Update of Sandy and Bonnie’s NIA Treatment (Dr. Ashkar's Chickpea Therapy)
By Bonnie O’Sullivan, Sandy's mom
We are now past seven months of our NIA or chickpea therapy. I am keeping busy cutting cabbage up into squares and cutting paper towels up into the sleeves that the cabbage fits into.
Because the ACE bandage was bothering Sandy, especially when showering, we experimented by substituting a Johnson and Johnson Large Waterproof Pad to cover the paper towel sleeves, cabbage and chickpeas instead of the ACE bandage. (I bought the first box of J&J pads at our neighborhood Walgreens Drug Store — they didn’t have a Walgreens brand of 3X4 inch pads.)
At first both of us used the J&J pads only when taking a shower. For seven months we had been covering the ACE bandage, paper towel sleeve, cabbage and chickpea with a ziplock baggie and taping the baggie to our leg with Scotch Mailing tape when taking a shower, which was a hassle. So, I bought the J&J pads to use to cover the cabbage and chickpea when we took a shower. (Note: Dr. Ashkar says not to worry about the ACE bandage, paper towel sleeve, cabbage and chickpea getting wet in the shower or when swimming, but somehow we just couldn’t take a shower without covering it all up. It all gets wet anyway, but not as completely as it would if not covered with the baggie.)
Anyway, the J&J pads were so comfortable that Sandy totally stopped using the ACE bandages and began using a new J&J pad every time she changed her chickpeas. When using the ACE bandage we were always worried that the bandage would slip and fall down to our ankles allowing the chickpea to fall out of the wound, which had happened several times. After switching she kept telling me she loved the freedom the J&J pads gave her — in the shower, turning over in bed, and when walking.
Sandy believes she may have been guilty of wrapping her ACE bandages too tightly around her legs to keep them from slipping because, since using the pads, she has noticed more bloody pus (lymph fluid) flowing from her wounds.
Sandy also says the foul odor of the fluid has increased (the odor comes and goes and is due to the toxins that the body has stored in the lymph fluid).
Throughout my life I have not taken drugs except antibiotics for pneumonia when I was five and antibiotics for an earache or sore throat occasionally since then.
Therefore, I have not experienced the same amount of pus or odor coming out of my wound as Sandy has. (However, four times in seven months I was shocked by the amount of blood that spilled out of my wound, ran down my leg and got all over the floor when taking the chickpea out to change it.)
Sandy has taken many different kinds of antibiotics, pain medication, steroids and other drugs to combat the osteonecrosis or “dead bone” and osteomyelitis or “hidden bone infection” in her jawbone that was caused by being given tetracycline when she was three and which was not diagnosed until 2001 when she was 40 years old. Her doctor told us that, just like when using chemotherapy, the trick of the treatment is to kill the infection without killing the patient.[Note: The following is an excerpt of the post of November 2013 from sandrastory.com — I’m adding it here to help explain how Sandy could have so much more output of toxic blood and pus and foul odor. [This is a scene of just one of dozens of Sandy’s Emergency Room visits and doctor’s visits since 2001: [When: September 2013, three months before Sandy’s December 2013 surgery to remove the first melanoma tumor from her right sinus. [Why: Due to congestion in her sinus Sandy paid a visit to Dr. Tufft, the doctor who first diagnosed her as having osteomyelitis. [Where: In Dr. Tufft’s office, after examining her sinuses with a light and seeing that she had a bloody mass blocking her sinuses Dr. Tufft immediately put her on a nebulizer with a steroid, an anti-fungal, and an anti-bacterial in the mist and gave her a shot with the same contents. She had to sit there for 40 minutes breathing the mist as he talked to us about how osteomyelitis comes back even after years of it seeming to be in arrest. [Dr. Tufft sent her home with a prescription of yet another antibiotic and an appointment to see him the next week. Well, that antibiotic didn't do much and at her second appointment he put her on an extremely strong penicillin mixed with an additional antibiotic. [Sandy had to take dozens of probiotic capsules daily between and with doses of the antibiotics to keep from having diarrhea — she learned to do this when Dr. Tufft had her on a pic-line pumping antibiotics into her vein for three months at a time three different times trying to kill the bacteria in her jawbone — and is gradually feeling better (her cough is 50 percent better, but she is still blowing bloody mucus out of her nose). [Dr. Tufft also has her taking steroids, which seem to help the pain she has in her breasts when the dose is strong (both times the pills are to be taken 7 on the first day, 6 on the second day, etc). So, by the time she is on just one, or, on the present schedule, 1/2 a pill, they stop working. They are the only thing that has helped reduce the inflammation she has in her lymph.]
After a few days of watching Sandy’s wounds continue to discharge huge amounts of pus and blood after switching from using the ACE bandages to using the J&J pads I joined her by not using an ACE bandage and using a new J&J pad every 12 hours.
However, I started to be concerned about using the J&J pads when I realized a headache I had been having for two days might be due to using the pads for those two days. I very seldom have a headache, and when I get one I can usually figure out what is causing it by recalling what I ate or what toxin I might have been exposed to in the hours before it began. Then, by taking a coffee enema and avoiding what I suspect is causing it, my headache disappears. In this case, I could not think of anything new that I ate or that I could have been exposed to other than the J&J pads. So, to test my suspicion, I removed the J&J pad, put an ACE bandage over a fresh chickpea covered with a piece of cabbage in a paper towel sleeve, took a coffee enema, and my headache was gone. To be certain I was right, I tried using a J&J pad again two days later and 20 minutes after putting the J&J pad on my leg, my headache came back.
I told Sandy what I figured out was causing my headache and she said she was wondering why she had been feeling more and more exhausted and cranky (no headache, just feeling exhausted and irritable), but thought it was another healing crisis in her lymph system.
As soon as Sandy stopped using the J&J pads and put her ACE bandages back on over her chickpeas, cabbage and paper towel sleeves (and taking a few coffee enemas) her exhaustion and irritability disappeared. She kept telling me she is very thankful that I am doing the NIA treatment at the same time as she is and that I am so sensitive, because she might have continued feeling awful without knowing the true cause.
To understand why the J&J pads caused our discomfort, we looked at the ingredients of the J&J pad on the box and discovered it contains “Quilt-Aid” - “A technology that wicks away blood and fluid to keep wounds clean.” The “Quilt-Aid” technology is probably the toxin.
This caused Dale to call Johnson and Johnson and complain and get our money back (a check for $64.37 arrived a few days later) for a dozen boxes of the pads he had ordered through Amazon (Amazon doesn't give refunds on the J&J pads). The J&J Customer Service Representative asked Dale dozens of questions (that I helped him answer) and Dale believes the questions were a part of a prepared conversation to be used when customers complain about J&J’s “Quilt-Aid” technology.
As soon as we figured out that the J&J “additive” was the problem, I went looking for another brand of 3X4 inch pads that did not contain any added ingredients (Dale couldn’t find any on Amazon the same size).
I found what I was looking for at the CVS Drug Store and Sandy and I have been happily using the CVS brand of Large Sheer Adhesive Pads (which are not waterproof) with no ill effects. (Note: We are continuing to use a small piece of cabbage to cover the chickpea, which keeps the chickpea moist on the area of the chickpea not facing into the wound, but stopped using the paper towel sleeve.)
Both brands are approximately 3X4 inches, but the Johnson and Johnson brand is much more expensive (J&J’s cost $5 for 6 pads and CVS’s cost $5 for 10 pads).
Note: Dr. Ashkar recommends using Adhesive tape to secure the paper towel sleeve containing the piece of cabbage to your leg. The Adhesive tape irritated our skin so we did not use it. This omission may have been why our chickpeas fell out of the wound when our ACE bandages slipped down our legs.
In hindsight, we should have tried other brands of tape or switched to the CVS brand of 3X4 inch pads from the beginning as the tape surrounding the J&J 3X4 inch pads and the CVS 3X4 inch pads do not irritate our skin.