The C Was The Key

Dr. Plance looked at my disease as one of failure to heal and repair. He was trying to encourage healing. It was really that simple. He was giving me a lot of injections (long story). He was throwing in vitamin C, just to help healing, about 1 gram twice per month.

I was doing better from this regimen. I became able to sleep. For a year I slept and slept, often 11 hours per night. Even from this much sleep, I never felt rested. My life did not change. I did feel better. I could do a little more. 

I tried to exercise. I didn’t get anywhere.

I was able to reduce the amount of pain drugs I was taking over this time because I needed less during the day. 

We began increasing the frequency of all my shots, including C. Every week now. We knew we were onto something. Nothing I like better than visiting Dr. Plance anyway.

I reduced the amount of pain drugs I needed to sleep at night. I was feeling refreshed from sleep. 

I read about C deficiency. I insisted that we try more. I took some home from Dr. Plance and did them every three days now.

My energy really went up at this point. Although I was still very fatigued, it was a huge difference for me. I tried six or seven times to titrate off my pain drugs, but my physical pain was still too much. Also, the insomnia from the withdrawal was devastating on my health. I would need more resilience to get through opiate withdrawal.

Then I went on a trip alone, which I could just barely manage because of the energy the C shots gave me. This was monumental. My trip turned into a disaster for other reasons, nothing to do with my health. I wasn’t scheduled to return home for another week. A monster head cold set in. I was desperate!

This is the last pic of me before I started injecting C every day. This was at Esalen, in Big Sur, California. Do not ever got to Esalen. What a place of crazy that is. California New Age Crazy, specifically. How they can ruin one of the most beautiful spots on the planet is an accomplishment. 

Fighting back tears at Esalen in beautiful Big Sur, California.

Fighting back tears at Esalen in beautiful Big Sur, California.

I escaped Esalen and drove to San Jose, where Mr. Pennington would be meeting me. I was on my own for a couple of days, getting really really sick.

Dr. Plance and I had a big argument over text, like we often do. He is feisty! Or am I? Our relationship is never boring. Of course I have his cell phone number!

I told him I was in big trouble on my trip. I wanted to start injecting C every day. He told me not to. We had a big argument. Big. I went ahead. I did it AMA.

AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE

Our relationship survived, as it always does.

You MDs out there reading this will appreciate this story. Dr. Plance never believed that injecting C would make such a difference. Or be this safe. It is thought that vitamin C is highly absorbable. Mystery!

As I mentioned, Dr. Plance was injecting me with other things like amino acids. He thought that was what was helping me. I disagreed, but how could we know for sure? 

One day the lovely pharmacist Rich at McGuff Pharmacy (who answered so many questions for me over the years, thank you, Rich) had a talk with me about aluminum exposure. Yikes!

Basically, aluminum is everywhere in the environment. The human body has no use for it. The more material you inject, or take IV, the more aluminum you will get straight into your body. People who are on dialysis have toxic levels of aluminum exposure.

Dr. Plance began to order aluminum serum tests regularly. My aluminum level was high, although nothing like someone on dialysis. We wanted me to be in a normal range, of course. I refused all other injections except C from Dr. Plance, AMA. AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE. He still couldn’t believe injecting C could make such a difference. He thought it was all the other stuff. He thought I was making the wrong choice. We argued. Happens.

First Six Months of C Injected Daily

My life was not going well when I began injecting C every day.

I was very sick with that monster head cold I mentioned. That took me weeks to get over.

I had surgery. I had complications.

I had a massive allergic reaction and had to rush to the ER for a Benadryl IV. That took me weeks to get over.

I was devastated by personal stress and deeply depressed.

Those were a lot of demands on my body. Nonetheless, after six months of daily shots of C, I felt like I had the strength for physical therapy. I felt like I could think and function. I went back to physical therapy. This time I made progress. 

Six month after that, I started my titrate off the opiates. I completed that seven months later.

That’s a fast recovery.

Placebos wear off. Effective treatment does not.

Current Dose

I stick to 1.5 grams per day because it works and the shots are not inconvenient to me at all. Ehlers-Danlos disability is extremely inconvenient.

Most of the shots hardly hurt now. I can get a real stinger every now and then, especially from injecting into a sore muscle. I exercise a lot, so okay. Hydration level might be a factor, too. Keep your salt intake high, so you can hang onto your water, EDSers. 

I injected twice as much while I was coming off the opiates, hoping that would help the withdrawal.

If I get injured, or feel a cold coming on, I will give myself an extra shot.

Recently, I tried doing shots every other day. After a few weeks, I noticed I had unexplained bruises and slight skin tearing. 

I went back to 1.5 grams every day.

IV Vitamin C

I never tried IV C. I have read that not much is absorbed from IV C. It would be a lot of aluminum exposure. I am not sure what benefit a huge dose of C given IV done periodically would yeild. I want slow steady healing, constant repair. 

In 2011, getting C injected twice per month.

In 2011, getting C injected twice per month.