Adventures in fish medicine

Methylene blue is at once an old malaria medication, a practical joke you can use to turn your friends’ pee blue, a fish medicine, and a weird folksy remedy for candida. In other words, I’m desperate and will try anything, as per usual.

Over the years I’ve tried a number of squirrely remedies for my health issues, with varying results. I’ve taken harrowing doses of salt and baking soda. I’ve experimented with enema preparations ranging from coffee to probiotics to borax (yes, borax). I’ve dropped tinctures imbued with mysterious (alleged) healing vibrations under my tongue and plopped my feet in detoxifying ionic baths. All this? Tip of the ice burg. I don’t expect you to understand this kind of desperation, but I am game to try anything that might help me get a step or two closer to functional. I suppose I feel that I just don’t have that much to lose anymore.

Not that I don’t research these things before I take them, but it’s usually to figure out how much risk I’m running of making things worse, and if the cost in question is better spent on another long shot. Everything is a long shot with Lyme, I’ve discovered: even the most scrupulous volleys of medical orthodoxy.

So it took me a couple days to determine whether or not to see if methylene blue would be a good complement to my standard candida treatment of nystatin and never eating sugar again ever. At the end of that time, I still had no idea if it would help, but it seemed mostly harmless and I was willing to give it a shot.

Methylene blue is a fairly benign substance. In fact, it’s sometimes used in medical settings as an in vivo dye to enhance contrast during surgery. It’s also been given as a placebo– a fairly effective one, since doctors can tell their patients to look out for a change in color in their urine as a sign that their condition is resolving. The LD50 (amount you can give a given population at which 50% will die) for rats is 1180 mg/kg. But apparently it’s pretty ruthless toward fungus. So I decided it was worth a shot. You can even mitigate any hilarious color changes in body fluids by taking vitamin C.

The bottle I bought for six dollars was unambiguously meant for fish. There are fish on the label, and it says it’s for aquariums, but I wasn’t about to let something like that stop me. I added four drops of the very blue, very stainy liquid to a gallon of distilled water, and I’ve been drinking a cup of that every four hours or so (with time off if my body lets me sleep longer than four hours, which is blessedly sometimes). It looks like windex. I think it’s working.

The reason I think it’s working is because the candida die-off crises have ramped up again. Rashes keep appearing and retreating all over my body (luckily, the really ugly ones on my face, which have gotten worse, seem to be there on a more consistent basis). My brain is a kind of vortex of nonsense anxiety. For instance, today, the following things set my heart racing:

  1. The 10-minute drive to the grocery store.
  2. Anybody at the grocery store talking to me.
  3. A spoon that was in a different place than I normally expect spoons to be.
  4. My face. And the way it looks right now (actually, this one is totally valid).
  5. The way the bed sheet I’ve had for several years feels against my skin.
  6. Trying to make any decisions basically at all.
  7. Trying to write this blog entry.
  8. Literally every noise I wasn’t prepared for.
  9. The idea of watching basically any show I could think of on Netflix.
  10. Thinking about the future in any way (also probably valid).

You get the idea. Things are pretty rough at the moment. Again. Or still, I guess. It’s been a rough year. I’m sort of torn between the idea of backing off and and continuing to take the methylene exactly as I have been since it’s obviously doing the job I asked it to do, and I don’t know which is the wiser course (see: decisions are terrifying). In this particular moment I feel like the herx will pass as they always do, and wholesale candida death is actually a really good thing, so I should grit my teeth and keep drinking. I just have to keep laughing at myself and I’ll be okay. I think.

Please send kitten pictures or sedatives or something.

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6 Responses to Adventures in fish medicine

  1. Jennifer says:

    He’s not a kitten, but Chance, my giant kitty, helped me with my blog entry last night.
    Methylene Blue is pretty amazing stuff. On fish at least. Never used it on people.

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