Aug 092007

The CD-57 went from a 63 to a 51. A 12 point hit wasn’t the vote of improvement I was hoping to see. Of course there are a number of reasons that I can think of to cause this, and it is just possible that it fluctuates during the treatment process.

  • I took a medication that didn’t cross the blood-brain barrier for a month. This could have resulted in significant Lyme growth in the brain. On the other hand I would think that Lyme wouldn’t exert that much of an immuno-suppressive force from the brain.
  • I stopped the Buhner protocol for a month because I failed to reorder the treatment. These treatments would have crossed the blood-brain barrier, and helped. I have resumed them now.
  • I read somewhere that a low CD-57 was not caused by Lyme alone, but required co-infections. It is possible that the treatment of the Babesia has caused a hit in the CD-57; and hopefully for a longer term gain.

The medical assistant that was doing the bandage change, etc. (yes, the one that took 3 hours) said that the important thing is to be feeling better (Her’s, as I recall, is a 17 after years of on and off treatment). While I am feeling better, and I agree that is important, it is most important that I get better. Of course CD-57 counts aren’t that well understood in Lyme, and their significance is therefore hard to measure; maybe I put too much of an emphasis on this one test. Regardless, this does make me want to take the Cat’s Claw to bump the numbers; plus if Lyme is suppressing this immune cell than I high could must be good for treatment.

Aug 062007

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:

The symptoms of babesia infection generally include a vague sense of imbalance, headache, fatigue, anorexia, muscle and joint pain [I’ve had minimal of this], feelings of chest compression, shortness of breath, chills/fever, nausea, malaise, and drenching sweats. If the lungs become involved, cough is sometimes present. (Buhner, 2005 , p179)

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.

Jun 272007

As I mentioned before, with Lyme I anticipate taking many more alternative treatments. While waiting to begin treatment (which seemed to take forever), I grew increasingly frustrated by my mental state: flash anger (disproportionate to the issue), mental haze, fatigue, reasoning ability, etc. After reading a couple of books on Lyme treatments, I decided to go with the Buhner protocol (Healing Lyme: Natural Healing And Prevention of Lyme Borreliosis And Its Coinfections). The book presents a very scholarly analysis of Lyme and alternative treatments for Lyme (which can be taken along with antibiotics). Buhner presents a case for three core herbs (there are others for specific issues): Andrographis, Japanese Knotweed (resveratrol), and Cat’s Claw. I settled on taking the first two since they are naturally occurring antibiotics, cross the blood-brain barrier, and have cognitive benefits. After about a week I saw significant improvements, and within two weeks I was effectively mentally back to normal (or very close). Of course, as I mentioned, once beginning the Rosephin I saw a significant decline in my mental function. Unfortunately, the doctor didn’t do an assessment before beginning Rosephin so it is impossible to determine how much the Buhner protocol helped. Also, I decided to skip the Cat’s Claw for now since it’s primary function is to boost your CD-57 counts, and while I can see where that could help I was concerned that my doctor would use CD-57 counts as a measure of my progress (and I was right). Currently, I combine the Buhner protocol with the antibiotics.