Join me on this 4-part series aimed at bringing awareness to the epidemic of Lyme Disease. In the last year, I have diagnosed over 100 People with Lyme Disease. A recent explosion in Lyme disease may be attributed to several factors that have been building over time:
- The vanishing habitat of the Deer is making Deer come closer to homes.
- Global warming is making the Tick breeding seasons longer.
- The Covid Pandemic has driven city dwellers to the beach, country, and suburbs in search of nature and space but increasing exposure to Ticks.
This content will come to you in a series of 4 Posts:
LYME 101: Everything you need to Know and Why it is so Important!
Part 1: Lyme Disease and Co-Infections
Part 2: Diagnosis and Testing of Lyme Disease
Part 3: Lyme Medical and Integrative Treatments
Part 4: Lyme Prevention
For me, it’s Personal
I am passionate about testing my patients yearly and making sure that anything that remotely looks like Lyme is investigated. You can say that for me LYME is Personal……
I had Lyme for approximately 6 years before it was officially diagnosed. It took 6 years, 15 doctors and over 50,000$ out of pocket medical expenses to officially determine that I had Lyme. I knew I was not OK, and I was pretty sure it was Lyme. Lyme is called the “Great Imitator” because it tends to present like other diseases. It can often be the root cause of other diseases too. For years I dismissed my symptoms of vision loss, skin rashes, hives, night sweats, Joint pain, muscle pain, malaise, debilitating fatigue, memory loss, depression, anxiety, insomnia, numbness and tingling as other problems. These symptoms were surely attributable to other things such as menopause, herniated discs, stress, anxiety, and when there is nothing else to blame…. we could always blame it on gluten intolerance. But the intuitive part of me knew deep down that I was not OK and that I did have Lyme.
The Week before I got diagnosed with Lyme, I was a shell of a human. The fatigue was so debilitating that I had completely retracted from all things that were important to me: music, friends, family, travel and much more. I could only work and sleep. The pain was so debilitating that to walk 1½ mile would take me about 1 ½ hours. I felt like I was dying and was sure that what was happening to me was not living. The many doctors I saw just looked at me as a friendly healthy person. My bloodwork seemed healthy, and they dismissed the symptoms I had as Menopause, Stress, Depression and of the course the very famous….” it’s in your head” theory. I was furious! For a doctor to be told over and over by other Doctors that I was OK when I know I was not was demoralizing. I had better things to do with my money and time than to be dismissed and not taken seriously. If you have ever felt this way, I know most of you have. I get you!
Finally, I found Dr. Benjamin Asher, and ENT and LYME specialist. He did an extensive Lyme test on me and confirmed that I did have it even though the traditional testing methods showed vague results. He put me on Doxycycline for one month as a treatment trial to see if it helped my symptoms. After one week on Doxycycline, I felt like I had been reborn. The chronic pain in my joints and muscles disappeared, the nerve pain reduced to something tolerable, the energy returned, and my brain started to work again. Lyme almost killed me, but Dr. Asher and Doxycycline saved my life. I need to be on treatment for Lyme for almost 1 ½ years. However, the meds are not benign, and I could never have tolerated the Lyme meds and treatment had it not been for the Naturopathic and Nutritional supplements and lifestyle recommendations.
Early in my years of practicing, I came to realize that I was good at helping people to heal from things that I had overcome myself. The illnesses and challenges that I have been able to overcome have given me tools to help patients recover from similar challenges. And so, my approach to Lyme is like my approach to most everything…. Integrative, non-judgmental, and compassionate.