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 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

https://www.amazon.com/Pure-Encapsulations-Magnesium-Glycinate-Physiological/dp/B002HYE2RO/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1496758432&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=magnesium%2Bglycinate&th=1

  • 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

https://www.amazon.com/Life-Extension-Mega-Benfotiamine-capsules/dp/B000OSIO9W/ref=sr_1_1_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1496758695&sr=1-1&keywords=life+extension+mega+benfotiamine

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

https://www.amazon.com/BioTech-Pharmacal-Lipoic-300mg-Count/dp/B00BEG355G/ref=sr_1_1_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1496758916&sr=1-1&keywords=bio+tech+lipoic

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

https://www.amazon.com/BrainGain-1-Bottle-90-softgels/dp/B00HQNFQL2/ref=sr_1_1_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1496759042&sr=1-1&keywords=brain%2Bgain%2Bsupplement&th=1

  • 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

https://www.amazon.com/Nordic-Naturals-ProOmega-Softgels-Lemon/dp/B003XX3W0Q/ref=sr_1_1_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1496759187&sr=1-1&keywords=proomega+nordic+naturals

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

https://www.amazon.com/Integrative-Therapeutics-Capsules-Resistance-Complex/dp/B00JCL3FR8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496753650&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=hpa+adapt+integrative+therapeutics&psc=1

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

https://www.amazon.com/Premier-Research-Labs-Medi-Clay-FX-capsules/dp/B00CK9CK9S/ref=sr_1_1_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1496759622&sr=1-1&keywords=medi+clay

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

https://www.amazon.com/Natures-Way-Activated-Charcoal-Capsules/dp/B0006LCQ4Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1496759710&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=activated%2Bcharcoal&th=1

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.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0017QCNUQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1496083689&sr=8-1&keywords=pure+encapsulations+zinc+15

https://www.google.com/amp/s/kimmiecakeskickslyme.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/magnesium-and-lyme-disease/amp/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/draxe.com/zinc-deficiency/amp/

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.”

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000H85L5Y/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1496083726&sr=8-2-spons&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=pure+encapsulations+selenium&psc=1

http://hypothyroidmom.com/thyroid-signs-symptoms-and-selenium/

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.”

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0058HWV9S/ref=mp_s_a_1_2_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1496083868&sr=8-2&keywords=pure+encapsulations+magnesium+glycinate

https://wellnessmama.com/54128/signs-of-magnesium-deficiency/

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.

http://www.prohealth.com/lyme/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=28827&B2=BNRHPFA&utm_source=BNRHPFA&utm_campaign=Home-Page-Trending-Article

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.

https://www.verywell.com/what-is-gluten-ataxia-562400

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!

https://draxe.com/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!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/ya/ref=yo_ii_bia_view?ie=UTF8&ac=bia&reorder_params=B0001M11HI%2C111-1190340-3185858

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.”

http://www.treatlyme.net/treat-lyme-book/herxheimer-die-off-reaction-inflammation-run-amok/

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.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01B65QJ9S/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1495820429&sr=8-1&keywords=burbur+pinella+nutramedix

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.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000VYQI60/ref=mp_s_a_1_2_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1495822569&sr=8-2&keywords=tri-salts+ecological+formulas

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.

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

Healing from Lymes: Phase 1

Since returning from my LLMD on Tuesday evening, I have spent the last 48-hours piecing together the 1st phase of my treatment plan: supplements. “Phase 1” is GREATLY boosting and strengthening the immune system (prior to introducing antibiotics to kill the borrelia burgdorferia bacteria). Lymes weakens the immune system, making it unable to fight against the borrelia bacteria load (while it continues to travel and migrate around your body, wreaking havoc on your health, organs, and systems).

This is what healing from Lymes looks like… in addition to my morning thyroid meds for Hashimoto’s (Naturethroid 32.5 mg), I now will be spending the next 2-3 weeks phasing in 17 different supplements, 2 different types of probiotics, a daily subcutaneous shot of B12 in my hip, Nystatin (to combat the yeast overgrowth in my system), and also maintaining a STRICT anti-inflammatory diet (sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free). Not ONE BITE of sugar, gluten, dairy, or soy.

Yesterday consisted of introducing Vitamin C, 2000 mg capsules and TWO different kinds of probiotics. Since I have so many food sensitivities (and need to adhere to such a strict, anti-inflammatory diet — Lymes THRIVES off of inflammation in your body), all of my supplements need to be allergy-free. I will build up my Vitamin C by 2,000 mg a day up to 8,000 mg total daily (to bowel tolerance) over the course of the next week. I am also taking 20 billion CFU’s of saccharomyces boulardii daily as well as 80 billion CFU’s of 6 other strains. Product links below on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01MCT7PD7/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1495768040&sr=8-1&keywords=nutramedix+vitamin+c

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000VZ1EB8/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1495769284&sr=8-1&keywords=pure+encapsulations+saccharomyces

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000H3B0CW/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1495769356&sr=8-1&keywords=orthomolecular+probiotic
Today consisted of introducing 25 mg of subcutaneous B12 (Hydroxocobalamin) in my right hip. This was prescribed for me from a compounding pharmacy. I am now the proud owner of a sharps collector and a bruised right hip. Here is the reasoning behind incorporating Hydroxocobalamin into a Lyme patient’s “healing” protocol:

http://www.truthaboutlymedisease.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=64
Finally, today I also introduced a product by Ortho Molecular Products called D-Hist. This product helps the body with mast cell stabilization in healing from Lymes. I will slowly build up to 9 capsules daily. Here is a great explanation as to “why” and also a direct link to the product I am using on Amazon.

http://lymemd.blogspot.com/2015/03/mast-cells-and-lyme.html?m=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0006ON6D8/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1495768526&sr=8-1&keywords=d+hist
With that I REST! A good night’s rest of quality, healing sleep is a critical component of a Lyme patient’s protocol. Good night, and until tomorrow’s healing additions to my rapidly-growing, immune-boosting supplement regimen!

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

Newbie Lymie Mama

For those of you patiently following our family’s journey over the course of the last several months… thank you and BLESS you for ALL of the prayers, kindness, crisis interventions, sympathy, empathy, thoughts, concern, meals, cards, flowers, HELP in one way or the other, and so, SO much more!

Our family has been living a nightmarish hell, of sorts, since our eighth child and son, sweet little JJ, was born last June. Here’s a brief overview/chronology:

June 2016: DS Jeremiah Jonathon born. Healthy little red-haired boy despite having been told he had a high likelihood of having Down Syndrome.

August 2016: Not feeling well AT ALL postpartum. Now mind you, I have seven previous pregnancies and postpartums to compare it to. Start researching online. Come up with lupus but don’t have the rash. Come up with fibromyalgia. Figured I shouldn’t head in to see my doctor yet as baby is not sleeping through the night and she will likely tell me I’m crazy and need to start getting some sleep. Experiencing random burning and stabbing pains throughout my body.

September through December 2016: Continued exasperated weird migratory symptoms. Three sinus infections with antibiotic, augmentin. One UTI. A yeast mastitis. Another antibiotic, doxycycline, for a horribly painful rash only on right side of my face doctor diagnoses as perioral dermatitis. I now cannot put my elbows down on furniture when nursing my son. I’m now also wearing knee pads in my house in order to pick up toys, change diapers, and get laundry out of my front loaders. All bloodwork at my doctor’s office is normal, including thyroid labs.

December 2016: The horrible fatigue and hair loss sets in. I’m losing hair by the clumps. The brain fog and neurological symptoms start. The horrible headaches start. I am becoming increasingly irritated by noise and bright lights. Remember — I have eight kids under the age of fourteen, and my life is NOT noise OR stress-free.

My husband returns from a routine physical at the Mayo Clinic. They find a thyroid nodule on his right thyroid. It is biopsied, and it comes back as indeterminate. He decides to have a partial thyroidectomy because he wants it out.

Week before Christmas – – I wake up one morning and can hardly walk. Can’t sit down or drive or bend at of 45° angle. Severe compression/nerve pain in my lower back isolated to spot of epidural. Remember — I have eight children and drive a fifteen passenger van.

January 2017: REALLY not feeling well. Sleeping all the time. Struggling with putting together sentences in basic conversation and remembering short-term details. Rapidly start losing weight. Return to the Mayo Clinic with my husband for his pre-surgery consultation. Arrange overnight care for all eight of our children.

February 2017: The shit *officially* hits the fan. I return to see my doctor once again. FINALLY — labs start coming back indicating that there is a problem. My TSH is now near 6. I have an averse raction after 14 days on levothyroxine. Decide to schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist to continue seeking the deeper root of what is happening to my body.

March 2017: Husband has a partial thyroidectomy at the Mayo Clinic. We are praying it’s not cancer. Arrange childcare again and farm out all eight of our kids for another four days. PRAISE GOD the nodule is an adenoma, a benign tumor. However, my thyroid now starts swinging from hypothyroid to hyperthyroid with my thyroid TSH moving 3 to 4 points in a five day period — up and down. Both of my sisters fly in from out of town to live with our family for several weeks while I am experiencing a whole new array of symptoms with the hyperthyroidism such as anxiety, panic attacks, vertigo, insomnia, hot sweats, and just generally very manic and out of control symptoms (and subsequently cannot drive). 

March 10, 2017: I have my long-awaited appointment with endocrinologist who diagnoses Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroid disease as well as Lymes Disease through the Elisa antibody serum test. However, am told I “do not have active Lymes” since I test negative on the Western Blot.

I have now lost going on TWENTY pounds since Valentine’s Day. I now weigh as much as my fourteen-year-old daughter.

April 19: I have my first appointment out of town, four hour drive each way, with a LLMD. (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor). She is functional medicine/allopathic. She spent FOUR HOURS with me face-to-face going over nearly TWENTY YEARS of medical history which all started for me back in high school when I had EBV/mono. I leave her office that day with NINE different separate “initial” diagnosis of coinfections as well as giving another fifteen to twenty vials of blood.

May 22: A LOOOONG five-week wait between appointments with my LLMD after four months of being EXTREMELY sick and debilitated, eleven months of a hellish nightmare of a postpartum, in addition to nine months before that of an extremely difficult pregnancy with Down Syndrome scare. ALL lab results are in. Final diagnosis of: Lymes Disease (Borrelia Burgdorferia), Babesiosa Duncani (separate tick-borne coinfection), Bartonella Henselae (separate tick-borne coinfection) through IGeneX labwork… mycotoxin toxicity in the form of gliotoxins and tricothecenes (from a previous home we lived in where black mold was NOT disclosed to us prior to closing OR caught during inspection)… which is causing my Hashimoto’s… candida from MANY courses of antibiotics, adrenal insufficiency, severe gluten intolerance (further causing inflammation)… and several other coinfections YET. The three tick-borne illnesses being the BIG PLAYERS, simultaneously fooling my immune system, suppressing it, attacking healthy tissues, and basically creating a HUGE internal traffic jam in my body where nothing is working quite right.

I have decided in the next several weeks (as soon as things calm down a bit and my kids are out of school for the summer) to return to my blog which I started in 2013 during our brief move to Duluth and subsequent relocation back to Ohio. 

Rest assured — my suffering WILL NOT BE in vain. It WILL BE redemptive, and it WILL bear much fruit for other people and families who are victims of this debilitating disease. I WILL have a voice, and I WILL let my voice be heard. My hope is to be an advocate for #lymesdisease and other #tickborneillnesses and #mycotoxintoxicity. I intend to raise awareness of treatment protocols through LLMD’s (Lyme Literate Medical Doctors) as well as prevention procedures. Prevention and early intervention are truly the best ways to fight this! If I can help even just ONE PERSON avoid the suffering I have endured, then going public with all of this will have been immeasurably worth it. 

Jesus, we trust only in YOU. You are so much bigger than our fears and anxieties and the lies the world tells us (“you’re not sick,” “it’s all in your head,” “here’s another prescription,” “you’re just plain crazy.” You are bigger than chronic health issues. You are the beginning and the end. The Alpha and the Omega. You know our future during times of uncertainty, fear, doubt, despair, loss of hope, and even dark nights of the soul.

Jeremiah 29:11 — “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.” 

Our 8th child and son, Jeremiah Jonathon, was named after this verse in the Bible. In the middle of a fearful and tumultuous pregnancy, we got down on our knees and continued to praise and serve a God we KNOW does not make mistakes.

A VERY SPECIAL thank you to all of my #lymie and #hashis friends who have walked a mile in my shoes and altered the course of my and my family’s future by sharing YOUR journeys with me! Each and every one of you has made a HUGE impact on my life and so subsequently on my family. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. ❤️❤️🙏🏻🙏🏻💚💚

Lymes Awareness