Boy does a lot happen in one week. We added my brother to the ever-growing list of Lyme patients, I got a rash all over my body, my doctor tested the efficacy of my supplements, and I got my second gamma globulin shot. Yes, all in one week!
The circle is now complete. My brother's Lyme band #23 came back positive, making all of my siblings and myself borrelia-filled like three pinatas in a store window. However, unlike my sister and me, he hasn't been chronically ill for life. The only symptoms he really has are sleep disturbances (for which he did a sleep study a few years back), unique headaches, knee injuries from exercise (which aren't necessarily Lyme-induced if they're sports injuries), and frequent bladder urgency. (We've joked that he, my sister and I all have frequent urges to pee, in the presence or absence of bacterial urinary infections. When we drink coffee or alcohol, we all have to pee immediately.)
I find it interesting that (a) he has chronic Lyme but is overall rather healthy, unlike me or my sister and our plethora of symptoms, and (b) he tested positive for the same Lyme band as my sister and I, indicating a definite connectedness to our Lyme.
I now have a theory that my siblings and I were born with Lyme. I will talk about this in a separate entry at a later date.
Last weekend, I noticed a rash on my chest, which I discovered was also on my stomach, thigh, arms and back. In all, there were about ten individual, dark pink oval rashes somewhere between the size of a dime and a quarter. The rashes did not itch and were not the result of contact with any plants in my gardening endeavors. So naturally I wondered if they were related to Lyme treatment, and voila!--in my ever-present, obsessive quest for answers I learned that many of us Lymies get this rash when we treat. Who knew? Not me! I learn new things every day. This rash is yet another sign of die-off, likely caused by borrelia making their exit from the body via the dermis and making a last-ditch effort to stir up trouble before their fateful demise.
My old chiropractor, whom I've been seeing again for adjustments to balance my spine and nervous system, also does muscle testing, "a noninvasive way of evaluating the body’s imbalances and assessing its needs... testing the body’s responses when applying slight pressure to a large muscle, to provide information on energy blockages, the functioning of the organs, nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivities,... herbs and other remedies." (http://www.goodhealthinfo.net/herbalists/muscle_testing.htm)
We tested my supplements to see which ones my body tolerates and rejects. Overall, he was impressed with how strong my results were in my favor, stating several times that my body reacted better to my supplements than the majority of his patients. Still, I was surprised by how many I do not tolerate.
The ones that made the list (to keep taking) include my Neuro-Antitox drops, Cumanda drops, salmon oil, omega-3 blend, iodine, vitamin E, Cats Claw capsules, chlorella, ashwaganda root, chelated magnesium, Armour thyroid, progesterone cream, vitamin B-6 and GABA.
The ones that were neutral and/or not OK (thus doing little benefit or harming me) include my vitamin B-12, samento drops, rhodiola drops, iron ferretin, Symbion probiotics, echinacea/goldenseal blend, vitamin D3, zinc, food-based multivitamin, progesterone oral capsule, and grapefruit seed extract.
Thus, I will only be taking the former list and avoiding the latter list for a month until I can get re-tested.
Gamma Globulin Shot No. 2
This week I had the pleasure of adding "give myself a shot in my buttocks" to my list of new life experiences. (Also included in new experiences at my current age of 29 was running out of gas on the side of a road and walking to a gas station to buy a disposable gallon of gas to carry back to my car, but that's not what I'm here to discuss, is it?) I guess the over-arching theme here could be that, at 29, in the midst of Lyme treatment and home ownership, I'm finding life to be one big adventure. And adventure, even when it's not fun, is still fun, which just contradicted itself. But seriously, adventure is always fun, even when it sucks, right?
Anyway, yesterday I watched myself voluntarily stick a 2-inch needle into my right butt cheek, slowly injecting gamma globulin and questioning my competence the entire time. How far in do I stick the needle? Is this the right spot on my butt? Did I get the air bubbles out? Am I going to die now?
Unlike the first time I had the shot, when I felt a euphoric boost to my mood and energy, to be proceeded by a herx days later, this time I felt a herx right away without the euphoric boost. Had I done something wrong? I was expecting the same results as the first time. But my Lyme co-captain Clark says that he'd anticipated this kind of result. As he later explained in his ever-knowledgeable way, the first time I got the shot I had hardly any natural killer (white) blood cells, so the shot dramatically boosted my uber-frail immune system over a couple of days, leading to a huge herx simply by arming me with infection-killing power. Yet when I got the second shot, I already had a higher number of killer blood cells from the first shot, taking far less time for me to herx and altogether skipping the euphoric "high" feeling.
All in a week's work.