This is an excerpt from a response I wrote today to a lady on the Road Back Foundation Bulletin Board about whether or not to pursue lyme treatment. I feel that it really sums up where I am right now in terms of my healing and my view on health altogether... so I am going ahead to post it here on my autoimmune blog as well. Maybe someday it will help bring encouragement or faith to someone suffering from a "mysterious" autoimmune problem ~ and that would be wonderful.
"At the end of the day, I had almost every single lyme symptom on any lyme checklist I could find. I figured it was better to embark on a treatment and see what happened, rather than continuing to live feeling awful and foggy - and having so many MDs offer to give me antidepressants because they couldn't come up for an explanation for my symptoms. Or even more frustrating, to have multiple doctors tell me that I was likely developing an autoimmune disease but only time would tell which one, and there were no cures for any of them anyway.
I am seeing a well respected LLMD/ND (naturopathic doctor) and I have to say that I am already noticing positive changes based on the protocol I have been on for 3 weeks. They are small changes. However, just knowing that I am actively doing something to improve my health makes me feel better and more positive.
I honestly view my lyme doctor as a "balance" doctor. She is helping me to get my body back into balance - and frankly, who cares how it got that way. I have tested positive twice (via Labcorp) for active mycoplasma infection, my hormones are off, my adrenals aren't functioning normally, I have Hashimoto's - you name it. Plenty of "traditional lab" bloodwork to show that my body isn't happy with something. I believe that following up with the lyme by taking appropriate antimicrobials, balancing out the hormones, healing my gut with probiotics, cutting out gluten and if necessary taking antifungals... all of this is just getting my body back into balance.
So many people have told me in the past week how much better I am looking, and I don't even need this wonderful validation because overall, I have more energy and I can think more clearly. I am less depressed. Something is really helping me.
Thanks to all of the last 3 months, I no longer believe in autoimmune disease or even cancer. (I was checking out the studies last night on PubMed showing a proven causal relationship between bacteria/viruses and cancer... there is so much evidence out there.) At this point, I simply believe that we are [mammals] exposed to bacteria, protozoa, viruses and environmental toxins - which combined with poor diet, lack of sleep and stress, create illnesses that we have classified into different categories and given names like "Alzheimer's" or "Scleroderma". I think the main thing is to be proactive in getting your body back into balance.
The great thing about Lyme doctors, is that they really do look at you holistically. My LLMDs are the only people who look at me and don't think it is crazy or tragic that I have thyroid, adrenal, bladder and vulvadynia problems, along with disc hernations. They nod their heads and say, "Yep, all of that is typical lyme and babesia." For them, I'm just a run-of-the-mill patient. I can't tell you how good that feels, to be viewed as simply a normal person who has contracted lyme and possibly co-infections."
I really am feeling different. It is hard to quantify just yet, since I have only been on treatment for 3 weeks. However, I know for sure the treatment isn't hurting me - I just had a CBC run last week and my creatinine was at its best level in the last year, my kidney function is awesome :-) All of my numbers looked great. Other than that, my skin has got its color back, my acid reflux is about 85% improved, my digestive tract has normalized in such a great way, I have more energy, and I can think more clearly. I don't think I have been slurring my words as much either. I feel positive and optimistic.
Of course, there are plenty of symptoms I'd love to see cleared up. I'd love to have the parasthesias around my body go away, for one. I'd love to improve my spinal alignment... had a disc go out this weekend and it was excruciating until the chiro put it back in. I'd love to stop feeling itchy, to have physical stamina, and to be able to remember things as sharply as I used to. Having been a "smart" person most of my life, it has been enormously humbling to feel not very smart most of the time. I'd love to have just a little bit of my mental edge back again, if only to enjoy spirited debates with my adorable husband again.
Still, I feel like I am on the right track for which I am so grateful. I'm not as worried right now that I won't be here to see my kids grow up... I'm feeling more optimistic all the time.