My experience with FMT and the Taymount Clinic

We arrived in Hitchin one Sunday afternoon, and was picked up at the train station by our lovely AirBnB host.

Monday at 2pm I had my first treatment. First day started with a colonic where not much was released, but then I had had two colonics before leaving home and I’d also taken a huge dose of OxyPowder which had resulted in two serious bowel movements that morning. Colonic irrigation done, it was time for the first implant. Having a katheter stuck up your behind, past the rectum, into the sigmoid, is a rather peculiar experience. Not painful, but not pleasant either. Let’s put it this way: It’s not something I would do for fun. After the implant is in place and the katheter is removed (which is as weird has having it placed), it’s time for a little lower belly massage, to help the bacteria move up the colon, or at least into the lower parts of the decending colon. Then the bed is tilted so that gravity helps the bacterial soup move up the decending colon as I feel like I’m lying upside down. After ten minutes I move on to my right side, so my new friends can move across the transverse colon, and finally I am sitting up, so they can descend the ascending colon. All while this is done I am visualising my body welcoming these new inhabitants, my colon opening up for them to move up and find spots to settle down.

And then, when the implant procedure is finished, it is time to get up and about – and resist those immediate urges to go to the loo. This is the only time my tendency to be constipated has been a good thing. I managed to hold it all in place until late that night.

The colonic cleansing was only the first day (naturally, one would not want to wash away those new friendlies), the implants have followed the same procedure every day.

By Wednesday my companion, E, was beginning to feel emotionally on a roller coaster. She described it as wishing to build a pillow fort and hide inside it. Wednesday night I had the most incredible fart. The gas exploded out and the stink was beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. Clearly the new bacteria were at work, because this was not a smell I’ve ever come up with before. We were quite giggly and delighted there was nobody else aroung just then.

Thursday E was still frail, needing lots of support and closeness and desperately wanting to avoid other people. Friday she felt better, but I had a dull heavy ache in my left hip when we left the clinic, and also a feeling of general pain.

Over the weekend we had a fab pub dinner with friends. Part of our meal was Yorkshire pudding, which is made with wheat flour, and I ate half of mine. And then we had dessert. With no adverse reactions. E was also pms-ing, but for the first time in ages she did not become a shrew. None of the moodiness and bitchiness she usually has. Quite amazing. 

First week passed without me feeling any major change, but I decided to test my gluten sensitivity. And it seems I passed, as I got no pain or swelling from what I ate over the weekend. Amazing! Monday we had a lazy morning, but were still out of the house before 10. Did some shopping, then had tea, and went to the clinic – where we were told we had to wait somewhere else. Our appointment wasn’t until 14, and we arrived one hour early. We figured we’d sit and knit and have the time to go to the loo before treatment, but no. We ended up at a “greasy spoon” with a mug of tea, and it was quite the experience. The place was so deep fried it felt like I was inhaling fat while breathing. Greasy spoon indeed. Treatment went well, as usual, we were both explained how to do this when we come home. E had been feeling faint, so we sat for a while before we left. Went shopping for food on our way “home” and she was so tired she looked ready to fall asleep anywhere in the supermarket. Coming back to our place around 17, she was both very tired and extremely hungry. And not cranky at all! A bit mellow, but her mood was fine. She handled being hungry in a way I can’t remember when I last experienced. Normally being this hungry and tired would have turned her into a dragon, she would be spewing fire and biting the head off of anyone who dared so much as look at her. Totally amazing. Just a week of treatment and she has changed this much. Wow.

She’s sleeping like a log, but me? Nope. I woke up 3:20, went to the loo and then lay tossing. So I decided to write a bit. Maybe I’ll be able to sleep now? We went to bed late, and four hours sleep just doesn’t cut it.

On Wednesday I had to do this myself. Eek! Fumbly, and I’m no longer as pliable as I once was, but I managed. Victory! No special reactions for any of us the last days, and on Friday we packed and got ready for the trip home. With ten doses of deep frozen implants packed in a styrofam box.

The clinic was an absolute delight. Warm and friendly staff, nice treatment rooms and great humor. Highly service minded and very helpful. Having my FMT treatment here was a great experience.

It’s now been a month since we returned, and while my stomach is not 100% yet, it is better. I have not suffered the rather mad periods of constipation I’ve become used to. Of course, I’ve also been taking some OxyPowder, but I don’t think that’s the full reason for it. Something feels different, and I am very happy about that. Now that school is back in season and I have the some hours of me to myself during the day I feel like I have more of this much coveted get-it-done-ability. I haven’t done much, because I’ve been totally worn out (just had a week in hospital with my son, he hurt his spleen in a biking accident. Thankfully only a grade 2 damage, and he’s healing well. Back at school already), so I’ve had two days of rest which has been much needed. Still managed to cook dinners and deal with both our first batch of kombucha and finding a better place for it to stand in peace while fermenting, as well as filtering the water kefir and running a ginger brew experiment (with the water kefir). I have even managed to update this blog! I had plans for doing it while undergoing treatment, but I did not have the energy to do so. But, since today is my 7 year anniversary at WP I figured it was time to get it up there. 

About thenaughtybun

Mother of two, diagnosed with MS in '94, and have been on a mission ever since. Constantly searching for the best health possible, and trying out all kinds of stuff to be able to live a good life, MS or not. My goal is to leave the MS behind, but that has yet to come (haven't given up hope, though!).
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15 Responses to My experience with FMT and the Taymount Clinic

  1. Thanks for the post. Been wondering about the two of you and glad to hear positive results to date. Love to you and E and continued blessings.

  2. Chic Mona says:

    Happy 7th Blogiversary. So glad you are posting again. I use to love pillow farts, oops, errr I mean forts πŸ˜‰ !! . Bravo to you and E for getting through this and all the better for it. Sorry to hear about your son, hope all is mending well. Keep moving forward~cheers! oh, and go build a pillow fort,spend some quality time in there, it’s ok πŸ˜‰

    • Lol – pillow farts. πŸ˜… That brings up all kinds of interesting pictures in my mind. I never had preschool with a pillow room to build pillow forts in, so I’m not feeling the need. A cave made of blankets draped over tables and chairs otoh, then we’re talking! And yes, he’s healing well.

  3. Read this post whilst eating my dinner … didn’t put me off one bit! All kudos to you for talking openly and frankly about what you are going through and why. I do hope many many people will read learn and talk about things more openly themselves..
    The only thing that shocked me was where you were in the country!! You were in my neck of the woods! Hitchin is my ancestral home town… a lovely place. Had I of been aware I could have directed you to all the local fabric and craft shops in the area and some lovely tea rooms too!

    I hope things remain going in the right direction for you and I hope your son gets well soon also … mine is out on his motorbike as I type :/


    • I hope I’ll remember that for later – to ask you where stuff are in Hitchin. Didn’t find any fabric shops, despite looking. It took a while to find stuff, really, but that’s ok. We were a bit worn out from the treatment. We found St. Mary’s the last Friday, and I wish we’d gone there earlier. Got a nice long chat with the warden, and a good look at the organ – where a young organist was rehearsing. So that was nice. I want to go back on holiday, not treatment. 😊

      • Ah.. that’s my families church… every one of my ancestors was christened, married and died there! Lots on the war memorial are related to me too. The market square there has a haberdashery stall and a fabric stall that has been going YEARS .. the son took over from his father a long time ago. In Letchworth where you had the treatments there is a fab little fabric shop, a Scottish tweed mill shop and a few other wool/craft shops.
        Also if you liked the church in Hitchin you would love the school museum and the main museum too… lots of history in that little town and a good central point to get to other places. Did you manage to get to Hitchin Lavender out at Ickleford at all? that’s become a real tourist attraction for Chinese/Japanese visitors of late πŸ˜€ sadly it will close very soon as its the end of the season 😦


      • A tweed mill shop? *wails* Why didn’t I find it? I found a yarn shop, with 95% acrylic, but they had a few skeins of lovely Manos Uruguay yarn, so I had something to do on the bus. And we didn’t get to explore the market either. We figured we were just doing recog for a later visit. One thing I’d love is to attend a sermon with bells, as bell ringers are very exotic to me. We have nothing like that here.

      • Lol … weatherwanes indeed! you missed out there. I’m not a religious person at all but I do love that church. My ancestors were mainly poor straw plaiters who lived in the Hitchin slums until they were torn down. I guess the church was very important to them as every single one of them was christened/baptised (whichever it is) there πŸ˜€
        Still.. you will have plenty to do when you return πŸ˜€

      • I’m not religious either, but I love churches! Especially if I can be there without anyone preaching. The energy is just so good. A nice side effect of having a son who has started to play your organ, is that I get to spend time just like that. In solitude, with music. πŸ’–
        So, what did a straw plaiter do? Aside from plait straw, what was it used for?

      • Plait straw lol … Luton is known for its hat making industry (hence the local football team being known as ‘The Hatters’. In Hitchin town square was a corn exchange, now a trendy bar/eatery :(. The hat makers would bring down sheaths of corn which the women would buy, they were given instructions as to how many strands they were to plait and off they went. The following trade day they would take their lengths of plaited straw and have it measured, were paid by the foot or yard, and then used the money they earnt to buy the next lot of straw and instructions. The whole family got involved… they only bit I haven’t figured out is how they joined the straw to make one long continuous plait πŸ˜• I’ve often wondered if they were told how to plait it too.. there must be several ways to plait 5or 6 strands. Straw hats come in all shapes and sizes don’t they?
        I guess it was an old form of slave labour but what else could they do in the those days.. there was no school system or nhs back then after all. πŸ˜€

      • Aha! I love such history tidbits, and especially when I can link them to someone’s family. Makes it even more alive. As for how to join the straw, I guess they would slide one top end into a bottom end. Straws taper slightly, so it is actually quite easy to make long straws. I can’t have been the only kind who did that? And I should thank you, because this had slipped from my memory – as kids we were competing with straw lengths. You know, who could find the longest straw. And then some of us started to put two straws together. I can’t claim to have been the one who came up with the idea, I have no clue now where it came from, but I was very good at making long straws. Hah! Thank you!! ❀❀ πŸ˜ƒβ€β€ This is really fun, it’s like there was a mini dam holding the memory back. Your musing made a crack in it, which grew, and now I can feel those childhood memories flooding back. That’s so cool!
        Of course now I wonder about other things regarding straw plaiting. What kind of straw was best to use? Did they mix varieties as a design feature, to get different shades? Did they soak them before plaiting? Flatten the straws in some way, or the braid? And how long were the straws in those days? Way before factory farming and chemical straw shorteners. I know some of the ancient grains they grow here make 2 m tall straws. ☺

      • Oh, and no lavender farm – the weather did not cooperate. There were some of the others at the clinic who went, but they a) had better legs than me, and b) were not such weatherwanes. πŸ™„

  4. Tessa Barrie says:

    Gosh … what an awful time you have had. My auto-immune-shot colon is sending yours much sympatico …

    • Thanks a bunch! I was just thinking I need to do an update, as things are improving. Mum mentioned yesterday that my voice has changed, and I’ve actually managed to do stuff. Finally sewed a top in some gorgeous knit linen I’ve had lying around some years. Woot!

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