Monday, May 16, 2016

Another Sibling with Lyme

So.... seems Lyme has quite an ability to lay dormant in our bodies, only to erupt when we least expect it and cause severely debilitating symptoms that will not resolve despite our determination to will them away, our misguided trust in the medical doctors who diagnose us with 'anything but Lyme', copious amounts of bloodwork, visits to numerous specialists, various medical tests or changes to our diet and living habits.  It now seems obvious to our family that this is very possible, because two of my siblings live in Australia, and I in Canada, it seems most likely that we contracted the disease as youngsters while living together (in a likely endemic area).

My brother Del is also very sick with Lyme.  He has had to quit his job as a youth psychologist due to the severity of his neurological symptoms.  He has been given a clinical diagnosis by an Australian doctor and has begun antibiotic treatment.  Treatments in Australia are also limited, as doctors risk their licenses to help patients and cannot afford the risks of prescribing long-term antibiotic treatment.

If you are able to help our family support Del with the financial burden of his out-of-pocket treatment, please follow the link below: Any amount is appreciated, if we all pull together we can make a difference in the lives of this young family:

May is Lyme Disease awareness month and our family is quite aware of the effects of this disease. My sister is slowly recovering with the assistance of essential oils, bioresonance therapy, diet and lifestyle change and supportive supplementation.  I am working on healing my gut and restoring my immune system and recently attempting to recover from a torn ACL in my knee, which is a result of the weakness I have sustained in my joints due to the Lyme being active in my body for so long without treatment.

There are so many issues and controversy surrounding Lyme Disease - beginning with flaws in surveillance of ticks, under-reported number of cases of people being infected, inaccurate blood testing, uneducated doctors and specialists, patients being denied treatment, inadequate and insufficient length of treatment. There is currently a conference being held in Ottawa Ontario to develop a new Federal Lyme framework.  We are hoping the outcomes of this conference will be positive and result in serious changes to how Lyme is identified and treated.  I have heard countless stories, all similar, of people struggling to survive this disease, let alone the medical system that is ostracizing them! Time for a change? YOU BET!!

Meanwhile, our prayers and thoughts are with those struggling to get the help they need so that they can also work towards being able to function and participate in daily living again.  Please reach out to me if you need support and help.  I am determined to do more to help others who are suffering as my family has.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What to do when you suspect Lyme

There have been a number of people approach me lately with suspicions that they or their loved one may be suffering from un-diagnosed Lyme Disease.
I decided to write a post on the steps to take if you suspect that someone you know may have contracted Lyme.

It is important to catch Lyme Disease in the earliest stages, within the first few weeks of infection. Often Lyme is missed at this stage because it so much mimics a regular flu and less than 50% of those infected with Lyme even recall a tick bite, let alone a rash!  There is much mis-information from public health agencies regarding infection, which further limits the number of people seeking medical help on suspicion of infection.  Only certain species of ticks are being tested for Lyme, although it is very likely that all ticks carry the infection, and it is even suspected that mosquitoes may also transmit the disease.

It is advisable, if you have been bitten by a tick and it is not easily brushed off of your body (meaning that it has been feeding on you for a while) and you experience a rash of any kind or feel unwell, that you contact your family doctor and request (or demand if they refuse your request) three-four weeks of oral antibiotics (usually Doxycycline).  Although the doctor may think this excessive, the alternative is to treat with a two week course of antibiotics (which is not sufficient to completely eradicate the bacteria at this stage) and risk being struck-down at a later date with late stage Lyme Disease.  If you have a strong immune system, the Lyme bacteria may remain dormant in your body for many years after initial infection.  The symptoms of late stage Lyme Disease may come on gradually or suddenly after an immune system compromise (illness, accident, stress).  It is much harder to diagnose at this stage, and much more difficult to treat.  It consists of much more severe symptoms and, although it may go into remission, is not considered curable.


You must also be aware that the testing method currently relied in Canada as an initial screening for Lyme Disease is a blood test that uses the ELISA method.  According to the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) "The elisa screening test is unreliable. The test misses 35% of culture proven Lyme disease (only 65% sensitivity) and is unacceptable as the first step of a two-step screening protocol. By definition, a screening test should have at least 95% sensitivity". - See more at:

Lyme disease has been called the great imitator.  It should always be considered as an alternative diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as well as rheumatologic and neurologic conditions and any other difficult-to-diagnose multi-system illness.

So what to do if you have the symptoms of late stage Lyme Disease?

Fill out the following quiz to assess the likelihood of Lyme:
If you score over 45, it would be wise to get bloodwork done at the IgeneX lab in California, as they specialize in Lyme testing and have developed tests that are more accurate than anything that is done in Canada.

You will have to fill out the bloodwork request form, and get your family doctor to sign it:
Then find a local lab to take the bloodwork (following the instructions on the IgeneX website for the specific tests that you are ordering)  I recommend that you do the Complete Lyme Panel – which is #6050

If you scored high on the Horowitz questionnaire, you may like to consider beginning the process of finding a Lyme Literate Medical professional in your area.  When choosing a Lyme Doctor, you might want to consider the exchange rate (which will affect the cost of US treatments) as well as any medical insurance coverage that you may have (which may be covered if treated by a Lyme Literate Naturopathic Doctor – LLND - within Canada).  You will also want a physician that is ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) trained, as they follow the most current Lyme treatment protocols.  I can personally recommend Dr Maureen McShane in Plattsburgh NY, and Dr Eric Chan in Richmond, BC.  You can look on this website for the recommended list of LLMD’s closest to where you live:

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Importance of Detox During Treatment

I thought I would share some things relevant to treatment in the next few posts, for those of you who are looking to this blog as a bit of a resource for Lyme diagnosis and treatment.

During my entire treatment period, (and still now, although to a lot lesser degree) I made sure to detoxify my body regularly.  The reason for this is that as you are killing off the bacteria, toxins are created. The dying of bacteria will often make your symptoms worse - called a herxheimer. Not all patients will experience a Herx reaction, it depends on things such as the level of infection and the method of treatment that you are undergoing. "The Jarisch–Herxheimer reaction is a reaction to endotoxin-like products released by the death of harmful microorganisms within the body during antibiotic treatment." (wikipedia). Basically, the dying or dead bacteria dumps a bunch of toxins into your bloodstream at a rate quicker than you are able to eliminate naturally. If you do not remove the toxins, they will reabsorb into your bloodstream, reversing some of the good that you are doing through treatment.  Most Lyme patients have trouble with naturally eliminating toxins, making it very important to use regular detox methods.  I could tell when I was particularly toxic, because my pain levels would increase.  Here are some of the methods I used to detoxify my body during treatment:

Epsom salt and Hydrogen Peroxide Bath = Disolve 1 cup of Epsom salts, and about 2 cups of Hydrogen Peroxide into a steaming bath.  Soak for about 20 mins.  Any longer will risk re-absorption of the toxins, as well as exhaust your body while it is already in a weak state. Water should be hot enough to cause you to sweat.  The hydrogen peroxide will help with detoxification, the epsom salts are a source of magnesium, which will help with muscle cramping and pain.  Most Lyme patients are deficient in magnesium, as the Lyme bacteria strips our bodies of magnesium.  I took an Epsom salt and Hydrogen Peroxide bath on alternate days than I used the infrared sauna.

Infrared Sauna or public sauna = Infrared Saunas are particularly effective at raising your core temperature in a very short while compared to public steam saunas,  Sweating out the toxins is a very effective way to eliminate them.  Be sure to drink a lot of water with added mineral drops in it to support your body during this detox.  Stay in the sauna for 10 minutes after you begin to sweat.  Wipe the sweat off of your body with a towel as soon as it forms, to prevent re-absorption of toxins.  You can turn the sauna off once you begin to sweat, and the sweat will pour from your body.  I always had the sauna set at about 45 degrees Celsius, but you should set it at a temperature that is comfortable for you and causes you to sweat without draining your energy.  Shower immediately after you exit the sauna.  When purchasing an infrared sauna (I found mine second-hand on, be sure to buy one that is made without the use of toxic wood finishes, as sitting in an environment where you are breathing in toxic fumes defeats the purpose of using the sauna for detox.
My infrared sauna

Oil Pulling = Very cheap and easy method of detox.  I prefer to use coconut oil as it has a more bearable flavour but you can also use oils such as grape seed or cold-pressed virgin olive oil.  Put 1 tablespoon of oil into your mouth.  If coconut oil, chew until it becomes a liquid.  Then swish or pull the oil between your teeth.  You can work your way up to 15 minutes of oil pulling, beginning at 5 minutes each day.  Begin oil pulling immediately upon awakening in the morning, before eating or drinking anything.  After 15 minutes, spit the oil into your toilet (not the sink as it will be full of toxins from in your mouth) and rinse your mouth with warm (salty if you like) water.  Brush your teeth with only warm water to get rid of the extra oil on your teeth and tongue.  Oil pulling has the added benefit of whitening your teeth - which is especially helpful because of the mineral deposits that can make your teeth black during antibiotic treatment!

Lemon Water = Squeeze some fresh lemon juice into your water as often as you are able to during the day.  And drink as much water daily as you can handle! Avoid drinks that strip your body of hydration, such as caffeine and alcohol.

Glutathione = Our bodies naturally produce glutathione which aides in the elimination of toxins.  It is effective to take it during treatment but needs to be in a lipsomal or intravenous form for it to work properly.  I took glutathione intravenously every day before running through my IV antibiotics.  Ideally, you would take glutathione at least three times per week.

Ozone Therapy = Ozone is a pure oxygen therapy.  There are several forms of ozone therapy, oral, intravenous and rectal.  I used a hyperbaric oxygen chamber daily for the first 6 months of my treatment.  It was helpful as it saturated my muscles with oxygen, and re-energized me.  The most effective form for maximum absorption is the rectal form of ozone therapy.  You should be able to get ozone therapy at your local naturopath.  I found I received a huge energy boost from rectal ozone therapy and it was a helpful tool in propelling me towards healing.

Activated Charcoal = Activated charcoal binds to toxins as it travels through your digestive system and thus eliminates them from your body.  It must be taken at least 4 hours away from other medications, as it will also bind to them and render them ineffective.  During heavy treatment I took between 5-7 activated charcoal when I awoke in the middle of each night.  Unfortunately, in many people, activated charcoal use will lead to constipation.  I found the opposite was true for me so I found activated charcoal a helpful aide in detoxification.

Herbals = The herbals I took to assist me in removing toxins included Parsley and Burbur by Nutramedix.  As with many other forms of detox, you should slowly work up from 1 drop under your tongue 2X daily (between meals and medications) to 10 drops, so as not to shock your body by detoxing too quickly.  I also used a herbal detox called Mandipur and took it on alternate days to the Parsley and Burbur.  Your body can become accustomed to one method of detoxing and it will become less effective, so it is important to switch them up.

Eat a Clean Diet = Try to buy organic produce as much as possible, especially avoiding those from the 'dirty dozen' list of foods with a high amount of chemical residue.  If possible, also buy organic grass-fed meats during treatment to lower your toxin load and make treatment easier on your stressed immune system.
Dirty dozen list:
Clean 15 list:

Essential Oils = I do not know much about essential oils, as I have yet to try them but I am aware of their ability to be used for detoxification as well.  It is important to choose an essential oil company that only produces the purest quality of oils.

Saturday, January 30, 2016


I have been quiet for a bit.....
You will understand once I explain why.  You see, I am living life again!! I feel like I am permanently smiling - having the ability to live life again is an AMAZING GIFT!!!!
My Lyme Doc tells me I am not technically in remission because I have to be symptom free for 3 months for it to be official.  But I am more than happy with this level of healing, even if I am not quite considered to be in remission.  I think I forgot what it was like to have energy and vitality, to be a part of life rather than just existing and trying to make it to the end of each day.  I have a spring in my step! The character and spunk that I thought was permanently changed is creeping back in.  Haha, some of you may wish me back to my old state - I will try to manage my character a little better this time round, I promise....That is truly what it feels like for me - a new beginning!! Time to CELEBRATE!! Thank-you LORD!!!

I will exalt you, LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths
 and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.                                
You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
                           you spared me from going down to the pit.                                
        Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people; praise his holy name.                                
   For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.                                
                             When I felt secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.”                                
     LORD, when you favored me, you made my royal mountainc stand firm;
but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.                       
To you, LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy:                                
      “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?                                
                             Hear, LORD, and be merciful to me; LORD, be my help.”                                
You turned my wailing into dancing;
                               you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,                                
   that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
LORD my God, I will praise you forever.
Discovering new, beautiful, serene beaches in Australia
I will be working over the next months on building strength particularly in my core/gleuts/shoulders and back where I have lost muscle tone over the past four years.  I am excited that this is possible again as my previous physiotherapy attempts had a negative effect on my body.  I still get muscle and joint pain - although to a far lesser degree, and often have trouble with my ribs and spine misaligning. I am hoping that by strengthening the muscles that are weak, I will be able to stabilize and support the weaker areas of my body.

We are so grateful that I am able to function without support in my role as wife and mother again. I can keep up with my home and even join in supporting my children at school again. You can expect to see me on as many school trips and at every school function I can possibly attend!

I am having trouble with re-occurring bladder infections yet.  I will be seeing a urologist soon to determine the cause of those and what can be done to prevent them.  I will also be undergoing an endoscopy to determine if I have Celiac Disease.  Antibodies to gluten have been found in my saliva, so I am gluten sensitive but this test will determine if I am a true Celiac.  Only problem is that I have to go on gluten for the next six weeks, which I am not keen on.  I have decided to do only sprouted organic wheat and see if my body is less affected by gluten in that form...

I will be finishing off my Lyme medications, including Alinia (which has greatly helped me overcome my neurological Lyme symptoms) within the next month, and switching to an Essential Oil protocol.  I intend to use DoTerra or Young Living Essential Oils to support my immune system and create a healthily hostile environment for Lyme bacteria to return to.

As for the yeast issues that have resulted from the use of long-term antibiotics, I am currently taking Fluconazole, but will be looking into doing a Leaky Gut program from Josh Axe within the next few weeks as well in an attempt to heal and restore my stomach and intestines.

Personally I have found a mostly Vegetarian diet to be suited to my body.  Unfortunately a high vegetable and gluten-free grain diet creates a lot of work as I am hungry every two hours (not sure if this is because of a quick metabolism or a result of malabsorption of nutrients).  I have been introduced to a Thermomix  while in Australia and may be looking into purchasing a similar tool eventually to help make kitchen preparations a lot easier and free up some of my time for other pursuits.

Here are some pics from my recent trip 'home' to Australia.  My friend Tish was especially amazed at my progress as she hasn't seen me for awhile and the last time she saw me I was barely functioning! Thanks for the great memories!!

Tyson running through the sand and surf
 Bodyboarding!! I was not yet strong enough for surfing but this I could do!!
 Spending time with family
 Enjoying the gorgeous sunsets with my bestie and wine and cheese... xox
Night view over Perth city
 Enjoying local food
Catching up with friends