Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lyme Disease Awareness Spot Running On Jumbotron At Super Bowl


Those of us who are living with (and have been for many years) Lyme Disease know first hand how devastating and debilitating it is. It is also very misunderstood. So I was elated to see that ILADS, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, will be running a public service campaign next Sunday at the Super Bowl on a Jumbotron outside Lucas Oil Stadium to bring greater and much needed awareness to the misdiagnosis of Lyme Disease.

Go to the following link to find out more about the campaign: International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society/Jumbo Tron Campaign


According to Dr. Leo J. Shea III, Ph.D., President of the non-profit ILADS, "Lyme Disease is a silent epidemic in America. We want to alert and educate consumers about this disease, which is often misdiagnosed. Left untreated, it will become chronic and debilitating. Tick-borne illnesses compromise your immune system and the diagnosis, which is largely based on symptoms, can be illusive unless a physician is Lyme-literate."

Another fantastic thing that ILADS is doing is the LymeWall. Check it out; these are the true faces of Lyme Disease. And sadly, some of these precious faces belong to children. If you're reading this and didn't know that children can get Lyme Disease too, I will tell you that it can and has been passed transplacentally during pregnancy to babies. I have a friend whose youngest child contracted Lyme from her during her pregnancy. She didn't know she had it at the time. He's been a sick little fella. If that isn't a stout eye-opener; I don't know what is.

It is my desire to help bring the much due and needed awareness to this disease. I was misdiagnosed for years with MS (Multiple Sclerosis), Transverse Myelitis (likely true secondary to Lyme and/or viruses), Post-viral Demyelinating Syndrome (also likely true), CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome; which is perhaps secondary) and Chronic Mono (which is true but isn't the root; its secondary) among a few others. We found out in 2010 that I really have Chronic Lyme Disease; the true root of this illness of 18 years.

I've written before that I have wondered many times what my life would be like had we found this out sooner. But, after much contemplation and prayer, I know it is a futile pursuit that I must, and do, yield to my faith in Christ. I still have hope for healing for all of us. I still have hope for a better future.

I plan on writing more this year to bring greater awareness and understanding to Chronic Lyme Disease and it's co-infections and how profoundly it affects ones life. It's time.

So what about it my Lyme friends? Should we add our pics to the mix on the LymeWall? Maybe some of you already have. I'm contemplating it. Nevertheless, I think it's great that ILADS, Open Eye Pictures and Burgess Communications are stepping up to the plate like they are. Kudos to them! And kudos to us who keep fighting this Lyme fight daily with integrity, perseverance and guts!

Love to you all.

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Holderman

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hot Tea, Hot Compresses And Hot Ligaments: My Winter Health Update

Right now, I'm spending time focusing on what my body is most in need of. I'm more concentrated on what I can do at home to help aid this healing process. It is truly a full time job. And while I've been doing many of these for a number of years, focusing on them more makes me realize just how helpful they really are. Call it intentional focusing.

Here's what I find the most beneficial and even necessary in many regards:
  • Warm castor oil compresses on my liver (and sometimes spleen)
  • Epsom Salt and aromatherapy baths
  • Dry skin brushing
  • Stretching 
  • Standing; bearing weight
  • Bouncing on my physio or Swiss ball to help with lymph movement
  • Deep breathing exercises 
  • Eating whole, healthy organic foods (always)
  • Healthy alkaline smoothies and juices
  • Resting as often as needed throughout the day (there's usually no other choice)
  • Drinking hot teas (Green, Lemon, Ginger, Pu erh, Tulsi, Gotu Kola, etc.)
  • Drinking a lot of pure water
  • Spending time outside in sunshine and fresh air
  • Listening to soothing music
  • Praying and meditating on God's Word 

Naturopathic Medicine, Homeopathic Medicine, Chiropractic, Massage Therapy and other bodywork (Crainosacral Therapy, Myofascial Release and Reflexology) are vital aspects of my health regimen. Yet I believe what I do everyday at home is equally as vital. I know it is.

DOCTORS UPDATE:

I did come home with some new information from my last doctor's appointment over a week ago.

After a solid year of treatment, Lyme is still in my body. And it's still in my nervous system. We all know when Lyme is in the body chronically; it goes everywhere - organs, tissues, cells. It respects no boundary. As a friend of mine says, "It's a wicked stealth bacteria." For those who have regularly followed my blog, you know I've been breaking since last September from my Lyme treatment. Specifically, the part of treatment targeted at the strains of Borrelia as well as some co-infections. However, when Dr. P muscle tests me about going back on that part of the treatment protocol; my body emphatically says no. My biggest question regarding this is why? If the Lyme is still in my body, then why doesn't it want more of the Lyme treatment?

She believes this indicates that part of the treatment has done its job of pulling out Lyme particles from deep within my cells, tissues and organs and brought them to the forefront. And now we must support my immune system so it can do its job of cleaning it up; if you will.

Enter new immune support, MycoSurge (a liquid blend of 12 immune modulating mushrooms). I've only been on it a week so far but I'm really excited about seeing how it will help my immune function. We'll see how it goes.

On another note, Dr. P is still concerned about my liver. This is based on labs, muscle-testing and my symptoms. She believes the Lyme has damaged the nerves that feed my liver. I feel viruses are also playing a role in assaulting my liver cells; namely Epstein-Barr and CMV. She believes having a healthy, optimal functioning liver means better health overall. And I agree. This is a major focus for us. We're also using MycoSurge as a new liver support as well.

Still seeing my chiropractor, too. We had to stop the visceral adjustments; they were way too much for me. My liver couldn't keep up with the load of toxins being dumped after each adjustment. So Dr. R tried a new, less invasive technique right before Christmas - The Logan Technique. I had never heard of it. Basically, he holds light pressure for several minutes on the Sacrotuberous ligament, which is located at the back of the pelvis on each side. Literally, they run right up each buttock. These ligaments anchor the sacrum to the bones of the pelvis. As I understand it, this technique is said to realign the pelvis and reduce tension on the spine. This relaxes muscles of the low back and pelvis and balances the spine itself, which would have an affect on the peripheral nervous system and influence the organs those nerves feed. Let me say this: something happened after the first time he did this that was shocking and pleasantly unexpected by me.

I had a contracture in my right knee several years that took me a long, painful time to work through in physical therapy. It's 85-90 percent better. No one would probably notice it at first but I cannot straighten my right leg completely. To put it another way, my right leg is a little shorter than my left.

After Dr. R did this Logan Technique, I came home and laid down to rest and noticed my right knee felt really weird. I mean something felt very odd. And then it hit me; the back of my right knee was touching the bed. That hasn't happened in years. My leg was completely straight! In all honesty, it felt too long. Like out of proportion long. Normal is weird when you've not had it in a very long time.

Unfortunately, it didn't stay that way. After a day and a half; it went back to the way it was. But how amazing that I was able to straighten my leg completely after all these years, if only for a couple days!!! And after only one treatment! Very profound. My right hamstring has been aching off/on a great deal since. I view this as positive. Like we are awakening things or restimulating them. Stay tuned for more on this. If that happened after only one treatment; what might happen after several more?

I haven't been back to my chiropractor yet but I'm anxious to tell him what took place and excited to see what will happen after another treatment. I hope and pray my leg will straighten permanently. This is one of the most exciting things that's happened to me physically in awhile.

As far as how I'm feeling goes...
  1. I don't feel quite as inflamed since being on the Lyme protocol. Despite eating a healthy, whole organic diet for many years, despite being on antivirals and every known supplement to man, inflammation was still such a major issue for me until I started on a treatment for Lyme. Truly, Lyme is an inflammatory disease. 
  2. I'm not running fevers as frequently. 
  3. Fatigue is always present on some level but I must say; overall it is more moderate in intensity as compared to the many years of severe and debilitating fatigue I've endured. That is definitely a blessing beyond words!! I still have days that I have to contend with the deeper, debilitating fatigue but it's not a daily occurrence now. I often wonder how I ever survived when it was? I can actually take a shower and not be totally wiped out. I can make my own smoothies and juice. Small steps.
  4. I do believe Cataplex B (Standard Process) is helping my energy too. And I can tell it is helping to better support my nervous system as I've had a decrease in burning, numbness and tingling since being on it. Good stuff.
  5. My liver is still problematic. Spleen is somewhat better but because it and the liver share common blood vessels; one often affects the other. There are times my liver seems to be functioning better and other times; I can tell it is very sluggish and congested. Sometimes, it just aches as does my spleen. However, the warm castor oil compresses help very much. In fact, the constant puffiness over the front of my liver has gone down since doing the compresses. And my body had actually formed visible blood vessels there, the big puffy kind, which Dr. P was really concerned about. GONE. The only thing I've done differently is the castor oil compresses. She told me to continue doing them indefinitely.
  6. I still have days I don't feel well at all. I sill get wiped out at times. But I'm so thankful I'm not running fevers as often and that I'm having some better energy. Hallelujah! Or as Tyler Perry says, "Hallelujer!"
Any positive, lasting change is very encouraging after so many years of ups and downs, trial and error, crashed expectations, disappointments, misdiagnosis, etc, etc, etc.

I We could write a novel, huh?

Lyme disease is deeply taxing in every way. It requires perseverance. It requires resources. It requires a support system. And, in my opinion, it requires supernatural help from the Lord.

I will overcome this.

I will beat chronic Lyme disease with continued perseverance and especially with God's help.

I will. Watch me.

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Holderman