Q & A Thursday



Q: Have you tried incorporating acupuncture into your recovery?

A: I get asked this question quite often–usually by people who have success with acupuncture as a therapeutic tool.

With the same positive results as so many others, I too experienced the incredible benefits of integrating acupuncture into my protocol. In 2013, I went to my first session; I could barely stand, walk, or sit upright. After my second visit–in a rare moment–I was able to go shopping for 2 hours. That was an activity I hadn’t done in two, long years. The results were nothing short of dramatic. For me, acupuncture jump-started my healing, and I continued to go for an entire year. Unfortunately, it became too cost prohibitive for me, and I had to quit going at the end of 2014.

Recently, my treatment buy cheap soma overnight protocol intensely increased to tackle Babesia and overcome the plateau I experienced most of 2015. At the same time, I began reading Dr. Horowitz’s book, Why Can’t I Get Better? In his book (2013), he writes, “Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are clearly useful adjuncts in certain treatment-resistant patients, even though we may not fully understand why it works” (p.118).

Once again, I feel as though acupuncture could be a vital part of my current treatment along with the medications, herbs, and supplements I take. I now go once a week, and I feel hopeful that my stalled healing will get a much-needed boost.

To hear more about my experience with acupuncture, please listen to my podcast on Lyme Ninja Radio.

Q & A Thursday

Today, I am very excited to announce the beginning of a new section on my blog called, Q & A Thursday. As people search for more answers, I find myself unable to respond to all the emails I receive. My hope is that weekly question and answer posts (or whenever I feel up to the task of writing them) provide insights into the more commonly asked questions. Wishing everyone continued hope and healing in the new year! May this year be a breakthrough year for us all!




Q: I saw some photos of you online, and it seems like you’ve been doing buy soma mexico better. How are you feeling now?

A: Well, how much time do you have? That’s a complicated answer.

Above all things, I try my very hardest to remain hopeful and optimistic during what is hands down the most challenging and grueling time in my life. When my symptoms ease up for a short period, I take full advantage of the opportunity. Those quick flashes of time are what you see captured in my photos–moments of promise and joy. I am doing better in those moments because, well, I am living.

In contrast, I struggle with intense, prolonged episodes of debilitating exhaustion. It’s never fully gone, but sometimes it lessens. Whenever I change my treatment protocol, the fatigue intensifies. I have recently begun treating Babesia, and if it’s possible to be exhausted from being exhausted, that’s pretty much where I’m at right now. I find it difficult to leave my house due to the lack of energy. I require more rest times throughout the day; it’s a bit reminiscent of the days before I started treatment and I am trying desperately not to freak out. Admittedly, I had a bit of a breakdown this morning.

But, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that Lyme is a roller coaster that never stops. While this ride has dipped down for the moment, I know it will eventually climb again–hopefully, sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I will continue to follow my treatment protocol and get back into the habit of a consistent detox regime.

Thanks for the question.

Lessons Learned Through Joy, Pain, and Self-Discovery

[Note: This article originally appeared on Pro Health on December 7th, 2015. www.prohealth.com. Christmas is a time for reflection over the past year, and celebrating the possibilities for the new year. It seems appropriate to me then, that I would post this article today. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a new year filled with joy, peace, and healing. Here’s to 2016!]

October 24, 2013, was probably an average Thursday in the lives of most people. For me, however, it was a life-changing day; it was the day I finally had some answers. After numerous doctors and ten years of seriously declining health–the last 18-months of which I spent bedridden–I listened sharply on the phone as my nurse practitioner informed me, “You have Lyme Disease. You’ve probably had it most of your life.”

I was both scared and relieved to hear this news. Scared because, well, I knew I would be embarking on one of the greatest challenges of my life, and relieved because I was no longer in the dark about what to call the mysterious illness wreaking havoc on my body. The list of diagnoses I had collected over the years–from Interstitial Cystitis and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis to Fibromyalgia, and Adrenal Fatigue–all suddenly seemed interconnected. I knew the path to reclaiming my health would require patience, persistence, effort, and faith. Nevertheless, I was ready to confront the illness that had sidelined me for years. Thankfully, I had the support of my loving husband and family.

On that fall morning in October, my nurse practitioner laid the groundwork for a treatment protocol that has slowly helped me to rebuild my life, one tiny step at a time. There are layers of damage to address as a result of going years–maybe even decades–with undiagnosed, systemic infections. I just passed the two-year treatment mark. I am not cured or well yet, but I am healing. I still have ups and downs; I have flashes where it seems like remission is in reach and stages where I can barely lift my head from the pillow. In spite of all the highs and lows along this bumpy road, I am forever transformed by the lessons learned through joy, pain and, self-discovery. Here are those lessons:

Learn to resist the urge to dwell in a negative headspace for long periods of time.

In the beginning, I had spent countless amounts of energy thinking about the past; what I once was capable of doing, and the social life I had prior to my illness. Dwelling on the past immediately ushered me into a very dark, negative place in my mind. Isolated from the things and people I loved the most, the loneliness was heartbreaking. I felt hopeless, lost and frustrated. I grew too fearful to even imagine a future where joy and dreams could exist. Sickness appeared to win and overtake the best parts of me.

I am not exactly sure when the shift in my thinking occurred; but my core, my spirit, the very deepest places of me, eventually changed. I let go of anger and gave cheap generic soma myself permission to redefine my identity in spite of the struggles I faced. In contrast, by maintaining my focus on the present and not the past, I discovered more peace within my situation. Slowly, I began to see light and hope in the places once occupied by darkness and negativity. I still struggle, but I see an opportunity for personal growth in the midst of my troubles and I choose to embrace it. I am more content nowadays as I take on these health challenges, and much less likely to contemplate the gloomy side of things.

When one chapter of life closes, a new chapter begins.

Early in my treatment, I came across a wonderful quote from Pastor Brian Houston. It reads:

“Never ever confuse the end of an era in your life as the completion of your destiny.”

The truth of his words gripped my heart with such conviction I have yet to forget them. He was right. There was no denying that an era in my life had ended. Although I grieved those devastating losses for months, I began to hope and affirm a new beginning; a season of healing and anticipation, in my life. I anchored my thoughts to the idea that I still had a purpose and a destiny, and I have not looked back.

Even though I am strained beneath the weight of a controversial illness, I know I still have a unique set of gifts and talents worth sharing with the world. I accept that Lyme disease is my present circumstance. Thankfully, circumstances can and do change. However, the destiny for my life does not. It’s so freeing to write that!

Take time to celebrate the small victories.

Yes, I still have a chronic illness, but I repeatedly test the notion that I can’t enjoy life. I frequently take mental vacations from my illness– from obsessing over it, Googling it, and chatting about it. Instead, I try to celebrate small victories and nurture my adventuresome spirit.

I snap pictures of just about everything I do. That’s become my approach to maintaining a celebratory, productive outlook. When progress seems slow to come, I can look at these visual reminders and see there have been several small victories. These accomplishments help me to combat adversity and renew my optimism.

I hope I will one day beat Lyme disease altogether. I am steadfast in my determination and more resilient than I realized. Ultimately, there are many more healing milestones to celebrate along the way.

My current treatment is aggressive and will continue to be intense for a while. Although someone else could be angry about their experience with chronic Lyme disease, most of the time, I am not. I choose to stay grateful that I have a body that refuses to give up. Another person– a different body– may have quit a long time ago. In the middle of all the chaos, there have been moments of immense happiness over the last two years. I live for those moments. They are the fuel for my soul to continue this healing journey.

Blogging Saved My Life

© Christian Schnettelker

© Christian Schnettelker

Okay, so maybe blogging didn’t literally save my life. It has however been a crucial part of my healing journey this past year.

I recently passed my first anniversary (or blogiversary) on The Lyme Road. When I began the blog, I intended on a place where I could process my feelings and work through the pain and difficulty of a prolonged, gloomy season in my life. I hoped that by writing bits and pieces of my story, I could boost my spirits. I wanted to let go of the past and embrace the possibilities of my future.

My intention was to inspire myself to keep believing that I could live joyfully while enduring a chronic illness. On October 26th, 2013, I pressed “Publish” for my first post. Much to my surprise, friends, family and strangers read the post. Even my very busy doctor took a moment out of his day to view it and write a comment!

I never really considered others might be interested in the story I had to tell. I didn’t imagine people would actually be following my progress! I am honored that my story has served as encouragement to others. I am so grateful to all of you who have continued to read my posts, comment on them, email and message me!

Blogging has been an amazing platform to help me cope and aid in the healing process.

8 Ways Blogging has Been Crucial to My Healing Journey :

1. It boosted my self-esteem.

I had lost a lot of my life to illness. My confidence had been badly shaken. Blogging helped me realize that I still had gifts and talents to share with the world that weren’t dependent on whether I was well. I accomplished a post if I just kept working a little at a time.

2. It gave writing back to me.

When I was a child, I used to spend hours in my room writing story after story with abandon. In growing up, getting older and getting a real job, I lost that passion. Years of text books, heavy with medical and therapy jargon, had stifled my creativity. Even though I may only ever make enough money for a monthly trip to Chipotle, blogging has allowed me an avenue where I can explore my creative side. It feels so good be to writing again!

3. It’s provided me with free therapy.

I held on tightly to painful memories not knowing how to safely release them. Through the power of words, I was able to cry and grieve my heart’s most buy soma online overnight distressing moments. The result has been a profound understanding that although there is difficulty in life, hope can fill me. That’s ultimately what I want for myself–a life filled with hope.

4. It gave me a social life again.

I do my blogging at home while sitting on the couch or lying in bed. I could not have guessed that I would meet such a kind, helpful group of people online. I am lucky enough to have developed real friendships with several of these people. I know that as I connect and network with other bloggers, I will continue to meet some wonderful people.

5. It allowed me to take risks.

I have always loved to take a risk, learn a new skill or try something different. For years, I had to extinguish that desire and make the pursuit of healing my number one priority. I was too weak, too sick and too tired to dream of embarking on an adventure. Blogging has help me to find courage to try something new again.

Shortly after I began writing, I guest posted on a few other blogs. Then, I decided to take a chance and submit a few posts to Mind Body Green, a huge health and wellness website…

6. And blogging showed me that I still have a lot to learn.

The first post I sent to Mind Body Green was not the easily sharable format they use on their website. My second post to them sounded like I was trying to sell something. I realized I needed to take time to learn and develop a writing style that is unique to me.

I have time to make mistakes, learn from them and take more risks.

7. It taught me that support can come from unexpected places.

Of course, I expected that my family and a few close friends would read my blog. What I did not expect however, is that support, empathy and encouraging words would come from other people’s mothers, old high school classmates, ex-colleagues and strangers from around the world! It truly has been a blessing to me and a source of great comfort.

8. It has helped me to see I have a choice.

I have a choice to not let my heart be in turmoil over my current circumstances. I can daily choose to renew my thinking by focusing on good, pure and lovely things. In almost every post I write, I am attempting to illustrate this simple equation:

Focusing on the good equals more peace in my life.

Focusing on the bad equals more anxiety and confusion.

Such a simple formula!



A while back, I was contacted by Erica from the blog Suffering The Silence about doing a guest post for their site. Of course I said, “yes!” and am pleased to announce the post went up today. It is entitled The Deep End and I am very excited to share it with you.

“My legs were too weak to stand and my brain too broken to sleep. I spent buy soma watson brand online most of 2012 and 2013 lying agonizingly in my bed. Days became weeks. Weeks became months. Over time, my 10-year battle with Lyme Disease seemed impossible to overcome.” – For the full article, go to: http://sufferingthesilence.com/jenny/#sthash.wzdpOo3k.dpbs

As always, please feel free to leave a comment below.


The bacteria are called “Brucella.” The illness caused by those pesky bacteria is called “Brucellosis.” I have just completed week three of my Brucellosis treatment. Time files when you’re having fun (read with sarcasm). I have been uncertain how to effectively address this topic as there is not much info regarding Brucellosis in the Unites States. After all, this bacterial infection has supposedly been eradicated from much of the U.S., but somehow, I now find myself being treated for it. I know others that have tested positive for this infection. Perhaps it is not so rare after all.

 How is Brucella transmitted?

First, Brucella can most commonly be acquired by humans through the consumption of infected meat and dairy products. This infection is not limited exclusively to cows. Deer, chicken, bison and other animals can be carriers of this infection as well.

Almost makes me want to become a vegetarian. Bleh!

Second, the bacteria can also be transmitted when human skin wounds come in contact with tissues, secretions or excretions of infected animals.

Isn’t that a lovely thought. Yikes!

Third, if any of those infectious materials I spoke of in the previous two paragraphs become aerosolized (like a mist of spray coming out of a can), Brucella can also be inhaled.

That’s a little scary.

Lastly, it can be acquired through the bite of an infected tick and like all tick borne infections, if not caught and treated early, it can lead to a whole array of chronic problems.

What symptoms might someone who has been infected with Brucella display?

Some of the symptoms associated with an infection of the Brucella bacteria include weight loss, abdominal pain, joint and back pain, insomnia, depression, constipation and fatigue. Since these symptoms can often be indicative of other illnesses, the level of difficulty to accurately diagnose this infection is quite high.

How can Brucella be detected?

Brucella can be detected in a traditional manor by using a Brucella Antibody IGG/IGM screen. If the Brucella Antibody Screen is positive or equivocal, a Brucella Antibody with bacterial agglutination is done for confirmation. Brucella was detected in my friend using these tests.

Alternatively, Brucella was detected in me using the FDA approved device the Zyto Scan. I will eventually do a post on the Zyto Scan in greater detail, but suffice it to say I was initially a huge skeptic about the concept of biocommunication between my body and a computer. My Nurse Practitoner, along with one of the country’s leading Zyto Scan practitioners and I teamed up on a phone call to do a remote scan. The results were unbelievably accurate. Symptoms I had told doctors about, symptoms I hadn’t even mentioned yet and even previous blood work ALL showed up on my scan. In addition to confirming the areas I knew were problematic, the Zyto Scan also revealed a serious Brucella infection. My Nurse Practitioner compared my scan results to my clinical presentation and conferenced about my case with a leading physician in the treatment of tick borne diseases. She concurred that Brucella is one of the underlying co-infections that I am in fact battling.

Where might I have how to order soma acquired this infection?

That is an excellent question.

I have not spent much time on farms or near farm animals in the United States, so that seems improbable. I am not a big meat eater and I do not enjoy cooking, so even more unlikely is the chance that an open wound I might have had came in contact with tissues or bodily fluids of an infected animal. What is however more realistic, is that I obtained this infection through one of two ways–a tick bite (and we already know I have had at least one of those suckers) OR from my summer spent in the Dominican Republic years ago where farm animals openly roam the streets and Brucellosis is more prevalent. Whichever the case may be, this is a question that will never have an answer.

How is Brucellosis treated?

Most people with Brucellosis will recover in 2 to 3 weeks even without treatment. In cases like myself where the illness has become chronic, Brucellosis is typically treated with a combination of two antibiotics for two or more months. For my situation, the combination we are using is 600mg of Rifampin once per day and 100mg of Doxycycline twice per day. These medications have to be taken at specific times so as not to interact with one another. Sadly, relapses are common.

My Treatment Protocol

Below, I have included my new treatment protocol. I have my alarm set to go off multiple times per day to remind me of when to take the lengthy list of medications, herbs and supplements.

Medication Schedule

8:30: Nature-Throid and homeopathic adrenal supplement
9:00: 600mg of Rifampin
10:00: Eat breakfast and take:
200mg of Hydroxychloroquine
Brain/Nerve Cleanse if needed
Lymph drops
Vaccine Detox Drops
Vitamin C
Interfase Plus (for biofilms)
Ginko Biloba

12:30: 100mg of Doxycycline
2:10: Take Samento
2:30: Eat lunch and take:
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
Sacc B
Ginko Biloba
Lymph Drainage
Vaccine Detox
Homeopathic Adrenals

6:10: 30 drops of Samento
6:30: Eat Dinner and take:
Lymph Drops
100mg of Diflucan

9:00: 100 mg of Doxycycline
9:30-11:00: Bedtime
1 Drop of Ashwaganda
Magnesium Glycinate

This phase of treatment has not been easy. About two weeks ago, I began to be hit quite hard with the dreaded “herx” reaction, where there is an exacerbation of symptoms as the bacteria begin to die-off. I have tried to continue with my usual detox protocol in an attempt to combat those symptoms (light exercise, detox baths, infrared sauna, etc.), but I am once again finding myself feeling very depleted. After having spent most of 2012 and 2013 being bedridden, depletion is a scary place for me to be. I am going to resume a more consistent acupuncture schedule as that has proven to be an extremely beneficial adjunct to my treatment. I will also try my best to remain hopeful and optimistic that this too can be conquered and continue to carry with me the belief that better days are yet to come.


Although the past three weeks have been difficult, there is still the potential that this could be a positive turning point for me in my healing from Lyme Disease and it’s co-infections.

Are you battling Brucella? I would love to hear from you! As always, please feel free to leave me a comment.




Last week, I had my eight-month follow-up phone consultation with my Lyme Literate Nurse Practitioner. During the past four months, my full time job has been to diligently continue to follow my treatment and detox protocols. It seems it may be helping! For the first time in many years, I am ever so slowly and gradually climbing up the mountain, rather than continually tumbling down it. At this time last year, I was still bedridden and isolated from virtually everyone and everything. I wondered if there would ever be light in the midst of such a dark situation.

Well, the light came. It came in the form of celebrating healing milestones, things I hadn’t done in years. It came when I challenged myself to believe whole-heartedly that there were better days ahead. Most importantly, it came when I stopped telling myself I could no longer participate in life and began taking small risks believing I could live a more abundant life again. Although this journey is still marked with tremendous ups and downs, I am so happy that the light finally seems to be shining!

These Are The Areas Where I Have Seen Improvement:

1) I am still treating my Lyme Disease and co-infections with a combination of medication, supplements and herbal antimicrobials. About three months ago, I was able to achieve taking the full doses of all of my medications. This is huge for me as I typically am very chemically sensitive regardless of what the substance may be.

2) After some trial and error with treating my hypothyroidism, I have found that I can tolerate Nature-Throid. I am slowly increasing my dosage over several weeks but am confident that I will be able to get my thyroid levels into a healthy range by my next treatment update in 4 months.

3) I have been able to make small increases in the supplements that I take to support my body’s ability to detoxify Lyme toxins through a process known as methylation. Supporting the methylation cycle will, over time, boost my immune system and increase my energy. Fatigue has been one of my most intense and relentless symptoms.

4) When symptoms allow, blogging about my journey to wellness has allowed me to connect with some wonderful people throughout the world. I really enjoy writing and am grateful that this passion reemerged in the midst of my struggle with a chronic illness.

5) When I began Lyme treatment last November, I committed to completing a 20-session restorative yoga program as part of rehabilitating myself from months of prolonged bed rest and 4 years of inactivity. For 8 months, I have struggled  with fatigue, aches and pains as I work my way through each session. I can feel that I had gotten a bit stronger. When I am finished with the program, I plan to purchase myself a piece of Pilates equipment called the reformer so that I could begin some gentle resistance training. I have greatly missed having movement and exercise in my life and I look buy pain o soma online forward to the day when I can include it as part of my daily life with some amount of consistency.

6) I will begin attending a monthly Lyme Disease support group in the city of Chicago. Our first meeting will be in August but we already have a Facebook forum online. I am very excited to be connecting with my fellow Lyme fighters as I try to break some of the isolation this illness has caused for me.

These are the areas I HOPE will continue to improve over the next 4 months:

1) A new infection has surfaced in me called, Brucella. It is a difficult to treat infection and the relapse rate is very high. I am fortunate that my Nurse Practitioner will be able to consult with the world-renowned Lyme Disease specialist, Dr. Horowitz, on my case regarding a proper treatment protocol. This will almost certainly require the use of multiple antibiotics taken over a long period of time. I am nervous about this and anticipate that I may take a couple of steps backward in order to move further ahead eventually. I should have my new treatment plan in a few weeks and am hopeful that all the rebuilding my body has done over the last 8 months has prepared me to undergo this treatment.

2) I hope to see an increase in my energy and a higher degree of functioning. I am anxious to accomplish this new healing milestone.

3) I would like to see my thyroid levels reach the normal range, as I believe this will be key in helping me see an improvement in my energy levels.

4) I will continue to address the genetic defect I have in my methylation cycle through specific supplementation and aim to be able to increase them to the appropriate doses for optimal functioning.

5) I would like to see my ability to sleep continue to improve as well as my ability to nap.

6) I want to continue to reconnect with friends, both old and new.

7) I would like to have a noticeable increase in strength and endurance as I continue to implementing a reconditioning program.

8) For two years, my wonderful husband has kindly been my chauffeur to nearly everywhere. I would like to feel strong enough to drive by myself whenever I need to or want to go somewhere. Hopefully, you will see a pic of me wearing a driving cap soon!

My eight-month consultation ended with my nurse saying, “We are on the right track and you have done a wonderful job of combining various treatment strategies into your own unique protocol.” This illness has taken more determination, more perseverance and more strength to continue to forge ahead than I can ever truly describe. I know that my battle is not yet over, but I do find comfort in knowing we are on the right track and I finally feel as though I may actually be beating Lyme instead of the other way around.



In March, I had my thyroid and iodine levels checked.  The blood tests had indicated sub-clinical hypothyroidism.  What this means is that I have a TSH level that is slightly out of the normal range, but my T4 and T3 levels remain in the normal range. I also showed a slight deficiency in iodine levels.  For whatever reason, I have difficulty tolerating any type of supplement or medication that can potentially be stimulating.  I had been on thyroid medication before, but with great difficulty.  Not wanting to derail any progress I had made, my nurse decided she would gently treat me for a few months with iodine to see if I could get my TSH levels back into a healthier range.  Despite taking the iodine and continuing on my Lyme treatment plan, I have continued to experience some mild symptoms of hypothyroidism (weight gain, muscle pains, dry skin, etc).

© Com Salud

© Com Salud

Two days ago,  I had my routine, monthly follow up with my Lyme Nurse Practitioner.  After some careful discussion, she confirmed that I was still exhibiting symptoms of hypothyroidism and that the iodine had not done enough to restore optimal thyroid function.  In the past, I had used Armour, a natural thyroid preparation made from porcine glands (such a lovely thought).  My longest stretch of Armour usage was about one year, during which I continually experienced nervousness, jitteriness and a few other strange symptoms for the duration of time I was taking it.

My nurse practitioner felt that since Armour is made with both T4 and T3, perhaps I did not need the extra T3 and had begun to experience symptoms of hyperthyroidism instead.  Since no one had ever bothered to re-check my blood levels, we can only guess this is what had happened.

We decided my best course of action this time around would be to try a T4 only preparation in the form of Levothyroxine, beginning at the lowest dose of 25mcg and working up if need be.  Excited about this new treatment plan, hubby and I swiftly went to the pharmacy and I gulped down my first pill before I was even out of the store!

One hour went by.  I felt nothing.  Feeling nothing is usually a good sign with me as it means I am not reacting negatively.  I thought, “This is it.  This will finally be the right medication.” As the next few hours progressed, I had forgotten I had even taken the pill.

Approximately three hours after I had taken the medication, I began to feel buy soma online without prescription burning pain up my spinal cord and a severe sense of achiness right down to my very bones.  I shivered with chills and had to cover up with a blanket.  I tried to go to sleep, but despite taking my normal sleep medication, I was unable to catch even a wink of sleep.  At 4:00am, I was up dry skin brushing and taking an epsom salts foot bath trying desperately to calm the burning sensation that was occurring throughout my body.  I rubbed some calming essential oils on my wrists,  took some additional sleep medication and finally fell asleep for a few hours.  This was not the intended reaction to the medication.

As is often the case with Lyme Disease, nothing is ever very simple.  This can get very confusing and actually quite frustrating.

Yesterday, I opted not to take the medication.  I am not sure I feel brave enough to go through that again.  It just may end up as yet another addition to the ever-growing dizzying spiral of medications and supplements.  It takes a lot out of me when I have to endure those excruciating flare ups of burning in my brain and spinal cord mixed with sleepless nights.  I am meeting with my local LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) next week and will run this scenario past him for a second opinion.  I don’t know why I have this sort of reaction to thyroid medication and I am feeling a little bit dismayed at the moment.  Since all of my doctors and nurses visits are paid out-of-pocket, I hate having an unproductive visit and that is currently how I am feeling about this last one.

Hopefully, I can get this piece of the puzzle in place soon.  Progress has been made but it is very slow going.  I will be investigating an interesting new treatment approach during the month of June that may help to direct the next steps of my treatment that I will be writing about.  In addition, next month I will also be writing a full 8 month treatment update so I can compare my current progress from that of 4 month ago.  Until then, I will be brushing up on the anatomy and physiology of my thyroid gland.

Don’t be jealous.

I would love to hear from you about your experiences taking thyroid medications.  Has it been helpful?  Did you have trouble tolerating the medications?  Please feel free to leave me a comment.

To read the update to this post, please click here.




As an Occupational Therapist and chronic illness suffer, I am passionate about sleep. After all, sleep truly is the most important occupation you will ever engage in throughout your life. Sleep is vitally important for us to heal and rejuvenate, but for some of us, it has become a near impossible endeavor.

Sleep can be impacted by several factors including extreme stress, illness, hormonal imbalances and a poor sleep regime. I first became an extreme insomniac in 2010, when I lost the ability to sleep altogether due to Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease. One day, I was sleeping 10-12 hours a day. Two month later, I was no longer able to sleep at all. In a quest to one day return to a blissful night’s rest, I have combined my own professional understanding of the mechanics of sleep with numerous books, articles and consultations with experts in the fields of Sleep Medicine, Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Adrenal Fatigue. In part one of my post, I have compiled a list of basic sleep strategies recommended to help promote sleep.  In addition to treating the underlying condition triggering your insomnia, it is imperative that you tighten up your sleep hygiene to ensure it is not contributing to your inability to have a refreshing night’s slumber.  My hope is that you will find at least a few unique tips that you have not yet tried in your mission to overcome insomnia.

Finding Your Sleep Rhythm
1. Find time to go outside during the daytime hours, preferably in the morning, to get exposure to natural light. An average of 20 minutes of exposure without wearing sunglasses is generally recommended. The sunlight needs to reach the pineal gland in your brain via the optic nerves in your eyes. This exposure to sunlight will increase your brain’s production of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, which remarkably, is a precursor to melatonin. Warning: Do not stare directly at the sun when outside. Doing so can increase your risk of developing cataracts.

2. Give your body the opportunity to establish a daily and nightly rhythm by going to bed and getting up at the same time each day.

3. By 10:00pm, you should stop watching tv, using the computer or your cell phone. The light from those devices may cause your body to still think it’s daylight and may halt the production of melatonin to induce sleep.

Dietary Considerations for Insomnia
1. If you have not already done so, you should quite smoking. Nicotine acts as a stimulant which can make it difficult to fall asleep. Also, nighttime nicotine withdrawal can cause you to awaken.

2. Do not consume alcohol before you go to bed. For a variety of reasons, this can decrease the quality of your sleep.

3. Do not consume caffeine after 4:00pm. This includes stimulating coffees, sodas, teas (besides herbal teas) and chocolates.

4. If you have frequent nighttime urination, reduce your consumption of liquids near bedtime.

5. Eating a small snack of protein and fat, such as a handful of cashews or walnuts, before sleep can be very helpful. This can promote a more restful night’s sleep by stabilizing your blood sugar. Low blood sugar in the middle of the night can create a surge of adrenaline buy soma usa causing you to wake up. If you find yourself waking in the middle of the night, eat another small snack normalize blood sugar before returning to bed.

Your Bedroom Environment
1. You should not use your bed for watching TV or doing work.

2. You’re room should be a cool, comfortable temperature.

3. Make your room as dark as you can or consider purchasing a sleep mask to keep out as much light as possible.

4. Continually watching the clock can perpetuate sleep problems so be sure to place the clock at an arm’s length and facing away from you.

5. If you have a partner that snores, you may need to consider buying a pair of ear plugs. If the snoring can still be heard through the ear plugs, you may want to sleep in a different room until you can find another method that enables you to sleep soundly despite the snoring.

Preparing for Sleep
1. Incorporate some mindful breathing when you first lay down to sleep to help relax the mind and body. Place one hand on your heart and the other hand on your belly. Inhale through your nose as you direct your attention to the rising of your belly as your lungs fill with air. Exhale through your nose as you feel the lowering of your belly as oxygen is gently expelled from your lungs. Repeat this sequence for 5-10 minutes.

2. Practice Corpse Pose. Lie on your back with your neck comfortably supported and your arms out to the side with your palms facing upward. Straighten your legs and let them roll outward. Allow your body to become heavy on the bed as you inhale and exhale with the natural flow of your breath. Permit your body to sink even further into the bed as you come to a state of total relaxation.  Remain in this position for 5-10 minutes.

3. If you find your mind racing, worrying or problem solving while trying to fall asleep, get up and take a few minutes to write down all of your thoughts in a journal until you cannot think of any more. Set those concerns aside and return to bed. Repeat this exercise as often as needed to calm an overactive mind.

Natural Sleep Aids
The following is a list of supplements often recommended by Integrated Health Practitioners to assist you with getting a restful nights sleep. Please consult with your physician regarding dosing, side effects and drug interactions before incorporating any of these into your nighttime routine.

1. Valerian Root
3. 5-HTP
4. Melatonin
5. L-Theanine
6. Magnesium Glycinate
7. Passion Flower
8. Phosphatidylserine

Additional Resources
The following three books are books that I personally have found to be particularly useful in my mission to beat my chronic insomnia.

1. From Fatigued to Fantastic, Jacob Teitlebaum, M.D.
2. Revive, Frank Lipman, M.D.
3. The Triple Whammy Cure, David Edelberg M.D.

In my next post, I will provide some additional tips and resources for those of us whose insomnia, despite having a solid sleep hygiene program, continues to persist. Don’t lose hope! This can be a frustrating situation to endure, but it is one in which improvement can, and often is, found.



Instatus 29-03-2014 23:21

This week, I had my four month follow-up via phone consultation with my Lyme Literate Nurse Practitioner. I had spent much of 2012 and 2013 bedridden and unable to perform most of my activities of daily living. I required the assistance of my husband for most everything and I estimate I was functioning around 5% of my normal self for nearly a year and a half. I have written a few posts describing those dark days and grappling with the reality that Lyme Disease was slowing stealing my life. Somewhere between late October and mid November, I reached a point of desperation as the treatments I had been trying with my previous doctor had yielded no results. After reaching out to others in the Lyme community and hearing their experiences, I decided there was still enough hope and fight in me to once again look for a new practitioner to treat me.

Enter Nurse P.  I had known about Nurse P. for several years. Her story is much like mine where her initial symptoms presented as a bladder condition and then eventually progressed to the point where a series of tick borne infections were identified. I felt that since Nurse P. had experienced both my bladder condition and Lyme Disease herself, she would be the right person to develop a new plan of attack for me. I had my first phone consultation with her in mid October. She ordered a series of tests including vitamin D, CD 57, a urine culture, 23 and me genetics testing, Adrenal Stress Index and a blood stain from Fry Labs. By mid November, all of my test results had returned and the picture of what I had been dealing with for nearly a decade, finally became clearer. I was both happy to have some answers and overwhelmed by the long road that now was in front of me.

Nurse P. confirmed an abysmal vitamin D level and a very low CD 57 indicative of the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, and an immune system that was slowly being drained. The blood stain from Fry labs showed evidence of the Lyme co-infections, Bartonella and Protomyxzoa. Finally, the 23 and me genetics results revealed MTHFR and COMT mutations reducing my body’s ability to perform methylation making me feel even more fatigued and impairing my liver’s detox capabilities. Armed with this new arsenal of information, we were ready to put my treatment and detox plans into action.

Areas of Improvement:

1) I have been treating with a combination of medication, supplements and herbal antimicrobials from the Cowden Protocol. When I began treatment, I had a very poor tolerance for any sort of medication or supplement and would often have a bad reaction or major set-back. Thus far, I have slowly been able to increase all medication, supplements and herbal antimicrobials without any set backs.

2) I have been able to effectively manage recurring herxheimer reactions, an intensification of symptoms buy soma online us pharmacy caused by an increase in the body’s toxic burden when the Lyme bacteria die, throughout my treatment by implementing a variety of detoxification strategies.

3) I have a slight decrease in the burning sensation I often feel in my brain and spinal cord.

4) I notice an improvement in my mood and my sense of optimism.

5) There is a small reduction in my sensitivity to sound. I can talk on the phone, watch a movie and listen to music with the volume at a reasonable level.

6) I am able to get out once or twice a week for a few hours at a time. This generally involves going to the grocery store, acupuncture or the chiropractor.

7) My vitamin D level has now improved to a healthy level.  I am very happy I now have one area in which I can say I am “normal.”

These are the areas I HOPE will continue to improve over the next 4 months:

1) As we increase the killing power for the infections, this phase of treatment is proving to be more difficult to tolerate than the previous 4 months.  Over the next 4 months, I would like to be ble to work up to the full doses of the antimicrobials I am taking.

2) A recent blood test indicated hypothyroidism, which may very well be contributing to my fatigue and need to stay wrapped up in my infrared heating pad 24/7.  Rather than giving me thyroid medication, my Nurse Practitioner believes I may in fact I have an iodine deficiency and that my thyroid is lacking in the raw materials it needs to make adequate levels of the hormone. I hope to have my thyroid in a normal level in the upcoming months.

3)  I hope to be able to increase my b12 levels as they are low as well.

4) I hope to regain more energy and stamina, although this symptoms seems to be among the most stubborn of all of them.

5) I would like to see my ability to sleep improve as well as my ability to nap return.

6) I would like to begin implementing a condition program to try to regain some strength.

My four month consultation ended with Nurse P. saying, “I just want you to know I am so proud of you and all of the hard work that you have been doing. I believe whole-heartedly we are on the right path. You have done all that I have asked of you and more.” I too am proud of the commitment I have made to myself to continue on the path of wellness and hope that my efforts are rewarded with better days ahead.

In an effort to protect the identity of my healthcare practitioner, I have chosen not to use her name. I hope one day, all health practitioners are able to treat Lyme Disease freely and openly without undue scrutiny, but sadly, such is not the case yet 2014.