I’ve now been on treatment for Lyme disease for a little over twelve months. Without a doubt, this has been the worst twelve months of my entire life. It’s almost impossible to convey the range of pain that I have endured, the mental anguish, and the struggle to find the will to live.
Six months ago I was about at rock bottom. I was going trough herxes from hell, suffering from heart complications including cardiac pauses (my heart would stop for several seconds at a time), and headaches that felt like someone was driving a pick axe into my skull. Then there was the brain fog; the confusion and memory loss that left me feeling stupid and helpless in front of people who just didn’t understand how I could not remember simple things I had talked about with them only a few hours ago.
On top of that, I had extreme fatigue that left me unable to climb the stairs at home without stopping every few steps to get my strength back in my legs. Many of my days have been spent as a quivering mess on the floor, unable to speak, move or do anything because I was in so much pain and close to passing out.
In short, I was pretty fucked and thought I was about to die at any time.
Then I discovered an antibiotic that was actually making a difference to my heart symptoms—it’s called Bactrim (or Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole to give it its full name). I started taking it in late December and two weeks later I was heart symptom free! The course of drugs then ran out (I had 4 weeks’ worth) and ten days later I had relapsed and was getting chest pains and palpitations again. I started another month’s course and felt better again after a couple of weeks, so it was clear that this drug was doing something to help me with my Bartonella infection.
It struck me that I have been so ill for a long time that I hadn’t really noticed that I was slowly getting better lately. At least I hope I am getting better — I’m now at a “wait and see” stage after having stopped the Bactrim for a second time and hoping to hell that I don’t have another relapse. I’m probably about 50% better than I was a year ago, I now have to wait for the last remnants of the Lyme and Bartonella bacteria to be driven out of my system.