I now have a whole BOX full of very fancy and expensive pills and liquids to add to my daily regimen. I also have an very fancy and expensive appointment made with Dr. Raxlen in New York City on December 12th. Yes indeed, in one short month I will be jetting off to the Big Apple for an appointment with a Lyme-literate doctor, and a very well-known one at that. Plus, I've never been to NYC, so I'm really excited to go, actually - I've been talking about taking a trip out there forever. A dear friend of mine is in the MFA program at Columbia University; he is a painter and just started the program there in August. Another friend of mine is in the graphic design program at Pratt. So, this will be a good chance to catch up with old friends (they should meet each other anyway), see a city I've wanted to visit for ages, and get lots of good answers about my health - three birds down with only one stone. Plus, I will have a place to stay in the city, which will be VERY helpful.
Dr. Raxlen is very aggressive, and very successful with treatment programs. I will be in good hands. And since my naturopath practices out there at his office one week per month, she will be there too for my appointment, which will be very convenient and provide consistent care. She will be able to provide a great extension of his office here in Minneapolis, following up on my treatment and being able to monitor my progress, and I should be able to just have phone consults with him occasionally, rather than travel out there a lot. I think it will work well, and I'm just looking forward to having the appointment. I'm not looking forward to the bill, but whether I go to someone here in the Midwest or Dr. Raxlen, it won't be covered by insurance and will be about the same price (minus airfare).
As for the pills? Oy, there are lots and lots of them. A few things are naturally anti-microbial and will help fight the Lyme, but most of the supplements are really going to support my immune system, energy levels, and digestive system.
Since I'm sharing my whole experience with this thing, I thought I'd write down all the stuff that is now in my big box o' pills, as well as her other recommendations. I kind of feel like I should keep all this stuff in a fire-proof locked safe; all these bottles represent a serious monetary investment! I think know that I will now need to get any consumerist kicks from buying supplements, medication, and appointments rather than buying pretty much anything else. But as I've said before and I"ll say again, health is the best investment you can make for yourself.
So who's up for finding some free fun for winter? : )
MY NATUROPATH'S RECOMMENDATIONS:
- Mesosilver Colloidal Silver - 15 ml/day; anti-microbial effects
- Alpha lipoic acid - 2 capsules/day; helps CoQ10 enter mitochondria, supports Lyme treatment
- CoenzymeQ10 - 1 capsule (100 ml) 2x/day; immune support, supports healthy energy levels
- EPA/DHA Extra Strength Capsules - 2 capsules 3x/day; anti-inflammatory, immune support
- Vitamin D3 - 5000 IUs/day
- UltraFlora Plus DF Capsule (Metagenix) - 2 capsules/day between meals; supports healthy GI flora
- Basic Nutrients MultiVitamin with Copper and Iodine (Thorne)- 3 capsules 2x/day
- DGL Plus (Pure Encapsulations) - as needed, GI support
- L-Glutamine - as needed while on antibiotics, GI support
- Samento Extract - 5 drops 3x/day; anti-Lyme effects, increases T-lymphocyte immunity, decreases inflammation, increases natural killer cells
- ImmuHerbs (Pure Encapsulations)- 2 capsules 2x/day between meals; immune system support
- InflaMed (Allergy Research Group)- 2 capsules 2x/day between meals; anti-inflammatory, anti-pain
- Chaste Tree Berry Extract (Vitex) - 1 capsule/day; endocrine system support
- emphasize anti-inflammatory foods
- avoid allergens or "reactive" foods
- avoid/eliminate high sugar foods - sugar can suppress the immune system and feed Candida
- No alcohol!
- Hot yoga or saunas - Lyme bacteria are sensitive to heat. Increases immunity, imporves circulation, dcreases inflammation
- Epsom salt baths - Magnesium source, great for pain and insomnia
Then, of course, there are the things I plan to do myself.
MY OWN ADDITIONS TO THE PLAN:
- Acai berry concentrate - 1 oz a few days per week; helps with inflammation, great source of antioxidants
- Pau D'Arco tea - drink as desired; naturally antimicrobial tea made from the bark of the South American Taheebo tree. I drank it a lot during my intense anti-Candida diet last year and found it helpful.
- ume sho kuzu - drink in mornings as desired; this is a macrobiotic wonder beverage of umeboshi plum paste, kudzu, and shoyu (natural soy sauce). Since I don't do soy or gluten, I use GF, soy free chickpea tamari from the South River Miso people. Drawing on all the alkalizing, strengthening, antiseptic qualities of the ume plum, the soothing properties of kuzu, and the power of natural tamari, this drink is considered a cure-all in macrobiotic dietary practice. Ume sho kuzu is effective in strengthening the digestive system, relieve chronic headaches, and fighting bacteria. I drink it sometimes if I have an upset tummy, and it works like a charm.
- Increase consumption of bone broths; the gelatin is strengthening to the digestive system, and the naturally occurring fats and proteins are nourishing to body tissues
- Eat lots of fermented vegetables to support immune system and healthy gut bacteria
- Keep including lots of garlic, onions, pumpkin seeds, dark leafy greens, kohlrabi, turnips, seaweed, turmeric, basil, and thyme in my diet - all this stuff is naturally anti-microbial, and many of those things also help kick out parasites
- water, water, water, water
- Green smoothies, simple vegetable soups, lots of steamed vegetables
- GET MORE SLEEP. This has been hard for me; there is always something I'd rather do than sleep! But I need to get more of it.
- Finally get on that meditation practice I've been meaning to start.
- Continue with regular chiropractic and acupuncture appointments.
- Regular skin brushing, self massage, and lymph fluid stimulation
- Get back into my habit of morning yoga, stretching, and breath work.
- Test my body's pH regularly to monitor acid/alkaline balance
- self-affirmations of healing, love, and patience
- mindfulness in my behaviors, thoughts, and actions
- seek support from local Lyme support groups, friends, and family
- stay creative and engage in stuff that makes my heart sing - make music, sew, do crafts
- see my friends more often and have people over for dinner sometimes
- stay positive, look forward, and have faith that my health and vitality will bring me through all of this successfully
- be aware of and thankful for the supportive, healing, and loving energy that so many people are sending me, and allow that energy to do its job!
Aren't those little star bullet points cute? I had no idea that my blog style template made stars; it was a pleasant surprise once I hit "publish" and viewed the post the first time. You know, the process of writing all of this down made me feel really good. It was very validating and a nice way to really get my brain around it all. There will be more changes to this plan, of course, once I see Dr. Raxlen and get his recommendations. Antibiotics will be added to the mix, maybe some other medications or supplements. Who knows? In the meantime, this is what I will start with, and I think it is a pretty good plan. To be honest, the biggest hurdle is the money involved with all of this. I just need to get past the guilt and frustration about the $$$, and focus on healing. I hate relying on family for monetary support. It makes me feel so vulnerable and helpless and needy. I'm afraid that the struggles with paying for all of this over time will keep me from pursuing school next fall; it is hard to think about leaving a steady job to be a grad student when I know I will have HUGE amounts of out-of-pocket medical expenses and debt racked up. I can't internalize that fear though, because it will not help me heal, it will only make me spin. I need to have faith that I will be able to accomplish my dreams, and remember that I am on no one's timeline but my own - these things will happen when they are supposed to happen, and I just need to be honest about what is realistic.
But for now, I know this much:
- I return each day to a safe home.
- I have food that will nourish me.
- I can pay the bills today.
- I have an amazing support system of family, friends, and the blogging community.
- I have healthcare providers whom I trust.
- I have hope for the future.
- I believe in my body's ability to heal.
- I woke up today. I'm alive. And that's amazing!
- I get to go to New York!
NEW YORK, HERE I COME! Truly, I can't wait to go. I realized yesterday that it will be just before Christmas - how dreamy! As cliché as it is, I am totally making my friend take me to Rockefeller Center to see the big Christmas tree. Heck, I might even drop the $20 to ice skate there. Maybe it will be like a movie and I'll clumsily skate into some dreamer New Yorker, who will pick me up from the ice, our eyes will meet, and he'll fall wildly in love with me (a girl can have daydreams, can't she?). And I'm hoping to use Allergic Girl as a resource and find a some good allergy-friendly places to go out to eat. And then there's the art - oh, the art! The MoMA! The Met! The Guggenheim! All the funky little galleries! My friend's painting studio! I want to drown in art. And let us not forget the vintage boutiques. Dear readers, I am a total whore for vintage clothing and accessories, especially jewelry, knitwear, and dresses. My tight budget keeps from indulging, but I love to look. Despite my desires to see everything, I know it won't happen; I know I'll be happy just walking around different neighborhoods, riding the subway, and seeing whatever I find my way to - I'm just that kind of traveler, and everything I see will be new! And honestly, the most exciting thing about going to New York is that appointment with Dr. Raxlen; it has the potential to absolutely change my life , and that is WAY more exciting than some vintage jewelry.
[although, to be fair, I do have some vintage pieces that I would consider to be somewhat life-altering - like my Thai goat horn pendant, and my lucite bracelet with bugs inside]