Well friends, I have been trying to sit down and do a COMPLETE AND AWESOME review of the Lord of the Rings trilogy but I’ve decided today to give you all some news and start a regular health update. That way I’ll be able to see if I’ve made any progress as time goes on – I try keeping track in a little notebook but this will be more detailed =) Warning, this is going to be a long post but future updates won’t be quite so in depth!
3 weeks ago today I found out that I have Lyme Disease. I’ll share the definition of Lyme from a great little book I picked up at the library “Beware the Ticking Lyme Bomb” by Craigger Creed.
“The standard, quick explanation goes something like ‘ Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted by deer ticks, produces a bull’s eye rash, and is usually cleared up quickly with antibiotics’. But this barely scratches the surface of the tip of the iceberg…often there are additional bacteria, protozoa, etc involved … and have been implicated in Lyme-induced skin and neurological disorders.”
The problem is, a high percentage of people do not have the bull’s eye rash, or any of the other rashes that indicate they have recently been bitten by a tick that is sharing Lyme with you.
Lyme has earned the nickname “The great Imitator” because it acts like so many other medical conditions. The bacteria, Borrelia, are spiral shaped spirochetes that are marvelous at hiding and disguising themselves, making it even harder to diagnose. The symptoms are many, and seemingly unconnected to each other.
Lyme is very complex, and I don’t have the ability, or the knowledge, to delve deep into it here for you. I recommend the above book for a quick, light read as well as the book that I have just started, “Why Can’t I Get Better?” by Richard I. Horowitz, MD. for a more in-depth look. Let’s suffice it to say that when I go down the list of symptoms I have most of them. Which puts me squarely in the ‘chronic Lyme or Late-Disseminated Lyme stage.
Overall health: I am thankful to finally have a diagnosis (!!) although I am still trying to wrap my head around that fact. strong reaction to new treatment (more on that in a minute). Memory has gotten worse the last month-odd.Skin has broken out and stayed bad past 2 1/2 weeks. Sleep is still spotty. Am able to keep the house decently clean, huzzah! and able to walk the dogs/play with them every so often.
Treatment: my naturopath has me taking Samento (aka Cat’s Claw). I have been on it 10 days and right from the start, this stuff is POWERFUL. you start at one drop a day, for 3 days. then 2 drops a day for 3 days and so on til you get to 30 drops a day. I wasn’t too concerned about it, totally do-able. But this stuff hit me hard about 2 hrs after taking it – made me feel like I had the flu, all achy and tired and stuck on the couch. Yesterday I called my dr, and I’m stopping taking it for a week. Should take that long for the reaction to go away. Then i’ll start it up again and take it for a few days (3 drops a day), and hope the reaction doesn’t come back. if it does, I’ll have to take something else to kill the infection. A list of everything I’m currently taking will be at the end of this post.
Migraines: Except for last night when it hit a 9, they haven’t reached an 8 in a few weeks. When they do get severe, they don’t typically last longer than a few hours. Still pain daily that tends to stay around a 6. Gets worse in evenings/weekends (poor OH!). Still get worse when in a busy/loud/bright environment.
(sorry the picture is blurry but to give you an idea.. 8 =intense, pain is severe. talking and listening are difficult. 6= distressing. think about pain all the time. give up many activities because of it)
Digestion: Hasn’t been that great lately. It does better when I stay away from heavy foods (aka bread!) and of course, any of my allergens. (gluten, dairy, eggs, beef, cranberries, sugar)
TMJ: Is in direct proportion to pain level of migraines. Hasn’t been popping as much lately although I have started clenching my jaw during the day as well, causing teeth and jaw to ache frequently.
Mood: Has stayed good, even after going off of chinese herbs for it (cannot remember the name right now). Sometimes i get very irritated/angry for the dumbest thing (past what is normal for me). So, still some room for improvement.
Brain fog/Memory: has gotten worse this past month. Struggling to remember names/titles/things I’ve always known. Not able to focus for very long (example: can watch a tv show but movies are too long) Haven’t been able to get my brain to ‘work’ so haven’t written very much on novel.
Sleep: Have to take either a melatonin or Theanine every night in order to sleep. Do have to rotate them every few nights for them to work. Wake up at least twice in the night. When on Samento, was taking naps that were a few hrs long most days.
Prescription: Clonidine. Averaging 2 a day.
Magnesium. Calcium. D3. Olive Leaf Extract. Basic B Complex. Fish oil. = 1 a day
Ribofalvin, 2 a day. Evening Primrose Oil, 3 a day.
2 weeks every month – 1 each – Horse Chestnut Extract and Chaste Tree Berry
Have gone off of Cordyceps to see if energy drops.
There you have it. The fact that I am vastly better than maybe 3 months ago is encouraging but pain is still a daily, severe fact of life in this household. I want to go through a list of Lyme symptoms and share them with you soon, as some of them I never realized were symptoms and not just something that my body did. Who knows, if I had told my doctor about them 10 years ago, maybe we would have been able to diagnose this and i wouldn’t have progressed to this point.
Thanks for stopping by and getting all the way through this post!
*I promise, promise, promise, LOTR review will get up by the end of the month!*