Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Current health: “Still under treatment”
Dominic D. Smith is a horticulturist, garden & landscape designer, ambassador, and patient representative. In his role as Lyme ambassador, he shares his personal experiences and story with this disease, hoping to inspire others and create awareness among a wider public.
I’ve been suffering from Lyme disease and Tick-bite co-infections for almost two decades. In 1998, during forestry work for my studies in the royal forests near Apeldoorn in the Netherlands, I was bitten in the neck by three ticks. After a few weeks I started to have complaints such as fatigue, headaches, muscle pain. I went to my General practitioner and told about the three tick bite and my complaints, she saw no red circles bull eye and she dismissed it as stress because of my study (misdiagnosis). In the years that followed, the complaints developed further: severe headache, muscle pain, joint pain, heart complaints, cognitive complaints, visual complaints, extreme fatigue. Both my General practitioner and several specialists labeled these complaints as conversion and psychological. In 2005 I could no longer work in the company an internet provider that I had with my brother, I let myself be bought out and my relationship ended. I was in so much pain and so miserable that I attempted suicide. In 2005 I was admitted to a closed ward in a psychiatric institution. During the admission I got worse and worse, I had severe epileptic seizures every day until I eventually had to go to the university hospital. My parents urged the neurologist for a scan.
They made an FDG PET scan along with a lumbar puncture and blood test. I was diagnosed with active and positive Borrelia in liquor CSF and blood. But those were just antibodies, they said. On the scan of the brain they saw reduced blood flow in the mid-frontal cortex. And the seizures were psychological and they sent me back to the mental institution. Things went downhill so badly for me in the long run that an outside working doctor when he saw me said to my parents, “He’s on so much medication here, this is going to kill him. Get him out of here, he has to go to the hospital immediately”. Once back in the hospital I underwent several heavy treatments for the Neuroborreliosis. They kept saying it was conversion and psychic. 2008 I hired a lawyer we got a second opinion from an independent neurologist, he did a lumbar puncture and blood test. Diagnosis of active and positive Borrelia in liquor CSF and blood, Neuroborreliosis. They did a study of heart complaints. They sent me to a university hospital in Germany. After examination, I was immediately treated with surgery for cardiac arrhythmias. Once back in the hospital they had to accept this reluctantly, this did not go well. I received a few more heavy treatments for Lyme, then the doctor was no longer allowed to treat me. They started talking about conversion and psychic again, up to the present day. Since 2015 I have been treated by a German doctor / specialist, after several times extensive testing at various laboratories I was diagnosed with active and positive Borrelia, TBE-virus, Bartonella, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, EBV and Bornavirus. Real Epilepsy, Asthma, Heart and Vascular cramp, Cardiac Arrhythmias, Inflammations, Multiple Allergies. In addition, it turned out that I had also high levels of several heavy pesticides insecticides, fungicides and herbicides such as Glyphosate/Round-Up in my blood. A second opinion showed that I had and do not have any psychiatric conditions. I underwent several long tough treatments in combination with supplements and a diet. Little by little I recovered.
This disease changes me and my way of working. Before I got sick I worked for the big money, I had dollar signs in my eyes. I was always busy and I had no eye for other things. Now I do volunteer work for non-profit organizations. I share my story, inspire others, raise awareness, educate, advocacy. Now I share and give more than I take.
If I’m honest and realistic then I don’t think I’m getting better in the sense of being completely healed. I do think it can be kept in sleep mode. I think more in a combination of treatments, drugs, supplements, diet, exercise, etc. A drug or vaccine would be nice, but these infections are complex, especially if you have multiple infections which makes treatment more difficult. However, you should always stay positive and keep hope.
What has helped and helps me well:
- Sleep: I take sufficient rest and ensure a good day and night rhythm.
- Exercise: I try to ensure sufficient exercise every day, such as walking or cycling in the open air.
- Diet: I don’t eat red meat, no dairy and dairy products, no caffeine, no sugar, minimal salt! I mainly eat vegetable, seeds, nuts, unprocessed oats, puffed buckwheat, pure 100% almond milk and yogurt, pure 100% oat milk and yogurt, Soy and GMO free meat substitutes e.g. BeyondMeat, olive oil, shea butter, whole wheat sourdough bread, fruit, vegetables, occasionally fish.
- Supplements: during the treatments and also afterwards I use probiotics and I take supplements such as Vitamin C Ester Plus, Vitamin D, Calcium/Magnesium/Boron, Zinc, Resveratrol, Ginkgo biloba, Cod Liver Oil (Fish). To detoxify, I use Toxaprevent and drink enough water. *(My doctor/specialist determines the dosage).
Follow Dominic at:
Patient Representative for the Dutch Tick Bite Diseases Foundation.
See also www.tekenbeetziekten.nl