I know this blog is supposed to be a site of encouragement and hope but...today I'm going to give you a dose of reality. My dear Lyme friends, I don't think this journey is ever going to be over, for most of us. I mean, I don't think that we will ever get rid of all the bugs, and as long as we have them, we will need to periodically perform Lyme disease treatments.
I don't know why the reality of this hasn't sunk in before; I guess I thought that "remission" from Lyme meant now and forever, and that a fair number of people actually get to that place and stay there.
Being at a Lyme disease conference this past week for the first time in my Lyme life, gave me a spectacular bird's eye view of what this disease is about, and even more, what to expect in the healing process.
Plenty of coffee during the day alternated with benzos at night enabled me to remain just alert enough to receive the volumes of information presented at the conference. But it was only later, as I sat by the hotel pool in a sweltering 110-degree heat, waiting for the sauna-like effect of the sun to spill sweat-induced toxins all over my beach towel, that I really began to digest this information and formulate conclusions about healing, such as the one I mention above.
Since things quickly change in the world of Lyme, bear in mind, the hairball of hypotheses which I am now choking down like a wheezing cat, are subject to revision. I suspect I will have a different opinion a year from now, but for now, at the center of my hypotheses is the belief that we won't ever get rid of all of the infections.
(Unless God decides to work some holy magic in the body, which is entirely possible).
What's more, I think that for most of us, ongoing, open-ended treatment regimens will be necessary in order to maintain the gains we have made.
The bugs just don't go away that easily. They may retreat for awhile, until an antibiotic is removed or a stressful life event occurs, but there will always be a few of 'em, on the ready, for whenever the proliferation ground looks promising again.
The reasons for this are multiple. First, not only are Borrelia and its cronies adept at immune and antibiotic evasion, they are fond of morphing within themselves, and with other infections, too, creating new and improved little cross-breed critters that may require separate treatments. Add to that suspicions that they cloak themselves in protective blankies of biofilm, and getting rid of all the bugs becomes an implausible proposition. Other reasons exist and I will discuss these more in-depth in future blog posts.
Being that the critters have such superb survival mechanisms, my next hypothesis is that the strategies that will work best in the long run, are those found in energy medicine and homeopathy, because these harness the power of the brain and the immune system to recognize and destroy pathogens, and can directly repel ALL pathogens of a particular variety, without leaving any borrelia crumbs behind. That's not to say that energy medicine is currently more efficient than antibiotics or herbs at ridding the body of Lyme disease; indeed, energy medicine is still in its infancy in the western world, and I believe we have a long ways to go before we can fully harness its power, but some applications in the treatment of Lyme disease show great promise. At the same time, antibiotic-like interventions are beneficial for quickly ridding the body of huge layers of bugs, but my experience with those whom I met at the conference--those who have done years and years of antibiotics--is that these drugs don't get all of the critters and wherever antibiotics are used, the immune system also becomes weakened. And nobody can predict exactly how detrimental this will be to a Lyme sufferer, down the road.
I'm sorry for the sobering information, but I wouldn't be doing you any favors if I left you in la la land with false promises of total healing. Of course, people DO attain remission from symptoms--just be prepared for the fact that healing from Lyme disease may be a life-long endeavor, no matter which strategy you use. And there are more reasons for this than simply the presence and intelligence and morph-o-rama tactics of pathogens. Shutting off auto-immune processes induced by Lyme is also difficult, and being exposed to ever-increasing amounts of environmental toxins further complicates healing (But these are topics that I will save for another post).
In the meantime, take my reality with a grain of salt, and press on with the journey. Indeed, like many things in life, healing from Lyme may be more about the journey, not a final destination.