The infection itself is already attacking your body, and treating it turns into a full assault on the body. So, my answer is yes; I know I am getting better. But I can’t say I feel better. I recently started using an analogy of a scatter-plot to explain this.
My symptoms can vary a lot each day, some days I’ve started to feel somewhat “normal” and other days I’m in bed all day. Despite those spikes in symptoms, it is still an upward trend. I explained this to someone the other day, and they compared my chart to the stock market; that is also a pretty good analogy.
In order to treat Lyme Disease, you need to knock-down the co-infections first. We’ve tackled these a lot over the last 6 months. That means I’ve moved into killing the bacteria causing Lyme: borrelia. I’ve explained this before – borrelia is a cork-screw like bacteria (called a spirochete). It drills into any tissue in the body; it is intelligent and basically does whatever it pleases – in this respect it is like syphilis, also a spirochete. When this type of bacteria dies it is toxic to the body, and a person can experience a “herx” (Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction), you can read more about this here.
So back to my story: two weeks ago I entered a heavy protocol with the intent of also targeting borrelia. To sum up those two weeks? It is indescribable; but I am about to try.
During my last trip to my Lyme-Literate Doctor, I was on an “off” week – this means my body is resting/recovering and we’re not trying to kill anything. I’d been feeling pretty decent earlier in the week, probably the best I’d felt in a couple of years. In the doctor’s office we ran my newest (and last) IV antibiotic – this is done to make sure I don’t have a reaction to the medication.
Two hours after the antibiotic I was a mess. I could not stay awake; we went back to our hotel and I slept for 3 hours. I woke up and was nauseous, I went to sleep that night in pain, weak and nauseous. We had an early flight home, and for us a travel day is a 12 hour day. I didn’t know how I’d be able to wake up and get through the next day. Turns out the next day consisted of pain meds and anti-nausea meds.
My guess at the time was this is purely related to the antibiotic. I thought once I’d reached the half-life and it was working its way out of my body that I would feel better again. I was wrong. I felt awful for another two days. Given that I wasn’t on any other meds, I was finally able to say I experienced a herx.
I was nauseous, weak and exhausted those entire two weeks. Day three was especially awful. I threw up more times than I could count between 1am and 3am. We counted down the days until I was back onto an “off” week. Every night when my husband was getting the IVs ready, I’d tell him I didn’t want to do it. I was reminded of the fact “you’re going to feel worse before you get better”.
At this point I didn’t do myself any favours for the rest of the treatment cycle. I had insane food cravings, none of which were healthy. My goal was to avoid the nausea however it was necessary; this meant chips, French fries, samosas and salty-soups to name a few. And green peppers with BBQ sauce, yes – really strange, but basically all processed, garbage-food (except the peppers).
I used to go through cravings before I started treatment. My doctor explained that this is because the bacteria has affected certain parts of the brain, and this is a symptom of it.
Two days ago was my first day off of antibiotics, I expected to feel somewhat human again. Wrong.
Have you ever had a junk-food binge where you eat tons of chocolate, candy and ice-cream, then top it off with nachos? You know that feeling afterwards of your body rejecting your choice to eat these foods?
That’s how I felt.
I decided I needed to focus on detox all day. Not the 3, 5 or 10 day detox programs you read about on Pinterest or see on TV. Our body naturally knows how to detox; to be vague about it, that’s part of our liver and kidney’s responsibility (there is however, a really entertaining video made by another Registered Dietitian that speaks to this, you can watch it here
Trying to help my body out, I decided to sit in our infrared sauna and sweat out some of the toxins. Bad idea. I felt worse. To be brief, and to help-out any “lymies” out there who’re looking for ways to detox, this was my day:
Dry skin brushing
Detox bath (Epsom salt, baking soda, bentonite clay)
Burbur-Pinella every 15-20 minutes
Lactated Ringer (this is through my IV)
Lots of water with pure 100% cranberry juice (not from concentrate, this is the bitter stuff that needs to be insanely diluted in order to choke it down – cranberries are rich in antioxidants; they gobble up cell-damaging free radicals in the body). When I say “lots” I really mean it – I must have drank at least 5 litres; which also meant A LOT of trips to the bathroom. *caution to anyone with heart issues*Lots of sleep
This worked to cut that overly toxic feeling in my body, and I had a new (healthy) craving: avocados and tomatoes. By the evening I was aching all the way though my bones. I was also fevered. Sleep didn’t seem possible with how much it hurt, so I had to take pain killers before bed. I woke up at 4am in awful pain and back to the pain-killers.
So that is where I’m at. This is day two off meds, and I am hoping for a better day today. I know this wasn’t an overly-exciting post.
To be completely honest, I am out of ideas as to what people want to know or read about. I’d like to keep going with blogs and videos – so if there’s something you’d like me to write/talk about … please let me know!
There is a lot of information out there on detoxing, and a lot of suggestions exchanged from person to person. My words of wisdom to those reading this who are trying to find what works for them: be safe. There are things that if ingested can hurt you. Talk to a doctor before you add these things to your detox-routine.