Die Off

Part 10 of 13 of Anna’s Story at CanadianLymeStories.com

To the best of my understanding, this medicine works by chasing the little Lyme or Babesia or other critters out of your connective tissue, your brain, your gut lining or your joints. They may have been dormant in there, but now they are active in the blood stream where they meet up with the medicinal ‘killers’ and your own immune system. Next, ideally, you experience the joys of ‘die off’; the infecting microbes giving their mission of destruction one last go. ‘They throw a pity party for themselves on their way out,’ I remember Sarah saying.

Unfortunately, in many people, the effect is to have their symptoms reappear, with teeth, for some indeterminate period before they clear. I can say this calmly now, six months after the end of my first round of medicine, but when the symptoms first show up — ugly and evocative of the worst, darkest days you’ve ever had – the effect is terrifying.

One of my low points was a sunny Spring afternoon when suddenly half of my vision just cut out. The infection and the treatment had affected my eyes all along, but this was something new. I had a jagged line down the middle of my sight and on one side I could see, on the other side it was all grey. I called my husband crying. He said, ‘I’m sure it’s just the drops.’ I felt the same way I did when I was in labour and he said, ‘It’s going to be OK.’ I felt like ‘how do you know? It could be totally not OK.’


I took the Beyond Balance drops; one set of killer drops and four sets of detox drops, morning and night, for eight (long) months. Sometimes it got really bad. I think the brain fog was the worst. Once when I got up the energy to go to a friend’s birthday party at a restaurant I just got up and left without paying. I drove all the way home, went to bed, and only thought of the money I owed in the morning.

I also suffered from overwhelming fatigue. It made a blur of everything.  At one point, just the idea of going to the grocery store to get food for dinner was too much. I remember standing at the door, keys in hand, feeling entirely overwhelmed. This basic task had stuck in the clogged filter of my mind and broken down into 14 separate (anxiety provoking) tasks.

Backing the car out of the driveway was its own problem. There were construction vehicles on the street and I had already (understandably) upset my neighbor, a nice old Japanese lady, by foggy-mindedly dinging her car. The traffic was something else I would need to contend with. My mind traced the whole route, checking for possible difficulties. Other problems included parking the car, the number of people who would potentially be in the store, what I would need to buy, getting the bags to the car, the task of assembling the ingredients for dinner…

I was entirely overwhelmed by the tasks despite the fact that after having been a mother for ten years and a wife for more I had done them all thousands of times. I was exhausted and bleary-eyed and my mind felt like it was doing laps on an oval track of anxiety. (On that day I was defeated and I didn’t go.)

On to Part 11: Symptoms

Keywords: Effects of treatment, die off, Beyond Balance, anxiety, cognitive symptoms, knowing you are sick