No Fear

If you’ve been reading along for a while, you know that I did a chronic infections panel to find out if an underlying infection could be the root cause of my ongoing Lupus activity. It was on this day last year that I received the positive result for borellia burgdorfori (the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease) among eight other chronic infections.

It was a strange moment. When I walked into my Naturopathic appointment, my doctor had only just received the results and had not previewed them so as he read to me what tested positive, he started to slow down near the end. You know that big news is coming when someone tries to be extra sensitive with how they share it. He didn't want to say it at first, but when he said that the last positive result on the list was borellia burgdorfori, I didn’t need him to explain. I knew what it was. 
 

“That’s the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease, right?”
 

My heart sank. I knew the gravity of the situation. I knew right away that this was the most complicated infection anyone could possibly have. 

I took a deep breath. I was disappointed that this route was now my reality, but I was not fearful of what was to come. In fact, I had joy in my diagnosis! I know, I know, that’s a really bizarre thing to say. But it’s true. Just like when I had heart failure or when I learned that I had Lupus, I knew there was nothing to fear because my heavenly Father is sovereign over it all.
 

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment; and the one fearing has not been perfected in love.” 
1 John 4:18
 

In this scripture, we learn that fear is from Satan and only brings torment to a person. If we hang back a bit into 1 John 4:8, we see that God is love; his character is true love. When we fully surrender our lives and circumstances to the will of the Father, we can experience His perfect love that casts out fear.

The only way to let go of fear and bring this fire to your soul is to experience a softened heart towards what God’s will is for you. This comes through prayer (you talking to God) and reading the bible (God talking to you). 

A great starting place is daily devotions, but these can be completely out of context and written to tickle our ears. Digging into the word - uninterrupted bible study - is when truth is revealed. Your heart must be open to reproach and learning where you need to change your life. You have to be willing to look for sin you need to repent of. 
 

I would like to note that there have been several seasons that I have needed medicine to help bring my physical body ease while my mind caught up. I could be unafraid but my body was continuing to tremor in a way that I couldn’t control. In these situations, I have found UNDA30 drops and GABA Pro tablets to be very helpful at easing anxiety so that I could think more rationally. 

Other helpful approaches have been using essential oils (especially diffusing lavender) and taking a long soak in a detox bath (hot water, epsom salts, baking soda, essential oils).
Most notable for changing my mindset though has been starting each morning with an hour of prayer and bible reading before even letting the kids out of bed!
 

With all that being said, we need to recognize that there is a difference between worldly fear and a healthy fear of the Lord. There are numerous places in scripture where we are instructed to fear the Lord in a way that brings about repentance and a choice to live in obedience to His commandments. 
 

“Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways.”
Psalm 128:1
 

When we recognize the gravity of the consequences of our sin, we can choose to repent and change our hearts to live the way God calls us to. It is a good thing to fear God’s wrath and to accept His mercy and grace through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John 14:27


The opposite of experiencing worldly fear is a washing of peace that comes from living in light of God’s promises. You cannot be submissive to the will of God while keeping one foot in the world. Do not be afraid of what people think. There is a remnant of dedicated believers; seek them out for fellowship and encouragement. Please feel free to use the contact page to email me any time.

Click here  for more verses about a healthy fear of the Lord.

Click here for more verses about a healthy fear of the Lord.

Ongoing Lyme Treatment

Each month, I check in with my Lyme literate Naturopath (Dr. Julie) to discuss how my body is responding to treatments and make changes or additions. Over the past ten months, I have seen such dramatic improvements and even though every day is still very difficult, I am encouraged to persevere. Much has changed since I shared about my Lyme protocol here and here, and I’d love to share with you how I’ve been walking through this past fall and winter so you can get a sense of what this journey is like.

 

If you’ve been following along on Instagram, then you would’ve seen that in October, I did a round of IV antibiotics. Attacking Lyme is definitely a dynamic process; our approach is constantly changing. I feel so fortunate to have access to such experienced Lyme literate doctors and (from what I’ve researched) some of the most effective treatment around. It can be really overwhelming most of the time, but I strongly believe that the combination of conventional and herbal medicine is effective for me. I plan to do another round of antibiotics this spring.

The IV antibiotics are being used as a pulse therapy; I do about 8 days in a row and then take a break. The antibiotics are always in conjunction with herbal antimicrobials, super probiotics, and LOTS of detox and immune support. For example, because the antibiotic I used is a cell wall buster, I did several Myers cocktails (ie. vitamin IV) and MAH (ozone) IVs to enhance the attack on microbes once their defence was down. I increased my probiotics during this period of time to a full pack of VSL #3 each day (450 billion).

The week following my first round of IV antibiotics, I started to feel really anxious. My brain felt like it was all mixed up and I just couldn’t put the pieces back together. It wasn’t until I saw Dr. Julie in follow up that I even knew that the buzzing, high strung feeling and stress was probably a herx! So I increased how often I was taking Burbur-Pinella, got in the sauna every day and made sure not to skip my CBD oil.

 

In terms of herbal antimicrobials (Nutrimedix brand), the kids and I have felt really good with Samento + Banderol for the past few months but we’ve also pulsed between those, Cumanda + Houttuynia, and Enula + Mora. These ones follow the same idea where I take 1 drop twice a day of each on day one, 2 drops on day 2, etc. with the kids increasing their drops every other day. After 2 weeks at the full dose (30 drops for me, 15 drops for the kids), we’ll switch to a different combo working our way up more quickly to a full dose for 2 weeks. Keeping track of it all is enough to make this Lyme brain spin for sure! Zach’s super helpful with keeping us on track and I’ve written all the amounts on my calendar, but I still mess it up often.

 

Brain fog, severe exhaustion, and nausea have still been a struggle these past months. I’m so thankful that my Rheumatologist has signed off on returning to work on partial medical leave because my Lupus markers and symptoms have gotten worse this past year. It can be hard to admit that my autoimmune disease is in the severe category (systemic causing organ failure). She actually recommended full time medical leave but I find so much joy in my job as a Biology teacher that I push myself to the max of what I am able to.

So in November, I returned part time for the new Health Sciences program (the only one in Canada) where I teach the Biology 12 (now called Anatomy and Physiology 12) course and facilitate pre- and post- discussion with BCIT’s PreHealth program. Through BCIT, students get to do a lab course as well as a case study course focusing on lung cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. I’m absolutely thrilled to have been involved in the launch of this program and every day I pray that my brain allows me to be as involved as my heart is. 

 

It’s a lot of effort to have someone watch the kids while I go to weekly appointments so I try to schedule them all on the same day each week. I also use the infrared sauna about 5 nights a week; we are so fortunate to have found a great deal on one and squished it into our storage room. It has helped with detoxing tremendously.

With all this support in place, I’ve been able to do more neural therapy to break up scar tissue and interference fields. We’ve done this a handful of times now in my mid/upper back, trapezius, and base of skull with each time my muscles feeling (and looking!) noticeably more relaxed. But immediately the first couple of times, I had trouble even standing up and couldn’t drive myself home because I was so dizzy and nauseous. Thankfully, my reactions have improved with each treatment.

To help suck up all these toxins making me feel so lousy, I tried Cholestyramine which acts kind of like a filter. The only problem is that it’s like drinking fish cement. That’s where the hesitation comes in… but it really helps with the brain fog. What it does is bind to fat and help flush it out of your system. Since the neurotoxins are fat soluble, these get flushed with the fat (that toxic fat needs to be replaced with lots of healthy fat like coconut oil, avocados, and fish oil). Long story short, this treatment didn’t work out well for me; I couldn’t deal with the digestive upset (and trying to swallow cement that tastes like fish doesn’t help). I switched to activated charcoal instead.

 

Recently my appetite has been severely reduced and I feel so unwell that taking my supplements is difficult. I’m not currently following the ketogenic diet but I keep my grains very minimal and avoid my food allergies (mainly gluten, dairy, corn, soy) as well as inflammatory processed foods and sugar. I’ve recently shared about my concern over healthy eating here and I’m working to keep the emotional side of my diet just as healthy as my food choices. 

I’m still not well enough to run errands or attend church and bible study regularly. I hardly ever have the energy to hang out with friends and I’ve missed out on many celebrations. It’s really hard to feel like I’m missing out on life in order to avoid spending the next day(s) in pain. But my Mom always said that no one knows your body like you do so you have to listen to it and take good care of yourself. If you flare because you pushed it, everyone will just say that you should’ve listened to your body. Yep, she’s completely right.

 

The next thing on my radar is heavy metal chelation following the replacement of metal dental fillings. After reading Yolanda Hadid’s book, Believe Me, I realized that perhaps my dental issues should be looked into. I have really bad TMJ pain and can actually feel the build up of infection under my ears down my jaw. I know this is something that will contribute to my overall healing and I’d like to get it done sooner rather than later but because I can’t do this while breastfeeding, I have to take one for the team and be patient. But dang it’s hard to be patient with Lyme treatment!

 

I know I say this a lot, but I really appreciate you following along with my healing journey and caring to understand what it’s like to live with Lupus and Lyme Disease. Your support has been such an encouragement in what would otherwise be a dark time. I sense God’s presence and am resting in His sovereignty. I will never understand why things unfold the way they do, but I know that I can trust that God is carrying me through it and there is nothing that could ever happen to me that would shake my faith. One day I will experience the fulfillment of His promises, healing and all.

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Lyme Don't Kill My Vibe

There have been a lot of new changes recently and yet, this is one of the first times my life has started to feel stable again. It’s really amazing to look back on the past eight months and see just how far I have come since my Lyme was triggered. And then I think about just how quickly things have improved since I started treatment only four months ago! It’s a night and day difference and has brought me to tears more than once. 

Lyme may have knocked me down for a little while, but I won't surrender. 

Lyme may have knocked me down for a little while, but I won't surrender. 

My regular pain has gone from a level 8 to a 3, my headaches are no longer daily (just weekly), my brain is functioning better, I find myself dizzy only occasionally now, and I’ve had the energy to do household chores like laundry and cooking! All with a smile on my face :) 

I’ve even been able to take the kids to appointments without Zach and got out for a playdate. I’m not taking those regular things for granted anymore. 

That being said, with a morning outing I know I need to schedule in a nap after, and I still can’t do more than one or two things a day, but it’s a huge improvement from curling up on the couch for hours in agony and being too anxious to leave the house. I’m so thankful for how far God has brought me so quickly!

For the first time, I was well enough to take the kids to visit Zach at his fire hall!

For the first time, I was well enough to take the kids to visit Zach at his fire hall!

It was really nice to get out of the house with the kids again! 

It was really nice to get out of the house with the kids again! 

Yesterday, Zach and I celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary! I’m so thankful for him and how sensitive he’s been towards me; God knew what I needed in a husband! He’s been so patient and compassionate with me through all the years I’ve been sick but undiagnosed, and even more so since we found out about the Lupus and Lyme. I can’t publicly praise him enough for carrying me through so many rough seasons.

To celebrate, we spent the day as a family at the zoo. I was a little nervous knowing it’s typically a two hour outdoor (in the sun!) excursion but I figured it would be a good test to see how much my body can do now. I was pleasantly surprised! For the most part, my body cooperated with me and we had a wonderful time. 

I'm looking forward to this weekend when Zach and I are going to get away together for a nice dinner and a little R&R.

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I was even able to push the stroller most of the time. Zach took over when I started to fade.

I was even able to push the stroller most of the time. Zach took over when I started to fade.

I’m almost done my four week round of antibiotics and like expected, I’m feeling a little worse (nausea, headaches, that yucky feeling) but overall nothing too crazy. I’ve been detoxing A TON to keep the herxing minimal and I think that has made a world of a difference. I’m really very fortunate to have such a detox arsenal at my fingertips. I’m expecting (hoping) to start feeling a lot better once I’m finished these antibiotics! But it looks like I’ll be coming back to them intermittently in the future.
 

I’ve also been cleared to ditch the SIBO diet and go back to my Ketogenic diet - hooray! I bet you’ve never heard anyone cheer about that before! 

It’s proving difficult to get back into ketosis (seems like everything has sugar!), but I’m pushing through and trying to remember just how good my body felt in fat-burning mode. Not to mention I lost weight easily for the first time in my life (would you believe 25 lbs in those 3 months?) because the inflammation has finally started to subside. I don’t plan to follow the ketogenic diet forever, but it sure is what my body needs right now while I am sick. 
 

And the new treatment I just added to my protocol is Major Autohemotherapy - MAH. It’s an IV treatment where they draw your blood, mix ozone gas into it, and then drip the product back into your veins. It’s helpful for supporting your immune system so that you can fight infections with more oomph and also oxygenates the environment so borrelia cannot survive.

I thought it would be more uncomfortable than it ended up being, it was actually pretty painless! The biggest obstacle for me was getting past the fact that I was doing this because I’m sick; it can be hard emotionally to sit through treatments and think about the fact that I actually do have Lyme. And an hour and a half is a looooong treatment! It takes a while because we also do a Myer’s drip to provide the vitamins and minerals necessary for the ozone therapy to be effective. 

Ozone gas is incorporated into my blood before putting it back into my body (you can't straight up inject ozone gas). 

Ozone gas is incorporated into my blood before putting it back into my body (you can't straight up inject ozone gas). 

This is what it looks like for the lab tech to mix ozone into the blood. It changes the colour to bright red!

Dripping with the company of my lab tech, Lauren :)

Dripping with the company of my lab tech, Lauren :)

I was actually blown away at how much better I felt the day after. I did so many little tasks and chores that I even mentioned to Zach how I felt like a regular healthy person again! It’s really exciting to see the positive changes so quickly!

In moments like these, I’m so hopeful that I will be healed through medicine. I know I just need to keep going, keep appreciating the healing process, and keep my eyes focused on what is to come. Please don’t stop praying for us!

My Lyme Protocol

Treating chronic Lyme Disease is a very complex task! There is no simple medication, diet, or anything you can do by yourself to heal. And since Lyme Disease affects each individual so differently (like neurologically causing seizures compared to organ failure like me), everyone has to be treated on an individual basis. This is why there are so many protocols (and variations of) instead of a “silver bullet” medication. 

I am so thankful to have such a wise Naturopath in Vancouver who has healed many people with Lyme Disease as well as the best Naturopathic team in Burnaby heading up all of my treatments. There is a huge arsenal to draw from so we can choose what will be the best for my body (and my children).


This is where it gets a little complicated. I want to share my current protocol with you because I believe it helps you understand me better when you have a snapshot into what my life looks like with Lyme Disease. I also hope that for other people living with chronic illness, you can see similarities and differences to what treatment you are receiving so that you can ask your own doctor what is best for you. I’ve found so much inspiration from researching what other people have done so I know that sharing is invaluable.

I'm so thankful that these treatments have been helping me to feel more like myself again. I can feel my body healing.

I'm so thankful that these treatments have been helping me to feel more like myself again. I can feel my body healing.

— — —

Detox, detox, detox! My life basically revolves around detoxing and supporting my body in the methylation pathways that it is lacking (which I found out from the 23andMe genetic test). My body has not been able to flush out toxins properly on its own so I need to help it along. I can’t emphasize enough how much better I feel since detox has become a major part of my regime! 


Diet: I focus on eating organic produce, local meat, farm eggs, and typically follow a ketogenic diet. Choosing to eat this way has helped to keep my inflammation under control while being nutrient-dense with limited exposure to pesticides and chemicals. I definitely don’t want to be adding in any more toxins!

Detox baths: Every few days, I will have a nice hot soak in the tub (at least 30min) with a bunch of epsom salt, some baking soda, and essential oils (I like lavender or frankincense) to draw out toxins.

Infrared sauna: A good sweat goes a long way. The far infrared radiation helps to eliminate toxins that are stored in your fat cells by sweating instead of burdening the liver and kidneys. I actually feel noticeably better after using the infrared sauna!

Silymarin: Also known as milk thistle, this supplement supports your liver which is charge of detoxification.

Burbur-pinella: This brain-nerve cleanse helps for neurological problems (like brain fog) as it helps your body detox and keep herxes under control. You can take extra when herxing!

Parsley: This extract helps to open up detox channels.

Methylcobalamin: I have been self-injecting this methylated form of B12 (because my body is unable to make that conversion properly) as well as oral supplementation to help support my nervous system (brain) function and combat the chronic fatigue.

Methylfolate (5-mtfh) with Niacin (B3): My body also does not convert folic acid into methyl folate properly. 5-mtfh has been described as the gas in my engine and I can take niacin as needed to act as the breaks if I get symptoms of over-methylation (headache, anxiety, joint pain, rash, irritability, agitation…)

Myer’s Cocktail: I’m still receiving IV treatments to help my body absorb vitamins and minerals more effectively while I am healing.

I never thought I'd look forward to an IV! The Myer's cocktail has been a game changer for me.

I never thought I'd look forward to an IV! The Myer's cocktail has been a game changer for me.

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I’ve mentioned before that Lyme pain is serious pain. I’ve especially suffered with extreme back/spine pain and muscle spasms, headaches/migraines, and nerve pain in my feet. I’m a big fan of this list of holistic forms of treatment because they don’t add more chemicals for my body to detox.

Acupuncture: This has been a recent addition to my protocol and it is already helping significantly. I used to receive acupuncture when I was in University and I think that is what kept my Lyme under control at that time in my life. 

Chiropractor: Making sure my body is aligned is one of the only things that helps with my back pain and headaches.

Deep Blue Rub: I apply this DoTerra essential oil cream to my back, neck, and shoulders when I am in pain. The first time I used it, it took my pain level from an 8 down to a 4 in about 15 minutes!

CBD oil: Dr. E Murakami (MD) has been researching the benefits of hemp CBD oil (legal in BC where I am without a prescription) for Lyme patients. Not only is CBD oil amazing for pain management, anxiety, cancer, and seizures, but it has also been found to kill borrelia spirochetes and break through biofilm. In case you just missed that, CBD oil has been found to have antibiotic-like properties that KILLS LYME. No wonder Dr. Murakami is called “BC’s Lyme Saviour”. This oil has been the most significant for me with pain; I had a migraine disappear 10 minutes after a dose.

Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN): This prescription immunomodulator is great for decreasing pain and inflammation. Used often for autoimmune disorders (like Lupus!, RA, MS, Crohn’s, Hashimotos), neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, autism, and pain conditions (like fibromyalgia or chronic migraines).

Neural Injections: We’re going to inject some of my scars (like my big c-section scar from Brooklyn’s birth) to help break up interference fields that cause problems like disautonomia, reset the action potentials for my nervous system, and clear out scar tissue where borrelia likes to accumulate.

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While many of my efforts are to control symptoms, we’re starting to fight back now as well. Not only am I battling borrelia, but also other (less significant) opportunistic infections, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). BUT PRAISE BE TO GOD that all of my Lyme co-infection tests came back negative!!!! This is a HUGE blessing. 

Serrapeptase: To kill spirochetes (the active form of borrelia), you have to first poke holes in their biofilm. The biofilm is like a coating the bacteria uses to hide and protect itself. I’ll take this about 20 min before the “killing” tinctures.

Samento + Banderol: These are herbal antimicrobials that I’m using to kill Lyme. And just because they’re herbal doesn’t mean they’re weak — I’ve only been increasing my dosage by 1 drop a day (each) with the flexibility to scale back if I start to herx.

Rifaximin with Biogest, HCl, and LDN: What’s a doctors appointment if I don’t come away with a new diagnosis added to the list? I wasn’t surprised to learn that I have SIBO but I am so happy that I’ll be able to treat it right away! After a couple of weeks of treatment, I’ll work on healing my gut with GI Revive and a low FODMAP diet (yeah you read that right, another diet…).  
Typically, bacteria are not supposed to hang out in the small intestine (they should be in the large intestine!) and when they get lost, it creates havoc with your ability to absorb nutrients properly, can lead to leaky gut, and causes discomfort and bloating.

Plaquenil: I’m really fortunate to have been taking this prescription to manage my Lupus activity because it also acts as a cyst-buster for Lyme! Two birds, one stone.

Azithromycin, Ceftin, and Nystatin: After 2 weeks of SIBO treatment and a break week, I’ll be getting started on antibiotics to treat the borrelia. 

CBD oil: Breaks through biofilm and kills spirochetes!

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It’s a lot, I know. And after doing all of these things for a while, I likely still won't be healed, but I hope to be feeling a heck of a lot better! And there’s still time in the future for heavy metals testing and ozone therapy (Major Autohemotherapy - MAH). In the meantime, I will continue to fight as hard as I possibly can to do everything in my power to restore my body. Every day feels like such a fight, and it brings me down often. But in my weakness, God can be strong.


A friend texted me an encouraging verse the other day and it brought tears to my eyes because even in this storm, this horrible season of seemingly endless suffering, I still feel God’s presence. I know God is right here with us, he loves us, and he wants to heal us. I have seen Jesus heal people in the Bible and I know we will one day be healed too (even if we have to wait for heaven to be restored). I have a supernatural sense of peace in his plan for our lives and his perfect timing. I am so thankful for that. Praise God for his mercy in our lives.

“But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise, 
for he has been good to me.”
- Psalms 13:5-6