In Canada, Victoria Day holiday marks the official beginning of summer. OK, not the "actual" start of summer which is sometime around June 20, but the mental/emotional/practical start of summer. What a welcome relief from the bitter winter we endured here in Canada, where temperatures were sub-zero (and I mean SUB-SUB-zero) for such long stretches.
This weekend is also a huge camping weekend in Canada, which is the perfect segue to talking about tick protection. I do hope that all of the campers out there have done their research ahead of time so they don't end up with tick bites. Ticks are everywhere.....including your backyard! They are deposited there by songbirds. (It drives me crazy when doctors in these parts say, "There's no Lyme in this place or that place. Ticks don't swim across the Great Lakes to get to Canada!") Well of course not, but have they not considered the BIRDS???? Geesh. One local fellow Lyme sufferer posted recently that her dog had two ticks on him, and he hadn't left the backyard. So there you go. Protect yourself and learn how to properly remove an embedded tick.
So what's happening with me? Well, I think I can safely say that I am currently in remission from Lyme disease. Nevertheless, mild symptoms do reappear from time to time, but they don't seem to last long. I think that symptoms at this stage have much to do with inflammation in the body, so I'm going to resume taking some important supplements like curcumin which helps reduce inflammation. I'm still on a very low dose of antibiotics daily which is my choice. My LLMD would be fine for me to go off antibiotics entirely, but I've tried to do that twice and symptoms started to return after about 6 weeks. I can't afford to be unwell and to take time off work to deal with a relapse, so for now anyway, I like the "insurance" that the antibiotic gives. At some point, when I feel braver, I may try going off again and taking the herbal antimicrobials Banderol and Samento instead. We'll see.
I picked up a bottle of wine two days ago on my way out of Loblaws. (Having healed from Lyme, I am so happy to be able to enjoy wine again....finally!) There is a little wine shop right inside the grocery store that is run by Magnotta Winery. I love supporting Magnotta because of the AMAZING work that is being done by Rossana Magnotta for Lyme research and treatment.
In case you hadn't heard, Gabe Magnotta, who co-founded Magnotta Winery, passed away from complications stemming from his lengthy battle with Lyme disease. He went through the same ordeal all of us "Canadians-with-Lyme" go through.....being misdiagnosed, seeking treatment outside of the country, etc. etc. etc. His wife, Rossana, has founded the G. Magnotta Foundation which will soon open a Lyme research facility in the Humber River Hospital in Toronto.
When I got home and pulled my wine bottle out of the bag, out came this pamphlet detailing the foundation's plans, and giving some information about Lyme disease.
As I write this, I'm feeling emotional. This woman, who lost her husband, is turning around and doing such good for Canadians with Lyme disease. Gabe's death will not be in vain! I truly hope that the facility accomplishes all it sets out to accomplish. Here is some information from their pamphlet:
The primary focus of the Foundation is the establishment and operation of Canada's first research facility to study Lyme Disease and eventually other vector-borne illnesses. It will also educate medical professionals and the public through workshops and seminars.
Scheduled for completion in late 2015, the new state-of-the-art Humber River Hospital in Toronto - the first fully digital acute care hospital in North America - has partnered with the Foundation to house its world-class research facility for vector-borne illnesses. It will lead to better diagnostics and treatment for Canadians, many of whom have had to leave the country to get the accurate testing and proper care they need which Canada currently lacks.
If you are looking for a charitable organization to donate to, I encourage you to consider the G. Magnotta Foundation for Vector-Borne Diseaes. Check out their website at www.gmagnottafoundation.com. You can donate online through www.canadahelps.org.
Well, I think that's about it for news. It was nice "chatting" with you. Wishing you all well on your Lyme journey, and I'll be in touch!
P.S. The Magnotta Riesling is excellent!
Happy Victoria Day!