I’ve read Dr. Burrascano’s Advanced Topics in Lyme Disease over and over. At first, I read it for the information about antibiotics. Eventually, I spoke to a doctor who had some newer, more multifaceted ways of using antibiotics in combination. Yet I still found his original information very useful in giving me an understanding of how different antibiotics work in Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses.
The next thing in the booklet that I kept coming back to was the symptom list. I had read in other places, particularly books about Lyme Disease, all the symptoms that could be associated with a disseminated case of Lyme. But they didn’t differentiate among the various tick-borne infections. It turned out to be a very useful way of figuring out which of my infections was more active and which were less active as a guide to which infection I should focus on treating. That was true back when I was seeing a doctor regularly for antibiotics. It remains true since I’ve been using the coil machine.
Today I’m thinking more about the section on exercise. I’ve read that one many times as well. For many of the years of being ill, I couldn’t follow his recommendation: 1 hour of non-aerobic exercise 2-3 times a week. The best I could do was 1 hour of yoga, once a week. Now, after over 5 years I have begun in earnest. I’ve used the rehab program guidelines in the booklet as the basis for how to structure the exercise program I’ve just started.
There are a few important aspects to the program beyond the explanation of what kind of exercise to do, some of which I followed and some of which I need to start following. First is to do some stretching after I use each machine, so that my muscles don’t get tight and stay tight for a long time. (I need to do that next time and henceforth.) The next is to use some of the typical physical therapy modalities, like heat and massage. I am using heat right after exercise by going into the sauna (or if I work out on non-sauna days, by getting in the hot tub or an epsom salt bath at home). The biomat is my other source of heat for muscle relaxation and improved circulation.
Rest is a key piece of starting the exercise program. Burrascano recommends getting lots of rest and sleep after doing exercise, more so the first few weeks or months of the program. He says that as many as 5 days of rest might be required at first before the next exercise session. As a person continues to build up their body, especially their stamina, then the exercise can be done more frequently.
I was wiped out when I got back from the gym. I had a good nap. But after that, I couldn’t sleep that night. I had all sorts of nightmares. I had to pee several times. Between the two, I was up every two hours. I was restless and unfocused yesterday. I wanted to be outside (the fabulous weather didn’t help with my attempt to rest). I did manage to sit still for a few hours to teach a friend how to knit and to watch a movie. My body was very tired and very achy but my mind was everywhere.
The impact of the exercise hit me full force today. I slept better last night (6 hours straight, then an additional 3 hours). But I couldn’t get up this morning. Every part of me hurt. My back was killing me. My arms and legs hurt. My abdomen was double trouble: intestinal pain and bloating, plus muscle pain. Let’s just say I couldn’t get my day started for quite a while.
I took a big nap after having an emotional meltdown this afternoon. I don’t think there are any big, urgent emotional issues (beyond the obvious problems of finding my body in worse shape again and the resulting pain and limitations). Instead I think I’m herxing from the exercise and increased coiling.
I’m trying to get myself to rest. Really, I am. I’m finding things to do with my feet up, or my body stretched out on a bed, like coiling, knitting and reading. But I’m terribly restless, even if I’m not doing much about it.
So I guess this is the next challenge. I’ve faced this before, for sure when I ramped up the coiling last autumn. Like many aspects of healing from Lyme, I just need to ride the wave until I get to the next shore.
Yesterday, I coiled for Babesia in morning and evening sessions.
The Bartonella coiling session today represents an increase in the frequency with which I am coiling. I’m going from every third day to every other day. This seems like folly when my body is all aches and pains already…but I can tell it’s time. My abdomen gets worse by the third day before I coil again, so I think I need to nip it in the bud. Plus, my kidneys don’t hurt as much, so I think my body can handle more frequent Bartonella herxing. If this doesn’t work out, I can always slow down again. But if it’s time to increase coiling frequency and I don’t do it, then I’m just wasting time and prolonging the torture of this infection.
- psyllium husks in water
Other than the report above, I’m having lots of intestinal troubles (slow digestion, constipation, mucus in my stools, gas and pain). My stomach is bothering me, too, with reflux and queasiness. I have increased light sensitivity.
Despite all this, I feel like I’m in the fight and progress is happening in my healing process. So despite my emotional upheaval today, I’m optimistic about my progress.