Hi my name is Jennifer, and I am not sure how long I have had Lyme because my and my family’s health history is rather complicated;
In 1990 when I was 11 and my sister was 9 we moved into a house on 5 acre property, it was a dream to have lots of animals and acreage. There were some great memories living there, but it ended up being a disaster. I cannot remember the time frames of everything but I will just do a quick overview. After a time our family started having various health issues ranging from chronic fatigue, depression and asthma to chronic sinus infections and a lot of other stuff. It took years but we eventually discovered that there were 13 different kinds of mold growing in the house including black mold. Also we were on a well and we discovered that there was suspected chemical dumping in the ground.
In 1996 after being nearly bankrupted by medical bills and with my mom going through chemo, my parents sold the house as a tear down.
Fast forward, (there were a lot of years in between and too much to go into) although some health issues got better after leaving the moldy house there were a lot that still lingered. Personally I had a two year period around 2003-2005 where I cleaned up my diet got in shape and was doing fairly ok. I don’t think I realized at the time that some cognitive things I dealt with and other health things weren’t normal, it was just “me”, because I was functioning at what I would consider to be a normal level. But right at the end of 2005 I had a period of stress and started having a lot more GI issues. A lot tumbled downhill after that; systemic inflammation, food intolerances, fatigue, brain fog (insert lots of Lymie symptoms here). I did the usual rounds with the doctors, was told a lot of different things, I had IBS, fibromyalgia……nothing at all. I had tests and blood work and MD’s never found anything.
I Finally found a doctor in 2010 that did muscle testing and nutritional therapy that was able to help me with a lot that was going on by supporting organ functions and detox pathways, etc. After two years with her my experience is that she gave me a lot of help where I feel I might have literally died without her intervention, and yet in some ways treating my body was like her trying to patch holes in a leaky boat that kept springing new leaks. During my care with her she also ran a lot of blood work and tests revealing things like Leaky Gut, MTHFR defect, high PM cortisol, etc. My doctor had been concluding that we were probably dealing with an autoimmune disease and sent me to an LLMD in Seattle. (I must note that my sister was also on a parallel journey with me). Long story short got diagnosed with Lyme and went through two years of treatment with antibiotics and herbal antibiotics. At the end of 2012 during the beginning of die off I was bedridden for 3 months and this was probably the darkest period of my life.
I would have to say that with initial treatment I got maybe 50%-60% better and really had a very sharp LLMD that also understood treating Candida and all the other stuff that was going on. That said I had a lot of symptoms that just wouldn’t go away and still wasn’t really living due to fatigue, body pain, neurological issues and other things. I have kept hitting brick walls over these long years with treatment.
I heard about Dr Smith late last year from a dear friend who is also a chronic Lyme sufferer and was in a worse place than me with her health. She had also been treated by a Seattle LLMD although a different one than myself and was not doing well. She went to go see Dr Smith late 2013 and has had nothing less than miraculous results. By chance (providence) I met several other mutual friends online who had also seen Dr Smith and were getting better.
I went for my first appointment with Dr Smith June 30th 2014 and had Lyme treatment in consecutive days. Despite the fact that I had been receiving treatment for 2 years Dr Smith found Borrelia, Bartonella, Babesia, Lyme virus A, Lyme virus B, a liver virus and parasites. There was both some shock and relief in the diagnosis because in my head I had thought I must be mostly over the Lyme, but I knew I was stil struggling so something must be wrong, and I had wondered “what now?”
Week 2-3 post treatment were the worst with the die off with chest pain and hard heartbeat, vertigo, mini seizures, panic attacks, severe brain fog and confusion, worse systemic inflammation… Toward the end of week 5 things started to ease up and I felt back to my normal sick self. Almost 2 months later I went back for a second appointment with Dr Smith on August 25th for some “touch ups” due to some kidney and liver problems, he ended up finding a few viral infections. Literally the next day after treatment I already felt better.
As of today September 27th 2014 I am approaching 3 months post treatment and I am doing pretty well. My mind is clearer than it has ever been to my recollection, I am not dealing with the brain fog, dyslexia, word recollection problems, etc. My energy is immensely improved and I have been getting on my bike a few times a week. I also went to my first yoga class in years and made it about 2/3 of the way through before surrendering to Child’s Pose. I have also been back to the gym a couple times and done 20 minute sessions on the elliptical. These are all huge steps compared to what my activity level has been for years. Also I have been more social and seeing my friends again.
I have a little ways to go with all this but I am hopeful that I may in the near future have good health for the first time in my adult life.
It is too much to go into but my sister is also in treatment with Dr Smith and both my parents will start their Lyme treatment with Dr Smith in October 2014 (yes all four of us!) having been diagnosed by Dr Smith as having Lyme during my first visit to Idaho.