Talking to my inner self – Part 1

 Posted by on 2011-12-16 at 11:17 am
Dec 162011
 

As I have reported previously, high dose intravenous vitamin C seems to improve my energy, my mood and my sense of well-being, if not the laboratory markers often associated with HIV and AIDS. Because the infusions are so expensive, I was intrigued by the possibility of preparing my own IV sodium ascorbate ala Dr. Robert Cathcart. This method involves compounding the intravenous solution from pure sodium ascorbate powder in my kitchen, as opposed to purchasing compounded ascorbic acid concentrate from a commercial pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Because I do not have a doctor’s approval, this also required me to violate U.S. law to acquire the necessary infusion equipment, including bags of infusion solution, tubing and IV needles, all of which are regulated by the FDA.

I followed the same dosage and procedure as with pharmaceutical liquid ascorbic acid, which I can procure through the orthomolecular clinic I attend, at a cost of nearly $100 per 50 gram infusion. Thanks to donated pharmaceutical sodium ascorbate powder, these Cathcart infusions only cost me about $5 each. The economics are what make using Cathcart’s protocol so obviously appealing, though some vitamin C enthusiasts also believe it is more efficacious.

By no means should my experience be considered an indictment of the Cathcart protocol, or anyone using it. There are far too many variables involved… 

There was an unfortunate consequence the first time I did a Cathcart IV a few months ago. Other than the usual problem with my veins being small and hard to hit, everything went fine during the actual infusion. It was what happened 20 or 30 minutes after the infusion was completed that alarmed me. My entire body felt very chilled, despite the fact that I used a heating pad around the arm that I was using for the infusion.

Then I got the shakes. Muscle tremors, and shaking so severe that my teeth were chattering and my body ached all over the next day from the muscle contractions. Despite this reaction, which lasted only about an hour or so, I tried another 50-gram infusion a few days later, only to have the same adverse reaction. I even took a video with my phone’s cam to document the shakes.

Needless to say, I took a break from these Cathcart infusions. I did get another 50 gram infusion of the commercially prepared ascorbic acid a few weeks later at Riodan Clinic, with no complications whatsowever, and I have never had any adverse reactions with the prepared ascorbic acid manufactured by Merit or Bioniche, even when self-administering them.

Apparently some others who are using the Cathcart protocol have also had reactions to it. They believe they are experiencing a Herxheimer reaction that is due to the supposedly increased potency of Cathcart’s formula. At least some of these users are finding some relief by alternating high dose Cathcart infusions with lower doses of the commercial pharmaceutical ascorbic acid, infused more slowly for “mopping up” toxins created during the Cathcart infusions.

I was not able, or really even particularly inclined to follow this particular experiment any further, but upon hearing about these other experiences, I did wonder if it was possible that 50 grams of the home-brew was indeed more potent than 50 grams from a commercial pharmaceutical company, so I chose to experiment further, once I had some time to spare from The Highland House project. Despite these symptoms, I did not believe I was doing anything particularly high risk.

I decided to try a Cathcart infusion again, using a lower dosage, to see if what happened might be dose-related. I prepared and infused a 25 gram dose on Monday and awaited the results. Everything was fine and I noted no discomfort whatsoever when I completed the infusion and removed the IV. About a half hour later, I did feel chilled, and a bit distressed physically, but I had no noticeable shakes. I had pre-warmed my bed with an electric blanket set to “high” and I crawled in. The chill and attendant discomfort passed in less than an hour. Since I’ve never felt chilled by the IVC in the past, prior to using the Cathcart protocol, I chalked them up to the cold weather.

I was determined to rule out the earlier reactions as a fluke, so I compounded and infused another 50 grams of powdered sodium ascorbate Wednesday in my kitchen. Again, I had no problems hitting a vein, and the infusion completed in about an hour and fifteen minutes, which is pretty typical. I disconnected the IV and cleaned up the mess I had made in the kitchen.

Because I do tend to learn from my experiences, I was more prepared to document any subsequent reaction. Once again, I started to feel chills about 15-20 minutes after I had removed the IV. Shortly after that, the shakes began. I fixed a cup of hot chamomile tea and headed for my preheated bed. My oral temperature (which is “normally” low anyway, around 97.8) was 96.3, and my blood pressure (normally 115/80 or lower) was 176/130, with a pulse of 130! Over the next few hours, my temperature rose to a high of 101.6, while my blood pressure dropped to a respectable 128/80, with a pulse of 133.

By the next morning, my temperature was back to a normal, for me, 97.1, with a normal, hypotensive BP of 107/75, pulse 72.

My conclusion: this is too serious to ignore. Herxheimer, or otherwise, I am not going to risk a stroke or heart attack by continuing to experiment with this protocol. I will, when possible, continue to do IVC using commercially prepared solutions from compounding pharmacies under the direction of a physician with considerable experience in IVC. I just have to find the means to pay for them.

By no means should my experience be considered an indictment of the Cathcart protocol, or anyone using it. There are far too many variables involved that might explain the unfortunate reaction I had. I was unable to acquire the sterile water recommended by Cathcart, for example, and instead used lactated Ringer’s solution from a non-U.S. pharmaceutical source.

I have simply concluded that I am not a good candidate for this kind of experimentation. The adverse effects that I was able to measure, using only a thermometer and blood pressure cuff, are unacceptable risks to me. Herxheimer effects typically cause a drop in blood pressure, not a sudden increase, like the one I had.

Not all of this was in vain. I received some very valuable information as a result and in my next post I will share the interaction I had with my subconscious during this experience.

  10 Responses to “Talking to my inner self – Part 1”

  1.  

    Have you looked into any form of Macrophage Activating Factor? I’m fond of thinking about MAF 314 probiotic yogurt.

  2.  

    Have you looked into any form of Macrophage Activating Factor? I’m fond of thinking about MAF 314 probiotic yogurt.

    •  

      I’ve been following reports about GcMAF from some users. I’m not seeing a lot of enthusiasm for it, frankly. To the best of my knowledge, it is not available in the U.S., though I thought the Cheney Clinic was going to offer courses for making it oneself. I’m afraid it may be another one of those hopeful and promising alternatives that is not meeting expectations, but I’d love to be proven wrong.

  3.  

    Was it done in a sterile environment, including sterilizing and filtering everything as explained in http://www.racehorseherbal.com/Infections/Vit_C/vit_c.html?

    •  

      I made a good-faith effort to make sure everything was sterile, but no, I do not have an autoclave, fliters, etc. As the article you link to points out, Cathcart was not too concerned about obsessing with sterility.

      I have self-infused at home dozens of time, using commercially prepared ascorbate solutions, with no problems. I don’t think sterility was the complication, but I have no way of proving that either and I do appreciate the additional information you have offered.

      BTW, the information you provide includes EDTA, which is not a component in the IVC protocols I’ve read about. Further, you picture a jar of NOW brand sodium ascorbate. While it is “pharmaceutical grade”, it is intended for oral dosing, not intravenous use. May not be a problem, but it needs to be considered.

      The other things I’ve learned about ascorbic acid is that there may be quality concerns, depending on the source, as well as country of manufacture. Most ascorbic acid is derived from corn, which may be problematic. Most ascorbic acid is manufactured (it is not a completely natural substance, btw) in China.  Neither of these are necessarily problems, but they do raise concerns for some people. Anyone considering trying a home-prepared infusion of IVC is well-advised to eliminate as many possible chances for adverse effects and avoidable risks. The Vitamin C Foundation offers a US manufactured, non-corn based, injectible grade sodium ascorbate that can be sold directly to physicians.

      The concerns about sterility are invaluable, imo, when it comes to sticking a needle into one’s veins to deliver a synthetic substance into the bloodstream. This is not a process to be taken lightly. I pursued it as far as I was comfortable doing, and I have decided to continue doing IVC using methods that are widely accepted and approved by my orthomolecular practitioner. This means using pharmaceutcally prepared sodium ascorbate, and FDA approved infusion materials.

  4.  

    For what it’s worth now, the Cathcart video never mentioned making the solution at “home” and does assume it is done by physicians in a lab with all common sterile materials, equipment and lab practices as he mentions that his nurses sterilize everything using autoclaves.  See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuRTLoQlSks. 
    According to your summary it sounded like you skipped a step because you couldn’t find sterile water which is available at amazon.com.  The protocol says you are to take the “Stock Bottle of
    Sodium Ascorbate” (which is 250g sodium ascorbate in 500cc USP sterile water) and then inject it into Lactated Ringers IV bag which contains 500cc of IV solution.  Adding 60cc up to 120cc of the Sodium Ascorbate solution would provide 30g up to 60g of vitamin C per 500cc of  IV which is about 2 bottles of the pharmaceutical grade buffered ascorbic acid.
    Also, Cathcart does mention Disodium Edetate which is EDTA and it is in every
    pharmaceutical grade injectable, I presume because they followed Cathcart’s
    protocol.

  5.  

    Dr Enlander in New York is using GCMAF for his CFS patients (plus looking at the MAF314 yogurt alternative now). Dr Cheney has been running course for the yohurt.

    •  

      I’d treat GcMAF like I would IVC: promising and probably beneficial for alleviating some of the symptoms, and possibly even slowing progression, but not proven to be a cure for chronic immune and autoimmune illnesses.

  6.  

    Regarding this statement:
    “The Vitamin C Foundation offers a US manufactured, non-corn based, injectible grade sodium ascorbate that can be sold directly to physicians.”
    I called the Vitamin C Foundation and was told the sodium ascorbate they carry is derived from corn, and through the synthesizing process, all the corn is removed. While I do not agree with their analysis, either way, they do NOT advertise it as non-corn, only as corn-free (the corn being removed). I would trust their product more than the sodium ascorbate coming from China, but hope they will consider carrying a non-corn product. I would be willing to pay more for it.

  7.  

    Thanks for the clarification. It was my mistake to rephrase “corn-free” as “non-corn based”. I was under the impression that it was derived from sources other than corn.

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