Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Products I Use In My Healing Journey

Those of us with lyme disease or another chronic illness are searching for products that either help get you well, treat a symptom or make dealing with the symptoms easier. That's why in the past, I've plastered them all down the sidebar or included the links in my posts.
I am finally  decluttering the sidebar and putting them into one post to make things easier.

For full disclosure here, anything with an Amazon link I will make a small commission on if you click over from my website and order the item. I thank you for that! I DO NOT and WILL NOT recommend anything that didn't work for me- with the exception that it's recommended by others - but I'll let you know that because everyone is different. Remember, something that worked for me, might not work for you and vice versa. In regards to supplements; remember, I'm not a doctor...you should always check with your healthcare professional before starting anything new.

Having said that, here goes...(please see the very last product I recommend in the update because I had pretty dramatic results)

First and foremost, I highly recommend Vital Plan's Restore Program (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF MITOCHONDRIAL SUPPORT - SEE ABOVE EXPLANATION) and their supplements since they are high quality and I've met Dr. Rawls.  The first month of Restore costs $325 as of this writing and $270 for any month after that. 
UPDATE: Vital Plan offers savings with their Subscribe and Save program.The first month includes his book Suffered Long Enough, 3 6 month email and video course, eating plan, symptom tracker and personalized email support.

As of this writing, I'm feeling pretty good after being on Restore for 10 1/2 months. You can read my monthly updates for more information.
UPDATE: In the course of learning about mercury toxicity from fish, amalgam fillings and vaccines, I learned from the Andy Cutler Chelation group that mercury toxic people shouldn't have cilantro, chlorella, glutathione or alpha lipoic acid because it could cause mercury to end up in the brain. For that reason, I don't recommend Mitochondrial Support, because it includes alpha lipoic acid and glutathione.
Disclosure: he has sent me some products to try a couple of times, which I have and will review with my honest opinion.


EMF Blocker
Dr. Rawls mentioned the DefenderPad EMF blocker in his book Suffered Long Enough.


I've spent a lot of time on the internet  since I finding out I had lyme. Many hours have been spent researching and talking to people, so blocking emfs is really important. I also have a little Belly Blanket by Belly Armor which I lay across my lap, then place the DefenderPad on top of that. I also fold the blanket over where I place my hands on the laptop.


Essential Oil Diffuser
I have a previous model of this Naska cool mist essential oil diffuser. There are other ones on Amazon. My favorite oils  to diffuse (so far) are lavender (when I sleep) and peppermint - when I'm sleepy during the day.


Books
I've read quite a few more, but these are my favorite.


Supplements
I reviewed lion's mane mushroom HERE



[UPDATE- I forgot I was taking this probiotic]
I will be taking this probiotic for a month, then trying the Probiotic from Vital Plan.

Jernigan Neuro-Antitox
From the website: "Neuro-Antitox II CNS/PNS is for those suffering primarily from problems in the brain, meninges, and peripheral nerves from Lyme toxins and heavy metals"

UPDATE: Muscle Cramps
I try to get as much potassium as I can from food, but because I have frequent urination, my electrolytes are depleted and I take extra potassium and a pinch of Himalayan salt a couple of times a day+ 800 mg of Magnesium. Below are the ones I use:


Stress
I don't have stress in the normal sense, but being a passenger in a car or being in a large space where someone uses a microphone(like in church) caused me stress and Suntheanine helped me. Read the reviews on Amazon.

Vital Plan also has a good product called HPA Balance,
which has 100 mg l-theanine in it and I'll take this if I'm driving (a short distance) somewhere.


Update: 
I now take 2 HPA Balance plus 200 mg of the l-theanine before going to church where it's loud! Taking these helps me a lot.

Update:
I take 1,000 mg of Ashwaghanda before bed and it's been helping me to have more restful sleep. I've been sleeping for longer stretches and have been only been getting up once or twice at night to go to the bathroom. I had been getting up every couple of hours. My husband started taking it too and he says it helps him have more restful sleep.
This is the Ashwagandha I've been taking.

UPDATE November 2016: I now take 2 5htp an hour or 2 before bed and take 1mg Melatonin as I get into bed. I've taken both of these brands of 5 htp and they work well for me.





or
Pure Calm from Vital Plan helps at bedtime, as well.



Turmeric/Curcumin
There are other curcumins that are less expensive, but Meriva SR is highly bioavailable. I take it for muscle pain, plus turmeric/curcumin is supposed to be really good for you.



Vital Plan also has a good product with turmeric/curcumin in it called Joint Care, with other ingredients that help with joint pain. I don't have joint pain regularly, but once in awhile I do and will take Joint Care for a week or so if my joints start to bother me.


For Pain

I use this pack whenever my neck was inflamed or my head felt like it was smoldering.

UPDATE: K-Laser
For Inflammation
Many of those with lyme disease have a stiff or inflamed neck. Mine was so bad it was the cause of some brain fog so strong that I couldn't drive most days. K-Laser has helped me tremendously. Go HERE to read the blog post on  K-Laser.


Migun Infrared Mini Mat
I love, love, love my Migun Mat. I use it for muscle pain and in the past, I would sit on in every morning upon awakening to take away the "icky" neuro feelings. I know - such a technical term. lol. It's a little hard because of the jade stones on it, so I use a folded up twin sheet to pad it a little. It's $345 as of this writing and the place I purchased it locally will ship it for free (in the contiguous US). You can find it HERE. Say hello to CarolAnne for me. She's a nice lady who works there.




Infrared Sauna
I have a Rocky Mountain Colorado infrared sauna. After researching saunas with low/no emf, I purchased this one. I HATE sweating, but I always feel better after I get out, take a shower and rest for 20 minutes(ok there was one time in 6 months of use when I didn't).
I will be reviewing a few more products from Vital Plan and adding them to this post afterwards.


UPDATE 7/17: One product I have to add that I've had dramatic and same day results is Transfer Factor Plus by 4Life. Please read THIS post for more details




Do you have any favorite products that have helped you that aren't on my list?

I hope today is a good day for you!

Pam

this post is not meant to be medical advice. Consult your health care professional before taking any supplements.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

What A Difference A Year Makes - Month 11

In the past week or so, I've been thinking about how different this December has been compared to last year.
There are still many gaps in my memory, especially from this past year, but I distinctly remember feeling a little shocked when my integrative doctor told me I had lyme disease the 2nd week of December in 2014.


My husband drove me the 2 hours to my appointment because I couldn't drive due to the brain fog which would come on  all of a sudden with no warning and sometimes lasting for hours. At that time, we had no idea how complex treating this disease was and the fight that we had before us.
After getting home, I immediately got on the internet and researched all I could on how people were treating. Since I kind of suspected lyme disease (or MS), I had already started researching before my appointment, but only a little. 

After my doctor told me I had lyme, I spent every hour I was able looking up everything could on the subject and I immediately went on a no gluten, no dairy, no sugar diet. The diet did help with some neuro symptoms after being on it for 5 weeks. I know that people make fun of a patient choosing to rely on the internet for information over what a doctor would tell them, but had I not reasearched the internet, I might be in worse shape since the infectious disease doctor I went to see (after the integrative doc) told me that I didn't have lyme since it is rare in North Carolina and it didn't occur in the Fall(both false) 

 Even though I had trouble recalling words, couldn't do simple math and felt exhausted all the time, I had the presence of mind to understand most of what I was reading. I ordered  Suffered Long Enough by Dr. Bill Rawls at the end of November before my doctor told me I had lyme. I ordered Why Can't I Get Better by Dr. Horowitz in December.
I started reading them as soon as they arrived.  
Dr. Rawls book gave me hope since it addressed all disease and not just lyme.
I read Dr. H's book  thinking that lyme was only treated with antibiotics and maybe a few herbs. It was a big book, but I was able to finish it. In addition to that book, I searched for how much treatment with a lyme literate doctor would cost. This was deeply upsetting to me as most doctors who treat lyme don't take insurance. I looked up the lyme doc in my state and estimated that the first visit, including labwork would most likely cost  $3,000 to $5,000(out of pocket) for the first visit. I was also finding on the internet that people were taking 2-5 years to get well and it was costing $150,000 to $300,000 of their own money to do so. 
All of this was happening right before Christmas last year and was so upsetting because I thought my only choice was to raid our retirement (and we're in our mid 50's) or not treat and end up in a nursing home(which would also cost a lot). 

I remember nothing of last Christmas, except that I cheated on my new diet and ate 2 or 3  homemade ravioli that my husband made.
I can't remember when I read Suffered Long Enough, but it was the first book that gave me hope. I think it was also right before Christmas because after finding out he had a practice 5 hours away from me, I made an appointment to see him mid January.
Dr. Rawls healed from lyme using the Buhner protocol, which is made up of various herbs. Now, I have always taken supplements and even took hawthorn , which is an herb, but I really didn't believe that medicinal herbs would heal lyme.  



In his book, Dr. Rawls mentioned Healing Lyme by Stephen Buhner, so I ordered that book too. It was too complex for me, but I did the best I could reading it. After reading those 2 books and meeting Dr. Rawls, we decided to give the Restore program (from Dr. Rawls' Vital Plan) a 4 month trial to see if I made progress. It was worth a try. You can read how I did each month by going back to the monthly updates.



It has not been easy, but it's been worth it.

I remember waking up and crying one Sunday last December because my fingers were starting to feel numb and I was losing the dexterity in my hands. My feet had already been numb and I had spidery, tingling sensations in them, as well.  I had balance issues, brain fog, couldn't follow a conversation and many other symptoms I can't even remember. 

Fast forward to today...
My energy is back - most days. Some days, like today, I am  really tired and just have to rest.
Most days I can get quite a few things done and I can drive 30 minutes or so. I still haven't tried driving a long distance.
I have my mind back (most days) and can follow a conversation. 
I have some of my motivation back...
For the first time in a long time  I worked on a little creative project. Nothing fancy, but it felt good to make something. You can go HERE to see how I made them. 


This Christmas I have a lot to be thankful for. For all of you who are just beginning your healing journey or still aren't feeling better yet, I would tell you to keep trying. Give whatever treatment you are on some time to work - I mean months, not weeks. If you would like to know more about Vital Plan's Restore program, you can find it HERE or join our Facebook group to learn more about it or to hear from those who have benefitted from being on the program. 

What's next for me?
I still have a ways to go to be 100% or close to it. I'm having some Bartonella symptoms, so in January I'll be adding herbs to see if I can get rid of those. After that? Who knows. I'm not yet ready for a maintenance dose of herbs and will keep on the Restore Program because it's working.
My expectations have always been that I'd have to treat for a year and a half.

In another week or so I'll be reviewing several supplements from Vital Plan that may help you. 

In the meantime, I hope that you'll have a blessed Christmas with your family and friends.

I hope today is a good day for you,

Pam



Here are my symptoms as of today: (the list is getting shorter!)
I feel good most days and symptoms are a minor annoyance
fatigue -it's about a 3  Some days it's only a 2. Have had 1 or 2 days of being so tired I spend half the day in bed.
Numbness, tingling in feet remain the same
swollen pads on bottom of feet near toes-has come back
dizziness/off balance- has been worse this past month.
difficulty finding words  about a 2 when really tired
blurry eyes - a few days clear, then a few days blurry
urgency  (3) - still a problem
light sensitivity (negligible)
noise sensitivity (3)
startles easily (2)
muscle pain -2
muscle weakness (3)
tremors - only when exposed to constant loud noises, but it's minor
high pitch ringing in the ears/low pitch ringing - high pitch is more present, but it's not loud
not being able to follow directions (2-3) -comes and goes
98 +  
Weight is still the same- Have lost about 30-31 pounds since last December






Thursday, November 19, 2015

Month 10 Update

It's been a long 9 plus months...

...taking countless herbs and supplements
...giving up food I really loved  for food I really don't like
...of having days and weeks where I was feeling so bad I 
  couldn't get out of bed and a few times thinking that it would be ok if I simply wouldn't wake up.
...many days of wondering whether there would be a day where I would feel good again
...or if I would ever have enough energy to make it to the grocery store and back.
...or if I'd have enough  energy to care about anything except getting through the day. 

Little by little each month has brought a little progress and healing.
I'm happy to report that I'm having a lot of days where I actually feel good.
Not just better, not just "like my old self", 
but GOOD...
Many of my days I actually feel good inside.
A photo from my other blog



Oh, I still have symptoms and get tired, then get a little dizzy, then I have to sit down. I've had some days where I just felt ok. I even had a week when I had to take antibiotics for an infection where I didn't feel great (ok, it was last week). The antibiotics made me herx and I realized I may still have some bugs in there. It's taken me this long to figure out that I need to detox when I feel a herx coming on and I'm glad I have a sauna to help me do that. 

The bad part about feeling better is that  all the organizing around the house for the past year has gone by the wayside and now I'm seeing all of it.  Kind of like when you've had the flu for 5 days and you finally get better and you notice the house is a wreck. Now picture not feeling well and not caring for a whole year!
We've kept the house tidy thanks to my husband, but deep cleaning and organizing of the kitchen pantry, drawers, etc are a mess.

Now that I have more energy, I've been clearing out and organizing. Yesterday, I cleaned out and organized the pantry. Yay! It took me at least 3 or 4 hours and I was tired when I finished.



If you are in the same place that I was many months ago,
I'm telling you that you will feel better, but it's going to take time.
Just put one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. Keep eating good food, keep on taking your supplements, keep detoxing.
On days where you feel bad, just tell yourself "this is only a bad day, I'm going to get better". Don't despair. Keep trying.
One day, you'll wake up and say to yourself.
I feel pretty good today. 

Hope today is a good day for you

Pam


Treatment:
I'm taking the full Restore Program supplements
taking magnesium, Co Q 10, vitamin d3, k2, lion's mane mushroom, fish oil and several other supplements.
I have a (mostly) kale, banana, berry smoothie every morning. 
I get exercise working in our yard (have you seen my yard?)
I get in my far infrared sauna every other day for 30-35 minutes at 125 degrees


Here are my symptoms as of today: (the list is getting shorter!)
I feel good and symptoms are a minor annoyance
fatigue -it's about a 3  Some days it's only a 2 :)
Numbness, tingling in feet are starting to get better
swollen pads on bottom of feet near toes- sometimes it's very minimal
dizziness- only when really tired
difficulty finding words  about a 2 when really tired
blurry eyes - a few days clear, then a few days blurry
urgency  (3) - still a problem
light sensitivity (negligible)
noise sensitivity (3)
startles easily (2)
muscle pain -2
muscle weakness (3)
tremors - only when exposed to constant loud noises, but it's minor
high pitch ringing in the ears/low pitch ringing - 
not being able to follow directions (2-3) -comes and goes
98 +  
Weight is still the same- Have lost about 30 pounds since December

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Easy Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

I don't like oatmeal. 


There, I said it.

I wish I did, because it's on the list of food I can eat.
For those who don't know, I've been on a no sugar, no gluten, no dairy, 50% veggie diet since last December and there are so many things that I don't like. You could call me a picky eater ...
and you'd be right.

The problem is, there aren't very many things I can eat for breakfast and I really needed another option. So, a couple of weeks ago, I tried oatmeal again in hopes that my taste buds have changed.

Nope, still don't like it.

I happened to see a video where the person took a mashed banana, added oats to it and baked it in the oven. 
I gave it a shot because I love oatmeal cookies and granola bars and because it is gluten free and healthy. 
But, it came up flat.
It was a great idea though...
so I added a few things.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Miscellaneous Musings

I often click on posts shared by those in the various lyme groups I belong to on Facebook. A few weeksk ago, someone put up an article How To Deal With The Fact that Everyone Else Gets To Have A Life on CIRCLINGINTOCENTER.COM.
I saw these 2 comments by the same person:

11 people like this.
Comments
Ant Vet The wounded healer is an archetype for a shamanic trail and journey. This process is important to the young shaman. S/he undergoes a type of sickness that pushes her or him to the brink of death. This happens for two reasons:

The shaman crosses over t
o the underworld. This happens so the shaman can venture to its depths to bring back vital information for the sick, and the tribe.
The shaman must become sick to understand sickness. When the shaman overcomes his or her own sickness s/he will hold the cure to heal all that suffer. This is the uncanny mark of the wounded healer.[24] (from Wikipedia)

UnlikeReply66 hrs
Ant Vet but actually, id like to make a nice package out of my life experience, wrap it in a barbed wire and shove it up the asses of the docs whjo sent me home with "a flu" in 1996!
UnlikeReply76 hrs

The first comment is philosophical.
The second comment is the reality of how a person really feels!



Here's another way to explain the wounded warrior:

Only those who have an inside understanding of true heartache and have -- themselves -- gone through private fires of affliction, can best reach the hearts of those who might presently be going through difficult situations.  
http://www1.cbn.com/devotions/wounded-healers


Being a Christian, I take comfort and gain hope from the following passage in the bible:

2 Corinthians 1:3-4English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

God of All Comfort

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Which got me to thinking...
You've heard people say "Everything  happens for a reason" when situations are bad. Well, I cringe when I hear someone saying that. People tend to misinterpret Romans 8:28 this way.  
Would you say that  when a 3 year old develops a brain tumor and dies that it happens for a reason? 
No.
 I don't think everything happens for a reason. I think in that situation that bad things happen in a fallen world (my Christian viewpoint) or for those who are secular...
s*#t happens.

 However, I do believe that good can come out of a bad situation.
That is VERY different from saying everything happens for a reason.

Do you see the difference?

 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV)


Do you agree or disagree?
Would love to hear from you.

Hope today is a good day for you

Pam

Next week I'll be sharing an update as to how I'm doing as I start "round" 9 on the Restore Program and I hope you'll stop by again.

PS: if you shop on Amazon, would you do me a big favor and go through one of the links on this website? I will make a small commision on things that you purchase(your price is still the same) and that pays for some of my treatment. Thanks so much!