Welcome to my blog! This is a place of information and hope for fellow Canadians who are suffering from Lyme disease. I want to share with you the knowledge I have gained during my fight with this debilitating, frightening, and misunderstood illness. I hope you will be blessed.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Have you had a tick bite? Here is IMPORTANT INFORMATION!

I am coming out of hibernation for this post because I believe it is very important to share the following information. 

Some physicians (ER, GPs) think that a ONE-TIME dose of antibiotics after a tick bite will prevent the disease.  This is FALSE, and do not allow a physician to tell you so.  It may kill off the Lyme bacteria (borrelia) in the "spirochete" form, but not the "cyst form" which can also get passed onto you by the tick.  The "cyst form" takes longer to kill.

According to ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society), the following is appropriate treatment:
  • For a tick bite with no Lyme symptoms - 3 weeks of antibiotics (doxycycline for people over the age of 8, amoxicillin for children under 8)
  • For a tick bite with symptoms, such as a rash - 6 weeks of antibiotics (doxycycline for people over the age of 8, amoxicillin for children under 8)
Look it up in the ILADS treatment document in the link above and take the document to your physician.  To help you advocate for yourself, I urge you to watch this brief video below (on Facebook) which will help you arm yourself with all of the information you need to talk to your doctor.  Click this link:

Also, be very careful HOW you remove an embedded tick.  Many physicians (ER, GPs) don't know how to properly remove it without squeezing its stomach, which will cause its stomach contents to enter your body!  Here is a video to show you a method you can use to ensure that this does not happen.  It is called the Straw and Knot Method, developed by a Canadian doctor, Ernie Murakami.  Advance to 2:06 in the video.  Basically, you position a straw over the embedded tick.  Tie a thread onto a straw like you were starting to tie a shoelace.  Slide the knotted thread down the straw, over the tick's body, as close to your skin as you can get.  Slowly tighten the knot around the tick's head.  This way, you are not squeezing the stomach.  Use gentle tension to pull the tick out.  You can also use fine-tipped tweezers to pull a tick out, but be careful to grasp ONLY the head and not the body/stomach of the tick.

Put the tick in a plastic bag or small jar and have your doctor send it away for testing.  Do NOT allow your doctor to tell you to "wait and see" if you get a rash or other symptoms!  It is best to treat prophylactically (preventatively).  Three weeks of antibiotics now could save you a lifetime of chronic illness if the tick was carrying Lyme.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Spring, a season of new life and new hope

Dear friends,

We seem to have finally entered spring here in Canada.  The sights, sounds, and smells of spring are so refreshing, aren't they?  Spring is that relief after enduring months of harsh conditions.  Don't get me wrong; I love aspects of winter, too, but after five months of cold, wind, ice, slush, and shovelling, spring allows us to just exhale and take in the emerging beauty around us.  It is splendid!

I hope and pray that you are on the path to wellness and that, like spring, you are able to look forward to a new season of hope in your life.  Healing from Lyme is truly like the winter of life; it is hard and harsh.  But as you begin to see some small improvements, you regain that hope of better health.  Those small improvements are like the spring of your life, renewing your spirit as you anticipate better things to come.  Press on, and do not give up!  Very little has been gained in life without perseverance.  That is my prayer for you - perseverance and hope.

Thank you to those who have read this blog over the years, and I truly hope it has been helpful to many who have stumbled upon it.  This is my farewell post, as I will no longer be publishing here on The Lyme Maze.  Six years has been long enough, and I really have nothing more to add.  However, I will leave the blog up for those who may wish to have access to the information.

I wish you all the best on your journey to health!  Never give up!

With love,

The Lyme Maze

Monday, October 02, 2017

Overcoming Insomnia

Insomnia has to be one of the most brutal symptoms of Lyme disease, and so many of us suffer from it.  Prior to 2011, when my Lyme disease appeared, I never EVER had a problem sleeping.  But it has been a struggle for 6 long years now.

Some Lyme sufferers can't sleep, while others sleep too much!  How bizarre is that?  All I can say to that is that Lyme messes with our brain chemistry - hormones, neurotransmitters, cortisol, etc. - and creates a problematic situation that is not easily resolved.  In addition, we might end up with thyroid or mitochondrial issues that can worsen our fatigue.

I encourage you to work with your doctor, naturopath, and LLMD to do whatever it takes to get you sleeping.  Sleep is crucial to healing.  I have had some success with the use of melatonin, 5-HTP, and zopiclone, but there are many more options out there.  Gabapentin was disastrous for me and it took me a very long time to wean off of it due to severe withdrawal symptoms.  Every person is an individual and what works for one may not work for another.  Experiment with various supplements, and if necessary, prescription medication.  But I highly recommend that you do this under the guidance of an experienced medical professional who can help you with dosing and drug interactions.

Here are a few resources to help you in your quest for a decent night's sleep:

1. ProHealth, "Five Supplements I Use to Cope With Insomnia"

2. Connie Strasheim, Beyond a Glass of Milk and a Hot Bath  (Kindle edition)

3. Dr. Marty Ross, Sleep in Lyme Disease  (Dr. Marty Ross' articles require a subscription to his online Lyme book, but it is well worth the money!  He provides an enormous amount of invaluable information on his website.)

Monday, September 25, 2017

2017 Highlights

Hello everyone!

I just thought I'd touch base as it's been a while.  2017 has been an interesting year in the Lyme world with more publicity for Lyme and some small, but positive steps with regard to advocacy.

Firstly, we saw the establishment of the G. Magnotta Lyme Disease Research Lab at the University of Guelph this year, with a $1.4 million grant from the government.  I had been waiting for this announcement for a couple of years.  The last I had heard, it was supposed to be in conjunction with the Humber River Hospital, but apparently that plan fell through.  I am glad to see this partnership established and look forward to hearing about their research. 

Secondly, we saw some baby steps towards progress in conversations between a particular Lyme advocacy group and the federal government.  Sue Faber and Jennifer Kravis call themselves LymeHope, and they had a very successful campaign to collect and deliver 2 700 letters from Lyme sufferers all over Canada to then Health Minister Jane Philpott.  Click on the LymeHope link to read more about their story and what is in store.  I was pleased to be one of the 2 700 people to tell my story to the Health Minister.  Thank you so much, Sue and Jennifer, for your tireless effort!

This year, we saw Lori Dennis, a psychotherapist from Toronto, promote her new book, Lyme Madness.  The book recounts her son's harrowing journey to heal from Lyme, but in addition, she does a fabulous job explaining the roadblocks we face in Canada with regard to our medical system.  All of your questions about the madness of this situation will be answered in her book.  Her book also includes dozens of accounts from Lyme sufferers in Canada.  I was so pleased to have my personal story included in her book.  This book is a fantastic read and I highly encourage everyone to get a copy!

I have spent some time updating a few things on my blog.  If you check out my Books tab above, I have added several new books to the list.  More is being written about Lyme every year it seems, and "famous" Lyme sufferers are coming out of the woodwork, with several publishing their Lyme stories.

I have also added an update to the My Lyme Story tab above.  If you scroll down to the end, there is some information about what's been going on with me the past couple of years.  Every day is a struggle, but through those struggles, I have come to better understand God's blessings in my life.

I'm praying for you all, and hoping for a better future for all of us Lyme sufferers in Canada.