Part 9 of 13 of Anna’s Story at CanadianLymeStories.com
Looking back, one of the only good things I can think of about the drops (besides them making me well) is that they brought on such fatigue and brain fog that I don’t remember all that much. What I do remember is that I could not keep even the most basic information straight. I could go to the store needing three things and only be able to remember one. I could forget, after 27 straight weeks, that Tuesday was the day I drove my daughter cross town to dance class. (On a really bad day I took a wrong turn, got confused, and forgot how to get there). I was literally walking into walls. Often I would experience a weepy episode over an abrupt ending to a friendly conversation.
Simple tasks and minor setbacks left me overwhelmed and, again, weepy. I felt lonely. I felt disorganized. Worse, I was unable to conceive of how to restore order. Working would have been impossible. The basic tasks of taking care of my family were a huge stretch. I had the emotional skin of a peeled grape. I lost all ability not to be reactive and was quick to anger. Fatigue would sneak up on me like a ninja and knock me over the head. If I wasn’t close to a bed I’d think, ‘maybe I can just curl up on that couch in the corner of the mall…’ The brain fog was disgusting. I was constantly ping-ponging between anxiety and depression. I was soaked with sweat at the least exertion. Every bout of wakefulness was a brief shore leave from oceans of sleep.
And yet, one truly interesting thing about the Beyond Balance experience was that, by tackling one infection at a time, I could see a very clear (and completely textbook) delineation between the episodes of symptoms. For instance, with ‘Bar1’ for Bartonella I had one style of anxiety, whereas taking drops from the ‘Prota-Z’ bottle to attack Protezoa, I still had anxiety, but a different kind. (With the first ones I became completely frantic about finances and death and security, whereas the second one was lighter and more circular in it’s thinking. I would run over the same small tasks in my mind again and again — also irritating but without the existential angst.) Taking the bottle for Babesia brought on quite a severe depression that would lessen as soon as I lightened up on the number of drops.
Part of the reason it feels necessary to write this down is that my personal experience cleared any doubt for me (and I had doubts) that many of the strange things I’d been feeling had to do with the Lyme and co-infections. For me, even deciding what were ‘symptoms’, rather than something that could be explained by what happened yesterday (a fight with my partner, gluten in the teriyaki sauce) was always a challenge. I’m sure that insecurity about the source of, say, depressive symptoms or even trouble with my vision, had kept me from seeking help.
In that way it was a revelation to me to have things reoccur; say pain at the bottom of my feet when I got out of bed — that were written up in all the literature — but to which I had assigned an alternate meaning in the past. I think it’s a tremendous personal challenge to tease apart how much of how one feels, physically and mentally, to ascribe to this very confusing medical condition, and what is perhaps a secondary effect. As in: ‘Do I feel depressed because of a Babesia infection or because I feel rotten all the time and can’t think?’
I would guess that the places that were weakest in my personality took the biggest hits. I have always had some nerves about new social situations, but this blew up into a debilitating social phobia. Picking up my kids at school felt like running a terrifying, exhausting, social gauntlet (and I kind of like those people). Perhaps dropping seratonin and whatever else has a flavour particular to the person? Certainly the symptoms are radically different for different people. Whatever it is, it doesn’t help the situation that where your mental game is weakest is exactly where it hits. (Post drops, I am not that wound-up anxious person, or depressed, and I mostly enjoy the short chats I have while picking up the kids up at school.)
On to Part 10: Die-off
Keywords: herxs, mental/emotional symptoms, co-infection symptoms, self-doubt