It was certainly clear that I had Bartonella as a co-infection with Lyme because of the Rash. Babesia seemed a little more tricky to diagnose since some of the symptoms are similar to those of Lyme. Unfortunately, as a protozoa, and living within red blood cells, normal antibiotics were not going to take care of this infection (Buhner, 2005 , p179). Fortunately, the assumption was made that I had Babesia and treatment started with Malarone. In reading, I am like a poster-boy for Babesia symptoms:
Some of the symptoms explain some of the conditions I have been suffering from for quite a while. My lack of appetite (anorexia) has been a more recent problem (last few months), and I have to “force” myself to eat. The sweats, notably at night, I had just written off as having too many covers on; and who don’t have a hot flash almost every day. The shortness of breath I wrote about before, and is getting better. Usually, the shortness of breath would accompany a semi-mild activity such as climbing the stairs. Most noticeably, and has been going on quite a while, was when talking on the phone and I felt like I did not have the energy, or breath, to “push” out the words (extremely unpleasant).
Malarone has certainly helped some with the symptoms, but after a month treatment I am still having problems with all of the major symptoms. The major symptom noticeable from Malarone treatment was the exacerbation of my cough; which has been getting progressively better. Today, as doctor ordered (and took a little while to be delivered), I am now taking 400mg of Artemisinin (200mg in the morning and evening). The most noticeable effect after taking the Artemisinin was a very noticeable surge in the cough. Does the drop-off in the Malarone indicate that it was no longer effective, is it just the advantage to adding a new drug, or is Artemisinin that much more effective. On a positive note Buhner calls for a 400mg dose of Artemisinin for 30-40 days (p. 184); so I am hopeful between the two drugs I will be done with Babesia soon.
Buhner S. H. (2005). Healing Lyme: natural healing and prevention of lyme barreliosis and its coinfections. Vermont: Raven Press.