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.

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