Tag Archives: Lyme Disease

Cistus Icannus Tea Revisited — A Post for Those with Lyme and Co-Infections

A year ago I wrote about drinking cistus icanus tea in order to rid my body of a form of bartonella, one of the co-infections that often show up in people with Lyme Disease.  Every morning for three months I drank most of a cup of this tea.  I say most because some mornings, drinking it made me too nauseous to get all of it down.  Other days I had no problems at all.

Where I live there is a health professional who will take a drop of blood, put it on a slide for magnification on a huge video monitor and identify the various shapes and types of wriggling bacteria, plus the numbers of each that he sees.  He doesn’t diagnose.  Instead he gives his client a record of his findings and a memory stick of the video to take to a doctor, who might use the information as a diagnostic aid.  This was one of many tools my physician used to diagnose my illness.

After three months of drinking cistus icanus tea, I returned to have my blood checked, and no bartonella was found.  In addition, all those nasty symptoms that accompany the bacteria — tremors, high anxiety, depression, mania, pain around the ear and neck, other problems that affect my work and driving — had disappeared a month or more earlier.  Since the bartonella did not show up in my drop of blood, I assumed it was gone for good and traded the tea for hot water with lemon.

Now a year, later the bartonella is back.  The form that I have is known as “cat-scratch fever” because transmission involves a tck, a cat and a human.  It is possible I have been re-infected.  Or that it was still lingering, hiding somewhere. As I write this post, I await a delivery of a bag of cistus incanus which I believe did a good job of breaking down biofilms so the homepathic medications could kill off the various bacterias.  So, those of you who are searching the internet wanting to know if this tea works?  I have to say, yes, for me, it did.  But what I have also learned is that I may need to incorporate this into my regular diet as not only a treatment (1 cup a day) but as a preventive measure (1/2 c. a day) in conjunction with other supplements that support my liver during the bacteria die-off. 

Many people ask how to make the tea.  I followed the directions that came with the bag:  Pour not-quite-boiling water over one teaspoon of tea leaves and steep for 8-10 minutes.  Also, reuse the tea three times.  The benefits increase with brewing.

This is all I have to offer for now, but, please, remember this is my experience and my opinion.  I’m not a physician or a nurse, just a seeker of alternative remedies. All of our bodies and ailments are different, and we need to remember that.  I don’t believe there is one sure cure for Lyme and all that comes with it.  As of now, I don’t know if I believe there is a cure at all.  Maybe the best we can do is to manage well.

By the way, another topic making the rounds of LD forums are the skin conditons showing up, ones that are unfamiliar to many dermatologists.  I have three types.  One is a round keloid scarring with a depressed center that originally started a a white pimple.  I think this is bartonella related.  More on the skin stuff later.  Photographs, too. 

Writing and Talking With a Lyme Brain is Hard Work. Ask Amy Tan & Rebecca Wells.

This week I’ve been spending my time making changes to the e-book version of Cooley & Rose and working on a format for a paperback version.images

While doing this, I struggled with my Lyme brain where years ago babesia bacteria took up residence, wreaking neurological havoc in so many ways, especially on my ability to recall words. This is a challenge for a writer. Amy Tan and Rebecca Wells have written about their experiences. When Wells created Ya-Ya in Bloom, the sequel to The Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, she had already developed advance neurological damage. 1103_rd_tick

My brain was already frazzled by the time I started working on the novel-version of Cooley and Rose. Still, I pushed on and finished that, then wrote The Wyatt Sisters Songs of Sorrow, a story that is even more complex than the one that I’m hawking these days.

People say, “Oh, everyone forget words now and then.” True, but I will give you two brief examples of what happens with a Lyme brain.

Yesterday I was telling my husband about my new cell phone and all the tricks it could do and how I carried the instruction book around to read whenever I had to wait somewhere, like the drive-thru at the bank or a doctor’s office. He cocked his head and squinted his eyes and said, “You have a clock that does all that?” Years ago, I would have accused him of losing his hearing, but now I know better. Even though my brain thinks one word, often another comes out. This happens everyday. Unless I can’t find any semblance to the word I want. Then I just shut up. And sometimes he’s grateful for that.

A couple of days ago I came across “squawling babies” in Cooley & Rose and decided to look up the word “squawling” but could not find it. Then my mind told me to look up “squalling,” hoping it had a secondary or tertiary definition that would fit my meaning. I had no luck there with that either. Then I started going through the alphabet, and when I came to “B”, I stopped. “Brawling babies,” I said and imagined two little diapered fatties, lying on their backs, flinging their arms and kicking their legs. I was wrong again, but the strain of thinking was exhausting me. And then the word came. “Bawling.” It was the right word although a bit bland. I had to jot it down, because my brain kept insisting on returning to “brawling.” DSCN0143

With this path of thought written down on paper, it came to me that somewhere in my mind, the words “squealing” and “bawling” had merged to become “squawling.” Now, after having taken care of my corrections, I wished I’d stayed with the original because even though it’s not a legit word, it seems more expressive than “bawling.”

What do you think?

Forget what I promised. . .

ResizedStellaWhen I started this blog, a friend advised me, “Keep it short,” and stay on one specific topic. I took half of her advice.

I set out to write here what I wanted and when I wanted, but I forgot doing so isn’t always my choice.  There are days when I can’t write.  The words aren’t in my brain.  Even though I worked for more than three decades as a writer, I can’t remember all the rules of grammar and punctuation.  I have a hard time identifying errors or typos while I’m writing.  Sometimes it takes days for me to recognize them.  That’s a small part of what happens when you have Lyme Disease.

What I didn’t say in my short bio is that I have “late stage” Lyme Disease, also known as stage three.  I seldom say that out loud.  Even thinking the term makes me cringe, because no one has named a fourth stage.

I’m fairly certain, however, I’m not on my way out since I entered this point of the disease probably 15 or more years before my diagnosis in spring 2012.  Back in the late 1990s, I was diagnosed as having Adult Onset Type One Diabetes and hypothyroidism. Soon after came the swelling of my brainstem that caused me to need a cane to walk. (Although I couldn’t walk on my own, I could stand, and I could run.  So I kept playing doubles tennis, staggering as I served.  Often aces in our mid-level group. )  After six months of reeling around town like a drunk, a wonderful physical therapist taught me to retrain another part of my brain to compensate for this dysequallibrium.

Okay, enough, blah, blah, blah.  I don’t intend for this to be a blog about Lyme Disease or Diabetes, but sometime I won’t be able to avoid the topic.  Especially since there are days like those between this post and the last when I started another treatment that led to a temporary cob-webbing of my brain.  Again.  And in these instances, I will talk about what’s up. Meanwhile, I advise all of you interested in the details of dealing with Lyme and its treatments to follow Lymelyfe.wordpress.com.  The young woman writing that blog is extraordinary in her prose skills and her endurance for the most difficult of treatments.

So, after my last post I started the beginning of a Reishi extract treatment which will increase during the next two weeks.  Today is the first day where I didn’t retreat to my bed for at least two hours with chills that three layers of clothes and a quilt couldn’t ease.  Today has been full of doing, and for that I’m both happy and grateful.

So please bear with me on these days.  I have others during which I experience extraordinary moments that I’d like to tell you about.

By the way, that handsome dog you see?  That’s my muse, Stella.  The other two, Frankie and Gracie, could care less about writing.