Thursday, January 12, 2012

Adios, Cowden Protocol

Last weekend, I called my doctor and talked to her about quitting my six month long herbal protocol for chronic Lyme disease. She agreed that it was just too much for me, so, as of last Sunday, I am no longer doing the Cowden Condensed Protocol. While it feels lousy to quit, I did make it through 60 days, and I'm very proud of that, because those 60 days were not easy (there's the understatement of the year!). Together with my three-times-weekly Bicillin shots, I was just way too sick.

To someone who doesn't understand Lyme disease treatment, it's easy to assume that those of us with Lyme disease are sick because we are taking too many medicines. I've written several posts about the healing crisis that takes place during Lyme disease treatment--the reason you have to get worse to get better--and I'd like to point you here if you'd like to read more about the healing crisis, or herxheimer reaction. There's a lot of trial and error involved in treating chronic Lyme disease as everyone has a different immune system and different co-infections and viral activity along with Lyme.

Since I've been off the Cowden Protocol, I've been doing slightly better. My head feels clearer, although that is a very difficult thing to explain in writing. I still tire very easily and need to rest often, but I think (fingers crossed here!) that my energy may be slowly coming back. I've been working extra hard on detoxing my body, as most people with Lyme need extra help in this department. I've been chugging lemon water, soaking in epsom salt baths, and rebounding on my trampoline. (Not all at the same time, of course!)

Yawn! Lymeland is kind of boring right now!
Things have been a little slow here in Lymeland, but I've been plugging along. I've had some lovely visits with my horse and I've been pouring my heart out to my guitar. As hard as it was to make the decision to quit the Cowden Protocol, I'm proud of myself for listening to my body, and if need be, I will pursue the program again when I can concentrate on it as my only treatment.


  1. I'm proud of you for listening to your body too! Hope this change makes a difference.

    PS Lymeland's never boring! XOXOXO

  2. I am so sorry, ALyson that you have been feeling so awful. It sounds like stopping one of the treatments is the right thing for you...hope you really improve quickly now. I know what if feels like to have TOO much die off at once..TOO much for our bodies to cope with. Last summer was awful in that way for me. Each one of us is different. Each one of us can only do what our body can do...sending hugs your way.

  3. I'm sorry Alyson, but it sounds like it is the best choice for you now! I hope you improve by the day now and find just the right treatment for you!

  4. I too am sorry you had to quit, but am happy that you listened to your body. 60 days of intense herbal treament along with your shots is a big accomplishment! I hope things continue to get clearer and you have more days with your pony and your guitar. Enjoy the moments ;) Stay strong, Alyson.


  5. Dr. Cowden advises against taking abx while on his protocol. I won't even take an aspirin for headaches or pain because I want to monitor my progress.