Disclaimer: This post is very long. Believe it or not, I actually tried to slim it down a lot. But it’s definitely hard to write about something that has consumed my entire life since I was young, and make it short. Thank you.
I didn’t even fully know what Lyme Disease was just over a year ago. I had heard of people having it, but didn’t even know much about it. I didn’t know I had it. Today, it consumes a large part of my everyday life.
As a child, I had many health problems. I always felt alone, like I was the only little kid this sick. Everything came in waves, and then left. I begun to have Acid Reflux Syndrome when I was very young. It was so bad that I had to position myself in bed with pillows under my head. I seemed to grow out of that. And then came the insomnia, when I was about 7-10. I would lie awake almost every night, sleepless for hours. I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea at 8 years. I went to another doctor that thought I had Narcolepsy. I was diagnosed with ADD around age 15, and put on Ritalin. I didn’t stay on that very long though, after realizing that it wasn’t doing very much for me.
I was misdiagnosed many, many times all throughout my childhood. And that’s the thing about Lyme Disease: it can be, and is, misdiagnosed as so many other things.
All during my years growing up, I was always much more easily tired than my friends, and always fatigued. It was very difficult for me to go to parties, camp, sleepovers, etc… and when I did, I would come home and sleep for a long time to recover. I couldn’t even hold the babies at church without awful backaches and pain.
I had a very difficult time all throughout school. I couldn’t remember anything that I tried to memorize. Everything was so much more difficult for me than my friends around me.
As I was moving into college my very first year, I learned that my roommate was recently diagnosed with Lyme Disease. At this point, I didn’t understand what that meant. As the semester went on, and she was being treated, I began to realize: her symptoms were very similar to mine. The descriptions of how she felt were something I understood daily. I began to have the thought in the back of my mind: could I, possibly, have Lyme Disease?
That semester started well. I had made some really great new friends, the beach was 15 minutes from campus, and I was loving being at college. But as the semester wore on, I began to wear out. My depression worsened. All of my symptoms became unbearable. There were times when I just wanted to lay down and cry because of the pain my body was going through. A lot of that semester is a blur for me now, and that might be because of my memory loss, or pain, or both. But my dear roommate was so sweet to me. And even though it was a rough semester, I’m so very thankful for her.
Over Thanksgiving break, I drove 4 hours to see my roommate’s doctor. He ordered some blood tests, one of which was for Lyme.
When I got back to college, I had to start studying for finals. I felt like a trainwreck. I was in so much constant pain, constant headache, and I couldn’t remember anything I was studying, due to brain fog.
Then my mom called me one day, and told me that my blood tests came back.
It varies, but the healthy level is about 150 and above. 20 and under is usually evident is very severe, long term Lyme. Mine was 22.
Lyme Disease can be transferred from mother to child at birth, and my current doctor thinks that may be what happened. My mom was also diagnosed.
I began antibiotic treatment, and I was hopeful that this might cure me. I began to have a Herxheimer reaction, which is normal in treatment. The Lyme was going to fight back, and cause my symptoms to worsen, and also cause new symptoms to emerge.
But, as time went on, I realized I might not be able to handle antibiotics at that time. I couldn’t eat anymore, and they caused nausea. It was so rough on me, as I was in my second semester of college. I decided I didn’t want to drop out of college, which costed me a lot of mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical problems. I was stubborn. I finally had to quit my antibiotics, because they were too hard on me. Some days I could barely get out of bed to go to class, the pain was too much to handle.
Once I made it through that last semester, I packed up my car and left Clearwater. My doctor had a new treatment for me to try at home, called the Cowden Protocol, which is a very strong, natural, herbal treatment. I have been on it ever since, and I’m definitely noticing improvement. My joint pain has lessened, I’ve noticed clearer thinking, and more energy.
I know it’s going to take a while. I know that I have a chronic disease, that I’ve had in my body my entire life. I have to wake up each morning, with the mentality that I have to fight this. This is a battle against my body, and I’m going to spend each day attacking it. I know there are things that are never going to be the same. I’ve lost a lot of my memories of when I was younger, and I’ll probably never get them back. I may never be in the same health as many of my friends, but I’m going to do everything I can to be in the best health I possibly can be.
So many people have been such encouragements along the way so far. And I just want to thank everyone for believing in me, praying for me, and encouraging me. It means so much. I want to be open and honest about my struggles, not for sympathy or for other to pity me, but to express my feelings and struggles through writing, which always helps me greatly. And possibly, I might be able to help others who are struggling, too. And thank you for reading this far, you are truly great. :)
Here is a list of common Lyme Disease Symptoms.
For anyone interested, this is my current Lyme Disease treatment:
- Cowden Protocol (set of herbal drops that are rotated throughout the month taken four times daily)
- Fish oil
- High doses of vitamin D (because I am very deficient)
- Methyl Protect (to help my methylation process: because I have a genetic mutation called MTHFR that could keep me from defeating the Lyme)
- iodine drops
- phytosine (to bring up cortisol levels in the morning)
- trace minerals
- phosphatidylserine (to lower cortisol levels at night)
- melatonin at night to avoid insomnia
- niacin once a day (to flush toxins)
- I am very strictly gluten free
- I try to avoid processed sugar, and I use Stevia to sweeten things
- I try to eat very clean, with a lot of meat and vegetables and some fruits.
- A friend of mine owns a sauna, so I drive to her house every day and spend about 50 minutes at 140º and then take a cold shower.
- I try to take a detox bath a few times a week. I put in a few cups of magnesium chloride flakes, some hydrogen peroxide, and a little ginger and/or lemon.
- I do something called dry skin brushing, to help my lymph glands to process and release all of the toxins
- I drink about 100 ounces of water a day