I found out that I had Lyme Disease by visiting a Naturopath who does biofeedback.
In March of 2008, whoah it's been three years, I went to see a Naturopath on the recommendation of a friend who said she could piece together all of my vague symptoms. This naturopath uses a type of biofeedback to assess and fit the pieces together. One her website she explains biofeedback:
"Biofeedback screening and therapy:
Enables you to prevent or reduce the impact of many genetic tendencies, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer, from affecting your life. Receive a detailed list of information about allergic sensitivities, and the degree of sensitivity to which you are affected.
The technology I use was developed in the 1930's by Dr. Reinhold Voll, a German physicist who wanted to know why acupuncture was effective. His research led to the development of the biofeedback screening process which integrates Western and Eastern principles of medicine.
Your central nervous system runs on electromagnetic energy.
Bio-feedback equipment uses technology similar to the EKG equipment used to measure the heart's electrical impulses.
The screening is a completely painless process using a computer based instrument which measures the condition of your electro-magnetic system through the same meridians used in Chinese medicine to determine the status of the energetic relationships within your body.
Biofeedback therapy incorporates a unique balance between Holistic and Western medicine."
I went to her and said you know something just doesn't seem right. I have pain in my shoulder, I'm tired a lot, moody, having issues with digestion, and I just generally feel like everyone else can handle life better then I can, like somehow my body is holding me back from being as awesome as I am.
During my first scan in 2008 she was able to tell me that my amino acids were low, I had bacterial infections (she even identified the exact species), said I had problem with chemicals, my digestive enzymes were low, I had food allergies and sensitivities (she identified about 30 of them), was dealing with heavy metals, hormonal imbalances, my neurotransmitters were off, I was sensitive to molds and fungi, allergic to grasses and tree pollen, have sinus issues, and viruses, and on top of it all I had what she referred to as co-factors for Lyme Disease.
At that point she wasn't willing to say definitively that I for sure had Lyme, but I most certainly had tick born infections that fell under the umbrella of Lyme Disease and Co-infections. She said we should treat what we could and keep a close eye on it to see if it was going to develop into Lyme. I left the office with a long list of additional tests, an even bigger list of supplements and herbs to take, and a HUGE list of food I had to stop eating. I left feeling totally overwhelmed, shocked, amazed, validated, totally confused, and also happy to have a plan for feeling better.
Since then I have seen over 20 western doctors and had an endless number of tests, labs, x-rays, MRI's, stool samples, blood work, heart monitors, allergy screening, you name it I've done it. A huge percentage of what she told me was validated over and over through other methods. She's been spot on!
Soon after I started following the plan she gave me I began to feel a lot better. Avoiding the foods made a big difference in my energy, digestion, weight, skin, moods, etc. The herbs and supplements helped with the rest. For a while I felt great. Slowly I began to slide back down hill. I assumed that the stress of finishing my teaching credential, student teaching, working part time, and planning a wedding on a tight budget was just too much. I couldn't help but notice though that other people were commenting on my energy level, my constant sense of being overwhelmed, my mood swings, etc. All the while the pain in my shoulders and arms was getting worse and no amount of acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, or rest was helping.
Finally in the early Spring of 2009 I landed my first teaching job in the classroom. It was only part time and it was much easier then the long hours of working an outdoor school schedule that I had grown accustomed to. But, no matter what I did the job got harder and harder while I became more and more exhausted, overwhelmed and sick. I was picking up every single cold and flu that went around school but I was getting them worse and for longer then all the students. On top of all of that I was getting more and more symptoms. I was beginning to forget things like how to spell the words on spelling tests, the names of my students, what I had planned to teach that day, to make photo copies, to brush my teeth. I was running myself into the ground and only working 2 or 3 days a week.
Eventually I got really sick and had to call in to work over and over again for days at a time. It turned out I had pneumonia! Well no wonder I felt so crappy! That explained it. I was sick the whole time. I got on some antibiotics and hoped for the best. The best never came. My cough got so bad that I would end up vomiting. I could barely breathe, I was getting asthma attacks, choking on my own spit, and I was having a hard time moving around. I couldn't move with out coughing, I was completely exhausted, short of breath, and I was in pain and it was getting worse. After 3 rounds of antibiotics, steroids, an inhaler, asthma treatments, pain killers, and two bottles of cough syrup with codine, I ended up worse than I had started.
The pain was intense in most of my major joints and I was so week that I could barely stand up to go to the bathroom. My husband made a bed for me in the the living room so I would be able to watch movies and be closer to the kitchen and bathroom. This continued for weeks until finally the pain got so bad I was on the floor sobbing in the fetal position.
I told him that something was really wrong and I had no idea what it was and that I could no longer to take care of myself. I said I need you to do something and I need it to happen now. Please help me I feel like I'm dyeing. I suspected I wasn't, but it was the worst thing I have ever been through and it was scary.
Three months later, after seeing over 20 western drs, having tons of tests, and getting no answers I went back to see the Naturopath. I had a feeling that maybe what was going on was Lyme Disease. I am a bit of a research geek and had googled the heck out of "reaction to antibiotics". I discovered that it was most likely one of two things. Either it was an allergic reaction or a jarish-herximer reaction. I didn't have the right symptoms for it to be an allergy. It had to be bacterial die off causing my body to become incredibly toxic. So what was this bacteria? I didn't have to look too far to see that Lyme Disease was the main suspect. That was when I remembered she had said I might develop it at some point. Well guess what, steroids are the worst thing you can do if you have Lyme. It creates the perfect environment for the bacteria to grow. I had made it worse by trying to get better from the pnuemonia.
So, I drove back to Sonoma County to see the naturopath. She listened to my story, got the biofeedback equipment set up and within 5 minutes she announced, yep, you've got a raging case of Lyme.
Stay tuned for more of my experience with the naturopath.