Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Too much of a good(?) thing

So I made a bit of a mistake this past weekend with all of my supplement-taking. I've recently finished reading a maaahvelous book called Healing Lyme: Natural Healing And Prevention of Lyme Borreliosis And Its Coinfections and it had recommendations for a "Core Protocol" of supplements that were shown in various studies (that it even listed them! really, just so much love for this book) to have immunomodulatory effects and anti-spirochetal effects (ie against the blasted Lymies, my pet name for the Lyme bacteria inhabiting my body). I really do plan to give an overview of that book one day, cuz I found it VERY interesting. Anyway, of the 5-6 herbs listed in the Core section, my lovely mother was able to find 3 of them (Cat's claw, smilax, andrographis) in the local alternative food store. Of course in my excitement, I started taking all 3, all at once (at the lowest suggested dose though).  Needless to say, I was waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat and having really really fitful sleep (I wear a Fitbit (Wireless Activity/Sleep Tracker) that I got for my bday to track my sleep). I was rolling over 20-30 times a night, relative to my usual 3-4. I was also dizzy and feeling like my heart was pumping so weakly that it was going to stop sometimes....very unsettling feeling. Low blood pressure I guess.

I'm also on 3 hardcore (well let's be real, hardcore to me because I'm more of a natural remedies kind of gal) meds: Suprax (antibiotic), Doxycycline (antibiotic), and Amantadine (antiviral, anti-Lyme-cyst), so I thought maybe it was the Amantadine that I added because on the label it says to contact your doctor if you experience unusual sweating, which I had been. Probably shouldn't have started Amantadine and the supplements so close together. But I stopped all the supplements yesterday and today, and so far (at least) things have returned to the status quo of unrefreshing sleep. No more night sweats and worries of my heart not pumping!  The weird thing was that I wasn't feeling the same way I do when I don't get enough sleep; I felt sleepy, but not beaten down with a club. Maybe all the sweatiness was a Herx reaction? I didn't feel anything else Herx-y otherwise so it's hard to say. At least it's a sign that those herbs are doing *something*, even if it's just messing with my body's homeostasis. I guess I should introduce them all slowly. Sigh. But I want it all now now NOW!  :)

Otherwise, I feel like all those meds are doing *something* for the better. Not a whole lot, nothing lifestyle-altering. But I feel a little less heavy and like my movements are a little less constrained by something. I reorganized my kitchen cubby and medicine cabinet! Something I've been dying to do, oh I don't know, for the last 3 years! I'm not getting my hopes up for miracles, but I'm glad to be where I'm at in this moment, here and now!

Over and out :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

All hopped up on Lyme busting drugs

I finally got my prescription for all my medications filled after much battling with the insurance company. Although they had originally approved Zithromax through 2013, they now say they made an error because they only allow 60 days worth of pills for treating Lyme. So my doc prescribed Doxycycline instead and I am not happy about it. I have to avoid being out in the sun, right when summer is starting! If I don't, I risk some sort of toxicity from the drug and developing a painful, ugly rash that takes weeks to resolve. Sigh. I was so looking forward to sunning myself on the weekends; so little to look forward to and now even less, especially since my beaux is out of town for the next 2.5 months. Oh well, more sacrifice for the hope of getting better I guess! I started the 2nd antibiotic, Suprax, one week ago. No huge changes. And I started Amantadine tonight, though I just read that it can cause insomnia and I'm particularly sensitive to that. Oops, guess I shouldn't have taken it so late in the day :( So I'm on 3 rather hardcore meds (at least for me, who hates taking anything unnatural)...my poor liver, I don't know how it's going to handle this!

Anyway, I was searching for info on the internet on Amantadine. It's supposed to target the cystic form of Lyme (Lyme turns into a cystic form when it feels it is threatened in its environment...e.g. attacking it with antibiotics). Once it's in its cystic form symptoms appear to be resolve, but after 4-6 weeks or after the threat has disappeared the Lyme returns back to its spirochete form, symptoms return, and, well, welcome back to hell. Point is, during my search, I came across this article on treatment of Chronic Lyme on the treatment approach taken by the doctor (MD) who started the CFS clinic that I go to! It was a nice read and a summary of the plan of attack the clinic uses to treat Lyme. It's a multi-system  approach (immune system, hormones, etc), which from my experience seems to work (I've experienced slow, but steady improvement since I've been going there).

I also bought a few of the herbs in the "Core Protocol" listed in Healing Lyme: Natural Healing And Prevention of Lyme Borreliosis And Its Coinfections (the book I was raving about in this post). I am excited to start taking them! I'll give more info later :)