A Big Pet Peeve

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This will just be a quickie because I like to keep this blog about all of the cool things in life like food and family and experiences.

However, I feel compelled to speak about this because I see it more and more on social media, within Lyme groups, and how people who are battling Lyme Disease refer to themselves.

I don’t know where this meme came from so I can’t credit it, I found it on Pinterest. This person (along with countless others) has labeled themselves a, LYMIE. And do you notice how cutsie and pretty the meme is?

Ridiculous.

If I was going to make a meme about me having Lyme Disease, I can guarantee you it would not look like this.

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If I hear another person dealing with Lyme Disease refer to themselves as a “Lymie”, I’m going to blow a gasket.

You are NOT a lymie. You are a human being in a great battle with a chronic bacterial infection, but you are NOT the illness you battle. Don’t label yourself. Don’t own negative crap like that. Don’t get comfortable with it, don’t hug it and cuddle with it and make it part of your identity. Look at it logically, like how you would read directions on how to build a shelf. And with that amount of emotion. Educate yourself, find treatments that work for you, take care of yourself, but don’t get so wrapped up in the weight of it all that it becomes your identity and you begin to label yourself with pet names like “Lymie” or “Spoonie”.

Focus on all of the parts of you outside of Lyme Disease. Yes, I understand that having this infection changes our lives. I understand that many of us can’t do all of the things we used to be able to do, that we feel like crap a lot and that it’s a major challenge and sometimes can be very scary and is frustrating ALL the time. I get that.

But you are still YOU. Set aside what others think about this illness. Make sure people in your life are treating you like YOU. Focus on the parts of you that need loving tenderness and fun and excitement and fulfillment. At whatever level you can do. Take small, even tiny, steps toward doing things the non-sick you would do. Every little moment and every little step toward focusing on the blessings in your life no matter how large or infinitesimal, makes a huge impact on your health.

You are not your illness, you are battling an illness, there is a big difference.

xo ~ Gluten Free Zen

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May Is Lyme Disease Awareness ~ Here’s My Story

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In 2007 I was awakened from a dead sleep with dizziness, nausea, extreme anxiety, and a strange buzzing or vibrating feeling all over my body. Within 12 hours I began throwing up and couldn’t find the energy to do much outside of my bed. I was running a low grade fever. My body could barely relax and I kept getting startled awake hundreds of times a night. It was like my nervous system was on fire, mixed with a severe case of the flu.

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Finally, someone suggested that I had vertigo and to go to the emergency room. They gave me a pain shot which made me feel worse. I have no idea why they treated me for pain. They ran lab work for what… I don’t know. Then proceeded to tell me that the nausea was “stress”. After about 2 hours, she finally checked my eyes and diagnosed me with vertigo and sent me on my way but not before telling me in a somewhat comical voice, that her best friend was on her 6th month of extreme vertigo. That irritated me and terrified me. How do you live your life with extreme vertigo?  It also worried me because I just knew in my gut that something else besides the vertigo was going on. The weeks went by and no one could figure out what was wrong with me besides the vertigo. Not the ER, not my MD, not my PA, my OBGYN, or my Naturopath. Test after test was inconclusive.

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The vertigo eventually subsided, but not 100% and it took 6 months before I felt anywhere near like myself. I had to stop volunteering several hours a day at my son’s school, something I had been doing for his entire life. I began to change my diet by eliminating dairy to see if that would help with the nausea. I also had my hormones checked and found out my progesterone was very low and started bio identical progesterone cream. I slowly started to feel somewhat “normal” again, but over the next two years began to deal with a lot of joint pain, severe neck issues, my feet were sore when I got out of bed in the morning, my hips hurt, I was still dealing with that nervous feeling, and I just never felt completely healed. Kind of like I was living on that cusp of just coming down with something.

I was run down, tired, and worried.

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In 2009 two years later, we were on a big family camping trip in Montana when I started to get the chills. Earlier that day, I had had a cupping session so we figured I was having a difficult time with detox. I was seeing a naturopath and we were having problems treating my liver. It seemed everything detox related we tried, made me very ill. By the next morning, I woke up in our trailer severely ill. My entire lower back was on fire, all of my joints hurt. I was in enough pain to cry and to have to be taken home. By the next morning, I knew immediately that I was having a relapse of whatever happened to me in 2007. Except this time I was worse. Way worse. I was bed or couch ridden the majority of the time for about 3 weeks in the beginning. I lost 25 pounds in a month and a half. I had all the same symptoms as I did in 2007 except the list was growing. Now, half of my face felt tingly and slightly numb. When I touched it, it caused my ear on that side to ring loudly. Both of my ears ringed horribly at night. I was sweating profusely all the time. We tested my adrenals and they were taxed as well. I had to quit my job. I began getting shingles. I had shingles every two months for a year and a half. In fact, I felt sick for an entire two years.

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During that time I increased my vitamin D3 which seemed to help build my immune system slowly. Quitting my job and trying to eliminate as much stress as possible also helped. I not only had eliminated dairy, but I stopped eating gluten as well. When I was able to get rid of the dizziness, I got immediately out of bed. I couldn’t stand it. So I hiked. Even when I felt like death, I hiked. I wore headphones and sang along with my iPod as I hiked. Sometimes I cried all the way up to the cedar forest. When I couldn’t hike I used the treadmill and I often prayed non-stop the entire time I was on it. I’m a fighter. Even when I don’t know what I’m fighting. I just knew that I had to focus on anything and everything that made me feel even slightly better. Again, I never felt completely healed, but  I was able to live life in a way that I could live with as somewhat, “normal”.

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Fast forward to the summer of 2013. We had moved to New Hampshire and several months later were enjoying a summer evening on our neighbor’s porch. Although I used bug spray, I went home with at least 15 mosquito bites on each of my legs. Within 2 days they were oozing down my leg and I was throwing up. The bites had taxed my immune system. I figured I had the flu. The second week, I woke with vertigo. Again. I was terrified because I knew what was coming. I could feel it. And if you’ve ever been severely ill and had absolutely everyone test you and poke you and prod you and tell you, “I don’t know,it’s a mystery”…you know the dread and fear I was feeling. Plus, we were 3,000 miles away from home and anyone we knew. My husband’s job was very demanding and we only saw each other maybe 7 days a month.

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After calling two doctors who wouldn’t see me because I was a new patient and didn’t have all of my medical records, I finally got a hold of one who agreed to take me on that day. She treated me for vertigo and sent me on my way, but not before I explained to her that I had been sick since 2007 and something was very wrong. I told her I needed someone who would try to get to the bottom of it with me, and she was happy to do it. I cried floods of relief all the way home.

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By week 3, I was seeing a physical therapist for vertigo exercises, which made zero difference. My blood pressure was through the roof. My doctor wanted to try Xanax for my blood pressure to see if it was stress. That didn’t work either and after 3 days I stopped because the last thing I needed was a life spent on pharmaceuticals. I felt dehydrated regardless of what I drank, had ringing in my ears, severe morning nausea and diarrhea, major muscle fatigue, severe heart burn, heart palpitations, anxiousness, ongoing headache, numbness in toes, high pulse. She started me on blood pressure medication.

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By week 4, all my symptoms remained. I stopped the PT because it wasn’t working and the PT therapist kept telling me all I needed was to go walk by myself without my dogs. Enter a bunch of questioning trucker swear words here. I was infuriated. She was an idiot. She laughed at me twice and patted me on the arm when I told her my symptoms. I called my doctor and told her I couldn’t stand the PT and I was done. My knuckles were like big knots and my hands were incredibly weak. I began having severe migraines. Week 5, symptoms still remained except the BP meds were finally beginning to lower my blood pressure. I began having shingles outbreaks again. I had terrible deep chills and sweats that only a hot bath would stop temporarily. The anxiety started to subside a little. The doctor tried to diagnose me with Fibromyalgia or Rheumatoid Arthritis but I wouldn’t allow it. I knew something else was wrong.

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By Week 6, the dizziness subsided but I began having severe joint pain and bone pain. My shins felt like I had shards of metal sticking into them. They ached like the most severe growing pains I had ever felt. My whole body felt like it had severe period cramps. I could no longer hike or go on long walks. It took all my energy to walk up the long flight of stairs to our bedroom. I could only accomplish a few tasks a day, sometimes getting ready for the day was all I could handle. Then, I would turn on the fire and lay in front of it for most of the day and sleep because I was freezing and had a level of lethargy words cannot explain. Maybe it was a blessing that my husband had to travel so much. I simply would not have been able to keep up with everything had he been home all the time. I started getting blisters on the roof of my mouth. My toes on both feet were numb. My hands were tingling constantly. I had such severe neck pain I rotated between a heating pad and ice packs all night, every night.

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During this time I was in contact with my husband’s cousins wife. She was diagnosed and struggling with severe late stage Chronic Lyme Disease. At that point, she was in a wheelchair and doing intravenous antibiotics. We had an online pen pal relatioship and talked daily. When I listed my symptoms she said, “April, you have almost every single one of my symptoms. You need to call your doctor and get tested for Lyme Disease.” So I did. The doctor look startled. Like she was upset with herself for not considering it earlier. The test came back positive.

Hallelujah! I didn’t know whether to weep because I was so thankful that I wasn’t completely crazy and the world’s worst hypochondriac, or feel absolute dread because I knew how dangerous and even more debilitating Lyme Disease could end up being for me. Finally, an answer to what I had been battling for the last 6 years of my life.

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On week 8 the doctor started me on antibiotics and I believe my first wave was three weeks. By week 10 I felt a pretty significant difference in energy level and although all of my symptoms remained, they were reduced in intensity. Then I did another three weeks which eliminated many of my worst symptoms like major fatigue, chills, nausea, and migraines. Still wasn’t feeling back to normal, but at that point, those improvements felt like a miracle! During those several weeks I buried my head in my computer for endless hours researching everything I could get my hands on concerning Lyme Disease, Chronic Lyme, and chronic illness. It was a real eye opener. I joined several private Lyme groups which were also tremendously helpful with information and support.

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A few months later we decided to move back to our home town where it turned out that my doctor’s new physician’s assistant was from New England. That was a major blessing because she is more schooled on Lyme Disease than the average doctor in this state. We did more testing with a  very expensive lab that specializes in Lyme Disease testing and I received another positive test. With all of the controversy over the CDC providing inaccurate testing and test results, lying about the incidence and prominence of Lyme Disease, it was important to me to spend the extra money to make sure I knew what I was dealing with. We also tested for co-infections in which I tested negative. She said it’s unlikely that I don’t have some co-infections, but like the Lyme bacteria, they aren’t always easy to find.

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The Lyme Bacteria is a super bug. It forms a bio film or cyst to protect itself. This is why it’s difficult to test and difficult to treat long term. The best defense to lingering issues is to seek treatment immediately upon being bitten. If a doctor argues that the infection isn’t passed until after 48 hours or even 24, the doctor is wrong. They have now done studies that prove that once the tick is attached, it begins transferring.

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I sat with the new PA and discussed the research I had done. She was patient and truly listened. She said she would read anything I brought to her, including books. We discussed options and she is completely open to following my lead. My choice over the last two years has been to only treat with antibiotics when I have a flare. I wait until it’s at its peak, and then we pulse with antibiotic treatment for 3 weeks. I believe I’ve had to treat 2-3 times in the past two years. It works very well for me. I also added high quality fish oil, extra probiotics, curcumin, digestive enzymes, and took the majority of grains,nuts and seeds, white potatoes, and legumes out of my diet. I’m able to indulge now and then, but in the beginning I completely abstained from those things for more than a year. It made a tremendous difference in joint pain, headaches, and fatigue.

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There are many Lyme Disease treatment options and philosophies. They are different when dealing with a new infection or an old infection. While I had and have many common Lyme symptoms, each person’s experience and how their body deals with it can vary. I have been unable to find any concrete proof that people who weren’t treated immediately can be healed completely with antibiotics or any other treatment.

The agreed upon goal for most people who deal with Chronic Lyme is to get it to go into remission by boosting the immune system and battling the side effects daily.  After working in a Naturopathic clinic for many years, I know the importance of gut health and how it is the epicenter of our immune systems. I didn’t want to ruin it further by taking multiple types of antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals for a minimum 3-5 years straight, which is a common late stage Lyme treatment. I know that there are tried and true natural options for healing the body and boosting the immune system and I am willing to experiment with that along with pulsing with antibiotics only when I feel it is absolutely necessary. At this point in time, I have no plans to do long term antibiotic treatment or intravenous antibiotic treatment and I also keep my supplements to a bare minimum. I have found that many of my health issues can be managed well with diet, exercise, and simple supplements.

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Fast forward to today…9 years after my first flare. Over the past 5 months my health has improved greatly. I have my wonky feeling days when my body raises red flags and says, “Slow down and rest!”  I’ve taught myself to understand my body and to listen to it carefully.

Over the past year I’ve placed a large concentration of my efforts into my immune system, lowering inflammation, and eliminating as much controllable stress as humanly possible. The rest, I leave up to God. I am a fighter, I work hard to keep a very positive attitude, and my goal is always to focus on the good while fighting the bad.  I’m taking each chapter as it comes. I no longer worry about the “what ifs” because no one can control that and it stops me from enjoying the now and living my life to the fullest. People often tell me they admire my attitude and my strength. It pleases me immensely that they can see that and that I can provide support and hope to others who struggle.

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I chose to share this story with you during this month of Lyme Disease Awareness because had my friend not shared her story with me, it’s very possible that I would be in a very bad  and deadly place with my health right now. People can end up paralyzed, unable to speak, in cardiac arrest, in wheelchairs, bedridden for years, and eventually die from complications of Lyme Disease and we rarely ever hear about it. Lyme Disease mimics 300 different diseases and it is usually the absolute last thing, if at all, that is considered when testing for illness.

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You can visit this page where I list many links I studied while researching about Lyme Disease, Chronic Lyme Disease, and treatment.

Pity Party For One, Averted ~ My Corner Of The World

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How’s your summer going?

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Overall, ours has been great. Hot and sunny, and mostly relaxing, just the way I like it.

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In late spring I went on another pulsing dose of antibiotics. I’d been in a flare since November and it had finally gotten to the point where I was at a peak in symptoms. Very unpleasant. Prime pulsing time. So far, pulsing antibiotics rather than long-term antibiotic use works very well at keeping my symptoms at a manageable level.

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So after a three week course, I was feeling pretty darn good. Summer was turning out to be gorgeous, my symptoms were manageable, and I was settling in for absorbing every ounce of heat and sun I could, and focusing on feeling good.

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A few weeks into summer, I started having little blips on the radar. Like a never ending period. Or numerous ones that kept coming too early. OK, I’m no spring chicken, I know what’s happening. Not a huge deal. I’m old and my uterus is a wrinkled up almond. I get it. Now stop.

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Then I started getting hit with multiple day migraines. Serious ones that left me mostly out of commission for consecutive days in a row. Then some serious neck pain.

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WHAT is happeninggggggg…..I thought. I’m enjoying my summer, go away!

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Then it got so bad, my “I hate to take drugs” self had a conversation with my logical writhing in pain self. Turns out several ibuprofen and a muscle relaxant will help with the neck pain and the headaches. But those muscle relaxants throw me for a loop. Thankfully, I only use those for my big guns and so far I’ve only had to use them a few times.

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Then, because of the hormonal issues, the doctor suggested an ultrasound of my uterus. Externally, and internally. Fun stuff.

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 Turns out I have a cyst on my right ovary and fibroids in my uterus. This could mean all kinds of things. None of which is in the danger zone yet, as far as I know. But it does probably spell out ablation, or hysterectomy.

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OK, deep breaths. At this point I’m still thinking…but Lyme-wise, I’m feeling decent, why ALL of this other stuff NOW? I need a break from feeling like crap and worrying about feeling like crap.

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And then I broke a molar. Yep.

Oh Murphy’s Law, you are a relentless bastard.

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So I had it fixed and the next day, had my teeth cleaned. The dentist even managed to numb half my face and half my tongue, but NOT my tooth. That was fun. Two unpleasant visits to the dentist killed with one stone in a matter of two days. Or so I thought.

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Because now, for the last two weeks, all of my teeth have been unbelievably, painfully, sensitive. I’d also bought a new Sonicare toothbrush and started using it right at the same time. Evidently this one is a higher quality than the last one I had and my teeth are now right up there with the horror people talk about after they have their teeth whitened. Like, it hurts to breathe through my mouth.

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So I’ve been living on ibuprofen which is terrible for lyme disease because it ruins your gut, and using the strongest de- sensitizing toothpaste I could find. I’m down to one tooth still hurting…the one he worked on.  I foresee a dentist appointment in my near future.

Oh, except I called two days ago and the whole office is on vacation for 10 days.

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Yesterday I went to have my blood taken for a hormone panel. I brought my mom so she could stay in the air conditioned car with the dogs because it’s hot here and then we would walk them after my “quick” blood draw. I arrived prior to opening, hoping to beat the crowd, but so did seven other people. There was a line outside the door. I signed in and sat out in the hallway where the air conditioning wasn’t set at 20 below zero, as I was dressed in shorts and a tank. Dog walking attire. No make up. Not even showered.

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Then, the pity party began. “I can only handle so much Lord. How can you expect me to deal with Lyme, feel sick every day and deal with that, and then just keep adding stuff to my plate? I need a reprieve. I thought that’s what summer was? Clearly my hormones are a mess, do you know what it’s like to have a period 33 days in a row? Non stop. Please make this stop. And now I have to worry about what’s growing in my uterus and on my ovary and why, WHY, is my tooth still hurting? I have been in pain for two years straight with the whole infuriating Lyme thing. It’s exhausting. That dental appointment was $400! If something is really wrong and I need a crown it will be another $1,000 minimum and another visit to one of my top 5 places I hate to go. I hate to spend money on things I hate. What an incredible waste. And he can’t even figure out how to numb my ACTUAL TOOTH! How hard is it? All the xanax in the world can’t prevent fear of THAT. And now I have to see a new gynecologist this week and hope that she’s up on the latest research on bio-identical hormones and isn’t an idiot, and I can feel another Lyme flare looming in the distance. And why haven’t we heard back on the water damage in the trailer? Please, let that be good news and not thousands of dollars of damage. I need a vacation.  And why won’t the infection in Romeo’s eyes go away? I’m so worried about him. I’m overwhelmed, this is too much. Lord, help me.”

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Right at that moment, a woman about 10 years younger than me walked into the lab, signed in, walked out and straight into the bathroom next to where I was sitting. She closed the door and immediately began sobbing hysterically. I thought, I know first hand what it’s like not to like having a needle in your arm, but this doesn’t sound like that. This sounds serious. I got up and tried the handle. Locked. Must be a single stall. So I sat back down and waited. She was in there sobbing for several minutes.

She came out, walked around the corner where I couldn’t see her and sat at a table by the vending machines.

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My internal dialogue was going haywire. “What is happening, why is she so upset? Should I see if she’s OK? What if she’s crazy and I have to deal with that? What if she’s angry and mean? I have enough crazy in my life. I already have enough on my plate. Stop taking on more stuff! Mind your own business. But she sounds so incredibly sad. I want to hug her. She NEEDS a hug, I can feel it. I feel terrible for her. I can’t stand to see people upset and know they’re hurting. What if something terrible has happened? I want her to know that I don’t have to know her to care about her. What if she’s suicidal and I see her in the news tomorrow and I did absolutely nothing? My GOD April, you need to get your hormones under control. She’s all by herself. What an awful feeling. I’m going to jump out of my skin, I have to DO something! All of this thinking is making me sweat. Calm down. God equips us for things like this. If she’s crazy or she gets mad at you, so be it. Don’t turn away.”

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So God said, “GO!” And I did.

I asked her if she was going to be OK. And it turned out, she was as equally confused about what to say as I was. She was in the middle of a miscarriage and was there to have her hormone levels checked. She was devastated. I told her that I did worry she’d be mad for the intrusion, but I wanted to make sure that she was going to be OK. I shared that I too had struggled with miscarriages and that I knew exactly what she was feeling and how difficult it is. We agreed that people who haven’t had that sad experience don’t know what to say, and often say the wrong things which makes it all hurt even more. She said all the things we all say to try to get us through it.” It wasn’t planned, God knows what he’s doing, if there’s something wrong with the baby, maybe it’s a good thing, we don’t want it to suffer. Even though it wasn’t planned, we were so excited. We already have two kids (as if you can’t be upset about losing one). But I have so much stress in my life right now, maybe I caused it to happen.”

And secretly, in that inner most sanctum we all have… We’ve wondered if we’re not worthy, if we’re being punished for something. I knew that was what she was thinking, because I’ve lived it. I tried very hard not to cry. And I told her that I have a healthy, 23 year old after a lot of pregnancy issues. It can happen, have faith. And the most important thing to remember: It’s not your fault.

God does have a plan, and we don’t have to understand it for it to work.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

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She thanked me. She said, “I want to thank you for taking the time out of your day to care about me. That’s not easy for people to do when they see someone upset. I’m so thankful that you came over to talk to me. Thank you so much for your kindness.”

Then, we were both feeling blessed. Because I was reminded that even with all the “stuff” in my life that’s going on right now, I do still have strength. My head is still above water. I’ve been through a lot, yes. But not too much. God is in control…even those of us who believe we have a solid faith need to be reminded of that. And when He says, “GO!” you go.

Love truly is the greatest commandment, because when you love Him, amazing things happen. He gives you the capacity to love back.  And when you think you’re stuffed full and He fills your plate with a little more, you’ll be blessed from it. There’s always room for giving love and receiving love. And by doing that, you gain strength to jump another hurdle and face another day.

Pity Party, Averted.

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Pulsing & How To Plan A Road Trip When You Have Food Allergies

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Last week my mom and I spent some girl time in Montana. It was really nice to have a little getaway with just the two of us. As most of you know, with allergies and a chronic illness, there’s a bit of planning that needs to be done if a trip is to be enjoyable. Food allergies can throw a wrench in eating out when you’re on vacation, even if the restaurants you choose have “allergen free options”. I can eat out once or twice, but any more than that and the food allergy symptoms begin to mount.

Prior to boiling, poke a tiny hole in the fat end of the egg with a push pin and the shells will just peel right off.

Ignore my botched manicure and prior to boiling, poke a tiny hole in the fat end of the egg with a push pin and the shells will just peel right off.

Hard boiled eggs are a great option for traveling. Healthy, full of protein, and easy to eat on the run or sliced over a salad.

Hard boiled eggs are a great option for traveling. Healthy, full of protein, and easy to eat on the run or sliced over a salad.

Typically, when we travel I try to bring as many healthy snacking and meal options as possible. This means a lot of food prep before we leave. Spending a couple of days in the kitchen requires “feel good” days and a lot of energy. I’ve been in a Lyme flare since late November. Flares are unpleasant, and unpredictable. Some days I can feel decent enough to run errands and do other things and other days I’m either on the couch, in bed, or just feeling all around sick. The past 6 weeks symptoms have been on the incline.

I brought along the Nutribullet and individually bagged veggies and fruits for easy breakfast smoothies. Mom brought oatmeal and coffee and I added home made bread, honey, and tea to the breakfast mix.

I brought along the Nutribullet and individually bagged single serving veggies and fruits for easy breakfast smoothies. Mom brought oatmeal and coffee and I added home made bread, honey, and tea to the breakfast mix.

So last week I felt it was time to head to the doctor and discuss my options before things got out of hand. I was really looking forward to our trip and did not want to have to cancel.

I love to roast a whole chicken and then slice the meat for snacking, sandwiches, or to add to salads.

I love to roast a whole chicken and then slice the meat for snacking, sandwiches, or to add to salads. I put the white and dark meat in separate baggies and it travels very well.

The bad news is that there are no tests available that give a concrete answer as to whether antibiotics are successful at killing off the Lyme bacteria. This doesn’t mean they don’t work, it just means there’s no testing yet that proves that they do…or don’t. There’s really only the list of symptoms that get better or don’t. So rather than get obsessive about a “cure”, the goal right now is to get things under control and back into remission.

I booked us a hotel room with a full kitchen. I prepped marinated chicken and steak prior to leaving as to not have to fuss with bringing along a lot of ingredients.

I booked us a hotel room with a full kitchen. I prepped marinated chicken and steak prior to leaving as to not have to fuss with bringing along a lot of ingredients. I also brought along two sweet potatoes and we baked them in the hotel oven.

I do a lot of reading and research. Spending too much time researching and inside my own head, leads to higher stress levels and more and more questions. It’s imperative to have at least one person who can help you make some decisions. Thankfully, my doctor who originates from the east coast, is educated about Lyme and knows all the in’s and out’s of how it affects your body. She has a very calming presence which is a huge blessing when you are stuck in that swirl of “what should I do”.

I sauteed my favorite veggie combo, cauliflower and broccoli with olive oil, garlic, and spicy peppers. We just reheated it in the hotel room and it was fantastic.

I sauteed my favorite veggie combo, cauliflower and broccoli with olive oil, garlic, and spicy peppers. We just reheated it in the hotel room and it was fantastic.

At this point, the thought of going on 2-3 antibiotics at once for 1-3 years, along with dozens and dozens of supplements seems like a giant leap into a very scary realm where guessing is the norm. That regimen along with a whole host of other drugs is very common treatment for chronic Lyme. I’m not there and hope to never be, so I try to set those worries aside and leave those decisions on the back burner for when they may be necessary.

Three bean salad is one of my favorites, travels well, and is so simple to make! It was quite a treat as I've been abstaining from legumes.

Three bean salad is one of my favorites, travels well, and is so simple to make! It was quite a treat as I’ve been abstaining from legumes.

What we’re focusing on now is, “pulsing”. You wait until flare symptoms are very heightened and then you pulse antibiotics for a few weeks rather than staying on them long term. This method is done in hopes of killing those buggers while they are in a cycle roaming around outside of their biofilm protectant. Then you wait a few weeks and pulse again.

A mixed green salad is always a must. I made a nice avocado dressing, but I liked my mom's recipe better. I will share that with you this week!

A mixed green salad is always a must. I made a nice avocado dressing, but I liked my mom’s recipe better. I will share that with you this week!

It can help with symptoms too, so it can be win-win if it’s successful. That’s the plan for the next few weeks, then we’ll reassess and go from there. I’ll keep you updated as I go because as you already know, I feel that sharing information is imperative! I wouldn’t have even thought to ask my doctor to test me for Lyme Disease had someone else not shared their story with me and urged me to get checked.

Mixed activated nuts and seeds with vegan chocolate chunks for that something "sweet".

Mixed activated nuts and seeds with vegan chocolate chunks for that something “sweet”. Another treat I’ve been abstaining from.

The good news is that I’m a week into the antibiotic and the flare symptoms are lessening a bit. Mom and I had a great trip. We survived the sadness of two foodies not being able to eat out three meals a day every day. We saw some neat stuff and I took lots of pictures for you. So over the next few days, I’ll take you to see some of the sights.

And my all time favorite, watermelon slices. So good with a sprinkle of sea salt.

And my all time favorite, watermelon slices. So good with a sprinkle of sea salt.

See you soon!

Love this.

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A Walk In The Park & Chocolate Pots De Creme

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How was your weekend? Hopefully it was filled with fun and relaxation. We originally had plans for company but had to cancel because I’ve been feeling under the weather. I couldn’t muster the energy to entertain a house full of people. Typically unlike me because I love that kind of thing, but Lyme Disease changes the rules now and then. I’ve had to learn how to reconsider plans and be honest when I don’t think my energy level is up to certain activities. Doing that without feeling weird and guilty is harder than you would think!

Nishinomiya Japanese Garden ~ Manito Park

Nishinomiya Japanese Garden ~ Manito Park

When I’m having an illness flare up, energy is hard to come by and being bombarded with flu-like symptoms and joint pain make it difficult to visit or do anything but mill around the house and rest. But thankfully, by Sunday I was feeling a little better and wanting  to get out of the house for some fresh air regardless of some lingering symptoms.

The Japanese Gardens symbolize a friendship between our home town and Nishinomiya Japan.

The Japanese Gardens symbolize a friendship between our home town and Nishinomiya Japan.

Lyme flare ups can last anywhere from a couple of days to weeks, to months, and for some people, even years. It’s unsettling, because it’s not like the flu or a cold which you’re pretty much assured will be completely resolved in a week. So when I have a flare up I have to try really hard not to listen to that panicked voice that tries to tell me I could feel like that forever.

There's a huge Koi pond in the middle of the Japanese Gardens.

There’s a huge Koi pond in the middle of the Japanese Gardens.

Luckily, I also have that other voice that has the need to fight it and only give it enough acknowledgement for a very hot shower, some essential oils for nausea, and a potent anti-inflammatory. Maybe some vertigo stretches and possibly a neck massage from my husband. Then I give it the middle finger, and I plan something to do. Even if it’s just that I muster enough energy for a small walk with the dogs to get some fresh air and remind myself there’s a world going on outside of my head.

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People with chronic illnesses often have some level of feeling sick and gross every day. I am in that boat, but I’ve gotten used to it and unless I’m having a major flare up, I can usually get past it and typically no one is the wiser. Once I got up and moving on Sunday and drank one of my favorite healthy smoothies, I had talked myself and my husband into a relaxing and beautiful walk at Manito Park with the dogs.

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I realized when we moved to NH that I took pictures of all kinds of local, interesting, places, but had very rarely done that in our home town! Nothing like moving away for a couple of years to help you to appreciate the beauty in your own backyard.

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I’ve found that a chronic illness also helps you to appreciate all kinds of things that are so easily taken for granted. Even the tiniest of things, like a walk in the park and this beautiful scenery.

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So anyhoo, we’re still having absolutely fantastic weather for September. 89 degrees! I can’t remember a time when we had consistent summer weather throughout September. It’s been a wonderful, long, season. And thoroughly enjoyed I might add, without the horrific bug population we had in New Hampshire.

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At the park we strolled, and looked at flowers, and smelled the roses in the rose garden.

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Without even bending down to smell the roses the entire garden was filled with all types of heady scents.

My iPhone does not do it justice.

My iPhone does not do it justice.

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We strolled, and smelled, and soaked in the late summer sun…and  tried to keep the dogs from chasing squirrels. Romeo at one point didn’t even care that he was on leash. Good thing he has a strong neck and Tony has a strong shoulder. After that episode the extendo leash became a short leash.

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A small outdoor cafe to grab a snack or a bite to eat for lunch.

A small outdoor cafe to grab a snack or a bite to eat for lunch.

The other half of the park which includes an enormous duck pond, picnic areas, and play areas for children was being worked on. The pond was being drained and reinforced. We’ll have to show you pictures of that area next spring.

Here’s a picture of the pond I found online.

Photo courtesy of Sondahl.com

Photo courtesy of Sondahl.com

Even the storage cottages are beautiful.

Even the storage cottages are beautiful.

There’s a large greenhouse which does not allow pets so I couldn’t take you in there on this visit. It’s really something to see and experience. They have all types of flowers and plants and there are even plants that have been there since I was a child. They decorate for the holidays and do seasonal flowers as well. And the smell…just heavenly. I’ll have to make sure to post pictures during the holidays.

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Here’s a peek into the greenhouse I found online.

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A very large perennial and butterfly garden.

A very large perennial and butterfly garden behind the greenhouse.

After the beautiful stroll through the park we went to a local grocery store/deli/cafe in that same are of town for a few groceries and some soothing hot soup and antipasto salad for lunch. We ate in the car because we certainly could not leave the dogs in the car in the heat and we were so hungry I forgot to take pictures of the food! Once home the husband went straight to the television to watch the Seahawk’s and Broncos play and I tried to figure out something easy we could have later for dinner and dessert. Dinner was flat bread pizza made with Chebe Focaccia Mix. So good and easy. I order it by the case on Amazon. They sell GF DF (and they are Paleo), mixes.  If you go to the recipe area on their website you can find all kinds of delicious ideas and ways to tweak their recipes to fit your needs.

Make the mix according to the directions (minus the cheese), add a Tablespoon each of dried oregano, basil, and a couple teaspoons of dried garlic. Roll out flat onto a pizza pan. Pre-bake the crust for 12 minutes, add your favorite toppings, and bake for 20 minutes.

Make the mix according to the directions (minus the cheese), add a Tablespoon each of dried oregano, basil, and a couple teaspoons of dried garlic. Roll out flat onto a pizza pan. Pre-bake the crust for 12 minutes, add your favorite sauce toppings, and bake for 20 minutes. Our toppings were tomato paste with herbs, vegan pesto, Diaya cheddar “cheese”, spinach, crumbled sheep feta, GF DF spicy sausage, red onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, goat mozzarella, and GF DF pepperoni.

Dessert was the most simple chocolate pots de creme ever. I mean seriously, maybe 7 minutes prep and then two hours to set in the fridge.

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I adapted the Food Network’s recipe for Chocolate Pots De Creme to fit my allergen needs. I love how versatile coconut milk can be. This pudding turned out incredibly creamy and rich.

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I was amazed by the whipped coconut cream. This is the first time I’ve used this brand, and it whipped up exactly like regular heavy cow’s cream. In the past when I’ve tried to make coconut whipped cream it’s been a struggle to get it to hold together.

This is a picture of the whipped cream on the 2nd day. It settled only a tiny bit and was still fluffy and creamy. So impressed with it!

This is a picture of the whipped cream on the 2nd day. It settled only a tiny bit and was still fluffy and creamy. So impressed with it!

There’s a lot of little things in life out there waiting to be appreciated that we often take for granted. Even when you’re feeling under the weather it’s possible to focus on the positive and enjoy whatever little adventures the days bring.  I’d say that even though our weekend hadn’t ended up as planned, it still turned out to be enjoyable and delicious.

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Chocolate Pots De Creme

1 -10 ounce Bag of Dairy Free Mini Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life)

3 Cups of Full Fat Coconut Milk (Native Forest Unsweetened Coconut Milk-Classic)

6 Large Organic Egg Yolks

5 Tablespoons of Coconut Crystals (or granulated sugar or powdered sugar but it won’t be low glycemic)

1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee or espresso granules (I use decaf)

1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt

Place the chocolate in a blender. Whisk the milk, 3 cups of coconut milk, egg yolks, coconut sugar, coffee granules, and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spatula and almost boiling, 5 to 6 minutes.

Immediately pour the milk mixture over the chocolate in the blender. Let it sit for about 3-4 minutes. Cover and hold the lid with a thick kitchen towel; blend until combined and smooth. Divide the chocolate mixture among ramekins or small cups and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

For the Coconut Milk Whipped Cream: 

Two cans of Full Fat Coconut Milk (I used the Native Forest) Refrigerated for at least 2 hours

2-3 teaspoons of Coconut Crystals 

1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.

Open the cans of coconut milk carefully and scoop out ONLY the solid coconut at the top of each can into a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Mine went about 1/3 of the way into the can. (Save the coconut water for smoothies!) Turn the mixer on medium high and whip until it starts getting thick. Add the sugar and vanilla and whip until the sugar is melted, maybe one minute or less. I put leftovers in the fridge and it remained set up and hadn’t separated at all the next day when we had a second helping. This is perfect for making ahead when having guests. 

Be Aware of Lyme Disease ~ Part III

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This is the third installment of my series, “Be Aware of Lyme Disease”. In Part I we learned about what Lyme Disease is and its many symptoms, including mine.

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In Part II we discussed testing for Lyme Disease and the differences between the CDC, Lyme Literate doctors, and non-literate physicians.

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Part III is a gathering of all the research I’ve done on Lyme Disease, diagnosis, treatment, etc. There’s conventional information as well as natural treatments and non-conventional ideas, information, and discoveries. I’ve tried to categorize them as much as possible…it’s an overwhelming list of information, I know.

My goal is to save you a bit of research time if you need, or someone you know needs to educate themselves on Lyme Disease and all that goes with that very unsettling diagnosis. Don’t just rely on your family physician and the CDC to make testing and treatment decisions for you. The treatments and thought process behind this bacterial infection vary greatly and finding the right doctor will make all the difference for you.

What Is It, What Are The Symptoms 

http://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/could-you-have-lyme-disease-lyme-disease-causes-lyme-disease-symptoms/~ Could You Have Lyme Disease?

http://www.lymeresearchalliance.org/signs-symptom-list.html ~ Signs & Symptoms

http://www.ilads.org/lyme_research/lyme_articles6.html ~ More Research

http://www.tickencounter.org/tick_identification ~ Tick Identification

http://textbookofbacteriology.net/Lyme.html ~ The Lyme Disease Bacteria

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/08/an-update-from-the-frontline-of-the-lyme-wars.html ~ New Numbers on Lyme Disease

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2001/07/25/lyme-disease-part-two.aspx ~ The Unknown Epidemic

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/stages-of-lyme-disease-topic-overview ~ Stages of Lyme Disease

http://www.egodevelopment.com/5-important-neurological-complications-of-lyme-disease-to-be-aware-of/ ~ Neurological Complications

http://www.lymeneteurope.org/info/the-complexities-of-lyme-disease ~ The Complexities of Lyme Disease

http://www.lyme-aware.org/blogs/my-blog/1039-lyme-disease-great-imitator-of-over-300-conditions.html ~ The Great Imitator

http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/transmission/ ~ CDC Lyme Disease Transmission

http://www.igenex.com/psychological_effects.htm~ Psychological Effects of Lyme Disease

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8tESJVvM88~  Dr. Alan MacDonald,The Biology of Lyme Disease Part 1 – video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RATCS-3v9Q~  Dr. Alan MacDonald, Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEjNMlNM3l8~ Dr. Alan MacDonald, Part 3

Lyme Disease Tests, They’re Not Created Equal

http://www.lymeinducedautism.com/images/LIATesting_handout_FINAL.pdf ~ A Complete Guide To Testing

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080219102415.htm ~ The Lyme Invisibility Cloak

http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2011/04/27/how-some-bacteria-hide-from-antibiotics ~ How Lyme Hides

http://www.anapsid.org/lyme/wb.html ~ Western Blot Test

http://lymediseaseguide.org/elisa-test-lyme ~ ELISA Test

http://www.dnalymetest.com/ ~ A New Affordable Lyme Disease DNA Test

http://www.anapsid.org/lyme/lymeseroneg.html ~ Reasons For False Negative Test Results

http://www.advanced-lab.com/~ Advanced Laboratory Services

http://www.igenex.com/Website/# ~ IGeneX

http://lymedisease.org/lyme101/coinfections/coinfection.html ~ Lyme Disease Co-Infection List

http://lymeproject.com/lyme_news/have-you-been-tested-for-lyme-disease-co-infections/~ Have You Been Tested For Co-Infections?

Treatment

http://mylymediseasetreatment.com/lyme-disease-general/how-to-find-a-lyme-literate-doctor-llmd-in-your-area/~ How To Find A Lyme Literate Doctor

http://tbdalliance.org/diagnosing-tbds/find-a-medical-professional~ Find A Medical Professional

 http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/index.php/doctors ~ Lyme Literate Doctor Referral System

http://www.treatlyme.net/ ~Step By Step Treatment Plan by Two LL Docs

http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/B_guidelines_12_17_08.pdf~ Treatment Guidlines ILADS

http://www.wellsphere.com/lyme-disease-article/female-hormones-and-lyme/919069 ~ Lyme & Women’s Hormones

http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/treatment_guidelines_clearing_idsa.html~ IDSA Guidelines for Lyme Disease

http://lymediseaseguide.org/lyme-disease-treatment-symptoms-herxing~ Treatment Detox Symptoms/Herxing

Legislation, News, and Things To Think About

http://truth-out.org/news/item/21206-from-aids-to-lyme-will-we-let-history-repeat-itself ~ The Epidemic

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr611#overview ~ Research Act 2013

http://vtdigger.org/2013/05/12/lyme-disease-the-silent-epidemic-house-health-committee-sends-directive-to-department-of-health/ ~ The Silent Epidemic

http://cumberlink.com/news/health/health-officials-lyme-disease-an-epidemic-as-big-as-aids/article_77bead1e-0f7d-11e3-b9a3-0019bb2963f4.html ~ Aids and Lyme Disease

http://www.projectcensored.org/21-lyme-disease-an-emerging-epidemic/ ~ An Emerging Epidemic

http://ticktalklyme.wordpress.com/~ News & Views in The Battle Against Lyme Disease

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/health/Task-Force-Takes-Lyme-Disease-Fight-to-Loudoun-County-124824524.html ~ Raising Awareness

http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2013/12/13/three-deaths-reported-from-heart-inflammation-caused-lyme-disease/tA55TpWGXEjFKqnev6bB8N/story.html ~ Deaths Tied To Lyme Disease

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/09/27/doctors-find-link-between-lyme-disease-autism/~ A Link Between Lyme Disease & Autism

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/113734.php~ The Connection Between Autism & Lyme Disease

http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/stats/chartstables/reportedcases_statelocality.html~ Lyme Disease Cases per 100,000 Population By State

http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/stats/index.html?utm_source=publish2&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=www.kpbs.org ~ CDC Statistics

 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/04/health/research/new-tick-borne-heartland-virus-has-scientists-puzzled.html?ref=denisegrady ~ A New Tick Virus Discovered

http://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dvbd/heartland/~ CDC Heartland Virus

http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/~ Lyme Disease Association

Late Stage Lyme Disease

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/lyme/lyme.htm – Neurological Complications

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/when-lyme-disease-lasts-and-lasts/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=1 ~ When Lyme Disease Lasts & Lasts

http://www.lyme-disease-testing.com/lyme_chronic.html ~ Late Stage Treatment

http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/lyme-disease/possible-complications.html~ Possible Complications of Late Stage Lyme Disease

 Personal Experience with Lyme Disease

http://southriversource.com/2013/06/23/blog-my-eight-year-mystery-illness-it-was-lyme-disease/ ~ The Eight Year Mystery Illness

http://www.crazylyme.com/p/my-lyme-journey.html ~ A Mom’s Struggle

http://lymediseaseresource.com/wordpress/about/ ~ All Kinds of Information

http://lymediseaseresource.com/wordpress/about/ ~ Personal Stories

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/29/health/lyme-disease-missed-symptoms/ ~ 2 Years of Hell

http://julieslymediseasefight.blogspot.com/2012/07/joint-pain-lyme-or-damage.html ~ The Fight Against Lyme Disease

http://www.citylifemagazine.ca/health/lyme-disease-tick-talk/5717 ~ A Very Complicated Illness

http://inthelymefight.blogspot.com/p/my-lyme-fight-round-1-diagnosis.html~ In The Lyme Fight

http://www.livingwithlymedisease.org/living-with-lyme-disease.html ~ Living With Lyme Disease

Foods, Natural Remedies, To Help with Lyme Symptoms

http://coconutoilrecipes.weebly.com/how-i-use-coconut-oil-for-lyme-disease.html ~ Coconut Oil

http://www.faithfulwellness.org/lyme/ ~ Essential Oil Protocol

http://coilingforlyme.com/2011/03/06/women-and-lyme-disease/~ Hormones & Coiling

http://beyondessential.com/lyme-disease-essential-oils/~ Lyme Disease & Essential Oils

http://www.cindeegardner.com/articles/9545617127/treating-lyme-disease-naturally ~ Treating Lyme Disease Naturally

https://vitalplan.com/late-stage-lyme-disease-treatment ~ Natural Help

http://fiveelementhealing.net/in-depth-healing-strategies-for-lyme-disease-new/~ Varying Types of Treatment

Be Aware of Lyme Disease ~ Part II

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In Part I of Be Aware of Lyme Disease I gave you a basic rundown on what exactly Lyme Disease is and how it works. I also shared my weekly symptoms with you as they mounted before treatment and my symptoms after the first wave of antibiotic treatment.

I cannot stress enough the importance of sharing knowledge, symptoms, ideas, remedies, research, treatments, similarities, and questions.

So let’s start Part II discussing the CDC.

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Why is sharing important? Because there is a HUGE gap between what the CDC requires of mainstream doctors for a diagnosis of Lyme Disease and treatment of it, and how Lyme Literate doctors and Lyme Disease experts are diagnosing and treating their patients. This means if you fear you have Lyme Disease, or you need Lyme Disease treatment and you do not have a Lyme Literate doctor or expert, you may not get the treatment you need, the diagnosis you need for your insurance to help you pay for it, and you could end up extremely sick for years on end waiting for someone to finally take you and your symptoms seriously.

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photo courtesy of ydr.com

Basically, the CDC supports ELISA and the Western Blot blood testing for Lyme Disease. The ELISA test is an enzyme/immune response test and the Western Blot is an immunoblot test that helps to distinguish Lyme Disease from other diseases that possibly show up with the ELISA test. You can go here to read through all of the CDC information and requirements for Lyme Disease in depth.

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(photo courtesy of the CDC)

There are three sections or “bars” on the Western Blot and according to the CDC each bar must test positive before they will consider a Lyme Disease diagnosis. These CDC guidlines are sadly outdated and the majority of mainstream doctors still follow them line by line today! Yet, I have read on the Lyme Expert websites that even ONE bar on the Western Blot Test can be “strongly considered a positive diagnosis for Lyme Disease”.  It’s unfortunate to say the least, that the CDC has not updated it’s information, guidelines, or treatment protocols much over the years. Especially considering Lyme Disease is reaching epidemic numbers.

Imagine if so many tests are overlooked and stamped with a negative, yet Lyme is becoming an epidemic….that means truly that there are many, many, more Lyme Disease cases that are going untreated and undocumented.  Let’s also keep in mind the discussion in Part I about how the Lyme bacteria have a cloaking ability to hide from testing and treatment, even when symptoms remain. It’s unsettling to me with this  knowledge of how the Lyme Disease bacteria works, that the CDC is comfortable with outdated protocols, diagnostic tools, and treatments.

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I had one bar on the Western Blot come back positive. My doctor explained to me the CDC guidelines for testing and I was tested again. That test came back negative, yet my symptoms continued to mount. When I took the first test, I felt like death. I was horribly ill. When I took the second test a few weeks later, I was having a relatively feel “decent, like I was going to live” day. Thankfully, my doctor was willing to treat me based on the first test and my mounting symptoms. Lyme Literate doctors that specialize in Lyme testing agree that it is of “utmost importance” that you only do Lyme blood tests when you are feeling 100% symptomatic. Otherwise, the testing could result in a false negative.

Go here to see the “28 Reasons for False Negative Test Results in Lyme Disease

The CDC also has a “relaxed” timeline of treating Lyme Disease. Lyme Literate doctors and experts have a much more aggressive attitude toward diagnosis and treatment. They also diagnose and treat based on symptoms because of the cloaking ability of the bacteria, not just blood testing alone. It’s extremely important that you have a physician who has an aggressive attitude when it comes to treating you for Lyme Disease.

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Read here about the Stages of Lyme Disease. But keep in mind, it can vary. Just because you don’t suffer from all of the symptoms or may have additional symptoms, does not mean you should not discuss Lyme Disease with your doctor.

I love my doctor although she is not trained as a Lyme Literate doctor and is not a Lyme expert. She was however diagnosed with Lyme Disease as a teen and one of the other doctors in the clinic has recently been treated for Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is very prevalent on the east coast, so I would say many of the doctors here (not all!) are informed with the basic tools. For now, in the initial stages of testing and treatment, I am happy with the results I am getting with her. She is willing to think outside the CDC box and be a bit more aggressive in treatment. However, with that said, eventually I will focus on seeing a specialist to do more in depth testing to make sure the Lyme bacteria has been tackled for good.

The moment I knew I had the right doctor for me? She’s not in a rush during my appointment. She listens intently. She considers information based on the whole person, not just the symptoms. She shows real concern about my health. She does not jump to conclusions. She offers information, ideas, and specific advice.

Finally at the end of my appointments she touches on each topic we have discussed to make sure she she isn’t missing anything… and most importantly, the words we all dream of hearing from our doctors but rarely do are said to me… “Do you feel like we have a plan? I don’t want you to feel like you’re leaving here without help.”

Amen.

Just having an emotionally supportive doctor alone can give your health a much needed boost.

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(photo courtesy of attainfertility.com)

You’ve heard of Amy Tan, famous author and film writer?

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A few days ago one of my blog followers, a Physical Therapist in Washington state, sent me this article written by Amy Tan about her battle with Late Stage Lyme Disease. The PT referred to it as “riveting, appalling, and compelling”, and I would definitely agree.

 It is an absolute must read.

SLyme Disease – How a Speck Changed My Life Forever, by Amy Tan

The moral of the story?

Fight for your health. Educate yourself, regardless of the naysayers and eye rolling of people who just don’t get it, including family memebers. Keep track of your symptoms. Go to your doctor with a list. One list  with symptoms, one with questions, one with requests and ideas for treatment. Be proactive. If you don’t like how they respond to you or if you feel they aren’t taking your symptoms or questions seriously, move on. Find another doctor who will, don’t waste time trying to convince your doctor you’re sick.

Go here to research Lyme Literate Doctors near you.