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.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Update on my biofilm treatment

Hello to my fellow Lyme sufferers......uh, let me rephrase that......my fellow Lyme survivors!  Ya, that's much better.  (You know, the glass half-full thing, rather than half-empty.) 

I thought I'd bring you up to date on this latest phase of my treatment.  As you may remember, I relapsed in January after being off antibiotics for 7 weeks.  So here I am, back ON the antibiotics, but I've added some biofilm busters - the herbals Banderol and Samento.

I've been working my way up to the full dose of these.  It sure takes a long time when you start with 5 drops and only add 1 drop every 2 days until you finally get to 20.  I'm almost there.....today I did 19 drops of each (2 times).

So how has it been?

Well to be honest, I haven't felt this crummy in a long time!  I'm very tired on this regimen.  I seem to get a lot of headaches, and once in a while, that Lyme brain fog rolls in.  The other night, I had a hard time sleeping.  I woke up every two hours with a splitting headache.  When I tried to nap the following day, I got those brain vibrations/tremors as I was drifting off to sleep, and it kept waking me up.  Strange, I know.  But many of you will understand what I'm talking about.  So many Lyme patients talk about body vibrations.  It feels like you're sticking your finger in an electrical outlet!

So what does this all tell me?  Well, maybe I'm herxing.  Or maybe I have yeast overgrowth which is triggering cytokine production, causing symptoms similar to Lyme.  It's hard to say.  I've made an appointment with my naturopath so that I can tackle the yeast problem if that's what she thinks I have.

If I'm herxing, then that's great!  The dormant Lyme is coming out of hiding, and biofilms are being broken down, and more of the bacteria are being killed off.  And that's the whole point of being on the Banderol and Samento.  So I'm not going to complain.  I just hope that things settle down after doing a few months of this treatment.  I'm even considering staying on a preventative dose of Banderol and Samento when I'm done, just to police the remaining critters.

If there is anyone out there who may be reading this who has actually achieved remission, I'd love to hear from you!  How long have you been in remission?  What are you doing to build up your immune system?  Are you taking any special supplements?

Before I sign off, I'd like to refer you to a wonderful blog entry I read this week from the blog Infectiously Optimistic.  To find the goodness in chronic illness is such a blessing.  I thank the author for her uplifting perspective.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Carry Me

I've heard the song "Carry Me" by Josh Wilson on the radio a few times this week, and today, it really struck a chord with me.  I know that if this song had been around two years ago when I was deathly ill with Lyme disease, it would have helped me immensely....just giving me that reassurance that God is there, that He cares, that He carries me when I can't hold myself up, and that others share in this journey of suffering and fear and deliverance.   

I've already talked about how Sara Groves, an amazingly talented Christian artist, helped to sustain me through my dark days.  I also gravitated to God's Word.  As I walked through that valley of the shadow of death, I would visualize myself laying down in the green pastures, and walking beside the still waters of Psalm 23.  When worldly medical professionals suggested meditation as a way to deal with my anxiety, I chose to meditate on God's Word exclusively.  Why would I need man-made things to meditate on when the Creator of the Universe had all of the answers I needed?!

I love how Josh Wilson juxtaposes his "sinking sand" with God's "solid ground".  (See Matthew 7:24-27.)  If you are ill with Lyme disease, or some other chronic illness, I encourage you to place your feet firmly on that solid ground that only God can provide.

Here is Josh Wilson's song to encourage your heart.  And click here to read about Josh's personal story behind the writing of "Carry Me".

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Yolanda Foster.....inspiring

Well you learn something new every day!  I discovered this video today on one of the Lyme sites that I've "liked" on Facebook.  It's of Yolanda Foster giving a very emotional and inspiring speech at the Lyme Research Alliance Gala recently.

Perhaps you've heard.....Yolanda has Lyme disease.  I had never heard of her before as I have never watched the reality TV show she is involved in, The Real Housewives of Beverley Hills.  But I have just discovered who she is married to!  David Foster!  Yup.....our own Canadian music man. 

Yolanda's speech brought tears to my eyes.  (And I'm not typically a crier!)  But it really hit close to home.  As I listened to her experience, it brought back the memories of when I fell ill.  My story was so similar to hers......the fatigue, the brain fog, the clueless doctors. 

If you have Lyme disease, you will really empathize with Yolanda.  If you don't have Lyme, what I hope you will take away from her speech is the seriousness of this illness and the need to protect yourself from tick bites (and mosquitoes and black flies).

Lyme is everywhere.  It discriminates not.  No one is immune.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Spring is here - Remember tick safety

I recently reviewed how to properly remove an embedded tick by watching Dr. Murakami's YouTube video.  Two methods are demonstrated here:  The intradermal blister technique and the straw and knot method. 

I've never had any experience removing an embedded tick.  I know what you're thinking......"Then why do you have Lyme disease?"  Well, perhaps it was a nymph (a baby tick the size of a poppy seed) which fed and fell off without being noticed.  OR....what I think is more likely....I may have been infected from mosquito or black fly bites when I was vacationing up in the Muskoka area of Ontario a few years ago.  Many Lyme-literate doctors believe that these insects can also transmit the borrelia burgdorferi bacteria.

I was recently in a tool store and saw a display for a "Tick Key".  It's a little tool to attach to your key ring that apparently helps you remove an embedded tick.  I messaged Dr. Murakami on Facebook and asked him about the key, and he does not recommend it.  It can leave the head of the tick embedded in you, with the opportunity to transmit the bacteria.

The blister technique is only to be done at a doctor's office or in the ER.  But the straw and knot method is easy enough for anyone.  If you're going camping or hiking, be sure to take along a straw and some thread, and review the technique beforehand.  Remember that the straw is used to simply guide the knot downwards over top of the tick's body, so it gets as close to the embedded head as possible.

And remember:  DO NOT use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other products on the tick.  These may cause the tick to become distressed and regurgitate its stomach contents, including the Lyme bacteria, into you.

Please be careful this spring and summer, and click here to learn how to prevent tick bites in the first place.