For eight months I followed his protocols taking the antibiotics and microbial homeopathic remedies, herbs, vitamins and mineral supplements he prescribed. I also did a lot for myself in terms of energy healing and diet changes – more on that later.
My LLMD believes that even thought I was recently diagnosed, I was not recently infected. It appears that I had Chronic Lyme for at least seven years. That makes total sense to me, considering that was when I was first diagnosed with adrenal fatigue.
Healing Lyme disease challenged me in ways no other illness had. I had already healed uterine fibroids and a breast lump through natural methods, but Lyme was a whole different animal.
Lyme forced me to make lots of changes to my lifestyle. I was more than willing to do whatever it took to beat this thing. I intuitively knew from the start that if I could beat Lyme, the other issues I had previously been diagnosed with would collapse and that is exactly what happened. My doctor has already reduced my thyroid medication and bio-identical hormone dosages.
Lyme is an unbelievably tricky disease. When antibiotics are introduced the Lyme bacteria dives deeper within the tissues, muscles, bones, brain, and nerves where it mutates and lays dormant in biofilm. This biofilm is like a lead box that is impenetrable. That is why it is imperative to work with a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor who is specifically trained in how to combat this freaking monster of a disease.
As I stated in previous posts, Lyme symptoms are broad and affect every system of the body. Lyme symptoms change daily and sometimes hourly. It might feel like something is crawling around under your skin, because it is! Last week your neck might have been stiff and achy, tomorrow your leg might throb from nerve pain and next week your eyesight might be blurred. Every day with Lyme is an adventure.
What I learned in this healing process might help you, so I have listed them in order of importance:
- Find a good Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD). LLMD’s are specially trained in the treatment of Lyme and the 8-10 co-infections that come along for the ride. They will offer treatments that are highly effective in treating this beatch of a disease. Antibiotics alone will not pierce the biofilm and kill the Lyme that is hiding. A good LLMD can help you heal.A 30 day course of Doxycycline alone will not cure Lyme. It will just mutate and hide out in biofilm for years. Lyme can lay dormant, continuing to grow in the body. If not treated properly Lyme can resurface as chronic illnesses like Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or one of many other diseases which may in reality be misdiagnosed Chronic Lyme.
- Eat clean. Eating clean means eliminating all sugar, all grains, all dairy, all soy, certain nuts, and all night shade vegetables. I basically follow the Autoimmune Paleo Diet.What you ingest feeds the disease!! Lyme bacteria, cancer, all bacteria and viruses LOVE sugar, they thrive on it. To heal any disease, it is imperative to eat clean.Eating organic vegetables and fruits, grass fed beef, free range chicken, etc. is important. It costs more, but I find the vibrant health benefits worth it.Eating clean puts you in control of your health and healing process. My sweetheart is 56 and was an insulin dependent diabetic for 35 years. Nine months ago he started eating clean. Seven months into his new healthy eating habits, he stopped taking insulin and blood pressure medication. Read that again. He stopped taking insulin, that’s after his doctor telling him over 35 years ago that his pancreas wasn’t working properly and he would be insulin dependent for life!You can do this! I know it’s daunting. Hey, I love Indian food, but can’t have it because of the dairy, peppers, eggplant, potatoes and spices in it. Sometimes we have to make tough adjustments for our health.My LLMD said most people take years to get to the point I am today. He attributed my quick healing from Lyme to my clean diet, energy work and positive attitude. I am living proof that the body can heal through healthy clean eating.Now, with all that said. I have to make a humungous confession. Don’t tell anyone, please. Here goes, (making the sign of the cross) Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I cheated on the ‘no sugar’ portion of the diet. I love homemade brownies and I thought that I could get away with brownies made with stevia and unsweetened cocoa. The trouble was that I used semi-sweet chocolate morsels and gluten free flour. When I told my LLMD about my beloved brownies, he told me that even the tiniest bit of sugar feeds the Lyme and the co-infection bacteria. He added, “Osteoarthritis is diabetes of the bones which is fed by sugar consumption. Stop the sugar and you will feel pain free.”I had already made so many healthy changes, I thought I had the right to have one delicious little treat. I was torn because as much as I wanted the brownies, I also wanted to be pain free. I choose to (albeit reluctantly) let them go. I need have a little ceremony – a brownie funeral. After all it’s what we do when someone we love so much passes out of our life. And, oh baby did I love those brownies.
- I found detoxing a MUST to stay ahead of Herxheimer Reaction (Lyme die-off). Here is what I did and if you have Lyme you might want to try these, too.
- Daily Epsom salt baths. I sometimes needed to take two Epsom salt baths a day.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. I drank an 8 ounce glass of water with 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar. This is a miracle health tonic with tons of benefits. I used it to detox and I will continue it for the rest of my life. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar is the best as it has the “Mother”. www.BraggACV.com Try it! If you don’t like the taste, you can add a drop or two of liquid stevia.
- Lemon juice. I drink fresh lemon in water which also helps balance pH.
- Activated Charcoal as needed to remove toxins from the Lyme die-off. Make sure you wait 2-3 hours before or after taking supplements, medications or food.
- Drink lots of water to flush the toxins. Another confession, I was bad about this, but have learned my lesson.
- Magnesium, I use Natural Vitality brand “Natural Calm”. I mix 1-2 teaspoons in hot water and drink it before bed. Magnesium helps with muscle spasms, pain, and relaxes the body for improved sleep. Note: Be careful to slowly add the hot water as it will fizzle and overflow your cup.
- Arnica Montana homeopathic pills to reduce pain.
- Natural analgesic remedies and essential oils applied to the areas of pain.
- Rash remedy: I created a rash remedy from essential oils that works great to relieve itching.
Before I end this post, I want to address the issue of compassion for those suffering from chronic illness. Eighteen years ago, I worked at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and had read about fatigue, and the other debilitating symptoms of MS. Not until I experienced them myself did I really understand fully what someone with chronic illness has to deal with. My compassion quota increased ten thousand fold because of my experience with Lyme and as a result I stopped judging people based on how they looked. During the height of my treatment I experienced horrible chronic pain every day, all over my body. One day someone told me I looked great. It was a nice compliment, but I wanted to scream, “You don’t get it, I have Lyme and feel like shit warmed up! A corpse laid out in the coffin looks great, too, but that doesn’t mean it feels well, or has the energy to get up!” I knew they didn’t mean any harm, so I stayed quiet and smiled.
There were days that I was afraid I would never feel any better and that it was all downhill from here. One day I stood in the kitchen and yelled at my body, “Body listen up! Either get better or die! I’m sick of this shit!” I took waking up the next morning as positive sign that I would heal and feel better again.
Folks with chronic illness may look perfectly healthy, but don’t judge a book by its cover, appearances are not always accurate. When a person with chronic illness says they’re trying, but it doesn’t look like it to you, believe them. They are likely doing the best they can.
Next time I will discuss the positive benefits of energy work and positive attitude in overcoming Lyme disease.
To read the other blog posts in this series click on the links below: