Treatment updates: DesBio series for EBV and how intense treatment for systemic candida/yeast is a necessary evil.
Allow me to introduce you to something that I promise will relate to this post in just a minute. This is the Alpengeist:
The Alpengeist is my favorite roller coaster of all-time. Now, I haven't ridden the Alpengeist since the summer of 2000, but during that trip to Busch Gardens in Virginia, shortly after the Alpengeist first opened, I'm pretty sure my dad and I rode it at least 5 times. At one point in time, the Alpengeist held the title of the world's tallest inverted roller coaster, with its first loop being a 106-foot vertical loop and then including 5 other inversions (loops, corkscrews, and the like). I have no idea if it still holds that title with all the new coasters that have come about in the past 14 years, but the Alpengeist will forever be my favorite because it was an exhiliratingly smooth breakneck speed ride (and, okay, it has the nostalgia factor going for it, big time). That was back when I loved roller coasters. That was back when I could ride roller coasters. (That was back when I could ride across town in a car without feeling sick, but I digress).
For another quick introduction (that is still leading to a point, I promise), this is Deja Vu:
I have never ridden Deja Vu. Deja Vu resides at Six Flags, although I'm not sure which location, and was chosen to be a part of this post for a few reasons:
I'll admit, the roller coaster ride that is Lyme & Co's is nowhere near as fun as the Alpengeist was all those years ago. Honestly, you'd be hard pressed to find any Lyme warrior who thinks this roller coaster is particularly enjoyable, because it's definitely not. It's a constant cycle of ups and downs, emotionally, phsycially, spiritually, socially. After a while, yeah, you learn to accept the cyclical unpredictability as reality, but that doesn't necessarily make it any easier to deal with it.
As with roller coasters, I've noticed some of the hardest times I have (the lowest drops in the coaster of life with Lyme) tend to come after the higher points, just when you think you're gonna be able to coast on the track for a while, and I know many other Lyme fighters will tell you the same.
For instance, I am officially halfway finished with my second round of my EBV treatment. The entire first round (February through May) I herxed majorly for a few days with every single dose (I was, and still am, on a 5-day dose schedule). I'm talking in bed, unable to move/eat/drink, crawling to/being carried to the bathroom, then back in bed to repeat the process in a few hours, and that was with every dose of the first round of treatment. Then I'd have a couple decent days before I took my next dose.
This second round of EBV treatment has been much easier as far as the herxing goes. With the exception of the first 2 doses (I've now had 10 of the 20 in this round--still doing half-doses), I honestly haven't noticed much EBV-specific herxing at all (ie. debilitating fatigue/weakness, zero appetite, no strength to even open my eyes). That's not to say I haven't had those symptoms on flare days, because those all fall under the umbrella of symptoms of Lyme and multiple co-infections, but the days on which I've had the symptoms seem to have no direct correlation to the EBV treatment doses. Which is great news because it means we're getting closer to finishing this EBV treatment and moving onto the next culprit.
Naturally, we've been really excited with what we think is marked improvement on the EBV side of things. You could even say I've been enjoying the view from one of the smaller hilltops on the roller coaster. Or at least I was until a few weeks ago, when I started what will end up being at least a 30-day course of diflucan to treat this systemic candida/yeast issue I've mentioned a lot the past few months. I'll say this much: detoxing from yeast is no joke.
I thought I knew a little bit about how bad yeast detox can be after I had my first detox reactions when experimenting with the super strict anti-candida diet a few months ago, but I had no idea how intense yeast-related herxing can be. I took 6 days of the diflucan, and during those 6 days I not only experienced herxes that rivaled the EBV herxes as far as the fatigure/weakness/lack of energy goes, but I also had a resurgence of the constant severe abdominal pain I haven't had for several months, persistent nausea that no amount of detoxing (burbur, coffee enemas, activated charcoal, or anything else) could help, and that overall toxic, my-muscles-feel-like-they're-infused-with-lead feeling. Zero fun sir.
But here's the thing: if you have an issue with systemic yeast, like so many of us with Lyme & Co's do, you HAVE to treat the yeast issue if you want any of the specific treatment for Lyme & Co's to be successful. It doesn't matter how many different treatment protocols you do for Lyme & Co's, if yeast overgrowth is an underlying issue for you, you'll miss out on a significant degree of healing/improvement/restoration of health until that is addressed. To avoid making this any longer than it already is, you can read a more in-depth description of yeast (and specifically, the anti-candida diet, although I'm really linking it because of the general info about yeast overgrowth) here.
So even though yeast detox and herxing is BRUTAL ("with a capital [B] and that rhymes with P and that stands for Pool"....yes, I know the first letter in the actual lyric is T, hence my brackets, but if you've read my posts before you know I tend to insert lyrics/adapted lyrics in the middle of a sentence at least every other entry I post), I'm still going through with it. God is going to heal me, as I've said before, and I still have no doubt about that, but I know He led me to my doctor (who I've mentioned is a man of strong faith), and I know He's using my doctor to help facilitate my healing process, so I'm going to continue doing everything I can to follow the plans my doctor and I have discussed and decided are the best courses of action.
And right now, that means finishing up round two of this EBV treatment and completing the remaining 24 days of diflucan (I took a break for a couple weeks because we had a couple appointments on the calendar that weren't able to be rescheduled) to treat this annoyingly persistent yeast problem, regardless of how bad I may feel while doing so. Most of you with Lyme totally understand the whole "you're gonna feel worse before you feel better" phenomenon, so you know where I'm coming from, and you know there's a lot of truth in that statement.
But I like the definitiveness of the phrase "before you feel better"--it reaffirms, in my mind, that we all will feel better, eventually. We just have to stay on the roller coaster till the ride's over.