As you may have read in the About Julie page of this blogsite, I treated for Chronic Lyme Disease early in the four years that I have been battling serious illness. I had not recovered my health four months after a bout with viral hepatitis and our Family Practice Physician convinced me and Steve that latent Lyme disease was keeping me sick. Then the story changed a few times . . .
Treatment for Lyme disease, Candida, mold exposure, mercury toxicity, gut parasites, and infected root-canaled teeth has still left me with the following symptoms four years later:
- Hours of daily convulsive episodes, every single day
- Painful shoulders, forearms, hips, neck, jaw, and more
- Ringing in my ears
- Multiple severe chemical, mold, and sound/light sensitivities
- Significant nutritional and hormonal deficiencies
- Episodic cognitive and emotional setbacks
- Periodic night terrors, nightmares, waking terrors
- Weakness and deconditioning
- Air hunger and chest compression symptoms
- Severely disrupted sleep/wake cycle
- Food sensitivities despite a restricted diet
- Gut dysbiosis
- Inability to consistently perform activities of daily living or work
- Social isolation
- Intolerance to treatment
So in other words, my life is kinda hellish a lot of the time! Today was no exception. Then right in the middle of the trauma there were tender encounters with the sweetest man on the face of the earth: my Stevers. We talked in between seizure attack episodes, he provided care when I could not move, and we made the most of a low-key day. It was the “same story, different day” around here. And something else happened too: I may have discovered another piece of this wretched illness mystery: Latent Lyme Disease can affect the gut which in turn can contribute to neurological complications much like the ones that have eluded all of our attempts at recovery.
No, it’s not systemic Candida as I suspected when I wrote my last Treatment Update. It’s called “Bell’s Palsy of the Gut,” a term coined by Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD) Virginia T. Sherr. “Gastrointestinal Lyme disease may cause gut paralysis and a wide range of diverse GI symptoms with the underlying etiology likewise missed by physicians,” states Dr. Sherr in the April 2006 issue of Practical Gastroenterology (p. 74). There are tests that can be performed to determine the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi along with other microbial pathogens transferred in tick saliva after a bite. In two weeks I will have a diagnostic procedure in which these tests could also be performed. Whoa Lord. Is that why I felt led to add an anti-microbial to my anemic treatment plan?
God is good. All the time. God is good. Today I felt led to add back a probiotic that I actually was able to tolerate this time. The new information about Lyme disease may explain the increasing gut inflammation this past year and my supremely negative response to a trial of a far-infrared light treatment to my abdomen. Or to any abdominal exam. Or to physical therapy to the hip flexors in the lower part of the abdominal wall. Or to certain foods. At any rate, a new door has opened and there are new possibilities for getting well. Perhaps it is time to re-visit the diagnosis of Lyme disease.
Stay tuned. This exquisitely wild roller coaster ride of recovery from serious illness is about to reach a new station. In the meantime, please pass a spoon and 1/2 of a carton of Siggis plain, grass-fed, organic and Icelandic yogurt. We’re going to get this thing right or keep screaming all the way to the bottom of the next hill until we do! (I told you that I worked in an amusement park one summer didn’t I? Yeah, Cedar Point is really cool!)