Oh well, it was just a house spider bite. Nothing to worry about.
But over the next few weeks, I grew tireder and tireder. I no longer bounced out of bed in the morning. Heck, I was finding it hard to move about at all. The tiredness grew very gradually, however. I didn't realize I was sick until it was fully upon me.
Scheisse. Sick with Lyme again.
My doctor confirmed: there hasn't been much testing done on insects besides ticks, but there are many reports of Lyme after various insect bites. As well, any kind of trauma, such as a spider bite, tends to re-trigger the illness.
I went online and looked into ways to potentate colloidal silver, which, as I describe in my last post, I had used for three years in minimum dosages to keep Lyme disease in check. From January through March, I now mixed colloidal silver with Gatorade--the electrolytes in the sports drink are supposed to increase the penetration of colloidal silver into the body. While I did see some improvement, it didn't feel as though I was really hitting the bacteria. The herx reactions were too diffuse.
I had made an appointment with my Lyme-literate doctor in Switzerland, and I wasn't looking forward to long-term antibiotic treatment again, which, as I describe in my last post, makes you feel much worse before you get better. My appointment was set for May 15.
During the months of early 2005, I often wandered about my kitchen, looking for something... I didn't know for what. I just had a feeling..., and I thought I was probably crazy to feel it..., but I had a strong feeling that the thing that would heal me was already right there in my kitchen. If I could only figure out what it was.
In April, I learned about the new salt and vitamin C therapy, which had generated an online yahoo support group. This bizarre-sounding therapy was being touted as anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, anti-spirochetal, antibacterial, and antiviral. The group was motivated by reports of people who had been cured of Lyme disease after long-term treatment with natural salt and vitamin C (not refined table salt!).
It sounded crazy, but what the heck... I had both in my kitchen. As far as I could tell, I could tolerate the increase in salt as my kidneys are healthy, and the intake of vitamin C was harmless because anything my body couldn't use would be excreted in my urine.
After three days, the first herx began. My feet swelled and felt quite painful. This soon abated, however, and for about three weeks I felt healthier than I had in months. I cleaned the house, organized, de-cluttered, painted a wall... it was a miracle.
I increased the dosage, as prescribed, about a gram every few days. I plateaued for a while at six grams, at nine grams, and gradually worked my way up to twelve grams a day. So as not to overdose on salt, I eliminated it from my diet otherwise, cooking from scratch by myself.
I had several herxes over the next six months at about four week intervals, and they were more painful and extreme than they had been with antibiotics. But in between the herxes, I enjoyed energy and health as I hadn't since before the initial onset of the disease in 2000.
One very unusual symptom common to this treatment is the feeling of things creeping and crawling just beneath or just above the skin. It was remarkable. At first, in the early herxes, I felt them all over my body. In later herxes I felt them concentrated beneath my knees and in the ankles and feet. Sometimes, one large area in my leg would "jiggle" for hours--clearly the protocol was hitting the nerves, but it felt so much like an insect beneath or on the skin that I often ripped off my pajamas at night to see what was crawling on me.
In the meantime, many people have tried salt/C, and while most see a lot of improvement, not all are healed. Here are some of the tricks I used.
1) When I was due for a herx, I would increase the dosage to 15 grams a day be sure that I had a good one. I provoked the herx, to be sure that with each cycle I eradicated another layer of the pathogens.
2) I would powder the salt in an old coffee grinder, and mix it together with powdered vitamin C in a jar. I combined the salt and vitamin with 2/3 water and 1/3 fruit juice (grapefruit, pineapple and apple juice taste ok with salt/C), and this made it easier to swallow.
3) The dosages were spread throughout the day, one in the morning, afternoon, and evening. I did take a dosage at night, if I hadn't gotten around to it in the evening. I don't suggest doing this often, as it can interfere with sleep. (But it can also improve sleep -- it's an individual response, and we all have to experiment for ourselves to find out what works best for us.)
4) I did not sip the salt/C throughout the day, but rather, took each dose fairly quickly, swallowing it down at once.
5) I didn't always take it away from food, but I tried not to eat 10 minutes before or after taking my dose.
6) I had already done a heavy metal detox in 2003. It is difficult to heal from Lyme disease if the body is laden with heavy metals. However, some people do succeed, even leaving in their amalgam fillings, when using salt/C.
7) I had lived in Europe over two decades at that time, and had not been exposed to genetically modified foods, or to antibiotics or growth hormones in dairy and meat products. I had not had an immunization since childhood. I believe these things do make a difference as far as having an intact and resilient immune system; wherever you live, try to live as naturally as possible.
I began this treatment at the end of April, 2005, and by January, 2006, the worst was over. I had the brain-herx in December, (when the feelings of anxiety and hopelessness were worst), and hoped that the salt/C had penetrated to the deepest layer. In one of the last herxes, I felt pain in all my teeth. It was so concrete that for several days, I actually believed all my teeth were infected. It was very frightening. But as quickly as it appeared, the symptom abated. In the months that followed, the herxes were mild, and getting milder.
I now began three additional dietary protocols. With each, I felt I was getting a step closer to complete remission.
1) I did an anti-yeast (candida) dietary protocol for six weeks.
2) I then avoided all gluten and dairy for six weeks.
3) I then ate six cloves of raw garlic a day for six weeks.
By summer of 2006, I felt healed. I continued to take salt/C at a maintenance dosage (4-8 grams a day), but no longer had a herx reaction.
There are many other supplements and other healing routines that I did while healing with salt/C, (qi-gong, raw milk, self-made kefir, healthy fats, turmeric and anti-inflammatory herbs and foods, to name a few) but I have outlined the main protocol here.
To learn more about the salt/C protocol, see the yahoogroup "lymestrategies." In addition, read this marvelous blog by Kurt, replete with special warnings and tips. Kurt kindly helped me through the worst of my "mind herx" in December 2005 (Thank you Kurt!)