Chasing the Dragon: or how I'm curing my Lyme Disease

We are all habitat.  Microscopic condos for animals old as dirt.  We breath and eat at their mercy.

I first found out I had Lyme Disease in 2003, about 3 years after I initially became infected.  In order to find it, I had to reassemble my own history.  I haven't trusted my memory since.

I was living in Carbondale, CO and we had just declared war on Iraq.  I wasn't getting meaningful work in my field, and so I spent a lot of my time tracking down the plastic candy machine salesman who had apparently charmed his way through the Roaring Fork Valley sometime in the mid 80's, and trying to figure out why I was feeling so terribly all the time.  I had a fever for 4 months, I had aches and pains in my joints and muscles, I was TIRED all the time, and I was calling in sick more than my coworker on a 'powder day'.

At the time I had no health insurance, which means I was avoiding going to doctors.  I bit the bullet and went to see an osteopath who came recommended.  He asked me if I remember ever having a target-like rash on my body, and I instantly remembered the rash underneath my arm.  The school nurse gave me a cream for ringworm.  I remembered getting very sick a week or two later, and going in again for antibiotics to treat my 'bronchitis'.   

And then waking up with pain in random joints that I could never remember having injured.  Wearing splints.  Migraines.  Fevers.   

At the time, the doctor prescribed 28 days worth of an enormously expensive form of NAPALM (antibiotics), and 3 days later I felt incredible.  He said that, more than likely, that was all I would need.  By the time I got my diagnosis, I was headed back home to recover at my parent's house, and was walking with the help of a cane that I continued to need for months after.

They call them dragon tracks - what's left in your cartilage and your brain once the bugs die off and the hollow caverns they have borne into your body start to heal. They swarm together and hide in your collagen from the blood-borne antibiotics and your immune system.  They can disappear for months at a time.  In arranging for my own healing this time, I am aware that I am chasing the dragon with all of the desperation of a junkie.  I am chasing a memory of wellness that I am not sure exists with all of the determination and will that I can muster.

In reviewing the literature, two paths seemed to diverge in this woods.  One lead in the direction of intravenous antibiotics and wheelchair bound testimonials and support groups, and the other was a lot less dramatic and straight-forward.  I chose the one with less drama, and it has already started making a big difference.  I am posting what I am doing for myself here in case there are others who might benefit from this:

1: Educate yourself -  but don't freak yourself out.  There is a lot of drama in the literature about Lyme Disease.  From what I can tell, if you start down a road similar to the one I am taking and stick with it, Lyme Disease is curable.  Healing Lyme Disease Naturally by Wolf D. Storl is an awesome book.  Read it.  There is another one by Buener.  It's realistic and informative but maybe a little bit of a bummer.  If you only get one, get the one by Storl.

2: Know that you are going to have to overhaul your existence a little bit, and make friends with that fact.  You weren't feeling that great anyhow.  You might as well not feel great but be getting better.  Especially with Lyme, though, there is this thing called the Herkheimer Reaction which means that you might feel worse before you feel better.  I am feeling like I am JUST on the other side of that now and it is worth it.  I promise.

3: You are going to have to listen to your body and trust yourself.  This is not a case where you are picking up a certain amount of grams of penicillin from Walmart.  Dosage, frequency, etc.

4: 3-15 drops of Teasel 3-4x/day for at least 3 months, and then for 4 days during the full moon for a year after that.  My herbalist thinks it's the information in the herb and not the quantity.  Get it from a good supplier, and trust it.  Start low and gradually get higher.

5. Buener Herbs: Cat's Claw, Andrographis, Sarsaparilla, Japanese Knotweed, Dandilion.  I order them from Green Dragon Botanicals.  I take 3 pills 4x/day.  Full dosage is 12pills 4x/day.  They help strengthen your immune system, and lower the inflammation and stress your body has while it's fighting the illness.

6: Heat up your body in as hot a tub or sauna as you can for at 30 minutes 5x/week for 6 weeks - 2 months.  Seriously.  Do it.  The bugs hate it and so they swarm into your bloodstream where your Immune System can get them.  These will make you feel worse - especially at first.  Do it anyhow.  Replace the salts you are using with other electrolytes.  There are pill forms as well as gatoraide.  I would recommend the salt pills.

7. Probiotics, Vitamin D3, and an Immune Formula (I use Sanjevani brand for all of them).  It supports you in a more general way, and helps your gut get rid of toxins.

8. Be outside a lot (sunlight = UV radiation + good. and as active as you can.  Heating up your body temperature with exercise is good.  The Lyme buggies hate it, and it forces them out of hiding.

9. Get tested for allergies.  It's expensive, but if you can afford it, it's worth it.  Basically, if your body is spending time attacking your food, it is not attacking your Lyme.  Sometimes dietary changes can be harsh.  I found out that I am allergic to milk, goats milk, eggs, wheat, corn and soy, among other things.  It's a huge adjustment, but I feel much better when I (mostly) eat the things that my body will not attack.

10. Don't talk to people who make you feel bad about yourself and/or your treatment choices.  You need supportive people right now.  Gather them like you would anything precious.

11.  Make time for this, and don't stop what you are doing when you start to feel better.  You may need to work less for a while as you heal.  It took about 2-3 weeks of feeling worse before I started feeling better.  I can now work regular hours, and feel much better.  It's important to keep the process up, because those bugs are still hiding inside you.  You only feel them badly when they swarm.  Your job for the next year and a half is to make them swarm, and have your body be strong enough to fight them when they do.