• Tag Archives Lyme Disease
  • Antiviral and Antibacterial Daily Herbal Tea Blend

    Anti-viral and Anti-bacterial Daily Herbal Tea BlendBy Laura D. Field of Potpourri of Health ~ Feb 28, 2018

    As one who balances a lifestyle goal of nutritional health along with the long-term challenge in living with chronic Lyme disease, it becomes essential in understanding one’s own health. We become an expert in our own health and how different foods and herbs benefit our well being. Although I work closely with a LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor), I have found it beneficial to not only focus on nutrition through the foods I consume, but also add various herbs to complement the guidance my LLMD continues to provide for me.

    The reason I consume an anti-viral and anti-bacterial tea blend is the result in finding I also had EBV (Epstein Barr Virus). Don’t be alarmed, it is something many of us carry within our bodies, yet my level was slightly elevated. With that knowledge, I researched what I could do to support my immune system. Did it keep me from enjoying this years viral load that seems to be rampant? Nope!! But, it was the first time a cold virus knocked me down. Then again, it has been over 10 years since I have been sick, so I continued drinking tea and consuming other natural sources of viral fighting remedies, while listening to my body by resting.

    Following is my “basic” herbal tea blend, meaning I sometimes add/replace other herbs, depending on my mood or what I have on hand.

    Although it is always preferable to use fresh herbs, which one can acquire in one’s local grocery store produce section, dried herbs work quite nicely as well. The first 4 herbs are commonly available, and easily grown in pots. During the growing season I use the basic 4, by snipping off springs of herbs and letting them steep for 10-20 minutes. The longer you steep, the more medicinal benefit. Although, steeping for less, provides a more palatable flavor.

    Since honey is a natural source of antioxidants with cough suppressing benefits, adding a teaspoon to one’s tea can also make the stronger steeped tea more enjoyable. Please note: too much honey is not necessarily good for you, so it is wise to limit your use to no more than 10 tsp. per day. If one is a strict vegetarian, consider using stevia leaf as your sweetener. It adds a lovely sweet flavor that is not over-bearing.

    Herbal Tea Blend – Anti-viral & Anti-Bacterial – 1-2 sprigs of each, or 1 tsp. each of dried herb

    Lemon Balm

    Olive Leaf

    I tend to mix even amounts (1 tsp), blended together, to steep in hot water for 20 minutes. One can steep for 10 minutes, but the longer one steeps their herbs, the stronger the flavor as well as the benefit it provides. The less one steeps, you still gain medicinal benefits yet with a more delicate flavor.

    I personally remove the herbs prior to drinking, but some individuals enjoy leaving the herbs in as they sip their tea.

    Oregano provides vitamins such as Vitamin A, B6 C, E and K, as well as fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium. In addition, oregano provides anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal benefits. It can also benefit the viral effects from the cold and flu.

    Thyme provides a rich source of many important vitamins such as B-complex vitamins, β-carotene, vitamin-A, vitamin-K, vitamin-E, vitamin-C, and folic acid. In addition Thyme provides anti-septic and anti-viral benefits.

    Rosemary provides anti-inflamatory and anti-bacterial benefits, analgesic properties that will help with pain and headaches, will boost ones immunity, along with providing other health benefits.

    Lemon Balm calms the mind, boosts one’s ability to be alert, yet can balance the system to acquire a more restful sleep at the end of the day. It also sharpens ones memory while enhancing ones mood. Lemon balm is a great source of antioxidants (I tend to add two sprigs) and for those of us who use/or have used antibiotics, lemon balm provides liver support.

    Olive Leaf is both an anti-viral and anti-bacterial herb. Please note that this is not the essential oil or extract one might find, but rather the dried leaf. Olive leaf supports the immune system, which can also provide energy and healthy blood pressure.

    Hibiscus has a tart yet pleasant taste. It is beneficial for those with blood pressure and cholesterol concerns. Lyme patients can tend to have high blood pressure when previously not an issue. I found that adding hibiscus has personally improved my BP readings. Lyme also contributes to digestive as well as inflammatory issues, which Hibiscus can improve. Another benefit is that of supporting the liver. Hibiscus is rich in Vitamin C, minerals and antioxidants. And those with hypertension and anxiety issues will find that Hibiscus can provide some relief.

    NOTE: As always, please be sure to discuss any and all potential side effects and/or potential medication interactions with your physician

    Relax, enjoy and be well,

    ~ Laura

    Laura D. Field – Blogger and paid Freelance writer

    Potpourri of Health www.potpourriofhealth.com
    Freelance writer at www.reflectivetapestryoflife.com
    Heirloom Seamstress & consultant at www.davinadawnsewing.com


    https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/ herbs-and-spices/ rosemary.html
    http://www.gaiaherbs.com /articles/detail/42/ The-Surprising-Health-Benefits-of- hibiscus
    https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/ hibiscus-tea.html








  • Ticks, Ticks, are Everywhere!! – Prevention

    By Laura D. Field of Potpourri of Health – May 18, 2017

    How quickly we can squish an ant, swat a fly, spray a hornet, zap a mosquito. We squish that ant because it is crawling on the counter, swat the fly because it annoyingly flies annoyingly around us, spray the hornet with such force as if we are riding the world of them all, and zapping mosquito’s due to their ability to bite with a vengeance along with their non-stop buzzing sound. But, the reason we can tend to these insects is because they are readily visible, make noises and we know the damage they can do, whether to our home, family or own personal well being.
    Yet with ticks, we are faced with a gentle, crawling creature that in its nymph stage is barely noticeable, while as it gets larger, has the ability to numb your skin like Novocain before they begin the process of boring into your skin to seek refuge and sustenance within your body. If we are lucky, we can spot the tick making tracks towards its destination, more often in warm dark areas on your body, such as your groin, hairline, underarms, etc.

    Here are some options to prevent their unwelcomed presence, but first, please do not stop living due to the fear of these insects. Go hiking, camping, walking, fishing, hunting, gardening, etc. Just be vigilant in your efforts in preventing them from taking hold and damaging your life.:

    Before and after being outdoors in areas with a potential risk, consider:

    1. Wear light colored clothing, as it is easier to spot a dark tick against a light colored garment.
    2. Tuck your pant legs into your socks to provide a tight seal
    3. Spray your clothing with Permethrin, which is a safe tick repellent that can be purchased in hardware and grain stores, Wal-mart, and a variety of other stores also carry it. Spray on your hat, your outer clothing, shoes, etc. DO NOT spray directly on your skin. There are Permethrin products specific for skin application.
    4. Have lint rollers around. These are great at doing a quick tick check, as the ticks will get stuck to the sticky portion. You could also use shippers/packing tape or duct tape that is wrapped around your hand with the stitcky-side out if you do not have lint rollers around.
    5. Place your clothes into the dryer for 20 min. when you come in from the outdoors so that it can kill any that are not seen
    6. Take a shower to wash the ticks in hiding down the drain.
    7. Make sure full body checks are done after returning from a day in the gardens, camping, hiking, hunting, etc.

    Repellant Options;

    1. As mentioned above, Permethrin can be used on your clothing before heading out, including hats and shoes. Permethrin will last through 4-6 wash cycles, dependent upon the agitation within your washer.
    2. When using Permethrin: read the directions for applications, but in layman terms, spray about 6-8 feet away from the garment, in a non-windy environment (your garage or on a day that it is not windy). Let it dry for about 2 hrs., and you are good to go. If you have the time, place your treated garments in the dryer to further adhere to the fibers to your garment. There is no smell, and will not stain your clothing.
    3. There are specialty clothing that is specially treated with Permethrin, and others designed specifically to prevent ticks from crawling up, that can be found at outdoor sport centers.
    4. DE (Diatomaceous Earth) is a safe product to use around your gardens. Be sure to purchase the food grade. This is also safe for animals, yet with cats, since they are more sensitive, scruff your cats neck as you apply the DE, as well as rub on their belly (if you have a cat that will allow you to do this). Be very careful not to get in their eyes, nose or mouth. Keep it on for 24 hrs then shampoo after.
      1. I personally love this product and use it holistically, as well as use around my gardens to help keep other pesky insects at bay.
      2. The benefit of use around your herb and vegetable gardens is that you know it is a safe pesticide that you will later consume through the food you grow.
      3. DE can be purchased online as well as at your local grain stores.
      4. Consider wearing a mask, when applying to your pets or gardens (mostly when it is windy out) to avoid inhaling too much)
    5. Plant Lavender around your walkway and gardens. It is not only a great insect repellent (including ticks) but smells quite lovely while providing a protective shield.
    6. Plant Eucalyptus around your home for additional protection, but be mindful of pets.
    7. Plant Lemongrass around your gardens as well, since ticks do not like the smell of citrus. This does well in containers and smells quite lovely, which makes for a lovely display within a potted floral arrangement or by itself. We have a few that I place around the gazebo areas.
    8. Create natural sprays from either citrus fruit or essential oils
      1. Citrus Spray: Slice 2 lemons (or limes). 2. Boil 2 c. of water. 3. Reduce water to a simmer and place in your citrus fruit for 1 hour. Strain, cool, and then put into your sprayer. Once cooled, it is ready to be safely used on you, your children, your yard and pets.
      2. Mint Spray: In 1 c. of water, add 2 drops of 100% pure peppermint essential oil. Place in a spray bottle and it is ready to use in the same manner as the citrus spray.
      3. Lavender Spray: Note: This is a great mosquito repellent as well and can be placed in decorative bowls around your home, indoors as well as out. Take ¼ c. of distilled or filtered water and add about 30-40 drops of 100% pure Lavender essential oil. Stir slightly and put into a spray bottle or place in decorative bowls around the home.
        1. NOTE: you can adjust the amount of lavender based on your personal preference
        2. You can use this for bed linens, night wear, pillows, etc. to repel insects and ticks while also providing a calm nights rest.
      4. Place dried lavender around your home. Better yet, consider lavender sachets. They not only keep the ticks at bay but also spiders and other pests. The BONUS: if place in the warmth of sunlight, it will freshen you home preventing the use of toxic air fresheners, while also providing a relaxing environment.
        1. I make these for my personal use as well as sell to clients
      5. Keep your yard clean of debris, trimming tall grass and removing dead leaves. Please know, that this is not going to keep them from hiding, but will give them less of a chance to hitch a ride onto your pant leg and quickly crawl into hiding.
        1. Some claim that keeping your yard clear of tall grass or debris is efficient, and although it might work okay in a yard with no trees, shrubs, gardens, etc., one really needs to be attentive to all the surrounding plants within your yard.

    Although the tips shared are ones we use, they are not all inclusive. There are many options available, yet we have found the above to be the most effective and most natural.

    My hope in sharing is that others can prevent the risk of infection that causes the Lyme disease that infects people very differently. There is NO cure, NO preventive immunization, just treatment that can be life long.

    Enjoy the outdoors and what nature can offer. We live in a gorgeous world!! All we need to do is be safe.

    Laura – Chronic Persistent Lyme Disease patient

    Laura D. Field – Blogger and paid Freelance writer

    Potpourri of Health www.potpourriofhealth.com
    Freelance writer at www.reflectivetapestryoflife.com
    Seamstress consultant at www.davinadawnsewing.com & www.seamstobeme.davinadawnsewing.com

  • The Denial & Ignorance of Lyme Disease

    By Laura D. Field of Potpourri of Health – May 17, 2017

    Yesterday I listened to a 30 minute telecast from one of the local hospitals. It was discouraging to watch and listen, as the conversation was neglect of what needs to be shared.

    The main focus was to discuss how worried one should be about tick-borne diseases and how to prevent tick bites. I was interested in listening; as I was hopeful that possibly the hospital might have gained a new perspective and understanding of the disease. And yet, what was shared was extremely limited and not fully transparent.

    People are looking for answers for their symptoms. When tests come back time and time again that “you are fine”, while brushing you off until your next persistent push to find an answer. Recommendations to see specialists, such as neurologists, rheumatologists, pulmonary and heart specialists, that you become tired of becoming the victim of “nothing is wrong” when you know without a doubt there is something brewing within your body.

    For myself, it was to the point where I literally felt as though I was being eaten from the inside out. Internally it felt like bugs were crawling within me without the ability to physically remove (kill) them. I was dizzy and had to stop walking outdoors, had forgetful moments NOT related to aging, brain fog where I simply struggled in finding the right words, pain throughout my joints and muscles, tremors, increased anxiety, increased blood pressure, lack of desire, ambition and strength, chronic fatigue, etc. The list was endless.

    My primary physician started to push Fibromyalgia, which I shared that it was not “in my head” or related to past trauma. This was real. I had MRI’s and x-rays confirming that I had arthritis and some Orthopaedic issues. My Orthopedist also confirmed that it was NOT fibromyalgia. Then off to the Neurologist, due to a brain scan showing signs of MS, but unless I chose the spinal fluid test, they would not know for certain. This was something I had refused because I have back issues and had recently undergone back surgery for sciatic pain that was extremely disabling.

    I finally gave up until I met with my specialist for another purpose, and as I shared a few of the symptoms I was struggling with in relation to my purpose there, he started to review the multiple tests that I had gone through. He then asked me to keep talking while sharing what I had become tired of sharing. I asked him “why”, as I had pretty much given up and believed that it was no longer worth the struggle in sharing what I was going through. It was easier to accept that my body was dying and I was making plans to simply accept that fate.

    So, after listening, he said, “I think I know what is going on”. I perked up a little and asked “really??” Then he shared “I think you have Lyme Disease” I shared with him that I was tested a few times at the hospital and he said, “although it can sometimes show a positive result, more often than not it doesn’t. I need you to consider another test, that unfortunately is not covered by the insurance company”

    My husband and I went home with something to think about. I researched a little about Lyme disease, read some literature he gave me, and I perked up with encouragement, sharing with my husband that Dr. D. could be right.

    Now, I’m not one to look for an ailment, just answers, so that I can make changes to improve if necessary. But what I read was eye opening. Despite the pinch in our resources, we were fortunately blessed with the funds, to have the $200 test done. There was a part of me that expected that the results would come back “normal”, a part of me that really wanted it to come back normal, but my hope was that I would have an answer.

    It wasn’t even two weeks when I heard back from my physician sharing that I was positive and needed to see me back in his office as soon as he had an opening to fit me in, which I was fortunate in that I was able to acquire an appointment two weeks later. In the meantime, he gave me more resources to read, so I was at the library acquiring the books he recommended.

    I am an avid reader, always desiring to learn what I can, along with reading for pleasure, but the task to read at this stage, was a chore. I read though. I read a lot!! So, by the time I entered his office, I said, “well, I don’t plan on living in a 6 story high-rise apartment, as I love being out in nature, but I am willing to fight”

    That was 2 ½ years ago, with a diagnosis at that time of at least 8 years of having the disease, and going untreated. Treatment is a roller coaster ride of getting better then feeling worse, then returning to feeling somewhat better again.

    The reason the online telecast was discouraging, is that they avoided the topic of the real danger Lyme disease. They stated that it could be healed, which it cannot, although it can go into remission. Most patients, even if they say they are healed, they are on an ongoing treatment of antibiotics, antibiotics and herbals, herbals and tinctures, essential oils, diet, or other option that allows them to function. Let’s be real; if you are healed, you no longer need an ongoing treatment plan to keep symptoms at bay. With Lyme disease, once you are back to a “normal” life, you still run the risk of symptoms returning. Think of Chickenpox. You acquire the disease as a child, yet that virus remains in your body and can come back as Shingles. With Lyme, we are talking about a bacteria that has co-infections and screw-type bacteria (spirochetes) type bugs that find places to bore themselves into, hiding away while at the same time multiplying.

    The Infectious Disease specialist called it Post-treatment Lyme; where you deal with symptoms after initial treatment, yet do not have the disease. What is the answer to the patient who has suffered with Lyme disease for years, before they are appropriately tested and finally considered infected? This is NOT post-treatment. I was diagnosed with Chronic Persistent Lyme disease, with test results that fell within the CDC guidelines. “Post-treatment” they claim is the residual recurrence and long lasting “symptoms” but not the disease.

    What was interesting is that she shared that you will always test positive for Lyme after your initial diagnosis and treatment but you will not have Lyme disease again. REALLY? So, a cancer patient has tests proving they have cancer, obtain treatment to which they heal and go into remission. They are considered cancer free.

    Until the CDC “says” something is real, it is not real in the eyes of physician acceptance with treatment. Yet even with the CDC levels showing a positive test result, my PCP continually denied/denies that I have this disease. Only those who research and study, with a desire to treat their patients based on believing what they are told, while providing them a test to aid in their treatment plan, will be the leaders in helping Lyme patients heal. Unfortunately, this results in very few specialists (in this case LLMD’s – Lyme Literate Medical Doctors), who are willing to treat a population that is steadily growing with very sick people.

    My next blog post I will share the topic of prevention and what one can do. The telecast did share some tips, but there are more to which I believe might prove to be resourceful.

    Be careful of the crawlies…they are everywhere and when you least expect it, you could have a hitch-hiker looking for a place to nestle and bore into.


    Laura D. Field – Blogger and paid Freelance writer

    Potpourri of Health www.potpourriofhealth.com
    Freelance writer at www.reflectivetapestryoflife.com
    Seamstress consultant at www.davinadawnsewing.com & www.seamstobeme.davinadawnsewing.com

  • The Sleepless Hours of Unrest with Lyme Disease

    May 11, 2017

    Another sleepless night arrives, maybe acquiring 1-2 hrs, to only be woken by pain, the need to empty one’s bladder, or simply your body deciding for you that you have acquired enough rest for the evening. On some occasions the alertness arrives due to the sudden awakening as the result of a vivid dream that makes absolutely no sense at all!!

    Ah, the joys of Chronic Persistent Lyme disease. I don’t envy anyone who has it. But more than that, despite my efforts to find the joy in life between the varying obstacles of this disease, I really wish that this side effect of the disease and treatment would resolve itself.

    Tonight, I am finding that the bugs of Lyme are affecting many of my Lyme friends who are dealing with the same demon wreaking havoc on our ability to heal (a.k.a. sleep). You see, we NEED sleep. We WANT sleep!!

    So what do we do? We try everything, and personally, since I am already on prescription antibiotics, the last thing I want to throw into the mix is more medication to sleep. So that is not an option for me.

    With guidance from our LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor), or other informed medical provider we have come to trust, we seek their advice, and sometimes finding other potential helps. Most frequently we find ourselves in the health food store and reading reliable resources about supplements, herbals, tinctures and other potential methods to find rest.

    One method that does occasionally help me is to take a hot detox bath (Epsom salts, sometimes add in some baking soda, along with an essential oil such as Ylang, Ylang and Lavender), a massage from my husband, and a hot cup of chamomile tea. When this stopped working, I started to add in supplements as discussed with my LLMD along with some herbals I tried on my own after researching and making sure they had no interactions with my medications or other supplements I take.

    I have come to the conclusion that I might simply need to mix things up a bit and try to mess with the bugs the way they mess with me. I will still stay on course as prescribed by my LLMD, but my next approach is to change the supplement, herb or tincture when after a few nights I end up with no sleep again. Will it work? I haven’t a clue but when one is unable to obtain more than a few hours rest for a few nights, you seek other potential options.

    Well, the sun is rising, looking as though we will be an overcast day. Today I have a list of things I desire to accomplish in addition to a physiatrist appointment and some sewing work. By mid-afternoon, my yawning exercise will begin, helping to keep my jaw and facial features looking young. But for now I will head off for a shower to wake up this body of exhaustion in order to obtain that genuine joy for living smile.

    Hoping for a more restful night, not only for me, but also for all those with Lyme who suffer while trying to heal.


    Laura D. Field – Blogger and paid Freelance writer

    Potpourri of Health www.potpourriofhealth.com
    Freelance writer at www.reflectivetapestryoflife.com
    Seamstress consultant at www.davinadawnsewing.com & www.seamstobeme.davinadawnsewing.com

  • WAKE up! Lyme disease is real! It is here and does NOT discriminate!

    tick pic

    By: Laura D. Field of Potpourri of Health & Reflective Tapestry of Life

    What will it take for all physicians, as well as citizens, to become educated in the reality of Lyme disease and the impact that it has on so many lives? This is not a short-term disease.

    WAKE up to all who have doubts. Lyme disease is real, it is here and it does not discriminate.

    Physicians need to realize and accept their responsibility in the part of this disease. When something this serious is affecting so many, it is time to kick it up a notch in educating everyone. Arrogance will not heal. We are here to heal and to show compassion, not jeopardize the well being of human life. And yet, the best approach for many is to say “If you are still ill, then it is not Lyme”. That is the equivalent of telling any patient, with any disease, that their disease is not real, just because they have not returned to their former health.

    All citizens need to accept, that what they do not understand, they can educate themselves vs. passing judgment and rejecting others. Too many human lives are being affected by people walking away from those they claim they love and care for.

    No one, who suffers from long term, chronic lyme, wishes this upon themselves, nor on their worse enemy. They do not enjoy the variety of medical appointments in trying to “fix” what has become the new, unrelenting “normal” for their lives.

    This disease is horrific, causing a long list of symptoms, affecting the ability to work and socialize in a manner in which they once enjoyed, while depleting their financial means to make ends meet. This is not a disease where patients are looking for attention, but rather looking for answers because they want to heal.

    For most of us who suffer, we would much rather see the caring physicians who have stood by us, out socially at the theater, grocery store, park, hiking, running, etc., vs. returning continually to the clinics. I have fired physicians who gave up, yet have kept those who truly shared compassion and worked with me, along side my LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) as my health “care” providers/team. These physicians are the ones to whom I respect. They do not claim to have all the answers, yet rather choose to do their very best to make their patients feel that they are listened to, cared about, and to treat and heal (when possible) within their speciality.

    My husband, my children and I, thank these amazing men who have not given up on me as a person. Lyme will never define me. It is simply a hurdle in life.

    Laura – Blogger and paid Freelance writer

    Potpourri of Health www.potpourriofhealth.com
    Freelance writer at www.reflectivetapestryoflife.com
    Seamstress consultant at www.davinadawnsewing.com

    Please read from the following link:

    Begin to be informed: Visiting physician sheds new light on Lyme disease. On a visit to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Dr. Nevena Zubcevik challenged conventional diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases.
    By Barry Stringfellow – Jul 13, 2016

    Visiting physician sheds new light on Lyme disease

  • Lyme Disease and Treatment

    freedom from illness

    Lyme Disease and Treatment

    By Laura D. Field of Potpourri of Health – May 4, 2016

    By now, you have heard about Lyme disease, yet might be confused about all the various treatments of the disease. The reason for the variation in how it is treated, along with the confusion of why there are so many methods. Lyme disease itself is a conglomerate of multiple bacterial bugs that drill themselves into hiding, while multiplying and changing as they become accustom to the host (the person or animal who is infected). To treat Lyme disease, the physician needs to truly understand the chemical and biological changes that the person has endured. This is not an easy task, as each person is different, as is their immune system, physical health, unknown longevity of the disease, and what symptoms they are experiencing.

    You might not even realize you have Lyme disease, yet if you have an infection (not Lyme related, such as a UTI) in which your physician prescribes a short course antibiotic for, the Lyme bacteria responds to that treatment in an effort to protect itself from being killed off. Sure, you might have resolved the infection for which you were being treated for; yet, you have also created a whirlwind within, similar to that of a bee hive being disrupted, as the spirochetes are also being ambushed by the antibiotics. They are literally not happy and will respond in kind, resulting in symptoms you least expected.

    Other things that can disrupt the hidden cycle of spirochetes are that of herbals and oils that might have an anti-microbial and antibiotic component to them. Surgeries can disrupt their nesting, as can steroids. It is not to say these positive health options should be avoided when needed, but in my situation, it was as if a fire pit was stirred resulting in a very different response to healing than I once experienced.

    I personally believe, with the guidance of my LLMD along with my research and medical knowledge, that the bacteria caused by the ticks and other forms of invasion into our bodies, we need antibiotics to kill the bugs that mass produce, which create co-infections that affect ones quality of life. For some individuals a short-lived antibiotic course of treatment is appropriate, yet for others, it is the complete opposite.

    Lyme Disease is simply a horrible and life changing disease. It affects everyone differently, regardless of how healthy you might consider yourself to be. You can have a great immune system, yet the moment your system in compromised, the lovely little spirochetes come out of hiding and begin attacking. Where once you had energy and strength, you discover the life altering weakness that becomes a part of your life.

    I personally support both antibiotic and herbal tinctures for treating Lyme disease. I also believe that herbals and essential oils, along with exercise and a clean diet play an intricate part in everyday health and in supporting our overall health and any life altering symptoms. For myself, to date, I have had 17 months of antibiotic treatment. Around 6 months in, I started adding additional essential oils to help with some symptoms, and more recently some herbal tinctures combined with antibiotic care. All of this has been done with physician support along with his knowledge of what I was doing, although not all prescribed.

    Fortunately for me, I have a fabulous LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) who has first hand knowledge of this disease and what it can do to a person. It creeps up on you, and all of a sudden you are wondering what the hell ever happened to your vitality of life. The symptoms vary from person to person, with various levels of tolerance. For most, it simply wipes you out and causes extreme pain, weakness, and chronic fatigue, along with a vast variety of other symptoms.

    My list was endless, causing me extreme frustration. My primary care provider and other specialists she sent me to, had me endure various tests with no “real” answers, proving that I was completely healthy, while making me feel as though I was wasting my time looking for answers. The best that they could do was to prescribe pain meds along and other medications (“let’s try this to see if this helps”), yet I refused to take a pharmaceutical remedy without having an answer, so I was seen as a non-compliant patient.

    I finally gave up and accepted that this was my life while accepting that I was simply getting old. I contributed my joint pain to the osteoarthritis and some tears, while the other symptoms I simply could not understand.

    While I was visiting my specialist for another reason, he noticed all the tests that were done on my medical record and asked about my symptoms. As I shared my extensive list of symptoms, he patiently listened and knew what was going on, yet needed for me to confirm his suspicion. I did the IGenix test (very different from the generic test done at the hospitals), which cost me $200 out of pocket with no insurance reimbursement. Within a few weeks the answer arrived guiding my LLMD to choose which treatment I should start on. When my LLMD finally diagnosed me with Chronic Persistent Lyme Disease (an estimate of over 8 years of being undiagnosed with compounding symptoms while the spirochetes multiplied, causing the symptoms to intensify), I was ecstatic. “Finally!! An answer!!” yet this excited relief only lasted for a day. I read the recommended books and literature. The defeat I felt left me crying for days, which was quite unusual for me.

    As I returned to my LLMD to discuss treatment options, I literally cried. I was extremely fatigued, my body was in constant pain and weak, the brain fog was beyond comprehension, my equilibrium was off, and my body felt as though I was being eaten from the inside out. I honestly felt like I was dying. The reality of what was happening to my energy, strength and focus in life turned to frustrating anger. I was literally ticked off.

    Despite the challenges that faced me, I saw that I was quite fortunate in having a LLMD willing to guide me (who told me that I was NOT old), along with a husband who has been supportive beyond what many others experience. I also have the personal drive to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which meant healthy clean living along with daily exercise, regardless of my energy levels continued to be essential.

    Not only is Lyme disease controversial, so are the treatment options. Some support the antibiotic approach of killing off the many bugs that continually multiply; some choose strictly herbals, tinctures and/or essential oils. Personally, despite the controversy, I believe that antibiotics have their place and serve patients best, then as the course of treatment continues and symptoms improve, add in herbals and tinctures.

    In all honesty, I fought using antibiotics and whole heartedly wanted to be treated completely holistically, yet I also knew how sick I had become and I wanted to be well, so I listened intently to what my LLMD shared. With medical courses and healthcare work behind me, what he shared made complete sense to me, although I was apprehensive in supporting Big Pharma with their overpriced options that produced allergic responses and horrible side effects.

    I am currently now pulsing with antibiotics combined with herbal tinctures. In addition I use LLMD supported supplements, with my ability to use the essential oils I see fit. I continue daily detox baths, and my husband provides daily massages each evening to reduce the pain elements of this disease. So far things are going “okay” with pulsing. The non-stop ear ringing, headaches, and a few other symptoms are returning, which I have experienced as a result of when we change treatment. I have also learned to ride the roller coaster of Lyme disease with grace, although there are days that have proven to be a little more challenging than others. Those are the days I look at my husband and ask him “Am I a little cranky today?” I love his honesty in sharing that maybe it is more than “a little” yet he never complains. He has shared that he can always tell when the disease is taking over, as it affects my response to circumstances that would otherwise not bother me.

    When out and about, no one really knows you are ill, hence the “invisible illness” label. You make light of your disease, because if you are asked to explain, it would not only be exhausting for yourself, but others would begin to seek the nearest exit sign. Most of those who become ill, and have enjoyed a life of self-sufficiency and pride, are not seeking sympathy or attention, and desire to be a full participant at work and social events. Their pride causes them to hide from the shame that society has cast on those who are weak. Those with Lyme disease simply want to be understood, helped without making them feel inadequate, and enjoy conversations that do not revolve around their disease.

    My pride was shattered, something I continue to struggle with, resulting in my going to my appointments trying to be positive and not really sharing “everything”. It was my way of trying to overcome a negative with a positive. Yet the day my LLMD noticed the tremors in my hands, he reminded me that in order for him to help, I had to be totally honest with him in reference to my symptoms.

    This is the reason that treatments vary from patient to patient. It is essential for one to have a LLMD or LLND who takes the time to listen while observing what is physically happening during ones appointment time, as well as pertinent questions. By their ability to show compassion with great listening skills, they can then analyze and decide which co-infection to go after in ones course of treatment.

    Lyme Disease really sucks!! The bad days make you feel defeated, yet the good days make one feel like they can conquer this twisting mountain. Eventually, you adapt to the roller-coaster ride of healing, and create the internal determination that you will get through this. But more importantly, you discover how vitally important it is to be caring and loving to oneself. If your body requires a nap, you make time for that nap. If you need a break in life, you take that break. Eventually you find that peaceful balance that is required for healing.

    I have no idea why God has allowed my body to go through this challenge. But I do believe His purpose will eventually be revealed.

    “May compassion be your strength and love be your sword” – Laura D. Field

    Laura – Blogger and paid Freelance writer

    Potpourri of Health www.potpourriofhealth.com
    Freelance writer at www.reflectivetapestryoflife.com
    Seamstress consultant at www.davinadawnsewing.com