Beginning to Bloom

Thank you for being so patient with me while waiting for an update! Typically when I’m more quiet, things are a little harder and I tend to bury my head in the sand a bit like an ostrich. While it has been a very difficult season and I've been in survival mode most of the time, I'm now noticing glimpses that pieces of my old self are beginning to re-bloom in little moments. I hope that this update will allow you to pray for me more specifically. 


Family Test Results
Last time I posted, I shared that Zach and Brooklyn sent their blood to Germany for the Armin Labs T-cell test to see if they have active Lyme Disease infections as well. I’ve learned in research that borrelia is (like any other blood disease) sexually transmitted as well as able to pass through the placenta and breast milk. So we expected both of their results to come back positive. HOWEVER, while Brooklyn’s results show quite a significant active infection, Zach’s test came back negative!

My heart breaks for Brooklyn and yet I’m overjoyed for Zach. I am so thankful that he doesn’t have Lyme Disease and will be able to continue taking care of us and working hard without any threat of a flare up. And while I am devastated about my little girl (she only just turned two!), I am so thankful for the knowledge so that we can begin to treat her now. 

It is my understanding that some doctors wait for children to show symptoms before treating, and others like to treat children before puberty hormonal changes. My Naturopath recommends treating the child before hormones come into play because at that time it gets much more difficult to keep symptoms under control. 

Unfortunately, Brooklyn has started to show some symptoms about a month ago after our family recovered from a little cold. Since then, she has suffered from some pretty severe insomnia, lethargy, and general malaise. There’s no denying I have a sick little girl. 

We have since tested Caleb through Armin Labs as well (which you may have seen if you follow my instagram account). Unfortunately, his test results have also come back positive for an active borrelia infection. I can feel the sorrow in the pit of my stomach. 

I plan to post in the near future about congenital Lyme more specifically and how we are treating our children - so stay tuned.

 Caleb post-blood draw for his Lyme Disease test. Drawing blood from a 7 month old is no easy task!

Caleb post-blood draw for his Lyme Disease test. Drawing blood from a 7 month old is no easy task!


The Candida Treatment
We knew that I had out of control systemic candida overgrowth so that was one of the first things we started to treat (see post here). This was a tough month to say the least, mostly because of the diet, but I made it through to the other side and have since transitioned to a ketogenic diet. I figured that since cutting out sugar (including fruit!), I was already in ketosis so I may as well keep myself there since I’ve seen so many benefits for people that are dealing with any type of illness. I feel much better overall now, but I don’t think I’m quite out of the woods here yet. 

As soon as my candida treatment finished, some symptoms did return and I wonder if there is an underlying issue I still have to deal with before the candida can really be under control. My instincts tell me I need to do a heavy metals test but since I’m unable to do that while breastfeeding, I’ll just have to wait. If I do end up being treated for heavy metals, I would prefer to do that before going back to work post maternity leave!


The 10 for 6 Diet & Gluten-Free
I started the 10 for 6 diet back in February as a way to help decrease overall inflammation (I was swelling up like a balloon!) because these foods were triggering a gluten-like antibody response in my body. Not long ago, one of my specialists was giving me a hard time again about being gluten-free, saying that I didn’t need to be because I’m not Celiac. I told her taking the Celiac test didn’t matter to me because I know I feel better gluten-free so I’m going to continue this way. She wanted to prove to me that I wasn’t Celiac so she gave me a lab requisition for a blood test. Since I’ve been gluten free for almost 4 years, I knew that it probably wouldn’t show up on the blood test without exposure so I decided to take the test with a grain of salt — even if it’s negative, I would still stay gluten-free. 

But wouldn’t you know it, that test came back positive for Celiac Disease! I couldn’t help but laugh. Okay, add this disease to the rest in the pile! 

Because I’m now Celiac, I figured that little exposures to gluten (like using the same barbecue that had someone’s gluten-containing seasoning or sauce) have been creating allergic reactions in my body. So hopefully now that I’m even more strict about cross-contamination, the other cross-reactive foods I was sensitive to won’t bother me anymore. 

I was going a bit crazy after the strict Candida diet and I was dying for an egg. You know, the easy over, sweet runny yolk, all over your sausage and avocado kind? Yum. So with my doctor’s blessing, I decided to reintroduce eggs after four months (instead of six - yes, I caved), and see how I felt. 

You guys, I am so happy to say that I did not notice any negative effects from eggs. Hooray! Now, the eggs very well could be still causing an immuno-response, but I think the risk in this case is well worth my sanity. I’m leaving lots of time in between reintroducing the new foods to gauge any reactions and since then, I’ve also reintroduced with success sesame (so I can eat hummus again!) and goat cheese. The next one I want to try is potatoes.

Starting Lyme Treatment
I’ll dive into my Lyme Treatment plan with a full post soon, but in the meantime I’m happy to share that overall I’m feeling much better since receiving some medicinal support. There are times when I feel like I’m starting to get my brain back and I can do simple things like cook dinner about half the time now. That being said, this continues to be an extremely difficult season where I’m still collapsing on occasion, battling significant pain (especially in my back), headaches/migraines, and chronic fatigue (the kind that doesn’t get better with rest). 

Recently, with the June full moon, I was completely wrecked and had a 10 day infection headache (similar to a migraine). I could feel the borrelia more active in my body and it felt like they were drilling into my muscles and joints as they buried back down. The night of the full moon, I experienced a pain I never knew existed before. I honestly don’t know how I stayed conscious through it. If Zach wasn’t such an amazing man helping me through it, I would’ve been in an ambulance on my way to the hospital for morphine. (This is coming from the girl that had a heart pic line removed without medication and gave birth to two children — Lyme pain is serious pain.)

I learned since then that the borrelia life cycle follows the cycle of the full moon and the bacteria re-emerge every 28-30 days to reproduce before burrowing back into muscles and joints. This leads to the debilitating headaches, nausea, pain, and exhaustion so many people with Lyme Disease experience especially around the time of the full moon. I believe that because the moon has a gravitational pull (remember that it controls the tides?!), that the bacteria are sensitive to the gravitational and electromagnetic changes, and use it as a signal to reproduce. 

Thankfully, I have a whole new detox arsenal that I can draw from when I start to feel especially unwell. I’ll share these tips as well as what I’m doing now to fight back against Lyme - you can check back or subscribe to be emailed when I post :)

 

Thank you so much for journeying with me in this season. I appreciate all of your texts, emails, and phone calls. It’s encouraging to know that there are people who love me enough to blanket me in prayer and take time to lift me up emotionally and practically. I have met some wonderful people online who are in the same boat and I’ve been surprised at just how many people are suffering in a similar way — diagnosed or not. We’re in this together!