Several years ago my daughter traveled to Traverse City to spend time with her aunt learning to take care of Scarlett O’ Hara. This is a horse that would prove to live up to her namesake as she threw my daughter countless times and was the most stubborn and snobby animal I had met (even more so than my goats!) The one time I decided to show her who was boss, that horse left me exhausted as she threatened to throw me as she cantered around and around the arena with her head down, and complained loudly as I wouldn’t let up. I taught my daughter, if that horse was told to canter around the arena, she would do what I told her. But I was worn out!!
But this isn’t about a horse of course!! But about something much much MUUUUUCCH smaller. It would cause her as much distress as this horse, and just as we battled her and she eventually went back to my sister, we are hoping the same story repeats itself.
This time our battle would be with a Ioxdes tick or as others know it a deer tick. And with this tiny little parasite came Lyme disease and co-infections.
While my daughter was staying at my sisters, she developed an extreme case of nausea that would sometimes lead to vomiting. We literally chalked this up to a major change in her diet while staying with my sister. My sister had just transitioned to a vegan diet, and the amount of processed food she ate as she learned how to be vegan was incredible. We assumed that my daughter who was used to a “from scratch” diet was having severe digestrion issues due to this change. This continued for her for about 2-3 months and then just resolved itself as we expected it to do. As the bacteria that causes this side effect of Lyme wouldn’t even be discovered until 2016 and it was only 2013, not sure what a doctor could have done if I had brought her in except, as I see it now, needless testing.
4 1/2 years later my daughter began to experience the effects of chronic Lyme and our time in the woods began. This isn’t a nice forest with carved out trails run by the state or metro parks….Nope, this is like being dropped by helicopter into Tongas National Forest in Alaska with no compass or map.
As I posted what was going on with her on Facebook, many of my friends kept telling me her symptoms which were; complete lack of heat in her hands and feet, severe pain in her joints and hands that would migrate, brain fog and lack of memory, fatigue, nausea that would just come and go, fibromyalgia type symptoms, uncontrollable ticks and twitches in her legs and face, and headaches.
We began to seek medical intervention and testing. I had her thyroid tested as we thought that was causing the inability of her body to keep heat in her hands and feet.
Nope, thryoid was working beautifully! In fact all blood work we would get for her from here on out showed everything was in perfect working order, even her inflammatory markers were negative, which her doctor would be confused about as she witnessed the swelling and heat of the inflammation in her knees and hands.
As friends continued to tell me about the battles they were having with Lyme, and I started researching I became 99.9% sure that is what we were dealing with. As I researched and learned about this disease I learned how far off the mark our medical community is in dealing with and diagnosing this debilitating illness. At this point we still had not started treating the illness, as everyone was telling me something but none were getting better, all the books written basically gave no hope or very little.
My daughter whose first love was piano went from practicing 3-6 hours a day, to not even being able to touch the keys, understand the music, or have her fingers respond to the signals her brain was sending. She had to stop alltogether. I remember holding back tears in our kitchen as I listened to her slam her hands down on the keys as she struggled to play a Chopin piece. Eventually her piano sat unused and began to collect dust.
This time I went to the doctor and requested a Lyme test to be done. Now the worst part about this test is it’s inaccuracy. It is only accurate 29% of the time. Seriously?????? Why don’t they just throw it out and do clinical observation as their test???? The doctor warned me that it may come back negative but that doesn’t mean she is not Lyme positive. I already understood this and probably knew more about the disease than she did at this point. I also do not thing she was taking me seriously as she did the typical eye roll. We are not in a “high hit” area, but I am also understanding that you can get this disease just about anywhere, it just helps the doctor to not roll her eyes at you if you live in tick infested lands.
Of course we had a negative test result (which I expected), which means we would get NO medical intervention and anything we decided from here on out was going to be paid out of pocket. It was time to start talking AND LISTENING to those people who were surviving the disease and find out if anyone had beaten it.
In my time being in that forest, watching my daughter grow sicker and living with pain that was stealing her youth and her dreams, trying CBD oil and getting her a medical marijuana license so she could live without pain, I learned that I had to truly trust in God to lead me. The despair I felt during this time would have been overwhelming if I did not know he had some plan in all of this. This gave me immense comfort and hope. I was led to a woman at our church whose son had overcome this sickness with the use of a magic box known as the rife machine. He had become very ill when he was eleven and they went to the East Coast to seek treatment. He had had antibiotic therapy and was almost killed from the strength of these antibiotics. The doctor who was administering the antibiotics said he couldn’t continue. This led her back to Michigan and to a holistic doctor that was using this machine to clear patients of many sicknesses but also of Lyme.
We didn’t follow the same path as this woman, as after talking to many others who had used antibiotics without the results they were after and still were not well, I decided to flip the prescription around and start with the rife machine first.
I was given the magic box ( a friend’s husband asked you paid $0000.00 for an easy bake oven????) and Dr Rivers proceeded to use codes to find the frequencies where the bacteria would be destroyed. These were not pre-programmed as most machines are, but 400 different numbers and counting. We left with two sheets of paper and 16 hours a day of rife therapy, which means you keep your head less than 12″ away from the glowing bulb for 16 hours a visit every twice a week and an actual hope that was the first light in the woods. But honestly laying in front of this machine could be brutal in its absolute boredom and isolation. We are not tv watchers, but we made it through 6 full Korean Dramas, which have at least 12 episodes of one hour each, as I or her brothers would sit with her for part of the day so she wasn’t completely alone. I think our brains began to melt.
She is now 3 months into the therapy, some of her treatments are 8 hours as opposed to 16 and we have not seen that many hours since her first visit. When she gets a new area of treatment it usually starts at around 8 hours and reduces by 40 percent on each subsequent visit. Her visits are every two weeks still. Dr. Julia has rid the disease of her Thyroid, Hypothalmus, and is now working on joints.
We had come into contact with Dr Julia Rivers at Rivers Chiropractic in Shelby Twp, who was treating my aunt for a myriad of problems. My aunt’s daughter insisted I take my daughter to her for testing. In some ways, to humor her I did (she had offered to pay, but we didn’t take her up on it). Sure enough she tested my daughter and we got our first positive test result. This was through a method called muscle testing, and even though Lyme will mess with your muscles, it worked. I had to hold back tears again as my suspicions were confirmed. After speaking with other patients that had been cured of this illness, we decided to pay the fee and begin treatment.
She is getting better and has not had any need for CBD oil almost the whole time treatment has been going on. She began piano 2 months after treatment started, as her ability to focus, remember and react returned and the pain left. I see the exit to the forest and believe we will be another one of her patients that beat this sickness. We will not know for sure for another 6 months and will update on if we won this war. But for now, there is a rope out of this forest and I cannot thank the many people who God put in our path to help us find that lead line.