Saturday, October 5, 2013

Bug Slamming: Level 1

Happy October, friends!

Yes, despite the (lovely!) 80 degree weather, it is in fact October. Crazy, huh?

September was sort of a blur.

I was diagnosed with the grand slam of tick borne diseases.
I started treatment for aforementioned grand slam.
I got slammed by the doubly aforementioned grand slam.
In theory, my little bug friends got slammed too.

Or at least that's what I'm telling myself?

When I started my treatment regimen, the only thing I was told was that it would be extremely similar to chemo. Now, seeing as I was extraordinarily blessed to have gone through cancer treatment without a single lick of chemo or radiation, that didn't actually mean much to me.

Most of the first couple of days of treatment went something like this:

[Swallows giant handful of pills]
8:30 AM - How am I feeling now?
8:31 AM - I think my head hurts
8:32 AM - No, my head doesn't hurt
8:33 AM - But my left toenail definitely does
8:34 AM - Do I feel sick?
8:35 AM - I'm definitely dizzy.
8:36 AM - Maybe I should have a cookie.
8:37 AM - Nope, definitely my head and not my toenail.
8:38 AM - Hmm I definitely feel different than I did ten minutes ago.
8:39 AM - Wait, it hasn't even been ten minutes yet
8:40 AM - I'm really going to need that cookie
8:50 AM - Ok, how about now?

Ya know, just your average twenty minutes on a Monday morning.

This lasted for a few glorious days, and juuuuuust when I was starting to think that this treatment thing was going to be a rice cake, I got slammed.

Now let me be clear that I already had OODLES of respect and empathy for my family and friends who have gone through chemo. But now? I bow at your feet.

Well, I would, except I would probably get too dizzy and fall over.

The bizarrely strange news is that this is actually a splendid sign. It's called the Herxheimer reaction, or "herxing" for short. (Use it in a sentence this week. Your friends will be so impressed!)

Basically when you take antibiotics for a massive infection (or ya know, 3 or 4), the antibiotics do what they are supposed to and kill the infection. However, those little darlings don't just die and evaporate to bacteria heaven. Instead they die and release harmful toxins into your body. Bacterial sepsis, if you will.

Ya know, just to throw one last "MUA HA HA HA!" your way.

But like I said before, this is sort of good news.
Body full of dead bacteria?
And gross.
Ok absolutely disgusting...but somehow better than a body full of living bacteria...?

On the plus side, built in Halloween costume for 2013! Woop!

So my treatment cycle is on for 2 weeks, off for 1, with a weekly IV infusion thrown in there too. They tell me that the IV is doing something medically important...but I think it's just a (very welcome) ploy to get to hang out with this handsome face on a weekly basis.

Puppy + IV = Not too shabby
My doctor has a yellow lab puppy. Which is fantastic. And clearly makes the fire liquid seeping into my veins infinitely more tolerable.

Let's be honest, who needs drugs when there are PUPPIES around?!

Well played doctor, well played.

The infusion nurses are also fabulous, and keep me entertained with things like this:
That moment where you don't know whether to laugh or scream? I recommend laughing. Always.

As I mentioned before, this whole world of tick-borne illness is extremely controversial. Especially in the late stage Lyme Disease category, hence the cartoon.

Which leads me to my next topic, treating 2 infectious diseases and a parasitic disease just seemed so...mundane, so I thought I would throw one more into the pile.

Despite the fact that my test for Lyme Disease came back negative, it is pretty hard to believe that I have 3 other tick-borne diseases and NOT the classic one. It's kind of like having a cinnamon roll from Sweet Freedom Bakery in your hand and not eating it...I mean, I guess it's possible, but it just doesn't happen.

My doctor's theory is that my immune system is at this point, that the Lyme cells are just dormant. He believes that my test for Lyme will become positive after a few months of treatment. Luckily for me, the treatment protocol for Bartonella and Lyme is pretty similar, so it doesn't really change much of my plan at all.

So now I just need to track down a tick with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and I'll be set!

(Universe. For the love of Whole Foods, I am JOKING. No really. That was 0% serious. Please?)

Let's review:
1. Champion Herxing Status
2. Built in Halloween costume
3. Weekly puppy time

Puhlease. And they told me this would be rough. Hasta la vista infections!

1 comment:

  1. So basically your body has decided potentially imaginary diseases are the way to go. Nice. Well played. Imagine inside your body there can be heard the chant " sock those washers.... wash those socks..." The real controversy being who is the good guy... a sock or a washer?
    I would agree with the puppy being therapeutic though... others peoples puppies are the best!
    Hope that the fiery liquid in your veins causes much bacterial angst and death in your body.
    Just keep swimming...