April 1st - 2019 Update!

An update of sorts, and back to it! 

Over the past weeks, I’ve been scouring the internet for answers. Answers, connection, something that I can say, ‘hey! That’s what I’m going thru! How can this happen again?!’ … There’s articles, forums and some blogs, but nothing that I felt was providing me any insight.  After some of my own reflection, and chatting with those close to me, doing some back and forth in my head, I’ve decided I need to be the one to create my own answers - and use what I’ve done in the past year, being public about Lyme, and keep the forward momentum in both my health, sport, and hopefully, continue to help others.

I had a lot of people connect with me last year when I was first diagnosed with Lyme.  It was helpful to me. I could relate, I could try, and support. And most importantly, I realized the NEED to bring awareness to what it is.

 So here’s to my journey and an inside of my training/racing/health. A blog I plan to keep up to date - real and raw, and also, very much unedited.  I’ll warn you now, I’m not the best at editing, I do long-winded sentences at times, and some of my paragraph forming and/or writing can go in circles.   But, the raw, unedited, make it good for public writing, will not be here.( I will do my best, but I will not be editing 10x over. I’ll lose the desire to keep it up. I know myself too well. :) ). 

As most who have been following me know, last late April/early May, after a number of months of the unknown, I was diagnosed with Lyme.  

The previous posts and these articles below go into some detail on how I eventually felt good enough to get off antibiotics, and felt strong enough to race at Ironman World Championships. 

https://www.redbull.com/us-en/theredbulletin/angela-naeth-champion-triathlete

https://blog.topoathletic.com/poker-face/

https://triathlonmagazine.ca/feature/angela-naeth-from-barely-being-able-to-walk-to-eighth-at-kona/

http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2018/10/checking-in-with-angela-naeth.aspx#axzz5UchMgg5Z

 https://www.triathlete.com/2018/11/lifestyle/how-these-professional-athletes-overcame-lyme-disease_337483

https://triathlonmagazine.ca/feature/angela-naeth-from-barely-being-able-to-walk-to-eighth-at-kona/ 

I’d say I had one hell of a year, placing 8th at Worlds ,and went on to race another Ironman, and half-ironman weeks later.  It was an amazing end to 2018, and had/has me hungry for more. 

We are now in Spring of 2019 and I had a good winter build - spending almost 7 weeks in Florida.  I had some great training weeks.  During this time, I got a little tired, and sore.  I kept telling Tim (my coach and boyfriend), I feel Lyme is coming back. It was a little bit of a joke - but at the back of my mind, it wasn’t. 

I knew the feeling, and perhaps I was just a bit paranoid - to say the least!   I was having some anxiety - that was the first of the symptoms along with my quads feeling off.  I could feel something was not right. I kept training, and I’d have some pretty good days, and some not so good - Typical for any athlete.

But eventually, some of the symptoms I had last year started to appear - specifically high anxiety, body weakness, heavy, heavy legs, and inability to find stability in my body, when running. The feeling of having my mind-body not working together right (weak legs and arms, and the feeling of weighted limbs that are uncoordinated) started to creep up (these are all symptoms of Lyme). 

To make a long story a bit shorter, the last few weeks, my training peaks account has seen less green boxes, and more red/orange that I like to see.  And so, I went back to my Lyme doctor.  

Dr. Satnick explained to me that Lyme treatment, and recovery is a journey. Yeah, but I thought I was over this journey?!  I was 100% in the clear! - I was racing, placing 8th in the World! How can this be??!   He looked at me and said,  “We can get you back to where you were. Healthy and racing. But, Lyme is a journey.  Everyone is different. Protocols vary. We go with how your body responds. We know what helped last year, and so, we build from there.”

Lyme treatment is not a one simple route. It’s multi-systemic. If you don’t get all the bacteria out of your system, even one simple spirochete that lies dormant in your system - can build an army inside you, and eventually take over.  As an athlete, I’m very aware on how I feel - perhaps too subjective, but when you feel the symptoms of Lyme - you just know. 

I was healthy enough to overcome the bacteria. I assumed my immune system had killed everything with the antibiotic regimen I was on last year, and my continued health and racing.  Looking back, I wouldn’t haven changed what we did - as I was healthy. I was back to my old self.  But now, knowing more, I would have done more research on what I had to do to keep that going - supplements, immune support, more testing.

Retrospective thinking - really does nothing. Woulda’ coulda’ shoulda’… and really, I don’t know if anything of that would have done anything.   I believe we did everything right last year. Hell, I went from being hardly being able to walk,  to placing 8th in Kona. I got this.

So, for a quick update, my body is weakened by Lyme and I’ve had some pretty bad days - mentally and physically. I’m now on two antibiotic (doxycycline and bactrim),and a number of supplements. I will be going on a couple more (as it’s best found that you need to be on more than one to kill all the types of bacteria forms).  I use CBD oil and other vitamins and minerals for support. They help immensely. 

The good news is, the doctor feels it’s only the Lyme bacteria, and not the co-infections I was dealing with last year.  My symptoms are typical Lyme - and when on antibiotics, you typically feel worse before you get better (you HERX - die off of bacteria cause toxins in your system and you become more sick for a day or two and build back up). 

I’m weak, and I’ve had a few rough days of self pity, sadness, depression.  My boyfriend, knows it too well.  I smile as I write this - because I’m finally taking myself out of my own little anguish - writing is very therapeutic.  I can fight these damn pests. I did it once, I can do it again.  I’ve learned that we, as humans can overcome amazing feats. My goal is to instill hope ,and support all those currently fighting Lyme, who have had Lyme and well, to continue pushing my way forward.

I find strength in sharing this journey. It helped me immensely last year.  Triathlon and it’s community have saved my life in more ways than one. I’m determined to not let this hold me back. It’s a process.   If you would have asked me yesterday, I would have thrown in the towel in tears.  But I also know, that’s not me. I’m a fighter. Relentless. 

To those looking for answers on how to treat lyme, I’m not here to give that advice. I will tell you exactly what I’ve been doing, and have taken though. I will give you insight into my training, days, and feelings/ideas, and perhaps a joke here and there :) (I tend to think I’m funny). 

I will do this, perhaps a lot for myself - as it keeps me sane, but also for those who have supported me in more ways than one.  i was overwhelmed with the support I had last year - from friends, sponsors, the gals on IRACELIKEAGIRL, supporters to complete strangers. 

So here’s to pushing forward, and crushing it!    

More to come! 

For those interested in the treatment: 

Last year’s medications and timeline: 

  1. Doxycycline  + Nystatin and Cholestrymanine  stated April 30th

  2. Bactrim - started May 10th

  3. Flagyl - May 14th

  4. CBD oil / LDN - June

  5. Stopped these antibiotics mid July

  6. Went on Meprone (antibiotic) August for 4 weeks.

  7. Used I nfrared Sauna, detox supplements, and a host of vitamins/minerals.

Current Regimen: 

  1. Doxycycline 100mg 2x day

  2. Bactrim - 2x day

  3. Nystatin 500,000 2x day

  4. CBD oil / LDN 2x day (1.5 droppers full)

  5. Magnesium, other supplements to help support the immune system and previous medications.