Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Journey to Health Continues...I have what???

I'm going to preface this by making a disclaimer that I am not a Doctor, nor do I have any medical training, this is not intended to be taken as medical advice.  Please seek the counsel and treatment of a certified medical Doctor for that.  That said here is what's been happening in my life.

I haven't been writing much lately about CrossFit, our my health, because, well...I have really been struggling with my health to the point where I couldn't work out anymore.  It all started last June,  I went from being in the best shape of my life, feeling strong, healthy, etc., working out consistently, hitting Personal Records for my lifts, running 5-6 miles two to three times a week, being a CrossFit Coach/trainer and part owner of a CrossFit box and then "it" hit.  

Before my decline.
At first it was body aches, fatigue,brain fog, insomnia, and I just thought I had overtrained and was suffering from Adrenal Fatigue, as the summer went on it would only get worse.   I finally sought out medical help in August because I was starting to have muscle weakness, headaches and the joint pain was getting worse.  At that point in my life a CrossFit workout would totally wipe me out, and a 3 mile run felt like running with lead in my legs.  My conventional Dr. ran a few blood test (mainly looking at autoimmune and thyroid), when those came back acceptable, she just said well you either have Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia and prescribed anti-depressants.  I wasn't satisfied with that and felt like she really didn't care about getting to the bottom of what was really going on, so I said no thank you on the antidepressants and moved on. 

Beginning of the decline.
Shortly after that I had an opportunity to do something many of you have probably never heard of, I know I hadn't, it's called, Biosignature Modulation.  Which by the way, is not something I necessarily  recommend but at the time it seemed like a good idea and it certainly didn't hurt.   In fact all the supplements and protocols probably helped some.  I started that program in September and ended in late November, while I made some improvement, it wasn't much and really probably only because I was forced to back off on my workouts.  Because during that same 3 months I was also battling a back injury that just wouldn't heal.  During that time I was also under a tremendous amount of stress relating to our business partnership, so we kept chalking a lot of it up to stress and the assumed Adrenal Fatigue.  

January came and I started trying to work out again, but every time I did it just seemed to be to much for me, and I would feel ill for a few days or maybe a week.  Still we chalked it up to Adrenal Fatigue and marched on, we backed of the intensity of my workouts, putting rest periods in frequently and shortened the length.  

Run/walking a 2 mile fun run with my kids, March 12, 2012
Then February 9, I was involved in an auto accident, which really set me back physically.  Once again I was unable to workout while I went through chiropractic, and massage therapy to recover from the accident.  I think I was doing some light running by late February maybe, and no lifting or Crossfit.   But by April I was the worst I'd been and we just couldn't figure out why I couldn't get better, still we thought it was stress as things with the business partnership were coming to a head (and as a result ending).  
My husband had been encouraging me for 3 months to go see a Naturopath, and by April I was ready!!   I had finally had enough of being sick and told my husband, I am tired of trying to figure this out on my own and tired of trying every herbal treatment known to man for Adrenal Fatigue!  So I called a local Naturopaths office and scheduled an appointment. I had found out about her through an old friend and Facebook acquaintance when we thought we were dealing with Adrenal Fatigue.  This person had great success with treatment for Adrenal Fatigue from their own local Naturopath and suggested that a Naturopath might be able to help me recover.  

I had my first appointment with my new Naturopathic Dr. in late May and after sitting with me and listening for about 1 1/2 hours, she looked at me and said "Do you want to know what I think it is?", and I said "well, yes!! "   She said "I  think you have Lyme Disease", I was shocked, and in disbelief.  Sure I had been bitten by a tick but it had been nearly 8 years since then.  Turns out that 50% of people don't even know they were bit, and that it's also possible ticks are not the only way Lyme disease is transported.  I still didn't really think that was what I had, and postponed getting the blood test she had ordered.   That was until I read a chapter on Lyme Disease in the book If Naturopaths Are Quacks Then I Must Be a Duck (written by PhD, CTN, Shauna K Young) .  It was then that I thought, wow, maybe this is what I have and immediately went the next day to have the blood test done.   

Backpacking in the Trinity Alps
with my husband Aug. 2012
something I hope to do again
when my health improves.
It turns out I tested positive for both antibodies, confirming her suspicion and giving us some answers to the mystery of why I just could not seem to get better, I have Lyme Disease.  The good news is, that thanks to my Paleo diet (which helps reduce inflamation), all the herbs and supplements I had been taking to support my adrenals, and my previous physical fitness, I am not as bad off as I could be.  It makes me so grateful when I start reading how bad my symptoms could have been, grateful for a diagnosis and treatment (which I am just now starting) but most of all I am so thankful and grateful for the Lords mercy on me!  And for his infinite wisdom, to have given me the Paleo diet and CrossFit to make me strong and healthy coming into all this.  And that he gave me a supportive family to bear this with.

My family December 2012
 I trust that my heavenly Father has me, my health and my family in his hands.  The ways he has provided for us continues to astound me, for example the Dr. I am seeing does not take insurance, we can  submit to our insurance directly, but we also have a very high deductible, so right now all the tests, visits, medications, etc. are out of pocket.   All this could be a huge drain on our finances,"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4:19. And guess what, he has provided a wonderful opportunity for my husband to have lot's of extra work doing construction this summer, a way to pay for all these medical bills!  Thank you Lord!  So while we were hoping to put that money towards buying a house, it will go towards helping me regain my health, we are so grateful for the way he provides for us.  

During one of my "come backs" this winter.
As far as working out, right now I get to walk, and maybe do some heavy weight lifting (nothing that gets my heart rate up), because along with the Lyme disease, I am also dealing with low Cortisol levels, low thyroid levels, and low iron stores, all of which she thinks we will see remedy itself by treating the Lyme Disease (except for the Iron).  And as for my future in CrossFit?  I don't know, but  I do hope that in sharing my experience and process of healing that it may be able to help someone else. I believe everything happens for a purpose,  maybe it will increase awareness of Lyme Disease and someone will go, that's me, I think I have Lyme's, I'm going to push for a diagnosis or maybe I will be used to encourage someone, I really don't know how Lyme in my life will be used!  I can say that it has increased my faith and made me cry out to the Lord more than ever!  I hope that by getting more information out about Lyme it will benefit someone.  It often takes people years to be accurately diagnosed with Lyme Disease, and with Lyme the sooner it's treated the better so while I know this has been a long read, please take the time to read through the following symptoms of Lyme Disease for the sake of yourself and/or someone you may know.   I would also love to hear from any of you who may be battling Lyme Disease or whom have battled and won over Lyme disease, if you wouldn't mind leaving a comment.   Thank you!

Courtesy of:
What is Lyme Disease? 
 This is taken directly from American Lyme Disease Association:

The early symptoms of LD can be mild and easily overlooked. People who are aware of the risk of LD in their communities and who do not ignore the sometimes subtle early symptoms are most likely to seek medical attention and treatment early enough to be assured of a full recovery.

The first symptom is usually an expanding rash(called erythema migrans, or EM, in medical terms) which is thought to occur in 80% to 90% of all LD cases. An EM rash generally has the following characteristics:

  • Usually (but not always) radiates from the site of the tickbite
  • Appears either as a solid red expanding rash or blotch, OR a central spot surrounded by clear skin that is in turn ringed by an expanding red rash (looks like a bull's-eye)
  • Appears an average of 1 to 2 weeks (range = 3 to 30 days) after disease transmission
  • Has an average diameter of 5 to 6 inches
    (range = 2 inches to 2 feet)
  • Persists for about 3 to 5 weeks
  • May or may not be warm to the touch
  • Is usually not painful or itchy
EM rashes appearing on brown-skinned or sun-tanned patients may be more difficult to identify because of decreased contrast between light-skinned tones and the red rash. A dark, bruise-like appearance is more common on dark-skinned patients.

Ticks will attach anywhere on the body, but prefer body creases such as the armpit, groin, back of the knee, and nape of the neck; rashes will therefore often appear in (but are not restricted to) these areas. Please note that multiple rashes may, in some cases, appear elsewhere on the body some time after the initial rash, or, in a few cases, in the absence of an initial rash.

Around the time the rash appears, other symptoms such as joint pains, chills, fever, and fatigue are common, but they may not seem serious enough to require medical attention. These symptoms may be brief, only to recur as a broader spectrum of symptoms as the disease progresses.

As the LD spirochete continues spreading through the body, a number of other symptoms including severe fatigue, a stiff, aching neck, and peripheral nervous system (PNS) involvement such as tingling or numbness in the extremities or facial palsy (paralysis) can occur.

The more severe, potentially debilitating symptoms of later-stage LD may occur weeks, months, or, in a few cases, years after a tick bite. These can include severe headaches, painful arthritis and swelling of joints, cardiac abnormalities, and central nervous system (CNS) involvement leading to cognitive (mental) disorders.

The following is a checklist of common symptoms seen in various stages of LD:

Localized Early (Acute) Stage:
  • Solid red or bull's-eye rash, usually at site of bite
  • Swelling of lymph glands near tick bite
  • Generalized achiness
  • Headache
Early Disseminated Stage:
  • Two or more rashes not at site of bite
  • Migrating pains in joints/tendons
  • Headache
  • Stiff, aching neck
  • Facial palsy (facial paralysis similar to Bell's palsy)
  • Tingling or numbness in extremities
  • Multiple enlarged lymph glands
  • Abnormal pulse
  • Sore throat
  • Changes in vision
  • Fever of 100 to 102 F
  • Severe fatigue
Late Stage:
  • Arthritis (pain/swelling) of one or two large joints
  • Disabling neurological disorders (disorientation; confusion; dizziness; short-term memory loss; inability to concentrate, finish sentences or follow conversations; mental "fog") 
  • Numbness in arms/hands or legs/feet
Here is another great resource for information on Lyme 
Disease, on the CDC website.

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  1. My oldest daughter went through this same issue! It had just been two years since her bite before her joint pain got so bad that we started the barrage of testing but it was still a long road to recovery. The conventional doctors also diagnosed her with fibromyalgia and wanted to put her on Klonopin. Cue the Naturopath!! What an amazing blessing these wise people are- I am so thankful God put people in our lives who helped us find true answers.

  2. Heather, I'm so glad she is recovered from it! I would also be interested in hearing more about her treatment if you wouldn't mind messaging me? I'm really curious what worked for people and what didn't! I'm currently on the heavy antibiotic treatment, and not feeling to great as a result. We don't' know if it was the tick bite from 8 years ago or a more recent one. My husband thinks he remembers me having a mysterious rash last summer, so it's possible I was part of the 50% who never knew they were bit and that it was more recent. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this but it is very encouraging to find someone in the same boat I am. I am a believer and just started paleo eating this week (after buying Everday Paleo at Costco).I found out in June that I have late stage Lyme disease.. I've had medical issues for the past 10 years and was so thankful to find out the cause! It's been a very long journey but I KNOW I will be completely healed and I am trusting God to redeem the years that have been stolen. I have 3 young children and I am doing everything I know to reclaim my health for them. I'm currently doing homeopathic treatments and amoxicillin (for h pylori). Hang in there! He is faithful!

  4. It was nice to read your post- I am having a blood culture down for Lyme Disease this week and was doing some research online. I've been a crossfitter for over a year now and I love it but I have been suspicious of lyme for years. I can actually manage to do crossfit just fine, but I can't do basic things like walk around at the grocery store or home depot- after a short time I start feeling so drained and fatigued it's almost unbearable. But at crossfit it actually seems to help me feel better to do really intense stuff. I don't even know if I have lyme yet, but I know it presents many different ways in different people and it seems like I have many symptoms, so we'll see.

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