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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

As part of my drug holiday and to help me recover from lingering concussion symptoms, my Lyme doctor really urged us to try Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). The office has a soft shelled chamber that basically pressurizes oxygen into your system while breathing 100% oxygen for different amounts of times. The thought is that the oxygen increase for the short amount of time increases circulation and oxygen levels to the point where people receiving the therapy notice improved energy levels and medicine effectiveness. Children receiving Chemotherapy spend time in the chamber directly after their treatments to increase the Chemo's effectiveness by pushing it into all the tissues. Concussion symptoms are noticeably improved by the oxygen increase to the brain and Lyme sufferers may notice more energy and less joint and muscle problems. This is an effective way of improving the benefits of treatment but it is out of pocket and fairly expensive. For one day, the next three weeks, I'm going to receive treatments to clear my concussion symptoms and help with whatever Lyme detoxing I'm doing on this drug holiday. Huge prayers that I can have the patience to lay in this loud machine for an hour and fifteen minutes every Tuesday morning and still be able to drive home afterward.

Drug Holiday

I went to my Lyme Specialist a week ago, which was thankfully only a thirty minute drive I had to embrace by myself. We spoke of the idea of a drug holiday since I'm feeling so terrible. When a Lyme sufferer makes such a drastic change to his/her medicines, there is a lot of danger involved with the reaction the body can have from the release of the bacteria and harmed immune system. When there is no medicine in the bloodstream the bacteria of Lyme of the coinfections that come with it can come out of hiding and run free in the body. In a months time this theoretically will let the Lyme come out, filter out side effects from prescriptions and herbals, and of course some further concussion symptoms so that we can reassess where my body is unmasked. This way we can see what is plaguing me the most right now, and what symptoms we need to concentrate on. Also the break from the medicine can give my stomach some time to heal. I take antacids, Carafate for ulcers, magnesium for detoxing, and Liver life to clean my liver and keep it working smoothly while I'm on this holiday. My main concentrations while off the antibiotics is to watch my blood counts, flush my IV regularly with saline to keep it working, detox the medicine out of my system as much as possible, keep my face clean of acne, journal how I'm feeling on here, and straighten out my stomach. We are going to limit my activity to just one event, like working towards the mini horse show on May 12th. Rest is a huge lesson I need to concentrate on right now. If I don't rest I'll stress and get worse than I already feel.

Recovery from Concussion

It has been over two months since my unfortunate concussion occurred while trying to enjoy some fresh powder on the ski slopes. Sitting here today, I don't even know what to type to explain to my followers and even strangers how the recovery process has been going. In simple terms my brain is gone. We thought it would take two or three months for me to be 100% but with average Lyme Disease neurological symptoms irritated, it's going to take a lot longer. I attended five weeks of a concussion rehabilitation center to strengthen my balance, eye sight, and reaction time again. Needless to say the concussion cleared up quite a bit with that and the help of solid rest, but the Lyme didn't. My symptoms of fatigue, joint pain, swelling, muscle twitching, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, depression, anxiety, huge mood swings, brain fog, memory loss, and lack of concentration and motivation have increased significantly. I took what is called an Impact test for athletes that gauges reaction time and processing speed and failed miserably. Some mornings I awake in such a state of pain I can't move from mid-torso down. It takes me multiple hours to wake up in the morning and be able to put on a smile or get dressed. Showering has become a worsened chore as I'm still dizzy and just so weak and miserable. Can you imagine not even being able to get yourself clean because you would have to choose between clean clothes or a clean body, showering or getting dressed, getting dressed or leaving the house for a doctor's appointment in your pj's? Most people inflicted with Chronic Lyme can relate, but others have no idea of that thought process and how discouraging it is. I can't do any schoolwork because my brain is not clear enough and that makes it impossible to graduate on time, so a high honor student now has to take an extra year to complete high school's basic courses. This whole disease is such a burden, such a humbling experience.