As for me, well, I had one of the worst cases of Lyme disease this LLND had ever seen. She held out little assurances to us but would do what she could to at least avert the Lyme from doing more damage, but she guaranteed nothing least of all to suppress the disease into remission. That said, she has since retired and I now see another LLND who is perhaps the most personable and brilliant doctor I have ever met. Imagine a doctor with a jovial bedside manner, scientific acumen, and the willingness to think outside the box. Unheard of in the Allopathic community, or at least extremely rare.
Facts You Should Know About Lyme Disease
1. Lyme disease results from the bite of a black-legged tick and to a lesser degree any blood sucking organism infected with Borrelia burgdorferi the spirochete or corkscrew-shaped bacterium responsible. This bacterium unlike other easy to treat bacterial infections, has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier into the brain where can persist for years wrecking havoc on the human host.
16. Persistent infections, compromised immune systems, genetics, and resistant bacteria can all result in chronic Lyme disease which must be treated with aggressive treatment. Antibiotics can bring the disease into remission if treated early in certain individuals. However, in most cases, Lyme disease has gone either undiagnosed or was not properly treated early. When this occurs the spirochetes multiply and bore into various organs, while some will change forms into persister cells (cysts) with a thick coat of biofilm which prevents antibiotics from killing the cells, while others will hide in different parts of the body. Weeks, months, or years later the spirochetes can be reactivated when the body becomes stressed. When this occurs the disease has spread throughout the body creating severe and often irreversible damage. New research has found pulsing of antibiotics in test tubes can kill persister cells.“This gives you an idea that you could, in principle, establish a similar regiment for treating patients for this and other chronic diseases,” said Dr. Kim Lewis of Northeastern University.
Several of my friends and followers who suffer from Lyme disease and other chronic illnesses have asked me how I cope with chronic pain and if I would share my secret.
Like a character my manuscript, Lyme disease has transformed me into a person I no longer recognize. The main reason among the many — Pain — it affects a person’s entire being and drives our moods, our character, and finally slows down the healing process. Lyme disease is like a vampire it sucks the life right out of you.
Most people with chronic illnesses experience pain that over the counter medications or prescription medications don’t touch, even with Codeine added. Collectively, those of us with Lyme or any other chronic disease are in pain and are placed on long-term Opioid’s or narcotic pain medications such as Vicodin or Oxycontin (Oxycodone). These medications work for some people, but for most of us we require something stronger like Morphine or Dilaudid, or as a last resort the highly potent Fentanyl usually in the patch form. Fentanyl is approximately 80 to 100 times more potent than Morphine and roughly 40 to 50 times more potent than (100% pure) pharmaceutical grade Heroin.
When I was in the hospital, I learned from several of the nurses they had seen many patients on Fentanyl or other narcotics for long periods turn to street grade heroin to relieve their pain because Fentanyl is too expensive. If they have no insurance, heroin becomes an affordable alternative for them. Heroin is not only highly dangerous and illegal, but it is also one of the reasons behind so many drug overdoses and reported deaths.
I struggle with over the counter medications on the market and don’t tolerate most opioid/narcotics either as they contain allergens or gluten. I have Celiac disease, and many medications contain gluten as a binder or for no reason at all. Dilaudid is one of two narcotic pain meds I can tolerate. The other, unfortunately, was Fentanyl. And it took me a while to adjust to the Fentanyl patches as they made me very sick. I continue to experience bouts of nausea, and chronic pain. I had wanted to stop using the Fentanyl for several years and have been on a titrating regime for a few years and have experienced horrible withdrawals. Even now I experience horrible withdrawals not surprising since my doctors quickly titrated my dose even when we discussed doing so slowly. And a result of the last quick titration led to serious cardiac issues and was hospitalized for weeks before finally undergoing surgery.
Currently, I have chronic pain from a combination of Lyme disease, shingles and associated neuropathy, as well as two serious falls in which I cracked my coccyx, sacrum, and ruptured two discs. The pain at times has been so severe nothing helped except Dilaudid and bed rest. This incident also put me back into a wheelchair unable to sit or walk without severe pain. When I heard about cannabis without the THC component and its ability to provide pain relief I was all over it. My Lyme Literate Naturopathic Doctor (LLND) used two trials of it. The first one worked surprising well. The second zero effect.
One of the samples of cannabis was a lotion and had a nice lavender scent to it. The other sample was in the color of dirty yellow or dirty green and its consistency like a balm you purchase in a tin for use on your lips.The second same didn’t work well at all. It was difficult to apply and after all the trouble to get it out of the container this was quite disappointing.
I wanted off of Fentanyl, so I could utilize the cannabis cream not only to manage my back pain but to help with the withdrawal symptoms. I had read in the medical literature that cannabis works well for both.
Marijuana is now legal in the state of Oregon for both medical and recreational use. Cannabis is also legal in Oregon and has been for medical purposes for a long time. I prefer this option over narcotics. It would have been wonderful when I when I had shingles the past two years in a row. My balm/cream works to eliminate my back and joint pain where Fentanyl no longer works.
One new concept in the war against prescription narcotic use, the state of Oregon now dictates to health organizations and doctors that patients who receive narcotic pain medications must sign a Pain Management Contract.
The Pain Management Contract used by Providence Health Management Organizations between their Doctors and patients who use pain medication must sign this contract. The interesting component to in the ‘Pain Contract’, is that it specifically asserts that the patient cannot use marijuana, cannabis, and CBDs. Regardless that THC the component responsible for ‘the high’, had been removed from all three. Cannabidiol or CBD is typically the second most common active compound in cannabis products.
Cannabis can be used to control my pain from Lyme disease and co-infections, and many of the symptoms such as horrible spasms, seizures, sleep irregularities, and many neurological symptoms, including depression, anxiety, etc. Enter cannabis.
I decided to make a topical product for myself from tincture purchased from a dispensary in Portland. I have no secret as to why mine works over those sold in other dispensaries apart from the type of marijuana they use versus what I use. I prefer ‘Blue Dream,’ which is the name of the plant. It should be available at any dispensary. The only secret is when you cook at home versus when you purchase food from the deli or processed food, you never know what’s in the food or how it will taste. Homemade is always better because you can control the ingredients.
Cannabis cream is a miracle drug. I wished I knew years ago about this form of cannabis and that it was a legal form. I have asthma and can’t smoke it, so it never was an option before. I would never have used Fentanyl. All of this is great news unless you use Providence Heath Services and their doctors. Listen up.
But before you become all giddy with excitement about DIY Cannabis Cream, especially in Oregon, there is a host of loopholes you must be aware of before you can use it. Please take a look at the following map accurate as of August 2015.
Even though some states allow various forms of marijuana for medical purposes. Check your states website to find out what you need to do to obtain a card. For example, eleven states allow the use of Cannabidiol only. That doesn’t guarantee your Doctor or the institution for which your Doctor works in allows its use.
This is a peculiar loop-hole in Oregon since marijuana officially became legal in Oregon. There is the dreaded Pain Contract all doctors who prescribe narcotic pain medication must adhere to. My experience is with Providence Medical Institutions, the Doctors who work or are associated with Providence, and Providence Hospitals. I assume that all Doctors have to operate under the same or similar guidelines that the ones at Providence do.
Washington DC, Alaska, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon are among the states in which recreational marijuana is now legal. 23 states plus Washington DC, have legalized Marijuana for medical use. In some of these states, you are still required to obtain a Medical Marijuana Card even though recreational use is also legal. According to the State of Oregon website, Oregonians are required to obtain a medical marijuana card, signed by a Medical Doctor. These cards are only legal for the state issued. In other words, no reciprocity exists among states. While this law is in effect in Oregon, it may not be applicable in other states, you will have to double check your state’s website to determine if you are required to carry a medical marijuana card.
Not all Cannabis Is Created Equal
Some growers may sell ‘cannabis’, but not all cannabis is created equal. I’ve heard many topical cannabis products sold from dispensaries do not work well. Which is in part why I decided to make my own. I use a special type of weed, which works great for me. And while it works great for me, you may need to experiment. You may also need to experiment a little with my recipe. I am unable to prescribe or give you advice on products. For one, I don’t have the knowledge like those who run the best dispensaries. I can merely tell you what works for me and provide you with the recipe I use. The rest is up to you.
Please make sure you follow the laws based on your state. I am not an expert or a chemist specializing in marijuana. I can only tell you what works for me, based on my results. Make sure if you are required to do so, get a medical marijuana card and carry it with you at all times. If you decide to grow plants, you are required to obtain a grower’s license, regardless if it for medical or recreational purposes. Each state is different. Follow the Law.
Now at last the Cannabis Balm/Cream Recipe
Cannabis Balm/Cream Recipe
—‘Blue Dream’ strain of cannabis tincture is purchased from a Medical Marijuana Dispensary. The size of the bottle is approximately 2 ounces. Note: I don’t advocate using mail order Tincture as it could be a potentially illegal or a federal offense. If it is legal, you do not know what you are getting and do not have the ability to speak directly with a ‘Pharmacist’ or ‘Chemist’ who has a significant amount of knowledge regarding the products being sold.
— Organic Raw- Coconut Oil (I use Nature’s Way)
— Lavender essential oil. I only use Young Living Essential Oil as I have found they are the purest brand on the market. For this recipe, I love the lavender because it helps soothes and relaxes the body, smells nice, and masks the smell from the cannabis tincture. Young Living has many others scents. I encourage you to try other fragrances. I personally use Young Living essential oils and love them. I have tried other brands but always come back to Young Living as they simply are the best products on the market. I have used them for about eight years when one of my girlfriends told me about them. All of the Young Living essential oils products are Therapeutic grade unless otherwise stated on the bottle or the description. You can safely consume them unless otherwise indicated. I use them drinks, for cooking, on my body, in detox baths, and infusing in the air. They are wonderful for so many uses. NOTE: I do not receive money for mentioning Young Living essential oils or products. I do not work for them. I merely am someone who loves their products and loves to tell people about their products. I do warn people not to purchase these on-line from Amazon as you don’t know what you are getting. And from on-line sites for the same reason unless you know a person who is selling the products. You may already know someone who uses them, if not, shoot me an email and I can help guide you where to purchase them. You won’t be disappointed. As for dispensaries for the Tinctures you are on your own unless you live in the Portland area.
— A bowl larger than a cereal bowl to make a water bath
— Infinity Dark Wide Mouth Bottles to pour the oil into.
- It is important to have Air Tight Jars. The oil breaks down the plastics which then leaches into your cream when they come into contact and will contaminate the cream.
- Scent-Proof, Airtight BPA Free Plastic Lid: Heavy durable ultraviolet glass locks in aroma with airtight BPA free plastic lid. Insurance against the potency and purity of the cream from dissipating.
- Tight Seal: Provides additional protection; blocks out air exchange.
- Lab tested and approved Ultraviolet Glass Preserve and rejuvenate freshness for over 6 months! Blocks out all damaging visible light rays and only permit beneficial rays to enter. Delivers shockingly powerful and superior protection over other glassware.
Stainless Steel Funnel – You can find one at Amazon see the example above.
—1 Cup Organic Unrefined Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
—14 Droppers of Cannabis ‘Blue Dream’ Tincture (bottle (‘Blue Dream,’ Tincture is my preference for this cream and is named after the Blue Dream plant. See the photo below for the approximate size of a dropper. The dropper sizes may vary slightly from a three-quarter to full and the size of the Tincture you purchase. My Tincture bottles are about 2 ounce. Depending on the size of your bottle you will have to adjust your tincture accordingly. The amount of Tincture used and the number of droppers you add to the coconut oil can be altered if you find you are not getting enough relief. If you add more Tincture you will need to add more droplets of Essential oil. Keep in mind you should feel little to no pain immediately following application. Each person is different and therefore may respond differently, this is especially true if a different plant is used to make the Tincture. You should ask the dispensary for the same plant for the Tincture. It is a very common plant. The dispensary should have it or be able to get it or tell you where to go to get it. Talk to the Chemist or Pharmacist. They can and should be very helpful (If they are not, then change dispensers.)
—14 Drops of Young Living Lavender Essential Oils (generally 1:1 ratio of essential oils to tincture)
—1 cereal bowl
—1 larger bowl to set the cereal bowl into for water bath to melt the Coconut oil.
— Stainless steel funnel
Add the tincture to the coconut oil and place into a warm water bath to liquefy the coconut oil mixture. Do not use a microwave.
This what the coconut oil and tincture will look like. Let cool slightly.
When slightly cooled, add the Young Living Lavender Essential Oil to the mixture and gently stir. Using a stainless steel funnel pour your liquid into your small Infinity glass jars. You can use your preference here. Feel free to add a few drops more of essential oil if you still believe the mixture is stinky.
I am a super taster and sniffer. Truth. And the ratios are adequate for me. But not Lady Morgana. She bolts from the bed, even from a sound sleep the second the finished product is opened. She surpasses my super taster ability. Glass containers are preferred since there is evidence that CBD reacts with plastics. I used an old dark colored prescription bottles this time.
This mixture will fill three of the tall thin prescription bottles. Let hardened. Apply as needed where needed. You can even place on your gums if you have a tooth ache. Every ingredient is safe to eat. And you will not feel weird or stoned.
Final product. Keep in a cool dry place to maintain the consistency similar to coconut oil only softer. If you have mixed up more than one cup put excess in the refrigerator. If your house is warm and the consistency melts, then keep in the refrigerator and take out what you desire then return to refrigerator. I use approximately a teaspoon size and massage it into my lower back. Re-apply as needed. I find the pain relief is instant in most instances. This pain reliever can be used for pain muscular and bone, gum/teeth pain associated with Lyme disease, joint pain, especially hands and feet, knees, and hips. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
*Note: I do not receive any endorsements or monetary compensation from any companies mentioned above or in any of my blog posts. The products I mention are merely the products I use and prefer.
*Note: Always use Organic Raw Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. I prefer the brand I use in the photo. It can be found at New Seasons Market or Whole Foods, or any Organic or Health food store.
Medical Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor so I cannot make diagnoses nor would I use social media as a venue to do so.
Copyright Disclaimer: © 2015
All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.
Photos: Photos within recipe courtesy of ©2015 Lloyd Edwards,
Recipe: LA Edwards
Supply Images: Wikipedia, Amazon.com,
Graph: 24/7 Wall Street, NORML.org, Aug 19 2015
Janet Loehrke, USA Today
Lyme disease occurs when a blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis or I. pacificus) bites then bores under your skin. The tick carries among other bacteria and viruses, the bacterial spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi). The disease itself begins after the infected tick expels its salivary gland and abdominal substances into the skin where it bit a human. In other words, the tick embeds or bores into the skin and sucks your blood out like a vampire. If the tick goes undetected, it will remain under your skin until it engorges and falls off because its body has ingested so much of your blood its size is nearly ten times its initial size. The tick then molts and then searches for another body to infest.
The actual disease originates from the spirochete bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi found in more than 50% of all blacklegged ticks in the United States, and to a lesser degree, mites, fleas, mosquitoes, and other blood-sucking insects.
Here are some of the symptoms you might look for.
1) You found an embedded tick on your body and feel sick
If a tick has bitten you and you begin to feel sick, you should call your doctor immediately. If your doctor tells you to wait and watch for symptoms, or not to panic, find another doctor. This could be a challenge depending on where you live relative the more pandemic Lyme areas in the country. You may find your way to the ER. The hospital should run basic blood tests or they may try to send you home. Be insistent. It is your right to request to see a specialist. If this does not happen, beg for antibiotics. If you still have the tick, freeze it for testing and identification. You need to know what kind of a tick it is. Different ticks cause different diseases.
Keep in mind, you will likely have better luck learning if you are at risk for Lyme disease by seeing a Lyme Literate Naturopathic Doctor, or Lyme Literate Medical Doctor LLND/LLMD. These are the only doctors skilled enough to make a determination as to whether or not you have Lyme disease. Depending on what state you live in this may be difficult. For example in Oregon, it is against the law for a Doctor to diagnose a person with Lyme disease, especially late stage Lyme disease. Crazy, right? But true. One must be a LLND or LLMD to make the determination.
2) You have the absolute worst case of flu like symptoms ever and want to die
If you found an embedded tick or you believe you were bite by a tick you will likely feel an onset of flu-like symptoms within seven to 14-days, give or take. When these flu-like symptoms begin, you will feel extreme pain everywhere, generally carry a fever.
You will hurt all over, and feel as though you want to die. It is that painful. Everyone reacts differently and it depends on how long the tick was under your skin as to how sick you will likely be. What this means for you – for the next week to 14-days you will be home sick in bed – unless you are a super hero. Symptoms will be a high fever chills, shaking, a sense you can not get warm, but it hurts to have any article of clothing touch your skin. Your muscles hurt, especially your bones.
Be aware, it will likely be difficult to get the help you need. Especially if you live in an area where doctors and health officials do not believe, Lyme disease is a problem. If this is the instance, you will want to seek a LLND or LLMD who can see you. They see hundreds of patients because there are simply not enough to go around. You may have to travel to another state for help. If you live outside of the pandemic range, it becomes more difficult to find a LLND or LLMD.
3) You develop a bull’s eye rash
The bull’s eye rash is one of the first signs of Lyme disease. However, only 40 to 60 percent of people will develop a bull’s eye rash. Not great odds but when it comes to Lyme disease as this increases your chance for being treated as it is definitive proof, regardless of what the CDC (Center for Disease Control) says. If you have the Bull’s Eye Rash, you have Lyme disease and your chances for treatment, with antibiotics, increases. This rash typically accompanies your flu symptoms.
The red circular red rash with contain blister like lesions in the middle surrounded by a 1-2 inch size rough rash around the bull’s eye. This rash will continue to grow for about two to four weeks (or longer in some people). The rash may itch, it may hurt, or it may do both. The rash will eventually go away. It will look like someone drew a very pink, rough red, to blue-red bull’s eye rash on your body at the bite site.
4) You may develop a stiff neck and head ache.
If you have a sore neck along alone or along with a headache, these are symptoms indicative of Lyme disease, and along with the rash, and flu-like symptoms are indicators of early Lyme disease. A stiff neck alone generally is not enough proof you are developing Lyme disease. However, if it does not go away and gets worse go to the ER. There are other illnesses you may have acquired that may lead to Lyme Meningitis, Cranial neuritis or Radiculoneuritis. These are all very serious conditions that require immediate medical treatment. These conditions can begin when Lyme first attacks the nervous system.
Not all people with Early or even Late Stage Lyme disease develop will develop these symptoms. As a precaution, it is important you see a doctor. I will talk more about Late Stage Lyme Disease in another post.
Perhaps one of the worst symptoms associated with Lyme disease is fatigue. Fatigue is more than a feeling of being tired. It is extreme weakness, tiredness, and lethargy. Fatigue is a consistent symptom among all people who suffer from this disease. You will find that along with your flu like symptoms, fatigue will enter into the picture as the disease develops and spreads throughout your body. You will experience fatigue in the early stages of the disease as well as the disease advances. Some professionals will feel this symptom occurs post Lyme disease or as a Post Lyme Syndrome.
6) Swelling & Sun Sensitivity
Swelling is most common during the early stages of the disease and includes swelling of the muscles, joints, and extremities. The effect occurs as the body tries to protect itself from the bacterium that has invaded. Swelling is a natural response to many conditions and, as time goes by, the individual will find that the swelling becomes worse.
Sun sensitivity will often occur alongside swelling of the extremities first then over the entire body. It appears like petechial rash you may see on your arms, legs, and face. As the disease progresses, the symptoms increase and the sun brightness will affect your vision.
7) Heart Problems
If you begin to experience heart problems regardless of your family history, could be an indicator you have related heart problem and simply have not realized it yet. Heart problems are far less common than other symptoms, but in some cases an irregular heartbeat can actually suggest that you have Lyme disease and both are left untreated for a long period of time can become very serious, even fatal.
If you have been bitten by a tick, and suspect you have Lyme disease based on the list of symptoms above, see your doctor. While there is no reason to assume you have Lyme disease because you have developed an irregular heartbeat, you may have developed a serious heart condition.
I never knew about the Lyme related heart irregularities until I developed Lyme disease and began research on the disease. It might have saved me a lot of grief now and 15 years ago.
8) Muscle Numbness
Muscle numbness occurs even during the early stages of Lyme disease making it difficult to move. Numbness or a tingling feeling in muscles all over the body is not normal but could be an indicator of Lyme disease, if a tick bit you. Another common complaint is that the individual has shooting pains that go from the top of the leg to the bottom.
These symptoms are worrisome whether you have Lyme disease or not, so be sure to speak to your doctor as soon as you start experiencing these kinds of serious symptoms.
9) Optic Neuritis
Optic neuritis is a condition where there is inflammation of the optic nerve, the bundle of nerve fibers that transmits visual information from your eye to your brain. Pain and temporary vision loss are common symptoms of optic neuritis.
Lyme disease can cause delayed neurologic symptoms similar to those seen in multiple sclerosis (MS) such as weakness, blurred vision caused by optic neuritis, dysesthesias (sensations of itching, burning, stabbing pain, or “pins and needles”), confusion and cognitive dysfunction, brain fog, and fatigue.
10) Facial drooping
Facial drooping is one of the more serious symptoms of Lyme disease yet rather uncommon. It is important to know about nonetheless. This symptom includes the dropping of the face, similar to Bell’s Palsy where muscles stop working and you find it difficult to speak. Some individuals have experienced this symptom, known as facial palsy, to the extent that it resembles a stroke. This is something very serious and something you should go straight to the hospital.
I experienced all of the above symptoms during early stages of Lyme disease even after treatment fifteen years ago and as the disease progressed. For more on any of these symptoms feel free to contact me, I will also discuss in greater depth the above symptoms in my upcoming book, ‘My life with Lyme’ coming soon.
#Lymedisease is nothing to take lightly!
The CDC assures us they have Lyme disease under control. Not true. Not even remotely close. There is no cure for Lyme disease at this time. The closest one can hope for is remission.
- In 2012, 300,000 cases of Lyme disease were reported in the US.
- In 2013, it was believed close to one million people were infected.
- In 2014, it is believed the number has doubled.
Can you imagine how many people have contracted the disease this year?
While those figures won’t be in for months, one can only imagine.
Every state in the country has reported cases. While the disease is at pandemic rates in the eastern portion of the country including Florida, the upper mid-western states, and highly prevalent in the western part of the US in Oregon, California, Washington State, and Utah. These are the facts for the US, but Lyme disease has been identified world-wide and is growing at staggering rates.
With the warm summer we have had this year the ticks are waging war in our forests and grasslands. Everyone, including cats and dogs, should be examined. All it takes is one to change your life or your pets’ lives forever.
The symptoms mimic over 300 different diseases (you can see the full list HERE). Imagine yourself experiencing symptom from over 300 diseases. Some symptoms you can’t see. That doesn’t mean the person is not sick. So, the next time you hear one of your friends tell you they are sick and the doctors don’t know what it is, you might want to believe them. They might have Lyme disease or one of their co-infectors. Show some compassion. Don’t dump them merely because they can no longer do fun things with you. They need you now more than ever. They were your friends before they became ill, what makes them any different because they have Lyme or another disease? Lyme disease is not contagious. Nor are the hundreds of chronic illnesses that affect people each year. Many of these chronically ill people commit suicide each year due to depression. So the next time your friend tells you they are sick you might want to step back, believe them, or better yet imagine, it could be you.