Before I got diagnosed with Lyme disease, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia by one doctor who referred me to a specialist who diagnosed me with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The latter one disagreed with the fibromyalgia diagnosis because some of the points that hurt one day didn’t hurt the next.
But I digress. Once I had this diagnosis, I got mad. I clearly had many of the symptoms of CFS, but I had a whole host of neurological and joint problems not covered by the diagnosis. Plus, it is a syndrome, which means a collection of symptoms, not a disease meaning that the doctors don’t really know what’s causing the problem. The difference is that with a syndrome, the only treatment is to alleviate symptoms. With a disease, in many cases, one can attack the cause.
I started to do a lot of research on CFS. I bought several books. I looked on the internet. (That was a bad idea at first because the information was so disorganized when I wasn’t yet sure what I was looking for.) I read the books. One of them suggested a few key websites. Those helped me get further information, including a place to find doctors who seek the underlying causes of CFS, such as exposure to environmental and man-made toxins, heavy metal poisoning, and a variety of infections and parasites. I sought out one of these doctors. He figured out I have Lyme disease.
All the reading was useful. Months later, after I got started on a diet that didn’t include the food allergens, I would occasionally get food allergy type reactions that lasted for a few weeks. Then it would go away. Then it would come back. I remembered reading about food allergies and CFS, so I decided to investigate.
I found a few lists of common and less common allergens, many of which I had been tested for. Then I ran across a paragraph (I can’t remember if it was in a book or on a website) that talked about allergies to the skin on nuts, particularly almonds.
I thought about it. It made some sense to me. I had shifted to eating a lot more nuts to replace the calories I stopped getting from grains. (I avoid grains for a different reason, to be explained on another day). I would buy a few bags of nuts, then open one bag and eat it till I finished. Then I would open another bag.
Still, the part of me trained in science decided to put this theory to the test. I made sure not to eat almonds for at least two weeks. My abdomen calmed down, mostly. Then I ate a lot of almonds over a few days. Blam! My abdomen was terribly swollen. I went through all the symptoms I described yesterday about how I react to food allergens.
I did a second test after I recovered in which I ate blanched almonds (almonds without skins). No reaction.
I determined that I was allergic to almond skins.
There is a second moral to this story: it is useful for people with Lyme and other tick-borne diseases to read books targeted at people with CFS and fibromyalgia. In part, I think that many of these people have misdiagnosed tick-borne illnesses. Since they got swept up into other categories that have patient movements behind them, there is a lot of patient generated and patient focused information. The books talked about food, detoxification, how to deal with Candida/yeast infections from antibiotics and other causes, different exercise routines, how to ask family and friends for support and a whole host of other useful stuff.
Reduced Allergic Reaction
Sometimes I have reasons to be grateful. My food allergies are much less severe. I had the first seven symptoms I described yesterday. Today, I had a mild headache all day, but it never got to the point of distraction. I was tired but not terribly so. The lump in my throat was big enough to notice but small enough to not be distracting. I didn’t get diarrhea. My lower abdomen was protruding, but the swelling was much less than expected. Food tasted a bit off this morning, but by lunchtime I was fine. My main allergy-related complaint is that my jaw bone hurt and the jaw muscles/joints are extremely tight.
Who knows? Maybe water and the castor oil pack helped. Maybe I’ve reduced the load of Bartonella and Candida in my intestines enough to make a difference. Maybe it’s some other reason I don’t see right now.
It’s time for Lyme. I did another session on my back. I bumped it up 15 seconds past the last session on my back. (I’ve done longer on my abdomen without a problem, but I get a bigger Herx on my back. I think it’s because the bacteria live in and around my spine.)
- Lyme, lower back, 2 minutes 45 seconds
- Candida, abdomen, 10 minutes
My immediate reaction to coiling for Lyme tonight is the lump in my throat got bigger, my headache got worse and I had mild heart palpitations. Break out the magnesium citrate!
The next test of the BioMat was to try sleeping on level 2. (Levels 1 & 2 and the no heat setting are the only ones recommended for sleeping or for lying on for more than 2 hours.) I liked the way it felt. It was warmer, but not uncomfortably so. Level 2 hasn’t made me sweat on it’s own. When I woke up with my night sweat, I was still warm (not cold and wet) but not overheated.
- homeopathic support
- juiced greens
- skin brushing
- BioMat/infrared heat (3 hours sleeping on level 2, 1 hour today on level 2)
- castor oil pack on abdomen
Beyond the mild allergy symptoms, today was pretty good. Last night, I had one big night sweat. I had floaters in my eyes. I had mild to moderate muscle pain, especially in my arms and neck. My left shoulder popped and crunched a lot. By the evening, my knees were achy. All in all, I’m doing alright.
I got my period today. I knew it was coming from the calendar. Happily, the cramps started the same day as my period (not a week in advance) and were fairly mild. I was tired for a bit in the middle of the day and needed to lie down for an hour in the early evening. I’ve had butterfingers on and off all day, but I can concentrate enough to compensate. What a difference from what I used to go through. This is the reason I’m doing the castor oil pack on my whole abdomen, not just my liver.
I spent the afternoon with my dad and his former coworker. (Dad retired 13 years ago.) The two of them talked about 30 years of working together, all the intrigue, interesting people, big projects…the works. My father has an amazing memory for names and faces and foolishness. He also has a big mouth, and at the appropriate moments, he goads people into doing the right thing by saying something that can be interpreted either as an insult or a compliment, depending on how you look at it. When he tells those stories, he gets me laughing.