Rife: Notes from a newbie

“Be very careful or you could make things worse.”

With that advice in mind, I began my Rifing for Lyme journey. It’s now a few months and 27 treatments later and nothing terrible has happened, so that’s good. And I feel I’ve learned enough to make it worth sharing my experiences.

For those not familiar with Rife, the idea is that every living thing has a frequency. In the case of Lyme and its coinfections, the Rife machine sends a frequency aimed at a specific microbe, and this frequency resonates with the microbe, causing it to vibrate, and in the process either get damaged or destroyed.

It is called Rife because a pioneer of this technique was named Royal Raymond Rife. This guy, a scientist and inventor in the early 1900s, was a definite genius.

Today, there are many types of Rife machines named in his honor. I use the Doug Coil machine, which was created by Doug MacLean. Back in the 1980s, MacLean, a mechanical engineer, constructed this machine and successfully treated his own Lyme case, which had not responded to antibiotics.

I started my Rife odyssey cautiously, by doing lots of research – Rife websites, a couple of Rife books, and then reading thousands upon thousands of posts in various online forums. From those sources, I chose what I felt sounded like the four most promising frequencies – 432, 612, 840 and 2016.

My first rule was to Rife as often as possible, but only to start the next session after I thought I’d finished detoxing from the last one. So I did 13 sessions in the first 23 days, but then I found I was getting tired more quickly than usual after exercise. I guessed that the treatments were taxing my adrenals, so I took a few weeks off to adjust my adrenal support so this tiredness was no longer an issue.

The problem, it seemed, was that while I thought my body had recovered from a session, I really hadn’t given it quite enough time to recover. While I first thought the sweet spot for me was four sessions a week, it’s really two or three times weekly depending on how things go with each treatment.

So lesson one for me was wait until I’m sure I’m sure I’m ready for the next session. Lesson two was that each Rife treatment is an experiment, and you never really know how it’s going to turn out.

In any case, I felt that Phase 1 was a moderate success. Overall, I felt a bit stronger, and I could see this at the gym, where I noticed a substantial gain in how much I could lift on the leg machines. And the herxes were only mild, but there were enough symptoms, like gas, stomach gurgling, neck and joint pain, to let me know the Rife machine was working every time I turned it on.

I’d say I’m now in Phase 2, with another 14 treatments behind me to go along with the initial 13. What I’ve done lately is to better sort out which frequencies are most useful for me. My goal was to first treat just the Lyme Borrelia organism before moving on to the coinfections, but a belated look at a cross-referenced Consolidated Annotated Frequency List (CAFL) gave me a hint as to perhaps why treatments in the first phase were more taxing than I had expected.

The problem with 432 for me is that it also hits Babesia and is also an immune booster. This is a good thing for some people, but my system is easily overly boosted, and while I found the 432 had beneficial effects it also seemed to cause autoimmune like symptoms such as knee pain.

The 612 frequency not only hits Borrelia, but it also hits the Coxsackie and Echo viruses, both of which I believe I have. The 840 also resonates with Bartonella and Klebsiella pneumonaie, which are two more suspects in my pile of microbes. So since I wanted to focus at first on Borrelia, I’m now working solely on 2016.

Here’s a thumbnail sketch of how each frequency has gone for me, noting what symptoms they’ve provoked. I’d say all the frequencies have been positive, ranging from mildly positive to moderately positive, with the total effect being a moderate net gain in strength. You’ll note the run times are fairly short, but it’s my understanding that the Doug Coil is one of the most powerful machines available, and generally a beginner needs to stick with short sessions.

432 – 8 sessions totaling 37 minutes:  improved stool, feel bit tired, bloating, heat in back and chest, stomach gurgling, gas, strange feeling in brain, right knee and thigh soreness, stripes on back, nausea, nasal congestion, muscle soreness, shoulder pain, urinary irritation.

612 – 4 sessions totaling 14 minutes: vibrating feeling during session, urinary irritation, shoulder soreness, nausea, morning fatigue, sleep longer than usual, unusual feeling in head, spacey feeling, sore neck and back.

840 – 5 sessions totaling 6 minutes, 15 seconds: stomach gurgling, nausea, shoulder soreness, cool feeling in back, sleep longer than usual, dark urine, bloating, warm feeling in back.

2016 – 10 sessions totaling 11 minutes, 30 seconds: strange feeling in head, gas pain, bloating, heat in chest and back, tiredness in evening, sleep longer than usual, gas, spacey feeling, foot pain, mild dizziness.

All that doesn’t sound like a ton of fun, but like most people with Lyme, I’ll gladly trade a pack of mild detox symptoms for overall improvement. So after 27 treatments, I’m glad I took that initial warning seriously. I can’t say I’m a whole lot better than when I started Rifing, but I feel that solid progress has been made.

And at least I can say I haven’t made things worse.

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Is Chronic Lyme Curable?

The question on my Facebook group this past Sunday morning was “When you have chronic Lyme Disease, is it possible to cure at 100 per cent?”

Quickly, someone wrote “No.” I disagreed, so I posted “I believe the answer is yes.” The first poster shot back with “Well, you’re wrong,” and someone added one of those ha-ha-ha options on the Like button, just to rub that in.

It seemed like an innocent question at first, but now I could see there was a long, emotional argument taking shape.

The last time I checked, 93 people had weighed in. There were a few main camps – no, yes, and remission is possible but not cure.

My position didn’t fit into any of those categories. I further explained that because there is no 100 per cent accurate test for Lyme, there is no way of knowing if someone is cured or not. This is why I said, “I believe the answer is yes,” rather than saying yes.

How you look at this debate depends on how you define cure in the sense of the question asked. I took cure in this instance to mean that a person is fully well and no longer has Lyme in his or her body.

I’ve done a lot of Lyme research and read articles by and listened to podcasts featuring many Lyme-literate medical doctors (LLMDs), and the majority disagree with me.  Most LLMDs I’ve heard answer by saying they think remission for people with chronic Lyme is very possible, but that being fully cured isn’t possible. Still, I’ve heard some LLMDs say they think being fully cured is possible.

I agree with them because that while getting fully well from chronic Lyme can be incredibly difficult, many people have done just that. Are those people in remission or are they cured with the Lyme being fully eradicated from their body? Again, we have no way of knowing because the testing isn’t perfect.

Some of the patients who say they believe Lyme is curable talk about various modalities they feel got them well. Some point to Rife machines, some to Bee Venom therapy, some to Chinese medicine, some to other treatments. But no one can say for sure they were or weren’t cured.

This is where belief comes in. While I would be very happy if I achieved full remission and fell short of cure, my goal is to be cured from chronic Lyme, to become fully well, and to have Lyme fully eradicated from my body. Because there is no way to prove if this is possible or impossible, I choose to believe it is possible.

One of the reasons I choose to believe this rests on recent scientific research pointing to the power of belief. Probably the best known work in this area, Dr. Bruce Lipton’s book, The Biology of Belief, describes how believing in something can lead to the creation of beneficial brain chemicals that foster well-being and healing.

Obviously there is no cure right now for chronic Lyme in the sense of a treatment that will guarantee that Lyme can be eradicated from a person’s body. But what I think is possible is that if a person incorporates treatments that work for them, lives a lifestyle that strongly promotes healing, physically, mentally and spiritually, and works through any spiritual or emotional blockages that may be hampering their immune system, then they would be the ones most likely to have a shot at being 100 per cent free of chronic Lyme.

Some would say I’m mistaken in giving myself false hope. Hope is a precious thing for those of us with chronic Lyme and not something to be taken lightly. I spent seven years practically housebound, only occasionally well enough to get out for a very short and very slow walk. Most people had written me off. My own mother once referred to me as an invalid. But I chose to retain hope I could get well.

I’m not fully well but I’m way better now and functioning at a fairly high level. If I’d given up hope I might not be alive today.

Still, I understand why many people with chronic Lyme don’t want to get their hopes up. After trying and failing treatment after treatment, going year after year feeling wretched, and having their hopes dashed time after time, they understandably want to guard against false hope. I get it. I’ve been there.

Maybe I’m wrong in believing that it’s possible to be 100 per cent cured from chronic Lyme. Maybe my hope is false hope. But I’d much rather have false hope than no hope at all.

 

LDI: Success! A Case Study

I hadn’t had night sweats like this for years. The kind where you wake up several times with a T-shirt so soaked you have to change it.

I’m still not sure what happened, probably me getting overly aggressive using antimicrobials to treat Lyme disease. But suddenly one morning I felt like I had the flu – feverish, racing pulse, no energy, sore throat, muscle soreness and that profuse sweating.

Symptoms continued for just over a week, until, fortunately, it came time for my LDI (Low Dose Immunotherapy) treatment. The night I took the LDI dose, my  sweating reduced dramatically, and over the next couple of days the other symptoms disappeared.

So what the heck happened?

Well, it looks as if LDI worked just the way it is supposed to work.

For those of you not familiar with it, LDI has been around for several years now for the treatment of Lyme and other conditions. Patients are given extremely low dose antigens (we’re talking one part per one hundred millionth and less) of deadened pathogens or other substances and this process is supposed to prod the immune system to produce a more measured response and thus reduce or eliminate symptoms.

I’ve been doing LDI for three years and I can tell you it doesn’t always happen that way. The trick is getting the dose just right. Too strong can mean increased symptoms, sometimes causing serious problems, while too weak often produces no benefits.

This was my 22nd LDI treatment, and for the most part it has helped keep my immune system in balance and has been a key player in helping me slowly get a lot better. But while it has been a good treatment for me, it hasn’t produced the miraculous results some people have enjoyed.

This time my doctor seems to have nailed it with her dosing choice. Those who do LDI might be curious to know what that was (18C for the Lyme mix and 10C for the yeast mix. The C is a standard measure of homeopathic dosing.) From what I understand, that is a fairly weak dose for Lyme and a fairly normal dose for yeast.

So, once again, what the heck happened?

I think it started with my attempt to follow Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt’s retroviral protocol. I have followed Dr. Klinghardt’s work closely and consider him a brilliant Lyme doctor, so I paid attention when he recently said treating retroviruses was a key to overcoming Lyme.

I slowly started taking supplements from the protocol, such as broccoli sprouts, selenium, nettles, bitter melon and cistus tea.

I’m pretty sure it was the cistus tea that caused the reaction. It is known as a strong antimicrobial and it was the last retroviral supplement I took before the flare-up hit.

I didn’t expect anything to happen because I’d taken it many times before, but anyone with Lyme and co-infections is aware that you never know what is going to cause a die-off (aka Jarish-Herxheimer or herx) reaction.

Fighting Lyme is a war and those of us waging it have lots of land mines inside of us in the form of hidden microbes. Take the right (or wrong) antimicrobial at the right (or wrong) time and it can interact with that land mine and Boom! you’re lying on the couch wondering what hit you.

For me, a herx usually lasts a day or so and I haven’t had a severe one in a long while. Not so this time. One day turned into nine and the sweat just kept on coming.

That’s another problem with chronic Lyme. Sometimes when your immune system gets ramped up, it doesn’t calm down once the microbe that started the fuss has been dealt with. This can be dangerous, as an out of control immune system can produce out of control inflammation and other symptoms and has the potential to turn a one-day herx into a relapse.

This is where I feel LDI is most valuable. It can calm an out of control immune system, shut down symptoms and stop a negative spiral.

I think that’s what happened this time. Just how it managed the trick I’m not sure.

It was almost as if my immune system changed the channel. When it saw the LDI antigens, it was like it let go of its death grip on whatever it had latched on to and shifted to working on the Lyme and yeast mixes.

Whatever the case, I went from feeling less well than usual to feeling well in about a day’s time. That didn’t cure me, but it was a considerable relief. Any time you start going in the wrong direction in your fight with chronic Lyme it provokes a lot of stress and worry.

When it first came out, many people hoped LDI would be a breakthrough treatment for a wide swath of chronic Lyme patients. But while it hasn’t produced remissions for as many people as hoped, it is now generally seen as a helpful adjunct treatment for most patients who use it. In fact, I’ve heard it recently described that way by both my own doctor, and by noted Lyme doctor Neil Nathan.

“Helpful adjunct treatment” would accurately sum up my LDI experience,  but that’s nothing to dismiss. Anything that works against Lyme is highly valuable. And after my latest LDI experience I would add the word “very” to helpful adjunct treatment.

LDI: Glad I didn’t quit

Okay. Raise your hands. How many of you doing Low Dose Immunotherapy have thought of giving up on it?

I know I did, and I think I’m far from being alone. LDI can be a fantastic treatment for Lyme Disease and other illnesses, but it can be very hard to get it to work.

Finding the core dose is key, and that can take a painfully long time to settle on. It took me more than a year of tries that often ended up with me feeling a lot worse than I wanted to feel.

For those unfamiliar with LDI, it’s a relatively new treatment most often used for Lyme and its co-infections, but it also can be applied to many other things. The idea is to get the body to stop overreacting to whatever the problem is and react in proper measure.

This is done by giving patients incredibly diluted substances (we’re talking one part per one hundred millionth and less). These dilutions are made from deadened pathogens and prepared in homeopathic fashion. The most commonly used one is the Lyme mix, which  consists of 74 species that include the Lyme bacteria (Borrelia), along with species of Bartonella, Babesia,  Ehrlichia and Coxiella.

I started nearly two and a half years ago with the Lyme mix at the 15C dose, which caused a moderate aggravation of symptoms. But I was told this was good news, as a reaction meant I was responding to treatment, and that eventually I’d find the right dose.

One of the difficult things about LDI is if you have a symptom aggravation, known as a flare, you have to wait seven weeks until you can take the next dose. The theory is that the immune system is not ready for another dose until this period is up.

What keeps you going during these long stretches is hearing stories of others who’ve had phenomenal results with LDI. And these are fairly common tales of people who had all but lost hope, and then suddenly started to get much, much better. Very good things can happen when an out of control immune system gets back in sync.

So I went down to 17C the next time. This time the results were mixed. Some things were better, some things worse. My doctor called it a mild flare.

Following that came 19C. It didn’t seem to do much, so we tried 18C. That was on the whole positive and I felt somewhat better, but we thought we could do better.

By this time, more than half a year had passed. I was starting to wonder if my efforts couldn’t be better spent focusing on other treatments. All in all, I felt my condition had modestly improved, but was it enough to bother continuing?

We decided to reduce the dose to 17C again. This is where LDI can get confusing. This time 17C worked better than it had the time before, and since I continued to feel a bit better it seemed this might be the core dose.

But why was 17C more effective this time? Maybe my body had become stronger and better able to handle a stronger dose. Maybe my microbial load had dropped.

And maybe it was one of a million other possible reasons. LDI uses a homeopathic dose, and in my experience with homeopathic dosing I’ve found it highly unpredictable. It is to medicine what the knuckleball is to baseball pitching. When you let it fly, you can never be sure what’s going to happen.

So next came 16C and that was too strong. Nothing dramatic but I felt like I was carrying a heavy backpack around the next 10 days.

At this point, I’d tried everything from 15 to 19C, and it looked like there was going to be no miracle for me. I fell into probably the same category as most people. For me, the LDI Lyme mix had become a helpful treatment that reduced my overreactivity and brought about improvement in my condition.

So after conferring with my doctor and looking back over my symptom journal many times,  I decided to make a conservative move and go back to 18C. That seemed to work well. I clearly felt better taking that dose than I would have if I hadn’t taken it. A 17C dose might have been slightly better or slightly worse. But looking over my journal it looked like the results from 18C were slightly better than 17C, so 18C it would be. The core dose was finally decided.

I also wanted to settle on a core dose for the Lyme mix, because I wanted a clear field to try the yeast mix, which was also said to bring about big gains for many people.

After taking a year to find the right number for the Lyme mix, I lucked out on the yeast. This time 10C was our first choice and I clearly felt a lot better on it. We decided that we’d found the core dose on try number one.

Like I said earlier, I’m glad I didn’t quit because while I haven’t experienced any jaw- dropping results, I have made steady progress on LDI. I’m considerably stronger than when I started and better able to handle whatever life throws at me. I’m also less likely to overreact to either pathogens or to allergens, so I have far fewer bad days than I used to and the bad days are a lot less bad.

I’ve come to believe LDI is a valuable treatment primarily because I agree with many Lyme doctors (Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt being one of the most notable) who in recent years have concluded that the biggest problem with this disease isn’t the bugs, it’s the body overreacting to the bugs.

If you can’t get your body to stop overreacting, then even if you kill some bugs and that gives you a spurt of energy, your body is likely going to fritter that energy away by overreacting to something. It’s like giving a compulsive gambler a whack of spending money. Pretty soon it’s all gone.

The other reason I like LDI is that there are very few other things that can reliably get my body to stop overreacting. So mark me down as a satisfied customer.

But like I said, LDI can be very unpredictable. Next week, I’m going to add in the antigen for Mycoplasma. I’ve tested positive for the nasty fermentans strain of this bug, and I’ve been hesitant to take it on. Still, after nearly two and a half years of doing this treatment, I feel confident that I’ll be able to handle this one. Wish me luck.

 

 

 

 

A Tasty Way to Kill Lyme

I certainly wasn’t expecting my Easter dinner to attack a bunch of Lyme spirochetes, but that seems to be exactly what happened.

Bear with me, because this is going to be a bit unusual. Now how, you ask, did an Easter meal have any affect on Lyme Disease? Did the chocolate bunny kick butt?

OK. Here’s my answer. It was a really nice meal – ham with baked beans, yams and broccoli. As an added touch, I drizzled about a teaspoon of maple syrup over the ham.

I would have used more, but those of us going through Lyme treatment are told to keep sugar to a minimum.

Just before bed, I noticed that my urine was extremely murky. I rarely see that, and for me it is a sign of Lyme spirochetes being attacked.

I’ll back up a bit. I’ve tried many approaches to treating Lyme, and one of those was a trial with Rife machines. For some of you this may seem even more weird, but there are scores of Lyme sufferers who have been greatly helped or even achieved remission using Rife.

In brief, a Rife machine directs an electromagnetic current at specific frequencies in the body. The Lyme bacteria, borrelia, can be found at some of these frequencies. Zap the borrelia and you kill some Lyme. You’ve got to do a lot of zapping over a long period of time to get results, but it works very well for some people.

When I did a trial with the Rife machine, something funny happened. Right afterwards, my urine was very murky. I tried the machine again a month or so later and the same thing happened. Up until that point, I’d never really noticed having really murky pee.

I didn’t further pursue Rife then, as other treatments seemed better suited to my situation. But I did make a mental note that there seemed to be a correlation between killing borrelia and murky pee.

So that brings me back to Easter 2017. Not only was my urine murky before bed, but it was even murkier when I peed in the middle of the night. “Weird,” I said to myself and went back to sleep. I didn’t think it was significant, as I put it on the list of the dozens of strange and inexplicable things that have happened to me on my Lyme journey.

Then on Easter Monday came a surprise.

I was reading the book How Can I Get Better? by famous Lyme doctor, Richard Horowitz, MD. On page 79, he lists several substances that break up Lyme biofilms and in the process kill borrelia. Biofilms are colonies of bacteria that grow in various places in humans. Dental plaque is an example.

Anyway, one of those substances on Horowitz’s list was maple syrup extract.

So it was the maple syrup!

Intrigued, I Googled maple syrup, Lyme Disease and biofilm, and I came upon a 2015 study from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. It found that maple syrup was an effective antibacterial substance, and when used along with antibiotics it could make the antibiotics more potent. The study also discovered maple syrup was an effective biofilm buster.

The McGill research was done in the lab and not on human subjects, but it is still very promising. And in recent years, more and more natural substances have been found useful for treating Lyme.

The natural sweetener Stevia has recently been shown to have powerful effects on biofilm. There are also, of course, several effective natural approaches to treating Lyme that have already been developed, such as the Buhner, Cowden, Zhang, Byron White and Beyond Balance protocols.

So the moral of this story is not that a little maple syrup is going to cure you of Lyme. It’s that there are probably many other natural things that are effective at treating Lyme. What’s needed is more research to find out just what these are and how best to integrate them into protocols. We need as many weapons as we can find in this war, and if they taste good, that’s very good indeed.

 

 

LDI: Using Data To Help Figure This Out

If everything goes the way it’s supposed to, Low Dose Immunotherapy can be very simple. Take the dose, feel better.

But I don’t think I’m the only one whose LDI journey has been anything but straightforward. For me, it’s been very, very complicated.

That’s why I’ve started using data to help sort out how my body is reacting as I seek to find the magical core dose.

For those not familiar with LDI, it’s used for many diseases and disorders, but primarily for Lyme Disease and its co-infections. Patients are given, by injection or sublingually, minute doses of deadened microbes such as Borrelia, Bartonella, Babesia, and Ehrlichia.

Doses are prepared in homeopathic dilutions and range from the strongest, about 6 C, to the weakest, about 30 C.

Finding the correct dose is key. Hit it just right and a very sick Lyme patient can see symptoms disappear. This is known as the core dose, and if everything goes well, taking that core dose repeatedly over seven-week periods can lead to complete remission.

When I say I’m using data, I mean very basic statistics drawn from my daily symptom journal. There are two key factors involved in a person’s response to the dose: how you feel and how reactive your immune system is.

LDI theorizes that people with Lyme and co-infections are sick not because of the bugs, but because their immune systems are overreacting to the bugs. The goal of treatment is to prod the immune system to react properly to these pathogens and enable the body to heal.

After taking the dose, the practitioner mainly wants to know if the patient felt better afterward or had a negative reaction (called a “flare” of symptoms), in response. If the patient felt better without having a flare, it is generally thought they’ve found their core dose. If there is a flare, a weaker dose usually will be tried seven weeks later.

I use the stats I keep both as information to provide to the practitioner who decides which dose to give, and as a way of looking at overall patterns of how each dose has affected me. This information can be very useful if and when LDI gets complicated. Sometimes doses you thought were core doses didn’t turn out that way, and sometimes it just takes a long time to find the core dose.

The stats I keep measure how I feel in the 7-day period before the shot, the 10-day period following the shot (most people are likely to react positively or negatively during this time frame), and the 7-day periods following that. I could use a 1 to 10 scale, but I try to keep things simple, so I divide it into days in which I feel pretty well and days I don’t feel pretty well.

For immune overactivity, I do the same thing, breaking it down into whether or not I had or didn’t have symptoms of immune overactivity during the above-mentioned periods. One example of a symptom of immune overactivity for me is mild pain in the left knee and thigh. Over the course of a year, I have symptoms of immune overactivity roughly one of every two days.

I’ve taken doses ranging from 15C to 19 C and still haven’t found my core dose, or at least I don’t think I have. Sometimes it’s hard to tell.

I just missed on 18C, feeling better for the first week, but then flaring mildly the last three days of the 10-day period. And the 19C may have been it. I wasn’t feeling well in the week before the shot, and then I felt considerably better after the shot. I had some mild negative symptoms as well, but did they constitute a flare? It’s hard to say because I also had a lot of negative symptoms in the week leading up to the shot.

See what I mean by complicated.

To give you an example of how I use statistics I’ll give my 18C and 19C shots as case studies.

For the 18C dose, I felt pretty well 7 of 7 days prior to the shot. Then I felt pretty well 8 of 10 days following the shot despite mild flaring. But overall I felt slightly better during the period after the shot than the period before. Also during the 10 days following the shot, I had symptoms of immune overactivity on three days.

For the 19C dose, I felt pretty well on only 1 of 7 days before the shot. But I felt pretty well 7 of 10 days after the shot. And during those 10 days following the shot, I had symptoms of immune overactivity on four days.

So you can look at the numbers one way and say that the 19C shot clearly made me feel better than I had the week before. But there was mild flaring. There also was some immune overactivity, but less than usual.

The 18C dose also made me feel better than usual overall, but the change wasn’t as dramatic as with the 19C dose. And there was some mild flaring, although there was again generally less immune overactivity than usual.

Technically, neither shot met the general criteria of a core dose as I had mild flaring each time. But both times the 18C and 19C doses made me feel better generally and they reduced overall immune overactivity.

I’d love to get reader input as I contemplate an upcoming shot. Should I ask my practitioner for an 18C or 19C dose, or should I go for a weaker 20C dose? I’d greatly appreciate it if you could leave a comment letting me know what you think.

Seven Things My Lyme Doc Taught Me

It took me a long time to find her, but I am fortunate to say that I have a good Lyme-literate medical doctor (LLMD) who has taught me a lot of important things.

If my count is right, she was the 14th doctor I saw before finding someone who was able to help me. Sounds like a lot, but many Lyme patients have a longer list. She could help because she had been through something similar herself, and had the knowledge and compassion to be able to help others get through their ordeals.

So what has she taught me? Probably more than I’m outlining below, but these are the things that come to mind.

#1 – A LOT OF THIS IS ABOUT TOTAL LOAD – Total load means the total amount to stressors your body is facing. Obviously, Lyme is a big stressor. So if you have Lyme, you have to reduce the other stressors.

Doctors who subscribe to the total load theory use the rain barrow analogy. Stressors are like rain that falls into a rain barrow. As long as the rain stays in the barrow you’re OK. But too much rain (i.e. stressors) and the barrow overflows. That’s when you get symptoms.

There’s no shortage of stressors – Lyme, other infections, emotional and physical stress, heavy metals, pesticides, poor diet, dental amalgam fillings and other dental problems, candida, etc., etc. One of the keys to getting healthy is eliminating and reducing stressors and keeping the water from spilling out of the barrow.

#2 – B VITAMIN SHOTS CAN HELP A LOT – One doctor told me not to bother with B12 shots because he said I didn’t need them. Another doctor told me B12 shots were quackery. But my doctor said I should try both B12 and B complex injections. She was right. They helped a lot, giving me some energy at a time when that commodity was worth about a million dollars an ounce to me.

#3 – CATCHING COLDS OFTEN MEANS YOU MADE A MISTAKE – During one of our visits, my doctor was chastising herself for getting a cold. Turns out she felt she made a mistake.

I’d always thought catching a cold or the flu was an accident that couldn’t be helped. But I now see it as something that’s an unavoidable accident about half the time and an avoidable mistake the other half.

Maybe I forgot to wash my hands after being in public during cold and flu season, maybe I skimped on sleep and my immune system suffered, maybe I got stressed out on a day when I felt the first sign of a tickle in my throat. Or maybe something else. This doesn’t mean being a germophobe, it just means that when you have a serious illness like Lyme, you need to be careful to not pick up other infections.

#4 – YOU CAN IMPROVE YOUR EYESIGHT – I’ve always been looking for ways to improve my vision, and I’ve asked several eye doctors this question. They all say there’s nothing you can do.

Not true, says my doctor. She had a strong prescription of -5.50 that fell to a moderate -2.50. That’s a huge drop. She said she did it by gradually healing infections in her body and eyes, taking a lot of antioxidants and intravenous vitamin and mineral infusions.

#5 – PUT THE TOILET LID DOWN EVERY TIME YOU FLUSH – This thought had never occurred to me. But one day I noticed a clipping on her office billboard showing results from a study that showed flushing with the toilet lid up results in a slew of often pathogenic bacteria flying around your bathroom. I’m not sure how much effect this has on total load, but every bit counts.

#6 – EAT ALL YOUR FOOD DURING A SHORT PERIOD OF THE DAY – I’m not sure if this works for everyone, but it works for me. The theory is that your body likes having a decent sized mini-fast every day. I’d mentioned I was having gut symptoms, so my doctor suggested trying to eat all my food in an 8-12 hour window each day.

Eight hours is tough to manage, but most days I eat my food in an 11-hour period and give my body 13 hours to fully digest it and work everything out. Doing this has helped reduce my gut symptoms.

#`7 – NEVER GIVE UP – My doctor has told me stories of her own desperate efforts to stay alive so her young son wouldn’t lose his mother. She never gave up and taught me the same.

The truth with Lyme is you never know when things are going to turn around in your favor. There are umpteen ways of treating it, and if you keep trying, you’re likely to find one that will work for you. So there’s good reason not to give up. It also helps, a lot, to find a doctor who won’t give up on you. When I was down and out and bedridden, my doctor made 10 house calls to try to get me back on my feet. That’s right. House calls. I told you I was fortunate.