First off, Happy Valentine's Day! I hope everyone is tolerating this full moon as well as can be, and hoping that some may be having an unexpected good day! Or even an expected good day, because let's be real, sometimes expecting good things--and then having them happen--is sweeter than the gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free candy we Lymies can eat! ;-) But in all seriousness, I know some people enjoy Valentine's Day and others aren't such big fans, but I hope for every single one of you there is at least one thing that brings a smile to your face today.
I realized a couple weeks ago that I never actually posted an in-depth update about my first appointment with my new doctor--who is an absolute Godsend--after aforementioned appointment in December. Sorry about that. In the interest of not making this a doubly-long post, I'll just say this: I have never felt as confident with any doctor I've had in my entire life as I do with this doctor. He's truly brilliant, a wonderful man of God (who prays at the end of every appointment), cares genuinely about each and every patient he has (that first appointment was 4.5 hours long!), and I have zero doubt that we are finally in the right place and that God is going to restore my health 100% through the hands of this doctor.
That being said, after that first appointment 2 months ago, we didn't immediately start treatment. Instead, we had several tests sent off that I hadn't had before (believe it or not!), and we re-worked my supplements/added new supplements and started me on a 28-day detox that was one of the single best things I've ever done as far as improving my cognitive function--I can actually hold conversations a lot of the time, now, and I lose my train of thought/say the wrong words/phrases much less frequently! I mean, I did call my pillow a "pillendar" last night and not realize it till after the fact--and I have no idea where "pillendar" came from--but at least it was funny. ;-)
Anyway, I had my second appointment (well, technically my third because we had a 45-minute phone consult mid-January to address some concerns I had) on Tuesday, February 11th, and it was every bit as encouraging as the first. Mainly because....drumroll please....we are starting treatment!
We found out that in addition to Lyme I also have chronic, active Epstein-Barr virus infection as well as mycoplasma pneumonia. My doc also strongly believes Bartonella is at play, even though the test didn't come back positive (we all know how "reliable" the tests are), so as of now I also have a clinical diagnosis for that. That means there are currently 4 known "heavy-hitters" as far as illnesses we know we'll be treating long-term.
We're attacking the EBV first, because it will be the "easiest" of the 4 to eradicate--and will also probably be the shortest course of treatment, averaging around 6 months. Then we'll tackle the others one at a time, with Lyme most likely being the last target. Kind of like taking care of smaller student loans before you pay off progressively bigger ones. Get the front lines taken care of so you can go after the big guns. Similes and metaphors, yeah!
The treatment method we're using is outside the box as far as standard methods go, even among chronic Lyme & co believers, but I truly have complete faith that this is the right treatment for me. I know long-term antibiotics, oral or IV or both, are the paths many choose to take, and I believe that's the right course for some people, but I couldn't even tolerate and make it through 30 days of doxycycline several months ago so I don't believe antibiotics are the right choice for me.
We're going to be treating each infection with Series Therapy formulas from Deseret Biologicals. Basically the idea behind this (DesBio, for short) is the same principle as receiving a flu vaccine. For years (likely 20 years or so for some infections), my body has had these different viruses and bacteria taking up residence in every tissue and organ that exists. With the years of super-strong IV, injectable, and oral medications to treat what we used to think was just JIA, as well as the many other prescriptions I've been on (the list is embarrassingly long, as is the case for most of us), my immune system became suppressed so much that it doesn't recognize any of these bacterial/viral organisms as foreign invaders, meaning it's unable to attack and fight them off and heal itself right now. With the DesBio Series Therapy, I will actually be drinking vials every 3 days that contain varying doses of the actual disease itself. It sounds scary, but basically the thought is that by introducing [disease X] into my system in pulsed, concentrated doses, my body will actually start to recognize the bacteria/virus as something bad that needs to be attacked. And once it starts to realize that, it will go after all the bacterial/viral organisms of that type that have built up in my body through the years. Meaning my body, itself, will be doing the killing of the organisms. Which is just super cool to me, and which will spare my super-sensitive system to some of the intolerable damage/side effects I know I, personally, would get with long-term antibiotics, just based on the few weeks I tried doxy in the fall.
So Wednesday night I took my first vial of the DesBio EBV series (I'm actually starting out at half doses for the first couple weeks, so I just took half of the first vial and will take the second half tomorrow, Saturday), and I'm eager to continue. This type of treatment is long-term and causes herxes just like antibiotics or some herbals do, so in that way the process is very much the same, but I have complete confidence God is going to use this as the method that will bring deliverance from disease and restoration of health, happiness, and LIFE!
If you took the time to read all that, you deserve a medal! And, as always, whether your battle is Lyme & co's or something completely unrelated (because we all have battles of some kind), know that healing, deliverance, and hope are always within reach, even when things seem impossibly hard.
And this modern-day version of the hymn "Just as I Am" with the added chorus by Travis Cottrell sums it up perfectly and always gets my mind in a place of comfort, encouragement, and hope. Give it a listen.
"I come broken, to be mended, I come wounded to be healed. I come desperate to be rescued, I come empty to be filled. I come guilty to be pardoned by the blood of Christ the Lamb. And I'm welcomed with open arms, praise God, just as I am."