“I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees You.”
Job 42:5 ESV
I apologize for staying away for so long. I’m finally ready to share what has been going on in my life. (This article was first written in January … I’ve “sat” on it for awhile and finally felt like editing and publishing it today. Hopefully this is clear, despite my ever-present brain fog. Please feel free to ask questions.) Last autumn things were going well, and I was just getting back into the swing of things with life and with my new blog. And I was getting better, or so I thought.
In October I was very surprised to find out I have Lyme disease. Other than continuing fatigue and a few other niggling problems like a stiff neck, headaches, brain fog, insomnia, stiffness, occasional dizziness, sensitivities to foods/chemicals/mold, and various body pains, my overall health and blood work had improved after months of following a strict allergy elimination diet. It is by God’s grace that I went ahead and did the Lyme blood *test, “just in case.”
When I was told, “You have Lyme disease,” everything seemed to stop for awhile. I had heard of Lyme disease but didn’t know much about it. My mother-in-grace had suggested several weeks earlier that I might have it, but when I looked up the symptoms, I didn’t think I qualified for that diagnosis. And I didn’t understand how this could happen when I didn’t remember getting a tick bite or bulls eye rash. (I’ve since found out you can also get Lyme through a mosquito bite.) When I looked online, I must’ve found all the worse case scenarios: blindness, trouble breathing, terrible pain, devastating herxing reactions, losing use of limbs, brain damage, etc. (These drastic symptoms are usually experienced by people who go undiagnosed for years, even decades. If they get treatment, they usually improve and can become functioning again.) I allowed myself to be gripped by fear. In my mind I KNOW God is in control and can be trusted. But, at that point, I was freaking out.
Based on a misunderstanding, I began to use essential oils too much too fast. Instead of diffusing these powerful agents fifteen minutes at a time, I was running it for hours on end. I began to have trouble breathing and felt like a moose was sitting on my chest. My fear escalated. I read and tried everything I could think of to get better: I prayed, meditated on Scripture, rested, tried to divert my mind by watching Tim Hawkins, tried to ignore it and “go on with life,” bounced on the trampoline (for a full 9 seconds until I knew that wasn’t helping), etc. Panic was my companion (*** See below for helpful resources). I called my doctor to make an appointment, but hearing of my chest pains they refused to see me and sent me directly to the ER. Sigh. I thank God for the friends who helped with our boys. Had God forsaken us? NO.
Honestly, I didn’t know if I was going to live or die. I. Felt. Terrible. I was at a point of total abandonment of my plans and complete humbling to God’s will, whatever that included. And, I was exactly where God wanted me.
As my husband and I waited for tests to be run and reports to come back, I glanced up at the clock. It was a detailed digital clock that looked something like this:
What I saw took my breath away. 11:11 and 11 seconds. Relief swept over me and I called to my husband: “Tim! God cares about us! God is with us! Look at the clock!” Knowing my secret code with God, Tim looked at me and simply said, “And today is November 11th … 11/11.” It changed everything. God didn’t have to be so extremely personal in His affirmation of love for me, but He WAS and IS personal!!! God gave me a beautiful gift that day that I will always treasure in my heart. (You will understand why this was so special to us by reading here.)
The excellent hospital staff didn’t find anything life threatening and sent me home. I can’t sufficiently express our thanks to my in-laws for coming to help us for a few days. I was in a waiting and uncertainty mode. My doctor who read my Lyme test results and gave me the diagnosis doesn’t know much about Lyme, so she referred me to two Lyme experts.
Finally, the days of my appointments arrived. To sum it all up, both doctors looked at my test results and said I probably haven’t had Lyme very long. This is a good thing as it probably means the infections haven’t embedded themselves as deeply. The medical doc wanted to start me on antibiotics right away, but I’ve not had good experiences with antibiotics over the years and wanted the natural treatment doctor’s opinion before making a decision. These two women work hand in hand, and I felt so blessed that God had led us to them through a dear friend named Ella.
Several days later we met with the natural doctor, who also has Lyme herself. She assured me that I didn’t need antibiotics and started me on a natural protocol that has proven very effective for many people. There is no cure for Lyme, but it can be manageable with vigilant care (more about this below).
For those who are interested, this is what I am taking:
1. Monolaurin and Bio-Fibrin – This was recommended both by my medical doctor and natural practitioner. It has a high success rate as it powerfully thins bio-films to you can actually get at the bacteria. The coconut extract breaks through the bacteria cell walls killing them. They also have a product that helps with detoxing the die-off. You can read about the protocol here.
2. Takuna – You can find out more about these powerful anti-microbial drops here.
(update as of 2/18/15 – I’m finished with Takuna and am now taking Futureplex Bacterotox drops)
3. Resveratrol – This actually tastes yummy!
4. Detox – Epsom salt baths, foot soaks, and infrared sauna
5. Supplements – Vitamin D, B, milk thistle (liver, gall bladder), curcumin (turmeric), adrenal support, glutathione, magnesium.
6. To help with Adrenal Fatigue, I am following Dr. Christianson’s Adrenal Reset Diet protocol. (Special thanks to my neighbor Jane for lending me her sun lamp!)
7. For herxing I have some homeopathic drops that greatly help, as well as sarsaparilla root capsules.
I’ve worked my way up to full dose. One Sunday recently I was able to play the piano again for the entire church service for the first time in months (in October I couldn’t even stand for the singing and last summer I could barely play because of my arthritic fingers). It is a joy that I don’t take for granted. Yet, another Sunday I was so exhausted after playing I had to go lie down during the sermon. I never know if it’s going to be a “good” day or a “bad” day. Most days my worst symptoms are fatigue and brain fog. A couple of times I have been laid flat by herxing (a negative physical response when you cannot get rid of the dying infection fast enough). Depression lurks around the corner, especially if I indulge in sugar or chocolate. It is difficult for me to drive in the dark, and I can’t multitask like I used to. It is overwhelming to be around a lot of noise and flashing light. Talking with people is exhausting even though I need and love the fellowship.
On Monday I felt the best I’ve felt in I don’t know how long. Praise the Lord! Then the past two days I’ve been dragging again. Praise the Lord! We need to praise Him in all things. Sometimes this is a sacrifice of praise – and oh how He treasures it!!
Here are a few of the blessings:
- the love and prayers of family and friends
- watching God lovingly provide for our needs (including wisdom)
- the only natural treatment expert in our state is ten minutes from my in-laws’ home
- being able to add back in many foods
- having a diagnosis and being able to work toward better health
- becoming aware for the first time how widespread chronic pain is
- increased compassion (our boys are learning this, too)
- the opportunity to learn more about the complexity of the human body God created
- receiving good medical treatment
- complete surrender and rededication to God
- the development of closer and stronger family bonds
- not taking health for granted and appreciating the simple things in life
- repenting of a complaining heart and learning contentment
- being a living testimony of God’s faithful care
- meeting people I probably never would have met otherwise
- learning to be still and how to relax
- discovering that my value doesn’t depend on what I can do for God, and that He can use me at my very weakest more than He could use me if I were doing 101 things for Him in my own strength
- being forced to prioritize and humbling myself to ask for help
- recognizing the frailty of all that is seen and increased faith in the reality of things that are unseen
- experiencing the peace and joy that comes from God alone
And, of course, I have a unique opportunity to proclaim God’s power and provision. Trials are not fun, but they are a necessary part of making us who God wants us to be. Some say He only allows trials as a result of the fallen world we created by our own rebellion against God (through Adam and Eve). But, there is evidence that God designs specific trials for specific people, promising to go through it all with us, for our good and His glory. We are told to expect trials in this life and we are encouraged to know they serve a very useful purpose – Psalm 23:4, Romans 5:1-5, Romans 8:18-25, 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, James 1:2-12, I Peter 4:12-13.
Some websites will tell you that Lyme is quickly taken care of by a round of antibiotics (one month to three months … I have a friend who was on antibiotics off and on for five years for her Lyme). If you catch it immediately after the bite, it can be eradicated. But, generally it is a life-long fight. Most resources will tell you there is no known cure for Lyme disease, because the spirochetes like to hide deep within tissues, muscles, blood and bones, so it is impossible to know if “we got’em all.” It is also usually a collection of several infections that are administered through that dreaded insect bite. Some are more deadly than Lyme! Lyme disease is called the great imitator because many diseases are falsely diagnosed – actually being Lyme, like: Fibromyalgia, MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Fatigue, ALS, etc.
My goal is to get as well as I can, so I can be as functional as possible. God and I take one day at a time. I hope people will understand that I may not be able to say yes to many extra opportunities for awhile. I’ve cut back on my time online as it is quite draining. Most days it is an accomplishment just to get the dishes washed and have food on the table. We’ve added 2 DVD classes to help with our homeschooling. I’ve learned how to make jewelry, which is both relaxing and something fun I can do without too much effort. We are pursuing having my eight amalgam fillings replaced as we believe this may be part off the process of getting rid of heavy metal poisoning so that my system can concentrate of getting rid of the Lyme. I am very thankful for each day and the strength God provides! I know God can heal me if He wants to, so I trust Him to do what is best for us. My deepest desire is that God will be honored through this!
If you have Lyme or know someone with Lyme, I would love to hear your comments below. What has God been teaching you through your journey? What are your struggles? What treatments have you found to be helpful for you? Because of Jesus we have a bright future! God is faithful. Thank You, God!
Psalm 73:26 – “My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.”
* If you suspect you may have Lyme, the most reliable tests are done through IGeneX.
1. LymeLight – The Story of a professional freeskier, Angeli VanLannan, with Lyme
2. About Lyme and why the government and most doctors avoid it.
3. TV star battles Lyme
4. Under Our Skin documentary
5. Under our Skin, Emergence review (sequel, 2014)
6. Hope for chronic Lyme
7. Alternatives to antibiotics
1. Finding a Lyme literate doctor in your area
2. Lyme is the “Great Imitator,” misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, depression, M.S., Chronic Fatigue, ALS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc.
3. Hope for chronic Lyme
4. Lyme information
5. Essential Oils Treatment: Raindrop Massage Technique
1. Insights Into Lyme Disease Treatment: 13 Lyme Literate Health Care Practitioners Share Their Healing Strategies by Connie Strasheim
2. Freedom From Lyme Disease: New Treatments for a Complete Recovery by Bryan Rosner
3. Why Can’t I Get Better? by Richard Horowitz, MD
4. The Lyme Disease Solution by Kenneth B. Singleton, MD
5. Healing Lyme: Natural Healing and Prevention of Lyme by Stephen Herrod Buhner
6. The Lyme Diet: Nutritional Strategies for Healing From Lyme Disease by Nicola McFadzean, ND
7. Recipes for Repair, A Lyme Disease Cookbook, by Kenneth B. Singleton, MD, MPH
8. When Antibiotics Fail: Lyme Disease and Rife Machines, with Critical Evaluation of Leading Alternative Therapies by Bryan Rosner
9. *** Saving the BEST for last, I highly recommend Quieting a Noisy Soul for anxiety and panic attacks. Excellent material! I can’t say enough good about it.