Saturday, July 13, 2019

Cowden Support Program: Month 2, Days 31-37

Here I am one week after I posted my first month recap and I'm still feeling fairy well. I actually had a long week of volunteering for VBS (Vacation Bible School) at my church and I'm praising God that I felt well enough to participate. I rested during the day when I could (VBS was at night), but it was a pretty hectic and fast paced week. I was asked to help the kids make crafts to bring to a nursing home. It was a lot of fun and a really blessed time. 

However, today, Day 37, I am back to feeling that old familiar comatose tired feeling!! I'm hoping that a full day of rest will get me back on track. I know in the past anytime I have served, I have always had a set back in my health, but it doesn't stop me. The Lord gets me through what I need to do in His strength (2 Corinthians 12:9), and I know He has His purpose and plan for why it always seems to set me back when it's over. 

I haven't had any other symptoms this week other than the fatigue, so overall I feel I'm doing pretty well! 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Cowden Support Program: Month One (1) Recap

I can't believe it's Day 30 on the program. This is my monthly recap. 

The first two weeks on the program, I honestly felt like I was dying. I felt much worse and was a bit fearful. I know enough of treating Lyme to know that you do feel worse before getting better, so I remained hopeful, stayed in prayer, and kept forging ahead. (I did realize a few days into the program that I was accidentally taking a double dose of Burbur-Pinella, and taking Sealantro every night instead of every other night. When I corrected these errors, I didn't feel nearly as bad, but still pretty darn awful). After about two weeks of a seemingly non-stop herx, I finally started having some more normal days. Not to the point where I felt a whole lot better, just not deathly! Every day felt like a roller coaster though with highs and lows. I was pretty much extremely tired throughout the whole month which varied between feeling like I was drugged, to the typical Lyme exhaustion. There were days where I felt it was affecting my mental health too. I would feel angry or like I wanted to cry for no apparent reason. It honestly felt as though my mind were taken over by something. I just sought the Lord through prayer and His promises from the Bible and reminded myself that these feelings were not based on reality, and I got through it.  I did take Alka Seltzer a few times to help with the herxing, but other than that, I didn't do anything extra to detox. 

I had to increase my dosage a bit slower than recommended, even staying on the same dose for a few days here and there. I am currently on the full dose of everything, except for Sealantro. I had the most trouble with Sealantro, the metal detox. You take this herbal every other evening and at first I tried the full dose as recommended, which is 40 drops. I could NOT handle that. I kept waking up with a massive headache and my head feeling like it was filled with helium. I literally could not function. I knew it was from the Sealantro because that would only happen to me on the days after I took it. I decided to decrease my dose down to 20 and work my way up from there. I am currently at 25 drops and so far I seem to be tolerating it better.

I followed the diet almost completely. I have not eaten any gluten, dairy, soy, corn or peanuts as recommended. However, although I'm not adding pepper (which is also excluded on the plan) to anything anymore and avoid it when I can, I don't stress over things that do contain it like my organic salad dressings or condiments. I am also avoiding added sugar as recommended except for the few occasions where I had some maple syrup, and whatever small amount is in the organic ketchup I use. For the most part I have kept up with drinking 100 ounces of water every day. But there have been a handful of days where I only made it to around 86-96 ounces. I am not going to stress over it. I am a small person so maybe a little less here and there is okay for me. I personally live my life walking by faith and by the strength of and trust in the Lord's promises to help me. I fully believe I can still overcome this illness through the protocol, if it is the Lord's will, having had some pepper, maple syrup and a little less water here and there. The Lord is in control. If He tells me to do otherwise, then I will make the necessary changes! 

As I conclude the recap of my first month with all of the above considered, I would say that I definitely see an improvement, and I am so thankful. I had some days this last week where I had more energy than I knew what to do with! I was rejoicing!! The past day or so though, I was back to feeling quite tired, but such is the nature of the beast called Lyme! My fevers, muscle twitching and pins & needles are completely gone. My fatigue and off balance feeling remain the most prominent symptoms, while my POTS, chills and joint pain have significantly decreased. When I started this protocol I felt a horrible 10/10, but today I would say that most days I feel around a 7.5-8/10. I know this may not seem major, but it's only the first month and it's a big deal to me. I feel as though I'm moving in the right direction after feeling so horrid for so long, and I look forward to month 2! 

From here on out I think I will do weekly posts rather than daily or every few days. If anything significant happens, I will share sooner. If you're reading this and have gone through the program, or are planning to start, I would love to hear your thoughts!


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Cowden Support Program: Days 22-26, and dealing with burdens!

I'm thinking maybe I should do these blog posts more frequently, as I can't really remember the exact details of how I was feeling from day to day when I wait so long.  We'll see. The end of my first month on the program is coming up and I plan to do a summary so I'll probably wait to blog again for that.

I do know that I've had my typical highs and lows from day to day, with fatigue and feeling "off" in my head being the worst of the lingering symptoms. There was a day where my chills came back for a while, and also some joint pain. Yesterday, Day 25, was a day where I had the most energy I can remember in a really long time. I was so thankful to the Lord! I would say that day was a 7/10 for fatigue and feeling like garbage, rather than an 11/10 when I first started the program! I was able to go for two walks, do my Pilates, clean my house and go grocery shopping. I did take my usual nap, but I noticed I haven't been feeling comatose tired lately, just really tired. Yes, there's a difference to me! The comatose tired made me feel like I was drugged. There were also a few days over the past several where I felt my mind was being affected. This has happened before, I'm just not sure if I mentioned it. It's like I get angry or want to cry for no reason at all! It definitely feels like something is altering my mind and I remind myself that I am not a slave to those feelings that have no basis in reality! I get into prayer and the word of God and speak His promises, and that always helps me feel better. 

I posted something on my shop's Facebook page recently that I wanted to share here. It has to do with giving our burdens to God. His word says: "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you" (Psalm 55:22). I wrote a brief post elaborating on this verse and I hope you find it encouraging, as it encouraged me! I have the sign pictured below for sale in my shop, Living Word Decor




Is there a burden you need to give to the Lord? In the original language this verse can literally read: Throw your burden upon the one true eternal God and He will nourish, protect and defend you, and cause you to endure. 

So, throw the weight of what you're carrying off of your shoulders and onto the One who wants to carry them for you, then rest in His sweet peace and provision!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Cowden Support Program: Days 18, 19 & 21

If you're wondering what happened to Day 20, I skipped it. Well, technically I should be on Day 21 so I didn't really skip Day 20. If you've been following my journey so far, you know a while back I said I "repeated" a day, but looking back I now consider that just increasing my dosage slower. I don't want to be behind even a day in case it causes me to run out of any herbals. As of yesterday I am on the full dose of all herbals all day, so moving forward a day doesn't mess up anything. I hope this explanation makes sense!

The past few days have been the usual fatigue and an increase in my dizzy/spaciness. I think this is because I'm now getting hit with the full dose of all herbals consistently since the night before last. As of the evening of Day 18, Tuesday, I am at the maximum 30 drops of all antimicrobials and 10 drops of the detoxes. I was nauseous yesterday afternoon and into the early evening, and I do feel that way again today so far. I wonder if it's from the high dose of herbals, or herxing? I'm still going strong with my water intake, but there have been days here and there (2-3) where I only made it to around 90 ounces, but I am not stressing over it. That would be worse for me than not getting enough water! 

I'm not sure if I have posted this yet or not, but I noticed that I no longer have the chills and my joint pain is A LOT less frequent. My POTS symptoms have slightly improvement, although they wax and wane. The two main symptoms that are still really affecting me are the fatigue and the dizzy/spacey/off balance feeling. I hate it, it's like my mind is stuck behind a brick wall of fog that I just cannot break through. I'm not sure how else to explain it, but I'm sure my fellow Lyme sufferers will understand. 

I think I'm going to start doing weekly recaps instead of daily, or every few days. We'll see how it goes. I'm off to take a nap now!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Cowden Support Program: Month 1, Days 15, 16 & 17

Saturday, Day 15, was an awesome and supernatural day. I'm just so thankful to the Lord for all I was able to do. I had decreased my dose of Sealantro the night before to half, so I only took 20 drops instead of 40. I did wake up feeling quite dizzy with a slight headache, but I was determined to persevere through it. We ended up buying new shrubs and flowers for our yard and I wanted to do yard work so I spent the whole day digging, planting, weeding and watering. I didn't even consider taking a nap! I was out in the sun too, which is hard for me. I can't say I didn't struggle with fatigue and my POTS symptoms from all the bending down and standing up, but I did it. Not only that, but after a shower and some dinner, my husband and I did some painting. We followed a tutorial on Youtube and made these cute "cat in a window" signs. My finished painting is shown below. I was up an hour past my usual bedtime, and this without a nap during the day! I went to bed praising God and just so thankful for His faithfulness to His promises to be the strength in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:8-10), and that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)!


Sunday, Day 16, was not as energetic a day as the day before. I was worried I had overdone it on Saturday, but the fatigue I felt on Sunday didn't feel that way. It was the usual fatigue, the I need to rest A LOT type of a feeling I've been going through. Sundays are my rest days anyway so we went to church and then I took a long nap. I didn't do anything except relax and it felt good.

Today is Day 17. I took a half dose of Sealantro again last night, 20 drops instead of 40, and I have that familiar groggy feeling with slight headache. I guess I will slowly increase those drops but I'm honestly not looking forward to it. That stuff hits me hard.

The symptom I hate the most, which is my dizziness, off balance and vertigo, is the one that seems to be the most prominent going through this treatment. It's really affecting my head a lot. I just continue to hope that's a sign of healing! 


Friday, June 21, 2019

Cowden Support Program: Month 1, Days 12, 13 & 14

I missed a few days of blogging so I'll do my best to recap the past few days. 

I know Day 12 wasn't too bad for me. I was still tired but managed to get a bunch of house work done. I had been wanting to deep clean my floors and I got two rooms done! That was an accomplishment for me given my current situation. It wore me out though so I did take a nap, but was okay the rest of the day. 

Yesterday, Day 13, was a different story. Because I had to take the dreaded Sealantro the night before, as predicted I woke up feeling awful with a headache. I felt as though I hadn't even slept all night and really dragged through the day. (But I did get the floors in my hallway done, yay!) I ended up taking Alka-Seltzer (which is recommended for a herx reaction) and a really long nap. I woke up feeling better, but not great. Although I will say that instead of feeling 10/10 bad, I felt about 8.5-9/10 bad, so that was an improvement!! A small one, but I'll take it. I did go to our church service last night and we continue to pray for my healing. 

Today is Day 14 and I feel better than yesterday, but still quite tired. I noticed my chills have been gone, and my joint pain has not been as bad, so I'm hoping that's progress. In the meantime, I'm still feeling off balance and a bit spacey/dizzy. 

I forced myself to start exercising again a few days ago. I walk my dog every day, but I also like to do Pilates. It's nothing strenuous but it gets me moving and keeps me healthy and in shape. I'm starting out with 10 minute videos. It's hard to get through, but I'm always glad I did it when I'm done. I guess the bonus is that sweating is releasing toxins! I don't normally sweat during my Pilates workouts when I'm healthy, but even a 10 minute video is taking a lot out of me right now.

I just ordered Month 2 of the program, so I'm in this for the long haul!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Cowden Support Program: Month 1, Day 11

Today was a day like Sunday where I just slept all day long again! I'm starting to think there's a connection between taking the Sealantro and feeling really awful the next day. That is the herb you take every other evening. I'll see what happens on Thursday since I'm due to take it again tomorrow night. 

I have to say, I don't ever remember feeling this awful on antibiotic treatment. I had my days where I felt bad, but I had a lot of days in between where I felt okay. This time around I seem to feel awful every day, just extra awful some days! It's really affecting my head A LOT and I don't like it. I feel so out of it, off balance, dizzy and foggy/space headed.  I'm really down about it today and it's only Day 11! I hope this means the herbals are working and not that I'm just getting worse. I'm praying for some relief tomorrow, and that God show me I'm on the right path. I will continue to walk through this by faith, but I can use prayers for encouragement!