Posted in Healing from Lymes, Lymes and Other Tick-Borne Illnesses, Organic / Anti-Inflamatory Nutrition, Thyroid Health and Hashimotos Awareness

Phase 3: Holding Steady

Phase 3: Holding Steady

Two blog posts ago on June 30th, I described how I was “deep into” Phase 2 of my treatment for Lyme Disease. To recap, the first antibiotic I started at the beginning of June was Plaquenil. I was able to get fully onboard with that antibiotic in about 10 days.
After I was “stable” and not Herxing (experiencing more of my Lyme symptoms as the Borrelia bacteria is being killed off and dying), I eased into my second antibiotic, Doxycycline. Ironically, this is the antibiotic I was prescribed for Perioral Dermatitis in November when I had a horribly painful, flesh-eating rash that was weeping and blistering down the entire right side of my face from my nostril to my jawline. I started Doxycycline again on June 10th, and this antibiotic took me about two weeks to work up to the full dose on (again, without Herxing). Our family was on vacation in Ohio for two weeks during this time, and I was still feeling VERY neurological, fatigued, irritable, and just overall not well.
 After returning from vacation, I began my third antibiotic, Azithromycin, on June 25th. I had to have the Azithromycin compounded in order for it to be both lactose and gluten-free. I noticed the most severe side effects from ANY of the antibiotics after starting Azithromycin. I spent the better part of two weeks easing in but still experiencing the Jarisch-Herxheimer reactions (and feeling generally very “flu-ish”). However, after about two weeks again I was “stable” on the Azithromycin and ready to begin my fourth, and last, antibiotic.
The week of the 4th of July I started the Mepron (gooey, liquid, bright-yellow colored antibiotic that has the consistency of chalk and the taste of Kaopectate). The Mepron was prescribed specifically to combat one of my two tick-borne coinfections that produces malaria-type symptoms (Babesia Duncanai). Babesia makes Lyme look like a pussycat. I would gladly take the multi-faceted symptoms of Lyme Disease ANY DAY over the hot flashes, dripping wet with sweat, flu-like symptoms of Babesia and hot flashes. After taking my first dose of Mepron on Monday, July 3rd, I LITERALLY felt bionic! I took all 8 of my kids swimming and discovered an ant situation under our deck boxes full of life preservers and pool noodles/toys. I powered sprayed EVERYTHING head to toe. I sprayed for ants on, around, under the pool deck boxes. I let everything dry for a few hours and returned everything to its original state. I then cleaned up the rest of the pool deck, bathed and put all of my littles to bed, cleaned up my kitchen, and started my two loads of nightly laundry (without any help from my husband). Struggling with lack of energy in having chronic illness — this was HUGE for me! I was able to get fully-onboard with my 10 mg daily prescribed dose of Mepron in the FIRST WEEK and was feeling amazing! No more night sweats. No more hot flashes. The tiny red spots all over my chest and abdomen were diminishing.
However, the second week into the Mepron I totally tanked. I started falling asleep in the middle of the afternoon. I started experiencing the brain fog again and struggled to put together thoughts in sentences. My energy was next to nothing. My “malaria” symptoms came back with a vengeance. I had to stop taking the Mepron completely for the rest of that week and let my Babesia symptoms die down. One week later, I had to reintroduce it again; however, this time at 2.5 mg increments over the course of another 7-10 days, giving myself a 24-48 hour break between increasing doses. By the week of August 14, I was back up to my full daily dose of 10 mg (5 mg, twice daily) of Mepron without Herxing and without any further Babesia symptoms.
That all being said, I am now holding steady on ALL FOUR ANTIBIOTICS (Plaquenil, Doxycycline, Azithromycin, and Mepon) until I see my LLMD again the middle of September (3 months between visits). Additionally, I have followed up monthly with my PCP (Primary Care Provider) to have a CBC (Complete Blood Count), CMP (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel), and an ECG (Echocardiogram) to make sure that my body and vital organs are holding up under the weight of so many antibiotics. My ECG did come back with a Prolonged QTC Phase, and so my LLMD backed-off my dose of Azithromycin to 1/2 of what she had originally prescribed. Prolonged QTC Syndrome is a heart rhythm disorder where your heart muscle takes longer than normal to recharge between beats. Additionally, my neutrophils (type of white blood cell) came back low (not surprising with how hard my body is fighting off multiple infections right now). Finally, I have followed up with an Ophthalmologist to have a visual field eye exam to make sure that the Plaquenil is not doing any damage to my retina (which can be an infrequent side-effect). My visual field test came back good/normal, so praise be to God.
For now I hold steady doing EVERYTHING I am supposed to be doing. I am also still maintaining a VERY STRICT, anti-inflammatory diet (no gluten, no dairy, no soy, no sugar, and no eggs due to my egg allergy). I am still struggling with keeping weight on my skeletal frame. My weight is ranging anywhere from 104-110 pounds (at 5’5” tall) despite everything I am doing to eat my own weight every day in protein, including an organic, non-GMO, gluten-free protein powder I am using. I am also still INCREDIBLY bothered by anything that is fermented or contains vinegar (from my mycotoxin toxicity). I still also cannot tolerate rice and coffee (likely due to small traces of mycotoxins contained in the packaging after harvesting). My neurological symptoms become SO SEVERE that I usually have to go back to bed. I am also doing some very basic light strength training (basically to keep moving and active and to also make myself harder for this darn disease to kill). After my time twice a week at the gym, I take FULL advantage of the sauna to sweat out the bacteria and mycotoxins my body is working SO HARD to kill. I do find some minor relief in my lymph, shoulder, neck, and upper back pain after my time in the sauna. I have worked myself up to being able to tolerate 15 minutes (from starting at 5 minutes). For as much as time permits for this mama of 8, I also try to take at least a few epsom salt baths every week using epsom salts, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and essential oil(s) to continue encouraging my body to let go of the mycotoxins (black mold).
Please continue to pray for me as I pray for everyone who is supporting and encouraging me on this journey! The successes I have been celebrating in August are:
*Being FULLY onboard with all four antibiotics without Herxing
*My toenails are growing again (need to be cut every two weeks)… haven’t really had to cut my toenails since I delivered baby 3# in 2006
*My hair is becoming stronger and less brittle (though still not growing as fast as I would like it to be growing)
*The pain behind my left eye is GONE (I have felt pressure behind my eye, like it was bulging, since summer 2016)
*The pain in my feet (ball of my left foot and heel of my right foot) has GREATLY subsided, and I no longer need to wear padded slippers in my house on my hardwood floors. I have also been able to wear flip flops this summer!
*The pain in my lower back where I had my epidural with #8 has reduced… since its onset around Christmas where I could not drive, sit, or bend at a 45-degree angle for many weeks
*Drastic reduction in my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis symptoms
*Waking basal temperature back up over 96.9 degrees (usually now around 97.4 degrees — praise God)!
*My cycles are “normalizing”… first cycle postpartum in May was 44 days with delayed ovulation at day 30… my second postpartum cycle in June was 37 days with ovulation on day 24… so DEFINITELY getting better!
*When I am not Herxing, I am finding my energy to be normal and consistent throughout the day (still without drinking coffee)… subsequently, I am napping less (maybe only a few afternoons a week)
*I consider myself to be mostly functional again… so long as I am 100% sticking to my LLMD’s plan (sleeping 8 hours a night, taking ALL of my supplements and prescriptions, strictly following my anti-inflammatory diet, and not overexerting myself or taking on “too much”)
*Reduction in my neurological symptoms including sensitivity to bright lights and loud sounds (mainly my kids)
Posted in Authentic Catholicism, Large Family Life, Lymes and Other Tick-Borne Illnesses

When You Can’t Save Your Kids…

Last week I received my oldest son’s laboratory results. We knew this was an insurmountable obstacle we would have to one day face, not knowing how long I have had Lyme Disease and coinfections for…. having EACH OF OUR EIGHT CHILDREN tested for Lyme Disease (and coinfections) through IGeneX. At $1,000 a lab test. Additionally, testing our OLDEST FIVE CHILDREN for mycotoxin toxicity, especially gliotoxins, from a previous moldy home we lived in. At another $800 per lab for that test. Raising eight children in today’s world is NOT EASY no matter how you slice it… but looking at $20K worth of JUST LABS (not even considering the high cost for antibiotic treatment for a disease most doctors don’t even believe exists)… not to mention that most Lyme doctors are cash-only (to keep from being shut down by insurance companies and other doctors affiliated with IDSA who believe Lyme to be perfectly treatable and cured with 7-14 days of antibiotic therapy).

However, when our oldest son started exhibiting classic symptoms of Lyme Disease this past winter while in fifth grade – – we knew we had to step up our game and get him in right away. Somehow, deep down inside I knew what the results would be. However, my mama heart still held out hope that I had not transmitted this horrific disease to any of my children. You see, I have NEVER pulled a tick off of any of my kids. None of my children have ever had a classic bullseye or EM rash. Sure – – they’ve had plenty of mosquito bites over the years (being born and raised in either Ohio or Minnesota), and I do know that mosquitoes can transmit Lyme and other vector borne illnesses.

However, there was no nothing I could do to prepare myself for the heart-wrenching sadness I felt after opening his labs. I died a thousand deaths all over again; however, this time it was far harder and far worse than the day I received my own lab results.

You see, the more I live this thing called life, the more I realize that I can’t save my kids. I can’t save them from getting hit by a car when crossing the street. I couldn’t even save them in utero… in my womb… the most sacred of safe spaces… from contracting a bacterial illness across the placenta line. I can’t save them from getting bad grades if they don’t work hard. I can’t save them from injuries on sports fields. I can’t save them from inevitable broken hearts during their dating and courting years. 

This disease has made me ever so aware again… by bringing me to my knees in COMPLETE humility… that we serve a God who is in control. Despite having always lived a life of constantly choosing the right portion and trying to be healthy – – contracting Lymes was something I could not control. I truly believe I was bitten either in my childhood or in high school, and that this disease lay dormant in my body for YEARS, decades even. Something changed in my body hormonally with marriage and childbirth that brought it out. I have spent the last 15 years suffering and struggling in a constant sea of up-and-down waves and mysterious “phantom” symptoms nobody ever really got to the root cause of. Until our eighth son was born last summer, and I became DEBILITATINGLY sick. However, remember that Lymes is an “INVISIBLE DISEASE” when viewed through the eyes of both the world and the medical community at large. 

In knowing that AT LEAST one of our eight children has Lyme Disease (and a very high probability of having contracted it from me in utero), I have had to AGAIN surrender. Surrender the pain. Surrender the anger. Surrender the questioning that if I would’ve never been “open to life” and bringing him into this world, then he might not have to face the things in his life that I have faced. The pain… the pain that hurts SO BAD some days you just want to die so that there’s an end to it. The judgement. The isolation. The feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness… being a shell of a human being. Parenting from bed. Watching your life from the sidelines. These are things NO ONE should have to face in a lifetime, not me and most DEFINITELY not any of my babies.

When we thought or eighth child, Jeremiah, would be born with Down Syndrome last year in 2016… it brought me to a place of poverty on my knees that I had never known before. A place of complete surrender in knowing that God knows so much more than I do. A place of complete trust like I had never known before in my life. Knowing that I would truly have to walk the walk and not just talk the talk I so eloquently preach. Knowing that God’s plan is ALWAYS right and is ALWAYS perfect but is NEVER guaranteed to be easy. I knew deeper than I had ever known anything in my entire life that we serve a God who doesn’t make mistakes and that my eighth baby would be perfect – – no matter how he was born. He was named Jeremiah after Jeremiah 29:11 and 1:5. 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you AND NOT TO HARM YOU. Plans for hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5

I now must face that SAME ABANDON in parenting my oldest son we now know has Lymes. I must be stronger than I ever thought it was possible to be. I will not know until I return to visit to our LLMD in several weeks WHAT his course of treatment will look like. I can only pray that it will be easier than mine since the bacteria has not yet crossed the blood brain barrier and into his central or peripheral nervous systems. He doesn’t have any neurological incapacities or peripheral neuropathy at this point in time… which is EXACTLY why we chose to begin testing our kids sooner than later.

Fortunately, I trust my LLMD whole-heartedly and know that even if the course is hard that she is doing what is best for him. I continue to thank and praise God for bringing this awareness to our eyes before my son hit a point in his life where he was struggling and unable to do things that normal kids do. So many Lyme patients, myself included, struggle and suffer with watching their life from the sidelines. I am so thankful that hopefully this will not be the case for my son. God has BIG PLANS for this kid’s life — despite my own feelings of guilt and inadequacy for possibly transmitting something I had NO KNOWKEDGE OF and absolutely NO CONTROL OVER. Again — surrender.

Lord Jesus, when we answer your call to say yes, we fully surrender it all. When we take up our cross and follow you, we cannot question the sometimes rough parts that we must navigate through in our lives. Lord, help us to understand when we go through rough waters that there are calm waters ahead and vice-versa in preparing for rough waters that will inevitably come when life seems calm and balanced. Amen.

Posted in Healing from Lymes, Lymes and Other Tick-Borne Illnesses

Deep Into “Phase 2: Antibiotics”

I WISH I could sit here and tell you that my last several weeks of “Phase 2: Antibiotics” has been easy and smooth sailing. However, that has most definitely NOT been my reality. Nonetheless, I am continuing to make GREAT strides in regaining my health — even despite setbacks! I just tolerated an almost two-week family vacation (16 hour drive EACH WAY) COMPLETELY “out of my routine” and comfort zone! That was a HUGE success for me (especially since I had nearly two months between February and April of not being able to drive OR ride in a car with my eyes open even because my vertigo was SO BAD).

When starting the Plaquenil on June 10th, I unfortunately learned the hard way that I Herx BAD when starting a new script. I had to “ease into” taking this antibiotic every-third-day for several days. Once I was able to tolerate that spacing, I increased the spacing to every-other-day for a few days. Finally, about 10 days in I was able to tolerate it daily as the prescription was written, I relied heavily on my Tri-Salts (see post here) and Burbur/Pinella tincture to keep the Herx symptoms of increased pain, headaches, agitation, light and sound sensitivity, peripheral neuropathy, and neurological symptoms to a minimum.

After I became “stable” on the Plaquenil, I had to ease into my 2nd antibiotic Doxycycline the same way… one pill every-other-day for half a week or so… one pill daily for a few more days… two pills daily every-other-day… and then finally two pills daily as my prescription was written. I then waited another few days of being “stable” on BOTH the Plaquenil AND Doxycyclilne before moving on to the 3rd antibiotic. Both the Plaquenil and the Doxycycline were written to kill (as a dual force) the cystic and cell membrane forms of the Borrelia Burgdorferi (Lyme) bacteria. Since I am a “chronic Lyme patient” and the bacteria has crossed into BOTH my central AND peripheral nervous systems (as well as my thyroid, as evidenced by my Hashimoto’s thyroiditis)… it is important to use multiple antibiotics and to vary them frequently throughout my course of treatment. Again, I can’t recommend reading Dr. Horowitz’s book “Why Can’t I Get Better” enough! He explains this concept in METICULOUS detail in his book! Link below to his book on Amazon. BEST $20 you will spend in your (or some one you love’s) journey with Lyme!

That brings me to starting my 3rd antibiotic, Azithromycin (commonly “Zithromax” or “Z-Pack”). Now THIS antibiotic was the trickiest of all 4 of my antibiotics to acquire. I worked closely with a WONDERFUL and extremely helpful pharmacist in the Twin Cities who spent THREE WEEKS contacting 4 different manufacturers to try to find one who made Azithromycin without gluten or diary (due to the severity of my food allergies). Unfortunately, he did not have any luck. ALL Azithromycin is made containing lactose, save one manufacturer who makes it without lactose but with soy (which I also do not consume due to estrogenic and goitrogenic qualities). That being said, I had to use a compounding pharmacy for this prescription (which is AGAIN not covered by insurance). Nonetheless, according to my LLMD… I CANNOT be taking antibiotics to kill bacteria in my body while continuing to create inflammation by additives in the antibiotics which I am allergic to. Then I am shooting myself in my own foot.

I started Zithromax on Monday with my usual “every-other-day” approach. However, less than 24-hours later I was back in bed for a 6-hour nap with FULL-FLEDGED Babesia Duncanai symptoms back… hot sweats, pulse racing, hot/cold intolerance, debilitating fatigue (a whopping total of TEN HOURS worth of naps in 2 days), extreme agitation, and complete peripheral neuropathy/numbness/and loss of sensation in my right arm from the bicep down.

After reconsulting with my LLMD today, she assured me that I was, in fact, experiencing another Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction. This is GOOD in one sense, because it means that the Azithromycin is doing EXACTLY what it is supposed to do (going after the Babesia); however, as my LLMD does NOT want her chronically ill, patients feeling WORSE… I AGAIN have to slow it down. I took a break from the Azithromycin yesterday and will continue to “pulse” it back in (as my body tolerates).

After I become “stable” on the Azithromycin, I will begin my 4th and final antibiotic, Mepron (which is sometimes called “liquid gold” in the pharmaceutical industry). This bottle of liquid yellow goop costs $975.99 BEFORE INSURANCE. It is some serious stuff and was written to eliminate my Babesia (which is another tickborne illness I acquired that is very similar in symptomatology to malaria).

I will keep you all posted as I finish “Phase 2: Antibiotics” and maintain this baseline (along with the near 75 supplements I take daily) until I see my LLMD again in September.

I ALSO have my first monthly check with my primary care doctor next week for a CBC, CMP, and an EKG (to make sure that my body is tolerating the antibiotics and staying strong),,, and also with an ophthalmologist (good thing my daddy is one!) for a Visual Field Eye Exam.

Pray for me as I pray for YOU! My current Novena is to Our Lady Undoer of Knots. Please feel free to comment below if you have any personal intentions you would like me to specifically pray for.

Posted in Healing from Lymes, Lymes and Other Tick-Borne Illnesses, Thyroid Health and Hashimotos Awareness

End of Phase 1!

I MADE IT! After last seeing my LLMD on May 22nd… multiple trips to Walgreens to fill ALL 9 of my prescriptions… working with an AMAZING pharmacist who had to contact multiple manufacturers for me to make sure that ALL of my prescriptions were gluten-free, dairy-free, and free of FD&C blue… multiple reorders from my LLMD’s office for all 19 of my supplements… I have successfully eased into them ALL! This has been no easy task for a busy mama. This has also not been easy from an “easing in” and “preventing Herx’s” perspective. Oftentimes I am able to take “1-2” supplements twice a day, which means I had to work up from “1” and see how much my body could or could not tolerate. I currently have NINE daily alarms set on my phone.


Since my last blog post, I have added in:

  • Magnesium Glycinate: for healthy muscles, nerves, bones… maintenance and repair of cells, energy production, hormones, nerves… also metabolism of proteins and nucleic acids

  • Benfotiamine (B1/Thiamine): an essential nutrient the body needs to turn food into energy, supports healthy blood sugar metabolism and helps protect the body’s tissues against advanced glycation end products and oxidative stress, helps to inhibit flammatory responses

  • Lipoid Acid: an antioxidant that is essential for aerobic metabolism and turning glucose into energy, also supports heart, nerve, and eye health

  • “Brain Gain:” a natural, dietary supplement containing berberine, biotin, folinic acid, hydroxytyrosol, luteolin, olive pomace oil, and selenium… for cognitive function and brain health

  • Pro-Omega: Omega-3 healthy fats (DHA & EPA) for healthy heart, eyes, brain, and immune function, supports healthy lipid levels as well as glucose helps the body handle stress in a positive way

  • HPA Adapt: an herbal blend of rhodiola, ashwaganda, eleuthero, holy basil, and maca, awesome for your thyroid, adrenals, and endocrine system in general

  • Medi Clay: to detox and bind the gliotoxins in my system

  • Activated Charcoal: to detox and bind the tricothecenes in my system

I am pleasantly surprised how well I have been tolerating the Medi Clay and Activated Charcoal (to bind the tricothecene and gliotoxin mycotoxins in my body from our previous house with black mold) without Herxing.



That brings my current list of daily supplements to (over 50 pills taken every day):

  1. daily juicing (12-ish ounces every AM)
  2. Daily hydroxocobalamin (B12) subcutaneous injection in hip(s)
  3. Orthobiotics (4 daily, 3 hours away from antibiotics)
  4. Saccharomyces boulardii (2 daily, 3 hours away from antibiotics)
  5. Vitamin C, 2,000 mg (8 daily)
  6. Vitamin D (5-8,000 iU daily)
  7. Magnesium glycinate (4 daily)
  8. Magnesium oxide, as needed (1/2 – 2 tsp. twice daily)
  9. Benfotiamine (B1) (4 daily)
  10. Lipoic acid (2 daily)
  11. Brain Gain (3 daily)
  12. Pro Omega (4 daily)
  13. MediClay (4 daily, 2 hours away from everything else including food and supplements)
  14. Activated Charcoal (2 daily, 2 hours away from everything else including food and supplements)
  15. HPA Adapt (2 daily, before 3 PM)
  16. Zinc (1 daily)
  17. Selenium (1 daily)
  18. D-Hist (9 daily)
  19. L-Theanine (as needed, on empty stomach)
  20. Burbur Pinella tincture (10-20 drops as needed in water for Herx)
  21. TriSalts (1/2 tsp. as needed up to 3 times daily for Herx, but 4 hours away from antibiotics)


That brings my daily list of prescriptions to another 12 pills daily (plus subcutaneous B12 shot, nasal spray, and liquid Mepron):

  1. Naturethroid (for Hashimoto’s)
  2. Compounded hydroxocobalamin (B12)
  3. Dr. T’s Nasal Spray (from compounding pharmacy as well, to bind and eliminate mycotoxins)
  4. Nystatin (to combat yeast build-up)
  5. Plaquenil
  6. Doxycycline
  7. Minocycline (sub out for doxy on days I’m in the sun)
  8. Azithromycin (which I ended up having to order through a compounding pharmacy  without lactose)
  9. Mepron


I begin my antibiotics tomorrow with the Plaquenil, and I introduce one a week (in order above) through the month of June. The 5 antibiotics are following Dr. Richard Horowitz’s protocol for Lymes, Babesia, and Bartonella as outlined in his AMAZING book “Why Can’t I Get Better.” Had I not had so many confections in addition to the Lymes and not had Lymes undiagnosed for SO LONG (to the point it went into both my central AND peripheral nervous systems), then I would not need so many antibiotics. 30 days of amoxicillin alone oftentimes works GREAT and is all that is needed for someone who gets a tick bite and catches an EM (bullseye) rash right away… where the Lymes bacteria has NOT migrated throughout the body, changed forms, attacked tissues, or crossed the blood-brain barrier. Ironically, I have been very “anti-antibiotic” my whole life, always seeking a more natural alternative.


However, the goal right now is to lessen the bacteria load in order to get my body functioning on its own again (without being overtaken by Lymes). The goal is to “rotate” the antibiotics so as to kill the Borrelia Burgdorferi bacteria which like to resist antibiotics by changing forms. The bacteria needs to be killed in its cell wall, cystic, AND intracellular forms. B. Burgdorferi bacteria also changes shapes from a spirochete, to an “S” form, to a “L” form so as to make itself unrecognizable to both your immune system and to antibiotics (which is why they need to be varied and rotated).


I have to follow-up monthly with my primary doctor (not my LLMD) for a CBC, CMP, and EKG to make sure my body (and organ systems) are tolerating the course(s) of antibiotics. Additionally, I have to follow-up monthly with an eye doctor (good thing I can count on my dad for this) for a Visual Field Exam (possible side-effect/complications from the Plaquenil).


Please continue to pray for me in my journey as I pray for YOU! ❤

Posted in Healing from Lymes, Lymes and Other Tick-Borne Illnesses, Thyroid Health and Hashimotos Awareness

Additional Supplements — 6 Days In and Nearly Halfway Through My List

The last several days have consisted of LOTS of ups and downs, including a REALLY hard day yesterday. I would even dare to say one of my worst days YET.

On Saturday, May 27th I introduced zinc into my supplement regime. 15 mg per day (as zinc picolinate), taken in the morning with food. Link to product on Amazon below.

On Sunday, May 28th I introduced selenium. 200 mcg per day (as selenomethionine), taken in the morning with food. Link to product on Amazon below. Selenium is also a KEY antioxidant for proper thyroid health. As directly quoted from Hypothyroid Mom (link below), ” In it’s prevention against oxidative stress, we can think of this key mineral as useful in thwarting heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and, as I noted, cancer, among other things. It’s a precursor to the production of glutathione, the “mother” of all antioxidants. It’s depleted in our soil, due to a number of environmental factors, and blood levels of selenium have been shown to plummet as we age, leading to increased cognitive decline.”

Today I introduced magnesium glycinate. 120 mg, taken at noon with food and before bed. Link to product on Amazon below. As directly quoted from The Wellness Mama (link below), “Magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and impacts blood pressure, metabolism, immune function and many other aspects of health. Magnesium deficiency is a widespread problem and some estimates suggest that over 90% of us are deficient.”

Here is an article I found to be helpful in explaining why zinc and magnesium (in addition to a few other supplements such as Vitamin C & Vitamin D) are helpful in an immune-boosting supplement regimen for someone dealing with Lymes.

However, I am first-handedly discovering that you can still “Herx,” even when boosting your immune system to fight Lymes. It doesn’t matter whether or not you are killing off the bacteria with antibiotics OR boosting your immune system naturally in order to be able to fight against the stealth borrelia invaders… point is that oftentimes you find yourself feeling FAR WORSE before any apparent signs you are ever going to FEEL BETTER. I spent the better part of 18 hours in bed sleeping yesterday, unable to lift my head off my pillow or lift my hands to check my ever-incessantly beeping phone across the room. Lymes Disease is no joke. I am 6 days into “Phase 1: Introducing Supplements” on my healing from Lymes journey. I have 7 more days (one more week) of introducing 7 more supplements), and then I am on to “Phase 2: Antibiotics.”
Thank you for joining me on this walk, and be assured that I pray for you as you pray for me! I make daily silent intentions for all visitors to my blog and Facebook page.

Posted in Healing from Lymes, Organic / Anti-Inflamatory Nutrition, Thyroid Health and Hashimotos Awareness

The Dark Side of Coffee and Why I Now Drink Chicory Root

I have pretty much been stripped down to bare bones in this journey with Lymes and autoimmune thyroid as far as what I CAN and CANNOT consume. 

Dairy has been out of my diet COMPLETELY since I was breastfeeding my 1st child, daughter Audrey, in 2003 with SEVERE acid reflux. We’re talking… this child puked a rainbow-arch of angry vomit OVER her carseat INTO THE LAP of a person sitting next to me at Mass once. Removing dairy from my diet while b/f helped some of her issues (colic and sleep-refusal in addition to GERD) though it did not take them all away. 

Out the window went sugar in 2004 with baby #3, son Blaise. I had some major candida and parasite issues after having him (lingering remnants from a mission trip to Guatemala in 1998 immediately after graduating high school). Sugar I avoided as much as I could, or I substituted. However, I never really went “sugar free” (the way I am now, only getting sugar in my AIP diet from the two sources of fruit I eat every day). Christmas every year always seemed to be a MAJOR setback for me health-wise (with the holiday cookie “cheats”).

Gluten came out in 2013 after having my 6th child, daughter Teresa. At 3 months postpartum while doing the 21-Day Fix (Beach Body program), I started experiencing SEVERE stabbing pains in my stomach after reintroducing gluten when the 21-day, clean-eating program was over. I now know this could have been a symptom of Lymes and that I should have went to my doctor. But I didn’t. I researched online and went AIP Paleo from 3-5 months postpartum and then stayed Paleo (with one daily gluten “cheat”) for two years until baby #8 came on board in 2015… and most of my inflammatory symptoms went away.

You know the story of my pregnancy and postpartum with baby #8. Being diagnosed with autoimmune thyroid and Lymes Disease has forced me to reevaluate the term “anti-inflammatory diet.” While I do NOT have either of the two genes for Celiac’s Disease, I basically need to eat as if I do. My LLMD has diagnosed me with EXTREME gluten-sensitivity and has assured me that even just ONE BITE of gluten can stay in your system for 6 months, keeping my TPOab and TGab labs high with my Hashimoto’s. “Low-gluten” and “no-gluten” are NOT the same thing when it comes to a person with Celiac’s Disease or non-Celiac EXTREME gluten sensitivity.

Coffee, you might ask? This was the last lifeline to go. I have increasingly grown less tolerant to wine over the years as well. Without coffee or wine, I’m not really sure how I make it through the day most days with eight kids. Since having DS last summer — alcohol just plain made me SICK (Lymes). Going back to the AIP diet since then has made me search for a coffee substitution. So I swung to tea. Never have been a big tea drinker and started feeling worse (if that’s even possible). LLMD assured me not only was it POSSIBLE but an ACTUAL REALITY as most teas are molds (black tea especially), and I have mycotoxin toxicity in my body (gliotoxins and tricothecenes) from the basement of a former home we lived in. NOT a good combo. However, I was still craving a rich, nutty warm beverage.

Chicory root tea has become my new preferred drink of choice! I actually feel so. much. better. not drinking coffee. I feel like without the caffeine highs and lows my cortisol levels have become more stable (I also suffer from adrenal fatigue or adrenal insufficiency). In addition to tasting AMAZING and being rich and nutty like coffee, chicory root has many health benefits! It has anti-inflammatory properties AND protects the liver (what more can a girl with Lymes and Hashi’s want?)!! Plus it contains no caffeine, so it doesn’t dehydrate. Staying hydrated while fighting off the borrelia bacteria is so important in order to keep your body flushing it out. Additionally, coffee is EXTREMELY acidic and oftentimes hard on the endocrine systems of people who have thyroid/adrenal issues. Link below is a GREAT read on health benefits of chicory root!

Here is my recommendation for the organic kind I bought on Amazon. It came pre-ground which was a HUGE plus for this busy mama. I use about a teaspoon per cup and steep it with a tea infuser. I have grown quite fond of its rich (and almost peppery), nutty taste! I love knowing I am doing something good for my body when I want to curl up with a warm, comforting beverage! I am not allowed to indulge much these days, but this has become my indulgence!

Posted in Healing from Lymes, Lymes and Other Tick-Borne Illnesses, Organic / Anti-Inflamatory Nutrition, Thyroid Health and Hashimotos Awareness

Juicing and Dealing with Herxheimer Reactions in Detoxification 

Through the ups and downs of the last four months since my hypothyroid/Hashimoto’s diagnosis (prior to my Lymes diagnosis), I have been trying to find the right “prescribed” day-to-day routine of what I do (or DON’T do) in order to be AT LEAST somewhat functional. Now as many of you who suffer from Lymes disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis understand – – this is a tall order. Oftentimes, you may feel differently from day-to-day for NO REASON at all – – even while keeping your food regimen, sleep patterns, and stress levels ALL consistent. That’s just the nature of the beast(s).

However, being that I am a mother of a large family and have EIGHT little people who constantly have needs – – I have been “tweaking” my days VERY meticulously to try to produce consistent results.

In March, even though I had been eating according to the Paleo diet since after delivering our seventh child, daughter Teresa, all the way back in 2013 – – I took it to the extreme. I went AIP Paleo (again) and took out nightshades, eggs, nuts, and coffee. Yes — God has a FANTASTIC sense of humor in asking this coffee-loving mama of a family of TEN to give up her sacred “go/go” juice. No results. Didn’t feel ANY different. *Insert HUGE levels of both disappointment and frustration here.* 

Spent ANOTHER 22 days mid-April to mid-May doing another form of an anti-inflammatory/autoimmune/elimination diet for my LLMD. This consisted of a basically a modified-form of the AIP Paleo for the first eight days (take everything out). Then, every other day for the remainder of the diet you re-introduce foods you think you are sensitive to. I did not have to test gluten, sugar, dairy, or anything containing mold/fungus (mushrooms, ACV, kombucha, etc.) as I KNOW I am sensitive to them. However, I was surprised to find I appear to be sensitive to rice and corn. This information was extremely helpful for me to understand as I begin different supplements and antibiotics which oftentimes have FD&C food coloring and other various allergens in them. The body cannot heal from Lymes if it is still continuing to have inflammation created by ingredients your system is currently sensitive to.

In between my first and second appointments with my LLMD, I ran a full six weeks of 200 mg of Fluconazole. However, I had to back-off and take it every-other-day as I could not tolerate taking it every day without experiencing Jarisch-Herxheimer reactions. Link below for further explanation as to what a “Herx” reaction is. As my 5 y.o. says, “They are NOT my favorite.”

After my second appointment, she discontinued the use of Fluconazole and started me on Nystatin instead. Nystatin DOES contain FD&C food coloring red, yellow, and blue lots – – so it’s a good thing I am not sensitive to FD&C food colorings. This is why in healing Lymes you have to do your research ahead of time and know what your body is sensitive to. However, this time around AGAIN, in trying to get rid of the intentional yeast buildup, I have been experiencing Herx reactions in the last 48-hours. This time, however, she gave me some supplements to combat this!

Burbur-Pinella is an herbal supplement that is designed as a detox and brain/nerve cleanse. Yesterday I used 10 drops in a small tincture with water every 10 minutes for 40 minutes until my Herx symptoms were relieved. This product is AMAZING! I have a hard time finding things that “work” for my body. Product link below on Amazon.

Additionally, after introducing one more tablet of Nystatin today (I have to work up to six tablets daily) and Herxing a bit, I tried another product my LLMD sent me home with. The principle behind this is alkalizing the blood and increasing amounts of essential macrominerals in your body such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium (in the form of carbonates and bicarbonates but without sodium or other salts). This I am allowed to take 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon in 4-8 ounces of water up to three times daily. I started today with 1/4 of a teaspoon in 6 ounces of water. Product link below on Amazon.

Finally, prior to starting my supplement regimen this week, I began juicing again at the end of March and was pleased to find consistent results! Juicing an entire head of celery, several carrots, occasionally about half of a beet, and one serving of a citrus fruit (of course, ALL ORGANIC) seems to be a concoction that works well for my body. I’ve also been trying to follow more of a holistic, cleansing habit in my morning routine (since coffee is NOT on the AIP Diet). I usually juice in the morning and avoid eating anything at all. I also infuse hot cups of water with lemon and lime juice to stimulate my gallbladder and other organ systems to get moving right away when I wake up! My LLMD also recommended adding parsley and chamomile to my juicing routine.

One day, one win at a time (and oftentimes one step forward and three steps backwards) in this battle. However, I continue to remember every day that the battle belongs to the Lord and that He has already won ALL of my battles in this life on the cross! Anything He hands me in this life, He must know 1) that I can handle and 2) that it is for my own good and salvation (regardless of whether or not I like the lot I have been dealt). Suffering is always redemptive if we allow it to be for the intentions we carry with us in our hearts… for our own families, for those we know who are also suffering, for the repose of souls, for the poor souls in Purgatory, and for SO MUCH MORE! The sky is truly the limit for redemptive suffering.