Saturday, September 29, 2012

Progress Report... Ugh...

by Dave Cottrell
It is now September 29, 2012.  I have been sick with Lyme Disease since the end of 2007.  Prior to that time, I was extremely healthy, and able to literally outperform most men half my age.  I could walk from sunup to sundown without resting.  I could run up and down ladders all day.  My thinking was clear, my ability to multi-task was very good, and my mind was sharp virtually all the time.

By mid-October of 2008, however, I had to finally admit defeat and walk away from an excellent position at an excellent company due to an inability to properly concentrate, combined with an overwhelming fatigue that had set in, intense pain over much of my body, inability to sleep, terrible sweats, and many other lesser problems.  It was no longer possible for me to properly focus and think for any length of time, making me somewhat less than a valuable asset to the company I was working for.

Fast forward to today.  It has taken a long time and many unfruitful trips to many doctors and specialists, but I have finally found a doctor,
a Naturopath licensed to prescribe antibiotics, who recognized the symptoms of the disease a retired doctor had already said I have (Lyme Disease), began antibiotic treatment along with natural and homeopathic treatments, and immediately drew blood for a Western Blot, which came back positive to 1 chance in 40,000 of being a false positive.

Due to the fact that it took SO long to get treatment, combined with several false starts (five days of Amoxycillin when I first fell ill, and 6 months of antibiotic therapy a year and a half later), getting well has become a long term battle, but the bottom line is, I AM getting better.

The disease has taken a very deep hold of me, and I have a number of persistent co-infections (things I have tested positive for), including Bartonella and Babesia, which combined have greatly suppressed my usually very strong immune system.

However, there has been a very marked improvement.  I am not the best gauge of my own improvement, as I still feel quite sick, but my wife and others have noticed the improvement, and the fact is, when I look back at my activity level at the beginning compared to now, there has been a very big improvement.  My energy has probably improved to around sixty percent of what it used to be, making the pain much easier to handle, and my ability to think and concentrate has returned to about ninety percent.

Today, as the title line says, "Ugh..."  I do not feel well at all, the pain in my face and feet is very strong, and the fatigue is quite strong.  But this is a bad day.  It is not a normal day.  That is a vast improvement from a year ago, when this would have been a good day!

If the reader or the reader's loved one or acquaintance suffers from chronic Lyme Disease, take heart.  It is treatable.  Is it completely curable?  I don't have that answer, yet.  But I do have hope.

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