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Posting your progress updates

Post updates describing your progress regularly. Those who do this generally have the best success on the Marshall Protocol. When in doubt, post your questions in your progress thread so that others can provide you with support.

Why post updates?

  • It is one way to give back to the community that is supporting your recovery. Your updates will give newer members a glimpse of your experiences that may very well help them along on their own journey to recovery.
  • Updates provide members of our support community with information that may help them to identify when your situation may need additional support.
  • Updates provide a record that can be referred back to when looking for historical patterns and trends when addressing the current issues you are experiencing.
  • Historically, members that post regular updates have had the best success with managing the protocol.

In addition to logging in just to post progress to your own thread, there is a demonstrated value in regularly connecting in with our larger support community.

Aim for clarity, accuracy, and just the right amount of detail

  • One helpful way to make tracking your progress easier is to keep a more detailed daily journal that you can refer to when composing your weekly progress updates.
  • Clarity will be improved by avoiding abbreviations and unexplained notations.
  • Accuracy is very desirable.
  • Some brevity is good.
  • Important details tend to get lost if they are not highlighted in some way. Try to keep any longer narrative for the comments section. For long posts, adding a summary at the end may help readers catch the key points of your update.
  • It is recommended that you compose your progress updates in a file on your own computer and save a copy of your update for your records. (Just in case a technical glitch drops it from the site.)

When to post

The frequency of your posts should track with your current status. For example, new members just getting started, and those who are not managing their symptoms very well, often find that posting every few days can allow better support from our community.

Current Status Frequency Details
Getting started Every couple days When starting Benicar or any other new medication
Symptoms are stable Once a week During the initial stages of recovery
Immune response is changing Every couple of days As 25-DThe vitamin D metabolite widely (and erroneously) considered best indicator of vitamin D "deficiency." Inactivates the Vitamin D Nuclear Receptor. Produced by hydroxylation of vitamin D3 in the liver. is coming down from between 20 ng/mL to 12 ng/mL, or when experiencing what may be an over-exuberant stage five response
Stable w/o palliatives and 25-D is < 12 ng/mL Once a month Once symptoms are stable following the weaning of all palliatives and 25-D below 12 ng/mL
Initial weeks of a break from the protocol Every couple of days As hormonal adjustments commence at the start of a break from protocol dosing of olmesartanMedication taken regularly by patients on the Marshall Protocol for its ability to activate the Vitamin D Receptor. Also known by the trade name Benicar. , support is a very important key to success
Stable following major recovery of immune function Every 3 months Stage Five and beyond, when recovery of original concerns is near complete, but continuing on protocol for additional benefit
On a break or have discontinued the protocol Every 3-12 months As a participant in a long term study, your continued status, even when off the protocol is an important part of our study data

For those who have reached that near recovery point, another excellent way to give back to this community is to take the time to provide support to those who are just getting started on their MP journey.

Your signature line

Maintaining an informative signature line benefits you and others supporting you. See: Signature line instructions.

Please try to keep your signature line up to date so that other members of our support community can best understand your situation and experience before responding to your posts.

Components of progress updates

Composing a detailed progress update may seem too overwhelming at the start, but breaking it into smaller bits of information can make the task easier. Then, once the basic format is created, each new update can be an edited copy of the last posted update, meaning less effort going forward. (Some find it helpful to print the following instructions and work from a paper copy.)

Rating of overall symptom level

Start each progress update with a single number rating your overall symptom level for this time period on a scale of 0-10.

This gives yourself and other readers a quick idea of what you have been experiencing (to help assess the tolerability of your symptoms). This overall number may be slightly different from your “highest” level ratings given in the symptom details listed down further into your update.

To help select a number, the following scale is provided: 1-3 = symptoms have been negligible, 4-6 = symptoms are tolerable, 7-9 = symptoms are intolerable, 10 = on the way to the hospital.

Overall symptom level: 6/10

Vitamin D metabolites testing history

When you have a new 25D test result be sure to update your signature line as well adding it to your 25D-testing history in the body of your progress update.

Include the following (if available):

  • Pre-MP result of 1,25D testing in pg/mL with date. Please convert units if necessary (See 1,25D units of measurement).
  • Any results of 25D testing in ng/mL with date; e.g. “12 ng/mL Dec'07”. Please convert units if necessary (See 25D units of measurement).

PreMP D-metabolites: 1,25D=50 pg/mL, 25D=20 ng/mL Jul'09
25-D testing history: 17 ng/mL Oct'09, 14 ng/mL Jan'10, 10 ng/mL Apr'10, 6 ng/mL Jul'10

MP medications history

Include the following as appropriate:

  • MP start month and year.
  • List months when not on full doses of Benicar/olmesartan and total months on full break

MP start: Jul'09
Benicar/olmesartan breaks: Feb'10, Sep'10 (2 months)

Since early adopters were using antibiotics, this antibiotic history is of interest, even though antibiotics are no longer considered a key component for recovering immune function. For those that have used antibiotics taken at older protocol dosing, they may also add this history, including months on each. (abbreviations: M = minocycline; B = bactrim; C = clindamycin; D = demeclocycline)

Antibiotic history: M Aug-Oct'09, M+B Nov'09-Jan'10, M+C May-Jul'10, M Aug-Oct'10

Current Benicar/olmesartan dosing

Current Benicar/olmesartan dose & schedule, flagging any changes, and listing number of days at current dose/schedule as appropriate.

Benicar/olmesartan dosing:
Benicar/olmesartan 40mg every 6 hours (since Jul'09), trialed 20mg every 3 hours during recent acute bladder infection symptoms

Current palliative or other medications

List one medication/supplement usage per line (give purpose for item in parentheses following). For those weaning from steroids, please list total daily dose plus time of day and how much taken at each dose and please indicate number of days at current dose/schedule.

Palliative or other medication dosing:
Minocycline 50mg every 12 hours (last 3 days for acute infection)
Benedryl at bedtime last night (to help get to sleep after outing to movie)
Homeopathic dry eye drops at bedtime every evening last week (to soothe irritation)

Light exposure

List normal daily exposure, your response, and any unusual events during period. Sometimes this provides hints as to the cause of increased symptoms.

Light exposure:
Sunlight, 20 min.s during drive to/from work; covered, 2% NoIRsSpecial sunglasses worn by Marshall Protocol patients to block light., leather gloves, some face exposure
Indirect sunlight, 1 hour while sitting in shade 2 days ago, 10% NoIRs, covered, 6% zinc sunscreen
Watched movie in theater last night; forgot NoIRs (had hard time getting to sleep after)

Symptoms

List each symptom on a single line with severity first, then the symptom description. Note if they were constant or intermittent. List only those that are significant and recent. Indicate if they are tolerable or intolerable.

Rating them at their highest for the week shows how you are doing since symptoms should be tolerable at all times.

Symptoms: (severity on a scale of 1-10)
4 - Rash and itching on shins, constant, tolerable
6 - Joint pain in fingers, intermittent, tolerable
6 - Post-exertional fatigue, constant, tolerable
8 - Orthostatic intolerance, intermittent, kept tolerable by extra care when changing positions

Comments

Often it is helpful to provide some brief comments about any observations you have made about your symptoms, mood, or external situations affecting your sense of well-being.

Comments:
Increased level of stress this past week due to a bladder infection. However, mood stayed good, which is an improvement.

Plan

Identify if you plan to keep things about the same or if you are considering any changes.

Plan:
Will keep up frequent minocycline for a week and watch for signs of infection clearing or not.

New test results

List one test result per line and be sure to include the lab range. It is helpful to make some type of identifying mark on out range labs.

If posting all test results seems too overwhelming, is ok to only list the names of tests with “within-normal-limits” results.

New test results:
3 Hour Glucose Tolerance Test
Glucose, fasting = 88, (<95 mg/dL)
Glucose, 1H post 100G GLUCOSE PO = 125, (<180 mg/dL)
Glucose, 2H post 100G GLUCOSE PO = 102, (<155 mg/dL)
Glucose, 3H post 100G GLUCOSE PO = 81, (<140 mg/dL)
(all results normal)

Questions

If you have any questions, include them at the end so they will be easier to find.

Non-urgent question format example:

Questions:
Just wondering if anyone has tried minocycline for a bladder infection? If the symptoms return, are there other antibiotics that are compatible with the protocol I can ask my doctor about?

If you feel you have an urgent question, you might want to post it in bold, uppercase lettering. In addition, in a crisis situation you may send private messages to 2 or 3 members of the support team, asking for a timely response.

Urgent question format example:

Questions:

SHOULD I BE WORRIED ABOUT MY NEW AND SEVERE ABDOMINAL PAIN?

Putting it all together

This is an example of an entire progress update in our suggested format that you can use as a template for your own posts.

Posting date: 20.Oct.2010
Overall symptom level: 6/10

PreMP D-metabolites: 1,25D=50 pg/mL, 25D=20 ng/mL Jul'09
25-D testing history: 17 ng/mL Oct'09, 14 ng/mL Jan'10, 10 ng/mL Apr'10, 6 ng/mL Jul'10

MP start: Jul'09
Benicar/olmesartan breaks: Feb'10, Sep'10 (2 months)
Antibiotic history: M Aug-Oct'09, M+B Nov'09-Jan'10, M+C May-Jul'10, M Aug-Oct'10

Benicar/olmesartan dosing:
Benicar/olmesartan 40mg every 6 hours (since Jul'09), trialed 20mg every 3 hours during recent acute bladder infection symptoms

Palliative or other medication dosing:
Minocycline 50mg every 12 hours (last 3 days for acute infection)
Benedryl at bedtime last night (to help get to sleep after outing to movie)
Homeopathic dry eye drops at bedtime every evening last week (to soothe irritation)

Light exposure:
Sunlight, 20 min.s during drive to/from work; covered, 2% NoIRs, leather gloves, some face exposure
Indirect sunlight, 1 hour while sitting in shade 2 days ago, 10% NoIRs, covered, 6% zinc sunscreen
Watched movie in theater last night; forgot NoIRs (had hard time getting to sleep after)

Symptoms: (severity on a scale of 1-10)
4 - Rash and itching on shins, constant, tolerable
6 - Joint pain in fingers, intermittent, tolerable
6 - Post-exertional fatigue, constant, tolerable
8 - Orthostatic intolerance, intermittent, kept tolerable by extra care when changing positions

Comments:
Increased level of stress this past week due to family situation. However, mood stayed good, which is an improvement.

Plan:
Will keep up frequent minocycline for a week and watch for signs of infection clearing or not.

New test results:
3 Hour Glucose Tolerance Test (2 weeks ago)
Glucose, fasting = 88, (<95 mg/dL)
Glucose, 1H post 100G GLUCOSE PO = 125, (<180 mg/dL)
Glucose, 2H post 100G GLUCOSE PO = 102, (<155 mg/dL)
Glucose, 3H post 100G GLUCOSE PO = 81, (<140 mg/dL)
(all results normal)

Questions:
None, thank you.

Asking for a response

If you have an unanswered question that requires a timely response, you may send an email to our Admin Staff with a request for a reply in your progress thread.

Please include your screen name and a link to your progress thread in your email.

Taking a break or discontinuing the protocol

If you decide to take a break or stop the protocol, please post this in your progress thread so that we can include your current status in our study data. In particular what medications you were taking at the time you began to wean or stop the MP and the date that you ended your treatment.

As a participant in a long term study, your continued status, even when off the protocol is an important part of our study data. Updates every 3, 6 or 12 months are the most helpful. Your post-protocol updates will be very appreciated, however, we ask that you refrain from advocating or promoting any non-MP treatments in your posts on the forums.

Even if you are no longer on the MP or are simply taking a break for a while, you always welcome to post any questions you have regarding the Marshall Protocol and how it may apply to your current health situation.

How to post in your own progress thread

  • Type up your progress update in a simple text editor on your computer first. It is best not to use an application like “Word” because it will embed hidden characters that may not display correctly; and avoid other display problems by selecting for your update notes a font found on the MPSS - Arial, Comic sans, Courier New, Georgia, Impact, Tahoma, Times New Roman, Trebuchet or Verdana
  • Click the green {My Account} button (found at the top right of each page).
  • You should see your progress thread listed in the {Watched Topics} tab.
  • Click on the link to your your progress thread.
  • Click on any green {Reply} button (these are found to the right of each post in the thread).
  • Paste a copy of the text of your progress update from your computer's text editor into the text box on the reply page.
  • Click {Send} on the bottom of the page. (Please do not hit send twice, it will simply create double entries.)

You will want to check to see that the post is displayed correctly.

  • If you find the post needs a correction, click on the green {Edit} button along the top right of the post.

Notes and comments

Where to put this type of information about how to get responses to progress updates…?

I'll let you in on some ideas that may work…

If you join in the conversations over in the MP Lifestyles forums and others find what you write interesting, they may come over to your progress thread and post there. (Not a sure thing, but it does happen.)
If you get one of the members to reply to your post (by asking in a PM for help), then that member will start to get an email every time you post and that may bring them to a higher visibility.
If you have something going on and you want a reply, post in all CAPITAL LETTERS the question you need an answer to.

Place your questions in the last part of the post (search the MP KB for our preferred format using the keyword “usingforums”).

If your posts are long, or all the text is in a large block, this will prevent some from being able to read it. Use small paragraphs. (This note from me is an example of short paragraphs, more white space.)

Finally, you can keep your thread on the top of the list by posting a new entry that reads, “BUMP”.

Hope this helps, :) Joyful

. _Original Message_ From: … Date: 2012-07-02 11:13:08 Subject: Re: question post moved

Thanks. It just makes it feel like kind of a waste of time if no one comments. Especially when you post a progress update that is really bad and you are in crisis. But I didn't have specific questions. It would just be nice to see someone cares.

I did see there are a lot posting progress updates now also so I know that it is probably hard to respond to everybody.

NEW FLOW MEANS THE QUESTIONS THREAD BECOMES THE PROGRESS THREAD THEREFORE THIS TEXT IS NOT APPLICABLE, BUT INSTRUCTIONS MIGHT BE HANDY ELSEWHERE:

Sallie Q 03.23.2016 added list of fonts to caution against copying from Word to MPSS

How to create your own progress thread

If you have not already created a progress thread, you will need to create one using the following steps.

  • In the subject line type your given name (and username) in the format shown in the example here:

Subject: Jim's updates (jjtop)

  • In the description line type any diagnosis you may have in the format shown in the example here:

Description: Sarcoidosis (lung, neuro), hypertension

  • In the body of your first post, you can share a little about how you found the MP and your experience to date on the protocol.
  • When your post is ready, click on green {Send} button (to the bottom right). (Please do not hit send twice, it will simply create double entries.)

You will want to check to see that the post is displayed correctly.

  • If you find the post needs a correction, click on the green {Edit} button along the top right of the post.
home/starting/usingforum/postingprogress.txt · Last modified: 03.23.2016 by sallieq
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