- Exhaustion/Chronic Fatigue - Before I started taking the mushroom, it was extremely difficult to do anything but lie around without the slightest energy to do anything. It would take the hugest effort of will to do the slightest thing.
This changed within half an hour of taking the mushroom for the first time, and has improved ever since. I've been so lively the last two weeks, and am up and doing something almost before I've thought about it. This turnaround seems to me, and those that know me, nothing short of miraculous.
- Cognition - Before starting on the mushroom, my cognition had deteriorated to such a degree that I couldn't get my head round anything. If I had to do something, or think about something, that required more than one step, I couldn't do it. I couldn't string my thoughts together to write anything. I couldn't compare or summarise anything. My IQ must have dropped a huge number of points.
Since taking the mushroom, this is the other major area that has seemed miraculous. The difference is huge, and my cognition is still improving. I've been able to pick up my work developing mobile phone apps, which I'd had to give up several months ago because my brain simply wasn't working. I can keep up with conversations again. I'm able to formulate my thoughts enough to write this blog.
- Memory - Prior to the mushrooms, my memory was shot. This is related to cognition, above, and together they make up the majority of the "dementia-like symptoms" that you get with Lyme disease.
It seems that some medication aimed at treating dementia uses the same mechanism as the fly agaric tincture, for example:
Piracetam improves the function of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine via muscarinic cholinergic (ACh) receptors which are implicated in memory processes
Needless to say, my memory is greatly improved now. I no longer have to carry a list round with me detailing anything that I'd need to do that day (assuming I'd remember to write it down in the first place, not lose the list, or forget the list even existed). I'm almost able to take my memory for granted again.
- Loss of Control - The other main "dementia-like" symptom is very creepy, and involves seemingly losing autonomic control over your actions, and doing and saying things you really didn't intend to.
I haven't lost control and done or said anything inappropriate since I started on the mushrooms. This was the main reason I had stopped socialising (as well as the chronic fatigue), as I was terrified I would say something that offended someone, and this did happen a couple of times. It's such a relief to be free of this.
- Stamina - Prior to the mushroom, I could do little chores like housework for five or ten minutes at a time, then would need to rest for at least five or ten minutes. My muscle and tendon trouble would mean that I couldn't be on my feet for very long anyway.
Yesterday I walked for around five miles, with barely a rest. This is far and away the furthest I've walked in four and a half years, since my life fell apart with what turned out to be Lyme disease. I was tired afterwards, but managed to watch a football match on TV and then cook and eat a roast pork dinner before dropping off for an hour's nap.
It's probable that fly agaric is the Viking berserker mushroom that would give them such amazing stamina, so it's not surprising that it does improve stamina. I'm really getting a full day every day now.
- Pain - An old injury in my neck, back and shoulder had caused me to need pain relief every day. This injury seems to have been colonised by the borrelia bacteria, as they can use your own collagen to build citadels for themselves in areas that are low in movement or oxygen. This is why with Lyme disease it's so important to keep moving and stretching your muscles, even if you're just lying there.
Although I do still have low levels of pain and discomfort, I no longer require any pain relief at all.
- Muscle ache - When exerting my muscles in any way, such as climbing the stairs, they would ache quite terribly. I still get this to some degree, but it is improved and improving.
- Tendinitis - It was tendinitis in my ankles that started this health nightmare that eventually turned out to be Lyme disease. After two years of only being able to walk a few steps, this did improve with deep tissue massage, but was still a great limiter in what I've been able to do. The tendinitis would flare up, mostly in my ankles and knees, just about every month, when the bacteria have their monthly bloom. A bad flare would take weeks to get better. I had tendinitis in my ankles all summer this year, and could barely do anything.
With all the extra exercise I've been getting since starting on the mushroom, I had a flare of tendinitis at the back of my knees last week. I expected it to last a few weeks as usual, but it was gone within a few days on the mushrooms.
- Hypocapnia/Hypocapnoea (low carbon dioxide, causing nausea, dizziness, seizure, muscle spasm) - I'm not sure whether the mushroom is just improving the symptoms of this, or whether it's addressing my low carbon dioxide levels. I haven't had as much dizziness and muscle spasm, I've had no nausea, and it's much more rarely that I realise I'm not breathing.
- Cold - My body does seem able to regulate its heat better. I'm sure the increase in activity must help with this. My temperature has been 35-36C before the mushrooms, but often at 37C since.
- Insomnia - I haven't had any episodes of insomnia over the last week, though I did have a couple the week before.
- Tinnitus - The tinnitus was very variable before starting on the mushrooms, so it's hard to say whether this has been affected. It hasn't been bad over the last week though.
- Tourettes-like moments - When I remember something embarrassing I've said or done, a strange uncontrollable noise will erupt from me. I understand this is also related to Lyme disease. I've only had it over the last few years, during which the Lyme wrecked my life. I haven't had this as much over the last couple of weeks, but it does still occur every few days or so.
- Stress and worry - My levels of stress and worry have gone way down since starting the fly agaric. I'm sure this must have a positive effect of many of my other symptoms as well. I honestly can't think of a time in my life when I've felt happier and less worried. The simple joy of being alive, and the beauty and draw of nature, are making my life a living paradise.
- Antibiotic Effect? - I have had something on the sole of my left foot for probably two years now. I've been told variously that it's verrucas and athlete's foot, and treated it accordingly, but it's made no difference. Rubbing raw garlic into it would get rid of it briefly, but it always came back. My LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) said that she thought it was bacterial. Since I started on the fly agaric a couple of weeks ago, the infection has almost gone.
- Sensitivity to Light - I still have great sensitivity to light, especially when unexpectedly reflected.
I'm only two weeks into this experiment, so it's possible of course that difficulties may yet arise, but after two weeks, small pieces of fly agaric are having a seemingly miraculous effect on almost all my symptoms.
Photos on this post are from sxc.hu, a free photo site (except for the foot rot).