Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lyme Disease and Co.

Most people know that ticks can carry Lyme disease, but unless you or someone you know has Lyme disease, you probably haven't heard of several other tickborne diseases that you can also contract from a tick bite--infections with funny names like anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and bartonella, to name a few. These co-infections, as they're usually referred to when they go hand in hand with Lyme, have their own set of symptoms that can be just as debilitating as Lyme disease itself.

Not all ticks carry Lyme disease. But on the other hand, some ticks carry not only Lyme disease, but one or more co-infections. As the co-infections are becoming more and more widespread, Lyme disease cases are becoming more complicated to treat. People with Lyme disease and co-infections are very, very sick.

The past few months, I've been doing treatment specifically for babesiosis, one of a handful of co-infections given to me by the kindly tick that also gave me Lyme disease. Since starting treatment for babesia, I have noticed a slight improvement in my health. It is only a tiny baby step, but it is unmistakably my first step forward. I feel like I've reached my first milestone!

With two months of babesia treatment now under my belt, I have just entered into my two week break before I begin my third cycle of (insert expletive here) antibiotics. My Lyme disease has been having an absolute heyday without the assault of antibiotics. My joint pain, which has been relatively quiet lately, has been, ummm...not so quiet. Ouch! My headaches have been back and I've just felt really cruddy.

Both yesterday and today, I've had huge Lyme crashes where all I could do was lay in bed and whimper until the wave of pain/bone-crushing exhaustion passed. Both times I was rendered 100% useless for about two hours. Oddly enough, those are usually the times I come to terms the most with my disease because they require extreme inner strength.

It's been a long time since I've had such strong and long lasting crashes, but that is a good sign-- it means the antibiotics have been doing their job. It's like that saying: when the cat's away, the mice will play. When you attack the Lyme spirochetes with antibiotics, they can actually turn into a cyst form to evade the antibiotics. When the coast is all clear (i.e. my two week break from antibiotics), they can change back into a spirochete shape. That's when we swoop in with more antibiotics. It's very complicated! So on that note, it's time to end this blog entry with a gratuitous picture of my cat. Just because he is cute.


  1. Sorry to hear you are going through so much right is strange but the treatment for H-Pylori seems to be giving me herxing ? I also went off all herbs and now am taking Cumanda for Bart. I sometimes think the coinfections are worse than the Lyme, but alas they all stink, right?! Wishing you well today alyson.

  2. Hey girl! I just want to say thank you so much for sharing your journey. Know that I am sending prayers your way! I saw that you have my blog in your list of links. :) Thanks! I actually just changed the address, so I wanted to give it to you! It's
    Have a blessed weekend girl!

  3. I know it is cliche but, If you are going through hell, keep going.

  4. I have a picture with that quote on it right next to my bed! :)