As a native of Phoenix, Arizona, which is geographically a location where the only insects even capable of life in the 120-degree summer weather are scorpions, tarantulas, and apocalypse surviving cockroaches, I wasn’t even aware I was running the risk of contracting Lyme disease when attending a friend’s wedding in Delaware.
The ceremony was absolutely gorgeous. As the maid-of-honor I stood completely defenseless in my fall dress on a grassy field atop a small mountain, smack in the middle of an apple orchard. Apparently, blacklegged ticks are as big of fans of apple orchards as the bride, thanks to those adorable deer I reveled in spotting throughout the trip.
October 2012 was a particularly bad year for stink bugs in that part of the country so I didn’t even notice the tick that transmitted the joys of Lyme disease directly in to my bloodstream. Let me tell you though, I certainly noticed the symptoms right away.
How did I discover I’d been infected?
As I unpacked my bags a few days later, my boyfriend grimaced and asked so sweetly, “what happened to your back?” as if I was growing a third arm back there. I had been feeling more tired than usual, was suffering from a nagging headache, experienced waves of chills, and general achiness since the wedding but I attributed all of these fun symptoms to travel. Though I was dismissive of the symptoms initially, I am, in this case quite lucky for my hypochondriasis because I jumped immediately on WebMD.com and made an appointment with my doctor. After a blood draw, I received a call from my M.D. with the bad news and we started treatment right away.
Great. Lyme disease. Now what?
To say that I immediately and furiously surfed the web to consume every bit of information on Lyme disease may be an understatement. I was lucky. My Lyme disease was caught early enough so I escaped the more severe repercussions. My bite didn’t result in Bell’s palsy, meningitis, severe arthritis, or anything too debilitating.
My treatment plan.
Meds & Homeopathy
Early detection was key. I started antibiotics immediately but I refused to stop there. I ran to my local organic grocery store and picked up a few homeopathic remedies, including:
- Lyme Nosode Drops
- Probiotics (to balance the antibiotics),
- Vitamin D (to aid depression, malaise, and sleepiness)
- Valerian root (for insomnia)
- Causticum (for mild joint pain)
- Naproxin (for pain, swelling, headaches)
- B-complex injections (for energy and general health)
- A very warm bath at least once a day for about two months to create an artificial fever per a few online forum recommendations to help my body naturally fight the disease.
- I took it easy: reduced physical activity except yoga.
- Choked down a glass or two of green tea and I shifted to a clean, vegetarian diet.
There is hope!
Like I said, I am lucky. Nearly two years later, I consider myself symptom-free, though, I do experience occasional knee pain, and greater instances of headaches than before that little bug made a meal of me.