Wow!! 6 months of treatment complete. It’s hard to believe I’m already so far down the road… and yet it feels like just yesterday I started this journey. I’ve made soooo much progress since July. I honestly never expected to be this well, this fast.
Most days, I feel pretty darn close to normal. I have reminders of my illness: ringing ears is still constant, my vision is still very poor, I often sleep badly and have vivid dreams when I do. I get flaking skin on my eyelids, and my muscles still tend to over-contract when exerted. I still have tired days sometimes. But overall, I’m sure feeling a lot like a normal person.
I get through whole work days, I walk at least 10,000 steps a day, I socialize with friends, I’m mentally sharp, I’m (usually) able to do more than one “big activity” a day now. It’s pretty awesome!
I did experience a bit of a downturn early in December when I was kind of unceremoniously dumped by my partner of over 5 years. Although not an entirely surprising split (we’ve struggled ever since my diagnosis, when recovery became a major priority in my life), it was still very painful and stressful. Symptoms of pain, fatigue, insomnia, and night terrors increased for a couple of weeks. But, thankfully, as I’ve gotten back into my normal routine and am finding peace in the path ahead, I have normalized for the most part.
Month 6 brought the addition of a new treatment modality: Flagyl for cyst busting. Bringing my grand total to 4 antibiotics now, I am pulsing Flagyl 4 days a week, then off for 3. It’s definitely kicking some cyst ass… In addition to standard herxing fatigue, I have had an increase in symptoms of dizzy / vertigo spells along with balance trouble… stuff I haven’t experienced in over a year. Yeesh. While unpleasant, I am happy to handle the flare ups knowing it’s progress!
My liver and kidney enzymes, which we check every month, continue to show I’m tolerating treatment just beautifully… which I know is a gift not everyone is so lucky to have. My diet, my detox routine, my juicing…. it’s all paying off. My doctor insists I am getting well primarily because I follow the (rather intense) routine. Yay!
As with all monthly treatment recap posts, let’s do the list of symptoms I currently struggle with:
- Bad balance and dizzy / vertigo spells – returned symptom thanks to a Flagyl herx
- Occasionally plugged, clicking ears and stuffy sinuses – likely also a flagyl herx, these are minor symptoms of slight brain swelling (cysts love to hang out in brains; this makes sense)
- Poor vision – 1000mg of Taurine 2x a day continues to help, I’m about 80% now and expect new prism glasses in January to help even more
- Ringing ears – this has never even remotely gone away
- Dry / stinging / red eyes – A common symptom of Bartonella
- Skin abnormalities – flaking eyelids, terribly bruised legs
- Muscles still over contract with exertion – I tried my first workout this month, a gentle yoga class, and my back did lock up. Bummer. But I don’t notice this without exercise anymore which is awesome.
Things I noticed slightly less of this month:
- Poor sleep (minus the couple weeks surrounding my breakup)
- Vivid dreams – I still have vivid dreams, but they’re less horrendous in nature, and true night terrors are downright rare these days.
- Hyperness – I think the flagyl herx has increased my fatigue, I need more rest these days and actually FEEL tired. It’s a welcome change.
- Pain in the lymph nodes (I did begin Lyme massage with a local Lyme expert)
- Stiff neck, headaches, numbness and tingling, foot pain and joint pain all remain quiet
The 3 big changes to my treatment protocol in month 6 were:
- I added Flagyl to my antibiotic cocktail as a cyst buster (current combo = Bactrim, Cedfinir, Doxy and Flagyl)
- I did my LymeStop recheck on Dec. 23rd, 2015
- I started doing Lymph massage 2x per month with a Lyme specialist to increase detox
Of course I’ve continued the long list of healing efforts I gave in my 5-month recap blog as well. It’s a full time job, this Lyme recovery! But I’m more than willing to work for it.
Overall, 2015 hasn’t ended the way I’d hoped. I lost a great love and my best friend, a dear member of my chosen family passed away unexpectedly on Dec. 23rd, I spent the holidays sick, mourning and alone… and of course I’m adjusting the whole vision of my future as the breakup took with it the dreams I’d once counted on. BUT, I am determined to focus on the positive. I am healthier than I ever imagined, I have friendships that are more solid than I’ve ever experienced in my whole life, and I have a whole big beautiful blank slate laid out in front of me for years ahead. I’m grateful for every damn moment here on this planet, and that only increases with each bit of health I regain.
2016 is going to be a very beautiful year.