I’ve got some really exciting news! I am, hopefully, nearing the end of my treatment! Wahoo!!!!!! Praise God!! Recently, I took a road trip to see my Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD) and he was very impressed with my progress from the last time I saw him. It’s like the past three years of trying so hard with very little results has finally all caught up to me and I’m getting better:
-My lymphatic system is finally regulated and not congested! In 2011, that was ALL I wanted for Christmas and my Christmas wish finally came true (only a couple years late)
-My weight has started to gradually decrease instead of randomly increasing.
-My body is functioning better without my nearly dead gallbladder getting in the way. I still have pain coming from my liver/gallbladder area because it is still healing, but the pain has significantly improved now that it’s out.
-My symptoms have decreased across the board, especially the sensitivity in my back and frequency of migraines. I also have less floaters in my eyes. My energy on average is better than 6 months ago and I’m even driving myself around town a little more!
My doctor believes I’m finally strong enough to benefit from hyperbaric chamber therapy(HBOT)! This is the one treatment my dad especially has hoped for since day one. A teacher in my small hometown was treated 10-15 years ago by a very famous LLMD and she believes the hyperbaric chamber was what gave her her life back. My parents watched her transformation at a distance and really felt like she was right. So when I was diagnosed with Lyme, almost immediately, we started asking when/if I could do the hyperbaric chamber. Unfortunately, there was never a point over the last 3+ years where my doctors thought it could benefit me or that I was strong enough to handle the treatment. It can be very rough on the body, especially because one of the reasons Lyme patients do it is to kill off the spirochetes who live in every tissue, muscle, and organ of the body. But it is also good for the body because 100% pressurized oxygen encourages the body to heal on its own. Not everyone with Lyme is a candidate for it and it is still considered an investigational treatment for Lyme Disease by the FDA. Here’s more about the HBOT and Lyme from the hospital I’m going to:
“Lyme disease is a serious bacterial infection caused by a spirochete (like syphilis) and transmitted by a tick bite. Most people respond well to early treatment with antibiotics, but if the infection is under treated or misdiagnosed, it can become chronic and disabling. Antibiotic therapy alone, even IV therapy, does not always result in a cure. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has shown impressive efficacy in helping treat Lyme disease. Patients breathe in 100% oxygen at an atmospheric pressure of 2.4, the level required to weaken and kill the Lyme spirochete. A 1997 study by William Fife, Ph.D. at the Texas A&M Hyperbaric Laboratory, and approved by the Texas A & M University Review Board, found that approximately 85 percent of the 66 patients treated improved markedly.”
-Northern Nevada Hyperbarics (NevadaHyperbarics.com)
With my improvements ,mentioned above, I am finally at a point where I am a candidate for the hyperbaric chamber treatments! I am still experiencing many symptoms like significant pain, including random shooting pains up my spine and hips, migraines, nausea, memory loss, dizziness and frequent loss of balance, symptoms coming and going like a light switch, dehydration no matter how much water I drink or do IV hydration, and most debilitating is how easily I am still fatigued. Compared to my laundry list three years ago I am have made so much progress, but not enough to live a ‘normal’ life and feel well enough to handle school and/or work on a consistent basis.
HBOT will allow my entire body to be penetrated by pressurized pure oxygen eradicating the bugs inside of me who can not live in pure oxygen. Most importantly to me, is treating my brain because IV antibiotics can’t completely cross the blood brain barrier. The HBOT will also encourage my body to heal nerve damage, create new blood vessels and help with circulation. It will be an intense round of daily hyperbaric oxygen sessions in addition to starting back on IV antibiotics for a short amount of time to give my body a big blast of bug killing from many different angles.
On my blog, I’ve mentioned many times how important it is to believe in what you are doing, especially when it comes to navigating through health care and treatment. I firmly believe that if you do not believe in something, it will not work for you. Whatever treatment you choose to go down, you need to believe it will work, in order for it to best help you heal. There is no one way to treat Lyme disease at this point in time. Treatment is EXPENSIVE so you absolutely need to be 100% onboard in order to make it worthwhile. That’s how I feel about my treatment and that’s what I encourage you to do. I’ve chosen to do a mix of Eastern and Western medicine, because I feel I get the best of both worlds. I know of great success from people who have done HBOT but I also know it does not work for everyone.
I feel like with our health everything is a gamble. Anyone who’s had surgery knows the doctor will come in and talk to you and let you know the risks. Typically, the risks of surgery are outweighed by the benefits, but death or severe adverse effects are possible. There is never 100% guarantee because our bodies aren’t machines and even machines don’t work perfectly 100% of the time! So we usually agree that the odds are in our favor and hope for the best outcome. That’s all I’ve done the whole way through my treatment. I’ve studied, talked to people I trust, prayed about it and hoped it would work for me.
I start my new treatment tomorrow and am so excited that the end of the road is actually (hopefully) almost in reach!
Oh and just to sweeten the pot, I’ve got something very fun to look forward to at the end of this intense treatment! I get to go back to the British Virgin Islands with my dad, step-mom, siblings and our spouses! We’ve been planning a second trip to the BVIs for about two years because our first trip was such a blast. I remember being sick in the BVIs, still without a diagnosis and beyond frustrated because I was so exhausted and felt like I was sleeping away my days in paradise! I still had a great time on the trip four years ago, and my hope is that I will be stronger and much healthier so I can enjoy it even more this year! I have just the right amount of time to complete the full session in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber and join my family for some fun in the sun! It’s an extravagant trip, but all of us have done very minimal birthdays and Christmas’s for the last couple years to help cover expenses and I know it will be totally worth it. The trip is right around the corner and I have so much hope that things will go well and I will be able to enjoy time with ten of my favorite people in the world!
So that’s my update. I am glad I have something to look forward to, especially when the days of treatment are really kicking my butt! I also have a lot of hope that this treatment will benefit me and my body! I realize there are a lot of “what ifs” with this scenario but I’m positive and confident that this intense treatment is worth it. After all, I was going to go on the trip no matter where I was in my treatment (we were hoping I’d be done) but two years ago I committed and I’m going to make the best of it!