Bee Venom Therapy: The use of honeybee venom is an ancient therapy, going back into the mists of time to Egypt and Greece, and still practiced today in modern China and in other cultures around the world. Many individuals in the U.S., whom have embarked on a bee venom treatment protocol after exhausting many or all other modalities of modern medicine to treat chronic disease, have done so because there is nothing left to do but deteriorate and die, or sting. Currently, modern science is revisiting this ancient knowledge and scientific studies are forthcoming. There is still much that is unknown.
If I had a time machine, I would not go back to last year, July 30, 2015—okay, I’ll go back. But I’m just quickly dropping off this note to myself and zooming forward to right now again. Because right now is just starting to be good, and I don’t want to miss out on anything moving forward in my life. Just in case good turns even better, and then better becomes awesome.
It’s my life, after all. And I’ve fought hard for the rest of it.
Dear Myself From Last Year (and Other Readers, too):
The beginning of bee venom therapy was super hard for me. I sometimes screamed involuntarily when I stung myself on the spine. (If you are trying to imagine how a person can sting themselves along their own back, imagine reverse tweezers and two mirrors. I guess it’s kinda like a yogic thing.)
There were times after a sting that I dropped to my knees crying, sweat rolling out of my armpits, clear fluid out of my nose, saliva creating a pool on the bathroom floor. Barred teeth. Hair clutched in fisted hands.
Some stings were so painful they had a momentary paralytic effect, too—like I’d just been shot with a ray gun from outer space and been immobilized. Like total systemic shock.
And when my breath came back I would tap my fingers together rhythmically on the wall or floor, or hum and bob my head unintelligibly, like the instant onset of adult autism. Yah, yah, yah—mum, ma-mum, mum. But let’s call it a somatic coping mechanism. You know, like an intelligent way to distract the nervous system. Just get through this. Each. Second.
I really didn’t have a choice. The brain goes into autopilot.
I couldn’t eat before stings or I feared I’d get sick. So in that way, I’ve always stung on an empty stomach and it’s worked best for me because my stomach would clench. I know that’s not advised, but it’s what I do. Anyway, if this kind of pain happens to you, I want you to know you’re not alone. It took me seven months to get out of that phase.
Now, stinging is so much better. I mean, it’s practically easy now.
I swear, in the beginning, watching other people calmly self-sting in instructional videos, I was like OMG I’m so different from them. How do they do that so calmly? Why can’t I? It was never a calm event in the beginning for me. Getting stung was like being naked in a hurricane, a cacophony of soundless noise exploding in my head. I guess if bio-warfare bacteria can scream when they die, mine were being cosmic.
I could barely hold on for the neurological ride.
It really is a roller coaster, and you just have to tell yourself over and over that no matter what, you are going to be okay. Even when you feel you’ve completely broken your seatbelt, launched out of the roller coaster, and are falling a million miles per hour right toward the concrete, just remember life ALREADY can not be much worse. Might as well hit the ground and try it out. Who knows, it could be interesting.
I mean, life can always be worse. But not that much worse—not really. How close to death do almost-dead Lymies have to be before we are really and finally there? I could have rolled over and been there. Touchdown. Many of us could have made that touchdown.
There but for the grace of—anyway—roll toward the light and not the darkness, right? Um, or the other way? I’m not sure. Just stay alive.
The very MOMENT I started stinging with bee medicine, I was actually backing away from that physical finality, that crossover line to death. The difference between opening my eyes to say I love you, and never speaking another word to anyone ever again.
So the bee medicine made me feel all kinds of worse at first, but truth is I was actually getting better from day one forward, from that fateful first sting until the last one in my protocol, sometime far away in the future. (Unimaginably far, but let’s stay focused here.)
It’s bacteria dying, toxins overflowing, and the process magnifies itself a thousandfold in pulsing and pounding agony, but the agony will pass. I know how effective bee venom is because I have literally watched Bartonella (a Lyme co-infection) streak away from sting sites in visible red scratch lines appearing before my eyes. The infections don’t give up willingly. They resist.
It’s like in the movie The Exorcist, the scene when the demon scratches words on her skin? Bartonella might as well be a demon. If it’s in your brain I promise you torment. And when it dies, its guts spill out with toxins. Thanks, Bart. Because I needed more toxins, right?
There will be times when you’ll need to reach out to the online groups with questions (because some of us have quit our inept doctors), and other Lymies will have ideas to help when you need advice. Of the hundreds of folks stinging around the world, their collective body of knowledge is greater than any single doctor. And someone will have the same exact experience, and it is an immense comfort.
Comfort beyond words.
It’s like you’re in your own dank, moaning dungeon of suffering, and it’s pitch black and ice cold and it smells like urine and fear, and you’ve been calling out forever, is anyone there?, but no one is there. Then suddenly someone answers back, I’m here. It’s like that. It’s a flood of relief just like that. (Except you’re not in a dungeon, you’re at home on a computer.)
Without the comradeship of other people doing bee venom, without a few Facebook friends from Facebook Land—(stranger’s I don’t even know in real life except for that microscopic square icon of their face, stranger’s who have helped me more than any doctor to save my life)—I’m not sure I would have had the courage to sting myself.
I’m not that brave. I just pretend to be brave. But it’s really not as scary as it seems to sting yourself, if that makes any sense. I think it’s scary to the Lyme borrellia, the bacteria, because in vitro lab tests have proven bee venom kills it on contact.
Okay, in being honest, I think everything I’ve said just made this therapy sound impossible to the average person. Like freakazoid-scary impossible. Like you’d have to be the Terminator to survive.
But it’s not really the world of bee venom therapy that I’m bringing you into here—it’s the everyday world of chronic Lyme. It’s the disease that’s horrid, not the therapy. The truth is, my response to bee venom matched the symptoms I’d already endured. And the new things that came up, they were par for the course, they were in line with my infections.
I can promise you this: If a normal, healthy person gets stung by a bee—it’s just a bee sting. That’s all it is. Ouch, swell, and then better. Forget. But we’re not average people, we’re late stage Lymies.
Bee venom therapy is not scary, at least in retrospect. Which, I admit, is a much more generous and kindly view. If Facebook evaporated in this very instance, if the whole internet went dark, I can now continue this therapy on my own for the next two years and be just fine. I know what to do.
It gets so much easier as you go along. It gets excellent. It turns into a miracle.
Oh right, the Facebook thing. I guess I haven’t explained that Lymies scour the internet for research because the government denies our disease exists. And our doctors have been persecuted for treating us. We are a bit of a grassroots movement—unacknowledged, except to ourselves. Because when all of your doctors shrug and say, I don’t know what to do for you, just after you’ve reached bankruptcy by trying to pay for all their pills and treatments—who you gonna call?
If you can focus to write, keep a symptom journal. I didn’t, because I majorly suck at journals, but I do have my partner of fourteen years who is able to objectively see me healing, and remind me of improvements I can not see. That perspective has been invaluable. Amazing, actually.
I had undiagnosed chronic neurological Lyme all those years and she still loved me when she met me. How is that possible? To love me when I was undiagnosed and ravaged helplessly by an unseen hand? I guess I came ‘as is’. If I was a used car, I think I must have been a rusted out junker.
It stuns me. I don’t know how I deserve to be so loved. I have no words to express my gratitude to this woman who believed in me even when I sobbed and begged to die multiple times over the years. Over and over, in fact, and she would have tears of grief in her eyes, and weep for me in empathy, and still I did not know how I could be strong enough to stay breathing on this Earth. How I could go on through even one more day in this neurological nightmare in my body, dragging and animating this stupid, heavy corpse of tissue through the utterly bleak landscape of my daily life with undiagnosed chronic Lyme.
Yes, it was that bad. I was suicidal the whole time. I’m just being flat honest.
Please dear God if you don’t have chronic Lyme then you don’t know. And I pray you never know. There is hell, and there is Lyme disease. And I would rather be in hell.
After finally being diagnosed CDC positive for Lyme in 2014, I finally understood what had been happening to my body all those unbearable years. It all made sense. So I had a massive, undiagnosed brain infection. I had infections all over my body: heart, lungs, gut, joints, everything.
A major Star Wars invasion inside the cellular universe of my being. Bacteria that can shut down your immune system and eat through your flesh like microscopic maggots.
An invisible war, mind you. Because I could smile and walk and talk and be all kinds of fabulous. Sometimes. And you’d never know the pain I was hiding, the onslaught of symptoms I just don’t want to describe. You’d never know my disorientation. My anxiety. The barrage of wretchedness that progressively took over and became my daily existence.
Deep inside my soul I must have believed that I was not meant to live in agony forever. That healing existed for me in my future. I just had to get there. The mythical Lands Of Tomorrow. (By One, Get One Free). Just keep trying to arrive.
One day at a time. Don’t count the years. Just keep going. It could be the next day. Or the day just after.
With bee venom therapy, some symptoms will disappear and you won’t even notice because there are so many other symptoms still looming large like bug-eyed monsters. Or getting even larger with the herxing and retracing, the healing crisis. And quietly, some symptoms will just go ahead and slip away forever, and you won’t even know they are gone.
Then when you realize something that used to hurt isn’t hurting anymore—when you really realize that hurt has been missing—it’s a WOW moment. WOW, WOW, WOW!
Because none of the other treatments had worked. And bee venom did. At least so far…
All I really meant to tell you, from one year in the future, after over 1,400 stings, you’ll be doing better than you have been since 1999, when you were infected.
Valerie Brook © 2016 All Rights Reserved