Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Long Term Antibiotic Treatment

I am cautiously optimistic. I have been on a mix of hydrocortisone, mepron and zithromax for about 2 months, and dare I say I am feeling better!? I have been in this place twice before, so I have learned my lesson about getting excited that I am on an upswing. However, this is exactly the case. Somewhere around week 5 or 6 I start feeling changes for the better in my body. The constant muscle ache and burning starts to ease. The nightmares are gone, as are the night sweats. I had been cycling every 30 days with "flares," in which I was vomiting, bed ridden with severe muscle aches, bad headaches, fever, sweats, chills, etc. I have just reached the 30 day mark again and alas, no severe symptoms. Granted, I also had 2 vitamin drips within a week to help thwart the flare I anticipated was coming, but so far so good.

Seeing that it took almost 5 to 6 weeks for me to "turn the corner," it is maddening to continue to read articles that vilify doctors who treat lyme and/or co-infection patients with long term antibiotics. If I had been given only 21 to 28 days of this hydrocortisone/mepron/zithromax mix, I would not have gotten to this place of wellness I am in. At about 3 weeks in, I was as sick as I could be. I am tired of reading literature that says long term antibiotics are damaging and to treat beyond a short term course is fool hardly. I am living it right now, and from personal experience I was not getting well until just recently. I also know from being in this position twice before that stopping the antibiotics too quickly will only result in a relapse. This time, I am in it for the long haul until I get through an entire month without a sick day. Getting "well" is relative though. I am nowhere yet near the person I was before I got sick. I don't know if I ever will be. When I say well, what that means is I am not lying in bed or on the couch in a suicidal depression from the pain and fatigue.

Also, this time I feel like I am finally getting the supplemental treatment I should have gotten a year ago. The adrenal fatigue is being addressed and I am taking supplements & vitamins that are helping counteract all of this medicine. Meaning, things like probiotics and anti-candida supplements. Which, by the way, I found to be necessary even when on a short course of antibiotics in the past say, for a sinus infection. The supplements, hydrocortisone etc were the missing ingredient I think the last time I was on antibiotics and also partially why I relapsed. My cortisol levels are very low and because of that my immune system just couldn't get kick started and take over when the antibiotics were out of my system. I finally feel like I have the right doctor and am on the proper path. Hallelujah! But we shall see...

As the symptoms start to lift again and I emerge from the grayness, I start to question my future and who I will be. I know I can't go back to the person I was before I got sick; working full time, auditioning, working out like a maniac, a busy social life and stress. I know for certain that stress will not physically be allowed to be in my life because it will hurt my body. But my mind can't help but start to formulate a plan for "when I am well," which of course begins to make me feel anxious. So somehow I will have to create a life that allows me to live joyfully and leaves space for healthful living. I don't want to do all of this work to get well, only to fall back into old habits thus creating an environment in my body that allows illness to invade again!