Every once in a while we are so astounded by the recovery from illness experienced by one of our patients that we feel the need to share their story. Recently we treated a patient for chronic Lyme Disease that she had dealt with for over a decade. Once the infection had been killed off, her continuing symptoms of fatigue, restriction of vision and movement, and complete exhaustion persisted. After receiving ongoing treatment at our centre, her recovery so impressed us that we asked her to share her experience for the benefit of others who may have experienced or are currently experiencing Lyme disease. Read about her road from illness to recovery below:
Spring is coming, and with it Lyme Disease season, a time when the ticks that carry Borrelia burgdorferi re-emerge, cling to long grass and branches and wave their little legs in the air waiting for passing meals. I no longer walk in the woods or in grassy fields because of these ticks, I had Lyme Disease for 10 long years. After the bacteria were killed off by a grueling month-long i.v. treatment I was left with a recurring fatigue in the Spring and Fall so bone deep that I couldn't get out of bed at times. I'm very fortunate, when I reached the outer frontier of Western medicine I found Dr Xiaolan and an older, more subtle medicine cured me of the last of my illness. I want to thank everyone at the clinic for the gift of strength, clear mindedness and health that I treasure every day.
In August 1990, after walking in the woods in Princeton, NJ, I pulled off and crushed a poppy seed-sized dot that had been on my leg. It was a Lyme Disease infected deer tick. Over the next decade I developed full blown Lyme Disease, despite taking the antibiotic given me at the local walk-in clinic. "We don't know which antibiotic to give right now." the doctor said apologetically. Back home in Toronto I gradually lost my memory, the use of my hands, my heart developed abnormal rhythms, I couldn't see properly, lost the ability to use any but the most basic words and had a fatigue so profound that going up stairs was the event of the day.
After years of tests, trials and no progress, in 2000 Dr Keystone, a wonderful Infectious Disease specialist, treated the Lyme bacterial infection with a month of powerful i.v. antibiotics. I was cured - but not completely, what remained has come to be known as post-Lyme syndrome or post-Lyme fatigue. In the Spring and the Fall, when the bacteria had previously migrated within my body, I was utterly exhausted, bedridden.
Western medicine had done as much as it could, my concerned doctors said there was nothing they could do for me, chronic problems like this are not the province of Western medicine. Then someone said "Try Traditional Chinese Medicine." I asked 3 people - "Who's the best?" All 3 said Dr Xiaolan. Interestingly, it didn't take long to rebalance me (I think that's what Dr Xiaolan did, I don't really understand TCM) and the effect was profound. After several months of faithfully following the protocol I just re-emerged as my old, pre-Lyme Disease self. It's deeply gratifying not to feel tired all the time, to be able to sleep through the night, to want to exercise, to be hungry when I should be - to be healthy, to be well.
Thank you Xiaolan, you gave me back my life. - Karen Visser*
*Shared with Permission