did a great job. After, I did the NovoBed (Light Coffin) - except; I was feeling anxious. I got in, lay there a minute and got a static shock from the metal rim on the bed. That was enough for me. I got out, found my husband, did my thymus shot and then had the NADs - 8 shots in the stomach, 4 in the back. They hurt, but not as horrific as the first time.

We had two hours of downtime. I went outside and read, laid down, relaxed. I'm so glad I did. After lunch, we started the IV gauntlet. Right off the bat, the IV hurt. My arms are bruised and tired and my muscles feel weak. Around the hour mark, I noticed the first bag wasn't moving, so I asked for help. Some of the other patients were getting 10-pass ozone, so the nurses were very busy. They fiddled with the IV bags and all its little nozzles and things. It moved again, but they had to flush the line (in my vein) by clearing out the fluid and it BURNED. Later, I noticed the IV wasn't moving again, so I called again. It was another 20 minutes. This time, there was blood in the line and I was already feeling anxiety and trying to keep myself calm. The thing about anxiety is, it's never life or death. The weirdest things set it off. I tried to breathe and remain calm, but when the nurses came back, they flushed the line again and it BURNED. It was then I broke down crying. The nurse was sweet and helped me out. We put a warm compress on my arm and that helped a lot. The rest of the IVs went smoothly, but I was worn out and feeling spaced out. I was one of the last ones to leave.

When we got downstairs to call the Uber, my body started vibrating. My whole body was bobbing in every direction in a kind of slow rhythmic way. It felt gross. I had to sit down. The Uber arrived, and I tried to get up, but it felt like my legs were made of Jello. We thought it was best we go back up and get checked out. We got up to the 3rd floor, most everyone was gone, but the assistant nurse was there and she helped me. She's sweet. They took my vitals, and she texted back and forth with Dr. Kim. They said it resulted from the NAD shots I'd had in the early afternoon, but it was odd they were happening so far after the shots. I was still vibrating when we got into the Uber, but by the time we got home, it had subsided. I ate dinner and crashed out hard.

A new group of 1st Weekers have arrived and they all seem very nice. One girl has a support animal, and it's nice to have a sweet dog loving on everyone. It was quiet today, but in the afternoon it got a little loud.

I don't know what happened today. I was tired and moody and my emotions were out of my control. I can't remember who, but I think someone told me the NADs cause mood fluctuations. That would explain it, I'm feeling the pain. I thought the first week was hard. I sort of of expected it would get easier, but it is like a marathon. Did you ever see that movie Run Fatboy Run? I feel like Simon Pegg at the end of that one, but I will keep going because I have to, because I want to be well.

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If anyone from Infusio ever reads this, you have to know: The staff is what makes 50-billion shots and long days bearable. They are all kind, supportive, and talented and I am so grateful to have their help.

Infusio - Week One Thoughts

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.

Pros: 

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.

Cons:

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.

Infusio - Day Five

Today was a gauntlet. My patience was almost zero and I was very emotional.

My mom sent me loving texts every morning.

My mom sent me loving texts every morning.

  • Hyperbaric Chamber

  • Thymus shot

  • Novo Bed

  • Global Diagnostic

  • Lunch (2 hour break)

  • 5 IVs (Immunity protocol, 3 others, one for liver detox)

The day started off bad. I forgot to eat breakfast and was feeling shaky and ill. I told the girl on the 3rd floor and she said to eat. It made me a little late for the hyperbaric chamber, but it worked out.

I don't love the hyperbaric chamber, but it turned out to be the most relaxing part of the day. I read my favorite literary journal (Sheriff Nottingham) I had my thymus shot, got into the Light Coffin for 10 minutes, did the Global Diagnostic and then had lunch. We ended up having 2 hours of downtime. It was overcast and cold today, so we didn't spend too much time outside. The slumber party was there today. It's their last day at Infusio and I am so grateful. I can't even tell you. The non-stop talking, laughing, jubilant screams (the way girls do). Non-stop. I marveled at how they could talk all day. I am so not like that. During my 2 hour break, I went outside to take a nap and about halfway in, they all came out for a final day photo with one of the Infusio staffers, the nurses, and the host. I couldn't help but feel like I was invisible. I was sleeping, and they made tons of noise, laughing, joking. I did not get a nap today, which made me cranky.

Look, I'm ridiculously happy these people feel well enough to have loud conversations and talk all day. I don't. I've had a hard week, I don't feel well, I'm exhausted, and I'm doing my best to get through it. My symptoms this week have been headaches, tremors, anxiety, and fatigue. I have a hard time when people show a blatant disregard for others. It boggles my mind. All week, these women have acted like they're getting 2 for 1 margaritas at Dave and Busters. I managed to contain my side eye for most of the week, but today I couldn't keep it in and threw some serious shade. I said nothing, but it was obvious I was unhappy. The nurses and the host helped me out and put me in a side room, but even that was too loud. After a while, they put me in the back room and I had some quiet. I'm dealing with some serious anxiety right now and it hurts to have people being crazy in a place of healing. I don't get it. I don't quite know how to address the issue. It's not just me. Two other people felt the need to escape the cacophony and find solace in other parts of the penthouse. While I don't want to be a complainer, I also have to consider that I too paid a crap ton of money for this experience and I deserve to be in a place of comfort for everyone. I'm venting. Sorry.

I was moody today. Really moody. Up and down. I almost cried a few times. I think it's just the stress of the long week. Infusio is a gauntlet, but I've said this before: It will be worth it. I know it. One of my major battles through this Lyme journey has been how to handle my stress. I have to deal with it. I will say this, doing this blog helps. The staff at Infusio also helps. They're great.

That said, the afternoon IVs are hard on everyone. You can see it on their faces. Today they told me what every IV was and what it did, but I was so poo brained I couldn't keep it straight. Not just me, but everyone was glad to be out for the weekend to have a few days off. I got out around 5pm and was the last one done. When we left, we were so eager to leave; we forgot to check out. I probably was not a peach to deal with today. I'm sure everyone could tell I was in a bad mood. I hope I didn't annoy anyone with my mad faces or foul mood. I tried, but I felt like I was at my limit today. My limit is so much shorter thanks to Lyme. I tried not to take it out on the nurses or host. They are all wonderful, helpful, amazing people. Next week should be a lot better. The final stretch. I have to remind myself: I chose this, I'm paying for this, I want this, and it will work!

While I waited on the curb for our Uber home, I saw a hummingbird. Right there in the middle of a busy Beverly Hills street. I love hummingbirds; they feel like my spirit animals - because before Lyme I was a high energy, get-er-done kind of go-getter. I feel like they're always around me all the time. I see them in the most unlikely places and have had the honor of hosting two hummingbird nests on two of my home porches over the years.

And then the best thing happened. Remember when I said movie stars don't do it for me anymore? I was just kidding. I saw George Hamilton walking down the street! He walked right in front of me. Oh man. He's 78, and he looks great! Still tanned, still smooth. He looked good. If you don't know who that is, do yourself a favor and watch any of his movies from the '70s. My favorite is Love at First Bite. He was a hunk and a half. A real heartthrob in his day. Our Uber drive home was great. The driver was courteous and drove like a champ. We got home in under an hour in Friday evening traffic. Thank you!

When I got home, I had a shot burst of CRAZY energy. It lasted about 5 minutes, but I felt like I was on speed. I've never done speed, but I imagine that's what it's like. It's gone now and I will rest up. I'll do a week one sum up and post it this weekend. Thanks for being with me this week. Doing these posts has helped me stay calm and not kill crazy slumber party ladies. Because I was edgy all day, I didn't take any photos. There's not much to see that isn't already on the Infusio website, but if you want to see anything in particular, let me know - I'll see what I can do.

Ask questions in the comments. Have a great weekend everyone!

Infusio - Day Four

Today was the day of shots! I'm officially a human pin cushion. Now I know how voodoo dolls feel :(

  • SlimYonik

  • NovoBed (6 mins)

  • Global Diagnostic

  • Thymus shot

  • NAD shots (12 total)

  • Lunch

  • 5 IVs: DCA, ??, artesunate, glutathione, ozone

  • Bursitis shoulder shots (lidocaine, procaine, ozone - 3 or 5?)

When I got in at 9am, they told me Dr. Kim had changed my schedule because of my data on the Global Diagnostic. This is normal. They personalize treatment, but I was not specifically told what the data was or why it altered. I started with the SlimYonik (Squish Pants) and then did 6 minutes in the Light Coffin. Each time I do the NovoBed, I alternate 6, 10, and 20 minutes in on various days. Everyone has their own personalized schedule. I then went back downstairs to do the Global Diagnostic which takes about 1/2 an hour. 

After that, I had my daily thymus shot. And then! I did the NAD shots. If you recall, they tried to do these on Monday, but they hurt so bad I was in tears and they had to stop. Today, wasn't that bad. It hurt, but I meditated through it. I could kind of zone out and take the pain. It's what I've done when I've gotten piercings and tattoos. I just go into a kind of trance. 12 shots total. 8 in my stomach, 4 in my back.

My husband and I had an hour to kill, and we asked if we could start the IVs early, but we ended up waiting until everyone else got going. The staff has their own schedule to keep. I was feeling moody and still had a headache so I laid down on the IV chair. Pro tip: The IV chair on the far right gets all the sun in the afternoon. Not the best chair.

After lunch, I had IVs for the rest of the afternoon. DCA, one I can't remember, artesunate, glutathione, and ozone.

  • DCA - Dioxychlor - Antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal

  • I don't remember the next one. It might have been EDTA which is a heavy metal detoxer.

  • Artesunate is an anti-malarial and is used for "severe" malaria. I assume this is for the Babesia, a similar bacteria to malaria.

  • Glutathione is an antioxidant.

  • Ozone kills Lyme pathogens.

As usual, I had to ask about everything and I was so tired and headachy I couldn't remember one of the IVs. You are bombarded with information, it's hard to remember it all, especially when you have brain fog. However, today I felt more clear headed. It's hard to explain. I felt like I was thinking a little clearer, but it didn't last. It wasn't like the brain fog went away, but I felt slightly more awake for a while. This is a rollercoaster. Things change from minute to minute, day to day. My results are not typical and everyone has different results.

Dr. Kim came by around 3pm and talked the group through the stem cell procedure that will take place next week on Wednesday or Thursday. Again, it's a lot of information, but the procedure will take 2 hours. I will post all that info when the time comes. She also took the time to sit down with each of us and address our questions. She wanted to look at my bad shoulder and suggested I do shots of ozone and procaine to get the inflammation down. I did. It was an extra $200 charge, but so far, it feels a ton better - a little sore from the injection sites. Since I had a headache, Dr. Kim recommended I use an essential oil roll-on called "Headache Magic." It worked. You can find it online and it has: Lavender Fine, Peppermint, Ylang-Ylang 3, Wintergreen, Melissa.

Right now, I'm so tired I need to rest. This week has taken a lot out of me. Today was another gauntlet. I was dragging ass all day and felt unusually emotional. I had a chat with the mother of one of the other patients and she told me how hard it's been on him. Lyme is a tough business. It's heartbreaking, but I feel good knowing both this man and I are getting the help we need.

I will continue to post information as I have it. I hope you understand, at the moment, I'm so tired and weak I need to sleep. I will have more time over the weekend to get into some specifics and talk about the upcoming procedure. I may also update this post later. The Uber ride home was horrific. The driver made me feel car sick, and it took an hour and a half. I also didn't take a lot of photos today. I had a good quality hamburger for dinner and basically inhaled it. I was famished! After, I felt OK - no bloating or sick feeling. I'll talk more about the recommended diet this weekend. Hint: It's not hamburgers.

Please post questions in the comments. Thanks!

Infusio - Day Three

I'm not a cheerleader. In fact, I have to work really hard to be positive. Life has kicked me in the teeth enough times, I've learned to be cautious and observant.

  • Global Diagnostic

  • Massage

  • NovoBed

  • Thymus Injection

  • Re-Do Global Diagnostic

  • Lunch

  • 10 Pass Ozone (kills Lyme pathogens)

  • IVs - Meyer's Cocktail, Glutathione

There is so much going on that it's difficult to explain everything. The first few days we were just thrown into things. I'm getting the hang of it and can explain a little more. I'll do my best. Please ask questions if you have them. 

I expected that Infusio would be a serene oasis and I would have no complaints. In many regards, it is and I don't. The location is beyond gorgeous. If you're not from Los Angeles, Beverly Hills is something to see. I've lived in LA a long time. I was born here, moved to Ventura County, and came back when I was 19. Fancy cars, movie stars, and palm trees do little for me. Even so, the inside of Infusio is done well. The decor, the furniture, everything. It's all top-notch. All the employees are easy on the eyes. I'm pretty sure there's some kind of beauty pre-requisite to work there. But they're not just pretty faces. Everyone is helpful, sweet, and fantastic at their jobs. It's a win/win. The services they offer are high end and are the latest technology.

Exhautsed

Exhautsed

My biggest complaint is the volume levels. For the last 3 days, people (staff and patients) have been talking non-stop. I understand the patient's point of view. You're in an unfamiliar place and there's nothing to do for long hours on end. The IV makes it difficult to read when you can't move one arm. It's so much easier to talk to your neighbor. However, I don't know about anyone else, but I have noise sensitivity and anxiety. Being around a bunch of new people who are laughing like they're at a cocktail party is disruptive. The good news is, my husband and I just hang out on the penthouse patio all day - and it's lovely out there. It's mostly quiet - although you can often hear the people inside - and the weather has been perfect. There are comfy chairs and lounges to sit on and it shaded for most of the day. I wish that the inside was more of a quiet zone though. I don't consider loud talking conducive to healing. Maybe that's just me. Most everyone is talking and I feel like the odd man out. Actually, there's one other guy who often strays from the crowd. I get the sense he wants to be alone. I'm tired of talking about lyme. She said, as she writes her blog about it. Truth is, I want to relax and get better. I want to put lyme behind me. I'm sharing all this on my blog for posterity and to help others looking into Infusio. Spoiler alert: I think it will be worth it.

Today was another go-go-go day. I started with the Global Diagnostic which is a very complicated frequency machine that reads your body energy, puts out a reading and then does a "treatment". Once again, I'm not sure how it works, and it doesn't feel like anything is happening. I'm trying to trust the process.

After that, I had an hour long massage which was amazing! The massage therapist has magic hands. He worked on my bad shoulder (bursitis and/or tendonitis) and has improved my mobility. Like a lot of you, I have not had a massage in years. I read somewhere they detox you too much and make us feel worse after, so I've stayed away. I don't feel worse. I feel relaxed. I might feel different tomorrow.

I did 20 minutes on the NovoBed (AKA Light Coffin). I have mixed feelings about the Light Coffin. It feels good, but after a while it got too hot on my spine and I had to move around so I didn't feel burned. I'm certain it's doing good things. Light therapy is super helpful, but the coffin is a little difficult to get in and out of. It's not a huge problem, I'm weak after being in bed and on the couch for two years.

I had my thymus injection - the one in your booty. I found out it stimulates stem cell production. I get those every day.

After that, I had to re-do 8 minutes on the Global Diagnostic. There was some kind of problem with it saving my info. I'm not sure, but I might have moved the little sticky tab on my ankle. You must stay still for the whole thirty minutes.

We had lunch from Judi's again - same as yesterday. I'd gotten through everything so, we had an hour to spare and I took a much needed nap outside. I conked out.

After lunch I did a 10-pass ozone treatment. They stick a needle in your arm, pull blood out into a bulb hanging on a stand. The blood passes through a machine, is infused with ozone, and then passed back into your body. They do that 10 times. The nurse has to monitor you because the blood will just keep filling the bulb. I almost topped mine out once. Apparently this can wreck the machine. The nurse and his assistant were running back and forth multi-tasking, which was exasperating, but they got it done. It took about an hour. As usual, you can't move your arm and my shoulder was killing me by the end.

Finally, I had a Meyer's Cocktail and a glutathione drip. The day finished 4pm, but we still had to sit in traffic for an hour and a half.

Make no mistake, these are hard days. I'm exhausted and my body aches. It may sound like a wellness retreat, but it's a lot of hard work. Like I said, I'm not used to being out, being around people, or walking as much as we do. They split therapies onto two floors. I haven't exercised this much in years. It will be worth it. I can feel it. I can't say I have much improvement just yet. I have noticed that my sinuses feel clearer, but I'm physically and mentally depleted, whatever improvements I feel are over-shadowed by that. My entire body hurts. I also feel overwhelmed. It's emotional to go through all this and know that this is only the beginning. I hear people saying you should healing takes a year. That's not fun to think about.

Infusio is not a well-oiled machine just yet. They do well, considering how much they are orchestrating. It's a lot. Because the technology and information is constantly changing, they like to adapt quickly and this means there are periods of modification. They're currently implementing a new schedule and the ACT program. You can find more info about that on their Facebook group page. I don't quite understand it yet.

End of Day 3 looking tore up from the floor up

End of Day 3 looking tore up from the floor up

My only other complaint is that procedures aren't explained fully. Lyme patients are researchers. Forced to be our own doctors, we do our own research and find our own answers. It's a little strange for me to take someone's word for it. I'd like to know what I'm getting and why. I sort of feel like I'm being tossed around from one treatment to the next and I'm constantly having to ask "what's this one do?" I'm sure I'm not alone. On the first day, they gave us a printed schedule (which is very handy) and it feels like Summer camp activities. You gotta keep your schedule going or it messes up the whole day. I felt a little lacking in the information department, but I'm trying to trust the process. I know they're doing good work and they are sincere. I know it. I mention my complaints, not because I'm upset, but I see room for improvement and I want anyone going to Infusio to know what to expect. I felt a little blind going in.

More tomorrow! Post questions in the comments!

Infusio - Day Two

OMG. Today was way better than yesterday, but it's still a little like medieval torture.

  • IVs - Glutathione, Meyers Cocktail, Iron

  • Lunch

  • Hyperbaric Chamber

  • Squish Pants (SlimYonic)

  • Thymus injection

  • Light Coffin (Novo-bed)

Day Two started out with 3 hours of IVs (Iron, Glutathione, and Meyer's Cocktail).

  • Glutathione: Peptide (antioxidant)

  • Meyer's Cocktail: (Commonly has) Magnesium chloride, Calcium gluconate, B-Complex, Vitamin C

  • Iron: Essential nutrient. Increased energy and easier breathing.

Afterward, Adam picked up lunch from Julie's Deli downstairs. Their veggie teriyaki (without the teriyaki sauce) is good. Simple, easy food that doesn't upset my stomach. The IVs were less painful today and because there were fewer people running around the office; it was less chaotic. The weather was great. My husband and I sat out on the penthouse patio most of the day - people were still talking and yammering all day and I just needed quiet.

After lunch I sat in the hyperbaric chamber for 1/2 an hour. It basically looks like a small shuttlecraft from Star Trek. You climb inside the pod, lay back on pillows. There is a calming blue light. They attach an oxygen mask to your face and you lay back while the pressure is removed? Put in? I don't quite understand how it works, but it feels like you're on an airplane. My ears popped like I was gaining altitude. I took a short nap, but felt slightly panicky inside. Otherwise, it was boring in there. They have a TV inside, but it doesn't work at the moment.

And then it was time for the Squish Pants. I went into a small side room, took off my pants, put on a pair of paper pants, slid into these heavy puffy pants and laid down. The pants fill with air and it squishes you starting at your thighs and moving down to your ankles. It's a little like those massage chairs at Brookstone. It's not comfortable. It feels like when you're a kid and you play dog pile; just a heavy, uncomfortable pressure. That lasted about 1/2 an hour. It's supposed to help with lymphatic drainage. I will say this, I had a respectable bowel movement when I got home.

The thymus injection is one shot in your booty. That's super easy. I don't know what the thymus injection does. Sorry. You get it every day.

And finally, the Light Coffin - which they call the "laser bed". It a lighted coffin you lay in for 6-20 minutes. It has random light phases - red light, infrared, that sort of thing. You get naked and lie inside. It doesn't close all the way like a real coffin, but it closes enough that I felt claustrophobic. I didn't feel comfortable with the lid all the way down. The bed warms up, and this is the most relaxing part of the day. The lights themselves are bright, but today I brought an eye mask.

Overall, today was easy and was over quick. I also feel a lot better tonight than I did yesterday when we got home. The staff is very nice and accommodating. I'm becoming aquainted with the other Lymies. I'm not there to make life-long friends, but I'm happy to talk to people and everyone is great. I feel like I want to give people their space. There were people there who were on their second week at Infsusio acting like it was a slumber party, cackling, talking. That's annoying. I wish it was quieter, but I only have eight more days to go.

Update: When I got home, I had a nice burst of energy, different from how I've felt before. It felt like real energy if that makes sense. However, after I wrote this, I hit the wall. I have a slight headache, shoulder pain, and my ears are ringing. I'm also getting small muscle spasms - all which are normal lyme symptoms. Time for bed.

Post questions in the comments. More tomorrow!

p.s. I'm kind of poo brained today, so this really isn't my best writing.

Infusio - Day One

Day One was a hard day...

  • They asked us to arrive at 8:15am - we got there at 8:30am

  • Waited around for a few minutes

  • Orientation with Yvonne

  • IV's until 1pm (5 total)

  • Skipped lunch

  • Global Diagnostic

  • NovoBed - 6 minutes

  • Massage (1/2 hour)

  • Injections - NAD and Thymus

I feel like I got hit by a truck. It was a hard, confusing day. The staff is implementing a new protocol called ACT, There was a lot of chaos. The offices are two sections on two floors - there was a lot of going back and forth, up and down. The offices are brightly lit and not helpful for people with light sensitivities. It was also very noisy. Lots of people talking, laughing. I had a hard time with the IVs and felt lightheaded and saw stars - they had to put me on oxygen several times. There was not a lot of instruction and I often educated what everything did. I had to ask. I had 5 IVs, I know that one of them was Meyer's Cocktail, but don't know about the others. The NAD injection was supposed to be twelve injections into my stomach in various locations. It was horrific. It was so bad, I couldn't handle the pain and broke into tears. Both the nurse and my husband thought it best I stop.

The offices are nice, clean and the staff is nice. Post questions in the comments. I'm too tired to go into everything right now.