I had Lyme twice that year, about seven years ago. The first time in the spring I saw the tick and when I started getting the usual symptoms I got tested, went through the usual round of antibiotics and ended up fine in a few weeks. Of course some say that the antibiotics never really kills the Lyme, it just goes dormant and reawakens when your body is extremely stressed, like another bout of Lyme. Kind of like Chickenpox never really goes away, it just comes back as Shingles, if your body is under enough stress. That's just speculation as far as I know, but may be relevant to the rest of my story.
The second time was in the fall. This time no tick but a small red dot. Unfortunately, no bulls-eye. My speculation here is the bulls-eye is a type of bruise, and since no matter how hard I get hit by something I don't bruise, so no bulls-eye. Again the symptoms. Different this time though. Along with the usual symptoms, but milder, I felt like I was going crazy. I went on the internet to try to find out if Lyme can affect the brain. I'm not sure if it's because it was getting more and more difficult to think, but I didn't find much. I did find some info that said yes, it's rare, but it does happen.
So I went to see my doctor to get tested. She was away so I saw another doc. I think he may have been primarily a shrink, but I'm not sure. This guy was the epitome of the term "drug pushing quack". After listing the symptoms he said "no bulls-eye, no Lyme. Here, have some antidepressants." I had to insist on the test. When the test came back he said, quite sheepishly I might add, "you have four out of five markers for Lyme". I'm not sure what "four out of five markers" means, but it seemed to be significant. He put me on antibiotics.
Most of the symptoms went away in the usual time frame, but the "craziness" just kept getting worse. When inquiring about this I was told that the only way to test for Lyme in the brain is testing brain or spinal fluid. Well, they botched the spinal tap. They claim it went as normal, but I doubt if hitting a leg nerve so bad that the jerking of my left leg nearly making me jump off the table was anywhere close to being normal. Then there was the supposed one to two hour recovery time. I couldn't walk further than between the bedroom and bathroom for almost six weeks.
The test came back negative. As you know, a false negative for Lyme is very common. They insisted I didn't have Lyme in my brain. I mean insisted. Yet no one could tell my why I couldn't walk a straight line for over two months after all other symptoms were gone, or why I was still getting more and more. insane.
BTW, I found out later that antibiotics will not cross the blood-brain barrier. So they will have no effect on any infection, like Lyme. The infection will just keep getting worse.
That's when things started to really fall apart.
All of my family and friends sided with the "doctors" and insisted I go on antidepressants or something similar. Having studied natural healing for a couple of years before this, even in the condition I was in, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt this was the wrong route to go. I wanted to fix the problem, not the allopathic medical industry's method of ignoring the problem and covering up the symptoms. At the time I felt that my leaving NY and moving to CA was self defense. Funny how being insane can affect your thought processes.
Side note: BTW, if you're interested, it's well known that the efficacy rate for antidepressants is 30%. It's also well known that the placebo rate is 30%. Coincidence? I think not.
I asked everyone I could to help me find and fix the problem. My brain was getting continually worse. Reading was getting more and more difficult, and I didn't understand most of what I was reading anyway. I had a vague idea of what to do, but couldn't remember any of it. I had books and videos that would at least give a starting point, but I couldn't get anyone to look at them. My brain was too far gone to fix it myself. I knew I needed help, but couldn't find any.
That's when I lost it. I mean, lost pretty much everything. I lost my wife, my family, my business, my house, most of my tools (I used to be a contractor) and most of my belongings. I left New York with my truck, a hand full of tools and personal items (whatever would fit in a short box Dakota), and a small divorce settlement. I moved to California near San Diego with the plan of using the divorce money to pay for a Naturopath, even if I had to go to Mexico to find one.
Side note: According to what info I could find at the time, the largest Naturopathic medical school in the world is in Guadalajara, Mexico, and the highest concentration of Naturopaths in the world is between Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta.
Well, that didn't work out so well. I couldn't think clear enough as to what to do. But I got better anyway, at least to a point. Before I left NY I found a Naturopath in Connecticut that gave me a homeopathic remedy. That combined with a scaled down version of the Gerson nutritional therapy, I got substantially better. But then I ran into a snag.
My divorce settlement was very small. After spending $1k on a small trailer to live in and another $1k to get the mercury removed from my mouth in Mexico (I was convinced that was part of the problem) the rest only let me live for a few months. Since work was very scarce in that area, and I really couldn't do much anyway, I ended up on food stamps. Which is when I started going down hill again.
One more thing to consider here. All the damage caused by the Lyme combined with a couple other factors (I'll explain later) left me hyper sensitive to MSG (free glutamic acid). This means that I can only eat organic food. Food stamps are just $200/month, which is barely enough to live on even if you buy the cheapest, most toxic crap you can find. These two together meant I got to eat about three weeks per month - and no more juicing.
I didn't realize it at the time, but it was the juicing that was keeping me healthy - and sane. Month after month I gradually slid down hill till I ended up living for three or four months in the back of my truck on the streets of San Diego. I got so sick I nearly died - I laid in bed one night for quite a while with a razor blade pressed against my wrist. I ended up in Kelowna, BC in a homeless shelter. Volunteering in the kitchen of the shelter meant I got to pick and choose what I ate, with much of the produce being organic left-overs from the twice weekly farmers market here. It meant I could eat all month. Combine that with a friend giving me a juicer and within a few months I was pretty much back to normal.
And now for the other factors I mentioned earlier. I'll explain how these tie together in a minute.
Shortly after I arrived at the homeless shelter I found out about a chiropractor who treated poor people for free. Turns out he's also a Naturopath. So I told him about my possible mercury problem, MSG problem and could he help. He said high levels of toxic metals can heighten MSG sensitivity so there's a chance if there is a mercury problem, my MSG problem would be reduced by removing it. His help was free, but the $100 test wasn't. Fortunately he managed to get Mental Health to pay for the test.
Well, turns out the mercury wasn't the problem. A little higher than I'd like, but not really an issue. My lead and cadmium levels on the other hand. The report said my lead level was 11 1/2 times what is considered safe. I grew up in a lead mining town where they pumped the drinking water from the same ground they got the lead from. Seems I've had chronic lead poisoning most of my life.
Side note: If you ask your doctor to test you for chronic lead poisoning they will only do a blood test. They will refuse to do any other test. They do this knowing full well that a blood test will only show acute lead poisoning and will not show chronic no matter how bad it is. One of the many reasons I don't trust the allopathic medical system.
So, here's how these tie together. It's just a theory since I have no way of proving it, but it seems to make sense.
As most people know, lead can wreak havoc in many areas of the body. Including the brain. My theory is, the previous bout of Lyme combined with having had lead poisoning most of my life, weakened the blood brain barrier enough for the Lyme to get in. Then, the two together, both of which are capable of causing real physical cell damage, caused an already mild sensitivity to MSG to sky rocket.
The preceding article was written in March of 2016. I am adding this update in mid November 2016.
I have recently done a little more searching on Lyme in the brain. There is now a great deal of information on the subject, as a quick Google search will show. I started doing this search because of recent events. By recent I mean the last few months, and especially the last couple of weeks. I am now fairly certain that the Lyme in my brain is returning. I have felt unsteady walking for the last couple of weeks and getting more and more confused and depressed. A couple of those days have even been fairly suicidal. I am writing this now during a couple of hours of unusual clarity. I will crash again any minute now.
I am now looking back at this article and seeing a direct correlation to what is happening now. If I am correct in this, unless I can find the means to defeat it, I will once again be completely insane within a few short weeks. I currently do not have the finances needed to do what is required and I know from experience that the medical system will not do anything about it.
Update May, 1017:
Late 2016 things were getting pretty bad so I went to see my Naturopath for a Lyme test. He said he could do the test but the Canadian medical system would not pay for it - according to the Canadian government persistent Lyme doesn't exist. After a description of what was going on and my history he said he had another case almost identical. He put me on doxycycline, mint-hydroxychloroquine (no it doesn't taste like mint), garlic, turmeric and rishi mushroom tincture. A much different regiment than I was on 7 years ago.
I felt substantially better within a week. This lasted several weeks but then I began to deteriorate again. Upon going back to my doc he pointed out that I was supposed to be on the regiment for 2 months. Seems I assumed since the usual duration for doxycycline is 3 weeks I would be finished after the first bottle without checking for a refill. Some day I'll learn how to read a label.
Anyway, I've gotten somewhat better but not great. My plan, with my doc's supervision, is to follow up this regiment with a round of juniper berry tincture, just to make sure. The theory being that juniper berries are not just a powerful antibiotic, but a powerful antimicrobial, which should work well since Lyme is not really a bacteria and is very difficult to kill. I've used juniper berry tincture when I was younger. It killed a persistent infection that no chemical antibiotic would touch.
There's still the problem of not being able to do the nutritional therapy that I know I need. Some day...