This is a continuation from a previous post. Go back and read that post to get more context of how I got here. 🙂
So I had had insidious, strange symptoms for about six months before I even got up the nerve to go to the doctor. Having my blood tested at first, I did not know to ask for the Western blot test (a relatively reliable Lyme’s test). Fortunately however, a friend recommended I go see an acupuncturist named Michael Jabalee who also happens to be an expert on treating Lyme’s.
I saw Jabalee and soon after got my blood tested for the Lyme’s antibodies. Jabalee, in doing his bio-energetic testing, told me that I tested positive for Lyme’s but not for any co-infections (thankfully!). The first Western blot test told me that sure enough, I had several different types of active antibodies for Lyme’s which meant that came back positive – confirming Jabalee’s diagnosis. He gave me several supplements and homeopathic medicines to start taking immediately, which I started on.
And now to explain more about what I mentioned in that first post (from a few days ago). Lyme’s disease is a complicated disease process to treat. It manifests differently in different people – sometimes mimicking other diseases which is why so many people go without being diagnosed properly. One thing that is common about it though is that it causes the body to start the inflammatory cascade – inflammation starts all over the body in an attempt to kill off or wall off the Lyme’s bacteria. This inflammation is what leads to achy joints and muscle pain, and I wonder if it plays a role in the foggy-headedness common with Lyme’s. The inflammation is also what affects the mucosa – Lyme’s disease is pervasive and affects multiple body systems (if not treated relatively quickly, it can start doing some serious damage).
For me, around the time I started seeing Jabalee, I started to realize that eating gluten or drinking beer (also containing gluten) caused even more inflammation and joint pain. Jabalee explained that that was due to my having leaky gut syndrome – which is also associated with Lyme’s. The Lyme’s bacteria starts to cause the mucosa of the intestines to produce inflammation, which causes a tiny bit of extra space to open up between the tight junctions of the mucosa (intestinal) cells. This micrometers of space allows a tiny bit of food and waste to escape into the interstitial space (outside the organs or blood vessels) which is then picked up by the Lymph system. Of course the Lymph system dumps its fluid into the blood vessels, so this means that the food and waste that crept in from the inflamed intestines has now gotten into the blood stream and that causes even more inflammation! It is a vicious cycle!
So I had to stay off of gluten for at least three months – and I also avoided alcohol. Not that I drank much – but a few beers a week had to be sacrificed for my greater comfort and ease.
However, Jabalee had a remedy for that as well- the newly arisen gluten intolerance that is. He called it the semi-permanent needle. Jabalee is one of a few dozen acupuncturists in the U.S. who do this technique. By having a tiny (like half a centimeter or shorter) needle at a certain meridian in the ear, for one to three weeks – one is able to receive acupuncture around the clock without having to be in for expensive treatments every day. So I did that – he put the tiny needle in my ear, covered it with surgical glue and then used a flesh colored piece of tape so that nobody even knew it was there! In fact, I often forgot about it unless I lay my head down on that ear – that produced some discomfort. I think the needle was in my ear for over two weeks. And soon thereafter my gluten sensitivity went away!
His website if you are interested (again) is http://www.michaeljabalee.com
The homeopathic medicine for the Lyme’s treatment was a little expensive – $50 / bottle. Each bottle has about 90-100 sprays in it. And I needed 4 bottles. Therefore, that one aspect of my treatment plan cost $200 / month at first, but then it also slowly went down as I weaned off of it. But I want to emphasize that I would go through this treatment again in a heartbeat if I had to deal with Lyme’s again. The only thing that was not heading in the right direction was that I tapered off the homeopathic sprays too soon. I felt the aching joints coming back though and doubled down on the sprays. Then soon I was feeling better – I continued the sprays for a while and slowly tapered off.
I took the vitamin B’s (a capsule and a spray) for about six months and I took the leaky gut supplement for about 3 months total.
Fortunately I switched doctors and Dr. Donovan at Downtown Family Health is very well educated about Lyme’s as well. She recommended the Buhner or Cowden herbal protocols for Lyme’s. The Buhner protocol is more of a do-it-yourself treatment where the Cowden protocol requires doctors to get you the herbs from out of the country. I have read great things about both treatments though.
So now, about 10 months after I first started getting treated by Mike Jabalee, I am getting stronger and feeling about 98% better. My foggy-headedness is completely gone, I have no muscle pain but I do have rare, occasional inflammation in my wrists – this might be diet related though. When the Lyme’s disease was at its worst, I could not hike more than a mile without being winded and exhausted (it was bad!) and I could not manage more than a couple pull-ups at a time. Today I can hike 6 miles without taking more than a few snack breaks and I have worked back up to doing 40 pull-ups (in 3 sets). So I am happy with my progress! But it is a journey to be sure.
[It should be noted that, although it might sound like it, I am not working with Michael Jabalee. Rather I am just happy that he assisted me with my recovery from Lyme’s!!].
Thank you for joining me on this brief account!