The good news is our journey to getting Tia, my daughter, back on track after three years of Lyme has been successful!
Tia has to manage her schedule and diet. She is about 85 -95 percent back to her old self health wise now and good enough to get back on track with university and social life since July 2017. Fortunately, Tia has been very diligent with her diet (except for the occasional temptation of chocolates). She isn't a drinker or a smoker, and does not hang out late at nights at parties. That all helps. It has been a journey laden with loads of antibiotics (oral and intravenous), loads of probiotics, and herbal supplements and I am relieved that we didn't have to travel to Malaysia or Germany for treatment. We even invested in our own commercial grade infra-red sauna.
Our journey to finding recovery is with the support of several very important and skilled practitioners in Perth, Western Australia, who have helped us and many other families. We chose a combination of medical and naturopathic care.
The naturopathic appointments are always two hours long and she goes into in-depth analysis of all blood tests and explains/identifies what doctors may have missed. She is very diligent and Lyme attentive, as she has Lyme herself. She was recommended to us by our doctor and the two work well together to help their common patients. We went through a whole suite of tests - DNA testing, hormones, diet allergies, metal tests etc, before she recommended pharmaceutical grade herbal supplements. She reads DNA results for areas where receptors are incapable of efficient processing to boost mitochondria and/or immunity. She is good at explaining why food is not processed well for the body to get enough energy and so Tia had depression-like symptoms but wasn't depressed. That itself was a fog lifted for a teenager (and parent) to have hope and continue to get better. The supplements Katrin recommended were to help the system processes get more energy. She also recommends a strict diet of vegetables, healthy fruit smoothies, and a diet free of diary, gluten, and beef. Nothing too different from the checklist given to patients after treatment at St Georg Klinik in Germany. I know because I inquired with the clinic and was emailed the list. We had inquired with the intent to head there in December 2016 but Katrin had recommended that we waited until she queried why recent patients of the clinic were relapsing and having to return. Her doctor recommended three months of intravenous antibiotics and Tia 'bounced back to life' by April 2017.
The naturopath travels back to Germany at least once a year to meet with the doctors at St Georg Klinik. She has a number of patients who have been to the clinic and have returned due to a relapse. She identified why some people relapse; self sabotage - not following a strict list of herbal supplements post treatment - and some due to doctors not diligent in customising the list of post treatment herbal, diet, or other recovery regimes.
My heart goes out to families who are financially stressed and unable to afford various options. I don't think Tia would have recovered as fast as she did without being able to afford to embrace naturopathic support. She isn't expensive but it is an expense that some may not be able to afford, especially if it is a family of two or three suffering the same thing. We were lucky that I had a flexible work arrangement to be able to drive Tia to appointments three times a week for a 45 minutes drive to the clinic for intravenous treatment; is not something every parent can afford, especially for single parents needing to hold a job down to pay the mortgage and bills.
Like most Lime patients/families/parents, our journey could fill a thick novel.
I work in the not for profit space and was involved with Rotary and I have an understanding of charities. I had to drop my Rotary commitments when I had to prioritise Tia and her medical needs and appointments. I attended Rotary when they had any Lyme-related projects. Rotary is currently very focused on eradicating Polio and maybe there are opportunities for a Rotary International effort for Lyme?
Whilst Australia may be behind in acknowledging Lyme they can't continue to ignore the acknowledgement of the World Health Organisation, can they?
We would like to thank The Lyme Disease Association of Australia from the very bottom of our hearts and we would be happy to assist other patients and families going through what we did to get the right blood tests, diagnosis, and then finding the right recovery path.
This article was written by Tia's Mum. If you would like more information on Tia's recovery you can contact us and we can forward your details to Tia and her Mum for their response.