Angela Naeth

Professional Triathlete, iracelikeagirl founder and coach

April 10th - New antibiotic, herxing and what?! Spring to my step!

Treating lyme is like being on a roller coaster. The ups, the downs, the excitement, and the dreaded anticipation of the fall. As much as this analogy is used to explain many experieces/situations, it’s the first one that came to my mind… (And for the record, I hate roller coasters).

Since my first post, 10 days ago, A LOT has happened. - I have seen improvements with the antibiotics, I herxed - more on that in a bit, and, I’m finally smiling.

Lyme - in simple terms, is a bacterial infection. You can have a number of bacterial infections (co-infections) that run alongside Lyme, when/if you get bit by a tick (see previous posts on my story). They can then proliferate inside you, causing all sorts of symptoms, and issues.

When I was first diagnosed, I had Borrelia (Lyme), Babesia and Bartonella. These ‘bugs’ need to be killed in order to be healthy. In doing so (being killed), when they do die, they release toxins - which make you feel like S%^*. This is called HERXING. You want these to happen. It means you’re killing the bad guys (I like to pretend I have a machine gun and I’m going at it with full force - ha!).

When I went back to my doctor, I told him, “I want to annihilate these bastards. I want to take the most powerful, and largest dose possible for everything.” My doctor, a very calm man you could say, simply replied, “You’re definitely not without fight. And, you’re very impatient. Lyme - you need patience.” He’s right on all.

Bacteria - as it grows in your body, and you hit it with antibiotics, can change form - it can go from a squirrly worm looking thing (spirochete) to a round cyst, covered in a dense film. This film is like a force-field- It doesn’t allow antibiotics to kill it. When it’s ‘safe’ again for it to grow, it’ll come out of cyst form, and start to duplicate. Bacteria goes everywhere in the body. Certain antibiotics can kill certain forms, and types of bacteria.

Therefore, you want to take a number of antibiotics, Lyme treatment is not a simple one. It’s a test to see how your body will respond to an antibiotic, herxing and slowly climbing the stairway to health. 1 step forward, 2 steps back, 2 steps forward, 1 step back (its definitely a dance). But, always a little higher/better than when you started (You can also take herbs,which I am adding soon).

I started the 2 antibiotics on April 1st. I went to Masters swimming on Saturday morning. By the time I got home, I was a useless sack of potatoes - not even an edible type (funny?! - ha). Tim (my boyfriend), was away, and I was very much in the hurt locker. I was herxing. He’s a rock in my life, and when I feel like crap, he tends to keep me smiling. Herx symptoms are like the flu, plus worsening of any/all of your symptoms from the infection . Headache, nausea, DEAD body and legs. And simply just a very aching body that feels like it’s burning from the inside. It SUCKS.

By Monday though, I was feeling a little better. I road my bike, and felt OK. My current symptoms in lyme are primarily muscle and body weakness, and pain. If you can imagine what your legs feel after running a marathon, along with the inability to get them to move in a coordinated fashion as you walk, with no feeling of stability, and finally, the feeling you’re walking in quick stand - well, that’s what I feel, at it’s worst.

It amazes me how an infection can literally take you (your body AND mind) over. A few weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night, and had a panic attack (symptom of lyme and co-infections). Who does that?! It was scary as hell. My anxiety levels were thru the roof and I was finding my mind going into some dark thoughts (all symptoms of Lyme).

This, and the body symptoms - you feel like you’re going nuts. I explain it to Tim, in very simple terms - I feel completely F*$%^’d up. The last few weeks, as I wrote in my previous post, has been a little wishy-washy in training. A few good days, a few bad ones. Running has been, to say the least, quite difficult, and humbling. Slow, and very short. I have been doing some step mill for cross training. Swimming and riding - I’m supported by the bike/water so I have some semblance of good training on some days - I’m just a little slower from the muscle weakness, and pain.

The good news: after this weekend’s HERX, things are progressing quite quickly (the excited anticipation on the roller coaster - insert huge smile here). Running - I was able to progress from a mere 20-minutes at a snails pace to today: 40 minutes at a sloth pace (I believe sloths move faster than snails?). It was IMPROVEMENT. And to top that off, I rode 3 hours today at my standard wattage. All last week, it was tough for me to get past 1hr40. Yeah!

I have the fitness, I just can’t access it yet. But, the annihilation has begun. I had another call with my doctor, and we decided we’re going to add another antibiotic (much to my insistence). This will help kill the different forms of the bacteria.

I will probably have a HERX. I want to get sick - so I can get better. It’s like having the hangover FIRST, or eating the no-salt lentil soup you grandmother gave you as a kid, so you can then get that bowl of ice-cream. Sweet rewards. I eat anything to have the chocolate.

…. So, cheers to Herxing, cheers to feeling better., and cheers as I say “bottom’s up”, with one nasty Eggermeister shot (I googled nastiest shots ever - this one came in the top 10. It’s Jaegermeister and a pickled egg). For those that don’t get my humor, I’m relating it to the upcoming herxing, and health. …. At least, I can make myself laugh. hahaha :) …

Other items/quick ones:

1) I bought a RIFE machine (high frequency machine - Google it. I’m experimenting on how to kill these bugs to my best capacity).

2) I upped my supplements of THORNE nutrition products (If you’re in for some great supplements, use code Angela15 at thorne.com *sponsor plug but seriously, great supplements). I currently take an array of them, and also VID CBD oil, and over 150 (yes, 150!) Billion probiotics.

3) Seeing progress has been the best. I have some semblance of my old self. Albeit slow, it is very exciting that I see I can do just a little more every day.

4) I continue to work on a one-day-at-a-time philosophy. Because truthfully, it’s hard to plan when you’re treating Lyme. You don’t know when you’ll feel good. I’m excited to see the changes, and also, to be on this path. That first race is just on the horizon.