I’m Not a Victim. I’m a Warrior!

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 – 8pm … 


I cannot even begin to put into words how utterly miserable I felt today. It wasn’t just the physical pain/symptoms that crushed me into dust. It was also the heaviness of my brain fog and the unsettling anxiety that came with it. Mentally I lost my ability to properly comprehend and organize information. I was finishing recording a podcast episode when I had to stop everything. 


Looking at the screen hurt. 


Reading hurt. 


Talking hurt. 


Listening hurt. 


Even praying in my head hurt. 


I was hit with a severe herxheimer reaction. 


A herxheimer reaction (AKA = “herx”) is an adverse response to toxins released by bacteria killed by your antibiotic or herbal treatment. With a herx … you’re basically killing Lyme spirochetes (or co-infections or parasites) faster than your body can eliminate them. The accumulation of all the toxins inside of your body can make your symptoms skyrocket until your body can eliminate all of that nasty junk through detoxing methods. Today’s herx was one of my worst. I was MISERABLE people!


My friends who also battle Lyme Disease (along with other tick-born co-infections and/or parasites) say that a severe herxeimer reaction can feel like death. They’re not being overly dramatic. Some of them have given birth to children and some of them have battled through cancer, and they’ve told me that the pain of Lyme Disease is worse … and (in my experience) the worst pain that Lyme Disease can throw at you is the pain of a severe herxheimer reaction. I have often used the phrase, “I feel like DEATH right now.” I don’t know how else to describe it. With a herx, symptoms can vary from person to person. For me, today’s herx brought on a yuck/flu-like feeling, migraine, brain fog, trouble articulating, chills, shakes, muscle twitching, fatigue, and a weird kind of tense/anxious feeling throughout my body.


A few years ago, I heard that the #1 cause of death related to Lyme Disease is suicide, and I can believe it. Overwhelmed, exhausted, and debilitated with chronic pain, mental anguish, and years of expensive treatments that don’t seem to work … people with late-stage chronic Lyme Disease completely lose the will to live because they believe that their life will never get better. They believe the lie that death must be better than the life their living. Often times they also believe that their death will alleviate their family of the burden that they believe they’ve become. 

This is what late-stage chronic Lyme Disease can do to a person who was once full of life, energy, love, joy, peace, and positivity. It’s sad. I hate it. It’s one of the most complex, misunderstood, and under-diagnosed diseases in the world. The majority of those in the Medical Community are of no help to those of us with late-stage chronic Lyme Disease. Most in the Medical Community won’t even recognize late-stage chronic Lyme Disease as a diagnosis and of course that means that your medical insurance won’t cover the treatments you desperately need. If you want to get well, it’s all out of pocket. You’re on your own, and it’s a long and difficult battle. There are no quick-fix, short-cuts, or magic pills. 


For me personally, I know that if I did not have a personal relationship with God through my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ … and if I did not have the love, support, and prayers of my wife, friends, and other Lyme Warriors … I don’t believe I’d make it. Most likely, I’d turn to illegal drugs to try and cope, and who knows what that would lead to … definitely not anything positive.


Over the past year, I’ve been learning how to better manage the horrible days (like today). Your mental game is a HUGE part of your personal survival, healing, and growth. On my worst days, I now remind myself that not everyday is as bad as today. I remind myself that over the years of battling chronic late-stage Lyme Disease there have been some good days with some amazing pain-free moments. There have been incredible moments of peace, joy, comfort, and laughter in this long and agonizing battle … and some incredible friendships have been formed, and some old friendships have been strengthened because of it. On my worst days … in my worst moments … I have to make myself mentally zoom-out of the moment and put it in proper perspective of the big picture. Today, during my very worst moment, I told myself, “Yes, this moment right here and right now is HORRIBLE, but not every day or every moment is like this. It’s just a severe herxheimer reaction, Jason. It’ll eventually pass. The clouds will part. The waves will die down. The sun will shine. You’ve made it through before. You’ll make it through again. You always make it through because you’re not a victim. You’re a warrior!”


YOU’RE NOT A VICTIM. YOU’RE A WARRIOR!


I often have to remind myself of that truth.


If you believe you’re a victim and you allow yourself to fall in the deep dark pit of self-pity, you’re body, mind, and spirit are never going to heal and grow. I’m convinced that you have to develop a warrior’s mentality to succeed at anything in this broken world. 
As I type this, I’m feeling much better than I was earlier today.


The clouds have parted. The waves have died down. The sun is shining. I made it through.I always make it through.Because I’m not a victim. I’m a warrior!I hope that in some way this encourages you in whatever battle you may be facing right now. Remember … when it gets really bad … zoom-out of the moment and put it in proper perspective of the big picture. Talk yourself through it. Do not allow a victim-mentality to form. Do not allow yourself to fall into the deep dark pit of self-pity. Develop a warrior’s mentality. Keep learning how to overcome your enemy. Keep battling-on and don’t forget to help others along the way.

*Also, for those of you who are interested, here is my updated/current treatment protocol …

1 Capsule of Vital Plan’s Brain Boost (Lion’s Mane, Cat’s Claw, Bacon, Ashwagandha, Ginkgo Biloba).

1 Capsule of Vital Plan’s Mitochondrial Support (Vit. C, Vit. E, L-Glutathione, NAC, Alpha Lipoic Acid, CoQ10, Mixed Tocopherols).

1 Capsule of Vital Plan’s Prevention Plus (Multiple Vitamins and Supplements).

1/2 Capsule of Vital Plan’s Adaptogen Recovery (Chinese Skullcap, Cordyceps, Reishi Mushroom, Rehmannia).

2 Capsules of Migratone.

Omega 3 Fish Oil.

Digestive Enzymes with Prebiotics and Probiotics.

Vitamin D (5000 IU).

Magnesium.

Vitamin C .

CBD Oil (50mg).

Venlaflaxine ER 75mg.

Burbur Pinella (20 drops in water as needed for brain fog).

Trazodone 100mg before bed.

Chlorella (for binding/detoxing).

Anti-Parasite Essential Oils.

Cellcore BioMolecular Oxygen.

4 Sprays of ACZ Nano Extra Strength (for detoxing and immune support).

Activate Charcoal (as needed for binding/detoxing).

Ibuprofen 800mg (as needed for migraines).

Liposomal Glutathione.

Clonazepam .12mg to .25mg (as needed, but I try to use CBD instead).

CBD Clinic – Pain Relief Ointment on Sore Muscles/Joints.

Organic Coffee Enemas (as needed for detoxing).

Epsom Salt Baths (at least every other day for detoxing).

Alka Seltzer Gold with Lemon Water (for herxing)

Essential Oil Roller (Frankincense, Copaiba, Chamomile, Lavender, Eucalyptus) for Migraine Relief … I put on forehead, temples, behind ears, and on neck.

Daily Scripture Reading.

Daily Prayer and Meditation.

Daily Journaling.

Weekly Men’s Support Group via Zoom.

Weekly listen to Helpful Podcast or Audio Books.

Weekly listen to Encouraging Music.

Text/Talk to my wife, a friend, a counselor, a fellow Lyme-Warrior when I’m super anxious, depressed, discouraged, or just overwhelmed with all of it.

Daily Exercise/Movement (Nothing intense. Yesterday I could only do a 3/4 mile walk with my dog).

7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.

At lunch time I lay down on the floor and rest for about 20 to 30 minutes. I can never fall asleep so I just rest deeply, pray, mediate, etc.

I eat 95% Organic Food … I’m also Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Very Very Very Little Sugar, and no Artificial Sweeteners … I also avoid Pork and Raw Sushi (potential for parasites with those) … oh, and I also avoid processed foods, beans, most nuts, nightshades, potato chips and corn chips.

Fresh Organic Celery Juice (several times per week).

Currently trying out DNRS (Dynamic Neural Retraining System).

Chiropractor – At least once per month.

FYI … I just stopped taking Melia Supreme, Morinda Supreme, and Mimosa Supreme. I was using those powerful herbal supplements to target parasites, but I need a break from them after this latest herx! You have to listen to your body. Sometimes you need to pulse, break, reduce dosage, whatever.

FYI … I was doing Infrared Sauna at least once per week at a local Spa. That got shutdown due to COVID. I’m going to purchase my own infrared sauna soon. I need to be sweating more for proper detoxing and the heat feels amazing. I’m purchasing a Sunlighten.

My dog Remi and I on a recent 2-mile hike.

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.

Right Now I’m NOT Happy, NOT Rejoicing, and NOT Giving Thanks!

It’s worse than usual this week, and I’m not sure why.

I can do very little physical work and I hate that. I want to be working my job, going to the gym, trail running, working in my yard … FREGGIN’ DOING LIFE! But lately, when I physically exert myself, excruciating pain shoots through my lower left abdomen up into my left rib cage and sometimes up into my left chest. It’s so bad that it floors me. I mean I literally have to lay on the floor until it subsides. After multiple tests, doctors have no answer as to why this is happening.

The abdomen pain frequently triggers what I call “the forehead headaches.” These are not typical tension or migraine headaches. They’re different. They bring on a wicked feeling of confusion, disorientation, and weakness. It’s not mere “brain fog.” It’s much worse than that. It feels like my brain is going into shut-down mode and disconnecting from my body. When it hits, there’s nothing I can do to stop it. I just have to wait it out.

Then (if all that were not enough), my anxiety can suddenly spike for no apparent reason. It’s so intense that I feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin. I don’t like calling it an “anxiety attack” or “panic attack” because I’m actually not being attacked. What’s really happening is my brain is unconsciously trying to protect me from what’s going on inside of my body so it triggers my nervous system to go into “fight or flight” mode. I do my best to passively accept it. If you try to escape it or fight it or if you freak-out over it, you’ll only fuel it. I’ve learned that passively accepting it and giving it time to pass is the best thing to do to activate my parasympathetic nervous system to trigger “the relaxation response.” One of the many things that late-stage Lyme Disease jacks-up is your nervous system and/or your vagus nerve.

When I have these “episodes” (with the abdomen and rib pain with the forehead headaches with the anxiety spikes) … it’s extremely difficult for me to talk because I feel so mentally off, disoriented, and not even present. I literally have to talk softly and slowly, and even that takes incredible effort. It’s so weird and frustrating. When all of it is hitting at once, it actually hurts my brain to talk. I know that must sound strange to most people.

(feeling some confusion right now)

I’m not sure if these “episodes” are just a bad herx reaction to the homeopathic/herbal medicines that I’m taking. I think that’s what’s going on and I actually hope that’s what’s going on, because if they’re herx reactions then that means the bad stuff is dying inside of me and I just need to do a better job of binding and detoxing all of it.

This Thursday, I go back to see my Lyme Specialist in Frederick, MD (Greg Lee). I’m hoping he can help me understand what’s going on with these “episodes” and help eliminate or at least reduce them. I remember what he and another Lyme Specialist told me during my first visit, “This isn’t a drive thru, Jason. It takes time to recover … and I hope you’re not a Girl Scout.” I was like, “Yeah, I’m tough. I’m in it for the long haul. I’ll be okay.”

Well, I’m not okay. I haven’t been “okay” for quite some time, but I just kept trying to “cowboy up.” ENOUGH! Today I actually met with a therapist to talk about what I’m going through because I’ve finally come to the point where I admit that I can’t handle this on my own. I’m not smart enough or strong enough. Its just too much for me to try and go solo. Did you know that the leading cause of death among Lyme sufferers is suicide? Don’t worry … NO, I’m not having suicidal thoughts. I’m just admitting that I need help … not only physically, but also mentally … and I sincerely don’t give a rip what people think or say about me seeing a therapist for all of this.

Bottling-up my negative thoughts, fears, questions, and emotions is NOT healthy. It’s toxic, and that’s what most men do, and in my opinion that’s the reason why more men than women are alcoholics, drug addicts, abusers, and suicidal. Trying to be “an army of one” with chronic physical and mental suffering is not only foolish … it’s EXTREMELY dangerous! So I did some research and found a therapist to work with, and guess what? She’s also fought through Lyme Disease herself. Dude, she gets it! She can finish my sentences!

I think our first session went pretty well. It was basically just a time to get to know each other, and I got some things out that I needed to.

This evening as I type this … I’m NOT happy … I’m NOT rejoicing … and I’m NOT giving thanks. I’m hurting, and I’m trying to stabilize physically and mentally. Today I’ve been so tempted to go to back to the ER, but I know it will just be more of the same tests with the same results with the same clueless doctors with another medical bill to pay. No thank you.

(long 10-minute pause)

Writing this blog post has been kind of therapeutic. It’s actually helping to trigger the relaxation response. Finally the waves are beginning to die down. I wanted to write while I was in the midst of an “episode” … when everything feels so negative, frustrating, overwhelming, and hopeless. Just keeping it real people.

Man, I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again … this disease is without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my entire life (and if you know me, then you know I’ve been through some serious $#%@ over the last 44 years … physically, mentally, and emotionally)! Those of you who are fellow Lyme Warriors, you know exactly what I’m talking about with how hard it is. Some of you reading this will roll your eyes at what I’m about to say, but I’ve had fellow Lyme Warriors tell me that giving birth, passing kidney stones, battling cancer, and even being shot (he was a police officer) … were nothing in comparison to battling late-stage Lyme Disease. Don’t misunderstand me … I’m not in anyway trying to minimize those other struggles. I’m just trying to help people understand that this disease is much worse than most people realize (including medical professionals).

If you’ve never seen the documentary Under Our Skin, you should check it out.

Under Our Skin from DecimalZero on Vimeo.

I would appreciate your prayers during this agonizing part of the climb. I’m definitely praying for many of you who’ve shared your pain and suffering with me.

My email is Jason@Narrowtrail.com

Don’t give up.

Reach out and get help if you need it (physically, mentally, emotionally, whatever).

You’re not weak for doing that.

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