Archive for Ashley’s Blog

Lymenaide – And Then There Were None

// April 16th, 2012 // 5 Comments » // Ashley's Blog, Eric's Blog, LymeBites Blog

I’m writing this post just to clear up a lot of questions and concerns and other issues. As is obvious I’ve been too sick for a long time to do anything. In that same time period the organiation Lymenaide which I worked with and was a part of helping to do make Paint May Lyme Green a reality, has become extinct. There is a better word for it…maybe retired?

Lymenaide Final Post is where you can go to read what Ashley has said about her time working with the Lyme community and her plans to move on. It was on honor to work with a great team of people who were very creative, passionate and committed. I hope Ashley finds all she’s looking for and has a wonderful, healthy life ahead of her.

I however am NOT better. I wish I was!!! But I am not. But I’m getting to the point where I can start to be active again. I’ve been under attack with so many emails and questions about Lymenaide going away and what that means for LymeBites and my involvement in the Lyme community. It means nothing.

Lymenaide was a wonderful organization that served it’s purpose and did a lot of good, and interested enough people to “take over” where Lymenaide began. The PSA’s were a major accomplishment, with help from many in getting the celebrities to do the PSA’s to Ashley’s work with her brother in actually filming them. Then the hundreds of volunteers who helped get them to the many TV stations. It was a success. And it was meant for it was meant for, served that purpose, and now that that has happened it is “retired”.

So best of luck to Ashley, as well as Nani and Candice in their endeavors. But I want to let people know that Lymenaide ending does not mean that all 4 of us in the organization are all ending what we have. LymeBites and Lymenaide often crossed over, but the purpose of LymeBites was always different than the purpose of Lymenaide. So the changes do not effect my involvement in Lyme disease awareness, my responsibility to it because I have a voice that can help others, or my commitment to make a difference.

So nothing bad happened. If you read Ashley’s post you’ll see she is very happy and finding her new life. That is wonderful and I hope she finds every happiness in the world. But in the meantime, I am not going anywhere, LymeBites is not going anywhere, and we are about to unveil a new and improved website as well as some great projects that are being worked on as we speak. (Well as soon as I finish this post.)

But with the way people speculate I was hearing horror stories of fights and problems…as if Lymenaide was like Fleetwood Mac without all the cocaine. Nothing like that at all. Just that we served our time and purpose together and that was meant to be, and now we all move forward with what is in store for us next.

I just wanted to put a little post out there to let people know that so they don’t think there was any form of negativity involved in any of the changes, and to let you know while I’ve been silent for a long time, I’ve been fighting like hell for my life and my sanity, so that I could get back to doing what I do best. Run around in circles and hope once in a while I do something right.

Health, happiness and peace to everyone.
Eric

Ehrlichia

// December 2nd, 2010 // No Comments » // Ashley's Blog, Links To Other Lyme Site Posts, Re-Posts, www.lymenaide.com

Ehrlichiosis (HME) was originally thought to be only an animal disease. It was described in humans in 1987 and is now found in 30 states, predominately in the southeast, south-central, and mid-Atlantic states, Europe and Africa. Anaplasmosis (HGE)in humans was first identified in 1990 in a Wisconsin man. Before that it was known to infect horses, sheep, cattle, dogs and cats. It occurs in the upper midwest, northeast, the mid-Atlantic states, northern California, and many parts of Europe. Studies suggest that in endemic areas as much as 15% to 36% of the population has been infected, though often it is not recognized. (1)

Diagnosis is limited by our current ability to test for only two species. Ehrlichia parasites multiply inside host cells, forming large mulberry-shaped clusters called morulae which doctors can sometimes see on blood smears. The infection still can easily be missed. The doctor may suspect ehrlichiosis/anaplasmosis in a patient who does not respond well to treatment for Lyme disease. (1)

Ehrlichiosis is caused by bacteria that belong to the family called Rickettsiae. Rickettsial bacteria cause a number of serious diseases worldwide, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and typhus. All of these diseases are spread to humans by a tick, flea, or mite bite.

Ehrlichia bacteria can be carried by the Lone Star tick, the American dog tick, and the deer tick, which can also cause Lyme disease. (2)

There are two kinds of ehrlichiosis, both of which are caused by tick-borne rickettsial parasites called Ehrlichia that infect different kinds of white blood cells. In HME (human monocytic ehrlichiosis), they infect monocytes. In HGE (human granulocytic ehrlichiosis), they infect granulocytes. HGE was renamed anaplasmosis in 2003. Ticks carry many Ehrlichia-like parasites that have not been identified yet. It is likely that the lone star tick transmits HME and that the deer tick transmits HGE. (1)

Not every individual tick is infected with the bacteria, so a tick bite does not automatically result in illness. It usually takes 24 to 36 hours for an infected feeding tick to transmit the ehrlichiosis-causing bacteria to its host. (3)

The symptoms of ehrlichiosis usually appear about a week after someone has been bitten by an infected tick. However, it is also common for ehrlichiosis to have very mild symptoms or even no symptoms at all. The only way to conclusively diagnose ehrlichiosis is through a blood test. The good news is that this disease is usually resolved by the immune system and requires no medical treatment. (3)

For people who have compromised or weak immune systems, such as very young children, the elderly or those with autoimmune deficiency diseases, ehrlichiosis can become very serious or fatal if left untreated. When the immune system is unable to effectively fight bacteria, the bacteria are able to multiply quickly and overwhelm the body. (3)

Treatments include-
Doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline, rifampin and zithromax

Symptoms include-
profound fatigue
sever muscle pain
high liver enzymes
low white blood cell count
fevers
severe headaches
nausea
malaise
flat red rash
diarrhea
joint pain
confusion
low platelet count
anemia
kidney failure
respiratory insufficiency

SOURCES-
1. http://www.lymedisease.org/lyme101/coinfections/ehrlichia.html

2. https://www.google.com/health/ref/Ehrlichiosis

3. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-ehrlichiosis.htm

RELATED POSTS-
Babesia
Bartonella
This Disease Called Lyme

Babesia

// December 1st, 2010 // No Comments » // Ashley's Blog, Re-Posts, www.lymenaide.com

Babesiosis is an infection caused by a malaria-like parasite, also called a “piroplasm,” that infects red blood cells. Babesia microti is believed to be the most common piroplasm infecting humans, but scientists have identified over twenty piroplasms carried by ticks. Ticks may carry only Babesia or they may be infected with both Babesia and Lyme spirochetes. (1)

Long-standing infections may need to be treated for several months, and relapses sometimes occur and must be retreated. (1)

Babesia infection is becoming more commonly recognized, especially in patients who already have Lyme Disease. It has been published that as many as 66% of Lyme patients show evidence of co-infection with Babesia. It has also been reported that Babesial infections can range in severity from mild, subclinical infection, to fulminant, potentially life-threatening illness. The more severe presentations are more likely to be seen in immunocompromised and elderly patients. Milder infections are often missed because the symptoms are incorrectly ascribed to Lyme. Babesial infections, even mild ones, may recrudesce and cause severe illness. This phenomenon has been reported to occur at any time, even up to several years after the initial infection. Furthermore, asymptomatic carriers pose risks: to the blood supply as this infection has been reported to be passed on by blood transfusion, and to the unborn child from an infected mother as it can be transmitted in utero. (2)

Diagnostic tests are insensitive and problematic. There are at least thirteen Babesial forms found in ticks, yet we can currently only test for B. microti and WA-1 with our serologic and nuclear tests. Standard blood smears reportedly are reliable for only the first two weeks of infection, thus are not useful for diagnosing later infections and milder ones including carrier states where the germ load is too low to be detected. Krause, PJ, Telford, SR, Spielman, A, et.al. Concurrent Lyme disease and Babesiosis. JAMA 1996. 275 (21):1660 “As is common in the case of Babesial infections, parasites frequently cannot be seen in blood films.” Therefore, multiple diagnostic test methods are available and each have their own benefits and limitations and often several tests must be done. Be prepared to treat based on clinical presentation, even with negative tests. (2)

No Lyme cure exists if a powerful co-infection like Babesia and/or Bartonella is present and untreated to the point of full removal. Lyme cure is also likely impossible in the presence of ineffective routine dosing, (i.e. like 750 mg of Mepron twice a day), which kills some Babesia but leaves some residual Babesia alive. (3)

Current Babesia testing does not test for all possible human species. Current national labs have not invested large sums to improve species or genus level Babesia testing, or better visualization techniques that would increase the capacity to see Babesia in a blood drop smear. (3)

Many Babesia species infect humans, and more species or species variants are discovered every year. I (Dr. Schaller) believe I am seeing patients with a mix of Babesia species or species variants. For example, I have patients with Babesia microti, Babesia duncani (WA-1) and suspected MO-1. This last species is all over North America. Further, I believe microti has more than one strain in the USA, and we already know it has more than one strain in the world. I believe the dose that kills one species or species variant, does not fully remove other species or other species variants. This is a revolutionary component in approaching Babesia treatment. (3)

Treatments include-
Mepron, malarone, lariam, clindamycin, quinine, alinia, metronidazole, primaquin, zithromax, cryptolepsis, artemisinin, smilax, tesel, enula, mora, rizol oils, flagyl, biaxin, ketek, plaquenil, chlorquine, primaquine, proquanil

Symptoms include-
night sweats
flushing pressure-like headaches
violent nightmares, vivid dreams
shortness of breath, air hunger
dry cough
neck pain
fatigue
dizziness
trouble thinking
fevers
memory loss
chills
sense of imbalance
encephalopathy DEFINITION

Related Post-
SUCCESSFUL BABESIA TREATMENT
BARTONELLA

SOURCES
1. http://www.lymedisease.org/lyme101/coinfections/babesia.html
2. http://www.canlyme.com/coinf.html#ehrl (taken from Burrascano)
3. http://www.babesiabook.com/articles/babesiaupdatereview.html

Bartonella

// November 30th, 2010 // 3 Comments » // Ashley's Blog, Links To Other Lyme Site Posts, Re-Posts, www.lymenaide.com

Bartonella is a bacterium that causes illness, the most commonly known of which is a disease called “Cat Scratch Fever.” Thousands of known cases of Bartonella occur in the U.S. each Year, with the vast majority of known cases due to bites from fleas that infest cats or infected dogs (may also occur directly from bites and scratches from infected dogs or cats). Bartonella can also be transmitted by ticks that transmit Lyme Disease. In fact, in a study published recently, deer ticks from New Jersey had a higher prevalence of Bartonella organisms than of Lyme organisms. (1)

It is unclear whether the organism that we see transmitted along with Lyme disease is actually a Bartonella species (such as B. henselae or B. quintana) or is “Bartonella-Like Organism” (BLO) that is yet to be fully identified. While BLO has features similar to organisms in the Bartonella family, it also has features slimiar to the Mycoplasma and the Francisella (causes tularemia) families. (1)

It has been said that Bartonella is the most common of all tick-borne pathogens. Indeed, there seems to be a fairly distinct clinical syndrome when this type of organism is present in the chronic Lyme patient. However, several aspect of this infection seem to indicate that this tick-associated strain of Bartonella is different from that described as “cat scratch disease”. For example, in patients who fit the clinical picture, standard Bartonella blood testing in commonly non-reactive. Furthermore, the usual Bartonella medications do not work for this- they suppress the symptoms but do not permanently clear them. For these reasons I (Dr Burrascano) like to refer to this as a “Bartonella-like organism” (BLO), rather than assume it is a more common species. (2)

Incidentally, animal studies show that Bartonella may be transmitted across the placenta. No human studies have been done. (2)

Bartonellosis is often mild but in serious cases it can affect the whole body. Early signs are fever, fatigue, headache, poor appetite, and an unusual, streaked rash. Swollen glands are typical, especially around the head, neck and arms. Burrascano suspects bartonellosis when neurologic symptoms are out of proportion to the other systemic symptoms of chronic Lyme. He also notes gastritis, lower abdominal pain, sore soles, and tender subcutaneous nodules along the extremities. Lymph nodes may be enlarged and the throat can be sore. (3)

Bartonella are bacteria that live inside cells; they can infect humans, mammals, and a wide range of wild animals. Not all Bartonella species cause disease in humans. Bartonella henselae causes an important emerging infection first reported in 1990 and described as a new species in 1992. It is mainly carried by cats and causes cat-scratch disease, endocarditis, and several other serious diseases in humans. (3)

Bartonella bacteria are known to be carried by fleas, body lice and ticks. Scientists suspect that ticks are a source of infection in some human cases of bartonellosis. People with tick bites and no known exposure to cats have acquired the disease. People who recall being bitten by ticks have been co-infected with Lyme and Bartonella. More research needs to be done to establish the role of ticks in spreading the disease. (3)

Babesia and Bartonella are not little addendums to Lyme disease, but are often far more serious than Lyme disease. Any physician who is not well-versed in these two killing infections perhaps should not be considered competent enough to treat patients with flea and tick infections. These infections do not circle around planet “Lyme” like small moons, instead, they are their own huge planets that cause massive consequences to the human body. (4)

In my experience (Dr. Schaller), Bartonella is profoundly agitating and causes all possible psychiatric troubles. Some patients feel like they have gasoline in their veins and are highly reactive and grossly sensitive. I also believe Babesia and Lyme disease, to a lesser extent, can also cause very diverse psychiatric troubles. (5)

It is important to realize that Bartonella is not rare. It is all over the world and only those living in the polar ice caps are immune to the risk of infection. I (Dr. Schaller) personally believe based on newer and more aggressive testing that it is more common than Lyme disease. Many are falsely diagnosed with Babesia because they are tired and fatigued, and yet this is a highly common symptom of Bartonella reported in vast numbers of studies. It is a major contributing infection to chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia symptom clusters. (6)

You should appreciate that it is unlikely you will ever be cured of Lyme in the presence of Bartonella. Why? Bartonella is a massive immune suppressing bacteria. It can float attached to Red Blood Cells in vast numbers and not even cause a cold or fever. Just imagine, bacteria are floating in your blood and you might not have any fever at all! If you had Staph or Strep in your blood at these levels you would likely be dead in 48 hours unless you were pumped full of antibiotics in an ICU. So how is it this huge elephant floats in vast numbers and causes no severe fever and no disastrous signs of deadly sepsis—infected blood throughout the body with massive inflammation. It is because it has ways of shutting down the immune system. It violates many rules of bacteria behavior and this is one reason it has been so seriously missed until recent years. (6)

Treatments include-
ceftin, ciprofloxacin, mycobutin, levaqin, septra, doxycycline, omnicet, cumanda, clove bud oil, houttuynia, banderol

Symptoms-
ice pick like headaches
photophobia
anxiety
reflex sympathetic dystorphy
cardiac problems
gut problems
plantar fascial pain
burning pain
night sweats
weight loss
neurological symptoms
foot pain, sore soles
enlarged lymph nodes
rash that looks like red or purple stretch marks PHOTOS
cold hands and feet
intestinal infection
blood thinkening
sore throat
agitation
insomnia
confusion
lower abdominal pain

Related Posts-
BABESIA

1. http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=062704;p=0
2. http://www.lymediseaseresource.com/BurrGuide2008.pdf
3. http://www.lymedisease.org/lyme101/coinfections/bartonella.html
4. http://lymeinfo.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/ignore-bartonella-stay-ill-lose-a-relationship-job-or-hurt-an-organ-part-1/
5. http://www.personalconsult.com/articles/violenceandlyme.html
6. http://74.125.155.132/custom?q=cache:4mhxB9XO9igJ:www.personalconsult.com/bartonella/bartonellaignored.doc+Bartonella&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=google-coop-np

Holy Crap, I’m Getting FAT!

// October 2nd, 2010 // 3 Comments » // Ashley's Blog

Seriously people, I’m struggling with this. I have a muffin top!!! It wouldn’t be so bad but the majority of the weight has gone to my tummy. I was honestly scared I might be pregers at first. I am so uncomfortable with my little buddha belly folding on top of itself, it’s squishing me. BLAH!

To top it off most of my clothes don’t fit anymore. Funnily, my skinniest jeans do still fit. They are low rise enough that my new addition can ride comfortably atop the ‘waistband’, which is actually located somewhere below my hips. Trust me you don’t want to peak under my shirt! My previously favorite pair of pants, on the other hand, suddenly went from boyfriend cut hip huggers to mom jeans, complete with being slightly too short.

The Reality- Am I fat? No, I am not fat at all. I don’t actually think that I am fat either so please don’t think that you need to send me any encouraging words. I did quite rapidly put on weight in the last two months, and I’m still adjusting to it.

It is a really good sign that I have packed on enough pounds to reach a healthy weight again. I have spent the majority of the last 10 years underweight. Good for the ego, not so great for my health.

Along with the weight has come extra energy, improved stamina and good report cards from my doctor. I am, happily, miles and pounds ahead of where I was this time last year.