Dr. Jemsek’s goal of restoring a Lyme patient to health relies on a two-pronged approach:
1. Hit the body hard with antibiotics to kill the infections; and
2. Supplement with herbals and vitamins to help boost the immune system.
Dr. Jemsek informed me there are many people walking around with Lyme disease. They are unaffected by symptoms because their immune system keeps it in check. The medical community doesn’t know why some are able to overpower the Lyme while others succumb to it. Sometimes when a person takes a fall, or suffers through a car accident or a prolonged period of stress, the immune system is too weak to keep it at bay; therefore, the disease destroys the person’s overall health and quality of life. Dr. Jemsek has advised that once the Lyme is under control, we must continue to restore the immune system to the healthiest state possible to enable it to take over.
Because he doses the antibiotics every other day, Dr. Jemsek’s treatment approach is a little different from other local doctors. His rationale? Given that Lyme replicates slowly, you do not need to take them every day. This regimen also allows your body time to recuperate. The down side? Since Lyme replicates slowly it can only be killed during its active phase, which necessitates a long treatment duration.
On top of that, I have multiple co-infections that demand treatment—each with different medications. It will take eight months of IVs to attack the Lyme bacteria and the various co-infections. The doctor will change the antibiotic each month: one month the antibiotic might target the outer cell wall of Lyme; another month, the inner cell wall. On yet another given month it might attack the L form, followed by the spirochete form in the succeeding month. Concurrently, Dr. Jemsek will alternately hit the co-infections—Babesia one month, Bartonella another month — and so on and so on.
Upon completion of this protocol, I will be taken off the IV antibiotics and put back on oral antibiotics only until I’m slowly weaned off. This whole time I will stay on the supplements to keep my immune system functioning properly. As I go back on the oral antibiotics, I’ll be taking more supplements than medicines until my immune system fully assumes command of the situation.
It is imperative to start as soon as possible because this disease is unrelenting. It infiltrates the nervous system, seeking to destroy it. Although people can and do die from Lyme, the bacteria survive even after they die. Autopsies of the brains of Alzheimer’s, MS and Parkinson’s patients have been shown to have active Lyme infections. Like I said, Lyme disease is unrelenting.
On October 29, 2013, Betsy Miller and I drove down to Washington, D.C. to have my PICC line inserted. I went to George Washington Hospital where they inserted the line into my forearm. They took x-rays to ensure proper placement — not too close or not too far from the heart. The next day we visited Dr. Jemsek’s office where they did a test-run the first antibiotic. From there, we transported the bags home and Betsy started my treatment. After a month, I returned so they could conduct a test-run for the next antibiotic. And on and on it continues.
Even with all of the knowledge I’ve gleaned from medical research, there is so much more we need to know about Lyme disease. My most fervent hope is to come out on the other side and become an advocate for Lyme patients. But I will have to wait and see how God works. Your prayers and support mean everything to me. They have enabled me to get this far. Please continue to pray for me as I start this next step of my journey. It is an upward battle but one that can be won through faith, hope and courage. Here’s hoping I make it to the other side!