Sep 26, 2016

The Impossible Request for Lyme Treatment

Lyme Treatment
I've written several posts about what you should do if you get a tick bite but reading those posts and printing off my Tick Treatment Guidelines aren't very helpful when you're sitting across from a doctor who tells you that he's been treating people for an umpteen number of years and he's never had a problem with people getting sick from a tick bite.

You might find your doctor giving you only one or two Doxycycline pills, assuring you that this will take care of any possible infection.

At a maximum your doctor may reluctantly give you 21 days of Doxy and tell you not to worry, this will completely cure you and not to worry about residual symptoms because it could take up to 6 months for the symptoms to work their way out of your body.

As an experienced Lymie, I get a lot of calls and emails when friends, loved ones and acquaintances find themselves with a treatment protocol like those mentioned above. 

If you're not familiar with Lyme you'll accept your doctor's advice just like I did, thinking "I'm so glad my doctor knows what he's doing".  

The problem is that these treatment plans are outdated and many people continue to have symptoms for years to come.

Patients who are not educated won't understand why they're still having symptoms after being treated and they'll wonder if something else might be wrong. Many will return to their doctor months or years later, not remembering their tick bite, and their doctor might diagnose them with rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, MS or any of the other inflammatory diseases on the list.

Why are doctors not diagnosing and treating tick-bites and Lyme disease in a way that will prevent people from becoming ill? 

Part of the reason is that there aren't any reasonably priced tests available to the patient that will produce an accurate result.

Testing provided by your doctor is anywhere from 50-70% inaccurate and the treatment protocols traditionally followed are not effective for killing Lyme or the many other tick-borne infections.

What can you do? 

I recommend finding a doctor who is knowledgeable about tick-borne infections, not just Lyme. You could request a list of doctors in your area from ILADS, you could ask around to those in your community or you could call up the practices in your area and ask them a few key questions about what their protocol is for a tick-bite.

Functional, Naturapthic or homeopathic physician can test and treat using alternative methods.

Many doctors will advise a wait and see approach which is very risky, and with the rate of infection in the US being over 300,000 every year*, just might guarantee chronic health problems for your future.

Educating yourself is the best approach you can take however, it doesn't matter how much knowledge you arm yourself with before heading to the doctor, most will refuse to prescribe the ILADS recommended treatment and so you may need to find another doctor for this purpose. 

I always tell people not to live in fear but to live educated. 

Following safe tick prevention practices, sending ticks away for testing and getting immediate treatment are active things that you can do to prevent chronic infections.

See my menu bar for more great tips and resources and be sure to use the search bar for topics you want to find quickly.

Sep 19, 2016

How Gardening Has Been Good For My Lyme

Gardening, Health, Lyme
In October of last year our family moved to a home with established gardens and flower beds around the perimeter of the lot. I've always loved planting flowers outside and I adored my herb garden.

Before getting sick with Lyme I had learned to use our previous home's small yard to plant as much as I could but once I got sick with Lyme my garden turned into just a few potted tomato plants.

Last fall when we moved to our new home my health declined and I began to get pretty sick again.

I wasn't physically able to weed or winterize the garden but I thought I might be able to tackle it in the spring.

In the Spring I tried to go out for a short time every morning. I tackled small portions of the yard each day and to be honest, when I was finished I could barely move. I was in so much pain and vowed to never go out there again. I even declared that I was going to plant grass seed and never have a garden again.

I couldn't stand the thought of wasting that fertile & mature garden plot so I asked my kids to help and we went out together. We were able to clean up the entire garden together and planted a few things.

By mid summer I realized that gardening was actually helping me to feel better. Here's how:

1) I felt calmer and could tell my soul was being refreshed.  It's so peaceful outside in the morning and it's a great time to pray and think.

2) I began to notice my pain was decreasing. I noticed that I was able to stay out and work for longer periods of time without the intense pain and fatigue I had when I first started.

3) I'm much stronger than I was when I started.  Gardening is hard work. I made sure I did various types of work and always stretched when I was finished.

When you begin making changes you may not realize how much stronger you are becoming. 

4) My garden produced fresh, delicious and healthy vegetables which help to support my immune system.

I'm so glad that I didn't give up gardening, it's definitely helped in my recovery from my latest relapse. 

Being outside in the quiet, working in the dirt, which by the way, exposes you to beneficial bacteria, listening to the birds and getting fresh air and sunshine all refresh me.

Do you enjoy gardening? How has it helped you? 

Whether you garden or just go outside daily, it's so important for grounding yourself from the daily onslaught of electromagnetic fields and environmental toxins. Being outdoors also helps boost your immune system especially when you're getting natural sunshine.

Of course, you must practice tick protection because gardening definitely exposes you to tick-borne diseases. Don't let that keep you from doing something as beneficial as gardening.

If you want to give gardening a try, it's probably not too late to plant a few fall vegetables and flowers.

Get into the habit of going outside daily, make it a priority and you'll begin to notice how much better you'll feel too.

Sep 12, 2016

Lyme Disease, Living with Joy and Dreaming Again

Lyme, Joy, Dreaming
In the fall of 2009 I was finally diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease and co-infections after a long, frustrating two years visiting different doctors, trying to get a diagnosis for my declining health.

While I still have pain off and on, most days I don't feel so much like a Lymie,  especially since many of my friends have similar aches and pains. I'm not going to say we're getting older but you know, it happens.

When I was first diagnosed I agreed to high doses of antibiotics. I acted out of fear and ignorance, I thought this was the only way I would regain my health.

Honestly, after the initial period where I felt like I was dying, antibiotics did help me to feel better. For example, my brain fog and extreme fatigue went away. After 2 years, my legs started feeling better instead of throbbing and feeling like they were cast in concrete.

While the antibiotics helped they also did a lot of damage and every time I tried to wean off them I relapsed. They kept my immune system depleted and basically stripped my gut of all the beneficial bacteria.

Sep 7, 2016

Reminding Myself About Life Through Unexpected Loss

death, heaven, memory of Becka
I’ve always known that life here on earth is short which makes each and every life extremely valuable.

Our family was touched by this reality recently when our dear friends suddenly lost their 31-year-old daughter in a tragic car accident.

The devastating news came, the feelings of hopelessness and loss, the questions why and then the urge to do something, something productive and helpful. You can't fix anything or change what happened but I needed to do something to support, love and serve our friends.

During the past few weeks, I've watched as God’s grace was poured out over the family & those who loved this young woman.