Living in the LymeLight: From Stealthy to Healthy

Mountain Fog and Sky Alison

Photo by Alison Jones

Stories about chronic Lyme grab your attention. Those afflicted often sink from seeming health into persistent, life-altering sickness. They’re diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmunity, MS, dementia and many other maladies while the underlying, causative bacterial infection is missed. The medical establishment deck is stacked against us. But recovery from chronic Lyme disease/ fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome and the host of illnesses based in stealth microbe overgrowth is possible. Returning to health can be reasonably comfortable and sometimes productive. Holistic and herbal therapy are key.

Stealthy

It was six years from the time of my presumed tick bite (never saw it, no rash) before I understood that I have chronic Lyme disease. But I was aware of increasing unwellness with these symptoms that slowly worsened over time:

  • weight gain
  • eye floaters
  • roving joint pain/arthritis (hips, elbows, wrists, thumbs, low back, knees)
  • muscle stiffness, pain and spasms
  • fatigue
  • chronic puffy eyelids
  • decreased stamina
  • seasonal allergies and chemical sensitivity
  • food sensitivities (wheat/gluten, corn, peanuts, potatoes and other nightshades)
  • viral reactivation
  • generalized stress intolerance (culminating in episodic severe fatigue)
  • brain fog with impaired word recall and muffle mind – slow thinking as though through three feet of clear gel and a sense that there’s no room for new information
  • numbness in feet and one arm (Small Fiber Peripheral Neuropathy aka SFPN)
  • adrenal fatigue

These are just some of the symptoms that people with chronic Lyme can experience. Because of the way the microbes operate, their array and individual differences, there is no definitive, one-size-fits-all list of symptoms.

Healthy

By holistic therapy I mean that which promotes health of body, mind and spirit. With two years of broad-spectrum, high-quality herbal therapy all my symptoms have not resolved, but some have (brain fog, stiffness and weight gain). The worst (pain and fatigue) have lessened greatly. All are out of the red alert zone and I can enjoy life again. Pain is manageable, my mind is clear, and I have enough energy to work and live at a slower pace. I’ve even lost the excess weight without “dieting.”

Along with the herbs my healing rests on diet. Foods can contribute to or cause dysfunction either through their inherent qualities or acquired sensitivities—even healthy foods. Progress healing chronic Lyme is unlikely unless diet is also addressed. It is well worth going through the discovery process, even though it’s difficult.

I used to eat peanut butter on tortillas—whole wheat, then corn—every morning for breakfast. I loved it! Now I shun the foods shown to be problematic for me by an elimination diet:

  • wheat/gluten
  • corn
  • peanuts
  • carrageenan, a common food additive

We’re likely to develop sensitivities to the foods we eat often.

I consume sparingly:

  • potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers and cayenne (nightshades)
  • pecans
  • sugar
  • caffeine

Since I’m also hypoglycemic, I eat select sugars in limited quantities, only within a few hours of eating protein and NEVER on an empty stomach. Most sweets contain too much sugar for me, causing an insulin spike, which in turn produces the profound fatigue of reactive hypoglycemia. (Perhaps because of the fatigue, I don’t notice the inflammatory effects.) I decreased caffeine consumption to one 8-ounce cup of coffee per day and switched to less allergenic grass-fed organic milk. Milk agrees with me and is an important source of protein since I don’t eat any meat. Recently, no matter how meticulously I washed them, apples gave me indigestion. I switched to organic apples and the problem evaporated. This suggests chemical (pesticide) sensitivity. A more detailed version of my Lyme story appears at RawlsMD.com.

But there’s more to healing than physical interventions like herbs and diet. In this series I’ll share other body/mind/spirit practices to help us live in the LymeLight, from stealthy back to healthy. These ten practices/suggestions/lessons will be posted separately during the holiday season:

  • Allow
  • Pace
  • Load
  • Paradox and Spirit
  • Gratitude
  • Balance
  • Movement and Exercise
  • Discernment and Intuition
  • States of Mind and Emotion
  • Responsibility and Power

Boom! Boom! Boom!

These lessons are underlined during a stealth microbe boom or overgrowth that results in the imbalance known as chronic Lyme disease. I also had a boom when I finally understood what was making me sick. And other booms of insight, because illness is an opportunity for further and deeper awakening. Illness is a wakeup call inviting us to adjust.

It seems senseless to sink my limited resources into expensive tests not covered by insurance, especially when my therapy of choice (herbs) is also not covered. Through history and symptoms, my chronic Lyme is caused by Borrelia, Mycoplasma, Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) and Bartonella, but there are other possibilities. Thank God it doesn’t matter. The herbs are helpful for all of these and they are working. Furthermore, the herbs are all good—all health-enhancing. Because I don’t have sensitivities or allergies to them, there’s no trade-off in dangerous side effects. Herbs are generally safe.

At 24 months I expect to regain even more of my health as I continue herbs indefinitely. There is no quick fix for the many effects of chronic stealth microbe overgrowth in our bodies. Once compromised, we seem to need ongoing support from Nature’s Intelligence to maintain balance. The manager in me will try to come up with the least herbs to produce good health, but the mother in me will never let myself be overtaken again.

Prolonged illness is a difficult path. These practices can be applied to any chronic condition. In fact, they’re good for life. If we applied them better, in sickness and in health, we would be less burdened. I pray that my observations help you live in the LymeLight.

Get $20 off your first purchase at Vital Plan

healing-loss-small-cover-outlined-e1495905246179.jpgWith Peace and Love,

Mira Carroll

www.alohaservices.org

Healing Loss Book

Healing Loss eBook

 

Next up:  Allow

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