Jenna’s Chronic Lyme – A Personal Message
By Jenna Smith
Here I am now, with my grandson Abram, in bed as usual.
I am approaching the 5 year anniversary of my Lyme crash, and having shared my medical history with several expert Lyme specialists (MDs) my diagnosis has extended to Babesia, (instigating the major crash) with Bartonella and Lyme in my body for most – if not all – of my life. So I want and need to thank YOU, my subscribers, who have kept me encouraged and sane through my darkest hours. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
You may have noticed that I haven’t written much this year, and I apologize for that. I am committed to keeping this blog up-to-date with interesting and helpful information even after I fully recover which I now have hope for – yes, FULL recovery. I will not abandon the Lyme community when I have that strength and vitality back. That is my promise to you. However, the truth is, as I am starting to have really good days, and I try to pack as much living into each of those unique and special days and the result is that I use more energy than I have access to, and end up in worse shape – back in bed – my mind too frazzled to think much less research or write – until the next thimble of energy appears…
Perhaps this will resonate with some. I know that last year I didn’t have the strength to plant one rose bush (my very favorite kind of gardening) and last weekend I planted a dozen with my husband’s help! Last year I sat on my horse’s back two or three times weeping the whole time while being lead by a friend, and last week I had an actual riding lesson!
What do I attribute my slow recovery to?
First, I must emphasize as always that I am NOT a medical doctor and can only share my experience – each of us have what I call Lyme disease cocktails, and each of us have unique “operating systems” medically speaking with our infinitely varying immune systems, our inflammation response, age, underlying health condition, genetic coding, and number/virility of disease(s) and diet. So what will work magically for one person will not do a thing for another. I know, this is all very frustrating!
Having said that, I divide recovery efforts into four major parts.
The first part is attacking the disease and destroying bacteria as well as hiding places (such as biofilms.) I have tried many protocols in order to write the ebooks on my website (still in progress) some of which take a long time to give a true chance. It is difficult to say that even though I may not have felt a change after a particular protocol that it didn’t help in some way I was unaware of.
But aside from that, I believe the following have been the most important in my burgeoning recovery: parasite removal, salt/apple poly protocol, biofilm busting protocol (the last two I have to pulse because the herx response is staggering) and IVIG infusions (I will write another post on this). In addition, the pharmacology that has been imperative is Clarithromyacin, Hydroxychoroquine and Flagyl pulsed, Mepron for Babesia, and Rifampin for Bartonella (and Artemesinin as strong as I could get it). I find that Bartonella is every bit as hard if not harder to get rid of than Lyme. I had success with the homeopathic treatment (which needs a doctor’s prescription) from Deseret Biologicals – I needed two treatments (and they should be mixed with Drainage Remedy and Silver Solution.)
The second and equally important part is building the immune system. I rely on Gold 360, Apple Poly, Strong Multi-Vitamins and Probiotics (see website for my treatment to see specifics and buying guide), IVIG infusions have boosted my immune system significantly and increased my energy in a measurable way (DANGER: Don’t overdo as I repeatedly do), sleep and lots of it is required for healing, protection from stress: upsetting news – don’t watch the TV, argumentative relationships – take a polite (indefinite) break, financial stress? Ask someone who cares about you to help you figure out a way to plan a budget that works and stick to it. Ask for help. I used to balance 9 checkbooks when I ran my own business and did it to the penny every month in less than two hours – now I can’t balance one checkbook in a day or week. We need to accept where we are…when I finally did that I felt stress roll off my back but I have to stay diligent to keep it off.
The third part is emotional/social. Depending on how sick you are, you may not be able to socialize at all – which is the case with me. This puts tremendous strain on your family, loved ones and friends. It is so hard to be bitter…I have read so many of your notes regarding husbands or wives leaving, family members calling you crazy – no support. I have been blessed with a supportive husband and family but most of my friends – even close, close friends just disappeared and yet one friend who is a busy and successful artist in Hawaii has managed to find time to visit me 4 times half way around the world and sends care packages all the time…You can’t let yourself become isolated, or your thoughts will spiral down to Dante’s tenth circle of hell (well, he only had nine but I am taking the liberty of adding another – worse than all the others) “Pain and Abandonment”. It is the place so many of us with chronic Lyme live day after day which is why suicide is not an uncommon way to die with chronic Lyme. Reach out to Lyme forums and support groups to make new friends who understand exactly what you are going through.
The fourth part is diet and exercise. I am not any kind of expert on this, however, the victims of Lyme who seem to recover fastest and live a more active life are the ones who have great discipline in their diet and exercise routine. Dr. Burrascano warns of pushing the body with aerobic exercise too early as it will weaken the body as it is trying to fight the illness, but stretching and some light exercise like walking can be beneficial. Also, remember that any foods that break down to sugar will feed your disease so think about what you eat and drink.
I hope this does not seem like an oversimplification. When you are in the thick of this awful disease, death does seem preferable for the most part, but science is moving fast and there are some great minds working on the puzzle of the Lyme cocktails. It is my sincere hope that my grandchildren won’t have to worry about Lyme, Bartonella, Babesia or CPN. But for those of us that do – don’t give up. You are not alone.
Jenna Smith is a writer and amateur dressage rider who has published many articles on health and fitness. Struck down with Lyme disease in October 2006, Jenna has devoted her time to helping others with Lyme disease and other health concerns. Jenna’s goal is to help people discover cutting edge strategies for healing disease and obtaining optimum health. Learn more about chronic Lyme disease, and claim your free ebooks on alternative treatment protocols at: http://www.LymeDiseaseResource.com and http://www.Neuro-Lyme.com.
Jenna also publishes a Lyme Blog, Lyme Video Blog and a Daily Inspiration Blog, all accessible from the websites, and has published a novel, “The Goddess of Sumer” available at Amazon.