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Shaky

Monday, January 13, 2014

In the days following the egg experiment, I’ve been feeling a little funny. It was obvious that eating a food with egg ingredients triggered my Lyme infection to become more active. I expected that. But then something else happened.

New Symptoms

It started on Thursday night. I was lying down and feeling serious pounding in my chest. My heart wasn’t racing, but it was a definite cardiac symptom. Then starting Friday, and every day since, I felt really tired during the middle of the day. I rested on Friday afternoon and napped on Saturday and Sunday. I may be headed for a nap very soon…

The cardiac symptoms have gotten worse. My heart races intermittently, sometimes for no reason, and sometimes because I walked up the stairs. This isn’t the normal increase in heart rate, it races really fast and pounds in my chest. Add to that, I’ve had several bouts of air hunger, when I felt like I couldn’t breathe, though when I concentrated, I could tell I was breathing just fine. Nevertheless, I felt like I couldn’t get enough air.

I’ve been having insomnia since Thursday night. I have trouble falling asleep, then I wake up really early (5-6am) and need an hour or so to get back to sleep. Then I sleep through till 8 or 9 am and feel too tired to get out of bed.

Finally, I’ve been feeling shaky. The shakes are in my arms and hands. I see the shakes, as though my blood sugar has dropped. At least that’s the sensation I feel. It happens right before I eat lunch. After I eat, the shaking stops, but I still feel shaky in my arms and legs.

These symptoms aren’t new, as in “never had them before,” but they are new, as in “haven’t had them in over a year.”

Triggering Everything

When I at a cookie containing eggs, I anticipated that Lyme might flare up, so might Bartonella. I could tell that the Lyme symptoms came on pretty quickly. I didn’t see much happen in the way of Bartonella. What I didn’t realize is that I might wake up Babesia after over a year of no symptoms.

I say to all who ask, I knew it would come back. Everyone I know in the coiling community who thinks they got rid of Babesia says that it takes several relapses before it is gone for good. Okay, fine. I’m accepting of that. In some ways, I feel good knowing that I can trigger it on purpose and get the next relapse out of the way.

To make sure it was Babesia that had returned, I coiled yesterday for 30 minutes on Babesia, 10 minutes each on my spleen, liver and heart. As soon as I started coiling, I got a severe headache, made worse by bright light. I had a night sweat last night, different from the ones I had in recent weeks, where I would wake up overheated and wet. This time I woke up wet and cool, not quite as cold as I remember with Babesia, but I had on a huge down comforter over flannel sheets which might have kept me warm for longer. I feel pretty sure this is Babesia. I’m following up with more coiling today.

I’m not enjoying the Babesia symptoms. They make me feel very melancholy. I feel like my whole life is an endurance test against so many tick-borne infections. I probably could have, at some point, done something incredibly drastic to force all the infections to be dormant (heat treatments or even more intense antibiotics than I was able to tolerate earlier), but I would still have the same problems hanging over my head that I do now. Dormant infections are waiting for any opportunity to come out. I’m hoping to use that against them and force them out, again and again, killing off the newly active bacteria, until there is no infection left.

Other Triggers

I want to go on a trip this summer, partly to celebrate my increasing health, and partly because I love to travel to new places. My husband and I were looking at what we need to do to prepare. We discovered a few vaccines were strongly suggested.

I’ve been thinking about vaccines a lot. Any website that includes the experiences of people with Lyme will strongly recommend against getting a flu vaccine, and some recommend against getting all vaccines. There are more than a few anecdotes that I’ve heard, as well as read, about people having relapses or massive, debilitating increases in symptoms after getting vaccines. The same kind of anecdotes appear on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia websites.

I’m a little bit scared of getting vaccinated for anything. I don’t even consider the flu vaccine because my body is still pretty reactive to eggs, and the flu vaccine is normally cultured in eggs. But as I come up with a list of triggers to get the Lyme infection more active, vaccines are right at the top. I’m thinking about getting the vaccines for the trip fairly soon, several months out, so that if I do have a debilitating flare, I have enough time to coil through it.

Looking back to the big triggering event in 2007 that brought on all the symptoms of tick-borne infections, a case of food poisoning event while traveling in China, I knew something was wrong within a week after I was over the food poisoning. I had digestive problems (diarrhea, cramps, weight-loss) and, shortly thereafter, neurological problems (leg weakness, inability to move my legs, and severe fatigue). But looking back to the months leading up to the trip to China, I was having all sorts of mild neurological problems (inability to dial a phone, difficulty typing, difficulty making decisions, slowed cognitive processing, bouts of fatigue) that my doctor thought was overwork. It didn’t occur to either of us that these first symptoms came right after a Hepatitis A vaccine. I wonder now if that was the first trigger that woke up the tick borne infections that I was unaware I had.

No Good Answer

Someone recently wrote to me that he thought I should be cured by now using a coil machine for almost three years. I wish that were true. I thought, going into the process of coiling for Lyme, that either nothing would happen in the first three months and I would go on antibiotics again, or that I would see something happening (feeling worse from herxes and occasionally feeling better between them) and would need 5 years to complete the process.

I’m almost 3 years into coiling. I have made huge strides. I don’t take three handsful of pills a day while severely restricting my diet. I am now at a point when I have lots of normal days punctuated by the hard days. Today is one of those hard days, coming after a wonderful winter holiday. I’ve met people with Lyme who were treating it for 10 years on antibiotics and didn’t have the kind of good days that I’ve been experiencing.

So far, there is no good answer to Lyme and other tick-borne infections that become chronic. I’m hoping to find one by coiling. I still have, as my ultimate goal, to get rid of the infections completely, to eradicate them from my body. I haven’t answered the question that lingers in the back of my mind: what will I do if this doesn’t work? For now, I keep going, knowing that life is so much better this way than it was on antibiotics.

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