Another update from the trenches! I swear, I do have somewhat cheerier posts in the works that I’d very much like to share here, but lately the most negative bits of life with Lyme have been running the show.
Since resuming oral antibiotics a few weeks ago, I have been on a roller coaster of flaring symptoms. First came that all too familiar ice pick headache and the usual fatigue. Next, another blast from my Lyme past – flu-like full body aches! These were a staple of my early Lyme days, but I’d been without them for months. I am now on my 20th consecutive day of aching all over. These aches gradually increase in intensity throughout the day, until I feel I can hardly move at night. My new vitamin regimen, which helped assuage my neuropathy (nerve pain) in the right side of my body, evidently holds no candle to the mayhem-wreaking power of antibiotics. The familiar buzzing pain throughout my right side as returned with a vengeance. Joint pain in my wrist – now making even adult coloring books too strenuous. An anxiety flare that kept me in bed for an entire day, feeling like my heart would burst from chest, and unable to keep from sobbing until I wore myself out and fell asleep? CHECK. Returning brain fog, robbing my ability for small talk, leaving me staring blankly at people talking to me? Check. Fatigue that makes naps once again a daily necessity? Check.
So, yeah, it’s been real. To be fair, there have been one or two days that I’ve felt okayish-good.
In the midst of this shitshow of horribleness, I contacted just my doctor, just to say, “Hey, I know I’m not dying, but is sure feels like I am! FYI! Have a nice day!” She was kind enough to call me up for a chat and review all the gory details of what I was in the throes of. She said, “Okay, this sounds like CLASSIC bartonella. Are you okay now? Good. Because it sounds like these meds are really doing something for you, and that’s good.”
I know that may not sound very helpful. But I always suspected from the beginning of this whole Lyme mess that one of the co-infections I had was bartonella, simply based on its most common symptoms. The available blood tests for co-infections are basically garbage, so in many cases, patients don’t find out which co’s they have until a treatment that is often used for a particular co-infection seems to help them. It’s more of the usual trial and error Lyme treatment game. So honestly, just the glimmer of possibility that I am on a good combo of drugs that are killing something awful that’s still alive in me is pretty comforting.
Oh but wait – I entitled this post about herxing. So basically, I’ve been on a long and winding herxheimer reaction since starting these drugs. That’s what everything above boils down to. And it’s still happening. Everything hurts all of the time, and hopefully soon it won’t. It’s making me kind of crazy, but I am hanging in. The end.