Maricopa County, AZ
Infected: Unknown (symptoms dating back to early 2000s but escalating as of 2011)
Current health: “About 80%. Confident I will get to 100%.”
I am going to do what I can to make sure no one else has to go through my nightmare. -Sharane D.
Sharane is determined to get back at the disease that left her severely debilitated for years. She is now on a mission to create greater awareness, understanding, and prevention of Lyme disease which she is pursuing through her new fashion startup, Peskys (see blog post about Peskys here for more on that story). Here she shares her personal story and how Lyme disease impacted her journey.
Q: How, when, and where did you encounter the disease?
“I was totally unaware of Lyme disease until I became ill. I had never heard of it, and I didn’t know that it was something that I should be aware of and proactively protecting myself against. I am still not entirely sure when I was infected. It is possible it was in Alaska, where I used to live (though as a huge nature lover who travels I can’t say that with confidence.) I don’t recall finding a tick or a bite (a common experience for many patients). In hindsight I can definitely trace Lyme-like symptoms back many years, to the early 2000s. However it became a lot more severe beginning in 2011.”
Q: What were your symptoms?
- Sharp, shooting nerve pain in my face, jaw, and teeth as well as my neck and back
- Constant chest and upper abdomen pain
- Digestive issues
- Numbness of hands, feet, and face
- Extreme muscular spasms and cramping
- Constant vertigo
- Extreme fatigue (sleeping 17+hours a day)
- Uncontrollable twitching and tremors
- Ringing in the ears
- Extreme migraines
- Arthritic-like pain in knees and hands
- Severe air hunger
- Unstable blood pressure
- Mental fog, cognitive issues word retrieval, memory issues, etc.
- Unbearable whole body pain
Q: You do seem to be much healthier now. How are you today?
“There have been so many stops and starts and so much damage to my body. It was at least a year of intensive treatment before I started seeing progress and I am not in full remission yet. Probably about 85% — still have some daily pain and can tell when I am having cognitive challenges. However, I do finally have full confidence that I will get back to 100%.”
Q: What has worked for you as far as treatment?
“As far as treatment, I have done doxy, Cowden Protocol, ozone/ultraviolet light therapy, hyperbaric chamber, cold laser, homeopathics, various herbal protocols, peroxide IV’s, Vitamin C IV’s, hormone therapy, anti-viral medication, prescription adrenal support, all kinds of supplements, liver support, acupuncture, energy work, needle therapy, infra-red sauna, and lots of other things that I probably don’t remember at this point. I think that each therapy contributed in its own way, but the protocols/mix that have been and continue to be most effective for me are the Cowden Protocol, ozone/ubi therapy, a very clean diet (limited meat, no sugar, alcohol, caffeine), a strong detox routine (supplements, liver support, saunas, etc), and adrenal support. Diet and proper rest are essential.”
Q: How has Lyme disease affected your life?
“Lyme impacted every area of my life. It stripped me of my career, my hobbies, my social circle, and my sense of self. There was extreme isolation, financial challenges, and mental challenges to face. During the very dark periods of my journey, I did little more than sleep and go to doctors appointments. This disease stripped me to my absolute core.”
Q: What have you learned from this experience?
“Too many great things to list here! Perhaps the greatest lessons that I am most grateful for is that I learned that life can change when one least expects it, so it is incredibly important to be grateful and intentional every single day about where I put my energy and how I want to live. I want to squeeze every ounce of good out of life.”
Q: What advice might you give someone else that may be battling Lyme disease?
“First, find a hopeful, positive vision of your future that you cling to with everything you have. Hope is paramount to healing- so read inspiring stories, surround yourself with others that give you faith and hope, and find a medical team that believes wholeheartedly in your capacity to heal. Second, be your own advocate and trust your gut; it is profoundly wise. And lastly, trust that there are many ways to heal. What works for one may not be the best for another.”
Q: What supports, treatments or other tips have you found helpful?
“I have found that treating the body as a whole has been most helpful (as opposed to just attacking the bugs). In addition to fighting the pathogens, it is hugely important to detox, de-stress, and support the body in its healing through nutrition and other support. I found the Cowden Protocol to be hugely helpful in my healing journey as well as ozone therapy.”
Q: What was most challenging?
“The isolation, loss of self, and lack of empathy and compassion from community due to the mis-information about the disease were heartbreaking. The pain was brutal beyond words, but the social and emotional toll were just as difficult if not more so.”
Q: What do you wish you knew when you first got ill?
“I wish that I knew that the standard testing available today produces so many false negatives so that I didn’t falsely rule out Lyme early in my search for a diagnosis. I wish I knew more about Lyme. I would have started treatment so much earlier.”