So as it turns out, maybe VSL#3 is not for me. After three days of taking 1/4 dose of the Renew Life 200 billion cfu probiotic and 1/6 dose of the 450 billion cfu VSL#3, I stopped the Renew Life and took 1/3 dose of the VSL for a few days. I never saw a noticeable difference with either of these doses, except for the first day after starting Renew Life that I felt great. Unfortunately, that day wasn’t the start of a pattern.
This past weekend, I went home for an appointment with my herbalist. I had an amazing acupuncture session, and he modified my herbs again. This time, he said he gave me the exact mix that healed another of his UC patients. The next day, Saturday, was actually better, but as we’ve seen before, I often have a good day after changing something, and then the improvement doesn’t last.
He also suggested that I try taking the VSL every other day to see if I feel better or worse after not taking it, because too high a dose of probiotics could actually make things worse. So I skipped the VSL on Saturday, and Sunday was better symptom-wise, but I felt exhausted. On Sunday I took the VSL again, and that night I slept for 8 hours without interruption, but then felt pretty horrible on Monday. Monday I skipped the VSL, and Tuesday was a little better but still pretty crappy. Tuesday I skipped the VSL again, and today (Wednesday) I have had a really great day!
No worries if you didn’t follow along, because there’s no pattern that I can see. Today will be my third day without VSL, but I am going to take my regular low-strength probiotic, since I know that I have seen a positive effect from this dose and don’t want to go without any probiotics for too long. And then we’ll see how I am tomorrow. If tomorrow is a good day, then I may quit the VSL. Plus, perhaps it will be a sign that my herb modification is a good one for me.
Because of how this week started, I pushed my interview to next week. After sending the email asking to change the date, I immediately felt like a weight was lifted. Apparently the thought of it was stressing me out more than I realized, not because of the interview itself, but because of how I’ve been feeling and because I had a midterm today and a homework assignment I needed to finish by Tuesday that I had gotten an extension on and another homework assignment that I need to finish tonight. Thus, my worsening symptoms caused stress, and stress fed my worsening symptoms – it’s a vicious cycle! My workload this semester is manageable, and my professors are really understanding and accommodating, but this was just a bad week. Schoolwork, a midterm, and an interview: I can only handle two of the three in one week!
Fortunately, they were able to reschedule my interview to the slightly more reasonable hour of 10:30, and my midterm went really well today!
Also – joy to the world, it’s persimmon season!!!