Carol (Missy) Cohen MPH, CHHC

My Diagnosis of Lyme Disease

I consider myself one of the lucky ones. My experience with Lyme started exactly 10 days after my massage therapist found a tic on my back. I got the “flu.” I was running a temperature, had a headache, body aches,my neck felt like it could not support my head and my lymph nodes were so swollen that I could barely swallow. The following day, my husband, my youngest son and myself were supposed to leave for Chicago to pick up my other son and drive to a place to watch a total eclipse. I could not get out of bed.

As I laid in bed, I was thinking to myself, “It’s August. Who, but you, Missy, gets the flu in August?” My brain started going back to a meeting that I had sat in on a few months prior. I had joined a BNI group (Business Network International) and in our group, we have an amazing acupuncturist who I am lucky to call my friend. She happens to be an expert on Lyme Disease because her own son had it as a toddler and, at 19, has suffered the repercussions of it his entire life.

As I thought about it, her presentation came back to me. You don’t have to have remembered a tic bite to have Lyme Disease. However, a tic bite followed approximately 10 days later by flu-like symptoms means that you should not wait. You should not pass go. Get yourself immediately to a doctor and have them put you on a 2 week course of doxycycline.

I dragged my butt out of bed and got myself to the doctor. As the nurse was gathering my information, I lifted up my shirt and showed her where the tic had been. She immediately wrote me a script for the antibiotic.

I drove home chanting, “It’s early. You’ll be okay. It’s early. You’ll be okay. You got this. You know what to do. “ and, the reassuring thing is, I do know what to do.

With this acupuncturist as my friend and on speed dial with all of her amazing experience and my own background as a Functional Medicine Practitioner, I’ve got this.

One of the first things I did was boost my immune system. I have a foreign invader in my body and I am NOT going to roll over and say, “Sure. Come on in and take over!” That’s like inviting the vampire into your home. Everyone who watches bad movies knows that you do not do that!

I think it is important for people to realize that I am 51 years old and I do not take any medication. I will not take an aspirin for a headache. I know how to eat a healthy diet. I am not always perfect with it because we all make choices and sometimes the choices that I make do not serve my body but, for the most part, I do pretty well. When I do get a headache or struggle with my period, I use DoTerra essential oils and I work hard on my self-care. My journey into the world of holistic medicine started 10 years ago when, after working with conventional medicine because my youngest had severe constipation and stomach cramping, we were introduced to my mentor who is a health coach, who figured out that my 8 year old is lactose intolerant. That led me to the world of Functional Medicine and introduced me to the knowledge and education that has given me the tools to truly help myself and others heal.

I immediately stocked up on a bunch of supplements that will help me boost my immune system including vitamin C, cod liver oil, vitamin D, zinc picolinate and magnesium. I crawled back into bed and I called my friend, the acupunturist.

I could hear the concern in her voice as soon as I said “Lyme Disease. “ She sighed and then said, “It’ll be okay. You caught it early and we know what to do.” Absolutely! And, this is when I am grateful for the friends that I have, “I have an herb that I want you to take. It’s called Spiro-X. How can I get it to you?”

I had started the Doxycycline as soon as I had brought it home and, by the next morning, I was boosting my immune system and had the Spiro-X on board as well. I was tired and had no intention of leaving the house. That was officially a week ago today. I have waves of exhaustion and at the beginning of the week, I was struggling with focus but by Thursday I was back greeting clients at my salt room and coaching others to optimal health.

I know that this is just the beginning but I have also learned that many people struggle with what to eat, how to support their immune system and how to slow down and listen to their body. I feel that I was given this gift as a smack across the forehead that I am meant to help others on their journey.

Please, let me know what you struggle with most on your recovery from Lyme Disease.

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