Category: Lyme Disease

My Personal Story with Lyme Disease: Part 2

Two years ago my granddaughter was sickly and slipping into the autistic spectrum.  Our daughter astutely considered Lyme as a potential cause and took her to a Harvard trained doctor in New Jersey who diagnosed chronic Lyme.  She had minimal tick exposure and no acute illness to suggest a recent Lyme attack.  Since I was in a similar condition—chronic illness, lots of pain and various neurological hupersensitivities (terrible frequent migraine headaches, photophobia, etc.)—I decided to go to the same doctor.  She drew lots of blood tests and my results came back CDC criteria positive for Lyme!  No tick bite, no rash or acute arthritis, just chronic symptoms gradually getting worse.  At the time I feared that I was approaching the point of becoming disabled.  However, I believe in healing and wanted to do everything possible to get better!

So I started what’s called Integrative Medicine.  That’s when the doctor prescribes BOTH traditional medicines, like antibiotics, and alternative medicines, which are natural remedies.  When I first started, I was weak and sickly, without much reserves.  My doctor treated me with multiple oral antibiotics for two months.  She also used twice weekly intramuscular shots of penicillin.  (Remember the Lyme bacteria is very similar to Syphilis.)  The first month was especially tough.  I was travelling and sometimes didn’t know where I was driving.  Fortunately my wife was there helping me.  Neuro Lyme typically has a lot of “brain fog” where the processor in the brain gets slowed down and real fuzzy, and often symptoms get worse during the early phase of treatment.

Next was a month of intravenous antibiotics—two grams a day of Rocephin for 30 days.  This was the thing that helped me the most.  I am very grateful.  I got my energy back and just started to feel better with fewer headaches and less disabling hypersensitivities.  (I no longer needed to wear two pairs of sunglasses.)

The final three months were all natural medicines, which I had started concurrently with the antibiotics.  Things like herbal and homeopathic “drainers” (to help get rid of toxic byproducts of dying Lyme bacteria) and “killers” (natural based antibiotics).  Also there were nutritional supplements to help support and rebuild my immune and neurological systems.  Even intravenous vitamin C (ascorbate) and PC oil (phosphatidyl choline) were employed.

Yes, I got better, a lot better!  Maybe 80% better overall, compared to the time before my health started slipping about five years earlier. More importantly I had stabilized and was out of the continual health decline.  About six months later off treatment, I did have a setback—probably due to too much stress.  So I got back into therapy, this time only doing the natural treatments.  I did great and was able to stop them after two months.  It is now over a year since I had any Lyme therapy and I am stable and happy.  I still get a few headaches each month and still have to wear sunglasses, but nothing like before treatment when I was in a progressive nosedive.

I am so grateful to my GOD, my wife and family and staff, patients and friends who prayed for me!  I really benefited from the healing POWER of GOD working through prayer and medicine!!

Yes, this was an expensive Journey.  You see disease can only progress in the setting of a weakened immune system.  So keeping it in good working order is a priority for all of us, because no one knows when that next big health assault may STRIKE.  (A dear friend who is a hulk of a man and avid mountain climber, traces all of his serious health woes back to a severe lightning strike while climbing at 14,000 feet.)

IN SUMMARY

My last three blogs have touched on the multifaceted appearance of Lyme Disease.  There are over 200,000 new cases of acute Lyme per year in the US, according to the CDC.  No one knows how many chronic Lyme sufferers there are, primarily because of ignorance and denial.  The CDC and the infectious disease organization say that there is not conclusive evidence to support it.  I believe chronic Lyme affects a great number of people and presents in a variety of ways.  Literally any organ system can be singled out for disease progression.  The skin can be involved through Morgellon’s Disease.

Most often multiple organ systems are attacked.  Chronic Lyme can present with the picture of cardiac arrhythmias (atrial fibrillation, etc.), heart failure, chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, peripheral neuropathies of various types (including Bell’s Palsey), headaches, psychoses, movement disorders (chorea), dementia, ALS type deterioration and MS like appearance.  In a prior generation doctors struggled to diagnose and help syphilitic patients who presented in much the same polymorphic ways.  (You must understand that not all people who have these conditions are due to Lyme infection, but I believe a sizable number are.)

I hope this helps someone out there!  In a world of corporate medicine and big pharma and ever tightening government control, it is often hard to find a caring knowledgable physician.  ILADS is an organization of Lyme literate providers who can help find these contacts.  Please feel free to share My Story with others.

 

Steven A. Smith, MD, Dermatology

Psalms 103

Praying ALL HIS BENEFITS for You and Yours!!!

My Story of Lyme Disease

PLEASE READ MY 6-30- 16 BLOG FIRST! This will help you gain perspective to better understand my experience with Lyme which is compiled below.

It all started in the womb for me. Those sneaky boring corkscrew shaped spirochete bacterias—very similar to the syphilis bacteria– hit me in earliest life. That’s right, NOT later in life through a tick bite.

Although controversial, transplacental transmission of Lyme is a scientific fact. For four generations. from my mother through my granddaughter, we all had the same weak, sickly, painful, multiple organ system maladies—unresponsive to the doctors’ best efforts.

My mother avoided doctors and was a silent sufferer through her adult life. But the stories through her childhood were hair raising, including times the doctors gave up on her to die in the night—and only God’s Healing Power, working through prayer, saved her young life. (Friends, this means A LOT to me as I would not have been here without healing prayer.)

I was weak and often sickly as I grew up. This affected my decision to become a doctor—so I could better understand my body, and why there was so much pain and suffering.

My daughter was much like me, only worse. I was now in medical residency and saw everything through the sharp lens of medical education. So she got the best care, but we still struggled to help her. Many times medications were not enough to relieve her terrible symptoms, and only through prayer God repeatedly healed and helped her. (In fact she became a great receiver of Divine Healing, and these experiences gave me great encouragement in praying for the sick.

Her daughter, my granddaughter, was worse yet! Inside the womb she struggled, and the doctors did weekly ultrasounds. After a difficult delivery, she immediately started having multiple organ problems, including terrible skin rashes that scared even an experienced dermatologist.

After taking her to multiple specialists in Tulsa, we went to Dallas and saw the best pediatric specialist. She received no help there either. After biopsies of her stomach showed Eosinophilic Gastritis, the only recommendation was a feeding tube with elemental (liquid, sterile) nutrition for six months, maybe longer—or possibly the rest of her life!

My daughter, her Mother, was outraged! This was totally unacceptable, but what could she do to help her daughter through this ongoing nightmare of pain, suffering and failure to thrive (due to severe food allergies to almost everything)? She did what every outraged faith filled, red-blooded Mother would do for her child—she resorted to prayer and the internet! Chatting with other concerned Mothers who had similar children, she began to try very simple diets, eliminating ALL processed foods, food additives and all known allergic foods. (Thank you Dr. Love, Tulsa Allergy Clinic, for helping us find CORN as a severely allergic substance. Turns out CORN is processed and used in every food preparation imaginable.)

After some improvement Dr. Mom landed on an elimination diet that was quite draconian. It is called GAPS—gut and physiology syndrome—developed by an Australian doctor for children with multiple severe food allergies. This was life saving for our granddaughter and life changing for all of us, as we wanted to adapt to this strange diet in order to support her. This evolved over about one year into the Weston A. Price diet which had a few more food choices.

The little girl who had been so pathetic, in such constant pain, failing to thrive, but with a big belly, was actually gaining weight and feeling better!! We were so grateful to God and to her MOM who would not take NO for an answer! But there was another demon standing in the way of complete healing —LYME DISEASE.

STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT EDITION OF THIS REAL LIFE THRILLER—Dr Smith’s personal story of multigenerational Lyme Disease which took him through a full year of Integrative Medicine (both traditional and alternative) into full recovery!

Lyme Disease

This is a growing problem all throughout the world. It is an infection very similar to syphilis that can be transmitted by tick bite. I plan to do some blogs following this one on various tick borne infections.

Ticks are not only bothersome pests, but they are a breeding ground for an increasing number of dangerous infections for both man and animals. Think of ticks as an open sewer. Many of these infections have skin manifestations that can give important clues to the proper diagnosis. Early diagnosis is KEY to proper treatment, which can be lifesaving. Early treatment helps prevent chronic disabling symptoms from developing later—such as chronic fatigue, arthritis, immune system disorder, heart arrhythmias, headaches and various hypersensitivities, brain fog, dementia, neuropathy, and the list goes on and on. Thus, it is vital to be aware of the multiple dangers of tick bites!

In this blog I will describe Lyme Disease which was first discovered in the 1980’s. It is so new that we consider it an emerging disease with new information still evolving. Lyme is very common with over 200,000 new infections every year in the US. All regions are affected, with the highest incidence in the northeast and northcentral states. In future blogs we will describe other tick related infections — so called coinfections, such as Bartenella, Babesia, Erlichia and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, etc.

Acute Lyme can be a violent illness with sudden onset of high fever, severe head and muscle pain, sweats and shakes. A peculiar bull’s eye type of rash occurs about 40% of the time. As the initial phase dies down, arthritis can develop in the subacute stage. But the worst part by far is what can happen in the chronic phase if proper early antibiotic treatment is not obtained, which is often lifelong. This occurs when the immune system is impaired and becomes dysfunctional. Multiple organ systems in the body are affected—heart, brain, peripheral nerves, muscles, joints, gut and skin, etc. Chronic skin sores can develop that are very bothersome and heal very slowly with scarring. New evidence now links Morgellan’s Syndrome to Chronic Lyme.

Finally, psychiatric illness can set in during latter stages of suffering. In fact chronic Lyme is so pernicious and difficult to diagnose and treat, that these patients are often suspected by doctors or even family of malingering, or worse yet, of even causing their own illness!

A century ago Syphilis had a very similar presentation, before an easy diagnostic test and a sure fire treatment (penicillin) were discovered. Interestingly both the bacterias that cause Lyme and Syphilis are related forms called spirochetes. Spirochetes are great imitators, because they invade so many organs in the body and can evade detection and eradication by sophisticated mechanisms such as biofilms, L-forms and cysts. Lyme Disease is still an emerging medical condition. Most doctors don’t know much about it. Even specialists are under informed—especially about Chronic Lyme. To get a more “Lyme Literate” viewpoint, watch the documentary UNDER OUR SKIN, and its’ sequel, on U-tube. You will be shocked at the degree of suffering that is often disregarded by the medical profession.

ACTION POINTS

1. Get a Tick Lifter. This handy device is the best way to remove a tick after it’s embedded. Simple and safe. This can also be found under Tick Remover Pro-Tick Remedy.

2. Watch yourself and your loved ones carefully and frequently after outdoor excursions. Be thorough in your search for ticks. They can be as small as a pin head. They can crawl into crevices.

3. Get the ticks off EARLY! Within 12 hours is advisable to minimize risk of infection. However, if symptoms occur even with short exposure, see a doctor for therapy.

4. Finally, if you are a Chronic Lyme sufferer, there are a few “Lyme Literate” doctors that may be able to help, even in the worst cases. The International Lyme and related Diseases Society — ILADS — may be able to help locate knowledgable practitioners.

COMING SOON!

Dr Smith’s own personal story of his Chronic Lyme suffering and his miraculous outcome.

 

 

Steven A. Smith, MD, Dermatology

Psalms 103 Healing Prayers

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén