After a number of years of complaining to my physicians about pain, migraines, breathing difficulty, and various neurological concerns I finally got to the point where I simply decided it was time to accept my age. I could no longer pretend to be 26 when my body was 54. Oh well, David and I just found ways to humor the situation. He became my strength when my body and mind were weak. I became quite good at hiding how I was really feeling to others.
In addition, I had MRI’s showing tears in joints and lower back issues. I simply had an answer for most of the pain. The forgetfulness, well our girls found it to be hysterical, although at times annoying. I quickly adapted to writing notes and lists in order to not forget. My passion for sewing for others was quickly coming to an end, when I realized how tired I would be the moment the client would leave.
So, as I sat in my specialists office, reviewing my compound hormone therapy and chronic pain issues, he was at the same time reviewing many of the tests that I had done with my PCP and specialists that I had seen. After asking various questions, he shared that although he was not 100% certain, he was quite confident that I had Lyme disease.
Well, that was one thing to make me stop mid-sentence. Lyme had never crossed my mind. Plus, the neurologist tested me for this, twice!! And I never had the classic tell-tale signs of being bitten by a tick. Being a Lyme specialist and having had Lyme himself, he requested that I take a test that was not covered by the insurance, through IGenix, meaning I would need to find $200 to send with the blood work. Within a week, the test was done, and I was in the “wait” mode, yet not really all that concerned. I honestly thought that everything would return normal and I would continue on, accepting there was no real explanation, and continue to do my best in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
A month had not even passed when I received a message from my LLMD that I indeed had Lyme and that I needed to see him as soon as possible to start treatment. In addition, I was asked to read “Cure Unknown” by Pamela Weintraub, watch the video “Under Our Skin” as well as check out the web-site www.ilads.org to start obtaining some information.
By the time I arrived in his office, I was overrun with guilt in not knowing or even thinking it could be Lyme, and feeling frustrated that specialists were not able to provide answers or relief because they did not know. Prior to arriving at my appointment to discuss and start treatment, I read his recommended sources as well as all the books I could find at our local library. I reviewed the list of potential symptoms and made a list of what I experienced everyday of my life. After all the reading I had done, and listing out the symptoms, I looked over at my husband and shared with him how surreal this was.
There is no doubt, that to receive the news that I indeed had Chronic Persistent Lyme disease for about 7 – 8 years, was overwhelming. The Western blot testing even proved to be positive by the CDC’s standards. Despite my delight in having an answer, I was equally scared of what I now had to face. I was hopeful that treatment could be done naturally, but as it was further explained, the disease is a bacteria that grows within our body, and finds places to hide. The antibiotics were necessary to kill the bacteria and needed to be changed in order to attack them effectively.
Treatment provides no promise of eradicating the disease within the body. What it will do, however, is kill off most of the bacteria (although we hope that it will kill all of it), and reduce the symptoms it has caused.
In addition, the Lyme bacterium affects every person differently. Some have mild symptoms, while others have such a list that it makes them completely disabled. What many outsiders do not understand is that although we might look normal and healthy on the outside, our bodies are screaming from within due to the various symptoms we face.
What About Nutrition:
Although my LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) is not stringent on the need to avoid particular foods, he does recommend limiting the foods that can complicate the healing. So, with already have a gluten, milk and egg free diet, and a reduction in processed sugars (which I had already started a few months earlier), I could basically continue to eat the way I had been doing. All that was requested is that if I craved the sugary treats, to limit them as he wanted me to push the fruits and vegetables.
In addition to the antibiotics and ointments, I consume 2500-3000 cc of water a day, 4-8 oz. of Kombucha, and 2-4 oz. of Kefir, along with a high concentrate of probiotics. This is all in an effort to flush out toxins and keep yeast at bay. I also take a few supplements, such as Vit D3, Vit C, Fish oils, Vit B12, Biotin, DIM, turmeric, and Serene with Theanine.
Lyme might have the ability to weaken my body, but I will fight that it not weaken my spirit.
For those who have Lyme, I understand and pray for each of us daily. For those who do not understand this disease, I ask that you not judge what you do not understand. In all diseases and disabilities, compassion is what makes our society strong.
Peace and Faith,