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Healing Lyme Disease My Story Self-Love

Lyme Crimes

May 16, 2017





 …if they only tasted this good










I have often wondered what I have done to deserve the hard knocks of this life at every turn.
Grappling with so many unanswered questions:
Why was I always exhausted (like beyond exhausted…bone tired) even though I exercised and ate cleanly?
Why did I suffer through insufferable insomnia(like sleeping only 1-2 hours/night and sometimes not at all), even though I have a good ‘nighttime routine’ and didn’t drink much caffeine?
Why did I always struggle with my weight even though all of bloodwork would come back…’FANTASTIC’??
Why would my periods-from-hell take me down for 10 days to 2 weeks, even though all of my OB/GYN appointments came out ‘normal’?
Where are these migraines coming from even though I have identified and eliminated most of my food intolerances and/or allergens?
Why would my throat, tongue, lips, eyes swell at random?


Of course, there was always the ADVICE.


Maybe you just need a schedule.  (Really???  Because I am one of the most organized people I know and my house and kids are always clean…within reason)
Maybe you don’t have enough faith.(Ok, literally faith in God and hope are some of the only things keeping me going)
You just need a job.  (Well, that is nice.  I had these troubles when I was employed, too.  And would you be insinuating that stay-at-home moms don’t experience challenges??)
You need to be more positive.  (I am actually one of the most positivie people I know.  That must be why my friends come to me for advice and encouragement.  Cuz, I am such a fucking downer!)

My favorite….

You are strong.  You will get through it.  (Yes, this is true….Thank God.)


And I realize sometimes, people just don’t know what to say.  I have been there as well.  But we need to realize when someone is truly suffering, careless words have impact.  Sometimes, we just need a caring ear and some validation; rather than  ‘I know your life sucks, but I really don’t want to hear it because it is seriously bumming me out and I don’t want to be unhappy.’   Thank God I have a loving support structure of friends and family, I cannot imagine enduring these things alone!


Harsh.  I know.


But true.


At least for once in my life, I have the answer.  I was officially diagnosed with Lyme, Babesia and Candida after a nasty run-in with a very moldy home we were renting.  Basically, exposure to mold, especially black mold, is like gasoline on the Lyme fire.  The myriad of symptoms that I was experiencing and barely making due with, were rearing their ugly head in full force and totally kicking my ass.
After 2 urgent care visits, 1 emergency room visit and one visit to a Primary Care Physician, I was completely baffled as to what could be causing these very sudden and crippling manifestations.  I had a range of symptoms from:
  • debilitating pain in my upper spine, neck and jaw
  • neurological deficits such as blurred vision, dizziness, inablility to process thoughts, chronic forgetfulness, numbness and tingling in my extremities, and weakness and clumsiness in my legs
  • all of my joints were on fire
  • I couldn’t sleep
  • I wasn’t digesting any of my food well without crazy amount of bloating
  • I was nauseous all of the time
  • I was so weak, I couldn’t even hold my head up
  • I had zero sex drive…like in the negative
  • I was so freaking cold I would shake uncontrollably, then so hot I couldn’t cool down
  • I started to notice my personality changing, which was weird and foreign to me

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it???

And what made it all the more fun was the treatment I received from some of the docs that I saw.  After explaining that I am very fit and healthy prior to these symptoms (like I said, with tedious habits I was able to keep the Lyme at bay…somewhat).  I couldn’t for the life of me understand what was happening to me or why.
I have to say the visits to Urgent care were fantastic.  They delved in and took time trying to figure it out.  The ER visit was another thing…entirely.  At this visit, I was in so much pain I almost didn’t make it.  But, I mustered through, convinced something was very wrong.  After the doc consistently reminded me in her voice of aggravation, that this ‘was not emergent’ I could see she thought I was an attention seeker, a drug seeker.  How am suppose to know it isn’t an emergency??  It sure felt like one!  I know from my sister’s experience as an RN how frustrating this can be for providers.  But this woman didn’t care, she just wanted me out of there.
Interestingly enough, I pushed for a CT scan of my most painful area in the upper back and neck, where a significant amount of degeneration (arthritis) was found.  Strange for someone who works out all the time, eats a low inflammatory diet, is only 44 with no previous incidents of arthritis…wouldn’t you say?!?!
After some prodding from my very loving and supportive husband(we need more like him in the world folks!), he kept saying he thought it was Lyme Disease.  So, off to the PCP(primary care physician) for a look.  After we had a nice chat about some of his travels, I gave him the low-down on my sudden, on-set symptoms, I told him what my theory was.  First, he said that they don’t have Lyme Disease in Southern California.  WHAT?!?  (I just told him we travel back & forth between here and Minnesota)  Then,  he basically said, “I could send you here…and here…and there…and you will just end up at the psychiatrist”.  Holy shit.  After all that he said, we can do your bloodwork, but I can just prescribe these antibiotics for you now.  Well, let’s just say I hope his golfclub doesn’t fly too far up his pretentious ass when he is golfing.
This is what we have to deal with.

Wow….just wow.

The crimes of Lyme Disease are immense.  If discovered immediately, diagnosed effectively and quickly, it is easily remedied and cured within a couple weeks of antibiotic treatment.  However, most people do not find it quickly (those ticks are sneaky) and less than a 1/3 get the tell-tale bullseye rash, that we hear so much about.  A good Lyme-literate doc would know this.  And by the time the disease starts to rear its ugly head, it gets harder and harder to treat. This is why Lyme is called the great imitator, like its cousin, Syphilis.  Syphilis and Lyme are spirochete bacteria, corkscrew in shape…. And they are smart as hell.  Syphilis, one would agree, is nasty and no joke.  It can make you very sick, even kill you.  And it has only 22 genes compared to the 132 genes of Lyme!!  Meaning…Lyme can do whatever it wants and it does!
http://The B. burgdorferi genome contains at least 132 genes encoding putative lipoproteins, but only 22 such genes are present in T. pallidum)
The issue of Lyme Disease and more importantly, chronic Lyme, is one big basket of crazy.  It is a political and social mess.  And while all the experts are willing to ‘duke it out’ as to whether or not ‘it even exists’; people are suffering with no answers or relief.   And, in some cases dying.   We are all complicated beings with our own journey through this life and our reactions to disease and illness are no different.  For some, they may sail through Lyme disease without so much of a hiccup.  Others, depending on length of infection, immune strength, other present co-infections, gene mutations (yea, that is real thing) etc., Lyme can be life-robbing, excruciatingly painful, islolating, complicated and difficult to treat.
Such is the case for many.  However, I am not here to get into the particulars of this debate.  I am only interested in telling my story.  Hoping it will strike a chord with someone out there, who has been confused and lost…as I was for so long.
Since I have been young, I have had some weird and unexplained health issues.  A very happy and independent child, I didn’t like cuddling because I had too much to do!  I wasn’t nervous or timid.  I was actually quite curious and completely (much to my mothers chagrin)…..
If you said, “No, Shannon I don’t think you should do that”.  It was the first thing I went off to do…just to see if I could.  I had to know!  Just had to know….what things did–how they reacted.  I gave some brief thought regarding my safety, but I had an uncanny trust in myself and I knew I would be ok.
I also did not like being tied down or trapped.  My poor mother would be exhausted and sometimes she would lock me in my room for protection, so I would hopefully take a nap, which I never did.  And somehow on two seperate occasions, I removed the doorknob with my bare hands and the other time removed the air return vent in the wall, thus climbing into the wall falling asleep.  Obviously, I was trying to escape.  I was only 18 months old.  I share this, exemplifying that I wasn’t a sickly child with a sickly temperament.  I was brazen, courageous and bold.
 There was the time that I  fell into a huge underground hornets nest.  And all the times I used to get massive amounts of full bodied hives that would make my face swell shut.  And then the migraines started.  Then the insomnia.  Then the fatigue.  And so on and so on.
Things really got bad after my second baby.  I loved being pregnant the first time.  My first pregnancy was dreamy.  I felt great.  I slept great. I still rode my bike, went rollerblading, swimming, working right up to the day.  The birth was tough, but we made it out ok and she still is today a delight, my treasure.  The second pregnancy was NOT THIS WAY.  I was very sick.  Very full of water.  Didn’t sleep well. I was a mess.  In January of 2002, she was taken by emergency C-section and was perfectly healthy.  And to this day she is another shining light in my life.  But, I was not.  Whatever happened to me in that pregnancy did a number on me.  I think it was one of those times that messed me up.  Over the next several years, I would be diagnosed with many different mental illness, ending up in the hospital with bi-polar disorder as my official label.  I  went through ECT therapy and was sent home with many pills….Soooo many pills.
Those were dark days.  I remember going home thinking to myself that I would be rid of these pills one day.  A-L-L of the pills.  I knew deep down that I wasn’t bipolar, but I didn’t know what was wrong with me.  I just decided to make the best of it.  Little did I know at that time, that many Lymies are misdiagnosed with mental illnesses due to the nature of that corkscrew spirochete loving the brain!  Another Lyme Crime!
The stigma of mental illness sucks.
Here came more of the unsolicited, unwanted advice.
The whispers.
The judgements.
Then in 2008, I was fighting for my life.  I ended up in the ER from a gallbladder attack.  It was serious and needed to be removed immediately.  Oh had I known what I know now about the gallbladder and Lyme…another crime.  The surgery didn’t go so well and after what was probably the 3 most painful days of my life, it was discovered that a clip had slipped off one of the bile ducts and bile was spilling all over into my body poisoning me.  (Not the post-surgery indigestion like the surgeon hinted to….(oh, doctors…))  After they fixed the clip, my adventure continued and ended up in ER again when bloodwork revealed that my bilirubin was out of control.  I had a massive staph infection coupled with a yeast infection of the blood.  My organs started shutting down.  It didn’t look good.
I cannot imagine what it must have been like to be my husband sitting there all alone handling this.  He was terrifed, but never left my side.  In my fuzzy memory, I  remember a wonderful nurse in the early hours of morning,  recommend I read The Shack.  I never saw her again.  I read the book.
Needless to say, I made it.  I fought like hell for my life.  My temper and independent nature carrying me through.  But I know God was there, too.  He was dressed like a nurse, telling me to read a wonderful book about him.
After that, I knew things needed to change…and drastically.
I have always been an avid reader of all things nutrition and health.  That was afterall, my degree in college.  So for the next 5 years, I dove in deeper;  reading what was NOT popular at the time.  Fats (all natural fats & cholesterols) were good and GMOs were the devil…things of that nature.  I really made some huge advances in my health and those around me.  I managed to purge of all of those pills I promised myself to all those years ago and was feeling better than I ever had in a very long time.


Then, shit hit the fan again.  Yet another crime of Lyme.


And now we are back to the beginning of this story.  And now you know why I have been gone for so long!

I am determined to win.  I deserve perfect, beautiful and bountiful health.  We all do!  I am determined to help others with this crazy-ass, nasty-ass disease. Nutrition was my saving grace before.  And with massive help from the wisdom of God….I know I can do it again.  With some tweaking we can forge ahead together and once and for all

……beat this.

Eat the Whole Egg!!!

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Healing Self-Love Weight Loss Journey

Bone Broth…My New BFF

July 15, 2016

I am 3 days in so far and I have already felt the positive affects of adapting my diet.  Not only am I down 3 lbs (I was up to 166 from all of the inflammation and slowing of my digestive tract, and I was originally down to 161), my headaches are delineating, digestion is improving(I am pooping like crazy, which for me is awesome), bloating is going down and overall I am not as fatigued.

Granted, the whole process of detoxing will create some of the above symptoms to some extent.  But, it is with an end in sight.  Prior to this, my symptoms would only increase and somewhat exponentially because once inflammation takes over and if you don’t remove the cause, it is like a wild fire with dry tinder everywhere.

In the book, The Plan, Lyn-Genet Recitas, she indicates using a weight scale as an indicator for whether or not your body is being reactive or not.  In my last blog, I indicated that I was removing top offensive foods which usually are:

  • Wheat/Gluten

  • Soy

  • Dairy

  • Eggs

  • Corn

  • Peanuts

  • Tree Nuts

  • Shellfish

  • Fish

*Note (other than corn, this list is basically the top allergens most people have)

She also indicates that in her extensive experience, chicken is usually very reactive for people, in all of my research and reading about elimination diets it is usually turkey that is the least reactive protein (and actually true for me as well).  But, once you begin to clean things up I know that will become apparent to you what you are more reactive to as well.

The main point of her book and any other resource about elimination diets is that the best foods for you are just that….BEST FOR YOU.  If I eat anything coconut and love it with no adverse affects, then I tell you it is the best thing since sliced bread, and you try it and bloat like crazy…well, coconut isn’t for you!

Each of us are unique with our own road maps….our own chemistry.  And certain chemicals get along with one another and others don’t.  So,why would it be any different in our bodies?!?!?  That is why you will read how one person ate this way and lost 4000 lbs and you did the same and gained the 4000 lbs they lost, right?!

Yet, I have to say with all of this, I do believe something.  And I believe it very strongly.  Our bodies are NOT meant to be sick.  They are beautifully designed to fight off, ward off pretty much ANYTHING that comes their way.  However, when we overload them with toxins (sugar…yes…sugar, GMO’s, artificial crap, alcohol, preservatives….you get the idea!), it is just TOO MUCH.

If I gave you a bucket and I said to fill it up; eventually it would fill and anything you added to it after would be overfill.  No matter how you added to it, it would only fall to the ground, efforts wasted and the bucket no longer able to hold any more.

Are you getting where I am going with this??

While, our bodies are amazing, even miraculous at ridding our bodies of toxins….


And not necessarily calories!  Your body is designed to burn food.  You know the ones naturally occuring in nature.  Simple enough, right?  Well, take a look at a label of any food that you have recently consumed…see anything like Disodium Guanylate??  And you are like…


Yep, your body isn’t supposed to have to take care of that.  Yet it does and it does it well.  But here is the other thing, if you do this too much (most of us do) and on a regular basis (yep), your body starts to get overwhelmed and what happens???  It takes that funky big scientific name and puts some fat and water around it to protect you for now, as if to say, ‘I will take care of this later.‘  Except, there is no later because your liver is over taxed, your kidneys are pooped and now your adrenals…

Want me to keep going?

Enough of my soap-box rant.

Here is the good news.  Your body still wants to heal.  Your body still can heal.

That is what I am doing.

And bone broth is my new best friend.  Because my system is so overloaded, it has started to attack seemingly good & healthy foods that under normal circumstances would not bother me.  Now those foods have become public enemy number one…due to my leaky gut.  Once corrected, I will more that likely be able to add many foods back in.  Just ONE AT A TIME and SLOWLY over time.

Bone broth is awesome because it is very non-reactive and easy to digest.  It contains great amounts of protein (6.4 grams in just 8oz!)  It also is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline.  It also heals the guts lining and reduces intenstinal inflammation.

I have included how to make your bone broth.  It really isn’t hard, especially if you have a crock pot!  I have one, but in the middle of making a batch, it busted and leaked all over.  Nice.  Thanks to my wonderful daughter she just quickly switched over to a different pot and did it the traditional way on the stove top.

I wish you better health.   It is possible.  It really is!!!!


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Healing Self-Love Weight Loss Journey

Leaky what? Leaky Gut!!!

July 12, 2016

I have been working with my awesome trainer, John, for about 2.5 months now.  I have started to make changes to my diet, mostly, cutting back on sugars, junk food, increasing veggie intake and water intake.

As I have indicated in my earlier post, I have seen some positive changes.  My family has seen some changes.  My weight for the most part has not changed, if anything, I have gained weight.  A few pounds,but certainly not losing.  Have I been stellar about my food?  No, I could have been better.  But, I am still making changes and moving in the right direction.  And I have been great about working out.  That I am a champion at!

Still…I could do better…

It isn’t about perfection, it is about lifestyle…I remind myself.


Yet, there is something nagging at me.  I couldn’t quite put a finger on it.

It started with my energy.  I noticed, even with a good daily dosage of caffeine, that my energy was really starting to decline.  As in, OMG, I am really dreading today’s workout.  Not that normal dread, something deeper.  And when I was done working out, I wasn’t getting that return of energy like I was when I started, it just seemed to zap me more.  And I wasn’t sleeping as well either.

Then, the weird stuff.  Like bloating when I drank water.  Whaaaaaaa?!?!?!

Then, the headaches.  The cravings.  The overall moodiness.  My weight fluctuation without any real logical reason to it.

I knew something was wrong.  And I knew what it was and I know why it was.

I just didn’t want it to be.

I was so excited and on a roll.  Maybe I was too enthusiastic?  Took off of the start line too quickly?  Too much, too soon, too often???



It was inflammation.

Now, I know you are probably tired of hearing about this right now.  It really does seem to be quite the buzz word.  But, I have studied and read, and read, and read about the problems with inflammation and the problems it causes.

And, BOY does it cause problems!

The issue of inflammation is a convoluted mess.  It is a jumble-mumble of topsy-turvy issues that all seem to be on top of one another, leaving you to wonder which causes what?  And what started it all?

Chicken or the Egg…Anyone?  (sorry, I couldn’t resist!!)

I can’t say for sure myself, but I have found that they all seem to be linked to one main cause and that is


What the heck is leaky gut?  Well, it is very much as it sounds.  Your gut, to some extent is made to be permeable.  That is, to let certain things out of your gut (toxins, microbes, and undigested food particles) which allows them to be passed into your blood stream.  However, with leaky gut, your gut is TOO permeable.  And when things are flying out of your gut that shouldn’t; your body’s first response is to attack and hence…inflammation.

Here is a great article about leaky gut made simple.

Stress, diet too high in sugars, refined carbohydrates and oils, intense exercise, eating foods that are reactive with your body, lack of sleep, coffee…..all can be very damaging to the walls of your gut.

 So, if you are experiencing leaky gut and continue to eat foods or expose yourself that make your immune system continually attack, you are going to start to have problems.

Reactions to foods should be taken seriously and not passed off.  Your body is trying to tell you something.  The problem is, that most of us are so reactive that we are not even aware of when we are reactive or not or what is making us sick!

If that is the case, then how in the heck do you figure anything out?!

Enter the elimination diet.

I have been familiar with this diet for some time when my daughter was first diagnosed with food allergies some 15 years ago.  (eggs, wheat, soy, nuts, peanuts, corn, dairy….how would you like to cook with those restrictions?)

I never did go through with it.  I thought by removing all of the offending foods that we should all be good, right??  Afterall,  what the hell COULD we eat?!  It was like everything was taken off the list.  And with that adjustment we did improve immensely, but still there were issues that would crop up here and there…now and again.  Obviously, our systems were not quite balanced, we haven’t achieved homeostasis.

Enter in present.

My body is obviously needing a reboot.  I seem to be reacting to everything, including exercise (intense exercise can also illicit an inflammatory response).  So, what am I going to do?

Heal my gut!  You can too!   And for at least 20-24 days I will be following the protocol below.

This is going to be my approach.


Eliminate all top offending foods.

And for me that will be everything listed above as well as cross reactive allergens to wheat.  Check out great article here from PaleoMom about cross allergens, what they are are and which ones react with gluten (which is one of the worst foods that cause inflammation.)

Enter in…

Bone Broth.

This stuff heals.  Really heals.  It helps repair the lining of the gut wall, also allowing your gut to take a break from digesting foods.


Fresh Made Green Juice.

Loaded with necessary enzymes, low in sugar (big inflammatory aggravant), and huge on detoxifying, green juice will help to aid in gut repair and liver repair.


Cooked Veggies & Soups

Roasted, steamed, sauteed.  Just get them in and a good dose of EVOO(extra virgin olive oil) with a smattering of Real Salt.

And last but not least…

Lots and lots of water

Well 1/2 my weight in ounces.  Warm lemon water in the morning to stimulate bile in the liver and then finish it up with maybe some green tea,but mostly plain water.  Want to keep caffeine down to a minimum during this period.


And once this period of 20-24 days has passed, I will start to introduce foods.  Only ONE AT A TIME.  And record EVERYTHING.

Headache?  Brain Fog?  Bloating?  Constipation?  Diarrhea?  Aches?  Stiff Joints?  Fatigue?  Sleeplessness?  Skin rash/acne?  Weight gain?

Seriously, if you notice something….ANYTHING that alters your normal state of being after you eat, avoid it and maybe introduce later (6-months) or NEVER.  Why go through all that hell for a bite?

I will keep you up to date on my progress.  These first 3-5 days should be lovely, with all of the toxins flying out of my system.  (feeling badly for my family already….lol)

But, I will check in as often as I can.

Until then, I won’t be eating the whole egg.☹

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