Wake County, NC
Infected: October 1988
Diagnosed: September 2018
Current health: “I know I still have a long hill to climb, but I feel a tremendous sense of hope.”
I hope that by sharing my story, I can give others out there a real sense of hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. No, you are not crazy. Yes, it is treatable. Yes, you can have a life again.
“For most of my life, I’ve been a very active person who loved to spend time in the outdoors. As a kid, tick bites were common. They were never something that I spent a lot of time worrying about, because the only thing I really knew about Lyme disease is that you got a rash and sometimes felt like you had the flu. When I was about 14, I began to experience crippling headaches almost everyday, along with what can only be described as a disconnect from reality. I would wake up every day literally feeling like my head had been wrapped in cotton. Throughout my teens, these symptoms continued, along with pain in the joints, severe skin sensitivity, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, disorientation, and more. Sometimes the headaches were so severe that I couldn’t get out of bed. Anxiety became unbearable, and so began the long search for answers.
“I got married in May of 2014, and from that point on, my wife became a constant source of support in my search for answers. We’re both devout Christians, and each night, we would pray to God for some kind of relief. We saw neurologists, vision specialists, stomach specialists, family doctors, endocrinologists, and so on. I even spent two weeks in the hospital after going to the emergency room because the symptoms were so severe.
“I had hit a point where I was ready to give up. Rather than seeking a diagnosis, I began to pray that God would just allow me to live the best life I could in my current state. That all changed the day that a chance encounter with a Lyme disease symptom panel came across my desk.
“A light bulb suddenly went on. Of the 67 described symptoms, I had 53 of them. I remember going home that day and saying to my wife, ‘Honey, I think this is really it.’ She knew my history of tick bites and so we began to search for a cure. I stumbled in to the Lyme disease debate and controversy a bit blind, and so I assumed wrongly that you could just go to a family doctor and be tested. After normal blood tests came back negative, I started an experiment. I wanted to try treating myself to see if it helped.
“I purchased the book Healing Lyme, by Stephen Buhner, as I had heard some good things about it and his protocol. I devoured every page of [the book] like I was reading some kind of a survival manual, and I began to put in place the protocol that he recommended. Within about a week, I was experiencing some relief. It started slowly, but relief was there. I also started a strict diet after fasting and cleansing trying to heal my gut. Slowly, things began to improve.
“The real game changer was when I decided to see a Lyme-literate doctor here in North Carolina. After a long appointment, she looked at my bloodwork, history of exposure, and symptom picture, and made a clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease. She was fully supportive of the herbal protocol that I used, but also recommended a strong course of three different antibiotics to go along with it. To protect my gut, I bought a very strong probiotic and began taking three times the recommended dose.
“After about a month and a half on antibiotics, I can honestly say that I feel better than I have in over a decade. I truly believe this doctor saved my life. I went from having daily chronic headaches to having one in a month. My joint pain has disappeared and each day I feel a little more clear-headed. There are days when I have no brain fog or dizziness at all. It’s a miracle. I know I still have a long hill to climb, but I feel a tremendous sense of hope.
“Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. Lyme disease is vicious and unforgiving, but it teaches. It teaches us something about the world and something about ourselves. Lyme disease stripped me to my core, but in coming out of it, I’ve learned what’s truly important in life. I feel a tremendous sense of gratitude for the life that I’ve been given. You are never beyond hope.”