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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:\

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:

A link to another blog with helpful suggestions to beat Lyme:

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