Monday, March 26, 2012

March On

I haven't been writing much because I've been feeling really well. Today I had an appointment with my Lyme doctor and I was so excited for this appointment because I couldn't wait to share my joy with her in letting her know how well I've been doing.

Currently, we have been treating my Lyme disease with Bicillin intramuscular injections three times a week. I am a few shots shy of six months. My new treatment plan is to cut the shots back to one a week, and on shot days and the following day, I will take an oral antibiotic--a cyst buster known as Flagyl.

When the Lyme spirochetes are attacked with antibiotics,one of the ways they will try to evade this attack is by turning into a cyst form. They either come out of this cyst form when they think the coast is clear, or they are forced out by cyst busting antibiotics. Cyst busting drugs are essential for Lyme disease treatment, but brutal, because they are notorious for causing very strong Herx reactions. Flagyl is definitely on the list of least favorite antibiotics among Lyme disease sufferers.

Some people may be wondering why I should continue with the shots if I'm doing so well. The reason for this is because after my shots, I have been experiencing a strong Herx reaction. I get incredibly exhausted and have very severe flu-like aches for a few hours. While it's unpleasant, this Herx reaction means that the shots are still working.

Starting a new treatment regimen is always daunting. I've gotten used to being back in the saddle again, literally and figuratively, and it's hard to think about trading that in for feeling lousy again for a while. Remember, with Lyme treatment, you have to get worse before you get better. If you don't, it means the Lyme bacteria is not dying off.

My doctor mentioned that cutting back my shots could cause me to relapse, in which case I am to go back to three shots a week (without the Flagyl). It's hard to change what is working so well, but I'm not all the way out of the woods yet, and so I bravely march on to the next part of my treatment!

Doing a three mile hike on St. Paddy's Day!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Falling into Place

I had a really rough day yesterday, but I'm happy to say that that was way out of the norm for me lately. I've been continuing to make progress against my chronic Lyme disease by leaps and bounds. Last week, as I laid down to rest, I found myself abruptly flooded with numerous things that I had been struggling to remember. It was like a huge wad of cotton was suddenly pulled out of my brain and I could remember everything again! No more Alzheimer's brain! No more plastering myself with post-it notes to remember important things!

Over the past few years, as I've been sick, I've struggled with loss: loss of energy, loss of the ability to take care of my children and myself and loss of the ability to do many of the things I love to do. But lately, I've been adjusting to a new theme: more. I've had more energy, I have been riding my horse more, keeping up with the housework more, cooking more and being a more active mother (yeah!!!). I have fought so hard for this! I feel like the pieces of my life are finally falling back into place again.

On Monday, I had my 60th Bicillin injection. When I first started my shots, I set a personal limit of 72 shots, or six months, and I can't believe how close I am to achieving that goal. I have worked so, so hard to gain my health back, and it's amazing to see the payback.

I still have a long road to recovery ahead of me. I have a lot of pain on a daily basis and a lot of symptoms left. But I am over the moon at how far these pain-in-the-butt shots (ha!) have brought me toward recovering from chronic Lyme disease.