Wow, where do I begin?!
Since my last blog post I have spent the winter months primarily in bed, battling symptoms mostly affecting my brain, including severe light sensitivity, headaches, difficulty with thinking, dizziness, memory loss and exhaustion.
The naturopathic herbalist tried in vain to treat the bacteria as it arose, I would barely be recovered when I would get knocked down again. At one point I was taking 4 killer pills every two hours around the clock for a few days as it seemed the bacteria was growing at a faster rate than we were treating it. This did not seem like a long-term solution, also financially as the killer pills alone are $4-8 each. Through this herbalist I had met another patient with Lyme named Jamie. He since returned to Edmonton, where he discovered a clinic that treated Lyme patients using primarily Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. He did a lot of research about this therapy in the treatment of Lyme and encouraged me to do the same as he was preparing to try this avenue of treatment. It turns out that the Lyme spirochete are anaerobic in nature, meaning that they can't survive in a high oxygen environment. Hyperbaric Oxygen is pure oxygen delivered in a high pressure tank, allowing it to soak through every tissue and organ in the human body. This means the bacteria, wherever they are still hiding, are unable to escape and unable to protect themselves as the oxygen can break through the protective layer (biofilm) that they surround themselves in to hide from conventional treatments and the immune system. The plan is to do Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy every day (so as not to give the bacteria any chance to reproduce) for two life cycles of the Lyme. A life cycle is thought to be between two to four weeks, hence an 8-9 week treatment period. Daily treatment is 1.5 hours in the chamber, and 5 hours every two weeks to see what reaction my body will have and help in determining what kind of bacteria load is left.
Two of the Hyperbaric Chambers
Thankfully the Hyperbaric Clinic has teamed with the Apothec Wellness Clinic. This means that the many other aspects of being chronically ill are also investigated and addressed. I spend approximately 7-8 hours a day in the clinic doing various therapies in addition to the Hyperbaric Oxygen as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that will continue for the next few years after I am done the intensive therapy here in Edmonton and return home. I am currently in my 6th week of treatment and have experienced many ups and downs in my symptoms during this time, some as extreme as temporary paralysis and dangerously low blood pressure. But I am confident that this treatment plan is able to cover some of the aspects of disease that have been previously overlooked, taking into consideration my overall wellness, not just working to kill the bacteria.
I must say I was a little alarmed when I received my test results back from Armin Labs in Germany. Having previously received a negative Canadian test for Lyme (Elisa), and a barely positive test from IgeneX Lab in California when my symptoms were at their worst, I wasn't expecting this test to show much. Especially after having completed three years of intense treatments, both IV and oral antibiotics and a year of herbal anti-microbials, I was assuming most of the bacteria had been eradicated and possibly we were missing something else. It is now quite clear what we were missing.
My immune system is almost non-existent, so I have no defenses to fight any bacteria, parasites, viruses or fungus that are left after these treatments, giving them ample opportunity to reproduce and re-immerge the minute I discontinue or lower any of the heavy killer methods.
Here are my test results. Every co-infection I tested for was positive, and the two I didn't test for I have been clinically diagnosed with previously. The lab is able to test for antibodies and active infection. Each of the infections below are currently active:
Borrelia (Lyme) Full Antigen - positive result >3 My result: 20
Borrelia (Lyme) OSP-Mix - positive result >3 My result: 17
Borrellia burgdorferi seraspot IgM My result: positive
Borrelia SeraSpot OspC My result: positive
Ehrlichia and Anaplasma - 2-3 weak positive My result: 2
Chlamydia pneumonia - >3 positive My result: 4
EBV Lytic (Epstein Barr Virus or Mono) - >3 positive My result: 13
EBV Latent - >3 positive My result: 22
Coxsackie Virus My reuslt: positive
Bartonella - untested but previously clinically diagnosed
Babesia - untested but previously clinically diagnosed
I also tested positive for Candida overgrowth, and have an immune response (meaning I am intolerant) to Gluten, Dairy and Eggs.
I decided against testing for more viruses, bacteria and parasites as either way I am infected with each of these and the treatment remains the same whether my load is actually larger than what we have already found or not.
CD 57 (Immune marker) - Reference range 100-360 My result: 18
The result of the CD57 cell count indicates chronic immune suppression, which can be caused by Borrelia burgdorferi or other bacteria like Chlamydia pneumonae or Mychoplasma pneumoniae.
The plan for my immune system is to work very hard over the next few months and years at restoring it. It is hoped when I re-test the CD 57 in 6 months time I will have a result of 60 which will help prevent me from gathering new viruses and bacteria, and in a year hopefully be at 100 which will mean my body is actually able to fight and resist infection on it's own.
I will write more on treatment in a later post. I need to head to the clinic now....
Here is a link to a song that has touched my heart lately. One of the many that speak of trusting in God when we don't understand His plan or know what is ahead. He will work all things for our good, and I hold onto that promise. I feel His nearness here and trust that He is also taking care of the family I have left behind in Ontario. God grant me the grace to accept the things I cannot change, courage to continue to work at changing the things I can, and an extra measure of wisdom to know and accept the difference.....
Happy to spend two precious days with my mum when she visited!! Luvya ma!!