I’ve been a little quiet the past few weeks, I know, but I can assure you that there’s not been too terribly much happening. You’ve not missed much! I figured there was no sense in me trying to conjure up some words to say just for the heck of it. There’s still not a ton to say, but I decided I’d go ahead and give a quick update on what I’m doing.
When I was diagnosed with Lyme and Co., I was sent home with five different herbal tinctures. I was told to start each one at a quarter dose and work my way up to a full dose over the course of several days before adding in the next one, because apparently they’re quite potent. Three of them were to clear my body’s detox pathways, specifically those in my liver and gallbladder, lymphatic system, and bladder. It is important to have optimally-functioning detox pathways, even when you’re healthy. It is especially important for those of us who are healing, and even more so for those of us who are genetically predisposed to less-than-optimal elimination of toxins. I have an MTHFR (short for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, not the naughty word I know you thought of first!) gene mutation. I’m not going to try and explain it like I know what I’m talking about, but long story short, it means that I don’t eliminate toxins as efficiently as I should. I’ll talk a little bit more about why this is problematic below.
The fourth tincture is to combat Babesia, which the doctor believes to be causing me more problems than the Lyme! Babesia, a cousin of Malaria, is the bug responsible for those drenching night sweats and never-ending air hunger. It’s the reason why, if you could listen to me right now, you’d hear me gasping for air as though I’d just ran a race, despite the fact that I’m just sitting on the couch beside Kona.
The fifth tincture is to combat the Lyme itself. I’m still working up to the full dosage on this one, and truthfully, I’m a little bit scared. I was told to start with just one drop at a time, because it is known to cause some pretty severe Herxheimer reactions. I guess this would be a good time to explain what a Herxheimer reaction is, since they may be a large part of my life for the next few years.
A Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction, more commonly known as a “herx” or “die-off reaction”, is the result of the death of the offending pathogens. As the little buggers die, they release neurotoxins in one final, desperate attempt to make my life suck. They do a pretty good job. This is why it is so important to have clear, functional detoxification pathways. A backup of neurotoxins in your system is every bit as fun as it sounds. Normally, a herx is an exacerbation of already-existing symptoms. Here’s a real-life example:
My sleep patterns have been weird for years now. Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep. Sometimes I wake up 2-3 times a night. Sometimes I can’t fall back to sleep after waking up. And sometimes, I fall asleep and stay asleep until Hubs calls me at 11 AM asking if I’m alive. When I started the tincture to treat Babesia, I was in my favorite part of that cycle, the part where I fall asleep and stay asleep. Taking my very first quarter-dose of the stuff, I basically threw my sleep schedule in the garbage. I woke up five or six times that very first night, and last night was the first night since I began taking it that I fell asleep before 1 AM (hooray!). So you get the idea: an exacerbation of previously-existing symptoms. Keep in mind, that is just one symptom. Imagine this happening with each of the 100+ symptoms that Lymies deal with daily. Eek! This is why LLMDs often warn patients that they will most likely get worse before they get better.
Now that y’all know what a herx is, you know why I’m scared of the Lyme-treating tincture! I knew long before the doctor told me that if I did indeed have Lyme, I’d get worse before I got better. I expected it. But now here I am at the starting line, and it’s starting to hit me that this isn’t going to be a quick sprint. It’s going to be a long, hilly, non-linear marathon. The reality is setting in that I am about to (most likely) get much, much sicker in hopes that I’ll one day be well. That is a scary, overwhelming thought.
I’ve come to understand over the past two years, though, that it does not serve me to sit and fret and worry over what may come. So although I know that I may very well be on the verge of getting majorly sick, today I feel well, and I am choosing to enjoy that instead of wasting my precious spoons on worry.
Hubs and I are hosting family back-to-back for the next few weeks, so I can say with almost 100% certainty that my writing schedule will be thrown off. If I don’t post much, don’t worry! I’ve not given up on blogging or dropped off the face of the earth…Just soaking in all the family fun and lovin’ that I can!
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