Cat Pee, A Confused Opossum, Moldy Houses and the difficulty of new relationships AKA FML.

banner-being-sick-sucks I’ve been in a daze these last few weeks.  Confused, tired, feeling out of my body and out of my mind- yet, still stuck in the painfulness of this all, that part, I seem to be totally present in my body for.  I just completed 2 weeks of taking a doTERRA product called Gx Assist.  It contains essential oils of Oregano,Melaleuca, Lemon, Lemongrass, Peppermint, and Thyme paired with another doTERRA product, DDR Prime which contains Frankincense Resin, Wild Orange Peel, Lemongrass Leaf, Thyme Leaf, Clove Bud, Summer Savory Plant, and Niaouli Leaf essential oils.On top of that I’ve been using other essential oils such as frankincense, lemon, myrhh, vetiver, and more both internally and externally (topically and aromatically). digestzen-gx-assist20121220-071653 I’ve also started doing weekly detox foot baths, infrared saunas, coffee enemas, and have started taking cholestyromine (to bind and remove mold toxins).  On the advice of a detox specialist I know, I tried doing an enema using a few drops of frankincense and lemon oil.  I did this on Christmas morning.  I had no real plans, coming from a dysfunctional family, gatherings of relatives are something to be avoided.  My sister avoids them as well, so we had decided to just make dinner and perhaps go for a walk at her house later that day.  Anyways, I did the enema and after that, all hell broke loose.  I had already been feeling pretty crappy, and the night before, wanting a treat, had made an AIP legal dessert but apparently all it takes in one spec of maple syrup to set my body on the inflammation highway 😡 So the point is I was already feeling crummy and the enema, instead of making feel better, triggered what I believe to be a massive herx.  I dragged myself to my sister’s and collapsed.  A headache began to come on, and I had severe indigestion (something that rarely happens since going AIP) and felt like my head was stuffed with cotton.   I went home and passed out…I had to drag myself through yesterday because I had things to do but it was incredibly hard and by the afternoon I was immobilized and in some of the worst pain of my life- extreme migraine, nausea, hot flashes, everything hurt… Today I woke up and was still in a massive amount of pain.  I struggled to get up and lay in the shower.  I tried to feed myself a bit, raspberries and fizzy water with lime since the nausea was so bad.  My head felt like someone was drilling into it while simultaneously pounding with a hammer.  I lay down and was shaking and just felt..so, so sooooo bad.  The pain was overwhelming.  The kind of pain where if I had to be in it for much more than a few days I would likely choose to off myself.  I got up and ended up throwing up a few times..which sucked, but helped me to feel a bit better.  Fell asleep again. Woke up in pain.  Into the shower again.  Used peppermint essential oil.  Did a coffee enema which offered immediate relief.  With the tiny bit of a break in pain, I dragged myself to the store to get a smoothie, a banana, some green tea (the caffeine helps), and some epsom salts.  I then dragged (like, literally dragging my feet) to a nearby place that rents out soaking tubs (since I do not have a tub in my place, which SUCKS as taking a tub is one of the only things that ever makes me feel better).  I sat in the tub, used some menthol and mint oils…. On my way home stopped at the natural foods store again.  Got ginger, and then eyed the mochi (it’s this weird pounded rice that you bake, and it puffs up).  I decided to get some.  I have been on the autoimmune paleo diet for awhile now, and have been grain free even longer- but I just desperately wanted the rice.  I came home, felt like I was going to die again, baked the mochi, ate some, and now…suddenly, right after, feel infinitely better!  I’m not sure what that means.  It might just be that all the detox stuff I was taking, the enema, the bath etc finally kicked in.  Or, it could mean I really needed a dense plain simple carbohydrate to soak everything up… I don’t know. As I sit here typing this, I’ve realized it smells a bit like cat pee (a smell I’ve sadly become somewhat immune to, so it probably REALLY smells like cat pee).  This means, that, despite keeping my couch covered with a plastic sheet, Cub (pictured below), found some time and some way to pee somewhere on it.  UGH. 1396285744160 10687207_827967005630_5203746326539247532_n1394899385488 It also means that I will have to haul myself and the giant blanket I have covering the couch to the laundromat tomorrow (it doesn’t fit in my washer here) and buy another giant container of urine odor remover from the pet store, and pay $7 to wash it! Cub has always had peeing issues, since I got him as a tiny kitten (It was much cuter back then though) and he’s been checked out multiple times by a vet (let’s not even get into the amount of money I have spent on this little guy) and has always been determined to be healthy.  The vets like to say he is an ‘anxious cat’ (which makes me wonder where I went wrong in my parenting) and has an easily aggravated bladder when stressed.  UGH.  Anyways, since moving to my current place, he has been apparently especially stressed since there are multiple neighborhood cats (including three males right next door!) and he is constantly getting in fights.  So, the peeing has been happening pretty frequently.  Seemingly anywhere is fair game.  The couch, the floor mats, the bed, and..and ME.  In the last two weeks I’ve been peed on about 6 times, including three nights in a row.  I live in a studio, so there is no way to ban him from the bedroom.  As I mentioned earlier, my comforters do not fit in my washer here so each time it happens it entails me getting up at 3am, changing the entire bed, throwing the dirty stuff outside, then the next day trekking to the laundry mat.  In short, it is EXHAUSTING and STRESSFUL and not something a person with chronic illness should be dealing with!!!  I actually think dealing with it over the last seven years has contributed significantly to my now confused and overwhelmed immune system (I’ve had to throw away couches and mattresses, you get the idea)… The vet has recommended putting him on kitty prozac, and I’ve held out for 6 years…but, I’m seriously starting to consider it….but, being so anti-pharmaceutical I have instead ordered about 20 different natural calming aids in a desperate hope they will help… 😦 cat-pee-poem-2 b3fc6814a441c52a48b283191d322abb4d84583c84ecf742aa0c0ae7a2276dcc images (2) So, the peeing has been stressful. Then, my job, which was perfect- good pay, flexible part-time hours, caring for a little baby- just up and ended.  The parents were having issues so the mom decided to move back to her native country.  This was stressful because, while I am SO fortunate to have financial support right now, I still need to work to cover all the ‘extras.’  Like $175 per session IV treatments, detox foot baths, saunas, supplements, oils, etc… there are endless extras (which are really necessities if you want to get better) when you have Lyme.  The Igenix test I just did for co-infections was $915!  And I need yet another doctor’s appointment….I mean, I’ve been thinking of all the supplements I could use, all the different detox machines etc and I could easily spend $20,000 tomorrow on everything I want/need!  (Say a rife machine!!! GRRRR I want one!) But, the biggest bummer about that job ending was it was in a NON-MOLDY house.  Everywhere here in Santa Cruz seems to be moldy.  I tried going to a meet-up group focused on healing- well, it was in a moldy building.  I’ve been trying to find another place to live because I can’t stay where I’m at much longer, every place, MOLDY!  I went and looked at a place that was PERFECT but, there was mold (and let’s not even go into the issue that there are ticks everywhere here so that knocks a ton of places off my list since my cats would bring in ticks) Trying to find new babysitting jobs- ALL MOLDY!  Trying to date people, all live in moldy houses!  Some even have moldy cars! Oh yah, and I broke up with my boyfriend 😦 I’m dating someone new already, and seeing a few other people..because, I tend to be like that.  I really enjoy sex…or…I should now say USED to.  Sex-drive when you have a crazy illness like lyme is a tricky thing as I’m discovering…I have always had a pretty high sex-drive.  But since becoming REALLY ill, and more- KNOWING for a fact that I am ill...it’s been hard to feel sexy.  My doctor ‘warned’ me that I would find myself attracted other people with lyme and to moldy places and places where lyme is prevalent.  I sort of gave him a funny look, but he was like- TRUST ME, I know (he had Lyme himself). Well, sure enough the guy that I am dating is from CONNETICUT.  When I finally told him about having Lyme (it took me a bit because..I just don’t like to tell people, I’ll admit I have mold allergies, celiac disease, etc, but lyme is a hard one for me…) he said, “oh yah? Me too..well, I had it once.  I got a rash and immediately went on antibiotics, but I don’t have it anymore.”  Well, from all my research and reading it is highly likely that he does have it!  And now I am freaking out that maybe I have reinfected him, or double infected myself…but I haven’t brought it up yet :/

Also, I find it is so hard to be vulnerable, to give of myself, to enter into relationships of any kind, but especially intimate ones.  It is so hard because…I don’t feel whole, complete..I feel sick and lost and confused and not in control.  Like I don’t know who I am or what is going to happen to me.  How do you enter into a relationship when you have so little to give because every ounce of your strength and energy goes to just making it through the day?  They want to go go out, to DO things, hang out with friends.  I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep.  Yet, you CANNOT get through this, through life, alone.  Connection is a necessity.  But, I feel like my isolation is a survival mechanism.  Tricky trickiness.

iStock_000007358240XSmall_ants-marching-vertical-238x300Now let’s tack on the invasive animals.  First, there are the never-ending ants.  NEVER-ENDING.  I hate killing them, but they just won’t stop.  It’s been a month and just when I think I’ve gotten rid of them, they reappear in triple the numbers! Next, there’s Huxley. IMG_20141209_184312 IMG_20141111_180930 IMG_20141016_213132 Huxley is an opossum, who showed up at least two months ago now.  I was sitting, minding my own business, and then suddenly I see him waddle across the room, past the cats, to the food bowl like he owned the place!  I managed to get him outside and the next day called an opossum rescue lady and she told me to continue feeding him, but just to put the food bowl outside, and that he would eventually move on.  Worst advice ever! He has continued trying to move in and there have been nights where I haven’t been able to get him back outside and he spends the night.  EXHAUSTING.  I’ve finally devised a blockade for the sliding glass door that he doesn’t seem to be able to get over but that my cats can. Then, and I do believe she falls in the category of invasive creatures, is the woman living in the front house.  She is OCD, likely border-line personality disorder, and she hates me.  I’m not sure why.  I’m am the nicest, quietest person.  But from the moment she met me she has hated me.  As a matter of fact, the first thing she said to me was, “You don’t look sick” Accusatory tone, big frown, arms crossed.  And, “I hope you plan on being extremely quiet.” Etc Etc. She finds crazy little issues, like me having lights on inside MY OWN HOUSE with curtains drawn at night to be disrupting her sleep and my presence here is “making her sick.”  Or, me using water in my OWN HOUSE at 7pm is “too loud.”  The list is endless.  She NEVER leaves her house.  She is definitely mentally ill and massively anxious which doesn’t help my state! About a month ago she came back and verbally assaulted me and accused me of not really being sick.  What I find interesting, is she really lost it for the first time when my boyfriend (well, now ex) came into town to visit.  She saw us together and just freaked out. Jealously? Who knows, but definitely INSANITY.  Luckily she has received notice, and I’m just praying nothing else crazy happens before she leaves. MjAxMi00NTA5OTIxZjkzNWIzOTc2 So-there we have it, in a nut shell.  Mold, herxes, cat pee, opossums living inside my house (and also peeing), break-ups, weird sexual changes, and a crazy person who believes I’m faking my illness and ruining her life! SIGH. Also, I’m finding that I feel SO much worse since starting treatment for the mold and Lyme than I ever did before.  I’m hoping it is part of that whole ‘you’ll feel worse before you feel better’ deal.  I’m just wondering, when the feel better part will appear…. ER4

Essential Oils- They’re here!!!!

IMG_20141115_181607~2

As I mentioned in previous posts, I’ve decided to try a less-conventional route to treating my Lyme disease (and other various issues!) I have felt very drawn to essential oils and after a lot of research and discussion with people using e.o.’s themselves I think I’ve found a protocol I feel really good about.  I’m feeling super excited, and super optimistic.

I ordered the oils through doTERRA.  Their oils are extremely high-quality and unique because they are safe for internal use.  I also ordered a few of doTERRA’s supportive supplements.  Unfortunately, some contain less than ideal ingredients such as carrageenan (linked to stomach cancer and all sorts of other terrible things), polysorbate 80 (a preservative), soy and yeast…. which I only discovered after receiving them…majorly bummed (and confused, come on doTERRA!)  Luckily those supplements aren’t majorly needed players in my protocol so I am going to return them and forge ahead with what I feel is safe for me to take (aka free of sketchy ingredients!)

d731352e81db11ed9d1d94644f1fef38 (1)For the next two weeks my protocol will consist of the following:

David Hill Protocol-

3 drops of each of the following essential oils in a gel-cap 2x per day (thyme and oregano are the most important)

  • oregano
  • thyme
  • cassia
  • cinnamon
  • clove

And 1-3 drops of the following under tongue 2x per day

  • Frankincense
  • Melissa
  • Patchouli11d401f31410607d9411264ca5723f17

In addition I’ll be taking the following which are all also doTERRA products:

  • Terrazyme (Digestive Enzymes)
  • Lemon Oil in water
  • Zendocrine caps and zendocrine oil (to help with detox)
  • Digest Zen oil blend (to help with digestion)
  • Slim & Sassy oil blend (overall support)

I will also be using the following doTERRA oils aromatically (in a diffuser) and topically (on skin) to help with moodfrankincense_card1_web(pp_w765_h546)

  • Citrus bliss, Balance, Elevation AM
  • Lavender, Vetiver, Serenity PM
  • Deep Blue for body aches and joint pain

In addition I will continue taking the following supplements

  • Magnesium (Natural Calm Brand)
  • Dessicated Beef Liver (from grass-fed cows)
  • Collagen (Great Lakes Brand)
  • Detox powder (charcoal and herbal blend)
  • Methylated B-vitamins
  • L-tryptophan and melatonin (as needed for mood and sleep support)
  • Probiotics
  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil & Krill Oil
  • Bee Pollen/Propolis
  • Essiac Tea (3 oz 1-3x a day)
  • Adrenal Complex
  • Red Root (for lymphatic support)
  • Fat specific digestive enzymes
  • Turmeric/ginger (for inflammation)
  • Celandine (for gallbladder support)
  • Milk thistle (for liver support)
  • L-glutamine (to help heal gut lining)

After 2 weeks on this protocol I will take two weeks off of the antibiotic essential oils but maintain the rest of my supplement regimen.

Then I will start on a new essential oil antibiotic protocol- 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off, etc, rotating essential oil protocols.

So far I have taken two capsules of the antibiotic oils- one last night and one this morning- I wonder if I started too strong as today I was pretty knocked out- I completely passed out on my sister’s bed in the middle of the day and slept through tons of noise.  Feeling sore and pain in various areas and messing up my words.  Just talked to an old friend and kept messing up what I was trying to say (using the wrong words, spacing out, mispronouncing things)

I think I also might be dealing with yeast issues.  I reintroduced apple cider vinegar and the next day felt like my insides were all twisted up and have been itchy all over… not fun…:(

Regardless, I’m super excited about these oils and my protocol and will be updating as I go!!!  And, as always, am trying my hardest to stay hopeful 🙂

goal-setting

More info on how essential oils can help tackle Lyme disease

Let’s Talk About Treatment Protocols

g-hlth-080403-pills-3p.grid-6x2

Oh man, the number of different things I have tried over the years (pre-Lyme diagnosis & now entering into post) to try and get myself well again.  I haven’t gone the route of taking any pharmaceuticals- but I have tried probably every single supplement in existence.  I have had people who don’t know me well comment on the number of pill bottles littering the counters before.  When my sister had Lyme she was on multiple antibiotics, medicines and supplements.  She would take upwards of 60 pills a day. Total craziness.

When I found out I had Lyme, I knew I didn’t want to do antibiotics.  I respect and believe there is a place for their use, but I know they aren’t for me.  My sister feels that the antibiotics mostly did lasting harm, and that it wasn’t until she focused on more holistic methods and emotional healing that she began to get better.  There are a lot of mixed opinions on the use of antibiotics in general, as well as the use of them to treat Lyme.  From my perspective (and I’m certainly not a doctor- this is just my opinion and hope I don’t offend anyone- and I could be totally wrong!) I see using antibiotics to treat Lyme as similar to using chemo to treat cancer.  Yes, the chemo might kill cancer cells, but it also kills everything else.  Yes, the antibiotics may kill some of the Lyme, but they also kill off a ton of good stuff and when we are already in such a weakened state, we need to hold on to all the good stuff that we can!

I am already very fragile digestive wise, and after my 10-day experience on an antibiotic for strep, there is no way I am touching antibiotics again unless I am at the end of my rope.  For me it makes more sense to try to pinpoint and address the issues that made me susceptible to Lyme in the first place.  I have a friend who has been bitten by ticks *numerous* times and he is incredibly vibrant and well.  The fact is, there can be Lyme spirochetes in the body and the individual can be perfectly healthy.  Lyme bacteria has been found in 15-million-year-old tick fossils and has likely been around for ages (though I am also a bit of conspiracy theorist and totally believe Lyme could be government created biowarfare!)-the issue now seems to be that instead of existing in harmony with it our bodies are being overtaken by it.  I think this links into suppressed immune systems caused by things such as genetic mutations, vaccinations (or the toxic ingredients in them), mold, poor diet, GMO’s, environmental toxins etc.

So, for me it is about looking at how my system is vulnerable and trying to find ways to fully support it overall as well as finding ways to kill the Lyme while doing as little damage to my body as possible.

My LLMD started me on protocol drawing from Buhner Healing Lyme– I have been on it for a little over two months now. When I first started on it, I was still living in a moldy environment so it was hard to tell if I was herxing or just reacting to the mold.  Since moving to mold-free environment (which has proven SO hard to find here in the Bay Area, ick!) I started to see improvements.  However, I was then exposed to mold in someone else’s house and experienced a major setback. Now I seem to just be maintaining.  I have ‘good days’ and bad days as always, but I now have a consistent overall sort of muted feeling- like dullness.  It is hard to describe but it hangs over me, and makes it so I feel like I am never truly living :/

The protocol I am currently on involves taking the following:

  • Red Root for Lymph Support
  • Green Dragon Botanicals LB Core Protocol (this is a blend of the herbs recommended by Buhner including Japanese Knotweed root, Cat’s Claw vine bark, Andrographis herb, Sarsaparilla root, and Dandelion herb)  These are some of the major hitters recommended for dealing with Lyme.
  • Celandine for gallbladder support
  • Detox powder and charcoal

I am also taking probiotics, magnesium, krill oil, fermented cod liver oil, methlyB-vitamins, ginger, turmeric, collagen, bee pollen/propolis, glutathione, digestive enzymes, l-glutamine and a few other things thrown in there randomly such as l-tryptophan for mood.

I know this protocol is helping, and definitely doing SOMETHING, but I don’t know MUCH of WHAT it is doing.  I don’t know if it is enough.  I don’t know how to tell if I am improving because I forget what healthy feels like- I just get used to pushing myself to function and my current state becomes my new normal.  I don’t know how long it will take.  This is all part of Lyme. There is no ‘quick-fix.’ It is a slow process, and involves a ton of patience and trial and error.  It is such a tricky thing to monitor.  Even if you have a negative test after a few months of treatment, it could easily be a false negative, or Lyme could be in hiding.  There is a lot of uncertainty.

I believe the Buhner Lyme protocol is a good one, from everything I have read.  However, I am ready to try something else, which is where essential oils come in.                                               images (1)

I have always loved essential oils for aromatherapy and cleaning but had never considered the possibility of using them for Lyme.  A few weeks back I was using some drops of peppermint essential oil in my water to soothe my stomach and I had my ‘aha!’ moment.  I thought, “If peppermint essential oil works so well and feels so powerful, perhaps there are other oils I could use..and perhaps they could work for Lyme!”

I started googling away and reading everything I could find on it.  I found that there are many different protocols using essential oils to address Lyme, and that oils such as oregano and thyme are just as powerful, if not more so, than conventional antibiotics.  I also learned that essential oils can tackle all of the co-infections, are growth inhibiting to Lyme, and can break down biofilms.  Oils such as cinnamon and cassia also work to cut off the communication pathways between the bacteria.

I told my sister about everything I was reading, and how drawn I was feeling to the essential oils.  She told me that she had a close friend who had Lyme and had gone off antibiotics and begun treating herself with oils instead and was now doing far better.  This friend also had begun working for doTERRA (a great essential oil company) after her success using the oils and so we got in touch.  She was able to link me up with some very great resources, one of which being this video:

The video is a bit long, but is a great watch and incredibly informative.  I ordered my oils and supplements and am beginning the essential oil protocol as soon as they come in the mail.

The treatment will consist of rotating three protocols and of doing 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off of ‘antibiotic’ (aka natural antibiotics) treatment.  I’ve been reading that it is essential with Lyme to change up the treatment as the bacteria are incredibly intelligent and can adapt and find ways around herbs and antibiotics- so you have to surprise them every now and again with something new.  During the two weeks off you are not taking anything to actively kill the Lyme, but rather loading up on things such as probiotics and nutrients and focusing on continuing to detox.

As I mentioned, there are varying essential oil protocols for Lyme- if you search around you can find them.  There also is a closed Facebook group called My Essential Oil Lyme Journey and you can request to be added.  On there they offer files with protocols and recommendations (it is a Christian-based page so lots of talk about God- personally I am not religious but the group is still helpful to me).

I am planning to follow the protocols recommended in the video above- you can find them outlined at 1:40 in the video.

  • The first protocol I will start with is Dr. Hill’s protocol which entails using oregano, melissa, patchouli, frankincense, cassia, clove, cinnamon internally (you put the oils into capsules together).  I will probably start at a small dose and go from there in order to avoid herxing.
  • The second protocol with involve taking doTERRA’s Gx Assist capsules which include: Oregano, melalueca, lemon, lemongrass, peppermint, and thyme oils.
  • The third protocol involves taking doTERRA’s On Guard Plus which contains:  Wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary oils

pic

I am feeling so drawn to the essential oils and really hopeful.  I have had moments of doubt though too.  This morning I was feeling unsure, but then I had a phone consult with a local doctor about IV therapy and discovered she is Lyme literate and when I told her I was going to start using essential oils to treat the Lyme she responded with positivity and enthusiasm.  She said she has had many patients use essential oil protocols for Lyme and seen amazing results.  This gave me encouragement and I am meeting with her next week to get started on my IV treatments.  My current doctor has been absolutely amazing, but I’m thinking I might be making a switch to this new doctor soon…. we’ll see!

I think a big part of treating Lyme involves getting in-tune with your body and learning to listen to and trust yourself.  That is what I am trying to do and I hope it proves to work in my favor (I have a good feeling!)

As with so many Lyme treatments, it is hard to know what will happen.  Everyone is so different and it never seems easy to find conclusive results on the success of any protocol.  I’m going out on a limb here and hoping this will greatly help my body to recover.  I will post along the way information about what I am taking as well as what I am doing diet-wise and to address the mold…and how I am feeling.  It’s sort of like I am the lab rat AND the researcher…so we’ll see!