I’ve been on a new combination of antibiotics for a few weeks. I was changed from my last prescription due to the severe sun allergy reaction (although the constant vomiting was also not pleasant) and this combo, to fight both Lyme and Bartonella, is a breeze in comparison.
This new set of drugs can be taken with meals and to date, I’ve only had one nausea session – a welcomed relief from the constant vomiting of the last prescription where there were times I couldn’t leave the house for fear of throwing up in public. I’d have to be very careful to not take my meds too close to the times I was supposed to teach at the college, it wouldn’t have been pretty.
At my last visit, I had told my doctor that although I was feeling better, I still had some strange symptoms. My lower leg muscles would constantly twitch (you could see the muscles moving through the skin.) It wasn’t painful as much as it was freaky, I mean muscles are not supposed to jump around like that, right? (And yes, ALS was on the tip of several doctors’ tongues.) This was most bothersome at night when they either twitched more or I was more aware of it.
And my feet. The bottoms of my feet still hurt and were incredibly tender every morning. I’d have to walk with a hand on the wall to guide me until I had taken many steps to “break them in.”
After weeks of the new medication, however, the twitching is greatly reduced (sometimes not even noticeable) and I no longer have the foot pain in the morning.
The other day I raced up the stairs because I was late and I needed a book in our bedroom on the third floor. I stopped when I realized I had just *raced* up the stairs.
Last summer, I had to use my hands and crawl up our stairs on all fours because I couldn’t trust the strength of my legs.
Last summer, when I officiated at a swim meet, which required that I stood on concrete for about 5 hours, I’d have to be on narcotics for the next two days to deal with the pain.
I haven’t taken prescription pain medication since December.
I’m starting to walk at least a mile at a time, and I’ve worked up to 56 laps in the pool at a session.
The only remaining problematic symptom is that I can’t seem to remember much (although, to be fair, with 6 kids, do you blame me?) It’s not really that I forget, it’s just that I can’t seem to immediately recall the information I need. I’ve solved this by carrying a little red book with me where I jot down all the things I need to do. When I look at that book, I think, oh yeah, I need to do that. I don’t cross it off until the task is done.
Without that book, things just tend to disappear. Which is a bit disconcerting. If we go with the Lyme theory (and I’m solidly in that camp) then it means the Lyme bacteria has firmly set itself up in my brain. From what I understand about chronic Lyme, with medication it can be halted, without medication it will only get worse. I’ll continue taking the medication, thank you very much.
In a way, my red book makes me more productive than ever before (when I put this post up, it gets crossed off my list.) It’s amazing how much you can get done, when you don’t forget to do it.
Based on my physician’s suggestion, three of us are also following a Lyme Disease diet. It’s a 4-phase diet, plant heavy with some meat, grains, and cheeses that tries to improve nutrition while reducing inflammation. I’d been following Paleo and clean diets before, but this one, for whatever reason, finally convinced me to give up all junk food and sugar. I can now feel the difference in my body when I eat “dirty.” It’s not a good feeling.
Although I have lost a few pounds (but to be fair, I’ve also increased my exercise) I’m more interested in the anti-inflammatory aspects. I’d say that because I *can* exercise more, it’s probably doing my body good.
I recently attended a committee meeting at the N.H. State House on Lyme disease which included State Representatives and a few Lyme Literate doctors. In the audience were several people who are struggling with Lyme disease. The stories were heartbreaking and all too familiar.
The bottom line is that most doctors can’t seem to recognize Lyme disease, we have inefficient ways of testing for it, and treatment is all over the map. It’s a huge problem and as we go into the summer months with ticks just waiting for us out there, it’s only going to get worse.
Which is why I’ll continue to write about it.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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