STORMS DON’T LAST FOREVER!

This morning a major storm hit our area due to Tropical Storm Isaias. There was major rain, high winds, and flash flooding. Our power went out and several roads were shut down in our area due to the massive flooding. We were also under a Tornado Warning for about a hour. At 7am we all went to the basement to be safe (myself, my wife, our 3 kids, and our chocolate lab Remi). It was all a bit scary and definitely frustrating, and our home received some water damage, but oh well. No big deal. Insurance will take care of that. It could’ve been much worse.

The good news is … the storm passed. They always do.

BECAUSE STORMS DON’T LAST FOREVER!

Right now, as I sit here in my home office typing this blog, I look out the window and see the radiant sun breaking through the clouds to reveal stunning blue sky. All is calm.

BECAUSE STORMS DON’T LAST FOREVER!

I have to keep reminding myself of that fact because I’ve been in the midst of a pretty bad storm for about 4 weeks now. It’s some sort of relapse or flare-up. This has happened before. It’s nasty and discouraging at times.

This morning when I woke up, there was immediate pain/pressure around my left temple area. Daily headaches have been pounding on me. A few hours later, nausea and fatigue decide to pay me a visit even though I actually slept great last night.

Stop right there. … You know what? I have to stop focusing on what’s wrong with me. I slept great last night and I’m actually extremely thankful for that … for good sleep, because so many people who are battling Lyme Disease and co-infections have horrible/unrelenting insomnia. I’ve been there. It’s absolutely miserable. You’re utterly fatigued all day and then when it’s finally time to sleep … YOU CAN’T.

“Just shoot me people!” 🙄

With my health issues, I’m definitely not where I want to be, but I’m not feeling quite as bad as I was 3 weeks ago. There’s been some progress/improvement – and that’s what I really need to focus on. It could be so much worse (SOOOOO MUCH WORSE). I need to do better at focusing on the good things … I.E. = over the last week … I’ve been able to work my job for about 6 hours per day … I’ve been able to do some lite exercising (road biking and weight training) … I’ve been able to read a few chapters in books … I’ve been able to walk my dog and wrestle with him … I was able to go out on a date with my wife (dinner and shopping) … I’ve been able to watch some TV shows with my wife at night … I’ve been able to eat pretty normal (my appetite is back without horrible stomach pains) … I’ve been able to enjoy a small amount of bourbon at night with no issues… I’ve been able to talk to some friends on the phone (without major brain fog hindering me) … and a few times, I laughed … I actually had some moments of genuine, from the gut, laughter (I love to laugh).

Just typing out those good things that I’ve recently been able to experience makes me feel a little bit better about my current situation and it gives me motivation and hope to keep pressing on.

Heavenly Father, see me through this. Please continue to bring healing to my body, brain, and memory. Lead me in the path of healing and wholeness. Strengthen my inner man as I continue to fight this battle. Give me a right perspective of this trial and somehow use it for good to help others. I can’t do this without You. Amen.

Psalm 5:1-2 “Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to You do I pray.”

By the way, today I began a new treatment protocol … The Restore Kit by Vital Plan. Hopefully it will bring more healing/relief. We shall see. I’ve also been reading the book BITTEN by Kris Newby (The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons). It’s absolutely chilling! She’s a great writer.

Hang in there people, and remember … STORMS DON’T LAST FOREVER!

Still Battling,

Jason

Disclaimer: Jason T. George is not a medical professional. The content of BattlingLyme.com is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read, seen, or heard from Jason T. George.

Two Good Weeks and then Wham!

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about my Lyme battle, and today is a good day to do that. I’m at home, trying to finish-up some bookkeeping and filing for my business, but that’s not going so well because this morning I feel like a Mac truck ran me over. Right now it’s difficult for me to do anything productive. Even thinking hurts. I’m experiencing wave after wave of head pressure, nausea, brain fog, fatigue, chest pain, back pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, and that nasty flu-like YUCK feeling. I probably left something out. It’s just not a good day.

It’s incredibly frustrating to me because a few weeks ago I was doing so much better …

On March 12, I went back to see my Lyme Specialist, Greg Lee at The Lyme Research and Healing Center in Frederick, MD. We did about four hours of scans/tests, and the results indicated that I have an infection in my spinal fluid and it’s causing inflammation … looks like parasites (specifically Tapeworms). I also have other “issues” going on but that was the big one that needs immediate attention.

After the scan/testing, we did some acupuncture, cupping, and hydrogen therapy. Then Greg laid out a whole new treatment protocol of herbal remedies, supplements, and essential oils. All of this was extremely costly (around $2k … and of course, insurance didn’t cover a dime). It’s hard for me to spend that kind of money on myself, but I really had no choice. I wasn’t making any real progress self-treating and I have to get healthy for my family, friends, work, ministry, etc.

What price do you put on your personal health?

After beginning the new protocol back in mid March, I actually began feeling major improvements in my overall health. I was thrilled! I thought to myself, “Finally, something is working! Thank You God!” My wife and kids even noticed a difference in me and some of my friends began telling me how much healthier I looked.

I enjoyed two of the best weeks I’ve had in well over a year … less brain fog, nausea, intestinal pain, headaches, joint pains, facial twitching, anxiety, etc. I was totally feeling more like my “normal self.” It was awesome … and then … WHAM!I got knocked down (again)!

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been experiencing some sort of major flare-up. It’s bad … and I have no idea what I’ve done done to trigger this. The last several days have especially been bad. I talked with some friends who’ve battled late-stage Lyme Disease much longer than me, and they told me that what I’m experiencing is totally normal when you’re on the road to recovery. I guess that’s good news, but not very comforting when you feel like death is at the door.

It’s a hellacious battle to stay positive and hopeful when suffering with various chronic issues/pain. This morning I made myself get out of the house and go for a two-mile walk in my neighborhood. I prayed as I walked. The warm sun felt good. If I didn’t have God in my life and a few good friends, I don’t know where I’d be. It would NOT be a good place. Many times you feel so utterly alone in this battle with late-stage Lyme Disease and chronic pain. The worst thing you can do is bottle it all up and isolate. God and good friends are crucial.

So yes, once again, I’ve been knocked down, but I’m not knocked out. I will rise … and I will press on … doing whatever it takes to heal my body from this monster.

You have to do the same. Remember, it’s always too soon to give up. Lean hard on God and a few good friends. Reach out to a professional therapist if you need to. Don’t bottle it up and isolate.

Battling with you,

Jason

Chronic Lyme Disease – 13 Things That Help Me Feel Better!

This past week was definitely a better week for me than the week before. Yes, my symptoms were still there, but they weren’t as intense. I was actually able to work on a paint job for 5 days. That is a tremendous answer to prayer. No, it was not a pain-free 5 days, but it was better than usual.

So what’s helping me feel better? …

1Diet/Nutrition … I’ve been maintaining a strict/healthy diet and that means less inflammation/pain. I avoid sugar, gluten, and dairy. I’ve also been avoiding fried foods, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, beans, and alcohol. I eat as organic as I possibly can. If I eat sugar, it’s less than 12g.

2Sleep … I’ve been consistently going to bed at a decent hour to make sure I’m getting plenty of uninterrupted sleep. Last night I was in bed at 9pm (on a Saturday night). I don’t even care. For me to have uninterrupted sleep, I sometimes have to sleep in the guest bedroom. I hate doing that as a married man, but uninterrupted sleep is absolutely vital to my health and ability to work my job which enable me to make money for my family’s needs and wants.

3Supplements … I’ve been extremely consistent with taking my vitamins, supplements, and meds. I take many of them 2 to 3 times per day … Vitamin C, Magnesium, Turmeric Curcumin, Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Omega 3 Fish Oil, Cordyceps, Ashwaganda, Lithium Synergy, 5-HTP, GABA, Cat’s Claw, Burbur Pinella, Resveratrol, L-Glutathione, Chlorella, Real NAD Plus, Feverview, and CoQ10.

4Hydrate … I literally drink about a gallon of water per day (Spring Water or Filtered or Alkaline).

5Avoiding Stress/Conflict … That means I avoid certain people, conversations, debates, arguments, etc. Even on social media. Especially on social media. You can have it. As for me, “Ain’t nobody got time for dat!”

6 Prayer … Every morning and throughout my day I’m constantly calling on God for healing, strength, energy, clarity of mind, peace, etc. Mornings are typically the roughest part of my day, and I often feel like there’s NO WAY I can possibly make it through my work day. Honestly, most people wouldn’t even go to work feeling the way that I do. I cling to Philippians 4:13 … “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

7Talk Therapy … I’ve recently talked with two different therapists/counselors who have personally battled Lyme Disease. They’re way further along the road to healing than I am. I also regularly talk with and listen to friends who are battling Lyme Disease. It really helps. Bottling things up and trying to face it on my own was making me feel much worse. Don’t isolate. Don’t bottle up.

8Frequent Breaks … I take extended lunch breaks to rest in my work truck after I eat lunch (a benefit of owning my own company). When I get home from work in the evening, I also lay on the floor for 30-minutes and allow my two dogs (Remi and Ruger) to sniff and lick all over me … then they typically nestle up beside me. I love it and need it.

9Bind and Detox … Several times a week I take Activated Charcoal tablets to bind-up toxins … and I also do hot epsom salt baths … and at least once per week, I go to the local spa for a 30-minute session in the infrared sauna.

10Don’t Overdo It … I push myself, but not too much … I’m learning to listen to my body and know my limits with this disease so I don’t overdo it. Like the other day … I was at work and I really wanted to finish an area that I was painting, but I could feel my brain fog coming on strong with a frontal headache. My lower left abdomen pain also began to increase. I knew right then and there it was time to clean-up, pack-up, and call it a day. My body was saying, “Enough! Time to rest!”

11Keep Learning … I’m constantly reading books, articles, and blogs … or listening to podcasts or audio books … that help me improve/heal physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually! Today I began reading The Healer Within by Holly Chameli. She’s recovered from Chronic Lyme, CFS, and Autuimmune Disease. Her story is inspiring me and giving me hope.

12Have a Yoda … I pay big bucks out of pocket (insurance won’t cover a dime) to see a top Lyme Disease Specialist who listens to me, runs various tests on me, advises me, and prescribes various holistic/naturopathic treatments that help heal me. His name is Greg Lee and he’s with the Lyme Research and Healing Center in Frederick, MD.

13Move … You have to keep physically active. That looks different for all of us depending upon what stage we’re at in the healing journey. If all you can do is walk out to your mailbox and walk back, do it. Then the next week, walk to your neighbor’s mailbox. Do some sort of physical activity and keep increasing it week by week, but don’t overdo it. There will be some days (or weeks) where you’re flaring-up or having a bad herx reaction, and all you need to do is rest/sleep/recover. Dude, I get it. Been there. Done that. Got the T-Shirt!

As I said, this past week was definitely a better week for me, but I realize that tomorrow I could wake-up and experience a major relapse. That’s how it goes sometimes. Nevertheless, I will continue to keep doing these 13 things in my battle to heal.

Battling With You,

Jason

Today my daughter Gabrielle and I took Remi to a local park to play and then we went to Starbucks for a treat. Watching her laugh at Remi while he lapped-up a pupacino was therapeutic.

Jason T. George is not a medical professional. The content of BattlingLyme.com is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read, seen, or heard from Jason T. George.

Don’t Take the Little Things for Granted!

I think the last few months (and especially the last few weeks) have been the hardest I’ve endured thus far in this battle with Lyme Disease, co-infections, chronic pain, and nagging anxiety. In June of this year (2019), I had two more tick bites, and even though I caught them and removed them right away, I believe they made my health much worse than it already was. Since then, my pain has intensified and been relentless (especially the last week) … just day after day of nausea, abdominal pain, rib pain, back pain, head pain, face pain, chest pain, difficulty comprehending and articulating, memory problems, anxiety attacks, brain inflammation, air hunger, weakness, malaise/yuck feeling, etc.

As I said, it’s especially been hard over the last week. I’m not sure if the new homeopathic meds I’m taking are causing me to have a horrible herxheimer reaction or what. With these new homeopathic meds, I’ve been told that it often gets worse before it gets better because they’re doing a lot of killing of the Lyme and co-infections. That means there are a lot of toxins in your body that have to be removed. If you don’t detox constantly, you will feel like death is at your door. No, I’m not being overly dramatic. This is without question the hardest trial I’ve ever been through and I’ve been through some painful $#%& throughout my life.

As tough as I am, I’m literally struggling to make it through each workday. I’ll be painting a house and by 11am my left abdomen, ribs, and back are in so much pain that I have to stop and take an extended lunch break. At times, it literally feels like my left ribs are broken. Thank God I own my own company or I’d be fired. During my break, I’ll eat a little food, and then I put my seat back in my truck and try to get into a deep relaxed state, hoping to activate my parasympathetic nervous system. Sometimes I lay there and listen to a podcast that will help me learn more about my illness and how to deal with it better … or sometimes I’ll recite Scripture, pray, or just repeatedly speak positive/hopeful words of healing to myself. If I’m working close to home, I’ll actually come home for lunch, eat a little, and then lay on my living room floor for 30 minutes and pray. My prayers are typically something like this, “Oh Jesus, please help me to be able to finish the work day. Give me the strength I need. I can’t do this without You.” Then it’s back to work. Unfortunately, I can’t work a full 8-hour day at this stage in my healing journey. I’m typically packing up my gear to come home by 2 or 3pm because the pain has escalated so bad that I’ll easily get sloppy with my painting and I can’t do that.

When I come home, my typical routine is to take a hot epsom salt bath for 20 minutes then quickly rinse off in the shower with cold water. After that, I try to eat a little dinner and then I usually rest on the couch with a castor oil rag and a heating pad over my abdomen and ribs (it actually brings the pain down a few notches). If I have a bad headache, I take a Gabapentin and apply an essential oil mix upon my forehead, temples, neck, and behind my ears to try and bring the head pain down a few notches. If my brain feels foggy and inflamed, I’ll drink a glass of water with 20 drops of Burbur-Pinella. I’ve also been experimenting with a new CBD oil (too early to tell if it helps). The other night I was also dry brushing (it’s another form of detoxing … I was really hurting that night).

My G.I. doc has not given me a definitive cause as to why I’m dealing with daily left-sided abdominal pain and digestive issues. This left-sided abdominal pain began back in September of this year (2019). It’s had me in the ER two different times. He (the G.I. doc) said he’s not worried about it because all of the major tests came back “normal.” The only out of the ordinary thing he saw was a minuscule amount of blood in my stool, but he said he wasn’t concerned about that because it’s probably a hemorrhoid. I was like, “Okay? So then what’s causing this horrible chronic pain in my left abdomen and why is my digestion so jacked up?” He just said it could take six months to clear up and gave me a med that’s supposed to help with the abdomen pain. I don’t think it helps at all.

Based on what I’ve seen coming out of me over the last 3 months, I think I’m dealing with some sort of parasitic infection or intestinal candida (I’ll spare you the details and pics). I’ve treated for parasites two different times over the last three months, but I’ve heard that the little bastards are hard to kill. I’ve even been doing coffee enemas. I know. I know. You’re probably like, “What the heck? You put coffee up your butt?” That was my response to the idea of coffee enemas until I got super desperate and did the research. Then I saw the many health benefits … link here to learn.

So, to wrap this up … at this stage in my healing journey, I’m still in serious pain (daily), but every now and then I get some moments of relief and they’re freggin WONDERFUL! For instances, yesterday during my lunch break, I sat in my truck with the seat back and read a chapter of a new book (Mind Over Medicine by Dr. Lissa Rankin), and in that moment … I had very minimal pain, my heart and mind were calm, and my comprehension wasn’t a struggle. I thanked God for it. Yesterday, I also did a lite 30-minute ride on our peloton bike. In that moment, there was also minimal pain and I worked up a good sweat to detox. I thanked God for it. Later in the day, after my infrared sauna session (another way I detox), I was driving home and I literally felt my pain symptoms come down a few notches to the point where I could stop and get a hot cup of Starbucks coffee and enjoy a few sips (unfortunately, I can no longer finish a full cup of coffee because of what it does to my stomach and that’s been super frustrating because coffee is one of my loves). Anyway, I thanked God for that moment too.

Something I’m learning … When we’re healthy, we take the little things for granted, and then we enter the land of chronic pain/illness and find that those “little things” aren’t little. They’re HUGE! They’re the things that keep you going when life SUCKS! So don’t take the seemingly little things for granted. Treasure them and thank God for them because tomorrow they could be taken from you.

So that’s the latest with me you guys. Thanks for reading. Hope in some way you found some encouragement and motivation for your own battle. You’re not alone.

Battling with you,

Jason

Jason T. George is not a medical professional. The content of BattlingLyme.com is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read, seen, or heard from Jason T. George.

Life’s Not Fair!

I recently heard a super frustrated person say, “Life’s not fair!” 

That person is spot on. Life’s not fair. And we must stop expecting it to be fair because that’s not reality. That’s actually a distorted view of the human condition (see John 16:33). The sooner we accept this reality (that life’s not fair), the better off we’ll be in overcoming pain, suffering, opposition, and disappointment. No one gets a free pass on those things. No one. It’s only a matter of time until life knocks you down and kicks you in the face repeatedly.

Many of us are under the illusion that we’re in control of so many things in life, but the truth is … we have little to no control over a large portion of what happens to us. The only thing we truly have control over is our response to what happens to us! 

Holocaust survivor, Viktor E. Frankl, says it best, “Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation … The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.” 

If you’ve never read his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, you need to. If you don’t like reading, then get the audio book. It’s one of the most insightful and inspiring books I’ve ever read.

Take a few moments and really ponder his words … “Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation … The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”

Those words are powerful because of who wrote them. Frankl is not a mere philosopher or some sort of self-help guru who gave a TED Talk. He’s a man who courageously survived multiple Nazi concentration camps. From personal experience, he knew the dark depths of pain and suffering in ways that most of us never will (I’m telling you, read the book).

I’ve said it numerous times, but it’s worth saying again because so many of us need the reminder (including myself) … At times, life is going to suck (really bad)! That’s reality, and I believe the best thing we can do with that reality is embrace the suck, trust God through it, and make the most of it.

What good does all the fear, anxiety, anger, bitterness, envy, and complaining over life’s “unfairness” do for us? In my experience, it makes our situation worse. Over the last few years, when I’ve responded to my pain and suffering with fear, anxiety, anger, bitterness, envy, and/or complaining … it’s totally made me feel worse (mentally, emotionally, and even physically). It’s so easy to go down that rabbit hole. I hate it.

On the other hand, when I choose to do the unnatural thing and embrace the suck, trust God through it, and make the most of it … there’s an inner peace that can mysteriously show up. Don’t misunderstand me … my pain and problems don’t magically disappear when I embrace the suck, trust God through it, and make the most of it. I’m just saying that there have been times that I’ve experienced an inner peace when I’ve done those three things. It’s like I go from drowning in the crashing waves to riding them.

I recently experienced this mysterious inner peace when I was enjoying an evening on my bathroom floor (sarcasm). I was actually moaning in pain and considering heading to the ER. My anxiety was majorly elevated because of unresolved abdominal and rib pain that’s been my thorn in the flesh for over two months now. My Lyme Doc says it could be the result of a parasitic infection known as Babesia. Or it could be another type of parasite? Or it could be the fact that we are aggressively treating Lyme Disease with some hardcore homeopathic meds that can cause painful “herx reactions.” Who the heck knows?

All I do know is that in that moment on the bathroom floor, I chose to embrace the suck, trust God through it, and make the most of it. I began thanking God for every good and painful thing in my life that I could think of and I told Him that I trust Him through this pain. I then reminded myself that no matter what happens to me, I’m eternally secure in His omnipotent hands (see John 10:28-29). Then I began praying for several of my friends who are also physically and mentally suffering from Lyme Disease and co-infections (Sam, Dennis, Taco, and Hannah). I then decided to text two of them to see how they were doing. That’s what I mean by making the most of the suck. I turned my suck (pain and suffering) into something good.

It’s weird how it works, but when I get the attention off of my pain and suffering and I check on someone else who is suffering, it reduces my emotional pain and can even ease my physical pain. My chronic pain and suffering has definitely made me a more compassionate person (this is something I have majorly lacked in my Christian life).

Before you go thinking, “Wow, what a super saint Jason is!” Don’t. Because I’m not. Showing genuine concern and compassion without any selfish motive is not how I typically roll. I’m not as godly as I have often portrayed myself. Over the last year, I have become painfully aware of this fact.

Here’s some hardcore truth about me … negative, discouraging, and dark thoughts often invade my mind when I’m in the midst of pain and suffering, and sometimes they win the battle. I don’t always think “positive” or “godly” thoughts when all Hell is breaking loose. But let’s get real … no one does! It’s taken me a long time, but I’m slowly learning to let my negative, discouraging, and dark thoughts come and go. I don’t have to allow them to become permanent fixtures in my mind. God has given me the power to replace them with better thoughts (see Philippians 4:8 and 4:13). It’s not always easy. It doesn’t come natural. I have to work at it continually.

One last thing that I’ve been learning that I wanted to share with you is that I’m also really trying to stop expecting everyone to treat me the way that I want to be treated. That’s also a distorted view of the human condition. The Master simply tells us to treat others the way that we want them to treat us (see Matthew 7:12). That’s the code we’re supposed to live by. Just do that and expect nothing in return. Sounds so simple, but it’s not. I’ve really been trying to lower my expectations of how people should treat me (even with my family and friends). I believe that’s going to help my life go a whole lot better. Just focus on treating them the way I want to be treated without expecting anything in return. Period.

That’s all I got for now. Enjoy your weekend.

Battling with you,

Jason

Learning to Live with Chronic Pain!

Today was hard. Very hard. It was one of those days where I had to convince myself to NOT go to the Emergency Room. Like many of you reading this, daily I’m in pain … and my pain migrates. That means one week it can be head pain. The next week it can be rib pain. The week after that it can be abdominal pain. It can even change hour to hour. In my battle against late-stage lyme disease (and all the co-infections that came with it), I endure all sorts of annoying pains … joints, muscles, head, face, neck, ribs, spine, stomach, intestines, throat, lungs, heart, and ears (I probably left something out). It’s been crazy!

For the last few years, I’ve been doing all I can to heal from this horrible disease and rid my life of the chronic pain it brings me. Like many of you, there’ve been countless doctor visits, specialists, tests, meds, vitamins, supplements, herbs, essential oils, chiropractors, lyme specialists, acupuncture, massage therapy, infrared sauna, epsom salt baths, heating pads, CBD oil, dietary changes, prayer, meditation, repeat … AHHHHHH!!!!!

And guess what?

I’m still in pain.

I’m in pain right now as I type this.

Every single day I’m enduring some sort of physical pain … and there can also be mental pain. For instances, lately, my anxiety has dramatically increased. Yesterday it flared up for no reason as I sat talking with a friend and his wife at their kitchen table. Thankfully, I contained it. They didn’t even know, but I left their home super frustrated over it.

The increase in anxiety could be the result of the new treatment protocol I’m on … it can cause severe herx reactions (I’m currently working through the DesBio Babesia Treatment).

I was warned that this treatment gets rough with vials 2 thru 4, and I just recently finished vial #4 (ugh!). I’m also taking other supplements, herbs, and essential oils that can also cause a herx reaction. Heck, who knows? Maybe my anxiety has dramatically increased just because I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with all of it? I thought I’d be healed by now, but I’m not and it’s hard to accept and make the best of it.

Somedays I’m okay with it, but somedays … it does overwhelm me, and I get really frustrated, discouraged, and anxious. Today was another one of those days. I’m just being real with you. Chronic pain gets old. You just want relief. You just want to feel “normal” again. I totally understand that life in this broken world is full of pain … we get sick … we break a bone … we lose a loved one … we get the blues … I get that! But chronic pain is infinitely different. Chronic pain just won’t go away (at least, not yet). It greets me when I wake up in the morning and it tucks me in at night. It’s my constant companion, and I’m trying to figure out how to be the best version of me through all of it.

Daily I pray for God’s help and healing. Not just for myself, but for several of my friends who are also suffering with Lyme Disease and various co-infections. When you don’t see God answering your prayers, you begin thinking He’s not listening or maybe He’s just flat out ignoring you. I’ve battled all those thoughts/feelings. Nevertheless, I choose to trust Him through this. Faith is often a fight. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

That’s all I got in me for now. I need to go rest.

Battling with you,

Jason

My Backstory with Lyme – Part 3

So as I said in my last post, after my Primary Care Physician decided that I didn’t actually have Lyme Disease because I didn’t “technically” meet the CDC’s standards (CDC = Center for Disease Control), she referred me to a Neurologist and also wanted me to have a sleep study done. The sleep study sounded ridiculous to me so I never had it done, but I did make an appointment to see the Neurologist. I had to wait four months to meet with him. Crazy!

When I finally met with him, he asked me some basic questions about my symptoms and then did some basic testing of my strength, balance, focus, etc. Apparently I passed with flying colors. At that point, he didn’t really know what to do with me, so he suggested I get a CAT Scan done and go see an Infectious Disease Doctor. I thought to myself, “Wait, what? An Infectious Disease Doctor? So you think I might have an infectious disease?” This was all so confusing.

I was ready to schedule the appointment with the Infectious Disease Doctor, but a friend told me that it’s pointless to see him because he doesn’t even believe that late-stage or “chronic” Lyme Disease is a real thing. She said he wouldn’t even consider that as a possible diagnosis. I didn’t know what to do. I began second guessing myself, “Maybe I don’t have Lyme Disease? Maybe I have something else going on? But why was my ELISA Test positive and why did I have four out of ten positive markers on my Western Blot Test? What the heck?” Something didn’t seem right to me. It was time for me to do some serious researching and networking to try and figure things out.

I talked to my friend Stephanie who had suffered through a long and difficult battle with Lyme Disease and she told me that many people who have Lyme Disease don’t meet the CDC’s requirements and that there are many “false-negatives” with Lyme testing. After talking with her, I decided to schedule an appointment with a doctor who helped her with her Lyme Disease. She told me that he specialized in treating patients with Lyme Disease and other tick-related infections. He’s what’s referred to as a “Lyme Literate Medical Doctor” or “LLMD.” Even though he’s a legit M.D. (Medical Doctor), he has to operate outside the medical establishment just because he believes that Late-Stage or “chronic” Lyme Disease is a real thing and he’s not afraid to treat it. I found out that’s a big NO-NO with the medical establishment. In fact, some doctors have actually lost their license over it.

I drove two hours to see this LLMD (Dr. Paul Beals at Chesapeake Wellness Center in Stevensville, MD). My first visit cost me $450. Unfortunately, my insurance wouldn’t cover a dime because the medical establishment doesn’t recognize “late-stage” or “chronic” Lyme Disease. I didn’t care! I desperately needed help. At that time, I was having increasing difficulty functioning with work, ministry, and just everyday life. All of the essential oils that Meagen and Stephanie sent me definitely helped reduce some of my symptoms, but they weren’t enough. I needed more.

Dr. Paul Beals doesn’t do small talk. I sat down in his office and he got right down to business. As he looked over the results from my Lyme Test and Blood Work, he began circling things and drawing lines. He then grilled me with a series of questions about my history of symptoms. He was furiously scribbling notes the entire time I talked. We talked for well over an hour. Contrary to my Primary Care Physician, he was absolutely convinced that ALL of my health issues were completely the result of not only Lyme Disease, but also co-infections like Bartonella and Babesia. I wanted to cry. Just to be fully heard and have a legitimate and confident diagnoses from a medical professional felt like coming out of a dark fog.

Dr. Beals immediately launched into a detailed scientific explanation of what Lyme Disease (Borrelia Burgdorferi) and the co-infections (Bartonella and Babesia) can do to a person if left untreated. All of it was new information … with terms like spirochetes, biofilms, biotoxins, stealth pathogens, neurotoxins, the blood-brain barrier, mycoplasma, Bell’s palsy, neuropathy, mitochondrial dysfunction, adrenal fatigue, Herxheimer reactions, detoxification, etc. It was OVERWHELMING! I took as many notes as I could, but it was just way too much for me to write down and comprehend in one meeting.

After that avalanche of scientific information buried me, Dr. Beals then began laying out my treatment plan. He gave me a prescription for antibiotics (Cefuroxime Axetil 500mg). He also told me I needed to completely change my diet by eating organic as much as I could and completely avoiding white processed sugar, dairy, gluten, and processed foods. He also told me that I needed to take a good multivitamin 3xs per day and take extra Vitamin C and Vitamin D. He also told me to take a good probiotic at lunch and bedtime (away from the time when I take my antibiotics). He also prescribed Trazadone and said it would help with my insomnia, stress, and anxiety. I immediately gave him pushback on the Trazadone. “I don’t want a med to help with my stress and anxiety. I’m already taking one.” He said he prescribes Trazadone for all of his Lyme patients and that it will totally end my insomnia … and then he told me how crucial sleep is to overcoming Lyme. He also assured me it was not habit forming and I could easily come off of it.

“Where have I heard that before?”

He insistent that I needed it and kept repeating that it was perfectly safe. Because he was a “Lyme Literate Medical Doctor,” I listened to him. I was desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of this #@$&@ disease and all the other nasty co-infections that came with it.

At the close of our meeting, he again mentioned this thing called a Herxheimer reaction that could result from taking the antibiotics. He said that when it happens, I would need to take Alka Seltzer Gold and drink lots of water. I had no idea what a “Herxheimer reaction” was. He really didn’t explain that very well, nor did he warn me of how horrible they can be, but I would soon find out! Fun. Fun. Fun.

Dr. Beals repeatedly told me that it takes Patience, Persistence, and Pills to overcome Lyme. Those were his three P’s … like he was some sort of Southern Baptist Pastor giving alliterated sermon points. I shook my head. Anyway … when Dr. Beals used the term “pills,” he was referring to antibiotics. I would soon find out that if one antibiotic didn’t do the job, he’d put you on a different one, and if that one didn’t do the job, he’d put you on a different one, and if that one didn’t do the job … you get the picture. He wouldn’t stop with the antibiotics! His primary approach to treating Lyme Disease and co-infections was with hardcore antibiotics.

He also warned me that there’s no quick-fix or easy cure to treating Lyme Disease and co-infections. I was like, “What do you mean? How long we talking Doc? A month? Two months? I got stuff I need to do with my life, family, business, and ministry!” He told me it could take years. My jaw hit the floor … “You’ve got to be kidding!”

He wasn’t kidding.

I didn’t like his answer (not at all). However, I left his office feeling quite optimistic and hopeful. “Bring on the antibiotics! I got this!”

Dude, I had no idea what I was in for! My arrogant @$$ was about to be humbled, broken, transformed like never before!

I’ll share more about my backstory with Lyme Disease as soon as I can. I only write when I feel well enough to. Unfortunately, this summer has been extremely hard for me. I’ve had a major setback in my recovery/healing. On top of all of the “normal issues” that I’ve been working so hard to heal, I found out this week that I may also have parasites. I’m not even kidding! The last two days have been ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE … I’m talking on the floor in a fetal position, moaning in pain! I’m going through all sorts of fun test this week (sarcasm). Tonight, I’m extremely thankful that I’m feeling well enough to write and finish this post. Thanks for taking time to read it.

If you’re battling Lyme Disease or some other chronic illness or disease, you’re not alone in your suffering. Don’t lose hope and don’t give up! This was my prayer this morning …

“But You, O Lord, do not be far off! O You, my help, come quickly to my aid!” – Psalm 22:19 ESV

Battling with you,

Jason

Me and my youngest daughter Gabrielle on a dinner date!

I’m not a medical professional. The content of BattlingLyme.com is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on BattlingLyme.com