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April, 2014- HELLO ALL! I am no longer posting to this blog. For the latest on me and my work, I invite you to subscribe to my NEW blog: www.conniestrasheim.blogspot.com where I share my latest findings on how to heal from chronic illness involving Lyme and other conditions. Thanks!

Greetings and welcome to my Lyme disease blog, a comfy cozy (and sometimes crazy!) place for cutting-edge information, encouragement and insight into the fastest-growing epidemic disease in the United States. In this blog you will find everything from bug-killing strategies to immune system and hormone help, as well as lifestyle and spiritual suggestions for healing from chronic illness involving Lyme disease. The information contained within this blog is based upon my own healing journey and what I have learned over the past eight years as I have been diligently digging and researching my way back to a better state of health. May you find it to be a source of hope, inspiration and wisdom in your own journey towards wellness.

About "Insights Into Lyme Disease Treatment"

About the book:

443 Pages - $39.95
Published August, 2009
Written by Connie Strasheim
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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Lyme and Losing The Ability To Reason

Have you ever noticed how Lyme disease and especially, Herxheimer reactions can make the "real you" disappear? You listen to your thoughts and words during a Herx and wonder what little demon has suddenly taken your personality captive.

Perhaps you've been through this thing enough now to expect the red-horned thoughts. But isn't it funny how you still have trouble discerning rational thoughts from irrational ones after you brain gets slaughtered by neurotoxins?

Lyme messes with our ability to reason. Seriously.

Whenever I'm in the midst of doing harsh treatments (which I've recently taken up again), it seems that everyone around me turns a different shade of ugly, and I must remind myself that I really do love the beasts.

Which is hard to do after I've lost four nights of sleep, my body aches, and my liver is raging from all the toxins that have been poured into it (too many toxins in the liver produces anger, incidentally, so it's not just the brain causing the messy thoughts).

During these times, if I'm smart, I will tell myself, "C'mon...c'mon...you can do it...you really don't hate the whole world, you just don't feel good..."

One of the reasons that relationships break up over Lyme is because people with Lyme lose their ability to reason, which in turn, distorts their perspective of their relationships and reality.

Because of such distortions, they make bad decisions. They say and do things they don't mean or which aren't beneficial for their wellbeing, and their outlook on life becomes bleak.

Of course, everyone sees the world and reality through tinted lenses, but in the person with Lyme disease, the shades can be exceptionally dark.

Having an awareness of how Lyme affects our ability to reason, and explaining this problem to loved ones can help mitigate problems as we navegate the healing process.

Personally, I have found that it's possible to live in truth when neurotoxins conspire to paint a warped picture of reality, when I get down on my knees and ask my god to show me that truth. When I am quiet and willing to listen, I get a picture of how things really are, and what I must do to stay my thoughts upon reality.

But then I have to walk in that truth, and continue to acknowledge the voice of God's Spirit within me, so that I don't go back down the dark road of irrationality.

Yes, it's difficult to stay in this reality when you feel absolutely horrible. It's a constant effort, and when you are tired the last thing you may want to do is meditate upon truth.

Besides, if you are someone who seeks comfort from God, as I do, you may find that even God turns ugly when your reasoning goes out the window, and you want nothing to do with Him.

I encourage you to push through it, because you will feel better for it. Trust me.

Sometimes unfortunately, our biochemistry also affects our perspective of God. I am writing a chapter about this in my new book on spiritual healing, because I believe that it's important to recognize the role of brain dysfunction in faith.

If you believe in the God of Christianity, then you know that faith is a gift from God, but if your Spirit isn't strong or you don't realize His power within you to overcome, then your biochemistry may win out in the war of your thoughts.

In any case, I believe that even those with the strongest of spirits struggle in their faith when faced with incredible physical and mental challenges.

Knowing this is beneficial for when we go through such struggles, because if we recognize the demonic toxins and their effect upon our minds for what they are, we can then more easily take hold of, challenge, and replace those thoughts with something better. Or at least not beat ourselves to a pulp for not loving our neighbors a little more, or for not feeling any warm fuzzies towards God in our suffering.

I used to curse God whenever the full moon or some horrible Herx would hit me. I would think He didn't love me and that He didn't care if I was ever made well. I have grown. Most often, I don't blame Him anymore, because I don't buy into the lousy thoughts that result from my troubled biochemistry. I have learned that those suggestions don't represent what the "real me" would think under better circumstances, and so I discard them.

If you find that prayer doesn't bring you back to a peaceful place of reality, why not find a good book or funny movie and retreat from the loved ones until you feel some signs of sanity returning?

I know, it's not possible for everyone. Some of you have children or a spouse to attend to, or people that you must work with all day long. I sympathize with you. We really need an escape from others when the monsters come to take over our brains, not only for our peace but theirs, too. We don't want to hurt or confuse them with our mixed-up words and actions, and sometimes, it's easier to just escape, instead of trying to be sane, logical people around them.

Finally, I encourage you not to beat yourself up for your thoughts. Your brain and body are being forced to function amidst serious biochemical deficiencies and an onslaught of bug sludge, which inevitably produce imperfect thoughts. Give yourself some grace and space to be crazy. It will one day all pass, and in that day, you will see yourself, God, and the world in a better, brighter light.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Connie, thank you for this article on how difficult reasoning is in the worst herxheimers. And also: I broke up with my boyfriend when I started having lyme 2 years ago. It took a while for me to find my way with my new lymelife. But after one year and a half I could relate to him again. It took a while for me to handle herxes and stay kind to myself and the people surrounding me during these periods. It takes experience and insight to handle these awful herxes. I had one horrible last weekend. How hard it is... But now I feel great again... Well you know what it is like... Cheers, Dorien

sheila_hartle said...

Hi Connie,
I just found your blog this weekend. My husband has Lyme, just diagnosed in Nov. We are relieved to know what he's been battling for so many years, but are very very overwhelmed with all the treatment theories out there. We plan to purchase both of your books. He's been on 3 antibiotics and when his dr just added the fourth 2 weeks ago it threw him into an awful and scary reaction that he's still recovering from. We live in the Denver area too, is there any way we could get in touch with you? Do you know of any Lyme support groups in CO? Is there a way to pass along your Dr's nam? The one we are seeing does not seem as open to "alternative" help like detoxing, diet and lifestyle changes, etc. The more we read, the more I feel like we are not treating this as wholistically as needed. Thanks for any help you can offer.
Sheila

Moriah said...

Shelia,
I live in Monument. I currently see chiropractic neurologists in the Springs. They've done miracles with me!! One of them, Dr. Michael Pierce, had Lyme himself and also works in the Denver area at Activa Chiropractic in Glendale. Having recently moved here, I haven't found a good "lymie" doc but have found in increasingly difficult to stay with my doc in CT. So I have scheduled an appt w/Dr. Shawn Naylor on March 3. Never been so cannot recommend... Hope this helps! And God bless!

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Anonymous said...

I can totally relate to the part where you said that on a normal day, if you were healthy, there would be no way you could have such crazy thoughts. I feel that way all the time, like who am I and where do these crazy feelings/emotions/thoughts come from? Then I start feeling bad because I can't "control" them but I guess thats when we give control to God! Jehova Rapha :)


-Kortni

Anonymous said...

Hi Connie, Thanks for this article; I know exactly what you mean. I'm right in the middle of the worst herx I've ever had right now so it was encouraging to read your words. (Heavy metal detox... fun, fun ;))

I heard you are in the process of writing a book on spiritual healing now. I'm very much looking forward to it! I just wanted to point you towards a person that might be of interest to your book. You may have already heard of her–popular Christian thriller author Brandilyn Collins who had a severe case of Chronic Lyme and was miraculously healed after being prayed over by a group from a healing ministry. Hope this helps. = )

Kate

Suzanne Lerner said...

RE-THINKING THE HERXHEIMER REACTION:
thanks for this great post, Connie! As a scientist and health practitioner, I feel that something has gone terribly wrong in the Lyme Community. Namely, the general acceptance and complacency around Herxheimer reactions.
I think it is really a kind of "old school" philosophy, to treat serious toxin assaults to our bodies and all our organs, as simply a "marker" of whether our treatment is effective or not.
Most people would go racing to their doctors for help, if they had sudden toxins released in their body that cause all the terrible symptoms, that the toxins released by Borrelia spirochetes.
I think doctors need to treat the toxin release as seriously as killing the Spirochetes. Not just a throw away item" "Oh if the Herx gets too bad, try some charcoal or berber."
Look at Botulism toxin, other creatures that release toxins in our body. These are being taken REALLY SERIOUSLY. Yet all our Herx symptoms, which are causing injuries to the very organs that we need to fight this illness, are relatively ignored.

THIS HAS TO CHANGE!

If you look at Dr. Shoemaker's work on binding the toxins, he says, " After all the spirochetes are killed, it's important to bind the endotoxins." He has been important to my thinking on the subject. However, we need to act before ALL the spirochetes are destroyed, we need to take the chemical assaults, benignly known as "HERX-ing" a lot more seriously and treat it more actively and seek treatments to minimize the toxic assaults that Bb cause.
If you look at Stephen Buhner's website, he now says that killing the Spirochetes is #4 in priority of treating LYME. This is MAJOR! We need to be dealing with the immune system, protecting collagen, and aggressively minimizing the toxins. As patients, we need to begin to demand more accountability from our practitioners.
Can others relate to what I'm saying?

Anonymous said...

I saw your article on Adrenals...how a multitude of things did not really help. I have 2 suggestions & will recommend a Clinic (original doctor now deceased) that helped me.

1st is using Italian Licorice Root Powder as per the method Dr. Baschetti used. There is a huge difference in quality between Chinese/Indian & Italian Licorice though the Italian is almost impossible to find in the US & many times the price when you do find it but well worth the price. Dr. Baschetti has specific instructions as to how his “concoction” is made & how/why it works. Please see http://www.jacemedical.com/store/licorice1.html for Italian Licorice & a conversation with Dr. Baschetti about treating CFS with Licorice. (I have no affiliation with them).

The 2nd thing that always brings me around is l-Serine...I use Seriphos by InterPlexus. I was on 2 caps 4 times a day at my lowest (almost dead) point...I now can usually get by with just 2 to 3 early in the day. I know when I forget to take them by mid-afternoon as I am wiped out by then or never got going.

Lastly I would suggest looking into the books by Dr. Poesnecker & even a visit to the Clymer Clinic in Quakertown Pa. People come from all over the world to be healed at this very small clinic about 35 miles North of Philly. They have a website...several actually & though some of the info is a bit dated since his (Dr. Poesnecker) passing the new doctor (Dr. Neville) was trained by him & does a fine job. “Chronic Fatigue Unmasked 2000” written by Dr Poesnecker is well worth reading & has helped many people as well as several other books Dr. P. authored. Dr P. treated CFS patients long before there was a common name for it starting about 50 years ago. There is also a simple & reasonable saliva test you do at home that shows just how good (or bad) your Adrenals are doing. It is surely worth a look at http://www.healing.org & http://www.chronicfatigue.org.

FYI…I have no affiliation with them save that I was a patient & they helped me a great deal!

Regards,
Jake

Connie Strasheim (aka Killabugger) said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for the info. on adrenals and Clymer. I agree that Baschetti's licorice is the most powerful natural adrenal support (after hydrocortisone, for me). I have read Dr. P's books and been to Clymer. I do think that this is the place to go if adrenals are a person's main problems, although that can be really hard to discern. Dr. N is great though, I really appreciate him. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm sure your info. will be a great help to my readers! Connie

Mona said...

Love this post!! I showed it to my bf and my parents and it was so what I wanted to explain but could not b/c anytime I said what was happening (to my parents anyways), they thought it was BS. I live with them now at 32, and will be for some time to come til I get through IV and back to where I can take care of myself again, and hopefully, work one day.. THANK you for your eloquent, beautiful, insightful, articulate, educational posts! Also I wanted to copy this on my blog that I am starting (and of course just post a link to it as well, noting it was you who wrote it). Let me know if you think it's ok. Unfortunately eblooger wont let me put the direct link to a post so I'd have to copy your post and put the general lymbytes page as a link. Let me know. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Connie, Sheila and Moriah,

I just stumbled upon your interesting blog, Connie. Thank you! Colorado was and will soon be my home again this summer. I need to find a good Lyme-literate doctor in Colorado. I see Dr. Naylor's (DO) name here. Can anyone recommend him? ILADS informed me of a Dr. Kinderlehrer, MD, in Boulder. Does anyone know of him, his reputation. Thank you so much!

Carol

Anonymous said...

So has anyone been able to find a lyme dr. in colorado? My wife was just diagnosed with lyme, which finally explains the last 2 years, but we have not been able to locate a specialist in colorado for treatment. Any references are greatly appreciated.

Connie Strasheim (aka Killabugger) said...

Hi Anonymous,

Try: www.soundclinic.com. Dr. Naylor is great for treating infections.

Blessings, Connie

Jennifer Dare said...

I am a patient of Dr. Shawn Naylor at Sound Clinic in Denver. In 6 months, I have gone from almost dead to holding down a full-time job and enjoying my kids again. Give him a call - 303-698-0333.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone experience working with DR. Daniel Kinderlehrer in Boulder CO? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

We began working with Dr. Kinderlehrer in May. He started my daughter on supplements to build immune system. Seems very knowledgeable. He is quiet and kind. We go back in 2 weeks

Anonymous said...

Though Dr. K is very knowledgeable on Lyme...and diagnosed me...I thought he has a large ego. He did not like to be questioned...and was not responsive to my concerns. He immediately placed me on a number of supplements to boost immune which was great...but, kept postponing antibiotic treatment visit after visit after visit...and thousands of dollars later. I got a second opinion from Columbia University and I am now on IV treatmen prescribed by my primary care doctor and after 6 weeks am finally making the progress I had so hoped for. Dr. K dropped me for making the decision to go with IV antibiotics. I was forced to choose between conventional care and a holistic approach...I am still looking for a practitioner to treat me as a whole person...but, knew I would make no progress without antibiotics.

A Clark said...

This is very helpful as I have just moved to Denver and am an Ondamed practitioner. The machine has helped tremendously with detox and strengthening me but I still need to be working with a practitioner on the pathogen. I am surprised we don't have more specialists here!

Anonymous said...

Dr Kinderlehrer is a renowned Lyme doctor who had the disease himself while living in Massachusetts. His daughter also had it. He is a frequent speaker at Lyme conferences and has literally written the book on Lyme. He uses a multi faceted approach with abx and supplements and addresses killing off the disease, boosting the immune system, handling the herx die off detox process and building the body back up. He brought me back from the dead to where I am practically back to normal. He is quiet and he is one of the experts in Lyme and rather than say he "doesn't want to be questioned", I have found that he just expects me to listen to him and I will find the path back. In this regards, he heals at a slow pace and doesn't rush the process. My initial herxes were horrible and like everyone elses. His process is to minimize the "bad" while still maintaining progress, knowing that severe reactions can damage our bodies. I was started on abx immediately because I believe he felt my system could handle them - and he very gradually increased things. If he withheld abx at first, it is likely he wanted to build up the immune system first before taxing the body. He is quiet and kind and most of all, one of the best Lyme docs out there. People come from all over the country to see him. If anyone is looking for an easy fix to Lyme disease, they are in for a huge disappointment. The reality is that slow careful progress is best - heal while not doing damage. Highly recommend Dr K in Boulder.

Anonymous said...

My poor ex-wife, Kristin, has been dealing with Lyme disease for about 2-3 years (known) and over 10 years total (unknown and undiagnosed). She was originally diagnosed with depression and suffered through years of every known depression medication known on earth which made her beyond sick. We were married in 2011 and divorced 18 months later after the most horrific marriage full of verbal abuse (coming from both sides, not just her). I am responsible for my reactions to her absolute crazy talk and emotions that poured out of her. At the time, we did not understand what was happening and it drove she and I to the brink of insanity.

She has now seen every "best Dr." in America from Dr. Naylor to Colombia University...to no certain avail. It seems she is dying a slow death and it breaks my heart! Her parents don't know what else to do as they have poured their life savings into Kristin. It is the single saddest thing I have ever personally witnessed.

If anyone can help, please send a miracle. Jesus is her and my Lord and Savior, but for whatever His reason, there has not been a healing yet. Her case has been flagged as one of the worst in the history of the disease.

-Matt

MonaA said...

To Matt: look into the Hansa Center in Wichita, KS. After 6 miserable years going from doctor to doctor and trying protocol after protocol I finally got well there this past spring. They do not treat the Lyme but rather the person. Each patient is an individual with their own specific issues that must be addressed before they can get well. They do some very cutting edge stuff. I truly am not sick anymore. God healed me there and in the months that followed.