I’m now a couple of weeks into my new Lyme treatment. I mentioned previously that the CDC protocol treatment did not work for me. That protocol is roughly three weeks of doxycycline. It can work for those who start taking it immediately after a tick bite. It has pretty much no chance of working for anyone who has had Lyme for longer. When, like me, you have no idea how long you’ve had Lyme for, it’s all trial and error.
I am now on a higher dose of doxy for a longer period of time. Antibiotics attempt to kill the Lyme. It is a tall order. The Lyme gets into different body systems and is really good at both preserving itself, and breaking down the defenses of its host (hey, that’s me!). So my body is weak, I am deficient in important nutrients, and now I’m taking pills with a License to Kill (Lyme). This means that supportive treatment is really important to combine with antibiotics. We need to kill the Lyme and build up the body at the same time. What does that look like? This:
A LOT of pills. With a couple of new additions this week (prompted by blood test results), I have crossed a milestone – 30 pills per day. 31, to be exact. Of course lots of these items can’t be taken at the same time as others, and need to be taken with food, or can’t be taken with certain food (dear cheese, I miss you) – hence the white board schedule. I also keep a notebook so that I can check off each item as I go and have a record if I missed anything. I also keep some keywords about symptoms I have to track progress/reactions.
Lyme is such a humdinger to kill that additional antibiotics are used to bust open its hiding places, making it more vulnerable to the License to Kill antibiotics. I’m on some of those too.
Along with the usual drug side effects, there are Herxheimer reactions to contend with. “Herxing,” as it’s known in the secret Lymie club, is when you feel worse during treatment – thanks to the die-off of the infection and released toxins. My wife always wants to call herxes horcruxes (20 points to Gryffindor), and I gotta say, I see the similarities – Doom! Gloom! Herxing can be rough, but it in a way, it hurts so good because it means SOMETHING IS HAPPENING. Die, bugs, die!
So it’s a lot going on in one body. I am but a wee 5’3”! Do I even have room for all these pills?? And sometimes my stomach’s inner monologue is, “WTF dghkgjlkdjgsdlfhkdhf?!?!” But with each notebook check mark, each giant pill gulped, I can feel like I’m taking steps in the right direction. Get better, get better, get better…