As some of you may have heard, I got back from my latest Lyme appointment a few weeks ago, and figured it was high time to update everyone…(prepare for a mega-long walk through my whole journey. You’ve been warned 😉 )
This is a blog post that is a long time in coming.
I’ve shared bits and pieces, but I never had the full picture—and I still don’t. But I’m getting close. Much closer.
I contracted Lyme Disease when I was about fifteen. At least, that’s our closest guess. I was living with my family in Indiana, and began showing early symptoms around that time. I’d gotten countless bug bites during our stint in Indiana, being the adventuresome teen that I was, but little did I know one of them would change my life forever.
Over the next six years, during our last phase on the mission field in Papua New Guinea, my symptoms would grow. Hard to identify, but clearly unusual. At first, it was odd things. Dizziness. Stomach aches. Joint pain. Bad balance.
But none of these seemed to string together, so like so many Lyme patients, I was given several random diagnoses that didn’t help.
But, I could still function, even if I had some…weird…health things happening.
Then, when I was eighteen, and my family had transitioned permanently back to the U.S., the symptoms really hit hard. Fatigue, so consuming that I finished my senior year lying in bed or sprawled on the floor of my room, hardly strong enough to lift my pencil. Joint pain that felt as though someone were stabbing knives into my kneecaps—not only when I was in motion, but at night, making it difficult to sleep, and even more fearful to awake to the pain surging in my knees the next morning.
The dizziness grew so bad I couldn’t stand up without nearly passing out. Pain rippled through my body in constant aches, sometimes so fierce my bones felt like they were on fire. I was constantly exhausted, but couldn’t get my mind to shut off at night till often times 2:00 am. Insomnia wasn’t the only internal aspect that changed—I also started dealing with anxiety and depression I never had before. My body would simply react, too exhausted to do otherwise, even when I had nothing to be anxious or depressed about. Even when I’d hardly dealt with either before Lyme. I’d even seen things that weren’t there—shapes and shadows out of the corner of my eye. Faces and people. Tricks of my Lyme-ridden mind.
I could barely function. A short walk exhausted me. My mind was so slow and foggy half the time I couldn’t process basic tasks.
Thankfully, my mom had a friend who battled Lyme Disease, and immediately suggested I get tested for the disease when she heard my symptoms. We found a Lyme-literate doctor in San Diego who was able to give me the right blood tests to confirm that I did indeed have Lyme.
But, by that time I’d had Lyme for five or six years—too long for antibiotics to even touch it. We instead tried the San Diego doctor’s treatment route. While the supplements he prescribed kept the Lyme from worsening, I hit a plateau. Over a year passed and I wasn’t getting any better, nor any closer to functioning normally. Meanwhile, the expenses continued to grow.
We began searching for a different method, but there were so few Lyme success stories, it was discouraging. Horrifying, even.
Then we learned about Dr. Anthony Smith. A physician in Idaho who’d treated another missionary fighting Lyme disease—and the treatment had worked! The more we looked into Dr. Smith, the more this continued to become evident: it worked. He not only treated thousands of Lyme patients from the U.S. and around the world—but often times, they won the battle. They found success. Healing.
And that is a powerful thing, especially when battling a silent epidemic like Lyme.
We scheduled my first appointment with Dr. Smith, but he was so booked that we couldn’t get in for almost six months. So, we bided our time and continued to look into any other methods while we waited—then, four months ago, I had my first appointment with Dr. Smith.
The treatment that he uses is one he perfected himself called Cranio Biotic Technique. He was able to cure himself from Lyme using this technique (which he developed with a background in chiropractics) and now uses it to help others. The first round of treatments took five days. The first session was two hours long, the consequent four after only fifteen minutes long.
In the first session Dr. Smith focused on identifying where the Lyme was located in by body, and finding the best supplements to boost that specific area. He found that the largest concentration of Lyme was in my brain, heart and liver. Brain and heart being quite consequential, and the reason for the massive amount of fatigue, anxiety and depression I was dealing with.
The fifteen-minute appointments thereafter were to get rid of the Lyme. Using pressure points and magnets, Dr. Smith would help my brain to identify the specific Lyme trouble areas (since your mind sends electrical signals to communicate with the rest of the body) and boost my immune system to combat the disease. Over and over again, he would alert my body to the organs where Lyme was worst. For years the disease had been overwhelming my body to the point of it not even trying to fight, but now Dr. Smith was giving my body the internal directions it needed to target and defeat the Lyme. Using supplements to strengthen my immune system as it fought off the Lyme.
It sounds bizarre, I know. Magnets and pressure points. But it didn’t hurt, and he was so quick and sure. He was obviously well studied and proficient in his art.
It may have been odd…but it worked. For the first time, something worked.
After those five treatments, I went home for three months. I continued to take all the supplements he prescribed, and stay on a special diet to limit inflammation and help speed up the healing process.
The first seven weeks were hard—getting bad before it got better. My fatigue grew worse, the aches more intense and everything seemed on edge. But I stuck it out, continued on the supplements and diet.
Then, the end of the second month, things began to change. My energy suddenly picked up—and I was taking our huskies for several walks a day. The brain fog was descending, overall pain lessening.
I was getting better.
For the first time in more years than I can honestly remember, I was feeling better.
A few weeks ago (about three months after my first round of treatments) I returned to Idaho for a check up. Fifteen minutes that will forever change my story.
Because those fifteen minutes were filled with a word I hadn’t expected to hear so soon, or at all—healed. Nearly Lyme-free.
Not quite there yet, but close. The end of the fight in sight, as far as we can see. Most of the infections in my brain, heart and liver are gone. The few still hanging on are quickly receding—to the point that Dr. Smith gave me a quick tune up, and said he wasn’t even sure I’d need to return again, if my body was able to do the rest of the work to fight off the disease.
He said there was a good chance that my symptoms will be completely gone in the next few months.
Gone. Lyme-free. Healed.
I can’t even believe it myself, you guys! I honestly can’t remember what it was like to feel completely Lyme-free. The days before I had at least one symptom.
And now I’m being offered the dreams of my future again. To pursue journalism, and a driver’s license (*wink wink* which may not seem like a big deal to you…but to have my mobility back? Priceless.). To have the capacity to work hard and fall down and pick myself back up. To learn and grow and face my 21st year was a certainty:
Whatever comes, God will carry me through.
Just as surely as He has—and continues to—carry me through Lyme. He has placed dreams and passions on my heart even with Lyme, and those dreams and passions are only blooming more fully now.
The battle isn’t over. I’m not Lyme-free yet, and I have no idea what the future holds—but I do know that whatever happens, I will continue to use every moment of my story to share His hope.
Whether I am ever truly Lyme-free, or if this is a daily struggle for the rest of my life, I intend to face each day head on, fists open, letting God take my heart where He wants it. Using my pain and joy alike.
Because my story has only ever been His to tell.
And it has never been dull 😉
Learn more about my Lyme doctor here: http://lymestop.com