The Great Parasite Capers

& how I finally submitted to the most grotesque healing modality there is

[Barbara Kruger]

It’s September 2018 and I am sitting in a condo in Eldorado, New Mexico. It looks very 80s and smells of Lysol and Febreze. A barking bichon greet me at the door and then a short white lady with a tense smile. She looks like an infomercial host, selling either a fancy curling iron or Jesus. This is a healer that several people have recommended to me in Santa Fe, including my own doctor. One of her main advocates was another healer, a former accountant turned psychic whose method of curing you involved him screaming loudly into your ears for a half hour. 

I was with a young queer “fan” of mine from Virginia who had traveled cross country to help me set up a life—and who was also thinking of leaving her old life behind to move here too. In one month she would desert me at my sickest, stealing several thousand dollars.

The condo was cold and full of ugly paintings of angels. I can’t recall the last name of my healer but her first name was amazingly Karen.

I was instructed to stay silent and close my eyes. The reading began.

When it was over she sighed and told me she was overwhelmed by my energy. I was very ill.

I told her I knew.

She said, well, I was full of entities. Parasites.

I took this as a metaphor and slowly nodded.

She shook her head. “No, no pinworm, roundworm, maybe even a tapeworm.”

I was horrified. Somehow I burst into tears as she detailed what herbs I had to take for the next few months and how painful it would all be.

“I am tired of pain,” I bawled.

“That’s not you,” Karen said. “That’s the parasites talking.”

I expected to see her smiling at me but when I looked up from my tissues she was dead serious, stern even.

I bought everything she suggested and used none.

Dietrich Klinghardt, the great holistic Lyme healer and physician, has a saying that when people have parasite infections they take on the attributes of parasites themselves. Needy, clingy, obsessive, hard to shake off.

I saw myself this way at around that time.

I ended up going with this fan/assistant to Seattle to see one of his many healers. It was a naturopath who was rumored to be having an affair with Klinghardt. I was intrigued.

We stay at a b&b for the chemically sensitive—no fragrances of any kind allowed—full of patients there to see Klinghardt at his venerable Sophia clinic. No one had heard of my naturopath though she had worked there. 

I had been sent there by a woman in town that I became friends with, a scientist whose life had been turned upside down since her Lyme diagnosis. (I ended up living with her.) She had spent six figures on health procedures and it only increased with time. She believed this Seattle healer was real.

I saw this healer early one weekday morning. Immediately I was taken with how pretty she was, probably my age but with the looks of a young starlet. She wore crisp new jeans and a creme cable knit sweater, her hair in a ponytail. Her socks said “no nonsense” which I found profound until I accidentally bought the same from Target a year later. Her home was huge and minimalist, an austere New Age vibe, simple linen and wood with some slabs of brightly colored sparkling crystal in the mix.

She started performing ART on me. ART means “Autonomic Response Testing” and was developed by Klinghardt, who blended the muscle testing of “American Applied Kinesiology” with the physiology of “German Neural Therapy.” It was a biofeedback assessment technique used to determine disturbances in your body and possible remedies. It was basically an advanced form of muscle testing. It looked as crazy as all forms of muscle testing—I sat on a table and she began hovering vials around me rapidly, while holding my arm. At another point, she began tapping in a strange pattern all over my torso and snapping and gesturing in the air, even looking over her shoulder for some sign apparently. I was hugely skeptical but I had already paid for this consult so I was stuck.

Her verdict? I needed cavitation surgery in the next year—my mouth harbored serious infections. Also I had parasites. She wrote me a prescription for something with the delightful name “Aroma Tabs,” a potent blend of essential oils they used for parasite protocols. I was to try it at once as I was seeing her again the next few days in a row.

I tried it that night. And that night the fan/assistant had to write her an email: 

“I’m writing to advise you that the physical pain Porochista has endured today post-treatment resulted in deep anguish to the point of suicidal ideation. If I understood your philosophy as you described it to us, you do not believe Herx reactions should require this degree of suffering. As such, I trust her pain will concern you as much as it does me, and that we can address it at tomorrow’s appointment and going forward with Porochista’s treatment. Thanks very much for your time and care.”

To this day I have never been in so much pain—my stomach, my head, my skin, my mouth, EVERYTHING WAS ON FIRE. To the naturopath this was of course evidence of parasites and all my ailments. She wrote back promptly:

 “Thanks for the note.  Absolutely - things will be adjusted and more suffering was certainly not my intention. However I do trust the layer uncovered today will be quite important and relevant for us to address. See you guys later!”

When I got back to New Mexico I consulted with my doctor. He thought I probably did have parasites. After all, the Lyme coinfection Babesia was a parasitic infection.  I tested positive for Babesia Duncani. But he also felt like most people probably had parasites. He thought I could work on strengthening my system and getting to the parasites next month.

I did not do it next month.

I did do it several months later, after an appointment with local and world renowned healer Linda Lancaster. Another healer! But Dr. Linda was beloved in Santa Fe and a favorite among my New York friends too. She herself was a New Yorker, a small radiant older woman with brown and gray long hair and a more common sense edge to her. She claimed Klinghardt—who lived in Santa Fe—learned a lot from her. She had her own method of energetic testing and it involved a pinprick and blood sample and her own weird gadgetry. She was Yogi Bhajan’s personal physician. Her practice was called “Light Harmonics” and her specialties “Homeopathy, Radionics, Medical Radiesthesia, Subtle Energy Healing, Emotional/Spiritual/Grief Counseling, Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Ayurveda and Detoxification Methods.” I had little idea what I was getting into but I loved Dr Linda.

It was for that love only that I decided to follow her rules and do her famous “milk cleanse” that was aimed at killing parasites. She too saw parasites in my “energetic field,” plus mold and Lyme and EMF poisoning plus a pre-leukemia state (“you DO NOT have leukemia, but you could one day! But you won’t!” she kept saying as I teared up).

For eight days, I consumed nothing but raw goat milk. I went to co-op in Santa Fe and wheelbarrowed out gallons of the stuff. The goat milk was to be taken with capsules full of cayenne and other herbs. The milk apparently drew out the parasites who loved it and the herbs killed them. There was also detox baths that ranged from simple ones that involved baking soda and salt to a horrific one that involved bathing in Clorox. I did it all. At the end of it, I did not feel much different.

“Well, you still have some parasites, but we got some out,” she told me in our last meeting. She recommended I stay on olive leaf extract, which I could barely tolerate.

And I did not.

Around this time the scientist lady I was living with kicked me out. Or rather made it pretty impossible to live there. One of her claims to fame on the internet was getting rid of a large tapeworm and posting it online. She had given her parasite a vaguely Spanish sounding name. She told this story a lot. But when it was time for me to do Dr Linda’s parasite cleansing she panicked at the idea of me doing this in her home. “My system is still fragile and I can’t have parasites in the house,” she said as if they were pets I would let loose. I left and did my milk cleanse in an inn in town.

Eventually I just left Santa Fe with all its various forms of healing madness. In New York, I saw a great Lyme doctor who recommended a parasite expert in the city. A friend of mine had seen him and described his testing method as a “pap smear for your butt.” He basically put you on high doses of Ivermectin, what dogs take for parasites, and then you’d get sick and he’d use that as evidence. I decided not to see him.

Basically I did not want to deal with parasites! It terrified me. Stories people would post of masses of maggot-like entities coming out of them felt like a horror show I could not endure.

But then this month I started to feel like myself again. I still had a couple inflammation markers that seemed weirdly elevated and my doctor thought it could be viruses. “Or…parasites,” he said with a smile.

He knew how I felt about parasites.

I gulped in the way cartoon animals gulp.

And I bought the mimosa pudica powder. And eventually the black walnut and wormwood tincture. And I did it.

Reader, it was bad. Not as bad as I thought but bad. 

You can stop reading now if such things gross you out.

The first time I took the 1/8 a teaspoon of mimosa (half the dose), I felt a strong hot flash and panic almost immediately. I struggled to breathe. A half hour later I went to the bathroom. It pained me somehow but I saw nothing special. The next morning however, there were white specks in my stool—and white specks that seemed to morph in shape. If you’ve had a pet with worms, you know this. This continued and started feeling oddly satisfying. Another day my poop bubbled, like it was almost trying to breathe. (I told a friend this and they got legitimately worried about my mental health). As the days went by I saw less and felt less and I started feeling more into all this. Mimosa has antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects but my doctor suggested it could be just getting rid of all the bugs.

“But most people have this right?” I asked him.

“Worms? No.”

“I mean, they must see this stuff in their poop right?” I kept on asking.

“No,” he smiled. “I saw nothing when I did it.”

And so here I am reader, into my second week. I am an enthusiastic parasite cleanser. I NOW WANT TO SEE WORMS. My body is a killing machine, my poop a graveyard of horror movie insects. I don’t know what to believe, but I like the mantra someone made up better out than in, better out than in. It has been a real journey but here’s to facing out fears, no matter how shitty—pun!—it might feel at first.

[Lowly Worm of the Richard Scarry books!]

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