Defeating Lyme

My story, my treatments, my victories

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My story

My story, like those of all the Lymies, is long, and not necessarily interesting. I therefore decided to keep only the highlights, such that the reader, regardless of his state of health, can get an idea of what it really looks like becoming sick: the journey of fear and despair, with, in the background, the dream, each day duller, of a return to normality; the heavy, draining fatigue, hampering any semblance of will; the latent, often unacknowledged incomprehension, by oneself and by others, of the person one is forced to be ; the pain, the sadness, the resentment, the anger, the hatred towards the world and towards oneself, towards those who have not helped, and those who have made mistakes in doing so, towards the desire to help of the healthy people who dare to cry over our pain and theirs, when everything smiles at them, since the world has not punished them.

But also... The diaphanous beauty of what really counts and no one sees any more; the rediscovery of the self, through the prism of humility; the renewal of strength and energy, the thirst for life, the hope of healing, the love of those who have always been there and the bland vanity of resentment.

The beginnings

Until April 2013, I was a normal person. Student in engineering school, full of projects, careless, and happy. From the top of my twenty years, I was seeing the world under the eye of the one who had never suffered: a field of opportunities, of which I knew the dangers, but of which I also knew that they were not destined for me.

I worked, wrote, went out, lived ephemeral loves and dreamed of everything possible for my future. I wouldn't go so far as to say that life was a long quiet river, since I also had problems at the time. But these problems were problems like anybody have. However, I think it was the accumulation of these problems that formed a welcoming cocoon for my illness. I won't go into the details, but I wasn't (at all) satisfied with my studies, which I found boring, nor could I see enough of the people who would have stimulated me elsewhere.

This handsome young man is me, just before getting sick.

During that famous month of April 2013, I did a 20km race. Nothing exceptional, but I wanted to prove to myself that I was capable of ranking myself well, and I had taken the challenge pretty seriously. I finished the race exhausted, dehydrated, and proud. A hostess of the event kindly offered me a Red-Bull as a reward, which I accepted with joy. With the combined effect of fatigue and caffeine, my vision began to get blurred and I suffered an awful migraine soon after. I didn't know that the greatest misfortune of my life had just been unleashed.

The fall

The two weeks following this event were nothing special, except that my migraines began to multiply. Then, on a beautiful May day, while I was drinking a beer with some friends on a terrace in Aix-en-Provence, an unpleasant sensation of glare appeared in my right eye. I ignored it, but it went on for several days, alternating with very unpleasant headaches. I went to see various doctors (general practitioner, ophthalmologist, orthoptist), convinced that my problem was common, but they all assured me that everything was going perfectly well with me. Yet my vision was beginning to turn yellow on the right side, and I felt more and more tired. I continued the tests, seeing more and more doctors, with the same answer: "you're fine, it will pass, go home". Fearing that I might have something serious, my parents even suggested that I get an MRI, which also turned out to be negative.

This cachectic creature is also me, the first summer of my illness.

The months that followed were extremely stressful: my condition was not getting better, I felt so bad that I was almost unable to eat, and absolutely no one could tell me what I had. Intolerances to alcohol, perfume, gel, fish appeared, even though these things had never affected me before.

During the summer, my symptoms seemed to ease a little, and for the first time I was screened for Lyme disease, on my mother's intuition. An ELISA test came back positive (barely), and I was put on doxycycline for a month until I had the results of the Western-Blot, which was supposed to confirm the diagnosis. I was deeply shaken by this low-dose treatment. I couldn't eat, and I had terrible nausea. But, at the same time, I noticed that my condition tended to improve slightly.

The day after finishing the treatment, in a miraculous way, I was feeling almost healed: endowed with a considerable hunger, full of energy. But my visual symptoms were still there... At the same time, I had learned a lot about Lyme disease, and I knew that I had just experienced my first Herxheimer's reactions, that the antibiotics had also been very effective, but that the treatment had to be prolonged until the symptoms disappeared completely. I had also understood where and when I had been bitten by a tick: about five years earlier, in the Austrian Alps. A persistent red spot had formed on my neck at that time and had never left. Problem: the Western-Blot had meanwhile returned negative.

"You're fine, go home".

The worst

We are now in October 2013. I know perfectly well the cause of my illness and I know how to deal with it. Problem: These (almost) six months without treatment have allowed my symptoms to progress. I now have a slight pain in my left knee, and my neck has become painful on my right side. The stain on my neck, which had never changed in five years, has now grown a lot, and even spreads over part of my cheek. I continue to multiply the appointments, giving all the elements to the doctors to enable them to judge the diagnosis without them taking me for a new enlightened person affected by an imaginary Lyme (since I learned, at this time, that there were obviously many of them). I was sure that I would eventually be proved right, since I was right. But no. Consultation after consultation, I was always thrown the same transparent diagnosis, with doctors almost believing they were helping. Then, because of my insistence, they began to tell me that everything was in my head. How could I feel neck or knee pain, or even fatigue, since I am a young man at the top of my age, and I have nothing? Therefore, it must be in my head. Pseudo luminaries, ignominious figures, addressed my problems with an unspeakable contempt, even though their incompetence was just like their vanity: gaping, hollow and bottomless. I was charged literally 120€ for 20 minutes of consultation, and a non-diagnosis in return. Welcome to the world of medicine in the 21st century.

I haven't kept any picture from my hospitalization, but I looked like this during these difficult times.

Finally, exhausted, starting to question my own madness, while my entourage did the same (if the most renowned doctors said he had nothing, well...), we decided with my parents to try doing a lumbar puncture (LP). It is probably the worst choice of my life, the one that dug a burning and bitter wound in me, consecrating the months of despair that had preceded. My parents were abroad at the time, so I went to the hospital alone. I was pierced with a needle between the vertebrae of my back, to recover the deep substance of my person, the CSF. What we didn't know at the time was that the LP is not reliable for diagnosing chronic Lyme. But this was useful anyway to eliminate more serious causes... What I was not told is that the consequences of the examination may themselves be far from moderate. The literature clearly shows that thin people are more likely to experience post-lumbar puncture syndrome. But the patient will not die, and at least he will be reassured.

The day after the operation, I got terrible migraines as soon as I got up or even stood up straight. A second arrow in the back. I inquired and quickly found the cause of my illness (post-LP syndrome); an illness for which the literature says that a few percents of patients take several months to fully recover. Could bad luck go that far? After 10 days of uninterrupted suffering, my parents took me to the hospital (a different facility than the one where I had done the LP. Indeed, I had to do the LP in an establishment located quite far, since the doctor in charge of my case in the local hospital had assured me that I had nothing...). I was suffering terribly for more than an hour in the waiting room, then the same thing in a hallway, surrounded by people screaming, crying, coughing, breathing in masks and still coughing, close from being dead. Finally, an unbearable doctor came to pick me without the slightest smile, to accuse me of having done the LP "in her back, against the recommendations of Dr. X, who had explained to me that I had nothing. We can do nothing for you, the pain will go away on its own". Just as if the pain wasn't deserved. Moreover, blood-patch is a well-known solution to post-LP syndrome. But she didn't care. I left with a terrible headache, without having gained anything more than another trauma.

We finally did the blood-patch in the same hospital where I had done the LP. The principle is to take blood from the arm and inject it back into the back. The operation must be done very quickly so that the blood does not have time to clot. It therefore happened in the emergency room. Under stress, while a nurse was taking my blood, I saw red jets squirting from my arm, watering the ground, before she applied a compress and the doctor stung my back. The operation was a partial failure. But a week later, the symptoms of the post-LP syndrome finally began to disappear. With them, all the confidence I still had in life and in the medical world.

The rise

The following months were poor in meaning. I was still suffering from Lyme symptoms, and I felt condemned that no one would ever believe me (although my loved ones never resolved to say it clearly, probably for the best). But I knew that without treatment, my condition would worsen, that I would end up suffering from cognitive symptoms and add myself to the list of Lymies interned in psychiatric hospitals for early dementia.

In March 2014, almost a year after falling ill, I did what I probably should have started with. I contacted a Lyme patients association, France Lyme, which referred me to a specialist. I saw him about ten days later. That doctor was the first to take my symptoms seriously. After listening to my story, he apologized on behalf of the medical profession and told me that the way I had been treated was shameful, but unfortunately not very rare. In front of his compassion, his recognition of my illness and my pain, I broke down. All the times I had been denied my reason, knowledge of my symptoms and my body, and even my dignity; all these times resurfaced from the walls of my soul in the form of a flood of black tears.

Me in 2015. Despite my healthy face, I still have quite marked symptoms that cut my appetite, give me neck and head pain.

I was put on rocephin IV right away. The first herxes were very impressive. My heart was beating so fast after the perfusions that I feared it would eventually stop. But these reactions disappeared after a few days, and my condition began to improve. Unfortunately, the disease had already progressed a lot at that time, and treatment was not sufficient. I did another cure a few weeks later, which had a lesser effect; confirming what I feared: the disease had become deeply chronic, and it was not going to be easy for me to get rid of it. I was better, however, and as I could no longer condemn all social life in the name of my illness, I decided to apply for an Erasmus exchange in Sweden. It was a bad decision. During my journey, I stopped all allopathic treatment for 6 months (continuing with phytotherapy, but it was clearly not enough), and I think my condition got worse again during that period.

Back in France, in January 2015, I had to travel as part of my studies, and I changed specialist. I then tried other antibiotic treatments, and my condition continued to improve, but much less rapidly than before. However, I regained the ability to do sport with acceptable performance, and herx reactions were much more minor than before. But I always felt tired frequently, I had extremely unpleasant pains in my neck, and I was always intolerant to alcohol and perfume. I continued intermittently the antibiotic and phytotherapeutic treatments during approximately 1.5 years, with more and more mixed successes. My overall condition had become almost normal (even though I had less energy than a normal person), but the joint symptoms were progressing, and the neck pain was giving me a severe headache, regularly preventing me from working. At the same time, light paresthesias had begun to appear more and more regularly in the arms and legs. Having tried a wide range of antibiotics, my specialist didn't know what to do anymore, and let me kindly understand that I would probably have to live with it all my life. But I did not feel healed, and it deeply saddened me to project my future in struggle with my pains, for the rest of my days.

In the summer of 2016, shortly before starting my doctoral thesis, the left part of my neck, hitherto spared by the bacteria attacks, also fell. It depressed me deeply to realize that my condition could still get worse, and this depression, combined with the stress of starting a new life as part of my thesis, made me relapse. I took antibiotics again, and I found a semblance of form. A few weeks later, I moved, extremely uncomfortable, to start my PhD thesis.

The curing ?

When I arrived at my new school, I decided to take advantage of the presence of a sauna to use the heat sensitivity of the borrelia to my advantage. The effects of the sauna were fantastic. Under the effect of the heat, my neck got unblocked, and I suffered the first nights of rather powerful herxs. Soon after, as the sauna effect began to wear off, I was discussing of Lyme on the internet with an old American Lymie. He advised me to try a little-known treatment: teasel roots, in very high doses. I ordered a few bottles, and started treatment a few days later. The effect was devastating for the borrelia, and extremely beneficial for my neck. Armed with this and the sauna, I eliminated most of the joint pain. In parallel, I got rid of the paresthesias. But I couldn't get rid of the inflammation in my neck completely.

Me in 2018. Still skinny, but in shape! (most of the time)

My (new) specialist then prescribed an intramuscular rocephin treatment. It was extremely unpleasant, but I rarely felt as fit as after this treatment, which I mixed with intense sauna sessions to improve the penetrating power of the antibiotic. I can say, with little doubt, that I regained my normal, pre-illness form at that time. The problem is that it didn't last long. A few weeks later, despite all my efforts (teasel, sauna), I returned to an acceptable form, but not perfect, and a bearable neck pain, but not non-existent.

That's when I discovered Reiki. My mother, concerned about my condition, forced me to initiate myself, and she probably did very well. With a scientific background, I had always been rather sceptical about alternative medicines. Reiki, through mysterious mechanisms, has however made me much less permeable to depressive states, fatigue, and allows me to unblock my neck and/or calm inflammation when necessary.

And here I am writing today, while I feel fit enough to run a half marathon (at least most days). I think that if I try another rocephine treatment, mixed with intense sauna sessions, my condition could improve even more. Anyway, I still have a lot of options to try. The road is probably still long, but it has become largely bearable.

The treatments

During these five years of illness, I was given the opportunity to try many treatments. While many have been of little interest, others have led to profound improvements for me. Some are little known, so I want to share my experience here.

I won't mention conventional treatments (e.g. Cowden protocol, Buhner, colloidal silver, cat's claw, etc.), which can be found everywhere on the internet. Not that the latter have not necessarily been effective in my case, but their effect has always been limited, and the literature already abounds in descriptions of them.

Similarly, I will not spread myself over every detail of every treatment. I give here an overview of the cocktail that has worked best in my home, and I invite the reader to learn more by himself about each treatment that might potentially interest him. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

The really effective treatments

The teasel root tincture

Although the litterature does not seem to have shown the slightest antibiotic effect of the teasel root tincture, I would swear to death that it acts all the same against the borrelia in one way or another. The most commonly accepted theory is that this would force the borrelia out of hiding (e.g. unlodge them from the joints), and they would then be eliminated by the immune system. Or perhaps the teasel simply acts on the mobility of the spirochetes?

Nobody knows, and it's not very important, since it works anyway, and very well. However, where my experience differs from what we usually read is that the really powerful effects of teasel appear only in high doses. The conventional protocols recommend a daily limit of 10 drops. The person who had advised me had told me that she drank about a sip in the morning, a sip at noon and a sip at night.

That's what I did, with fantastic results! However, I would recommend to seriously ill or fragile people to start with more reasonable doses (e.g. a few drops morning, noon and evening), in order to avoid dying from massive herxes that will not fail to follow.

Like all treatments, a plateau is quickly reached (resistance? Or intrinsic limit of the effectiveness of the treatment, once all the "killable" bacteria have been killed?). So I recommend sessions of about a month, followed by a month's break, then a month's treatment, etc., until the herxes disappear (which unfortunately does not necessarily mean that all symptoms disappear).

The sauna

My readings seem to have shown that infrared saunas were the most suitable for Lyme patients, since the IR rays penetrated deep into the tissues and wounded the spirochetes where they were hidden. I was satisfied with a classic sauna, with excellent results. Not only are borrelia heat sensitive (and therefore die with the rise in body temperature), but perspiration also removes all the toxins of which the bodies of Lymies are generally saturated.

Once again, I think the best effects are obtained by doing oneself a little violence. Being able to stay 10-15 minutes in a sauna (not very humid) at 90°C does a lot of damage. Herxes often result in cardiac manifestations with me (my heart accelerates), but this is also a normal consequence of the sauna. In any case, I think that:

  • It is important to be accompanied. When my palpitations got too strong, I sometimes thought I was close to having a heart attack, and I am a young man aged only 25 years old. I don't think anyone who is a little fragile should take too much risk either.

  • It is important to be in a very hot sauna. The goal of the game is to raise the body temperature a few degrees to kill bacteria.

  • There is a clear synergy between traditional treatments and the sauna. In fact, the rise in body temperature allows blood to better penetrate tissues, and with it, any active molecule it may carry.

I practiced the sauna almost daily for about two months, with a clear improvement over this period. Beyond the desired long-term effects, the sauna brings an almost immediate relief, especially when one has the impression to have the body saturated with toxins (which is, I imagine, frequent, in Lymies).

The antibiotics

Antibiotics are clearly a double-edged sword treatment. On the one hand, they often do great damage to the borrelia. On the other hand, they also do great damage to the intestinal flora, which itself regulates immunity. It is therefore a treatment to be used sparingly, and always in conjunction with probiotics.

It's clearly the role of a doctor to prescribe antibiotics and choose which ones are appropriate, but it doesn't cost anything to give my feedback, and the little information I've gleaned here and there. I think it's also the role of the patient to stay informed about what he's taking. However, I'm not a physician myself, so I won't give any dose in what follows, because I think that kind of information is extremely patient dependent.

The first choice antibiotic for me is ceftriaxone (IM or IV, both have given excellent results, but perhaps it is less dangerous for the kidneys in IM), together with tinidazole. Simply put, tinidazole will explode cysts and dissolve biofilms (taking serrapetase in parallel is recommended), and spiral forms will then be exterminated by ceftriaxone. It is an extremely violent treatment, because it is extremely effective; one must therefore expect unpleasant herx.

After doing most of the cleaning with ceftriaxone, it is advisable to take a lighter treatment, so as not to overwork the body. I have tried doxycycline, cephalosporins (orally), minocycline, lymecycline, azithromycin and clarithromycin in the past. I think all these treatments are effective (although I have always been disappointed with lymecycline), although the best results for me have been with minocycline and azithromycin. I am not sure however the benefit/risk ratio of minocycline justifies its use if there are no neurological symptoms.

Penicillins are often described as extremely effective for Lyme. I could never tolerate them, so I won't comment on them. I think, however, that the patient should be informed that it is also one of the antibiotics with the most serious long-term health consequences (even if they are also the most given, because of the few side effects they cause). For example, they appear to be the class of antibiotics with the most pronounced effect on long-term cancer risk. Conversely, because of a somewhat decried study, nitroimidazoles are often considered carcinogenic. However, this has since been denied, and given their immense potential against Lyme, it would be a shame to do without.

The reiki

This treatment may scare away the most Cartesian readers, and as a scientist myself, I always admit to being a little surprised at its effectiveness, which clearly exceeds the placebo. Reiki is a Japanese healing method, for oneself or for others. The idea is simply to bring the "energy of the universe" to the body so that it can use it to heal. I would not be able to describe it in scientific terms, but my experience has shown me that there is a physical reality behind these irrational terms.

After the few sessions of initiation, one must practice on oneself a self-care treatment 21 days in a row. This involves placing his hands on various parts of the body for about five minutes. The total session takes a good hour, and this can clearly discourage. But where things get interesting is that there is no need to be involved in what you do for the treatment to work. That is, a session can be perfectly passed while watching television or listening to the radio, without altering the results in any way.

And since we're talking about results, I'll talk about mine. Reiki causes little or no herx, and I don't think it kills bacteria in any way. However, I suspect it acts on the disease in many other ways.

First, reiki gives energy, literally. At the beginning of the 21 days of self-treatment, I could hardly sleep as I felt so full of vitality. And the lack of sleep did not affect my well-being during the day. When you suffer from chronic fatigue, I think it can really help.

Secondly, reiki also has a very positive effect on morale. It's not a miracle cure, and even today I still get depressed. However, I have the clear impression that negative emotions have less control over me than before. When I'm depressed by my condition, or something else, I turn the page pretty quickly. I no longer enter these circles of embarrassment that once lasted several days, even several weeks. Once again, this is real progress in the life of a lymie.

Third, reiki acts directly on symptoms. For example, my neck is very regularly blocked, which is not only painful in itself, but also tends to cause me headaches. After a reiki session, my neck is almost always unblocked. The problem usually rests the next day, but it still allows me to live more serenely for a few hours.

Finally, with the combined effect of excess energy, and absence of negativity, I think the immune system is strengthening itself, and acting against Lyme, in a more effective way than before.

The treatments I intend to explore

The list is long, and I have little information to give on these treatments, since I haven't tried them yet. If some of these treatments remain rather conventional, others are relatively little known, gleaned during my research on the web. I let the interested reader find out for himself if he wants to know more.

  • Bee venom therapy. Despite the certain risks that this therapy carries, it seems extremely effective, and I hope to be able to devote myself to it next summer.

  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Borrelia are anaerobic, they die if the oxygen partial pressure is too high. This therapy seems to work wonders, but is unfortunately expensive and complicated to practice.

  • Microimmunotherapy. The principle is to stimulate the immune system by regularly exposing it to doses of borrelia antigens.

  • Rife machine. If some people shout pseudoscience, it would seem that it is possible to kill borrelia by making them resonate with certain frequencies. The machine is expensive, but maybe it's worth a try.

  • Low-dose immunotherapy. The principle consists in accustoming the body to borrelia antigens, so that the latter no longer reacts with excessive inflammation. This seems a little risky (who would want a body that doesn't defend itself against bacteria?), but potentially useful at the end of treatment.

  • Essential oil of oregano in capsules. I have tried many essential oils in the past, and oregano seems to be among the most effective. Unfortunately, it burns the throat. A use in capsule should make it possible to increase the doses, and to reach doses really harmful for borrelia.

  • Disulfiram. It is a drug initially given to alcoholics, but which seems to have shown some efficacy against borrelia. Unfortunately, there is little or no return at the moment.

  • CBD in very high doses. CBD is a molecule found in cannabis leaves and flowers, which has no psychoactive effect. In high doses, it has potentially useful antibiotic properties against Lyme. Beyond that, this molecule can treat inflammation and anxiety.

Finally, the following treatments are treatments that I have vaguely heard about, but have no idea about their effectiveness.

  • Ozone sauna and intravenous ozone

  • Amanite

  • PC-noni

  • Nano-silver

  • Nano-minerals IV

  • DC’s program called LymeStop

  • Ozonated essential (or rizol) oils

  • DMSO

  • Reishi Mushrooms

Discussion about the disease

Lyme disease is controversial in many ways, and one can read all and its opposite about it. In the following paragraphs, I will try to give an objective description of the different potentially problematic situations, based on my own experience.

The importance of body balance

Nutrition and detoxification seem to be at the heart of all alternative therapies on Lyme. Most non purely allopathic protocols always begin with a more or less long phase of elimination of toxins, heavy metals, and strengthening of the immune system. Some protocols even go so far as to completely neglect the infectious nature of the disease, arguing that the onset of the disease is a natural defence mechanism of the body, against a lifestyle that does not suit it. In other words, the disease and its progression would be intimately linked to the carrier's condition. I do not completely agree with that.

It's clear Lyme impacts people differently. Some almost end up in hospital overnight. Others never develop the disease. Others see their health deteriorate day after day, at varying rates. I am one of the "lucky ones" in whom the disease has always progressed extremely slowly. It took me almost a year for only one of my knees to become painful. Despite the very clear damage to my cervical vertebrae, I have never developed any real neurological syndromes. I was a healthy carrier of the disease for several years, even though I had an erythema clearly visible from the bite. Besides Lyme, I'm almost never sick, and the worst I've had to catch since I had Lyme is a common cold. On the other side, I've been suffering from this disease for over five years now, and I can't get rid of it completely. I have a perfectly healthy immune system, and (regularly) excellent morale. But that is not enough. It should be noted that I have also gone through phases of deep depression, without the disease progressing particularly.

My point is that if the psychic state of the patient, as well as what he ingests, the sport he does, etc. probably has an importance on the development of the disease, one must keep in mind that it remains limited. Lyme cannot be cured by removing sugars and gluten from the diet. However, it is not possible (or extremely difficult) to cure Lyme while being depressed. I therefore think that the protocols that advise taking fifteen different supplements a day, drinking vegetable juice every morning, cutting all carbohydrates, fats, industrial products, etc., do not only have positive effects, since they force us to live differently and feel sick. It's deeply unfair that you can't have this chocolate fudge for dessert when all your friends can afford it. Or simply to refuse yourself a delicious plate of spaghetti, since it contains gluten. And this injustice is the first doorway to depression, which itself (moderately) impacts the immune system.

Besides, we're all different. It depends on the natural fragility of our body, and the state of our disease. Sugar initially had no impact on my symptoms, and it is now clear that it triggers inflammation in me (not unbearable, but unpleasant). But rather than condemn myself to live a monk's life, I try to stay within the measure. Eating a dessert gives me more pleasure than the consequences are uncomfortable. And not doing so would frustrate me immensely.

Conclusion : Do what your body needs, but don't live ascetically either.

The importance of sport

As important as it is for me to remain measured on everything to do with detoxification, supplements and dietary restrictions, I think that sport is a necessity in Lyme disease. It is not a question of doing much, it is not a question of making oneself feel bad, but simply to make the blood circulate, and to benefit a little from the endorphins released by the effort. Sport has shown its crucial role in improving depression, its impact on the immune system and on the brain. Moreover, sport allows to prove to oneself, no matter how weak one may be, that one is always capable of doing things, rather than grumbling about the injustice of life on a couch. I know that sometimes moving can be very hard, but one has to convince himself that it's a bad moment for a general good. To have a little more form, moral as physical.

Conclusion : Even if you are only capable of a small daily walk, do it. Nature has forged us into runners, our body withers if it is not stimulated..

Allopathy vs naturopathy

If there is one controversial topic, it is the effectiveness of alternative therapies to allopathy. Many traditional (and often traditionalist) doctors refuse to recognize the benefits of phytotherapy, or osteopathy. Similarly, naturopaths have a certain distrust towards allopathic treatments, often considered too violent for the body, and treating only the symptom and not the cause.

Like much of the Lymies community, I think this debate is sterile. Allopathy works excellently, but is not always enough. And it is true that antibiotics do great damage to the intestinal flora. At the same time, alternative therapies such as essential oils can make great strides, but will rarely lead to full recovery.

So it's not allopathy or naturopathy, but both. In Lyme's case, it is clear that antibiotics must be the first, and often the last line of attack. But, between two sessions, or sometimes at the same time, complementing with essential oils, turmeric or teasel root can prove very useful. Similarly, acupuncture or reiki can be very practical when it comes to treating the psychological consequences and local symptoms of the disease.

Conclusion: all types of care must therefore be used, in complement to each other.

The possibility of getting cured

When I got sick, all I cared about was getting back to the way I was. To get rid of my pain, to be able to drink alcohol with my friends, eat a lot and do sports again. I really think that could have been the case, if I had been taken care of quickly. Today I would have no sequelae, and I would be fine, without the need for any treatment. But fate wanted Lyme to be a disease misunderstood by the current medical system, and I wasted far too much time before starting to treat myself seriously. Others remain undiagnosed for more than ten years, so I am not doing so badly.

My point is that the possibility of a complete cure is almost certain if the disease is effectively treated quickly. Otherwise, it decreases with the months and years of illness. I've already taken a tremendous amount of antibiotics, and I still can't get rid of my symptoms completely. I'm not sure I'll ever make it. As long as I continue to make progress, I have hope. But I keep a measured hope, preserved from disillusionment, because the slowness of my recovery has already been far too hard to accept in the past. It would be very hard to forgive, myself and life in general, not being able to get out of my suffering condition if I decide that I will get better in a year, as I have done too many times in the years before.

However, my case seems a little special. In the sense that I read stories of people having gotten rid of all their symptoms, and others having remained deeply ill. But not so many people living permanently in between, where most days you feel the strength to run a half marathon, but you still suffer daily neck pain. In my experience, getting better (i.e. getting fit, both physically and morally) is the easiest step. Getting rid of the disease and all its symptoms completely is a challenge. But there are so many treatments to test, that you don't have time to see your hope dry up in a lifetime, and on the one hand, that's probably for the best.

Conclusion: the possibility of a complete cure depends on the people and the strain that infects them. It is certain that a patient taken care of early has great chances to get out in aftereffect. For others, finding an acceptable form is a perfectly conceivable goal; healing seems to be more difficult, but not necessarily impossible.

About me

I have talked a lot about myself in the previous paragraphs, but always under the label of a patient. Like all patients, I remain much more than that.

My name is Colas Droin. I am a twenty-five years old young man, passionate about philosophy, psychology, science and the arts. I was also a badminton fan before I got sick. I had to stop after my illness because my neck couldn't take it anymore, but I keep running at regular intervals, for pleasure and to keep fit.

I grew up in France, in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. I then studied engineering at the INSA in Lyon, in bioinformatics and biomathematics. I continued with a master's degree in complex systems physics at the ENS de Lyon, before starting a thesis in biomodelling at the EPFL.

Contact

I think I have put most of the information on the website, but if necessary (keeping in mind that I am not a doctor) you can contact me at my email address:

Bonus : my book (in French)

I am also a writer in my spare time, and I take this opportunity to present to you my book, Bittersweet. It was released in September 2017, and remains largely inspired by my experience, even if it doesn't speak of Lyme itself. It is rather a novel, which through a short story, questions the role of beauty and suffering in times of illness.

Despite a somewhat bitter tone towards the medical profession, it has been very well received by the critics.

If you speak French and you are interested, I let you discover the web page dedicated to it.

You can get it on the publisher's website, at the fnac, or on amazon.