Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Right Outlook

I'll be blunt. The reason I haven't posted anything since my disappointing doctor's appointment is because I hate sounding negative. I wanted to be able to come back with really good news, and I didn't think I had that.

Then I realized I was being silly. I have a pervasive, chronic infection and my system is very compromised. My progress is going to be slow and inconsistent. Despite everything I know about Lyme treatment, my subconscious really hoped this new prescription would be a wonder drug.

I can't go through treatment always expecting to find some miracle cure that will have me running and frolicking in a matter of weeks. If I live with those kinds of expectations, I will constantly be let down. There's a reason that "Chronic" is right in the name.

Herxing doesn't make the new medication process much easier, either. Right now, it feels as though my blood is super-heated and my skin is melting off. Those of you who also have Lyme know that's just the beginning.

This journey isn't going to be any easier if I keep dwelling on the negative, either. If I sit and mope about all my joints being swollen, I might overlook the fact that yesterday was the first day in almost a week that I haven't had serious stomach issues.

If I keep focusing on the down side, it also becomes very easy to forget how lucky I actually am. Unlike many, I am blessed with a wonderful support system who are not only sympathetic, but also able and willing to help me get through my treatment financially.

Always stay positive. It makes this really horrendous experience so much more tolerable. Sometimes, f you can find the one miniscule detail in your life that is undeniably good, or at the very least just makes you smile, it makes it worth it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Trial-Run of the "Garlic Footies"

Recently in some of my online Lyme groups, people were buzzing about this "Garlic Footies" detox treatment. Someone posted the video you see below and then everyone sat back and waited for someone else to try it.

Finally, I decided to take one for the team. Here is my experience. Keep in mind that this is the first time I have tried using them. Like many other treatments, as is stated in the video, sometimes the effects of the first night will vary.

Additionally, there is no "control group" in my experiment. It's impossible to say if how I feel to day is due more to the garlic, the weather, or even the phase of the moon. I am going to continue trying this and I'll post any updates.

Once I had slathered on the squishy mix (using a paper towel rather than a plastic glove because I didn't have the energy to head downstairs), I started to notice an effect instantly. It felt as though the muscles directly at the application site were beginning to relax. The oil hydrating my skin also felt amazing.

I do want to make note that it's a good idea to apply the oil to a very large area. The garlic and Vaseline mixture can get squished around very easily, even just while wrapping it in the plastic and putting socks on. You want to make sure it doesn't squish onto your bare skin. Also, olive oil is very high in vitamins E and K, which are fantastic for your skin.

After having the socks on for a few minutes, I began to feel a slight warming and tingling sensation right where the garlic paste was. I wouldn't describe it as a "burning" because it wasn't painful or even unpleasant, but it was a little bit ticklish.

That's about when I went to bed. That was more difficult than I had predicted, because my kitten insisted on attacking my massive, fuzzy Harry Potter socks that all of a sudden would crinkle when she grabbed them.

When I first woke up, I had left my window open and it was now cold and rainy, so I closed it and went back to sleep. I was grumpy and uncomfortable. The second time I woke up was much more pleasant. It was still wet out, but it had stopped raining

The first thing I noticed was the time. It was almost 1:30 in the afternoon! It's been a very long time since I have been able to sleep that long. That was almost twelve hours of sleep! Secondly, when I rolled over, expecting the usual lightning bolt of pain up my side, it didn't come.

Instead, I was just a bit stiff, but no more than I should have been for lying immobile for twelve hours. I was tired, but no more than I used to be after staying up late studying for class, rather than my usual debilitating exhaustion. There was also some mild discomfort in my stomach, but that was also much less than normal, no worse than mild hunger.

Though the pain in my knees and hips is usually crippling, I was able to walk upright to my sink to wash off. Granted, that was only about fifteen feet, but for me it was a huge accomplishment.

When I went to rinse off my feet, it was obvious that some kind of reaction had taken place, because the color had turned a much deeper yellow overnight. That could easily have been due to the warmth, because there was noticeable heat rising from the area.

Once the paste was off, I noticed that the soles of my feet were incredibly soft, though that is most likely due to the vitamins in and hydration properties of the olive oil. Though my soles are usually burning from the Bartonella, today they were only sensitive to pressure. I massaged them a bit, and they felt great.

Now, this treatment is supposed to help brain fog quite a bit, according to the video. I didn't get that particular relief today. I felt like I was thinking through mud all day long. It's now almost 6:30 and this is the firs thing I've accomplished today. However, this was just the first time I'd tried it, and rainy days like today tend to be bad for me.

Overall, I do think it helped. It doesn't seem like a miracle, but it does seem like using this in combination with other treatments under the supervision of an LLMD can be highly beneficial. Like I said, I'll keep trying it and let you guys know how it goes!

Update May 5th: I have not tried using this method again yet. I screwed up a little bit, but I plan on trying again soon. I want to stress first, make sure you're using a lot of oil, especially if you have sensitive skin. Second, I don't recommend using paper towels.

I accidentally wiped off a spot oil when using a paper towel to apply the garlic paste. I knew it was questionable, but decided to let it slide. A few hours after I washed off, I noticed a small blister on that spot.

Next time I try this, I'm going to apply an all-over layer of oil, allow it to sit, and then apply another layer to protect the contact area. Because my skin was so dry, a large portion of the oil absorbed in. Consequently, the application area was itchy the next day. My soles were also tender. It wasn't horrible pain, just uncomfortable. Lesson learned!

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Benefits of Friends

I know typically when someone begins a new blog, they preface everything with an initial entry to give a back story. I'm not very typical when it comes to most things, so I'm going to skip right over that. After all, if you're really interested in a prologue, you can always check out the My Story section of the Lemon & Lyme website. There, you'll find everything from my treatment regimen to why I first began to suspect I had Lyme.

So, instead of introducing myself, I'm going to jump right into chronicling my activities. A large part of why now is the time I'm finally deciding to keep a blog is because I wanted an appropriate forum to express what I experienced on Monday night. It was so amazing and uplifting, that I needed to share.

A good friend and fellow Lyme-fighter in my area held a benefit to raise funds and help pay for her treatment. During the weeks leading up to the event, I spent a good chunk of time emailing back and forth with her and doing whatever I could to help, though that was mainly sitting in my room and designing posters and signs in Photoshop.

I also made her a few exclusive T-Shirts (the Shop section of the site will be opening later this month! If you haven't voted yet, please do so!) A couple were hers to keep, and those she knew about ahead of time. However, she had also pushed me to make a bunch of extras as well, to sell at the benefit. Without telling her, I decided I would donate all the profits from the night to her cause.

I waited until I got there to tell her this, and I'm glad I did, because the look on her face was priceless. The best part was that I was not the only person who had pulled some kind of stunt like this. By the time I had arrived, the venue she and her sisters had rented was already packed with people! Though there were a grand total of five Lyme patients there, there were too many green shirts and dresses to count. Little girls ran around the dance floor with lime green ribbons in their hair, matching ruffles on their skirts.

It was such an enormous congregation of support, love, and understanding. Each one of them was there to give support to her in any and every way they could. Even better was seeing what genuinely caring supportive people these were, as they expressed true interest and concern in the cases of complete strangers (like myself) who they discovered also had Lyme. It was so heartwarming to know that these were the kind of people who surrounded her in her time of need.

Everyone there was so willing to learn all they could and spread the message as far and wide as possible. I only wish that every individual afflicted with this grueling condition could be blessed with friends and family like this. Because of all the stories I hear of those struggling to survive on their own, it was just so wonderful to see someone getting what they needed from so many loved ones.