December Part 1 – It’s Complicated

Unknown
Hey everyone! I have been waiting for an array of tests to come back before I wrote again. Annnnd… I am still waiting on even more blood work to come back. I figured I would check in in the meantime!

It has been a pretty frustrating month to say the least. I feel like I am falling apart and am growing really impatient trying to find out all the answers.

I finally did the SIBO test and it came out negative. I ended up doing a poo test which I hate and was holding off on.

There was a bacteria, as well as candida and another fungus, so that would explain the bloatedness, inability to go to the bathroom (even though I have doubled the dose of magnesium citrate).

The neat thing about the test is that it showed what treatments were most beneficial to me, and ones that I am resistant to.

I am actually resistant to Diflucan, which I have been taking forever. The bad news is the things that are supposed to work for me I have been taking for months and nada. I guess it will take time and I will continue on with a clean diet and hope that it all begins to resolve.

The sleep has been absolutely ridiculous. I managed to be okay to make it to a friend’s baby shower but I absolutely need to have a few hours nap to go anywhere or it just isn’t happening. I have had to nap to do anything, I have napped at work, and even planning on going to my sister in law’s for Thanksgiving, I napped before we left, the half hour drive, and when I was there I had a quick snooze before dinner, and as soon as I got home.

I have been missing out on things like an invite to watch a football game, going out to dinner, and visiting friends. I am a pretty social person, even though I am a bit socially awkward, and to not be able to get out much is a big bummer. It really truly sucks.

During my first appointment since I last wrote with Dr. Steve (I must be a VIP patient by now LOL) , he did a little check out and low and behold I had an ear infection.

There was actually some blood coming out of my right ear. It doesn’t seem to bother me and was kind of new news to me.

He is a blood work kind of guy, which I love, so I had a full list of tests to get done. I didn’t have to get as many tubes drawn as anticipated, a lot of the tests could go in the same vial. I also got a Minion band-aid. Win!

With those blood tests, it showed my hormones are way off. The biggest issue is Progesterone being extremely low. I was surprised at this, even though I knew something was off, as I have progesterone injections and use progesterone cream. Hmm.

There was a test that was an AHA! moment. It is called immune complexes, and another that shows extremely better white blood cell information than your basic panel.

It showed that I had off the charts inflammation, and my body is indeed attacking itself.  The problem is, we aren’t positive as to why and what.

As a side note that I can’t figure out where to copy and paste it (brain fart), no one wants to have something bad on their tests. I will admit though I was happy as a pig in shit that something showed up. Finally. I was beginning to feel like I am friggin crazy, as I am sick. Very sick and nothing was showing up. These tests

The biggest possibility we are looking into is vasculitis of the brain. It is very rare, and my spellcheck even doesn’t recognize the disease hahaha. Joy. We are looking into an angiogram of the brain to confirm this guess, and trying to get as much information gathered as possible for insurance to cover IVIG treatment which could be really beneficial to me.

Another option we discussed was going on prednisone. Yes, I know it is a freak out no-no topic among the Lyme community, but you really need to outweigh the good and bad, and it can actually be life saving to those with conditions such as Addison’s, etc.

I wanted to look into this, as I know there are so many possible side effects, and I am learning that this is likely not a good option for me as I have Factor V Leiden. It can cause some extremely severe side effects even in a very short period of time. Surgery required bad things. Yup.

So I am continuing to get information together before my next appointment, and am wondering if we could make a case for the insurance that prednisone could possibly cause massive side effects.

Unfortunately, there is no way I can afford trying out the IVIG if it isn’t covered. I know also that it can kind of be a crap shoot. For some people it seems to be great, others it seems to do way more harm than good. If it is covered I think it would be worth trying.

We are going to run another blood test coming up that tests for more things that would maybe give a few clues to neurological issues that is more specialized than something Labcorp or similar companies offer.

A few new issues have come up. I usually haven’t dealt with a massive amount of pain for the most part with this disease as I am nearly all neurological, but my calves and back of my legs have been extremely swollen and excruciatingly painful.

They are not hot to the touch, but when they get like that, veins even begin to bulge out. Sexy I know. I have forced myself to use my bike a bit as maybe it is a circulation issue.

Underneath my jaw (maybe lymph node) has also become swollen. It reminds me of a frog when they puff out. You know what I am talking about, right? It is really painful and I am not sure what to do about it.

My throat isn’t sore, and although my lymph nodes on the side of my neck are swollen as they always are, they don’t appear to be quite as bad. Or maybe they don’t look that bad with this massive thing going on below my jaw. Haha.

Lately my head seems to have massive pressure… it doesn’t hurt at all but it literally feels like I can feel my brains being squished into my skull. Like my head is full. When this happens, I almost feel a giant wave come over me. I feel completely totally out of it, am oblivious to my surroundings and unaware. I can’t even talk. Nada. It passes quickly, as I said it is like a wave. Very bizarre. Maybe yet another type of seizure? I don’t know.

Even more nerve wracking, I am not sure what is going on with my eyes. All of a sudden, I can’t see. It lasts more than a few blinks, maybe 15 seconds or so? Just a guess. You don’t really keep track of time when you instantly lose your sight. It isn’t total blackness. It is beyond blurry, as I can’t see a friggin thing, like I am looking though the thickest piece of the type of glass that a shower has that you can’t see through, and a shade of grey.

I went to the eye doctors, and tis the season, I do have a tendency to have dry eyes in the winter and a little inflammation and thought maybe this was the case but there is nothing wrong with my eyes. My eye doctor doesn’t think I am crazy about Lyme and takes me pretty seriously, and really took the time with me to see if he could find anything that could be causing this issue. His only explanation is that it had to be neurological. Gah.

I did finally have my appointment with the sleep neurologist. The day before my appointment, there was a questionnaire for Dave to fill out, since he does see my sleep patterns and knows my sleep habits and lifestyle. He was out for the evening and of course I had to look at his answers. In a question about snoring and to describe this sleep behavior in more detail Dave’s response was, “More than 75% of the time loud snoring and other loud disgusting noises with her mouth.” Thanks hun.

Although she did call it, “Lymes” (pet peeve LOL), there was a little positivity, as I am actually having some testing done. I will be doing an overnight sleep study as well as a daytime one. I’ll call it a mini vacation?

Included in that will be an EEG, maybe there will be some sort of revelations in that as well. I just want some answers. Something isn’t right. And she agreed with me that something is going on. We just don’t know what.

She really believes that it very well could be narcolepsy as I fit right into the category or sleep apnea. She had mentioned a type of sleep apnea that is a little different, one that your brain basically tells you to stop breathing. Not like an airway sort of issue.

I had some pretty great accomplishments this past month. It sounds pretty lame for those who aren’t dealing with this all, but I am happy. It has been over two years since I walked in a Walmart. I walked all the way to the electronic section with Dave, and also the pet section to get our fur kiddos their food.

I didn’t get into a complete state of panic as I do in situations I know are going to be a struggle, my feet had no feeling, and I had to hold onto the cart to have some extra support.  The lights made me dizzy and I went into a complete fog. I made it though!

I had a day I went grocery shopping by myself, after 3 hours of work I should add, then continued on pushing myself to do some cleaning around the house. I really wanted to just lay down, but it was a huge boost mentally to do this.

In a few weeks I will be trying something called electro-magnetic therapy. It is supposed to help boost circulation and get rid of waste.  I haven’t done a lot of research on it, which is pretty surprising as you know I am the Google Queen, but for more information, it is called PEMF Therapy.

I am going to leave this on an uplifting note. It seems that this time of year is especially hard for the Lyme community, and we have lost too many people in the last several weeks.  It is heartbreaking.

I am exhausted and am mad and sad at what has been going on with me. I have kind of felt like I have been breaking down piece by piece in frustration. Why does everything have to not be cut and dry?

I do have days that I feel like an absolute rock star for getting some things done like like I have shared and not making a zillion rainchecks to Dave for him having to do everything.

But… that is doing the basics that I had once been able to do months ago. Even years ago. I am grateful to be doing anything at all as it is still an improvement from when I first started over 4 years ago. I will admit though, backtracking isn’t fun at all.

For every bad day I am really trying to go to bed with the mentality that tomorrow will be a brand new day. I will keep going, keep fighting. I really don’t have a choice. What is it that Dory says? “Keep on swimming?” Well, I guess I will do just that. Wishing you all a great day, and to continue being strong. We will get through this together.
15327495_10154162502862404_7156824237275050854_n
Can’t forget my Olive girl! Introducing Miss Olive Loo Who! Haha. She looks pretty pissed. Someone was not in the Christmas spirit.

October Part 2 -Hmm.

There has been a lot going on this month! Right now, I am focusing on fixing broken pieces, trying to get myself together in order to get well. It hasn’t been a good month, but I at least had a moment I was able to get out there and not be a hermit and enjoy myself for awhile. Halloween is my favorite and I pushed myself with a lot of mind over matter and a nice long nap before going out with Dave and my friends.

I had an appointment with Dr. S and there is a lot to work on. Thank god he writes notes about the appointment, I was about to crash and fall asleep so I was completely out of it.

He actually ended up telling me to head home and make another appointment, see how I do with my new supplements and skip my chiropractic adjustment for the day.

He saw my pictures of the bloat and stomach issues. I am going to give a little side note and some words of wisdom before I continue on.

SIDE NOTE: If there is something funky.. mysterious rashes, swelling, anything really……..TAKE PICTURES, ALWAYS!!!
A) It is easier to just show a picture of what has been going on if whatever it was isn’t there anymore for your appointment time.
B) They can’t help you if they don’t know what it is just by your explanation.
C) You can kinda sound like you are full of shit, especially if you are seeing a new doctor without proof.
D) Seeing is believing.

He takes my word for it either way, as I have had a good and long relationship as a patient with him… but… not exactly knowing without that picture really isn’t super helpful. Especially if you are a mumbly, stuttery blob in the chair, in my case tweaking and cringing as well.

Okay. Back to my story. No more amoxicillin for me. As you saw on my last blog entry, I am definitely bloated terribly and am having really bad stomach issues. The game plan for this week until I see him again is to work on my stomach issues. Lots of pre and probiotics, digestive enzymes, oil of oregano, GI Integrity, switching to magnesium citrate to try to get me poopin’ normally again.

Not going for several days apparently is an issue even though I am not straining and just forgetting, and I have always had issues with my liver so I guess it isn’t helpful to it and I am very toxic.

Well, nada. Zero difference. It stinks to get a bunch of stuff thrown at me but nothing seems to be working.

When I go back I am going to do further testing, to perhaps pinpoint more about the bacteria, as I already had a test that showed I had a pretty severe bacterial infection, but learning more might help with a treatment plan.

Gut health is so imperative to any sort of healing. It is worrisome that working on diet for gut infections, particularly SIBO, supplements, the probiotics etc. are not touching this. We will get it figured out. It is really important to be on track and I know I just need to be patient.

The next thing on the agenda was kind of random. But Dr. S kind of seemed baffled all of my gynecologists that I have seen in this past year showed zero concern I have not had a period in over a year. That’s a long time! I certainly haven’t missed it. Dr S. wants me to be back on track, and hormones are definitely out of whack if it has been this long.

Progesterone cream it is. I have started that but have still yet to finally get my period. I kind of feel like I am a ticking time bomb and am going to eventually blow, and possibly bleed to death as it has been so long. Haha. Only kidding.

I am only 5 days in and woke up this morning with hellacious cramps. As you know, if you have followed my story (you should, I’m awesome), I have endo and it isn’t fun at all.

I was so late for work. I was in so much pain that I was dry heaving and kept on blacking out. I looked at the clock and pushed myself as hard as I could to get my shit together and make it through the day. I actually am pretty busy with lots to do, and a dinner I need to go to tonight, ugh.

I grabbed a coffee at the gas station on my way to work, and decided to buy a box of tampies, just in case. I actually had to look at the different boxes like, “what are these? I forgot all about you guys! ” LOL Like I said, I am pretty sure it is brewing.

Sorry if that is graphic or gross to you talking about my time of the month. Or that time in well over a year. Whatever. I promised you all the good, the bad, the ugly.

My Tourette’s hasn’t been as bad, but I am still doing the cringes and hand raising and a few “bahh!!!”s at night. I can deal with that all though. It is what it is.

Fantastic news.. I have CHRONIC EBV/MONO… No, this is not just flares people get that already have it in their system and it gets reactivated. That is common with Lyme.

I have it all the time. 24/7. 365 days a year. Not a days break in between. Okay, that really isn’t fantastic news.

What to do? I have been on several antiviral herbals, but unfortunately there is no cure for mono. Rest and all that good stuff. I certainly get enough rest! Haha. I added monolaurin (spelling?) to my antivirals I am already taking. Hopefully it will finally get deactivated.

I asked the risks involved, and I guess you are at a much higher risk for cancer if you are in the situation I am in. I have so much crap going on, I am not going to even be scared about it. I just want those viruses to simmer down and go away.

Once again, reoccurring theme, I am still sleeping my life away. It keeps getting worse and worse and I don’t know what to do about it. I almost get in a panic if I can’t go fall asleep somewhere.

I had to sleep after seeing Dr S after my brief appointment to get my back cracked and we decided on further testing for stomach bacteria. (Yes, I know I had already mentioned this but I have taken forever to write an update and have been writing bits and pieces for about a week now.) I was toast.

That day was yesterday, an 18 hour of sleep day. And I will tell you, I am so exhausted today. It hasn’t made a difference. I seriously want to cry because I feel like this has taken over my life.

Giving a disclaimer to those who suffer from chronic illness can have extreme fatigue, I am not downplaying or minimizing anyone else in my post today with my personal ongoing issues. It sucks all around for everyone.

I have been through the chronic illness fatigue and I will tell you this is beyond different. Something is very wrong. I have been through hell and back with this illness, and this is honestly making me scared.

I can’t wait until I see the sleep doctor. I will obviously mention the mono issue. But everyone seems to think it is something more, most likely narcolepsy with the array of symptoms I have. I know my body, and this isn’t just a mono issue.

I hope I get some answers and help. This is seriously destroying my life and making it really hard to continue to make strides in improving.

I have been trying to do things. We were invited the other day to watch the football game with friends right down the street. Nope. Slept thru it and we didn’t make it. I have to sleep for hours before trying to go anywhere, if I am able to get out of bed at all.

3 hours for a quick dinner, several hours to make it to go to a Halloween party with friends. It is one of the very few things I look forward to every year. It was a major struggle.

I also feel like an asshole to Olive as I have to put her in her crate if I can’t leave her in our fenced in yard, it has been too cold or rainy. I hate doing that when I am home but I need to sleep. She is a troublemaker and can’t be trusted though, but I really feel mean to do that to her.

I still have my classic Babesia symptoms, not seemingly as bad, but Bartonella has come out to play. Bartonella feet hurt a lot at night. Anxiety, anger, and paranoia. I am entirely oversensitive.

Each and everyday I have moments when I freak out thinking no one cares about me, my friends hate me, Dave is annoyed by me… I make up all these scenarios. And I think it so much it becomes real.

Obviously it is not, but it is still real very to me. I need to just try to relax and know that this isn’t reality, I am putting this all in my head. It is like I need reassurance from my friends and Dave… but the thing is.. IT IS ALL IN MY HEAD!

It will pass, it always does. It seems like it comes and goes in waves. But in the meantime I hurt pretty badly purely by my imagination.

The hallucinations have calmed down a bit though… Dave at least hasn’t had to pick through my food for spiders. 😉

My happy moment was Halloween. It was hard and I paid for it dearly for several days. I was lucky, there was plenty of places to sit and it wasn’t a crazy wild party or anything. We had so much fun and I was so glad to get out. I actually did okay. There was a few moments little waves hit me but I always came to and enjoyed myself. Again though, even though I was clearly invited I felt the crazy fake scenarios in my head of paranoia, I did try to be as much of a social butterfly as I could be.

I love homemade costumes. This year just wasn’t the same for me. I am usually ready at least a month in advance, and plan forever, but this was literally the day before I put our costumes together. I think I did alright though.

A goal I need to work on is to really get back to a ritual of my daily exercises given to me by my PT, and use the bike again. Suck it up when I am all disoriented waking up, or do it first thing in the morning even if it screws me up for the rest of the day.

My massage therapist warned me that I am losing muscle in my legs. This is the first time I have been told this. Since I have been really sick and a couch potato, over 4 years ago, I still had a bit of muscle. It was likely because I was so fit and active before my body said, “when”.

That’s not good at all. I mind over matter a lot of stuff and have done amazing things throughout my Lyme journey, but I will admit lately I have been slacking on the exercise. Really truly slacking.

And it makes a big difference with POTS as well. I need to boost my circulation. It isn’t fun to have to turn the shower off and curl into a ball on the shower floor because you are going to pass out.

Yup. A goal. Well it shouldn’t be a goal. I need to dedicate time to do this, even if I often sleep 15+ hours a day now. 10-20 minutes is a heck of a lot better than nothing.

Wish me luck with everything. Told ya, I have a lot going on!

Have a great day everyone!

14729142_10154052553127404_5960770736601112548_n

And of course, Miss Olive. I have no clue how the heck she got up there. My Queen of the mountain.
 

October Part 1 – Why Hello There!

Unknown
I wish I could tell you, “No news is good news”, but things really haven’t panned out to be that way the past month. I have begun a small antibiotic and herbal regiment (well, maybe it is small, maybe not…. I am just basing it off of my massive scale of treatments that I have been on in the past.

I had an appointment with my neurologist and was kind of pushy to try to get some testing done before the end of the year as I have no idea if there is going to be a giant spike in the cost of insurance. Let’s hope not. But, better safe than sorry.

I gave him the spiel about how I have been doing, and was really hoping to get some nerve function tests to at least see if it is permanent damage from my mid calves to my feet or if there is hope for further improvements. Makes sense, right?

Of course he didn’t order a test of any sorts for that, and my notes for the appointment even said, “NUMBNESS FROM THE MID CALF DOWN TO FEET, DON’T KNOW OF THE CAUSE”. For real??!!!! Pretty sure you are the Doctor, Sir, why don’t you figure this shit out. And before January 1st. Please and thank you. Ugh!

He did however seem pretty concerned about my sleep and told me that was in his mind the first priority. I of course was a little dishonest, and didn’t tell him my incident falling asleep for that split second on my way home from work, I just couldn’t, but I let him know my general sleep schedule, and my “I actually get a day off” sleep schedule.

I am seeing a sleep specialist next month, as he really believes I either have narcolepsy or possibly sleep apnea.  I really didn’t know much about sleep apnea, other than from watching shows with really heavy people and they have to wear these masks as they sleep. He told me it can really happen to anyone, it is just a higher risk factor.

He then told me, which made a lot more sense is that if you have very bad sleep apnea you may never really reach the higher levels of sleep, and that would cause the excessive daytime sleepiness.

Of course when telling the neurologist about the hours I sleep and trying to gather as much information as possible, with Dave knowing I was going there and was going to discuss these issues, he failed to tell me until AFTER the appointment I snore very loudly and make weird throat noises in between trying to swallow, chewing and choking.  Geez, super helpful Dave.

I suppose narcolepsy is a possibility, Dr J has also mentioned it to me in the past, as there are many similarities. I once again was just thinking of the specials on TV in which people fall right to the ground randomly and it is like an every moment event. I guess that isn’t always the case, those are the most severe cases. Guess I need to stop watching TLC specials perhaps.

If absolutely nothing pops up, then I will know that I am still as sick as shit and my body is in healing mode. People tend to have one side or the other for a spectrum of treatment. No sleep, or sleep all the time. This has just been an ongoing thing for years and years and has only gotten worse.  This is also much different though, it has gone on for a very long time without treatment too.

It is awful to be so debilitated, falling asleep literally mid conversations, getting anxiety if I can’t right then and there go and take a nap, feel a wave of tiredness from laughing too much or any sort of strong emotion, confusion and completely out of it if woken up, and I sleep for up to 18 hours a day.

With it only getting worse, it has not only messed up my ability to keep trying to have my legs moving to help with POTS, I have also missed out on a lot of things. I have missed a few birthday parties this month and have been a bit of a hermit. We try to go out to dinner on Saturday nights but take-out seems to be a common theme. The few times I have gone to do anything, simple things, I have looked at the clock wanting to go home, which I hate. I love my friends. I love being a part of doing anything, and even more having an invite even if it is an empty one. This isn’t me. This all around sucks.

Dave and I went to a fair over the weekend and although I made it a little bit, I had a very hard time. I couldn’t feel my legs and had to hold Dave to walk at all, I started getting completely out of it, rocking and having my Tourrette’s scrunchy faces. We left before anything got worse and I needed a near 7 hour nap to recoup from the time at the fair. At least I got to see the bunnies. They’re my favorite 🙂

I have had some recent blood work done and my cortisol is completely normal.. not really any explanation. I guess spinal taps can show some sort of information on it but I have yet to have a spinal tap for any sort of issue so far, as well as sleep studies. Who knows, we will see what the sleep specialist says!

My start of the month was a round of Coartem and it did go better than my previous round. I had the classic Babesia symptoms: air hunger, sweats, hot flashes.. that sort of thing and was pretty emotional and drained. I hated the air hunger. I couldn’t even lay on my back or on my stomach, I had to sit upright to breathe better. You just have to try to relax your mind and try to focus on your breathing, in a relaxing sort of way and not panic. Panicking only makes it much worse.

Treatment has been making me pretty nauseas and out of it. The other day (when I say the other day it might have been several weeks ago haha) I made an oopsies, on my way home from the Doc’s office, I just plain didn’t feel like cooking and decided on Chinese. I went to the Chinese food restaurant and waited and waited for my food to pick up, and a gentleman came out and said I never called. I got in a rage and was persistent that I had called in my order, and he then asked for my phone number. Low and behold, he checked the caller ID and I did NOT call in my food there. So, I made it to the other Chinese food restaurant and my food was sitting there waiting. Oy vey.

I have been having moments of being completely overwhelmed. With work, and with life in general and have had a few mini breakdowns. Today, I had to leave work, I just couldn’t do everything I needed, but absolutely had to run a couple of errands in town. I sat in the parking lot and did my best not to cry. The bank, dropping mail in the slot, and picking up dog food seemed out of reach for me. Don’t you do it Kimmiecakes! Don’t cry. Push. You got this. And I did. I can barely keep my eyes open right now and I will be psyched as soon as I am done this to take nap numero uno for the day. I have just been slacking so badly I didn’t want you all to think I have fallen off the face of the earth.

I have had hallucinations at night, seeing my usual spiders. I made a small plate of vegan nachos the other night to take my pills, and screamed out loud, convinced there was a spider in my food. Dave had to pick through my nachos and assure me that there was no bugs in my food. Bartonella is at it again. Not to mention the paranoia, anxiety, and just plain sadness lately. I am not really sad I don’t think it explains it right, I am more just frustrated. I always focus on all the good in my life when I get like that and pull myself out of the funk I end up getting in.

Neuro issues in my feet have taken over. Last week I hopped in my car and looked down, and there was blood all over my big toe and smeared on my feet. I must have hit my foot against something. Not only that, a big blister formed on my little toe. I am kind of glad I didn’t feel it. I have the feeling it would have hurt like a MOFO.

I am now taking a break from treatment again. I have begun to have major bloating issues. I measure myself to see if I am bloated or just feel that way, and I have gained over 4 inches in my gut in less than two weeks. FOUR INCHES!! That seems like a lot in such a short time.

Something is definitely going on, so the plan until my next appointment is to see if I can get the bloating down before then, and if not that will be my main focus again. I am assuming the gut infection is back in full-swing. I am sure I will be getting some testing done next month.
unnamed-21
unnamed-20

Yikes! I look like I am preggers. This is after the first thing I ate for the morning. A small piece of steamed haddock. Morning fish? Yeah. I know. I work in the fish business. No breading, no gluten, not saturated in butter or fat, and very small amount. And my stomach only gets worse as the day goes on. I am grateful it is now sweater and legging season! Haha. Silver linings.

So, I will continue on with my FODMAPS diet, behave as much as possible, and load up on probiotics, prebiotics and FOS. Wish me luck on this one haha. At least at this point I am not remotely obsessing over it and hasn’t been a dent to my self esteem. It is what it is. Happy Wednesday!

14322199_10153979169202404_2762941507870337341_n

Annnnnnndddd of course here is Miss Olive! Getting big! Also, notice my blue foot. LOL

Note: Feel free to share, share away! I like to think I help others relate in some small way, and educate others by writing. But, please use my link or hit the share button on FB and do not copy and paste as your own work due to recent copyright infringement issues.

 

September 7th 2012- 4 Years

The beginning of this month was my four year anniversary of the beginning of this Lyme journey. Ick. Four years?

I know there are a lot of people who have been through many more years of this struggle, but this still really stinks!

I have had Lyme and several fun coinfections for most of my life, about 25 years. Symptoms built up more and more and I really started to crash when I was in my early twenties, and at 25, I finally found my answer.

It was the day I wobbled into Dr S’s office with a bum leg that I could no longer feel. You could have probably have hacked it off with a saw and I would not have noticed. September 7th, 2012. A day I will never forget, a day that will remain imprinted in my mind.

Once I started treatment, shit hit completely hit the fan and I have not been the same ever since. My doctor asked me once, “Would you do this all again? Start treatment? Now knowing what it has done?”

Kind of a loaded question. Yes and no I suppose as I think about it now. This disease is absolutely miserable.

As I had mentioned, when you start treatment having chronic Lyme, coinfections, MCIDS, or whatever you prefer to call it, especially for so long, it is going to hit you, and HARD.

The question to myself is if I didn’t start treatment, where would I be now? Or how much worse would this be? Would it be worse? I might be better off doing exactly what I have done for this reason.

Would I have leveled out on my own and somewhat suppressed the infections like I had for all those years? Symptoms were certainly there, but I was still “me”. I’d just have to deal with the symptoms I had.

This year I definitely had my ups and downs. There has been some huge accomplishments. Going shopping on my own, not needing a babysitter for some tasks, finally getting my POTS diagnosis, walking the beach, I did very well for not being on antibiotics and taking a break. I didn’t immediately fall apart.… the list goes on.

The biggest downfall is that I reached a point that I just plain couldn’t tolerate treatment anymore. I just couldn’t do it anymore. My body began to reject the antibiotics and I ended up with a gut infection.

I slowly have begun to crash. My nasty coinfections have come back to play, my tics have returned, and I keep getting more and more exhausted. I feel like I have slept this entire year away!

I recently saw Dr S, and I have now begun working on Babesia again. A round of Coartem and a tincture. Holy crap. Yup. Clearly still an issue. I am also working on my gut still, mitochondrial and adrenal issues.

Definitely continuing on trying to control my neurological issues. I see Dr S next week again for another follow up and game plan, I will try to not be a slacker and give an update!!

Instead of giving a great big long spiel from the beginning (you can read it all from the very start of this adventure), here is my story from each year from the start of my treatment:

https://kimmiecakeskickslyme.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/september-7th-2012-one-year/

https://kimmiecakeskickslyme.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/september-7th-2012-two-years/

https://kimmiecakeskickslyme.wordpress.com/2015/09/03/august-7-2012-3-years/

Andddd a little photo montage from the start of treatment until now. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?!

 

 

 

Well. That is about all I have in me today. Almost Friday. Wishing you all a great weekend! Keep fighting. That’s all we can do. Remember to always look for those silver linings and positivity is a powerful medicine. Much love to you all!

Oh yes, and here is my Miss Olivia Newton Fartin’ Martin. She says “hi”. She put herself in  a time out about a week ago. We still can’t figure out what she did! What a goofball!
14238308_10153924040462404_3490967689554045775_n

*Disclaimer: Due to plagiarism and copyright infringement issues I am currently facing, I am formally requesting to NOT copy and paste my work as your own, please and thank you.

If you would like to share (and I encourage it!), please use my link to my blog only, or hit the “share button” on this page. Thank you so much.

 

March Part 1 – Big Decisions

Unknown

Once again, I apologize, I have been slacking on updating you all. I have some negative news, some very positive news, and I have made a very big decision about my future course of treatment.
Where I left off, for those who do not follow me, (you should, because I am awesome), I started my “bomb day” in the morning, and then heading off to biomagnetic therapy in the early afternoon.
When it was time to leave for my appointment, I was in a little ball on the couch, and having my Dad help make sure I got into his truck. I still need rides going to any place that is past my 15 minute radius, which really stinks as I hate relying on other people. Ugh.
Back on topic… I could barely keep my eyes open, and all I could see was black purple and blue squiggly lines. I had a barf bag in hand…it was not a pretty afternoon.
Most people would probably be terrified on these days, but I am so used to them that it doesn’t even phase me. This too shall pass? I don’t know.

 It is what it is.
The biomagnetic therapy seemed to help. I felt a lot better after my session, and was even able to pick up take out for dinner on my way home.
I had a “blue sky” day on my first day of Coartem. I started the day off by going out to breakfast with Dave’s family. It was really loud and busy in there, so my head got jumbled up and I get very “fuzzy”, but I was fine. I then went with Dave to two stores on our way home. That is pretty miraculous for me. AND THEN!!!, I got a decent amount of cleaning done when I got home. This was a very good day for me.
Of course, there seems to always be a punishment for having any sort of a better day. I have fallen once (luckily not a bad one), I have had a lot of foggy days.
My first, someone said, “good morning” to me, and instead of saying it back I replied, “good night!” To be fair, it was a Monday. I have definitely been out of focus. Needless to say, I haven’t gotten a whole lot done at work. Sorry boss if you are reading this…
At night, and throughout the past week or so, I have had some tics. These aren’t quite as bad, I guess I would describe it as cringing, and I had a few good yells at night.
I have taken a few evening naps, but I still seem to be doing really well on staying on a “normal” schedule. I think trying to get out there and do things is completely exhausting and overwhelming on my body.
That is okay though, I still have a very rewarding and accomplished feeling pushing though and doing what once seemed completely impossible and off the table for anything I would ever be able to do again.

 

I had another blue sky day since I last wrote! Two blue sky days. Wow. I made two quick trips to the grocery store, a coffee stop, went to the bank and pharmacy, swept vacuumed, did some some dishes, cleaned the tub and washed some of our wall trim.. all while dealing with the neediest high maintenance brat puppy ever. Seriously. Wow.
Afterward, my legs felt like complete jello, and everything to me seemed dark, so I knew it was time to rest. I really wanted to use my recumbent bike that evening, but that was a nap day, and I really did a lot. I didn’t feel all that guilty for taking the rest of the evening off.
I don’t know if it is my treatment, methylcobalin shots again, or my new biomagnetic therapy but something is starting to work.

 

This truly shows having this disease.. well any chronic illness, you can have significant improvements in a day, then completely fall apart. I just hold onto those good moments, keep positive more will come, and you need to just live day by day. It will make you crazy thinking of the future.

 

Dave and I are trying a new diet plan. We have actually been eating vegan. I thought Dave wouldn’t make it a week, but he has been so good, I am really proud of him. I think having a partner in trying a new diet, workout, or anything of the sort helps. It makes you more accountable.

 

I have lost 6 pounds (losing weight wasn’t the goal but I am not hurt by this at all 😉 ). I am way less bloaty, and I no longer have horrific stabbing stomach pains.
I still haven’t mastered the art of tofu, haha. I am realizing that there are so many options for meals. Our favorite is a meal is almost like spaghetti, only it is filled with veggies, you don’t even need more miss pasta, so it is a lot healthier and lighter.

 

Now the big decision. I have decided that I am no longer going to go to my LLMD in DC. This was a huge and hard decision for me. My mind was all over the place, and a big part of it was a mental thing that I would be leaving “THE” Lyme doctor. If that makes sense.

 

I haven’t taken this decision lightly, but a piece of me knows that the clinic has done everything they can for me. I have not been happy and very frusterated for a long time for a number of reasons that I will not get into. I do not want to and will not bash them in any way, I really did need them very badly when I was at my worst. It was life changing for me during that point in time.

 

I do owe them so much, as I am no longer in the place I was at, basically completely useless, needing Dave to push me around in a wheelchair, bathe me… the list goes on. I have so much appreciation and gratitude towards them.

 

With that being said, I have altered some protocols on my own, lessening them as needed, and I just have a negative frame of mind now, and I have a positive outlook and better vibes with my local naturopath that has helped me along the way throughout so far, a 3 ½ year journey.
As of right now, it has been nearly two years without significant changes. I have had a few blue sky days, but it really isn’t determined what it is from. My tweaked protocols, the biomagnetic therapy? My immune system working better? There are so many factors.

 

I will tell you, with and having Lyme, I see so many people give up very quickly with doctors when they do not see immediate results. With this illness, all I can say is patience is a virtue. You need to have faith in your doctor and give it time. Do not give up. Give your doctor a chance. This is not a sprint, it is a long frickin marathon.

 

For me unfortunately, after this amount of time (YEARS), I think it is just time to move on. Something is still missing, I am sure of it, and I like I mentioned, I personally believe I have gotten all I can out of the clinic.

 

I am not giving up, folks I promise you, but as Einstein once said said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

 

My recent appointment with Dr S got me feeling more positive, and honestly I think it will be a trial and error for my treatment, which is okay. I really think he will find the right combination that will work for me.

 

He truly listens and takes his time, putting great thought into what he thinks will be best. I am not shy around him, and he doesn’t beat around the bush with telling me the truth. I am also optimistic about my biomagnetic therapy treatments.
His concern as of right now, looking at several of my blood work papers, he wants to figure out what my liver is doing wrong. It is functioning poorly.
A test suggested is a urine test that tells you about nutrients, liver function, energy production, brain chemistry, and gut infections. On point, Dr S, let’s get this all figured out.

 

This is still a scary moment for me, I will not lie. I still have not picked up the phone to cancel my appointment. I need to, and I think that phone call will be today.
This is a big step, I need to do this for me, I need to be brave, and transition to what may be completely life altering for the better (I am hoping for some level of remission for me), or for the worst.

 

I really truly believe this is the right path for me. Say a prayer, wish me luck. I am officially starting a brand new path on my road to recovery.

And of course, you get a picture of Miss Olive, snuggling with her Mumma.  🙂 12801672_10153493275242404_4837392389664443509_n

February Part 3 – Blue Skies Ahead?

Unknown
It has once again been awhile since I last gave an update. I left off on the morning of my “bomb day”, which is the day that I take a boatload of antibiotics, including my favorite, Flagyl. I was fading fast when I posted, and it only got worse after that.

I had to go home and let the doggies out before my second biomagnetic therapy session that day, and I arrived to my parents a little too early to have my Dad take me since I cannot drive that far still. I had completely fallen apart. I was curled up in a little ball on the couch, could barely keep my eyes open, but when I closed them all I could see were purple and blue squiggly lines. I was completely nauseated and my body was toast. I couldn’t feel my feet and my legs were tingly. My arms weighed about a thousand pounds.

My Dad made sure I got to his truck, and I had a barf bag in hand. It was a super long drive, even though it is probably a half an hour. My therapist had left off from my last appointment still testing areas that need to be aligned. She finally got through all the points and we got into treatment. The very first session, I had a terrible headache for the rest of the day, and this time, I felt SOOOO much better when I was done.

I don’t know if it was because I got to lay down and it is very relaxing, or if there is truly something to biomagnetic therapy. I would like to think very much that it is working in some shape or form, and I am still being optimistic about it. Not feeling like complete death the way home, and being able to pick up Chinese food (it was bomb day after all) on my own was certainly a huge improvement from just a few hours before. I will take it. Unfortunately, she is away on vacation, but I am definitely planning on going again. It doesn’t hurt anything, right?

Once I was done my first week of treatment (perhaps also from my biomagnetic therapy??!), I woke up in the morning with a large Bartonella streak on my chest, sort of near my armpit, and the veins in my chest were popping out. It was bizarre as I have only had little itty bitty streaks in the past. Something in my body is getting stirred up, seeing is believing without a doubt. My week two protocol does focus on Babesia, but we also have a couple Bartonella drugs in the mix, so I knew I would still be tackling it.

I had a hard time the following few days off treatment, feeling very dizzy and exhausted. My POTS symptoms have been bothering me in the morning, and I am questioning if I am having a bit of a mycoplasma flare up. Coughing, chest pressure.. just not my usual Lymie self. At this point I don’t even contact doctors about this kind of thing anymore, because I am generally right. The blood work takes several days, and it will always come out positive. I knew one of the antibiotics I would be on was minocycline, which is what I would be put on anyway, so I wasn’t too worried about it.

My second week started out really well. My suspicions were correct, the artimisinin is what was making me crazy nauseas the previous round. I only started to get nauseated the day before and the last day of my treatment. I combated it with detox juices with extra extra ginger. My last two days I was also ticking more, foggier, and ended up taking a few naps. I definitely handled it much better regardless, I even used my recumbent bike for a few days, I even did 20 minutes one evening! That is pretty awesome.

Off topic, kind of? I found a quote I really liked and was fitting at that exact time, and maybe it will help some of you who are feeling down. “Everyday might not be good, but there is good in every day.” I would have to completely agree. No matter what your situation is, there is always silver linings, you just need to find them.

I finished my work’s taxes with the help of my Mom, and it actually went smoothly. It wasn’t a disaster like the year before, so maybe my brain is coming back a little bit. I even got the compliment that I had done a good job for the year, and I really needed that. I obviously do the best I am able to do, but I feel like it isn’t enough most of the time. For someone who was a workaholic before I got really sick, I sometimes feel a bit like an embarrassment. It was also a booster, as I got extremely frustrated that I ended up having to work on my one day off for the month. Today is my first day off in a long time. I am enjoying it.

Today starts my third week of treatment, a few days of Coartem. This has been the very best experience I have had taking the drug.. ever. From going to sitting like a vegetable from the time Dave left for work the first time I took the drug to the time he got home, with the TV off and staring into nothingness, not once getting up, moving, anything.. to my day today, it really is validating in my mind at least that Babesia is no longer effecting me like it once did.

Dave and I met his family and went out for breakfast, then Dave and I went to two stores. One was a Job Lots.. I don’t know if that is a “New England” thing.. basically it has a little bit of everything, and then we went grocery shopping at a much bigger store than my little store in town that I usually have to stop and go sit in the car. Not only that, but I managed to do some cleaning when I got home. I was on a roll. Dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, laundry. On my first day of Coartem. Yay!

All in all, I feel like even though there was some cruddy and completely non functional days, I really had a few much better ones. I am hoping the next few days of Coartem are easy peasy, in my mind I think they will be, maybe fluish toward the end and I will have my best break yet.

Blue skies ahead? I am really keeping positive there will be, as soon to come, I have a huge decision to make. One that could completely change everything. What is it you may ask? You will have to follow me, and you will know soon enough. 🙂

Happy Sunday everyone. Wishing you all a moment of blue skies today, if not, don’t forget to look for those those silver linings.

PS Of course I figured I would share a couple Olive pictures. Cutie patootie.

January Part 2 – New Protocol Round One!

Unknown

As you all know, I have been on the same super duty protocols for well over a year with no success. The beginning of this year we decided it was best to try something different. On paper it looks like absolutely nothing, to me at least, yet I get a lot of “you’re so brave!”‘s as well as even being told I was someone’s hero. I guess that gets my mentality into fight mode to keep on going. I was at least pretty optimistic that this protocol would be good for me, as I am only taking half as much medication to kill a horse.

I didn’t really feel like starting. The day I was to begin my protocol was my one Sunday off of work a month. I actually was doing SO well for me. I did some cleaning, and even went grocery shopping by myself! Really?! Why do I have to start on a good day.. with my pills down the hatch, once I had my big exciting moment, I was ready to go.

My optimism and positivity paid off my first week. I handled it better than I had in the past 2 1/2 years of treatment. Unfortunately with Lyme disease, as there is no “one size fits all” treatment, it is really trial and error. I am hoping we might finally be onto something.

I did end up crashing toward the end of the week. I was frustrated at just about everything and began to really get down in the dumps. I was still able to push through, and pushed myself hard.

Sometimes I really think that is necessary. It makes you feel just a little more normal. On those last two days that I was miserable, I washed my hair, went to work for a few hours, went to the post office and bank. When I went to the hospital for my safety labs, I parked just a little bit further away to get a longer walk in. I was walking like a baby deer when I was all done, but it was a good feeling that I was on my heavy days of treatment and I was still able to do more than I would normally be able to do by far. I was kicking ass. 🙂

By the way, my labs were much better than my last visit. I am not sure why, as my last labs were all over the place and I wasn’t on treatment. For me personally, it is usually the opposite. Not allergies to the medication, but the bugs are at war being stirred up in my body.

Like I said, at the end of my first week, I was toast. This is the difference between bomb day and the day after. Isn’t it crazy that just one day can totally change your appearance? I was all droopy and a mess in photo one, and the second photo I was feeling a lot better the day after I completed my last day of treatment. That is a clear example of chronic illness. Some days are good, and some days are not so good. I was asked the other day about my medications and if that is the reason people with Lyme feel so sick. Yes and no. No one feels fantastic on a half a dozen antibiotics, but it is the reaction of the die-off that is making you sick. A herx reaction.

 

The honeymoon was over after my first week. Week two was my hell week, and I wanted to give up, but I didn’t. I wanted to stick it out EXACTLY as my LLMD ordered, to see what would happen. No cheating. No quitting.

I am trying to pinpoint what was killing me, and I almost think it is the high dose of Artimisinin. Who would have thought an herb could wreak such havoc? My tummy was NOT HAPPY. I was so nauseated.  I had so many neurological issues going on.  I was in a complete fog and my tics were back, and they have been back (at least now it almost looks like a quick intense shiver then I’m done most of the time), and having speech issues to the point I sounded like I was speaking a foreign language. A slurry and jibberish one. Haha.

Unfortunately, through this time doing my new protocol, I know I have undone any little bit of gut and fungal healing that I have been doing for weeks and weeks.  Stabbing pains, being glued to the toilet and the fun times of being glued to it with a trash bag to my face on week two. Having Lyme nausea as a lot of you know, it is a bit different. Instead of feeling better and relief when you finally throw up, it doesn’t help one little bit. I am completely bloated, and I have a yucky toxic yellow tongue. Ick.

I have the choice between 2 and 3 weeks off once treatment is completed. I might opt for 3-4. Having an upset gut isn’t a good thing at all to help make treatment effective.

Oh yeah.. we also brought home our puppy on Friday night!  Lucky for me Dave is a HUGE help at night. He told me last night she was making the bloody murder sounds that puppies tend to do in their crates about every 3 hours. I didn’t hear it at all. Night time puppy duty for him.  Day time for me. We are making it work, and she will be no different than our other dogs: a spoiled rotten brat. 🙂

It is keeping me going and I really enjoy it. She just turned 8 weeks old, and already knows sit and lay down. I think she is starting to get the concept of going outside to go to the bathroom, but with pee it is still really hard for her to hold it.

I have only taken one quick nap since Friday! Having a puppy you cannot sleep your life away. She is keeping me on a better sleep schedule, I have even been going to bed around 10, which is exactly what the doctor ordered. Maybe he should suggest everyone get a puppy. 🙂 Only kidding. But, it seems to be helping me! I am really happy to have her join our family. We love her so much already.

P.S. We decided to name her Olive. Ain’t she a cutie patootie?

I have been doing some research and talking among several Lyme patients and have decided to try something entirely new: biomagnetic therapy. Honestly I thought it was kind of hogwash sticking magnetics to you, but I have heard a lot of positive feedback. I suppose you can call me a skeptic when it comes to alternative therapies.

I really shouldn’t be though. I am learning to have a more open mind… with those who at least don’t throw things down my throat or try to sell me some “It will fix you even though I know nothing about Lyme disease” pills. Money back guarantee folks!  *Rolls eyes*

I have even started incorporating some essential oils to help alleviate some symptoms, especially right before bed when things like to flare even more. See? I’m trying to have a more open mind. And I will admit, the oils seem to help a bit.

At this point I am up for trying anything, and the people I have spoken to about this treatment were really happy with the results. I am going to try a few sessions and see what I think. These are my friends, and people I know have absolutely nothing to gain by offering advice with their experience. I take friend’s opinions pretty heavily as well. Worth a shot right?

Okay. So I didn’t really know what  biomagnetic therapy was, and this is what I think I understand about what it actually does. It basically uses pairs of magnets of opposite charges to depolarize areas of the body due to pathogrens. The treatment balances PH levels, which helps the body to have the ability to regenerate and restore itself. (Thanks Innovative Medicine for the info.)

I have a few weeks wait until I begin that treatment in addition to my current, so I will be excited to give you all an update, hopefully with great news! Have a great week everyone!