I am mourning the end of cricket season, specifically the soothing sound of crickets coming in through the bedroom window at night that helps me drop off to sleep. The pitch of the cricket’s song is the perfect tone to mask my constant tinnitus and allows me to forget about the noise in my head that has plagued me for the past 18 months. If you are old enough to remember the sound the TV used to make when the station shut down for the night then you have a sense of the low-level white noise that has been sounding in my head 24-7. Sometimes I don’t notice it when the background noise is loud enough, I am lost in focusing on an engaging task or . . . when the crickets sing. This is the passing of my second cricket season since the tinnitus began and with the winding down of their singing my experience of this noise in my head is ramped back up to a more irritating level. Grrrrr! I am grateful it is more annoying than unbearable but I am more than ready for this to stop!
Long-time readers may remember that we (my Naturopathic Lyme Doctor and I) are trying to figure out if the tinnitus is caused by my Lyme Disease, high heavy metal levels or if it could be a combination of the two. Neuro Lyme treatments can be quite tough to go through so we are looking to avoid that.
I haven’t written a Lyme update for a while; primarily because I have been quite stable with the more severe symptoms all in remission (yay!). I am 20 months into my second round of treatment and it is 28 months since I was bitten. From the continuation of low-level symptoms and the occasional herx reactions I get from my medications, it looks like I still have a live but well-managed infection and will be living with Lyme into the future. I try not to worry about the fact that I have a live hostile bacteria living in my body and mostly I don’t, but . . .
For my fellow Lymies or those that are just interested, my current Lyme treatment is Samento & Banderol, two anti-microbial herbs that work synergistically together and grapefruit seed extract which fights Lyme and also helps to keep any fungal issues at bay and continuation of a clean, anti-inflammatory diet – no wheat, dairy or sugar and lots of plant foods. I’ve been off antibiotics since May. (Yahoo!) I’ve finished eight rounds of chelation therapy to reduce my elevated levels of lead and cadmium. We are hoping this will stop the tinnitus (no change yet). It seems to have stopped the nerves burning in my fingers and toes. (Yay!)
- Irritation of the 7th cranial nerve which gives me weird kind of tingly/numbish feelings in my face (the severe end of the spectrum is Bell’s Palsy).
- Some knee pain. Am having an increase of pain after moderate exercise. (yoga class or 1 hour hike)
- Return of night sweats when I take a medication holiday. (A medication holiday is taking breaks from the medication to figure out what is the lowest possible treatment I can be on and keep the Lyme well-managed.)
- Occasional light herx – my strangest one is watching three of my toes turn bright red and very hot to the touch 20 minutes after my dose of Samento while the other seven stay cool and normal colored. I hadn’t had this one in quite some time. (Next time, I’ll have to take a picture. It is weird!)
- Difficulty Swallowing & Spasms in Lower Esophageal sphincter – This started the beginning of July or 6 weeks after stopping antibiotics. Lyme can cause paralysis anywhere along the gastro-intestinal tract by impacting the Vagus nerve. But before we assume that is what is going on, my ND is suggesting an upper GI to check for any other possible causes. Fun-fun! Swallowing pills and liquids is often uncomfortable feeling like they move painfully slow through the esophagus (food is okay, thank goodness!) and the sphincter goes into spasms (hiccupy, painful, hard to catch my breath spasms) with any alcohol. There goes the occasional indulgence of a glass of wine now that I am off antibiotics!
But the good news is that I am functioning very well for day-to-day activities and if you saw me on the street you would have no idea that I had any sort of health issues.
Thanks for reading along, learning a bit about Lyme Disease and for giving me a chance to distract myself from the noise in my head. 🙂 Have a great day everyone!