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.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Where can you purchase supplements for Lyme?

All Lyme patients know that supplements are regularly prescribed to help in the healing process. Prior to contracting Lyme, I rarely took supplements.  Once in a while, I would buy a container of multivitamins, and I would take vitamin C or echinacea if I felt a cold coming on.  But that's about it. Now, it's a whole different story.  I'm well acquainted with the alphabet.....you know, vitamins A, B, C, D, and E.  I take some supplements to help with inflammation.  I take the "brain supplement", Omega 3.  I take supplements to boost my immune system.  I need high-dose iron because my ferritin gets too low without it.  I feel like a walking pharmacy!  Supplements are without a doubt the most expensive part of my Lyme disease treatment.....even more than the antibiotics and LLMD appointments!  Crazy!

Some supplements I purchase at the drug store, but not too many.  Most doctors recommend pharmaceutical grade supplements.  What does that mean?  I'm no expert, but my understanding is that supplements vary in their quality.  Cheaper versions may have more fillers and less of the actual "ingredient". I do buy my vitamin C (Ester-C) and iron at Costco because the price is really good.  For the others, I go to the health food store.  Then, there are some supplements that I purchase online through LLMD Dr. Marty Ross' website at www.treatlyme.org.

Dr. Ross has a great online store and he explains exactly how he uses all of the supplements in his videos which are on the website.  He discounts the products as much as he can according to the agreement with the supplier which he must adhere to.  I have found the online store to be reliable, except for one time when it took a whole month for my product to arrive.  I only paid for regular shipping, not expedited shipping. Usually that's not a problem, and the item arrives in about 2-3 weeks.  This particular time, it took so long I thought that the package had gotten lost.  I traced the package and learned that items shipped from the online store go from his office in Seattle WA, to Los Angeles for sorting, then back up to Ontario, Canada where I'm from.  That's one long trip!  I think in the future, I will pay for the faster shipping method.

I found out last week that naturopath Dr. Angela Lee from Richmond Hill, Ontario has created a Canadian online store of her own.  The number of products she offers is not as extensive as Dr. Ross' site, but if you can find what you need there, it would be more convenient and faster.  The online store is at this address:  http://lymeessentialscanada.ca/pages/about-us.

Before I sign off, I just wanted to give a thumbs up to a great iron supplement.  I've been using this product for 3 years now, and I must say that it performs exactly like it claims, for me anyway.  No stomach upset, no constipation.  No adverse side-effects at all.  It is called FeraMax and is available at your local pharmacy.  I buy mine in a bottle of 100 at Costco as it's much cheaper that way.  Please note:  I have no affiliation with this company at all.  I just wanted to share with you a great product that has worked for me.  If you have reduced iron stores, do check with your physician first before taking this product.  Also, consult your pharmacist to be sure that there are no drug interactions (which is often the case with iron).

Sunday, June 01, 2014

It's June! Who hooooooo!

Nothing makes me happier than June.  Well, July and August are pretty good too, but there's just something about June that allows me to finally exhale and begin the process of relaxation.  OK, so I can't really relax for another couple of weeks, after my report cards are submitted, but there is this out-of-the-ordinary calmness in me knowing that my job is winding down for the year.

Here is a picture of what was on the agenda today.

It's planting season, and these beauties will soon be making their way into pots to adorn our abode. I'm also looking forward to planting and using more herbs this year - chives, dill, parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, and mint.

It was a rough winter, not only in terms of the horrible bitter cold we endured, but also with my health. I'm therefore quite glad to bid it farewell.  I dealt with a Lyme relapse in January, got back on antibiotics in March, and have been trying to get some symptoms under control.  I'm so happy to report that I think I've finally turned the corner!  I actually feel half-decent!  I'm certainly not 100%, but I don't know if I'll ever achieve that again.  Today I feel about 80-90%.  It might be different tomorrow.  Each morning is like a box of chocolates that way.....to quote Forrest Gump.  "You never know what you're gonna get."

For a few weeks I've been battling terrible tiredness.  I wouldn't call it fatigue, just tiredness.  I suspect that it is medication induced.  I'm currently taking minocycline and the pharmacist said it can be sedating.  Perhaps in a few months I'll be able to reduce the dosage and I'll perk up a bit.

Of course I still have so many questions:  How long should I stay on the antibiotics?  Will I ever get off them?  Will I always relapse?  Will I ever lose this weight I've gained since my illness started?  Will I ever feel "not tired"?  Will I be able to handle my job next year?  Will this crazy Lyme situation ever get sorted out in the Canadian medical system?

There are too many unanswerable questions, so the only alternative to driving oneself crazy is to wake up in the morning and appreciate each day for what it is.  Live one day at a time.  Practice gratitude. Thank God for the blessings in your life and even the hard times, for it is in those hard times that He teaches us so much and develops our character.

I hope, despite how you feel, that you can find one (or 10!) things to be thankful for today.  I wish you all a beautiful summer.

Blessed Be Your Name
Robin Mark