A little more than a year and a half ago, I started treatment for Lyme disease. After 10 years of misdiagnosis and treatment for rheumatoid arthritis my immune system was seriously compromised.
I would love to tell you that I simply took some antibiotics and instantly felt better, but unfortunately that has not been the case. My body was in pretty bad shape. By the time I finally got the correct diagnosis, I not only had to try and kill these Lyme bacteria, but I had to rebuild my immune system that we had been suppressing for 10 years.
What I didn’t know back then that in addition to Lyme disease, I also had what is now known as protozoa rheumatica. Treating both the disease and the biofilm has made a huge difference in how I feel.
For the first time in over 10 years my SED rate is normal. My RA factor (RF)which had been as high as 718 is not down to 115. It has been going down by over 100 points every 8 weeks. That means that 7 weeks from now it will be normal if it follows the same pattern. I have finally turned the corner and feel like I have made some real progress in getting well.
I’m not running any marathons, but I am able to dress myself once again and I can roll over in bed, something I struggled with 18 months ago. It’s the little things as well as the big that became impossible. I could not cut my own food, cover myself with a sheet, let a lone a blanket. I couldn’t put socks and shoes on and forget about tying them.
The pain was more than I had bargained for as well. My joints swelled to a point where at times I could barely recognize them. Here is a picture of my ankle then (scary, isn’t it?)
and here it is today (much better, I’d say).This is the same ankle that was the first sign of problem. And the same ankle that the rheumatologist shot up with steroids. (which by the way, did not help) As you can see I could have picked up the coffee table a bit before taking the picture, but my priorities have changed a lot since this all began. Clean is nice, but not as important as it used to be.
My ankle now
The difference feels amazing.
There were times that I was genuinely scared. It took me a long time to get this diagnosis and I had finally trusted my instincts and knew deep down that this was the right path for me, but years of being told that I was wrong, that this was RA had taken a toll. It was in the darkest of times that I found myself doubting my choice. After all there had been so many doctors telling me that this was RA, how could I be absolutely sure that this doctor was right. I kept hearing the warnings of my first rheumatologist in my head, “We don’t want you to end up in a wheelchair. Do we?”
Unfortunately that is exactly what happened. Last year, my walking had become so bad and so painful that I had to rent a wheelchair for my nephews graduation. It was a scary time. I had come to a place where I didn’t trust any doctor, but I desperately needed help. I finally came to the decision that I had given the other doctors 10 years to help me and look what happened. I needed to give this one at least a reasonable amount of time to do the same. It became increasingly frightening when every six weeks my RA factor kept going up.
It took a fair amount of resolve to keep going and continue trusting my gut. It wasn’t until over a year into treatment that my RA factor started to go down. It has been steadily going down every since.
I no longer need a wheelchair and the simple act of walking is no longer painful. I do use a cane for balance, but I am hoping that soon I will be able to get rid of that as well.
I don’t know how much longer I will be fighting this battle.
There will be scars.
But in the end I will survive and hopefully help a few people, who see themselves in my story.