My journey with Lyme Disease began in 2004. I had started feeling bad & thought it was because the amount of stress I had from taking care of my elderly mother who had dementia and a hectic job. Two years later, my mother had passed away, and I transferred to a job that was less stressful. I thought I would start feeling better since the amount of stress I was enduring before was alleviated. Wrong. I continued to get worse.
I started the long road of going from doctor to doctor only to be misdiagnosed time and time again. You wouldn’t believe some of the diagnoses I received; there was one doctor who just said I was depressed and just needed to get married and have kids. I felt like my symptoms were like chronic fatigue syndrome; just felt like I had severe fatigue, arthritis pain, and brain fog. I googled CFS specialists in the Houston area, and found a doctor who specialized in that. I made the appointment, met with her, and she said “you might have CFS, but I’m going to test you for Lyme Disease.” I had never heard of Lyme Disease. When my lab work came back; my results were off the charts, which made me think “yay, now I can be “fixed.” Ya, right………. little did I know the fight and uphill battle I was about to embark on. To add to the severity of the disease, “Lymies” are further victimized by the CDC, FDA and medical profession and its licensing board. The controversy that surrounds this debilitating disease perpetuated by certain doctors and the MD licensing board should be illegal; and those who participate in treating for this disease are threatened with losing their license.
I began with following all of the conventional antibiotic protocols; both oral antibiotics and IV. Nothing seemed to really have any effect. In 2010 I decided to stop the antibiotic protocols and seek out holistic/natural/alternative protocols. I tried many but nothing still seemed to return my health to pre-lyme status. In 2015 a friend of mine who is an essential oils enthusiast suggested that I try essential oils. As many lymies know, you tend to get “protocol weary” of getting your hopes up that this next protocol will work, only to have your hopes dashed once again. She poked and prodded me for about a year, and finally at one more low point, I said “let’s try it”. I did one specific protocol of the oils, and went to my Lyme doctor for lab work. When she called me to discuss the results, she asked what I was doing because she hadn’t prescribed me anything. I told her about the oils, and she replied “I can’t argue with the lab work, your scores have improved over 100%” – keep doing what you’re doing.” I rested for a couple of months, and began a separate lyme protocol that lasted 4 months .. went back in for lab work, and the lab work improved by another 15 points.
Another aspect of this disease is that you grieve for things you can no longer do, you grieve for activities you can no longer participate in; friends, family, co-workers don’t fully understand; they try to, but they don’t get it. There are those who stop calling, end the relationship, and as far as work…. jobs can be lost. The loss of traveling – I know for me…..I would have to rest for two days before a trip, then when I returned home, spend another two days resting up from it. Life sometimes just becomes too much, so you stop “participating in life.”
I can say today I am about back to 80% of my former self. I did acupuncture at the same time I did the oils to clear the energy meridians so the oils could go where they needed to attack the bacteria. I will probably always do a maintenance protocol every couple of months or so, just to keep the bacteria at bay.
There were many days I felt like giving up; I’ve lost friends who gave up their battle with Lyme, and there will be more until the medical society fully embraces this disease and treats the disease and its patients in the manner they deserve. I have been blessed that I’ve been able to continue to work through this journey, though there were days that I couldn’t make it out of bed; but the good Lord blessed me with a compassionate, caring boss that understood the situation, so I didn’t have further stress from wondering if I would lose my job. I am also blessed by family and good friends and the support they’ve shown through the years.
Very important — the Houston Lyme Support group, and its founder, Teresa Lucher, who is on the board of TXLDA, gave me immeasurable support when I was beginning my journey. I will be forever grateful to Teresa and the group for being a port in the storm for me, during my lowest points during my journey.
There are many Lymies out there who can’t work, don’t have support of family or friends. They are the ones who haunt me and I pray for — they are the ones who give up the battle when all odds are against them. My hope is that we can pull together and start an center for these souls to go to for the support, love, and treatment that they need. I pray that some day we will have a center for this.