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Monday, December 28, 2015

Lyme Disease and Divorce

Does Lyme disease cause divorce?  It can certainly be a contributing factor.  I am sure that many have read about Avril Lavine and Yolanda Foster's much publicized divorces following their battle with Lyme disease.  Lyme disease seems to be a deal-breaker for many.

Sometimes the person who is battling Lyme disease is the one who chooses to end the relationship. Relationships are work.  A person with an illness like Lyme may not feel like participating in activities that they previously enjoyed, so it may just be better to be alone.  Yolanda Foster hinted at this on one of her blog posts.  I get it!  You need extra sleep that can be hard to get with a partner who watches TV in bed or snores all night.  Your diet needs to be restricted, and sometimes you are just too exhausted to fix a dinner at all and want to head straight to bed, instead of arguing over who fixes dinner and cleans up the kitchen. Your partner is too warm and wants the thermostat turned down, and you are cold at 71 degrees.  Being on your own with Lyme disease can be rough and lonely at times, but it  may mean less stress and a faster recovery.  So, turn off that cell phone and computer and sleep until noon on Saturday if it suits you!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Cheap, Effective, and Available Cure From The Grocery Store?

I have recently read two articles about a study that claims that some types of Stevia may offer an effective treatment for Lyme disease.  I sure hope that this is true, for those who are still struggling. It certainly can't hurt to try this one.  Hopefully, you already have this on your shelf at home.  Anyone already try this with success?  I couldn't wait to post this on my blog:

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=cb0c183a-9d7b-4062-8ff7-09896af66196&c&ch

http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=22114


Let's hope that this is our answer and we can make Lyme and co-infections a thing of the past as we ring in the New Year!


Friday, December 25, 2015

Nutrition and Lyme Disease

Sometimes I wish that I had a licensed dietitian or nutritionist in my house to prepare all of my meals. Diet is perhaps the most important part of the Lyme disease solution. Lucky for me, my Lyme literate doctor knew a lot about the importance of food for treating Lyme disease.  First of all, my doctor said to cut out all sugar.  No cokes, diet cokes, sweet tea, candy, sugar sweetened cough drops, cookies, cakes, pancakes, donuts, pastries, puddings, and treats.  Nothing white, (as in starches) is allowed because starches convert to sugar in the gut and bloodstream.  This means that a person fighting Lyme shouldn't eat bread, noodles, pasta, rice, potatoes, dumplings, or anything made from flour.  I later realized that bananas are high in carbohydrates and sugars. I thought that I was eating healthy by making banana smoothies.  No wonder that I did not loose any weight on this strict diet and I continued to experience inflammation in my joints.  I now make the smoothies with organic yogurt, coconut milk, and fresh or frozen fruit.  Some doctors say to eliminate all dairy products as well.  I switched to coconut milk.  My doctor said that eating yogurt is a must, even though it is dairy, because it contains good bacteria and protein that will help to prevent a yeast infection caused by taking antibiotics. Try to use the organic kind that is unflavored and add your own fruit. Some people think that a candida infection can actually be responsible for a large part of the joint pain and swelling, so eliminating that can be half the battle.  My doctor also recommended drinking something called kefir, which is like a liquid yogurt.   You can buy unflavored or flavored at most grocery stores, including Walmart and Kroger in my area.

Add to this, lots of fruits and vegetables to round out your diet.  Buy organic when possible, because pesticides will only prevent your recovery. Eat at least one leafy green salad a day.  The chlorophyll in the greens will help flush away toxins released by the bacteria as they die off and provide necessary fiber, minerals,  and vitamins.  I always feel better after eating a salad, and I do love salad, so this part of the diet was easy.

For protein, chicken breast, turkey meat, beans, fish, and nuts are allowed.  Avoid red meats, if possible.

Omega 3 oils are important for maintaining neurological functions and lowering inflammation in your body.  Eating a handful of walnuts as a snack, or sprinkling them on salads, cereal, or in yogurt is a tasty way to sneak some into your diet.  They can be expensive, so I make a special trip to Aldi's where I get a pound for around $6.99 a pound.  Wild caught salmon is also a good source of omega 3 oils.

Maintaining a gluten and wheat-free diet can be difficult, especially around holidays.  More stores are carrying gluten free products.  Gluten- free products can be expensive, but I have found lots of mixes for breads, muffins, pancakes, and other products at Aldi's, if you have one in your area.  I don't shop there often, but it can be worth a special trip there once a month or so to pick up a few of these items. They don't take credit cards, only cash.  You have to bring your own reusable grocery bags, so plan ahead.

I also took a tablespoon of Barleen's flavored fish oil every day to help lower inflammation in my body.  This helped, little by little, to reduce swelling in my legs and feet and reduce pain in my joints. They make lemon and Key lime pie flavor. (my favorite)  Again, this is expensive, but well worth it. The Vitamin Shoppe sometimes has this on sale, but I have seen it other places.  It must be kept in the refrigerator.

Organic coconut oil is also something that can help lower inflammation and contains monolaurin, which is a natural antibiotic.  A tablespoon a day can be added to smoothies, yogurt, or stirred into coffee.  It can also be used in cooking, along with olive oil.  These two oils contain the good kinds of fats that we actually need in our diet.

While we are on the subject of fats, nutritionists have decided that it is better to consume real butter than margarine.  I have made the switch, even though it is dairy.  I use butter for cooking some things.  I also like the butter-like spreads that are made from olive oil.

Drink lots of pure water.  Tea, coffee, and juices are allowed, as long as they do not contain sugar. Alcohol is prohibited because it converts to sugar in your blood stream.

If you live with other people, this can be a difficult diet to stick with on a daily basis.  When dining out, order a salad with no croutons, or the vegetable plate and water with a lemon wedge.  Just explain to people who question that you are on a special diet for Lyme.  They will understand.

Just remember that this Lyme disease is only temporary, even though it may take a few years to resolve.  Be positive, and build some healthier eating habits along the way that you can pass on to your spouse or children.  You will get better by making some small adjustments.

Here is a recipe that is perfect for combating Lyme disease from Take Back Your Health.  Pair this with a leafy green salad:

http://clubtbyh.com/2015/12/14/rosemary-white-bean-soup/


A beverage to fight Lyme disease and boost immunity:
http://healthycures.org/how-to-make-cinnamon-coconut-water-kefir

Lavender lemonade from one of my favorite web sites, Real Farmcacy.  They have tips on nutrition and articles on Lyme disease:
http://www.realfarmacy.com/make-lavender-lemonade-get-rid-headaches-anxiety/

Here is an article about 10 foods that should be included in your diet:
http://newhealthremedies.org/10-foods-you-should-be-eating-if-youre-battling-lyme-disease/

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Babesia


If you think that you have Babesia, check out this symptom list:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153684301854534&set=gm.1123853670958951&type=3&theater

Co-infections make Lyme disease difficult to treat.  You won't feel better, if the co-infections are not treated. Share this symptom list with your doctor.It is possible to have contracted Babesia, and not have Lyme disease.  This is an infection that is similar to malaria. If your symptoms match the chart above, consult your doctor for testing for Babesia.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

If You Lack Prescription Insurance, What Can You Do? There is hope!

I read the article below, which describes a way to make your own penicillin.  At the very least, it would be an interesting science experiment.  For someone who does not have access to a clinic or sympathetic doctor, it could be a life saver.

http://www.realfarmacy.com/homemade-penicillin/

Eleven Natural Antibiotics:
I agree with everything on this poster, except colloidal
silver.  It can have some serious and irreversible
side-effects so I would never use that.


The link below offers a way to relieve pain without medicine.  You can use your body's own pressure points and a clothes pin to help with the discomfort associated with Lyme disease.  I haven't tried this technique myself, but as soon as I can get a clothes pin, I will see if it works for some sinus issues.

http://www.littlethings.com/clothespin-ear-reflexology/?utm_source=innohm&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=lifehacks

The effectiveness of Banderol and Samento purportedly out perform doxycycline during in vitro studies:

http://www.townsendletter.com/July2010/sapi0710.html

Herbals, supplements, and other ideas for curing Lyme disease:
http://topthings2know.com/natural-strategies-to-cure-lyme-disease/

This might be worth a try.

http://healthycures.org/honey-ginger-kill-superbugs-better-pharmaceutical-meds/

Other herbal remedies:
http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/black-seed-remedy-everything-death

Folk remedies and natural antibiotics:
http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com/12-natural-antibiotics-that-our-ancestors-used-instead-of-pills.html

Natural pain relief without pills:
http://www.viralalternativenews.com/2015/12/press-these-points-on-your-palm-to.html

Remember the old joke, "Pull my finger, and see what happens."  LOL I made you laugh! Well, apparently, pressing on different parts of your fingers can actually relieve pain and get you smiling again, at least temporarily.  For more information, read the link below:
http://healthycures.org/press-a-finger-and-your-back-pain-is-gone-see-what-happens-when-
you-press-your-other-fingers/


One of my favorite sources of herbal medicines and supplements is Swanson Health Care Products. They carry a wide range of herbals, oils, and supplements at reasonable prices.  Sign up for their mailing list for coupons and discounts.  They often include coupons in your order box for the next time.  I don't get paid for an endorsement here, but I am just trying to help others who cannot afford medication or do not have access to health coverage.  I am not giving medical advice and I am not a medical professional.  Do your research and watch out for drug interactions with herbals.  Please consult your licensed professional for medical advice.

I had trouble taking so many pills and supplements.  My stomach became very upset because I was taking up to 40 pills and supplements a day.  I mentioned this to my doctor and she said that I could cut back.  I cut back my vitamin D, supplements, and iodine to once or twice a week, and cut some others to every other day.  This really helped with the stomach pain and burning caused by taking too many pills at once.

There is something else that you can do to treat your Lyme disease that is free.  Try to get plenty of sleep.  I know that this can be difficult with Lyme disease.  Sometimes, the pain is so great, that you cannot rest at night.  And the pain is often worse at night.  Sleep whenever and where ever you can.  Take naps.  It all counts.  Sleep is one of the way our bodies repair and heal.

Good luck to you and your family in this journey of Lyme disease.  I am living proof that one can get better.  I consider this to be a miracle.  God bless my caring Lyme physician and her Physician's Assistant.  Without those two wonderful, compassionate women, I do not think that I would be here!



Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bartonella

Why are so many Lyme patients not improving, even with antibiotics?  I have wondered this many times.  After reading countless blogs, articles, and chat rooms, I have come to the conclusion that it is because we have more than one infection attacking us.  The immune system becomes overwhelmed and basically shuts down.

When my doctor explained to me that I probably had 2 co-infections in addition to Lyme, I went into immediate denial.  I just could not accept it.  It made me seem like a hypochondriac to have three diseases at once.  I told no one at first.

After reading about co-infections of Bartonella and Babesia, which I'd never heard of, my symptoms started to make sense.  There were too many matching symptoms for it not to be true.  I finally accepted my diagnosis and decided that the only way to get better was to take a three-pronged approach at a cure.

http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?B1=FBLLIBART&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=facebook_lyme_article&libid=%2022342

After reading the article below, I realized that I did have co-infections.  Hope this link helps someone else:

http://vitalplan.com/blog/understanding-bartonella

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Congestion With Lyme Disease

During my latest treatment, I have had an ear ache, swollen lymph nodes behind my ear, congestion, and sore throat.  Is this a new manifestation of Lyme, Bartonella, or Babesia?  I have no way of knowing the answer to that question, but I found a way to help the congestion and coughing through an old folk remedy:\

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2013/12/02/vicks-on-the-soles-of-your-feet-is-better-than-diamonds-on-the-soles-of-your-shoes/

I have also read about putting raw onions in your socks over night to get relief from infections.  I asked a friend who is a bio-medical chemist, why this might work.  He said that it most likely is because the onions contain sulfur, which could be absorbed through your feet.

I am intrigued by folk remedies that seem to work as well as prescription medicine.  Most cost very little and are usually cures that someone might already have around the house.  I am sure that there are other folk remedies that Lyme patients could recommend.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Help From Out Of Nowhere

Absinthe Drinkers by Edgar Degas Poster
The Absinthe Drinker, by Edgar Degas

I have been getting discouraged lately about my recovery from Lyme disease.  I have reached a plateau where I am not making any progress.  I am 95% better than I was a year ago and yet still not well enough to fully participate in life.  I can't hear because of tinnitus.  I can't walk very far or run because of continual swelling of my knees and thighs.  I still have a burning sensation on the bottom of my feet when I exert myself physically.  I want to go back to normal.  I want to be able to sit cross legged around a camp fire or do a child's pose in a yoga class.  I want to have the energy to complete a project without having to rest the next day.  I want to be able to make the three hour drive to my home town to see family without my knees locking up afterward. Sigh.  I have resigned myself to the fact that I may never be able to do those kinds of things again.

My friend Tom came over to visit this past Saturday.  It was quite late at night, and Tom was thinking about heading home.  His phone rang.  It was a friend from his Catholic elementary school in Evansville, Indiana.  He was at a reunion and wondered why Tom did not attend?  After spending a few minutes catching up with their lives, Tom asked him a question: "Didn't he say, a few years ago, that he had contracted Lyme disease?"  Tom's friend said, "Yes, that is true."  Tom asked him how he was able to beat it.  He spelled out his protocol in great detail.  He was quite ill for 6 years.  Like most, he was misdiagnosed for a long time.  He went to many doctors.  He took several types of antibiotics, but nothing worked.  He was completely bed-ridden for about a year.

Finally, an Amish man told him what to do. He had to get some food grade hydrogen peroxide, milk thistle extract, and distilled water. He had to start out with 1 drop of food grade hydrogen peroxide into the water and drink it.  Increase the amount of drops by one each day, until you get to 15 drops.  At this point, he said, that he could feel a tingling sensation in his hands and feet as though the spirochetes felt as though they were trying to escape his body.  He said to take one milk thistle extract pill a day to eliminate toxins from the liver.  He also said to not eat meat.  Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit instead.  In 5 weeks, he was back to normal, as though nothing ever happened.

I have heard of this treatment before, but I thought that it sounded like voodoo medicine or a scam when I read about it on the internet. But Tom's friend doesn't know me, and he isn't selling any of these products. He'd have no reasons to make up stories about a cure.

I got on the internet immediately and ordered some food-grade hydrogen peroxide. It costs 12.95 and shipping is free. I am going to try it as soon as it arrives.  I found some of the milk thistle extract locally.  It seems to be in every pharmacy.  I was so excited by that phone call, I could not sleep.  We shall see...

Well, I feel the need to include a disclaimer here.  This blog is for story-telling purposes only.  I am not here to dispense medical advice to anyone.  I know of no cure for Lyme disease.  Like others with Lyme disease, I am on a journey and searching for answers.

A video about Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N18_YSRDCOQ


A link to another blog with helpful suggestions to beat Lyme:
https://kimmiecakeskickslyme.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/common-abnormalities-found-in-people-with-lyme-disease/

Did Vincent Van Gogh Have Lyme Disease?



Dr. Gachet (second version), 1890
  Portrait of Dr. Gachet.jpg
Dr. Gachet (first version), 1890

Did Vincent van Gogh Have Lyme Disease?

As I struggle to overcome tinnitus that comes with Lyme disease,  I recalled reading in college that the famous Post-Impressionist, van Gogh, also suffered from the same ringing sensation.  He supposedly cut off part of his ear in frustration and in an attempt to stop the noise.  It was well documented in his letters that he wrote to his brother Theo, that he was tormented by the never-ending noise of tinnitus. He actually had the mental capacity  and insight to seek out help for his illness, while few with an actual mental illness have the self-awareness and insight to do so. Dr. Gachet, who treated him after his release from an asylum, became a personal friend.  He made two paintings of  Dr. Gachet with a Foxglove plant which was an herbal remedy that contained digitalis. The tinnitus may have even led to the eventual suicide that ended his life.

 There were no antibiotics in Vincent's day and age to treat any bacterial infections.  Vincent and others often used herbal remedies or alcohol to treat illness and deaden pain.  Vincent was known to drink absinthe (made from the plant Artemesia which also is used to treat Lyme disease: Artemisinin) during tumultuous times in his life.  He had fits, or seizures, which many who have Lyme and co-infections of Babesia and Bartonella do suffer.  He also islolated himself, like many who have Lyme.

Many doctors and scientists now think that Lyme disease is not a new illness.  It have been around for thousands of years.  It was only discovered recently in the 1980s.  It has been masquerading for years as other diseases that can cripple and kill. Lyme has been called many other things, including mental illness, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, ALS, Fibromyalgia, Alzheimer's, the list goes on.

It is no secret that a high percentage of people with Lyme disease will die, not from the disease itself, but from depression and suicide.  Lyme disease can ruin someone financially, end careers, destroy relationships, alienate, and isolate people.  It is no wonder that many feel despair.

I am going to take a leap and propose that perhaps that Vincent felt this way, too, despite his considerable talent and financial and emotional support from his beloved brother,Theo. I am connecting some dots here that are circumstantial in nature and could never be proven, but make an interesting theory that could explain his long bouts with depression and stays in sanitariums.  I realize that my evidence is flimsy, at best.  But my explanation for what happened in his life, actually makes more sense than some of the history books that I have read, movies that I have seen, and autobiographies that have been written about this tormented artist.

Just suppose, that it was actually Lyme disease that was causing Vincent's illness?  How frustrating for him to have an illness with no name and no treatment! I often wonder how Vincent's life story would have been different if he had chosen life instead? What if he could have been treated in some way? What additional paintings would he have painted?  Would his doctor have been able to help him overcome Lyme disease with herbal medicines?  Would he have eventually found the love and family that he desired?  Would he have found fame for his art in his own lifetime?


Portrait of a clean shaven man wearing a furry winter hat and smoking a pipe; facing to the right with a bandaged right ear
Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait With Bandage, 1889

If you are, like Vincent, feeling despondent and considering suicide, please reach out to a fellow Lymie, a loved one, someone at a suicide prevention hotline.  You still have talents and gifts to offer this world and you are not alone!

1 (800) 273-8255 Suicide prevention hotline

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Injuries and Lyme Disease

Shortly after contracting Lyme disease, I fell and broke my arm.  I was having trouble walking at the time due to swollen knees, ankles, thighs, and feet.  I would also get dizzy without warning.  One day I had to walk a long way in the rain and slipped on a wet sidewalk.  I slipped and broke my arm.  I had to wear a cast and a sling.  After a few weeks, I had to do physical therapy.  For some reason, I could not straighten or bend my arm, no matter how much I exercised it.  Every night, new scar tissue seemed to form when I slept.  I finally accepted that it would never be the same.  I concentrated on recovering from Lyme disease.  Then little by little, as the antibiotics started to work, my arm did recover its range of motion. My broken arm had taken two years to recover.

At my last follow up appointment, I mentioned to my doctor, that my broken arm was recovering, along with the Lyme disease.  I told my doctor that I thought that the Lyme disease had kept my arm from recovering in a timely fashion.  She said, "Yes, I have had many patients complain about the same thing.  Lyme disease loves to attack scar tissue.  Patients say that old injuries will be inflamed by Lyme disease."  Joints that have wear and tear from running, work, or repeated use will be attacked by Lyme.  For this reason, my doctor advised not to try to exercise at all while being treated for Lyme disease.  Rest, elevation, and plenty of sleep is the protocol for Lyme.  Walking, jogging, running, and work will just cause flare ups of inflammation.  Once the Lyme disease is over, there will be time to recover lost muscle tone.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Your Ears and Lyme Disease



Ring, ring, ring!  No it isn't your phone. It's Lyme disease calling.  As if the joint pain, swelling, and fatigue weren't enough, tinnitus often accompanies other Lyme symptoms.  Sometimes it will go away with antibiotic treatment.  I have symptoms of tinnitus that fluctuate in volume and intensity.  Occasionally, the symptoms will disappear completely for a day or a few hours.  Sometimes it will only be in one ear, but most days it is both ears.  I am trying an herbal that has helped some with this problem.  I have also read that zinc supplements often help.  For some reason, my tinnitus seems to go away for a short time just after drinking coffee.  I don't know if it is the caffeine or the warmth of the coffee that offers temporary relief.  So far, nothing that I have tried is offering permanent cure.

Here is an article related to tinnitus that may help:

http://sinusitisblog.com/2014/09/mystery-lyme-disease/

Aa link to a Facebook page that has Yoga poses for tinnitus, herbal remedies, oils, and other tips for curing tinnitus is below.

https://www.facebook.com/Help-Each-Other-Tinnitus-1536106870000040/timeline/

How to improve hearing loss and tinnitus symptoms:

http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com/these-natural-remedies-will-improve-your-hearing/

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Your Spleen and Lyme Disease

One of the first symptoms that I had with Lyme disease, is a large cyst on my spleen.  (called a splenic cyst) At the time, I did not know that this was being caused by Lyme disease.  I had gone to several doctors complaining of a sore and stiff neck and a frozen shoulder.  I became desperate for relief, so I decided to see if a local chiropractor could help me with this condition.  He took some x-rays and discovered a cyst on my spleen.  I asked every doctor if the cyst on my spleen and my other symptoms could be related.  Every doctor said, "No, and we don't treat those.  They will disappear on their own."

Well, I am here to tell you that Lyme disease does cause cysts and enlarged spleens.  It is a very common problem for those with Lyme disease.  The lymph system, the spleen, and lymph nodes are a key part of the immune system.  This can become disrupted by Lyme disease.  Many who have Lyme, do have this same condition.  The spleen is part of your lymph system.  It acts as a filter for bacteria.  Guess what is probably inside of that cyst?

I had other cysts form throughout my body.  I also had enlarged lymph nodes, and some have still not resolved.  These swollen nodes are an indication of a lingering infection.  They can cause fatigue.

Swollen lymph nodes and poor lymph fluid drainage seems to be a common complaint for many Lyme patients, including myself.  It may account for some of the swelling, pain, and a sudden weight gain that I experienced with this disease.  My doctor recommended getting a rebounder or mini-trampoline for pushing the fluid out of my legs.  I also went to a massage therapist for a Lymphatic massage.  As frustrating as this problem is, it will eventually go away and limbs will return to their normal dimensions.

Just got my latest blood test from the Lyme doctor and it indicates that my lymph# is 0.9.  I am not sure what that indicates.  I will have to ask at the next appointment.  It does say that normal is 1.0-4.8.  It says that it is a low number.  I am not sure of the significance of that figure.  Here is one possible explanation, according to HealthMD.com:

Causes of Low Lymphocyte Count

There are a number of factors that can contribute to a low lymphocyte count. The causes can be classified into general causes, acquired causes, or inherited causes.

General Causes

  • The body fails to produce an adequate number of lymphocytes.
  • The body produces a sufficient number of lymphocytes, but they are destroyed.
  • The lymphocytes become trapped in the spleen or lymph nodes.

Acquired Causes

The acquired causes are related to underlying medical conditions or responses to medical treatments. Some examples of acquired causes are:
  • infectious diseases
  • autoimmune disorders
  • steroid therapy
  • blood cancers and blood diseases
  • radiation/chemotherapy

Inherited Causes

The inherited causes are related to defects in the genes that play a role in lymphocyte development. Some key examples of these diseases are:
  • DiGeorge anomaly
  • Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome
  • Severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome
  • Ataxia-telangiectasia

Some other tips for endema or fluid retention:



Burdock root is a diuretic, and can help you eliminate fluid if you have edema. You can drink it as a tea for a milder effect. If you cool the tea, and apply it topically with a compress, it helps with psoriasis, eczema or other skin irritations. 

I recently found an article that spells out the connection to enlarged spleens and Lyme disease.  I am including a link to the article here:

http://lyme.ehoow.org/?p=107

Chinese pressure points for lymph drainage:
http://healthycures.org/keep-pressing-this-point-for-2-minutes

How to drain your lymph system:
http://healthywildandfree.com/10-ways-to-empty-your-lymphatic-system-from-toxins-causing-you-to-feel-sick-fat-and-weak-immunity/#sthash.JmMvD1eB.dpbs

How to give yourself a lymphatic massage:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA-wi0d7-Ro

https://www.facebook.com/815902161806363/photos/a.815999451796634.1073741828.815902161806363/943028699093708/?type=1&theater

Monday, July 20, 2015

Anti-Malarials



At what I thought would be my last visit to the Lyme disease specialist, I was told that my lingering symptoms are not due to Lyme disease, but due to a type of malaria called babesia that is carried by ticks.  I am 90% well at this point.  I feel almost normal.  The lingering symptoms are: some mild joint pain, (no more swelling) tinnitis in both ears, thrush, dry mouth, and night sweats with vivid dreams.  I am taking an antimalarial, along with a cocktail of herbals, probiotics, and anti-fungals.

A new symptom that has popped up recently was purpura on one of my wrists.  I googled searched purpura+Lyme disease to see if anything came up, and sure enough it did.  There must be others out there experiencing this symptom with Lyme disease.  In case you have never heard of it, purpura are purplish-red spots appearing on skin or mucus membranes anywhere on the body.  These spots are actually tiny, broken blood vessels just below the skin.  My google search indicated that these spots could be the result of a bacterial infection, low platelet counts, or they could be caused from medication side effects.  They could also be a sign of another serious disease.  If you have these spots, definitely bring them to the attention of your doctor so that you can rule out something more serious.  My doctor is taking the precaution of retesting my platelet count, which was normal at the last office visit.  Fortunately, these spots are temporary, and have already decided to fade away on their own.

I never thought that I would get Lyme disease and I never thought that I could get something like malaria (babesia) living in the United States.  Going through Lyme disease and the 2 co-infections that came with it definitely has been a learning experience for me.  I won't need to visit the doctor for another 16 weeks.  Hopefully, that will be my last visit.  At that point, I will have been in treatment for just over a year, and living with this illness for over 2 years.

Below is a link to a Good Housekeeping magazine article that parallels my own experiences with Lyme disease and the struggle to get properly diagnosed:

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/a33353/chronic-lyme-nearly-ruined-my-life/?src=spr_FBPAGE&spr_id=1443_209788223

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Travel Charity For Chronic or Terminal Illness


If you need to travel in order to receive treatment for your Lyme disease, the folks at Roses From Linda may be able to help.  It is a travel charity that I learned about while watching the Steve Harvey show.  I was lucky enough to have a Lyme disease doctor who was 1/2 an hour from my home.  Not everyone is that lucky.  Lyme disease doctors are few and far between.  Even if you have one near your house, it may take a year or more to see someone locally.  (My Lyme doctor is so busy, she books a year in advance and sees patients from far and wide.)  It may necessitate traveling to someone in a distant state in order to get in to see the doctor in a timely fashion.  With Lyme disease, it is important to receive treatment quickly before the damage to joints, tendons, and nerves becomes permanent.  If you don't have the money to travel, you may be eligible for assistance, so don't wait!

If you want to make a donation to Roses From Linda in memory of someone who has lost their battle with chronic illness such as Lyme disease, you may contribute cash or frequent flyer miles.

For help with travel expenses, treatment, or equipment click on the link below:

http://www.rosesfromlinda.org/

Help with expenses related to a chronic illness, including medical, travel expenses, and housing:
http://www.indystar.com/story/life/2015/12/26/giving-back/77789342/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=



Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rebuilding After Lyme Disease

After a disease like Lyme is over, one needs to begin rebuilding.  There is so much collateral damage that has occurred in its wake. Where to begin?  I'd like to start by making a list of some of the damage.


  • rebuild lost muscle tone
  • regrow hair
  • catch up on sleep
  • loose/gain weight, depending on the individual
  • regain self-confidence
  • rebuild relationships/friendships
  • become a productive person at home/work
  • rebuild a positive, hopeful attitude about life
I am sure that there are other things that I am forgetting.  The list of things that I need to work on isn't only physical, it's mental, social, financial, and emotional.  Lyme disease is isolating and depressing, even with a supportive network of friends, family, and medical professionals.  It will take a lot of time and effort to get back to the way that I was only a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

New Cure For Lyme?

A friend in the scientific community sent me a link to an article that has a potential cure for swiftly wiping out Lyme and persistent co-infections.  I just had to share this good news.  It may be worth sharing this with your doctor or asking to try a "Z-Pak" for Lyme.  I plan to share this with my doctor at my next appointment.
Zirthromax, the “Z-Pak” common to doctors’ offices worldwide, has not been used to fight the superbugs. Traditional lab tests in standard bacteriologic media had shown the standard antibiotic to have no effect.
But the new study shows that growing the potentially-deadly bacteria in mammalian tissue culture media made a huge difference – and proves that in real hospital settings, the Zithromax could turn the tide against the spreading germs.
“Even more striking, the drug-resistant superbugs were completely wiped out when azithromycin was paired with the antibiotic colistin or with antimicrobial peptides produced natural by the human body during infection,” said the authors.
See the complete abstract in the link below:

Monday, May 25, 2015

Lyme Disease in Indiana



Indiana does have Lyme disease.  Yes, the ticks do carry Lyme disease.  We are over-populated with deer who carry the disease, so it only follows that we have Lyme disease.  Ask any veterinarian about Lyme disease in animals, and he will tell you that he sees many cases in pets.  Dogs, cats, and even horses can and do get Lyme disease in Indiana.  Many articles will tell you that the tick must be attached to your body for 24-48 hours in order to infect someone with Lyme disease. (someone needs to tell that to the tick that bit me! LOL)  This is not true. If you are bitten, you can be infected immediately.  Don't take any chances.  If you are bitten, get medical attention immediately.  If you can capture the tick, stick it to scotch tape and put it in a zip lock baggy.  Take it with you to the clinic or doctor for testing.

There was an article about Lyme disease in the Indianapolis Star yesterday, so here is that link:
http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2015/05/25/ticks-indiana-mean-lyme-disease/27892641/

Lyme disease in the Mid-west:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lyme-disease-danger-zones-are-spreading_55a7d143e4b04740a3df1f12

Saying Goodbye To Lyme Disease

  Boxing up all of the prescriptions, supplements, tinctures, 
vitamins, herbals, soaks, rubs, and natural medicines today.
I am only using one tincture to make sure that everything is gone
and that I don't have a relapse.  What a relief to be off of all of those pills!
Now, to work on rebuilding muscles, bones, nerves, and tendons...


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Lyme Disease Research At Purdue University

Life is a bowl of limes.

While visiting the Indianapolis Zoo, I took a break to have some lunch and a cold drink.  Seated at the next table, was a man wearing a Purdue University uniform with the words entomology department embroidered on the shoulder.  I couldn't resist starting a conversation with him about ticks and Lyme disease.  He said that he doesn't personally research tick born illness, but some of his colleagues are currently researching ticks.  I couldn't help mention to him that it took me 2 years to get a diagnosis because doctors simply are uneducated about Lyme disease here in Indiana.  He agreed that it is a big problem.

As soon as I got home from the zoo, I searched for any information about Purdue and Lyme disease. I did find something, so here is a link:

http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publichealth/insects/tick.html

I am grateful that Purdue has taken up the cause for more Lyme disease research.

Stinging Nettles for Lyme Arthritis?

Stinging nettles growing among our asparagus.

Who doesn't remember running through a pasture or weedy lot at some point as a kid and being stung by nettles?  Ouch!  I remember being shocked that such an innocent looking weed could pack a powerful sting.

When I was wrongly diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis, I researched cures, remedies, herbals, and folk medicine. I was reading about bee sting therapy as a possible way to trick the immune system into reacting to the bee venom instead of causing joint inflammation.  Then the article said that stinging nettles seem to have a similar immune response.  I did safely try a few bee stings, but I always kept a bottle of liquid Benedryl nearby just in case.  I usually do not even swell when I get a bee sting, so I felt it was safe for me to try.  I wouldn't recommend this to anyone else, however, because of the risk of anaphylactic shock.  After several attempts with no improvement, I decided that it wasn't working, or that I just wasn't trained to do it correctly, and I gave up.

Then I decided it wouldn't hurt to try the stinging nettles.  At that point, the doctors still had me convinced that I had Rheumatoid arthritis.  I was searching for a way to get my body to quit attacking itself.  I went on daily walks to try to find nettles.  I asked my friends, relatives, and acquaintances if they had any nettle weeds that they wanted to get rid of in their yard or pasture.  Where was the nettle when you need it?  I couldn't find it anywhere!  I forgot about that after a while and eventually, was properly diagnosed with Lyme disease.

Well, fast forward a couple of years.  This week while gardening, we found a nettle weed growing in our raised vegetable garden.  We live in the city, with a fenced in yard.  How that nettle weed got there is nothing short of Divine Intervention!  My beau Tom, was about to pull the weed out, and I shouted, "No! I want to use it on my swollen knee and ankle joints."  So the weed is still growing in our garden box.  I think that I will keep it.


Applying the nettle leaf to a swollen knee joint.
Tiny red bumps appeared, just like a bee sting.



The Arthritis Foundation has an article about the use of Stinging Nettles for arthritis:
http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/supplements-herbs/guide/stinging-nettle.php

Mother Earth Magazine published an article about the use of Stinging Nettles for treating arthritis:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/natural-remedies-for-arthritis-pain-zmaz02fmzgoe.aspx

Friday, May 15, 2015

Women and Lyme Disease



Lyme disease can express itself differently in women. There seems to be a correlation between bacterial infections like Lyme disease and breast cancer:

https://www.facebook.com/622230391135807/photos/a.622233434468836.1073741828.622230391135807/1124166127608895/?type=1&theater


Some women report breast swelling, cysts, fibrous tissues, sudden milk production or nipple discharge, and swollen lymph nodes around their breasts and underarm areas.  Other women complain of menstrual irregularities, heavy or prolonged periods, absent periods, groin pain, severe cramping, or ovarian cysts.  It is not known if Lyme disease is affecting the hormones or exactly why it is causing these problems for women. Some women also report sudden weight gain.  Others drop huge amounts of weight in a short time.  In addition, Lyme disease can cause intimacy problems for some women.  It can also effect the vaginal muscles and cause a painful condition like vaginismus.  Other women have reported bladder problems such as incontinence or an overactive bladder.  Even more women develop thyroid issues after contracting Lyme disease.  Hair loss, loss of muscle tone, nerve and tendon  and joint damage are common complaints for many.  These symptoms often have other causes besides Lyme disease, but many women have noticed these symptoms disappear after treatment for Lyme disease.  More research and studies need to be performed so that women can be helped with these troubling symptoms of Lyme disease.  Our bodies are different then men and our hormones are different, so it only makes sense that Lyme disease would affect us differently.

Here's to all my sisters out there still suffering with Lyme disease!



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Your Feet And Lyme Disease

Like so many Lyme sufferers, my feet were especially affected with pain, swelling, and inflammation.  Since I have to walk and stand at work, there was no catching a break.  The pain and swelling was worse at night, just when I wanted to sleep.   The morning pain and stiffness was crippling in the morning hours after waking and lasted until about noon.  The more I walked around, the better I felt.  Working actually felt better for me because I was moving and standing.  Sitting down hurt my feet and legs.  Work distracted me from the pain.  There were many days that I had to make myself go to work.  I was in so much pain!  Winter seems to be the worst.  The cold weather here in Indiana was especially painful on my feet.  My feet always felt ice cold and the cold brought more pain.  But I know that work isn't possible for most people with Lyme disease.  It can be so crippling. There are several things that I tried that did seem to help while I was being treated with the antibiotics.  I will list these here:


  • warm water foot soaks with hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, Epsom salt (morning and night)
  • Frankincense essential oil applied to sore joints with a roller ball applicator
  • Capsaicin topical liquid made for arthritis in a roller ball applicator (Walgreen's brand)
  • hot water bottle or heating pads for pain and cold feet in the winter
  • wearing thick, wool socks in layers will help prevent painfully cold feet and help you to go to sleep more quickly at night
  • Lined boots help prevent more pain and swelling in cold fall, winter, and early spring months
  • occasional ice bags when the swelling got severe helped to reduce the inflammation
  • heated mattress pads and/or electric blankets helped to keep extremities warm and more comfortable at night
  • Sleep is essential.  Aim for at least 8 hours a day.  Naps are allowed and encouraged!
  • Swelling can produce cracked, dry skin.  Use a good moisturizer.  I like to use A and D ointment with lanolin and then put on cotton or wool socks at night.
  • take good care of your toe nails.  Keep them properly trimmed to prevent infections and ingrown toenails, especially if your feet are swollen.
  • Elevate your feet above your heart whenever possible
  • If you can afford it and have the time, go for a foot massage or lymphatic drain massage for your feet and legs.  It may help with some of the swelling.
  • a foot brush, pumice stone, and callous file can remove dead, itchy skin and improve circulation
  • sea salt mixed with coconut oil makes a great moisturizer and remove rough dry spots
  • If you do not live alone, allow others to wait on you when you are having a bad day



       The Wet Sock Hydrotherapy Treatment: Old Folk Remedy

I read about a strange cure for boosting your immune system if you are ill.  It involves going to bed with a pair of damp socks on your feet, covered in dry wool socks.  This is supposed to induce a fever and an immune response and kick start your antibodies.  I am not sure if this will work for Lyme sufferers or not but I will include a link to this technique.  I plan to give it a try.  It is apparently an old folk remedy.

Check with your doctor to make sure that it is safe to try this.  I am not giving medical advice here.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Heal Lyme From Your Kitchen?

You probably already have some things in your kitchen that can speed your recovery from Lyme.  If you are already being treated, there are small things that are supposed to help support those antibiotics, according to some.  Manuka honey or raw honey converts to food grade hydrogen peroxide when ingested.  This will help to kill off some of the bad bacteria. Organic yogurt will help to replace the good bacteria lost in your gut while taking antibiotics.  Throw in some blueberries or walnuts for extra nutrition, brain health, and flavor.  My tummy feels much better if I eat yogurt at least twice a day.  Pure maple syrup contains ingredients that are shown to boost the effectiveness of antibiotics, so add that to your yogurt or oatmeal for a flavor boost.  Turmeric, garlic,and cayenne pepper spices are anti inflammatory and can help with joint pains.  Season your foods with these three spices.  Ginger will help an upset stomach.  I like to drink a ginger pro biotic tea when the antibiotics upset my digestive tract.  It is available in most grocery stores.  Lemon juice and water can help prevent the side effects of a herx reaction.  The herx reaction can be very painful and worsen symptoms.  A teaspoon of Baking soda and water can also help with the herx reaction. Small dietary changes like these have had a huge impact on my recovery from Lyme disease.  These changes are the least expensive way that I have been able to speed recovery from this illness.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Herxing With Lyme



What is herxing?  The first time that I heard that word, I thought that it sounded made up.  Come to think of it, a lot of things about this disease sound pretty impossible.  But herxing is a symptom of Lyme disease.  The bacteria that cause Lyme disease produce a toxin that is poison to your neurological system.  This toxin is especially severe when the bacteria die off during treatment with antibiotics.  In other words, when the bacteria die off , you will actually feel more severe pain and other symptoms (in stead of feeling better). This is a temporary condition that may last for several weeks.  You may be experiencing new symptoms as the bacteria die off and your body becomes overwhelmed by this toxin overload to your organs.

There are some things that can help your body and lighten this toxin overload.  Warm water soaks with a combination of baking soda, Epsom salts, and hydrogen peroxide can ease aching muscles. Fish oil supplements can help tendons, joints, and nerves.  Alka-seltzer Gold can neutralize some of the toxic effects and lesson the symptoms.  Lemon juice and water first thing in the morning will help with the morning stiffness.  A small dose of children's liquid allergy medicine can help with sleep issues as well as with histimines.

For me, this kind of pain was horrible at night.  It was excruciating.  Just when I wanted to sleep, the pain would get worse.  It would often wake me from a sound sleep.  In the morning, it was more pain and stiffness.  A hot shower brought temporary relief.  It took forever to dress myself, and I sometimes needed help just to pull a shirt over my head or put on shoes.  I couldn't turn the doorknob to leave the house without help.  I was constantly dropping things because my hands would suddenly let go without warning.  I felt like a 90 year old lady.  I swelled up like a balloon.  I had swollen lymph nodes throughout my body.  I started to gain weight due to fluid retention.  I had cellulite forming on my arms legs and belly due to this toxic build up.  My eyes where rimmed in red swelling.  My feet swelled and I could barely walk. It felt as if I was dying.

Somehow, I made it through all of that, and now I am improving.  I still get tired.  I am not completely well or symptom-free yet.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

May Day and Lyme Awareness Month




Tomorrow is May Day and Lyme Disease Awareness Month.  Please put a green ribbon on a tree in your yard or on your mailbox and wear lime green in order to raise awareness and show support for others with Lyme disease.  I will never look at this color again without thinking of Lyme disease.

Public Warnings About Lyme

I saw a posting on another site that asked why we don't see signs warning people about Lyme disease in state and national parks?  Why aren't there posters and public service announcements about Lyme disease?  Why aren't parents being educated about this disease, so they can protect their kids?  We have government mandated vaccines, but no warning about Lyme disease?

During the 1940's. polio was a major health concern in the United States.  It crippled many people, (including a U.S. president) and changed their lives forever.  Pools closed and people stayed out of public places in fear that they would catch it. Our government took action to educate our people, and when a vaccine became available, we were able to eradicate it.  Not so with Lyme disease.

Not many people know that we have had a U.S. president who had Lyme disease while in office. George W. Bush was treated for secondary Lyme disease.  Some have speculated that this is why his behavior, decision-making ability, and speech seemed erratic.  It was all kept very quiet and covered up.  I am not a government conspiracy believer, but our government has let us down with this type of inaction and silence when it comes to Lyme disease.  Many unlucky people will become crippled with Lyme disease and end up in a wheel chair or nursing home because of this silence.

The only state park where I saw any kind of warning about Lyme disease was in Ludington, Michigan.  There was a sign at the entrance to the campground and trails with a very large picture of a tick and a warning about the possibility of Lyme disease.  I read this sign and made a note of it.  Still, I didn't worry too much the first time that I saw it because I didn't know just how seriously ill that a person can get with Lyme disease.



Michigan and Lyme disease link:

http://www.mlive.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2012/05/michigans_tick_problem_is_grow.html

Michigan government and Michigan DNR warnings:

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10370_12150_12220-26945--,00.html

Way to go Michigan, for warning your citizens!!!

Washington, D.C. and Lyme Disease

Lyme disease has been shrouded in secrecy, lies, and myths. Not many people know that we have had a U.S. president who had Lyme disease while in office. George W. Bush was treated for secondary Lyme disease.  Some have speculated that this is why his behavior, decision-making ability, and speech seemed erratic.  It was all kept very quiet and covered up.  I am not a government conspiracy believer, but our government has let us down with this type of inaction and silence when it comes to Lyme disease.  Many unlucky people will become crippled with Lyme disease and end up in a wheel chair or nursing home because of this silence.


Below is a link to a Washington post article about President Bush and Lyme disease:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/08/AR2007080802268.html


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lymph System and Lyme Disease

Is there any body part that Lyme disease doesn't harm?  If left untreated, it can and does seem to effect every body system.  One of the biggest problems that it causes is swelling of your lymph nodes throughout your body.

Scientists at the University of California, Davis, did research on how Lyme disease enters the lymph system and hinders the immune response.  They also go on to say that the immune system is thwarted in a way that prevents the body from developing an immunity to future infections. Since the body cannot develop strong antibodies to Lyme, the person can indeed be reinfected at a future time.

Using pressure points to improve lymph drainage:
http://healthycures.org/keep-pressing-this-point-for-2-minutes

Here is the link to the study:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110616193911.htm

How to drain your lymph:

http://theheartysoul.com/how-to-speed-up-lymph-flow/?t=TRF

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Going, Going, Almost Gone!

At my last Lyme doctor visit,  I was asked to assess how close I felt to recovery.  I decided that I feel 90% recovered after just seven months of treatment.  I still have some knee swelling.  The left side of my face is swollen.  I still have ringing in my ears. But all of the pain is gone. Gone!  It took me three years to get the proper diagnosis, so my case of Lyme was quite advanced.  At times, I was in such severe pain that I thought I might die from this disease.  I thought that I might have to retire early and go into a retirement home. But then things gradually changed. Lyme disease improves by centimeters, then inches forward.  You don't realize that you are getting better, until you look back and remember how bad it once was a few months ago.  I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. I know that many suffer in agonizing pain for years.  Some people never quite recover completely.  And sadly, some do not make it.

My advice is to keep trying.  Don't give up. Take care of you for once.  All of the little things that you can do to get better add up to something big.  Eat right, take all of your medicine on schedule, get plenty of rest, and eventually you will turn a corner for the better.  I read somewhere that you should be willing to try anything to get better (within reason), because you never know when something will be the key that unlocks the door to Lyme disease.  I think that is sound advice.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Maple Syrup For Lyme Disease?


CBS News recently ran a report about how pure maple syrup when paired with antibiotics can boost the effectiveness of the antibiotics.  The phenols in the maple syrup makes the membrane surrounding the bacteria more permeable to the antibiotic. The antibiotic can then stay in the bacteria and do its job to destroy it.  The article also says that the maple syrup is somewhat effective on its own at destroying bacteria.  This raises some pretty exciting possibilities for the treatment of Lyme disease and other bacterial infections.

You can draw your own conclusions by clicking on the link below:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/maple-syrup-could-cut-use-of-antibiotics/

In the meantime, pour a little extra pure 
maple syrup on those buckwheat pancakes!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Celebrities With Lyme Disease



Celebrities with Lyme disease have been sharing their stories with the press.  This month's cover of People Magazine has a feature article about a Canadian Pop singer who is recovering from Lyme. This type of press coverage will hopefully, highlight the risk of contracting Lyme from a tick bite.  Many countries, including Canada and Australia, do not recognize Lyme disease.  Patients there are having a difficult time getting tested and treated.  I think that we will continue to hear more about Lyme disease from the media in the future.  Lyme disease is on the rise this spring and numbers of cases are increasing in many states.

Recently, Ashley Olson (Mary Kate's twin) is struggling with Lyme disease and has had to put her career on hold.  Here is a link to that story:

http://www.inquisitr.com/2079245/ashley-olsen-lyme-disease-devastates-mary-kate-olsens-twin-as-symptoms-cause-physical-emotional-agony/

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lyme Disease and Dental Problems



One day I bit into my crisp, Granny Smith apple and one of my front teeth chipped off.  I rushed to an emergency dental appointment.  Luckily, my dentist was trained in cosmetic dentistry.  He did an excellent job of repairing the tooth.  That was my first clue that something wasn't right with my body. This happened just before I became very ill with Lyme disease symptoms.

Later, I wondered about that incident.  Since I was having extreme bone pain, were the two things connected?  When I finally found out that I had Lyme disease, I dismissed that idea.  I checked symptom lists for any kind of tooth decay or brittle teeth.  Now that I am in recovery.  I want to revisit the thought.

I am thinking that there is a connection.  I work with someone who has had Lyme disease for 8 years.  She was positively diagnosed after a tick bite (that she saw) produced a bulls eye rash.  She began developing multiple cavities.  She said that the disease reduces saliva in the mouth to almost zero.  Your teeth and gums essentially dry out.  The dry mouth produces cavities and brittle teeth.  Perhaps this needs to be added to the symptoms list?




I have purchased dry mouth oral rinse/mouth wash to help with this.  Chewing sugar free gum also will help.  Keeping a glass of water or reusable water bottle with you and taking sips throughout the day seems to help.  It has been suggested that oil-pulling with coconut oil will kill the bad bacteria in your mouth and make it less dry.  This may also prevent brittle and decayed teeth.

Since our conversation, I have read other accounts of dental problems and Lyme.  Some people, including myself, have jaw pain and jaw swelling.  This is something that I also had checked at the dentist's office.  Though swelling in other parts of my body has disappeared, this problem remains.

Removing spirochetes (Lyme) from your mouth:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJuDCXgxUHI


I am including a link to one woman's account of dental problems and how she solved that for her family.

http://www.bartonellafamily.blogspot.com/

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Can't Afford Testing? There Is Help and Hope!


Thankfully, there are resources for those people who cannot afford testing for Lyme disease.  Many who have Lyme, are too sick to work and lack insurance.  For others, their insurance may not cover Lyme disease.  Insurance also may not cover testing at some of the most reliable Lyme disease labs.   I had to pay for my own Western Blot tests.

There is an organization that can help with these costs.  You will need to read the eligibility requirements and fill out an application form.  Funds are limited, and first come first serve. Click on the link below to find the forms.
http://www.lymetap.com/

If you would like to make a donation to help support others with Lyme disease, they are taking donations to help with this worthy cause.

A source for grants for children with Lyme 25 years old or younger:
http://lymelightfoundation.org/grants/

Another source of financial assistance is available for children who have Lyme disease.  Funds are available for both testing and treatment of Lyme disease.
http://www.childrenslymenetwork.org/resources/financial-assistance/

http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/index.php/grants/lyme-aid-4-kids

http://www.handinhandforlyme.com/

Help with rent, medical bills, or utilities for those unemployed because of Lyme and Co.:
http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/modest-needs/

Help for children with a serious illness and related disabilities:
https://www.cicf.org/about-cicf/funds-and-foundations/family-funds/thomas-p-and-sondra-d-sheehan-charitable-foundation/

A new type of Lyme disease test:
http://ispotlyme.com/

Many people use crowd funding to pay for living expenses, travel, and medical bills when they have chronic Lyme disease or have no medical coverage for Lyme disease.

If  you are able, please help contribute funds to help others get treatment.  There are many who are suffering.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Wearing Lyme: Strange Symptoms




Lyme disease has a wide variety of symptoms.  From what I gathered, the symptoms vary from person to person.  For me, the first symptom that something was wrong, was that I had a stiff neck.  I had what seemed like a flu or upper respiratory infection.  I went to the doctor and was prescribed antibiotics for the infection.  The upper respiratory infection did go away, but the neck pain worsened.  Soon the pain began to creep down into my shoulder, and then gradually into my wrist.  All of the pain was initially limited to my neck and arm area on the right side of my body.  My doctor told me that I had arthritis, even after my Elisa test for Lyme came back positive.  He then prescribed prednesone which made it worse.  After that, all hell broke loose.  My knees and upper thighs swelled like balloons over night.  I was in excruciating pain.  I wasn't sleeping at night.  My breasts also swelled up.  I looked so bloated.  I gained 15 pounds in a short time.  My legs felt like they weighed 100 pounds a piece.  My wrists were weak and I began dropping things.  A cup of coffee felt too heavy to lift.  I had trouble opening door knobs and turning on the shower and the pain had spread to both hands.  Small bumps would form on my wrist joints that looked like Baker's Cysts.I couldn't stand to be touched because it hurt.  Even though I initially had a positive Eliza test for Lyme, my doctor told me that it was a false positive.  He told me to go see a Rheumatologist because I had Rheumatoid arthritis, not Lyme disease.

After seeing two arthritis doctors and progressively getting worse, I decided to throw away the methotraxate pills and try to find someone who treats Lyme.  In the meantime, I had an annual mammogram that revealed some sort of mass in one of my breasts.  I was  told that there was a pretty good chance that I had cancer.  (This was the second time I was told that I had cancer.  A Russian arthritis doctor told me that I had cancer. When it turned out I didn't she decided I had rheumatoid arthritis.)  I had some repeat mammograms, an ultrasound, and a needle biopsy.  It turned out to be a fluid filled cyst.  The doctor drained it and it collapsed.  Soon however a second, even larger cyst developed in my right breast.  I didn't bother to go back for that one.  Later on, my Lyme doctor prescribed iodine pill, which made the large cyst go away.

My feet started to swell and hurt.  I kept having to buy larger and larger shoes to wear to work.  I must have spent at least a thousand on new shoes.  My usual size six had swelled to a size 8.  I finally had to buy some large, faux-fur lined boots to wear to work in the winter.  They provided some cushion as well as warmth.  I was now having extreme cold intolerance.  My hands and feet always felt like ice.  My core temperature had dropped to 96.7.  I just could not warm up.  The only time I felt comfortable was in a hot shower, which eased the painful joints and the cold feeling.  At one point my right foot swelled to the size of a small football.  I begged my doctor for a steroid shot.  It only helped for a while and allowed me to continue to work. At that point I was still seeing the arthritis doctor who was convinced that I had arthritis of some sort, even though I tested negative for that.  I wish now that I had never used steroids or prednesone.  I believe that it has delayed my recovery.  Later, I found some memory foam shoes by Sketchers, that really helped with the pain and discomfort of my feet.  I swear by them now.

After starting treatment with a Lyme disease doctor, I started to improve immediately.  The pain and swelling on my neck: gone.  The pain and swelling of my wrists and hands: gone.  My frozen shoulders. gone.  I have regained complete mobility in both shoulder joints.  The pain and lack of mobility in my broken elbow because of a fall: back to normal with full range of motion.  My knee joints are no longer painful, but continue to be swollen.  I have a swollen jaw on my left side.  I am not sure of the source of this swelling and I have not heard of this being a symptom of Lyme disease. I also still have a ringing in my ears.  I wonder if this is because of some of my medications.  I also have thinning hair, most likely due to a combination of the Lyme disease and due to the methotrexate that was mistakenly prescribed for arthritis.

I seem to have reached a plateau in my treatment where I am not getting worse or better.  I am just staying the same.  I am now throwing in some herbals and supplements to see if this brings any improvement.  I feel strong enough now to exercise.  I can't run yet, but I hope to someday.  I can rebound on a mini-tramp, use a rowing machine, do sit ups, lift small amounts of weights, and walk briskly.  I have never been a couch potato until Lyme disease hit me.  I think that I can finally start hitting the gym.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Herbals For Lyme Treatment


The sadly, many who have Lyme are denied treatment either by their doctor, their insurance company, or by lack of a Lyme literate doctor in their location.  Traveling alone to seek treatment in another state seems overwhelming to someone so sick with Lyme, as well as cost prohibitive.  If you are like me, I have to work everyday.  I can't just leave work for months to seek treatment.  I am one of the lucky ones who found a Lyme disease doctor in my town.

I have heard stories of people spending $50,000 going to Mayo Clinic or Cleveland Clinic for Lyme treatment, just to be told that they don't know what is wrong.  Others have been told that there is no such thing as chronic Lyme disease.  One would think that these two places would provide the very best care and diagnosis for Lyme disease.

I have been reading a lot of stories about herbals for Lyme.  This might be something to try if you cannot find a Lyme doctor.  There may be an herbalist or Chinese herbalist in your area who could help when conventional medicine cannot.

Some people claim that you can be cured by simply taking Olive Leaf extract.  Others claim that Serrapeptase will draw the bacteria out of tissues, bones, and organs.  Some claim that coconut oil has antibacterial properties that can kill Lyme.  Still others claim that Cat's Claw herbal will eliminate the bacteria. I have read that teasel root extract used as a tincture can cure Lyme in just 7 weeks.  One woman claims that her whole family was cured of Bartonella by taking cinnamon leaf oil from Sri Lanka.

I hope that some of these cures do work.  I would be especially leery of so-called over night cures.  It took a long time for your Lyme infection to progress to the tertiary stage, and it will take weeks, if not months to get well.

Some of the remedies that I have read about seem harmful, dangerous, or even deadly. Some recommend treatments that can cause deafness.  It is probably best to seek treatment from an herbalist, a doctor, or a pharmacist before trying these.  At the very least, do some research or ask others who have used these products and be aware of side effects.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Will You Ever Get Better?




I am sure that many tertiary stage Lyme patients ask this question.  I know that I ask myself these questions almost every day: Will I ever get better?  Will I ever feel the same way that I did before Lyme disease?  Is this the new normal?  Once I stop treatment, will it come back?  Have my muscles, joints, nerves, and tendons become permanently damaged?

There seems to be no consensus among health care professionals as to whether this disease ever goes away completely.  Some doctors think that a cure is possible.  Others think that the bacteria can only be kept in check with lower numbers of bacteria being held at bay by a healthier immune system.

I have posted an article that addresses the debate as to whether or not someone could be cured of Lyme:

http://www.tiredoflyme.com/can-i-ever-completely-get-rid-of-lyme-disease-opinions-from-the-most-popular-lyme-doctors-and-healers.html#.VR298_nF-Sq