backlegged tick

A Battle with Lyme disease

As a media professional, Mr. Matt Self’s life is busy and full of activities like most. Unlike most, however, Matt is fighting a battle that not many people know of: Lyme Disease.

The Tick Bite

Last year was one for the books, however, Matt did not think a weekend getaway would change his life.

Matt first started developing symptoms after a small family getaway in June of 2020 to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. (Social distancing and mask wearing included).

 After returning home, Matt developed a high fever, and after testing negative for the COVID-19 virus, he started down a month-long path to finding out what was the cause of his symptoms.

During that time Matt was put into isolation and stated that he went through the worst pain he has ever felt. He experienced tingling, numbness and was in so much pain he was unable to carry out basic necessary human functions. He stated that the pain he felt was like being shocked constantly.

tick removal
Photo Credit: FairFax County Health Department -- Embedded ticks should be removed with tweezers.

The Diagnosis and Treatment

Eventually, after a month of living in pain, Matt tested for tick-borne illness and tested positive for not only Lyme, but Bartonella.

He started treatments for the disease by taking Doxycycline for 30 days. This eased his symptoms, but overall did nothing to treat the disease. Matt then was told about a doctor whose mission was to find a cure for Lyme disease.

The doctor put Matt on a 4-antibiotic, 6-supplement regimen for 14 weeks to help regulate his levels and ease some of Matt’s pain. At the end of those 14 weeks, Matt tested again for Lyme and Bartonella.

The Bartonella levels had dropped tremendously, but the Lyme had not moved in the slightest bit. The doctors moved forward with another 12- 14-week round of treatment for Matt and put him on a strict Paleo diet so that the medicine will work to its full effect.

Matt stated that once he started the Paleo diet, he realized how much he was addicted to food and he developed the belief that most people are addicted to food. He stated the diet really opened his eyes to what he was putting in his body.

tick bite
Photo Credit: CDC -- A bullseye rash is the most common symptom of a tick bite

Drugs and Supplements

At the end of the interview, Matt shared his treatment regimen, which consisted of several drugs and supplements (13 pills a day). Here are some of his regimen each day:

  • Disulfiram
  • Doxycycline
  • Fola RX
  • B-12 Vitamins
  • Biotic Daily T
  • NAC+
  • Liposomal Glutathione
  •  Vitamin E

The Misconception

There are so many misconceptions of Lyme disease and tick borne disease, in general. Many may not think these diseases are harmful, but after partaking in this interview with Matt, it is clear this disease is life-altering. On the contrary, there is hope!

Matt noted that his doctor changed Matt’s lifestyle (diet and supplements) to have the best possible outcome. Which is to kill the disease. The misconception that the disease cannot be killed, is false. With the proper steps and continuing to fight the disease, it is possible! It has been proven.

At the end of the interview, Matt stated that people with Lyme disease do not have to be resigned to living with it. The disease should not define you. 

blacklegged tick
Photo Credit: CDC -- Blacklegged tick transmits Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease

Takeaways

In conclusion, Lyme disease is a life changing illness that is misunderstood and has no known cure (beside keep fighting!). Today, Matt is still fighting his battle against Lyme disease and takes large amounts of medicine to be able to live a normal life. His goal is to kill the disease at hand with his knowledgable doctor’s recommendations. 

There are many options to reduce the risk of Lyme disease. Using a DEET personal repellent while repel ticks when out in the woods, on the farm or even your own backyard. Also, there are yard treatments to reduce ticks in your yard, such as Stop the Bites! 

Not only that, almost every has a tick surveillance and outreach program! Find more information through the CDC. There are also apps to know where ticks live and what type of tick that may have bitten you.

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