|Old Lyme, Connecticut, looking up the Lieutenant River. The neighboring town of Lyme gave its name to this disease after several cases were found there in the '70s. (From a watercolor sketch I made one May.)|
I'm not going to go into great detail about my experience with Lyme disease but after a friend suggested it might be helpful to others, I thought I'd briefly describe this situation which came to me early June in the form of a tick, producing full-blown rashes all over my body and a positive blood test. Plus a depleted summer, if I might say so, that left me with deep fatigue, fuzzy mindedness, a couple of protocols that brought on dietary restrictions, nausea, plus what I call "the wobblies"--feeling as if I'm on a rocking ship crossing the Atlantic or else wearing someone else's glasses. So it was a punk summer--cancelling visitors, not feeling good for much, staying out of the sun because of sun toxicity from the antibiotic. (I even wore winter mittens when driving so the sun wouldn't burn my hands on the steering wheel as it did even though I'd been using sunscreen.)
Summary: Don't get Lyme. Watch where you walk. Don't blithely get in there and weed your garden without taking precautions before and after. Check your arms, legs, and shoes (plus the rest of you) when you come indoors. Put any suspect clothing in the dryer for 15 minutes. Move to a different part of the country where Lyme doesn't exist. (Is there such a place?)
In the past--as with two frozen shoulders--I've found help by combining Western and alternative therapies including some that are Chinese based. So I've done the same with this. With Lyme, the Western includes two different trains of thought--one, that of the infectious disease people who call for an initial two-week dose of antibiotic and the other, that of the Lyme literate people who call for double the dosage for double the time. I went for the latter. (Of course, any antibiotic requires one to take a probiotic some two hours afterwards in order to restore intestinal flora. I also upped my intake of magnesium since Lyme apparently depletes it.)
After that, my Western medical practitioner said there was "no follow up." Not heeding that, I chose a naturopathic doctor who did believe in follow-up treatment. In effect, she told me that as soon as the pathogens saw the gangbuster antibiotic coming down the pike, they protected themselves with a biofilm. (Which means they could reappear later and do more damage.) So I went through another month taking a very specific herbal treatment four times a day. Since there is apparently no test to tell whether one is free of the pathogens once one has had them, I then went to an applied kinesiologist who muscle tested me. (If there's another way to find out, no one I've spoken with knows what it is.) At that point, it appeared that I was not yet free of the pathogens so I took another month of the naturopathic herbs.
Everyone agrees: it's a complicated disease, especially if one doesn't realize one has been infected until much later. Then, too, there's the possibility of finding Lyme-infected tick-bourne worms in the body's tissues after the above procedures have been completed. (Not a nice image, that.)
My tally so far with the Lyme treatment has been: Western medicine, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, lymph-drainage massage, chiropractic work, applied kinesiology, BodyTalk (most easily described by looking it up online), reflexology, and chi gong energy work.
In meeting all this, I've mused on the difference between Western and Chinese medicine. Rather like our foreign policy, the first seems to identify the culprit and send in the armaments. (Anti-aircraft in the form of antibiotics: pow, pow. Plus talk of "battling" disease.) As well as using herbs and tinctures, the second takes a more holistic approach clearing energy channels so the body can work to heal itself without gunky toxins clogging things up. My bent is toward the latter, though in the case of Lyme, I feel that, to begin with, Western antibiotics are essential.