Sunday, November 13, 2011

On the On-Ramp

Well, this past Wednesday I hit the 2-week mark of my treatment. I ramped up from a 1/2-dose to a full dose of the Clarithromycin, and about 24 hours later, I felt it!

I have to say, sometimes antibiotics leave you with nasties. This one is no exception. I have this little friend that is with me all day, every day. His name? (Yes, notice it's a boy, LOL) Mr. Awful-Rancid-Disgusting-Taste-In-My-Mouth. Unrelenting. Unless I am about an hour late in taking my next dose. :)

Today was the day of days for herxing. Remember, that is the reaction we feel from the bacteria die-off, leaving their endo-toxins (neuro-toxins) for us to feel sicker. I felt everything I had experienced so far, but more so. If there was a magnifying glass for feeling, I was under it today.

I almost didn't go to church. I felt awful: horribly aching/burning arms and legs, joint pain, stomach upset, intestinal cramp-ish feeling, eye sensitivity to light–would actually leave blackish blind spots after looking near a light. It was a pretty bad day today.

But I am hopeful. This means we are killing these enemies of mine. I have been taking baths to detox from these toxins about twice a week. Epsom salts, Hydrogen Peroxide, and freshly grated Ginger in a nice hot bath. Sucks out the nasties while leaving me with a fresh Ginger scent. :) Lovely.

So that is the update here. Borrelia Burgdorferi dying... Lauren gaining ground.

Now, I also believe I have one or two co-infections; Bartonella and Babesia, to be precise. Many Lymies have more than just Lyme Disease to battle. The Bartonella does wreak havoc on muscles and joints, among many other things. So if the Lyme is waning, the Bart may well be thriving. I will begin treating for the Bart after getting used to the current treatment.

Stick around folks... Lots of fun and surprises around every corner! Until next time...

BY THE WAY... The medical board/attorneys received an overwhelming number of letters in support of my doctor, as well as a petition with over 2,000 signatures... They have already come to an agreement: he is no longer in danger of license suspension!! Praising God right now!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Lyme Doctor – URGENT

I feel the need to post today as this morning when I awoke and checked my email from bed–something I do to help gently nudge myself into the land of the awake–I read that my Lyme Doctor is under attack. 

He is scheduled for a hearing to suspend his license. Why? Interestingly enough, they don't like the way he speaks... and a few other nonsensical issues. I am pasting a portion of a letter from a Lyme network friend. (Now that he is under scrutiny, my doctor's name is known.)

"The final report as filed by the doctor's that observed him found him deficient in: 

* Patient interviewing and communication skills
* Record Keeping
* Overall Fund of Medical Knowledge
* Mental deficiency due to diagnostic procedures and hesitant speech patterns

35 years of practicing medicine and they don't like the way he speaks. 

Based upon these findings the WI. Department of Safety and Professionalism {specifically, lead investigator Arthur Thexton} has issued a petition to have Dr. Hoffmann's medical license suspended immediately pending a final decision by the WI. Medical Examining Board. 

We must have everyone write immediately on Dr. Hoffmann's behalf. They can pass an order to suspend his license immediately and then go through the years long, laborious process to get it reinstated. I spoke personally with Doc last evening regarding this matter and he's devastated. The man can't even afford an attorney. Of course, what doctor could charging $100 per-office visit and taking Medicare and Medicaid patients ? It's time we gave back to him." 

Here's my thought: I really don't think this is solely about the above bullet points. This is a very much shared view by many of his patients.

PLEASE: Even if you don't know him, even if you don't know what is exactly going on, KNOW THIS: Dr. Hoffmann is a spectacular doctor. He is the most down-to-earth doctor and knows what he is doing. Many people in the Lyme community tout him as one of the best in the midwest. He is also the least expensive Lyme doctor in the United States. You read that correctly.

This is what happened to many docs including ones in the documentary Under Our Skin, which is with regards to Lyme Disease... the truth about Lyme Disease, that is.

PLEASE sign this petition to help save my (and hundreds of others') Lyme Doctor!!!

Thank you all. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A "H"eaven-Sent Lyme Literate Doctor! And A Vocabulary Lesson

For those who know me from my Wisconsin Lyme friends, you understand the title here. If you are not one of those precious lives afflicted by Lyme Disease, you may not.

Here's the skinny. Lyme Literate Medical Doctors (LLMDs) are pretty much on the DL (the down-low for those of you who didn't know that slang :D). Why is this? Well, there are a number of insurance companies (who don't want to pay for proper treatment) and other not-so-good guys who would like to see these docs lose their license as they actually prescribe the proper amount (which is long term) of antibiotics. The good guys use the ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases) training instead of the IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America), who basically got it wrong. It seems the wads of cash in the IDSA Lyme guideline writers' breast pockets made their arms bend funny and their pencils write funny things like "there is no such thing as chronic/late stage Lyme, and if someone has Lyme, give them 2 weeks of Doxycycline and they are cured." Therefore, we Lymies keep our doctor's name private.

Okay, so I had my first visit to my LLMD one week ago today. His name is . . . irrelevant. HA! Didn't think I was that forgetful, did ya? Okay, so he was incredibly irritated that just looking at my Western Blot proved that my body was fighting Borrelia Burgdorferi, AKA the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.

Question: How many doctors does it take to read a Western Blot/Lyme Test?

Answer: Indefinite unless they're LLMDs; then you need only one... with one eye opened and both hands tied behind his back.

I began treatment the same day. Oral antibiotics. I am actually taking a half-dose for the first two weeks, and then ramping up to the full dose. I like to think of each one as a little bomb that I send down the hatch. Makes me feel like I'm channeling my inner warrior... princess. (Insert Zena cry here.)

This week has been interesting at best. I knew I would react to the warfare. And I have. There is something of a final assault that these little spirochetes have in their arsenal: neurotoxins. When they are drilling around (literally: they are shaped like a corkscrew, hence the name spirochete [pronounced spy-ro-keet] and they drill through anything and go anywhere), they release these along the way. When they are killed, in the theme of a grand finale, they release all that they have, thus making the victim – that would be me – sicker.

I have dealt with lots of joint pain, headaches, muscle pain, and rib pain. My feet have hurt a bit, but not horribly. This is expected, and normal. Some people react worse than others... but if you don't "herx," (short for Herxheimer--the doc who discovered this reaction) then it is quite probable that you don't have Lyme. I am just EVER thankful that I haven't had the stomach issues that some get...

In addition to the bombing assaults, I also detox, detox, detox. Baths with Epsom Salts, Hydrogen Peroxide, and freshly grated ginger – which leaves a nice fresh smell, that's for sure. This combo sucks the toxins out of my pores. I also am drinking plenty of freshly-squeezed lemon juice in my water. At least 70 oz. (of water, that is) each day.

So I'm one week into my treatment. I am excited to keep bombing the "keets," and to feel some relief in a month or so... maybe two. Or so. I don't really know. It's different for everyone. And largely can depend on how long the person has been infected. For me, that may be most of my life minus about 7 years. It could mean only close to four years. But Doc was pretty certain I probably was infected at both times, with the re-infection bringing about some more symptoms, etc.

Long post this week. Thanks for hanging in there. Air raid sirens will be going off soon... Less than two hours until my next assault. This warrior is signing off for now. God speed.