Welcome to my blog! This is a place of information and hope for fellow Canadians who are suffering from Lyme disease. I want to share with you the knowledge I have gained during my fight with this debilitating, frightening, and misunderstood illness. I hope you will be blessed.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Interview with Jim Wilson of CanLyme on the CBC

The CBC strikes again - in a good way!  If you have followed my blog, you may know that CBC radio is close to my heart because it was an interview I heard on their station in 2010 that helped me to self-diagnose my Lyme disease.  The CBC continues to shine a light on Lyme.  Today, the CBC aired a 1 hour segment on Lyme disease with guest Jim Wilson, founder of the Canadian Lyme Foundation, or CanLyme.  They also took numerous calls from Ontarians afflicted by Lyme disease.  The majority of those people, like myself, have had to travel to the U.S. for treatment.  Jim Wilson, a former Lyme sufferer, is so knowledgeable, and a very calm, rational speaker.  His foundation has helped to provide guidance to Elizabeth May's team in preparing the bill.  The segment also featured a short interview with an infectious disease specialist from Toronto who pretty much toed the old party line - the one we're trying so desperately to change!!!

Click here to listen to the program on CBC's Ontario Today.

Click here to visit Jim Wilson's excellent website, CanLyme.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

U.S. House subcommittee discusses Lyme Disease

To read some excellent information presented to a U.S. House subcommittee discussing the global impact of Lyme disease, click here.  The information is so intelligently written.  I truly hope it will have an impact on those who make up the subcommittee, and that changes will be made as a result.  It is so exciting and a great relief to see the issue of Lyme disease being discussed out in the open, and for some members of the government to be 'on board' with us.

I have also found a general overview of the presentation.  Much easier to read!  Click here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

National Lyme Strategy Petition is ready!

Dear Friends,

Elizabeth May is working hard to ensure that her Bill C-442, to create a National Lyme Strategy, gets passed in the House of Commons in the 2012-13 session. She has developed this petition which can be downloaded, signed, and sent in to her office (postage free).  See the link below.  If you could please take the time to download a copy and sign it, along with your spouse and children (there is no age restriction on signing petitions), and send it in, it would be much appreciated. If you think you could gather a few more signatures, then great! If not, no problem. Just send in your family's signatures.

Thank you so much for your help!


Meerkat's Heap: National Lyme Strategy Petition is ready!  So grateful and excited! I've been in regular touch with the office of Elizabeth May, MP, about the petition to ask for a National Strategy ...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thank you, Lord, that I can exercise

OK, I can hardly believe that those words went through my head earlier today!  I must be fevered or something!  I am not a person who loves exercise......never have, likely never will.  But I was truly thankful that today, I was able to take a 25 minute walk!  Wow!  I haven't done that in about 20 months.

Before I became ill with Lyme disease, I used to walk about 3 times a week, mainly to maintain my weight or lose weight when necessary.  Once Lyme got a hold of me, exercise, even mild exercise, was absolutely impossible.  I was too weak.  I remember taking a light, slow stroll around the block with my husband and kids after I had been ill for about 4 months, and my head started to pulsate and I was so fatigued.  I had to make my way back to the house to lay down.  It was just awful.  This was before I received my diagnosis, and I wondered what could be causing such bizarre symptoms.

I've been avoiding exercise these past few months, because I'm still suffering from some fatigue.  But I realize now that exercise and healthy eating will be necessary to get me into the home stretch of my recovery.  Exercise gets everything moving inside and helps the antibiotics to better circulate through the body.  It helps with lymphatic drainage, and with boosting immunity.

I'm also going to re-commit to a YF SF diet (yeast-free, sugar-free).  And I'm going to do my best to get those 'whites' out of my diet, too:  white flour, white pasta, white rice, white potatoes.  They're all so bad for you, as they convert quickly to sugar in the body.  Sugar feeds Lyme (and cancer, by the way), so it's best to eliminate those foods for optimal health - even if you're not sick.  If you're going to mow down on a baguette, you might as well just have a Mars bar!  Very little difference in the effect they have on your body.

I'm hoping that my commitment to exercise and healthy eating will help me shed these unwanted pounds I've gained.  When I first got sick, I lost 13 pounds very quickly which brought me to my desired weight.  Once I started on meds, I started to put weight on rapidy, and gained 23 pounds.  Yikes!  I've never been heavier in my life, except for pregnancy.  It's time to get serious about this.  It's going to be very hard to shed the pounds, I think, because the meds are working against me.  So, we'll see how it goes. 

I decided to try another supplement to help in the weight loss department.  I can't believe that I'm voluntarily adding ANOTHER supplement to the regimen.  Here it is - raspberry ketones.

Maybe you heard about these on Dr. Oz.  I figured that he really does his research before recommending something to his viewers, so I'm going to give them a try.  They are totally natural, extracted from raspberries.  They apparently help immensely with weight loss and appetite control.  Do your research before purchasing, as you want ones produced in Canada or the U.S. to ensure purity.  Here are a couple of links to check out to learn more about raspberry ketones.

The dietitian in the second link recommends a particular brand.  I decided not to order that brand because there are other ingredients included in the capsules, such as grapefruit powder, which might interfere with my medications.  I wanted one that was 100% raspberry ketones.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Thank you, CBC!

I am so thankful for the CBC's openmindedness in reporting on Lyme disease several times in the past couple of years.  Had it not been for an interview I heard on the CBC in 2010, I don't think I would have my Lyme diagnosis.  Here are some recent CBC reports on Lyme disease that I found on the CanLyme website.  Thanks, CBC!

Lyme disease victim in Fredericton (July 5, 2012)

Lyme disease: Dealing with the disease no one believes in (July 6, 2012)

Lyme disease comes to Fredericton (July 9, 2012)

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Still on the roller coaster, but life is good

If you have come to my blog because you have been diagnosed with Lyme, I want to give you some encouragement.  Many blogs out there appear to focus on the negative, not because the writers are 'being' negative, but because Lyme is such an up and down illness.  It takes a long time to get well, so Lyme sufferers often feel unwell during their treatment.

I want you to understand that Lyme treatment is like being on a roller coaster.  You feel a bit better, then you feel ill again, then you feel OK for a bit, and this repeats itself over and over.

Once thing that contributes to not feeling well is the 'herxheimer reaction'.  This occurs when beginning antibiotic treatment, or changing antibiotics.  As the bacteria begin to die off, the body is overloaded with the dead spirochetes and is unable to dispose of them quickly enough.  Other articles I've read state that the dead bacteria give off neurotoxins.  You may feel flu-like, and your symptoms will feel worse.  But it DOES pass. 

When I started on doxycycline one year ago, I had a herxheimer reaction on my third day of treatment.  I felt flu-like, had the chills, and was tired.  It lasted for six days.  I have had many herxheimer reactions over the past year.  Lately, they seem to produce a terrible fatigue that lasts a couple of weeks.  I think I'm in the middle of one right now.  My doctor said to stop my antibiotics for a few days to help my body catch up with toxin disposal. 

There are many other things a person can do to help rid the body of toxins:  drink lots of water, squeeze the juice of a lemon into your water, take a bath with 2 cups of epsom salts.  Some people have an inability to get rid of toxins and have to take medications such as cholestyramine to help.

It's wonderful when a 'herx' passes, because then you usually feel better than you did before the herx.  That has been my experience, anyway. 

I started feeling very good around June 1, which is one year since starting antibiotics.  When I first saw my LLMD in June of 2011, I asked him how long it would take for me to heal, and he said about a year.  And what do you know......it was a year!  I was overjoyed in June, as I had more energy and was feeling so good, almost 'normal' on some days.  I started wondering when I might go off my meds!

But now, in July, I've had a bit of a backslide.  I started getting fatigued once again about a week ago.  Why would this be?  Am I having another herx?  Am I reacting to the full moon?  (Apparently, Lyme symptoms are worse then.)  I also found out that my thyroid levels have gone out of whack again, and I'm a bit hypothyroid.  That could certainly be contributing to the tiredness, too.  Hopefully, the thyroid problem will correct itself soon.  I discovered the root problem:  A pharmacist had ADVISED me that it was OK to take my Synthroid (thyroxine hormone) with my minocycline each morning.  Apparently, this is a no-no!  After double-checking with 2 other pharmacists and 2 doctors, I've been told not to mix the two.  The minocycline was likely preventing the full absorption of the Synthroid.  It's too bad I was ill-advised 4 months ago, and now will spend my summer 'tired'. 

I see my LLMD this week and have lots to discuss with him.  We might change up my meds.  Not sure.  I'll keep you updated.

But just so you know, and this is the encouraging part, I really AM feeling quite good, despite some lingering symptoms.  I am able to be a wife and mother, and do all of the things I need to do:  cook, clean, laundry, drive kids around, enjoy a movie with hubby, have company overnight.  I could not do ANY of those things a year and a half ago.  So, the antibiotic treatment has been worth it.  It has given me my life back. 

Things CAN improve......persevere and never give up hope!