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Wild Dingo | writer | designer | storyteller

Once upon a time, there was a boy who married a girl who worked for herself. This was an attractive feature to the boy as he was a bit older than girl. It meant that he could potentially retire early on her income. It was a good plan. Even the girl thought so because she enjoyed her work.  Then the universe had a full-belly laugh. The girl got gravely sick and retired early. Not knowing what to do next, the boy and girl moved to Switzerland for a few years, because that’s what people do when they are too young to retire but too sick to work. Oh, readers! There’s only so many sentences I can write about myself in the third person. Self-narratives can be healthy up to a point. Then it’s just creepy.

When I decided to return to work, I knew I would have to overhaul this blog. It once served as my business contact and it will again. But coming back from Lyme disease is a bit like waking up from a coma. With the brain fog now clear, information that I haven’t been able to process in the last 5 years is suddenly flowing into my brain faster than I can deal with it. This can be quite uncomfortable, as waking up from Lyme disease is a bit of an ego-rebirth. Who are you now? What do you want to do?  How are you going to do it?  Why do you want to do it? These questions can be difficult to address, especially in this ever-increasing savagery of the political environment. Let me tell you readers, there is never “going back” to a life after Lyme disease.  You only go forward. You change. Change is hard.

One of the things I discovered as I embarked on my web redesign is that I don’t want to return to my old job as it would definitely not be as challenging. Instead I took a step back and enrolled in courses that interest me and have been in school ever since. I don’t know how long I’ll be in school but I have taken on some fun ghost writing projects in the mean time and we’ll see how it goes from there. All that anxiety of who I am after Lyme disease suddenly disappears when I’m in school. To me, learning environments are nurturing. School is always a good place to begin your self-discovery. It’s especially a great place to escape the unabashed cruelty of politics.

Change is not just difficult for the individual, but also difficult for those around her. Much to his chagrin, Mr. Wild Dingo had to embrace giving up four-course dinners and entertainment to support my ego growth spurt. I found my old “business” license plate in the shop attic. I dusted it off and propped it up in the office which gave Mr. Wild Dingo a big smile. Maybe he won’t get fancy dinners, but at least he’ll have an income to support his European wine habit in retirement. Now that’s something to smile about.

It’s Just Biology

First, a few weeks ago, Mr. Wild Dingo had the good fortune of getting to pull out an 18″ tape worm from Loki’s butt. It was stuck and Loki begged Mr. Wild Dingo to help him get it out. Yup, this is the glamorous life, Internet!  So both he and Juno got de-wormed. Where he got the tapeworm, is beyond me as we’re fastidious about both of their health. The cracker does bite at flies, he drinks out of creeks and we had an overly-wet winter season leaving lots of standing water heaped with critters. It could have come from anywhere.

Then there was me. I started a new set of meds to try to get at the resistant Babesia while treating yet ANOTHER newly discovered infection. Within days, the meds turned me into a mindless blob with a nonstop migraine. This is Lyme Disease-MSIDS Funballs, people. Aren’t you sad you aren’t on the team with me? Continue reading “It’s Just Biology”

Clawing My Way Back to Normal

So this happened yesterday. I’m just as shocked as you all. I’m still being held together by “scotch tape” as I like to refer it. Last week, “something happened” (I’ll spare you the details) that gave my doctors a huge clue as to why I’m not eradicating Babesia and getting better after treating it aggressively. The good news is that Lyme is very much dormant or in remission. I still have tons of vascular problems (POTS/dizzy spells, severe headaches, breathing problems) that alternative therapies (yes, alternative, as in what standard medicine calls “quack”) are helping to control the side effects of the meds and allow me to be a half-normal person.  Continue reading “Clawing My Way Back to Normal”

Picking My Poison

“I forgot how chatty you used to be,” said Mr. Wild Dingo. What is it they say about medicine? The dose makes the poison? Pick your poison Mr. Wild Dingo: chatty me or taciturn me?

So things have literally been up and down like a roller coaster ride on high speed. This is a good thing because now Mr. Wild Dingo is less frustrated with me. Unlike the long term constant fatigue and inability to do much of anything for weeks and months on end, I now have many hours during the day of functionality. Mr. Wild Dingo can see the good days and the bad days more acutely now. They happen so quickly, he doesn’t forget what things were like when I’m either normal or sick because the ups and downs happen within a day or even in the same day. It’s wacky and fascinating at the same time to see such peaks and valleys like this turn on a dime. When I’m feeling fine, I can get stuff done: I’ll catch up on laundry, walk the dogs, do some yoga, clean the stove (desperately needed that), garden, go out to dinner with friends or I’ll make a three course dinner like I used to do.  I’m also putting my writing portfolio together because I’m actually hoping to go back to work again. So now I’m sure he doesn’t assume I’m just lazin’ around playing the sick card. Because, THAT’S so fun.  But seriously, when you see a person act like this in quick extremes, it’s much easier to understand the disease.  Continue reading “Picking My Poison”

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Last May, I was on my way off treatment for Lyme Disease and Co-infections. I was also practicing yoga again. By fall things went downhill. By December I couldn’t get out of bed. Four years after starting treatment it’s the same thing but different pill jars. Finding new pill containers is my idea of indulging. Typical pill boxes can’t hold all my meds for a single day. For a while, I used empty spice jars which work fantastically. When I found these cute color-coded lid jars and well, I just couldn’t resist. To a Lymie, a new pill box is like buying this season’s designer purse, but cheaper. Continue reading “May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month”

April Fools

I don’t know about you all, but I’m feeling nostalgic for the days of when wearing Mom Jeans was the big scandal in Washington. (Thanks Obama!) It’s exhausting waiting for this administration to implode. Of all the changes that this administration is doing, climate change policies and EPA-gutting seem the most serious to human beings. Everything else that has been done to make America less great can be undone by the next administration (including civil rights for women, immigration, LGBTQ, education policies, banking regulations–not that they aren’t important). But there’s no fixing the long-term damage that this administration’s climate change policies can do. Personalizing this, vector borne infectious diseases such as Lyme disease and several other tick disease (including the deadly Powassan Virus) will increase as tick population is directly affected by global warming. The hundreds of thousands in this country alone, already sick with the chronic form of Lyme, have difficulty processing common environmental toxins that most people can process in a healthy body, will also have an increased in toxic burden on their health, further hampering their recovery. If only Silicon Valley could code an Ice Age.

And you thought this post was about the hyacinth in bloom, huh? April Fools. Sorry-Not-Sorry.

Days of our Chives

Life is is filled with infinite choices. With  Lyme disease, your choices are ruthlessly limited. I’m always measuring how many matches are in my book and deciding on how to use them. I don’t get to cram in as much as a normal person can in a day. Instead, I basically have to choose one or two activities per day. And that’s better than most people with Lyme can do. The upside is, I can blame Lyme disease for the laundry piling up.  Continue reading “Days of our Chives”

Four Years Treating and Babesia Just Won’t Quit Me

I should have taken advantage of the rain this winter practicing rain drop photos, but Babesiosis is a bitch. Sometimes I think if it were only just Lyme disease and just Borrelia I had to manage, it would be a piece of cake. I’ve made tons of progress treating Lyme-MSIDS & CVID these past 3 years. My joint pain is gone, my immune system is improved, but not fully recovered. Yet Babesiosis, a red blood cell disease which came along with the Borrelia transmitted by a tick bite, just won’t quit me. Being vertical is a challenge. My heart races and my blood pressure drops and everything goes black if I move too quickly, which is known as POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) or sometimes called Dysautonomia. This, coupled with difficulty breathing, muscle weakness, difficulty standing, ice pick headaches behind the eye brows, and light and sound sensitivity all hit me end of December. So I’ve been treating it, AGAIN, leaving my mind and body out of service. Meanwhile, I managed to screw up cleaning my camera sensor twice now, because my brain is about as bright as Alaska in December. Continue reading “Four Years Treating and Babesia Just Won’t Quit Me”

Laid Off from Lyme Disease

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Is this drop in focus? I can’t tell.

It took a week for my new Lyme disease medication to arrive. It had to be compounded. I’d been relegated to the sofa. Headaches and vision problems have been, well, a problem for being able to function or focusing the lens of a camera. It’s embarrassing to process new photos.

“Vision problems are a part of aging,” they all say. Reading glasses? Yup, that’s sure is a sign of aging. But vision, near and far, through an opaque blanket of milk doesn’t seem like optic aging. Doctor concurred and issued a new treatment. So, I waited. It’s like Christmas, but for Lymies.

It arrived on Wednesday before Thanksgiving so naturally I took my first dose (1x per week) on Thanksgiving. And I herxed for two days. Then I had a few nice days before I started having symptoms again, as predicted. And this Thursday I took my second dose. 

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My typical herxheimer reaction to any new treatment is debilitating fatigue—which is a nice change from being awake 24/7 for days on end from the disease itself.

So, while I was sleeping, I dreamed I was so tired, I couldn’t get out of bed, but dragged myself out for a 3:00 pm meeting at work. (I haven’t worked for the man in years.) My boss in the dream happened to be one of my Lyme doctors. She calls me into her office and tells me they’re having layoffs and that all the new people will be laid off including me. I’m all, “Oh good! Can I go back to bed now?”

Then I woke up. It was 9 a.m. Not only am I now dreaming about herxing in my sleep, but I think my subconscious is telling me that I’m getting laid off from Lyme disease soon. That’d be nice.

My Two Essential Ingredients in Lyme Disease Treatment

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Thank dog and praise cheeses for these two. They’ve literally held me together the last few weeks as my health plummeted into Lyme disease hell. Surviving on 2-3 hours of sleep per night and all the other little goodies that come along with Neurological Lyme plus a brand-new infection has been peachy. This election season was extra difficult. Chronic pain makes me more sensitive than I was as a healthier version of myself. My heart shatters into a million pieces with each story indicating the country entering an era of fewer freedoms, more fear and more hatred. But these two? They keep it real. They help me pick up the pieces of my heart and glue it back together again. Because they only know their love for the outdoors, good cuisine and snuggles. And they will fight to the end to protect those things. (Well at least the cracker will. Juno will only bounce around egging him on.) This new administration does not define me and never will.

Anyone want to start a petition to make dogs a healthcare tax deduction for every household? ‘Cuz I’m thinkin’ there’s a win-win here.

Best. Medicine. Ever.

August and September have been a back slide with Neurological Lyme disease. Because Bicillin was on shortage, I had to go back on oral antibiotics. But now that it’s back on the market, I’m back on Bicillin shots which bypass the GI and keep the damage to the GI lower. Handling GI damage while trying to kill Lyme is just too much.  When Bicillin was on shortage this summer, it only available to those with Syphilis if you can believe that. A Lymie wasn’t considered important, never mind that the drug literally kept the pathogen from exploding what’s left of my brain. Whatever.

Each day I read about how the CDC and lead scientists have known all along (since 1995) about the long term neurological affects of Lyme if it’s not diagnosed quickly and treated early. And today these same doctors deny the existence of Chronic Lyme Disease. It boils my blood to read what blatant liars the CDC and IDSA are.  In Europe, they call my disease Borreliosis, because the borrelia have made it past the blood brain barrier and it’s nearly impossible to eradicate it from there. The Lyme wars are getting worse, and now there’s a big push from a vaccine inventor whose son almost died of Lyme carditis to get a vaccine on the market. That infuriates me more, because what about the 300,000 new cases of Lyme (likely Chronic Lyme that went undiagnosed versus acute Lyme disease where the patient was diagnosed within a few weeks of a tick bite) which are added into the growing millions year after year of uncured Chronic Lyme Disease?  They are completely ignored and told that long term antibiotics are not the answer. But at this point they also have no answer. They just say it’s all in the patient’s head. Yes, that’s what they say.  I respectfully disagree.

The only thing keeping me stable at this point are weekly Bicillin injections, monthly IVIG and the occasional oral antibiotics. I can’t imagine a vaccine for multiple strains of Borrelia that cause Lyme-like symptoms. This same thing happened with Polio. Pharmaceutical companies made a vaccine, it didn’t work because it was for only one strain and they had to make it for several strains. But Lyme is different because at this point we know there of 300 strains world-wide and it keeps growing. Borrelia is unusual in that it can cross genes and become a new strain very easily. Common sense says a vaccine is not viable for Lyme or Borreliosis and any vaccine sold on the market will only include to one or two strains. But that is enough to scare the public into buying it and lining the pockets of those who use fear tactics to sell a product rather than help those who are already very sick and need a cure. This controversy is infuriating. I’m not an anti-vaxer because I do believe some vaccines are necessary and I advocate for safe vaccinations. But I’m living with and battling this disease daily and I can tell you, there’s no way there can be a vaccine for such a stealth, ever-fluctuating pathogen.

At this point, I’m just hoping I can learn to control it. It’s one reason why I won’t return to work. I still have no idea of when body will go bonkers and NeuroLyme comes back. By bonkers I mean, migraines, light and sound sensitivity, auditory and olfactory hallucinations, massive insomnia, restless legs, tremors and trembling, tics and twitches, focus problems, reading comprehension problems, lack of basic stamina, and the list goes on. Did you notice the lack of posting in August, and then suddenly I caught up with my posts and stories? That’s Lyme for you. I can’t sit at a computer too long. And I can’t imagine trying to be accountable to a job if I have no way of controlling this disease.

We’re still at the stage of suppressing the pathogen and bringing the immune system back and hopefully finding a way to address the pathogen any time it starts to wake up. That’s the problem is nailing down which form of the pathogen brings on the symptoms and which drug or herb will work to push it back with minimal damage or side effects. I’m desperate to manage my disease with herbal remedies. Believe me, Cat’s Claw, which is a common herb used for Lyme disease packs a mighty hard punch, so much so that Mr. Wild Dingo does not want me to take it. In some ways it’s harder on the body because the herbs are so strong (sometimes stronger than an antibiotic) at killing but easier on the GI for sure. I can barely handle 1 drop of Cat’s Claw without major neurological symptoms. Lyme die-off will often set off the actual symptoms as well. Nothing would make me happier than to go fully herbal, but honestly, it’s hard as hell.

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Meanwhile, I just had my monthly dose of IVIG and Bob, my nurse, brings his shy dog Joanna. I adore Joanna, but Joanna doesn’t let me pet her and she isn’t crazy about Loki but she likes Juno well enough. Loki is very gentle with her but just you know, he’s a cracker and loud. Today, Joanna hopped up on the sofa and pawed me for snuggles, then she kissed me. I totally won her over. Best. Medicine. Ever.

She also seems to really love it here. This time she didn’t run out the door to leave as she usually does when it’s time to go. She just stood in the foyer and wanted to stay.

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It also seems like she’s getting used to the cracker’s boisterous, barbarian ways such as when he brings his blanket for a tug of war with her Pop.

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This dog. This pose. I. Can’t. Even.

Screw you Lyme Disease. Screw you CDC. I don’t need your punk-ass lies. Joanna kissed me. And my boo-boo is much better now!

Breakfast of Warriors

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I used to measure PRs for a run or a bike ride. Now I measure PRs for how long I can stay off antibiotics before Neurological Lyme Disease returns. I had a 5 week PR a few months ago. Then recently a 2 week PR. I think I’m doing this Lyme-athlete thing all wrong.

Yup, I’m back on two oral antibiotics aiming at Lyme. But the good news is, we’re pulsing meds now and each time my symptoms return, they are less severe. Inch by inch, I’ll get there.

Home Nursing at its Finest

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I’m so lucky to have two nurses during IVIG treatment. One to take my vitals and one to supervise the nurse!

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The cracker inspects everything concerning his mom, even the blood pressure cuff.

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He’s conflicted. He likes Bob, but he’s unsure of his intentions or of him touching me. He shows it by getting close, inspecting, and making sure I am not in pain or being bothered.

The last few years, Loki’s been extremely protective of me. He will show his concern whenever a non-pack person shakes my hand or hugs me by getting in close or trying to break it up. I love this about him.

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Nurse Bob is fantastic with both Loki and Juno. In fact, he brings his own little helper “Joanna” a small poodle who visits while he does my infusion. Loki adores her, sniffing and wagging at her, but she rebukes him, “You are a barbarian!” Sigh. Poor Loki can’t get a break with the little cutie pie.

The IVIG seems to be the thing to be helping me the most these days. For 2 weeks following my infusion, I will be almost a normal person, capable of running multiple errands plus a dog walk and a yoga practice all in one day! As the weeks go by and I get closer to my next infusion, my energy drains. I’ll have 4 or 5 good days then 2 bedridden/sofa-surfing days.

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Let’s just say “NetFlix and Chill” has a whole different meaning in a Lymie’s home compared to the millennial meaning.

I’ve also been nursing a shoulder injury. An MRI shows arthritis and bursitis which doctors say is likely due to being bed ridden so long in fetal position then trying to get back into my old yoga routine. My left shoulder is so far internally rotated I tried to jump back into all sorts of arm balances without balanced strength in my trapezoids (back muscles) which led to all sorts of bad stuff.  So I’ve been avoiding all weighted arm exercises (but still practice yoga almost daily) and I’m seeing a functional movement chiropractor and physical therapist. He’s done some Graston technique on my shoulder and arm which will make most people cringe. It’s damn painful. But I laugh in the face of pain! Lyme disease has prepared me for all  kinds of pain. In fact, I talk all the way through the Graston therapy, which just amuses the doctor. That therapy, painful as it is, helps as well.

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Every Friday night I have a hot date, like literally, with the Far Infrared Sauna at a local spa.  Like most people, I used to celebrate Friday nights intoxicating with a glass or two of wine with friends. Now I spend every Friday alone, detoxifying in a sauna, not out of luxury but a real medical necessity. The ironies of Lyme disease never stop. But I can’t believe how much this is aiding me. Nine times out of ten, I will always feel like a million bucks after spending 30-45 minutes in a FIR sauna. For those reading this who want a few tips: hydrate like crazy before your session and shower off fast with cool water to close your pores and wash off the toxins that just came out.

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Last Friday, I felt so good after my sauna, I actually had a glass of wine! It’s odd, I love wine. I mean, I really, love wine.  Almost as much as chocolate. But since I’ve been treating Lyme disease, I have not had any desire for it except on rare occasions. I guess my liver is feeling less taxed to have had a real desire for a glass of Primitivo. Damn, next time I’m opening a Barolo if I’m going to be limited to only one glass. As I always say about wine, healing and life: go big or go home!

 

Hi! I Missed You Guys!

Juno lounges while I garden.

Oh Internet and readers, can you ever forgive me? I never write, I never post pictures. I could be dead in a ditch for all you know. But I have a reasonable excuse. As you know, last month I had a relapse and decided to do a 3 week course of IV antibiotics (Invanz for those who are wondering) targeting one specific pathogen that seems to be hanging on.  It basically threw me under the bus. I walked around looking like a drunkard most of the time. Continue reading “Hi! I Missed You Guys!”

Taking Back My Power

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The first thing Lyme disease does to you is take away your power. I’m taking it back.  
Lyme Warrior — Yoga Every Damn Day  — Lyme Disease Awareness Month  — Take a Bite out of Lyme Challenge

Fact: There is no place in the body that the pathogen causing Lyme disease cannot live and damage. It can be in the muscles, joints, kidneys, liver, endocrine glands, GI, heart, lungs, central and peripheral nervous system and even the brain. This kind of unending pain and torture can make you feel powerless.

The above shot and caption was my last post for Lyme Disease Awareness Month on Social Media and for the Lyme Disease Challenge. I’ll be posting a re-cap of all that info later but here’s where I’m at in my own Lyme disease treatment progress.  Mr. Wild Dingo did the photo shoot for me because I couldn’t shoot and wiggle into a yoga pose quickly enough, so here are a few funny outtakes as well.

I’ve been making HUGE gains in early May, with a change to a Paleo diet plus weekly infrared sauna sweating, I nearly eliminated all my joint and connective tissue pain. But I had a huge Neuro-Lyme set back late May. The symptoms started quite sneakily at first, with phantom smells, random clumsiness, insomnia, tinnitus, memory loss, brain fog, spaciness and light headaches in the evening. It then bloomed into full on blinding migraines. One night was so terrifying, if I hadn’t known that I have Lyme disease I would have gone to the ER. But with immune deficiency, the ER is the last place on the planet I should be, so I waited it out, fell asleep at 4 a.m. and called my doctor.

She promptly put me back on Bicillin shots and within 24 hours my headache was gone but all my joint tissue pain was back!

Now you may think: “Awe damn!” But this is great news. I was able to connect the dots. My joint/tissue pain is NOT pathogen, but toxin from dead pathogen or the drug itself. It means I have some relative control over the amount of tissue pain I have to endure to continue treatment.

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I can’t go anywhere without these two. Loki insisted on being on my mat. The lighting is horrid. I look like a certain orange presidential candidate. Nothing I could do to fix the bad lighting. 

I saw my doctor the next week. And though it seems like a huge set back, when you live in a body ravaged by pathogens that thrived for 8 years, you know all the symptoms and side effects of treatment. You begin to really understand just exactly what symptom is caused by what pathogen or toxic die off. The migraines and neurological symptoms were definitely pathogen, not toxin-related, as my body felt great for once. But it was a new type of pain in my head. My old migraines felt like ice picks in my forehead. This new pain was more top of the head feeling of exploding and tons of pressure. I couldn’t move my body for hours otherwise I really felt my head would explode.

That helped a lot in narrowing down what it could be and it turns out that this is definitely not so much Lyme or even Babesia but more Bartonella. In the back of my mind, I always felt we didn’t go after the Bartonella hard enough. So it will be 3 weeks of a new IV drug that targets Lyme and Bartonella. This makes this drug #44 in the grand tally of drugs that I’ve taken. But who’s counting?

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I love this shot with Juno photo bombing me. But Mr. Wild Dingo is all, “Too much boobies. You can’t post this on Facebook.” So I didn’t. But I’m posting it here, for all 8 of my readers!

By now I’m really familiar with the Lyme drill: kill the pathogen, fill your body with toxins from die off and the toxin of the drug itself, feel like shit until you detox all the toxins. I have a bunch of detox protocols on hand such as Alka Seltzer Gold + liposomal glutathione, all my detox supplements for the liver, gall bladder and kidneys and a weekly infrared sauna sweat. If those don’t work, I’ll shoot for adding in IV glutathione. Because there’s just no point to making myself feel too much worse if I don’t have to and after 3 years, I know how my body detoxes and what works. That’s the journey every Lyme disease victim faces. It’s an unraveling puzzle of what’s causing the pain (pathogen or toxin) and how to re-balance the body into homeostasis.

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Apparently, Juno is not impressed with my yoga power. She’s practically rolling her eyes. My expression is all from the bitter taste of Lime and Lyme. For reals. The yoga feels good. Though I have to admit, up until a few days ago, I could only wriggle into that pose on one side. Happy to report the left hip has opened up and I can do both both sides. Juno remains unimpressed. 

Seriously Internet. I feel really confident. It sucks to stay on drugs but I’d rather be where I’m at than where I was in 2010 full of pain with no hope, no knowledge and no power. I’m taking back my power!  You just wait and see!

Conflict Resolution

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Today, a personal note on living with Lyme Disease for Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

By now you’ve probably heard so many stories of people with Lyme and their symptoms. Maybe you’ve heard it brings joint pain and chronic fatigue. Or maybe you’ve heard it makes people foggy, gives them memory problems and unable to think. Maybe you’ve even heard that it can bring on migraines, seizures, nerve pain or mimic multiple other diseases like MS, ALS, Parkinsons, Lupus and more. And by now you are completely confused because how can one pathogen cause so many completely different problems?

That is the $64 million question. As a person living through this hell called Lyme disease, I suspect the answer lies within the effect it has on the immune system. Every single day I face both immune suppression AND autoimmune disease. Think about that for a minute. Immune suppression means I don’t have enough antibodies in my body to fight infection. Autoimmune disease involves the immune system on overdrive making too many antibodies and attacking itself. Both cause the same symptoms. It’s a little bit like having a third degree burn plus frost bite in the same place at the same time. Which is causing the pain and which do you treat first?

It’s exhausting to live day after day in a body with conflicting health issues, both of which were brought on by Lyme. I watch every morsel of food I eat so not to bring on Celiac/autoimmune pain. I also take roughly 20 supplements per day plus monthly intravenous IGg antibodies to bring back the immune system. Pairing cause with symptoms is half the battle. This week, as my joint pain disappeared, the migraines came back slowly until they reached unbearable levels. Thankfully my awesome doctors and I could track the migraines to the cause and even the right medication. So after 5 weeks off all antibiotics, I’m back on antibiotic shots in the ass again. It may be a relapse, but I’m counting this as progress. It’s only one symptom out of the 30+ that I’ve had. Besides, a shot in the ass feels a lot better than a blinding migraine.

Here’s a macro shot of a Protea flower.  Just because Lyme Don’t Kill My Vibe!

Paleo! WTF? Halibut with Pancetta, Basil & Mushroom Butter Sauce

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If someone told me I’d eventually go Paleo, I would have died laughing. Being gluten-free was hard enough! But after a month of having a Paleo diet, the pain levels in my body keep dropping week to week. Treating Lyme disease is not just killing pathogens. Lymies have to use every tool in the tool belt. Since I’m hopefully past the killing stage, it’s now time to focus on the GI and immune system and the best way to do that is a strict anti-inflammatory diet. Yes, even gluten-free, Celiac-approved grains are nasty to a GI and immune system beaten up by both Lyme & Co., and antibiotics.

The first two weeks going Paleo were not pretty. It’s not easy overcoming grain brain. But to answer the burning question everyone has: no, I’m never hungry and never unsatisfied. Because, the nice thing about Paleo is you can pretty much load up on the healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, animal fat (bacon!), nuts, coconut and butter (OK that’s not Paleo) or ghee. The other nice thing about Paleo is it’s both limited and unlimited. What’s for dinner? You’re “limited” to whatever veggies you have in the fridge and animal protein, but that  just makes it easier to prepare dinner, usually cooked in one pan. The “unlimited” part comes with the plethora of veggies you start to discover or eat more of because you’re not eating grain. (Yes I did make spaghetti squash for my pasta dinner and it rocked.) The grocery cashiers love to pick my brain about what I making with the weird stuff I’m buying. Here is baked halibut, sprinkled with a touch cayenne pepper, topped with a butter, pancetta, basil mushroom sauce. No recipe needed. I just picked out what I had in my fridge and pantry with the fresh fish I just purchased and came out tasting fantastic. The mushrooms were a bit over powering for me, but Mr. Wild Dingo loved them. Served with a huge green salad, with more pancetta on top, ‘cuz you can’t go wrong with more lardons.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound halibut (cut into 2 eight ounce pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cooked piece of bacon, finely minced or 2-3 oz pancetta chopped
  • 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons butter (I used salted Kerrygold butter)
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  •  1 teaspoon dried basil
  •  pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook the pancetta or bacon, remove from pan.
  3. Using the bacon grease, add the button mushrooms and some salt and saute the mushrooms. Feel free to add more butter if needed before adding the mushrooms. When fully cooked remove from pan.
  4. Cut the halibut into 2-3 pieces. Place halibut on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice then cover with cayenne pepper and salt and pepper.
  5. Put in oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, unless fish is flaky.
  6. While the fish bakes, melt 3 TBS butter, transfer butter to a heat safe bowl, mix in the parsely, basil, garlic powder and salt. And finally the bacon/pancetta.
  7. Once fish is done, place on a plate, add the mushrooms and top with the mushrooms. Serve with side salad.