It has been exactly five weeks today since I ended treatment on March 11, 2014. I endured three years and five months of continuous and intense medications and detoxing. Nearly 1,218 days of constant nausea, exhaustion, and feeling awful along with a few moments of udder joy. I knew I was inside but I felt so crummy it was nearly impossible for the true me to emerge. I am happy to say I’m back and feel better than ever! Thank you for being with me along for the journey. My blog is not done. I plan on keeping it up as a resource to everyone who reads it. It’s expensive to maintain but it is my pleasure to keep it up for you to read and learn about what Lyme is like and also to find hope that there can and will be better days for you or your loved ones.
I’m sorry I’ve been slacking with this blog. This journey has been so long with so many ups and downs and I am beyond excited to report that life for me is great! I was hesitant to share with the world when I stopped treatment and make a big deal about it because I am no stranger to the disappointment of learning I’ve got a long road ahead of me still.
But with my final treatment completed and officially five weeks post-treatment the cat is out of the bag and I am thrilled to say so far I feel amazing! Why is five weeks significant? The growth of the Lyme bacteria is slow so if I still had an active infection five weeks allows for enough time for the bugs to replicate and show-up with various symptoms and not feeling well. This also allows enough time for the co-infections to present in the same way, but usually within one to two weeks. So am I done with treatment completely? Not necessarily, but given my history everything is looking really good so far. In another three weeks, I will run all sorts of tests to make sure I look as good on paper as I feel. This will include the Igenex tests, CD57, and many others. I will share these with you when I get them. I also plan to update you on my last few months of treatment and what helped me turn the page from feeling okay to awesome.
Also, Lyme will always be a part of my life. It will always be something I am aware of. I will need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet. As I understand it, Lyme is similar to cancer because I am always going to be at risk for it coming back. I will forever run a risk of passing Lyme onto my child if I get pregnant. Also, big stresses in my life put me at risk for a re-infection (like a traumatic event) but as of now I am no longer living my life at the hands of Lyme Disease. I have energy and can enjoy silly things in life that we all take for granted. I have been given a second chance at life and I am enjoying every single minute.
Many people have asked me, how did I do it? Most importantly, I picked the doctor who I trusted their methodology and protocols 100% and stayed with them for my entire treatment (3.5 years). This book, Insights Into Lyme Disease, features many different doctors who devote their lives to treating patients with Lyme Disease and other tick-borne infections.
Each doctor has their own theories and protocols for treating Lyme. I don’t believe there is one correct way to beat Lyme Disease, but I do believe that in order for a treatment to work you need to believe in your doctor and your treatment 100%. Your brain is a very powerful tool that will aid in your treatment along with medications, diet, homeopathic supplements, detox tools, etc. Doubt of any sort will only hurt you and ultimately cost you a lot of time and money. Treating Lyme takes a lot of time. There is nothing quick or easy about the process. I encourage you to pick your doctor and pick well (there are many other doctors who are wonderful too who were not featured in this book, but it is a good starting off point). Whatever you do try not to give up or jump around doctors and treatments.
I committed to my treatment and followed everything my doctor told me to including: seeing extra specialists, IV antibiotics, IV hydration, oral antibiotics and supplements (70+ each day), exercise, therapy, EMDR, creating art, earthing, going gluten-free, dairy-free, pork-free, seafood-free, not surrounding myself and consuming myself in Lyme all day every day; connecting closer with my creator and savior, Jesus; also not letting my heart race; sleeping a lot; decreasing all types of stress (with huge help from my family) including financial, emotional, relational, ADLs, etc; constantly detoxing; lots of enemas; hyperbaric chamber and trying to be gentle with myself and not too hard on myself for making mistakes or sleeping through medicine doses.
I learned my limitations based on how many spoons I had for the day and did life to the best of my ability. If I could see a friend, I would. If I could clean a room in the house or put dishes in the dishwasher, I would. If I could shower and feel good about myself, I would, but if I couldn’t that was okay and I surrounded myself with friends and family who understand that that was okay too. Being limited in what I was able to do at any given time was a reality of my journey treating Lyme, co-infections and parasites. Lyme Disease is an awful diagnosis and is one of many invisible illnesses that exist in our world. You can not fully understand it until you walk in that person’s shoes. People diagnosed with Lyme Disease are NOT lazy. They are probably the hardest working bunch I’ve ever encountered. Every second of every waking moment is fully calculated and strategic to use the least energy and get the most done because energy is so limited as it is used to fight the war going on inside each Lymie. Once I emerged from being done with treatment it is nearly impossible for me to sit still. I LOVE grocery shopping and cleaning and doing projects around the house and helping others. It’s everything I hoped for and felt so bad that I couldn’t do but I literally didn’t have enough energy to walk to the bathroom much less cook a meal or clean. And it was this way for YEARS but I wasn’t lazy just very sick!
My journey with Lyme continues as it will always be something I consider and tailor my life choices around, but I am so hopeful that this phase of constant treatment for me are over. I have hope for everyone diagnosed and undiagnosed in their battle with Lyme and other chronic illnesses that you too CAN and WILL see better days. I know it hurts to see others so close to the finish line when you’ve been running with them (me) for so long. I love each of you and hope to be a beacon of hope for you in your treatment. Trust your LLMD, listen to your body and know that you are not alone 🙂