Learning about Lyme: A personal journey

Lyme Disease is a complex topic about which there are many different opinions. Even if you don’t believe anyone you love is currently affected by Lyme, it’s likely someone will be at some point. Join me in learning this summer!

Lyme Disease can cause a host of symptoms and exacerbate many conditions. If you suffer from any chronic complaints that haven’t been traced to a single source, it’s worth learning about Lyme and considering if you might want to get tested. And even if you don’t think you or anyone you know has been infected, 2017 is predicted to be a bad year for Lyme on the East Coast, so it pays to be prepared!

One great place to start is Chronic Lyme Summit 2, which begins on June 19. This is a free online learning opportunity that will include talks from over 30 experts, only two repeat speakers from last year’s inaugural summit.

The summit host is Dr. Jay Davidson, a great whose wife began suffering dramatically after the birth of their daughter. After she nearly died and went into a coma, it was finally discovered that the illness she contracted in childhood was likely Lyme. Dr. Jay then made it his mission to understand Lyme and help his wife – and others suffering from the illness – to heal.

Chronic Lyme Disease Summit 2

Registration is free. The talks are live for 24 hours and then on a one-day replay at the end of the summit.

I understand that sometimes you really need to protect yourself from information overload. Maybe this isn’t the perfect time for you to listen. If you prefer to have more flexibility, you can buy anytime online access to all the talks for just $59 or get that plus everything on a flash drive for $99.

I know I struggle to login every day, especially during the final week of school, so I need to purchase the summit.

In fact, I listened to only a small portion the previous summit and am just now listening to the talks that I purchased over a year ago!

It’s taken me feeling really bad and seeing my son’s continual struggles with allergies and leaky gut to finally get committed to learning what I can do to heal from this illness. It helps to have lots of tools.

My evolving Lyme story

I’m still sketchy about my personal history with Lyme. I might have gotten infected as a child. I might have gotten infected recently. But I know that in 2002 I had a bull’s eye rash. That was the only symptom, and I took a standard course of whatever antibiotics my mainstream doctor prescribed. Within a few months, my digestion screeched to a halt. I suspect it was more the antibiotics than the Lyme that were the cause of what became chronic constipation, which then in turn led to my body becoming full of toxic waste. But who knows exactly what I had then and what was addressed or not addressed by the antibiotics, other than my gut flora!

A year later, my body broke down. I’d gone off The Pill in March of 2003 hoping to conceive a few months later. Instead I experienced infertility, more digestive issues, cystic acne, depression and anxiety, and I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, autoimmune hyperthyroidism. My healing journey began that November and it included diet changes, acupuncture, meditation, tai chi and gentle yoga and lots of slowing down in general. Except for detox. I did a lot of detox, perhaps a little more than my body could handle, including a chelation procedure after my mercury amalgam removal and colonics.

Less than a year after being diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, my thyroid levels had normalized. I was able to stop medication and got pregnant in June 2005. My digestion was troubled toward the end of my pregnancy and after, and my thyroid actually slowed down – my Hashimoto’s autoimmune hypothyroidism got more active, but with supplements, some more diet changes, and a resumption of acupuncture, I was able to get back to relative health. I had enough energy to resume running, which was an important mood boost for me.

But after I had my daughter in August 2010 – this time a homebirth, not a c-section – things went downhill. I felt structurally off, with abdominal separation I hadn’t experienced before. But even if I hadn’t felt so weakened with my core integrity, I also felt weakened in my energy. I was exhausted. I thought it was just adrenal fatigue, but when my daughter was almost a year old, I got some bodywork that left me feeling even more exhausted. The day after, I was depressed and thoroughly depleted. I was probably on the precipice of a crash already, but something about that session – possibly something in lymphatic work that released the Lyme or old Epstein-Barr Virus back into my bloodstream – changed me.

I felt like a shell of a human, and I’ve been climbing back up since that summer day in 2011. Even before then, a friend had told me I sounded like a Lyme patient when I described my exhaustion and brain fog, but I resisted the diagnosis because, well, because I wanted to resist it! And because it hadn’t come up any of the in muscle-testing any of my practitioners had done. I now believe that’s because I just wasn’t ready to deal with it.

The day before the bodywork, a friend was talking about how training for a marathon had changed her life. I thought to myself, maybe I can try running again. Perhaps the bodywork flattening me out was a gift to keep me from doing something that would have caused an even more disruptive crash and/or a structural injury, given my weak core and tightness in other muscles that should have been flexible.

Since then, I’ve worked with many different practitioners and healers – bodyworkers, medical doctors, energy workers and more. I’ve made a lot of progress but also had lots of experiences of regression.

The most notable backslide began in November 2016 when I got a bad respiratory infection that lasted for about three weeks. I managed to kick it with essential oils and herbs, but when I had my bloodwork done the following month, it showed an active Lyme infection. I see an integrative doctor who is more apt than some to believe Lyme is an issue even if the labwork doesn’t confirm it, but she said, “This is even positive by CDC standards.” There were other elevated virus and infection markers in the labwork as well. My body was working very hard.

I was exhausted through December and January. I restarted the herbal regimen I had previously begun but ditched. I upped my Vitamin D, which seemed to help, as did inositol, which my doctor and a friend both recommended for depression. I made sure I was taking my B vitamins and magnesium several times a day.

Since February, I have climbed up several levels of fatigue, but I’m still way further down than I was previously. My legs still often feel heavy, like they are made of something much more dense than bone and blood. I’m not quick about anything!

My brain feels almost constantly tired. Not always exhausted, but rarely anything close to sharp. Sharpness can easily be dulled by a day of too much activity or eating something I can’t tolerate or even breathing in someone’s perfume or some other chemical. And staying on top of all the food prep and the supplement regimens and everything else has felt overwhelming. I’ve been feeling pretty down.

I finally got some bodywork this week and scheduled a few appointments scheduled going forward. Having slacked off diffusing essential oils for mood support, I’ve made a point of doing that daily again. I also added back in the second Complete Omega softgel I had been taking before I got so supplement-weary and cut down to one. My mood has improved since going back to two.

Meanwhile, my son’s bloodwork is not super clear. Sometimes people get negative test results and then, as they work on healing protocols, their bodies mount a defense so the bloodwork starts to show positive Lyme results. This has happened for him, but other bands have gone from positive to negative. I still have a lot to learn to be the advocate for him I would like to be.

Moving forward: Sources of support

It’s time for me to learn more and address this issue head-on. I am finally listening to the rest of last year’s Chronic Lyme Summit and look forward to the Chronic Lyme Summit 2 that starts on June 19. If you register, please use the Mindful Healthy Life affiliate link. If you decide you want to listen at your leisure, it’s cheaper to purchase before the event starts. A portion of the sales made through the Mindful Healthy Life affiliate link come back to me … and will probably go toward paying for supplements! Thank you for your support!

Chronic Lyme Disease Summit 2

I also urge local readers who are not already on the Wholistic Nova Facebook group to join.  Formerly called “Dulles Organics,” the group has over 3,000 local members who share health and wellness tips, challenges and successes. Michelle Joy, one of the administrators of the group, has put together a terrific Lyme Q&A with a list of Lyme Literate Medical Doctors (LLMDs) and other local practitioners plus information about protocols and testing. She has been through a lot and is a real inspiration. Join the group and download the Q&A from the Files section!

Folks in the Wholistic Nova group also share great information about ticks and treatment, including links to safe tick removal protocols, including essential oil recipes and locally-made Key Lyme spray; yard products, including Wondercide and Cedarcide; homeopathic protocols for bites; and testing services, including IGeneXTick Report, and TickEncounter.

Another great local resource is Sharon Rainey, author of the comprehensive Lyme Savvy, which she wrote in collaboration with her doctor, B. Robert Mozayeni. I saw Sharon speak years ago at a Holistic Moms Northern Virginia chapter meeting and have appreciated all she has done to educate the public about Lyme Disease, including speaking at the 2016 Take Back Your Health Conference.

Also consider following the work of the National Capital Lyme Disease Association.

It’s hard to acknowledge you’ve got a complex condition, but I’ve gotten to the point where there’s no more denying it. I either acquiesce to a life of illness or face this multi-headed beast armed with knowledge.

This is part of why you won’t see me writing as often this summer. I need to focus on healing and on helping my child to heal. I’m glad to have several guest posts lined up to keep things moving along, and I plan to revise the eBook one more time in the fall. But it’s time to focus less on writing about being mindful and healthy and more on living it.

It would be great to take this conversation over to the Mindful Healthy Life Facebook page. I would love for folks to share about their personal journeys with Lyme and their reactions to the summit. I’ll create a pinned post to stay at the top of the page’s feed and will link to it here when the Chronic Lyme Summit 2 starts, or just prior.

I look forward to us learning alongside one another!

 

This post contains affiliate links to the Chronic Lyme Summit 2 and a link to a page with more information about doTERRA essential oils, for which I am a Wellness Advocate. There are no other affiliate links in this post.

Jessica Claire Haney is the founder, publisher and editor of Mindful Healthy Life and was the founder and a longtime leader of the Arlington/Alexandria Chapter of Holistic Moms Network. Jessica is a writer who is working on her first novel. She also offers copywriting, editing, writing coaching and holistic business consulting services. Learn more at JessicaClaireHaney.com. Jessica volunteers on issues related to wellness in public schools, as described in her Mindful Healthy Life Q&A. Follow her on Facebook at on Facebook at MindfulHealthyLife, on @Twitter @MindfulHealthy and on Instagram at @mindfulhealthy. Her personal blog is Crunchy-Chewy Mama, on Facebook at CrunchyChewyMama and tweeting @CrunchyChewy.

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About the author

Jessica

Copyright © 2015 Mindful Healthy Life. Created by MtoM Consulting.

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