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The Scary Medical Bad News That May Actually Be Good News

I have been laid up with what was apparently an inflammation of my brain for a few days that made me violently ill over the weekend. I have been largely offline since the publication of my last post here on Friday night and I am only just beginning to stagger back to my feet.

Early on Saturday morning, I made the 100 mile round trip drive to the office of the advanced late stage Lyme Disease specialist (thank you to the kind people who answered my plea for assistance and hit the tip jar to make that trip & office visit possible). A new clinician that I had not met before saw me, and I liked her a lot. she listened to me, she took seriously my complaints about the continuing daily cycle of fevers with chills alternating with freakishly low body temperatures (up and down, all day every day), the rash of itchy blisters on my face, neck, chest and abdomen which torment me, and the relentless never ending pain and weakness that I have all over my body despite having been on treatment for many weeks now. In addition to the Lyme, Ehrlichia/Anaplasmosis, and the dangerous systemic fungal infection, the clinician also believes that I have Babesia which is a parasitic infection that attacks the body’s red blood cells and is fatal, even with treatment, in about 20% of people who have it if they also have a compromised immune system – but while also being infected with Lyme and Ehrlichia makes the Babesia more complicated and difficult to treat, it also means it is not likely to kill me for some reason. Lots of Lymies also have Babesia and most of them have not been killed by it so I am not freaking out too much (the most common cause of death among those suffering from Chronic Lyme and related tick borne disease is actually suicide – but don’t worry that sort of thing about me, I like being alive). I have read that people who have undiagnosed and untreated Babesia do not get better with Lyme disease treatment until the Babesia is taken care of. So I have begun treatment for Babesia with a change in antibiotics and an anti-parasitic medication called Mepron which is a thick gloppy bright yellow paint-like substance that I have to drink twice a day and it’s kind of gross, but if it helps me get better then I am all in. I understand that things can get rough during treatment but as I am all fucked up right now anyway, if ‘worse before it gets better’ actually leads to ‘better’ then I can muddle through.

The long ride always wears me out and I spent much of Saturday in a daze after I got home. I had a headache by the time I went to bed. I woke up on Sunday before dawn with the worst headache that I have ever had in my entire life, and that is saying a lot; it was not like a regular headache either, I can’t even begin to describe how intense and all consuming the agony was – it made me scream, every beat of my heart throbbed my head and felt like it rattled my teeth, I thought I might die, and then I started throwing up. I spent the entire day in bed with my head packed in ice except for when I was vomiting and so it went into the evening. On Monday I felt better but still had a headache and was very weak. I spoke to my doctor about what had happened and they took note of it in case if it happens again. I seem to be recovering from whatever the heck that was about now, which is a good thing because there is much going on in the world and I do not want to miss out on any more of it than I have to.

So now we know that I have Lyme which attacks the brain & nervous system (and everything else), Ehrlichia/Anaplasmosis which is a bacterial infection that kills white blood cells, a systemic fungal infection that also attacks pretty much everything, and Babesia which is a parasitic infection that attacks red blood cells. What a mess! At least I think I am running out of cootie lifeforms that I can be afflicted with! But thinking about how there are so many gross things killing me reminded me of something from an old episode of The Simpsons, in which Mr. Burns went to the Mayo clinic for a thorough check-up – and was diagnosed with what was hilariously termed “Three Stooges Syndrome”.

Like many people in the Lyme community, while I am seriously and debilitatingly ill with such a wide variety of infections and afflictions (from bacterial, parasitic, and fungal organisms), a strange thing is I don’t tend to catch colds, even though I have a school aged child who brings home germs that get her and everyone else in the family but me sick, and my allergies don’t bother me as much as they used to – the theory behind this phenomenon is that Lymies’ immune systems are so damaged and so otherwise busy dealing with everything else that they simply cannot bother to even notice a cold or other such trifling things – I think the Three Stooges Syndrome does a better job of explaining it.

I can’t find a short clip of the scene in English, but here’s a Spanish language version of it and the dialogue in English below (I forget where I found it):

Mr. Burns, I’m afraid you are the sickest man in the United States. You have everything.

You mean I have pneumonia?


Juvenile diabetes?

Hysterical pregnancy?

Uh, a little bit, yes. You also have several diseases that have just been discovered – in you.

I see. You sure you haven’t just made thousands of mistakes?

Uh, no, no, I’m afraid not.

This sounds like bad news.

Well, you’d think so, but all of your diseases are in perfect balance. Uh, if you have a moment, I can explain.

Well… [looks at his watch]

Here’s the door to your body, see? [bring up some small fuzz balls with goofy faces and limbs from under the desk] And these are oversized novelty germs. [points to a different one up as he names each disease] That’s influenza, that’s bronchitis, [holds up one] and this cute little cuddle-bug is pancreatic cancer. Here’s what happens when they all try to get through the door at once. [tries to cram a bunch through the model door. The “germs” get stuck] [Stooge-like] Woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo. Move it, chowderhead. [normal voice] We call it, “Three Stooges Syndrome”.

So what you’re saying is, I’m indestructible.

Oh, no, no, in fact, even slight breeze could…


Here is the full length episode in English, I found it at a Russian website, I couldn’t find it anywhere else. The scene I refer to goes from about 13:53 – 14:51, feel free to skip to it, or just enjoy the entire fun episode:


So to sum up, I am really sick; but the bad news that I got is actually good news, and, so if I start complaining that I’ve been sneezing my head off some time in the future, please remind me that it is probably a good thing! I still have a long road ahead of me, but at least it looks like that road may actually be leading somewhere. It is difficult and expensive to wage this battle, but there’s no other option but to fight. Please consider helping if you can. Thoughts and prayers are also greatly appreciated. Thank you.


This post is included in Larwyn’s Linx at Doug Ross. Thank you, Doug!


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