Posted on Nov 11, 2009 in Blog |
Today, my mom came with me to my appointment with the physician treating my Lyme disease. Mom is a stroke survivor; it is not easy for her to get around. I explained to Dr. M that I will probably bring a different family member each time because he (Dr. M) has become a star in my clan. Everyone wants to meet the man who gave me hope; the man I trust with my life.
“Do you feel anxious when you go these appointments with Dr. M?” a friend asked.
“Oh no,” I replied. “I get stoked! I know that all of my questions will be answered honestly and frankly. I get pumped up because I know we are going to work on the next plan of attack; the next phase of my treatment protocol.”
True to form, I left Dr. M’s office today totally excited, relieved, comforted that all my questions were answered. Of course, the B12 shot I got might have added to my temporary “high.”
So what did I learn today?
I learned that Dr. M can find the exact place in my DNA strand that has the Bartonella infection and that I have a minimum of two types of Bartonella infection. I have been one antibiotic and in another week, will add another medication to battle the Bartonella. After a few months, I will get another medication. By that time, we will know what other infections of Lyme disease that I do or don’t have and will start treating them respectively.
I learned that yes, indeed, I can herx from just 100 mg of Minocycline AND that it is not unusual to develop new symptoms while herxing.
Herxing? What’s that you ask? Short definition: it is the reaction one’s body has to a large dosage of antibiotics, usually an increase in painful symptoms. For me, I had increased joint pain and loss of flexibility, increased headaches, twitching, cramping, and muscle pain. I also developed new symptoms.
So why would a person be GLAD that she is herxing? Because it means that the meds are killing those damn bacteria. It means the infection is dying; slowly, but surely. Can you see the mischevious grin on my face growing to the size of the Cheshire cat?
I learned that my level of Arsenic is VERY high. No, no one is trying to kill me. But Dr. M knew that I eat a lot of chicken. Wild new fact I learned today: most major poultry producers add an arsenic compound known as roxarsone to their chicken feed. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/25/AR2009062503381.html).
I learned that I am going to be purchasing only organic chickens from now on. We already buy a cow (organic) each year for our beef supply. Now, we will add chicken to that.
I learned that my Vitamin D level is so low that it will take nine months to get it back up to acceptable levels. I thought Dr. M had said 5,000 units low; he corrected me, “Five hundred thousand units, not five thousand.” Gulp. But, it’s manageable, treatable, curable.
I learned that my C Reactive Protein level is high. We’re dealing with that.
I learned that my Vitamin B12 is very low, earning me the privilege of monthly B12 shots until it gets up to where it needs to be. For those of you who have never had a B12 shot . . . . you know the phrase, “it will give you a real shot in the arm”? B12 shots give me energy, energy, energy. Imagine you have had mononucleosis for three years and someone gives you a single shot and you feel NORMAL, active, energetic, your old self, for 24 hours. It’s a gift.
I learned that my cortisol levels are definitely high and definitely need to be lowered. This is where those new vocabulary words and phrases come to me: reduce stress, rest, nap, laugh, sleep, meditate, pray, accept. I went to a lecture a few weeks ago where a Lymie uttered just a few words: “Don’t put work first. If you do, in another year, you won’t be able to work. Take naps, rest, listen to your doctor and follow his instructions.” It was evident she had not followed her own advice and had paid a dear price. Her words were slurred, shoulders drooped, she was very sick.
Ok, back to today’s appointment.
Dr. M has a great sense of humor. Initially, he is calming, softspoken. But I was able to make him laugh on two occasions:
My medication alarm started ringing on my iPhone, remember the tune? Put the Lime in the Coconut.
“My son uses that song on his phone so he knows that I am calling from the office.” We chuckled.
“Well, I use it for my medication alarms.” He tilted his head to one side, quizzical.
“Yep,” I assured him. “Every time it rings in my office, everyone smiles and says, “Sharon, it’s Lyme medicine time!” He outright laughed. He definitely liked that one.
Dr. M told me to drink a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before dinner each evening.
“Yuck!! Can I take just the apple cider part?”
Again, the cocked head, wondering if I was serious.
“Ok, tell me again why I am taking it?” I requested. He explained it to me, and yes, I know it makes sense and it’s a good thing to do. so I acquiesced and told him, “I just want you to know that everyday, when I drink my tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, I will lift the spoon and say, ‘this one’s for you, Dr. M.’” He laughed again. I think he doesn’t know what to do with me sometimes. I’ll have to remember to tell him he is not alone in that . . . . .
Dr. M told me so much more that my brain has still not soaked in.
We have very clear test results that leave little room for guessing.
Dr. M has a plan of action to kill these buggers.
Dr. M is going to be there for me 100% of the way.
Dr. M gives me his artistic genius in figuring out my protocol.
Dr. M gives me compassion
Dr. M gives me honest, frank answers to every single question.
Dr. M reassures me that my symptoms WILL go away.
Dr. M gives me hope, genuine hope that my life is going to get better.
And Dr. M and I agree wholeheartedly that patient empowerment is a key element in the success of my treatment protocol. I KNOW that I am Dr. M’s partner in curing my disease.
I have said it before and I say it again, Dr. M has saved me. I trust him with my life. And I pray every day that God will continue to inspire Dr. M, maintain his healing powers, keep him strong, and keep him happy, surrounded by love.
More tomorrow . . . It’s almost midnight and I am still excited, but absolutely exhausted.