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My Story, by Jennifer Darr

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As a child I was always sick. By my sophomore year in high school I started working out and drinking protein shakes and eating healthy. That helped but I still had other female issues. When I was 18, I went to see Virginia Jenkins (Rich Easterling ND, mother) for help with my nutritional needs.
Virginia taught me about deep body cleanses and the importance in diet and getting extra nutrients from supplements.
Over the years I have done numerous cleanses. I even had my two last kids born at home with a nurse midwife. Before I got deathly sick a year and a half ago, I stopped taking some of my enzymes and supplements that Rich Easterling ND put me on. I was very busy with my grandma and my husbands grandma visiting them in nursing homes. Basically, I let myself go.

I became deathly ill last March, 2013, after I had a root canal crown redone. (Didn’t know at the time that was why…..as far as how long I have had Lyme Disease, not really sure, but we, Dr Easterling and I, are thinking at least 15-20 years, if not longer). I had bad circulation, feet turned blue/purple when walking or when they were down(had to elevate) severe back, leg, feet, pain. Cramping and abdomen pain. Night sweats, couldn’t drive. All symptoms of Lyme. Went to ER and to obgyn cause I had fibroids that doubled. ER said I had edema. Blood work looked fine to all MD. OBGYN said some day, I need hysterctomy. Since I was in extreme pain I opted to have it within 2 weeks. (I faxed my blood work to my retired holistic doctor, Rich Easterling and he said, Jen you have an infection or you are just getting over one and your are anemic ). I told my OBGYN and regular doctor that and they said no. I went ahead and had the surgery. The doctor said he removed endometriosis, but it didn’t show up on the pathology report. The pain got worst and my health got worst. I would go into OBGYN and say something is wrong, and they said I was fine, part of healing. By 3 weeks post op, I went in and demanded blood work. A day later, the doctor called and prescribe me an antibiotic and said take it, and in a day or two you will be fine. It Didn’t happen. Instead I got worst. I called the dr that was on call, which happened to be Easter morning(three days on antibiotic ) and he ordered me another antibiotic and said by evening I will be better. The pain got sooooo bad that finally friends of mine drove me to the ER. (I sent hubby and kids to SC for spring break, a trip that I was supposed to be well enough to make by than). The ER ran blood work and did X-rays and finally CT scan. They found and abscess in my lower right side. They immediately admitted me and started me on every strong IV antibiotic there was. They even asked me if I wanted to see the Chaplin ?. The next day, still tons of pain. The on call doctor made an executive decision that saved my life. He scheduled surgery for the next morning. I made it through the night and underwent another procedure to drain the abscess. To their horrifying surprise, it was an infected abscess hematoma. They put a drainage tub in me to drain out the infected blood. It took 4 days for the blood to drain and for my intestines to start working. (Funny how they don’t like sitting in infected blood). My pain continued. I was sent home with antibiotics and pain pills after 6 days of being hospitalized. I went back to OBGYN who took me off the antibiotics and said I was fine. I demanded more blood work which showed the infection was gone(cause they don’t know how to read bloodwork for people with Lyme). I had other tests and asked what other specialist I could see. I had GERD done to see if I had something stuck in my stomach causing pressure. That was fine. I went back weekly for ultrasound and was told that I just have these little ovarian cyst. I ended up in the ER the night I was to fly out to a Pampering, shopping spree, Oprah like trip I earned from my company I represent, Silpada Designs. I was told by ER doctor that is was my cyst and why didn’t the doctor remove my ovaries? Needles to say I missed the trip! The pain continued and I went back to OBGYN who said I was fine. Finally I just gave up on doctors and suffered in pain. After 3 months of barely being able to eat and living in pain( I drank protein drinks and did herbs and vitamins to get by) I tried exercising and BOOM! Talk about extreme pain. Grudgingly, I went back to OBGYN who said my cyst have grown, let’s do Laparoscopy to get rid of them and clean up anything. I had the procedure. The doctor said that my ovaries and tubes were stuck by lesions to my abdomen wall. He removed the lesions and they were healthy. Two days later I got a double infection at surgery site. I was placed on an antibiotic. It didn’t help. So I went back and was tossed to another dr office to observe and diagnose. That is when I was placed on Cipro, which sent me to the ER within 20 min after taking it. They than put me on another antibiotic. My pain had stopped for two weeks after the laparoscopic surgery, only to return with a vengeance. I went back to OBGYN who told me I had a golf ball size cyst on one ovary and three cyst on the other one. He said, see Ya in 6 months. I made an apt for a second opinion, only to have to cancel last minute cause of extreme pain. I went back to OBGYN 6 days later which was Halloween last year. He told me my ovaries are now bad and need to be removed. I asked how they went bad so fast, and he just said they did. Of course being in the pain I was in, I had surgery 4 days later that removed my ovaries, tubes and what he told me was more endometriosis. The pain continued. Post op pain I was informed, so I sucked it up. When I went back two weeks later to have stitches removed I asked where the endometriosis was and was informed “no worries, I am all good because he is a good doctor.” The pathology again showed no endometriosis . I started a new doctor. My story goes on, doctor after doctor. Specialist after specialist. 4-5 ER visits. My blood pressure elevated to 145/90- 150/100 by June 2014. I was Diagnosed with hypothyroid in June at an ER run. My TSH was 43! I was placed on 50mcg of synthroid and my Doctor increased it to 100! I had multiple x-rays (4 huge calcified lymph nodes on my sternum),MRI’s (bone spurs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disk, herniated disks, twisted vertebrae, tilted pelvic and more). a bone scan (which showed an acute fractured 6th rib). I was diagnosed with Chronic Pain and sent to a seminar to learn how to live with it. I finally got desperate! But in all actuality I started to wise up! I drove down to Indiana to see my retired holistic doctor, Rich Easterling, N.D., PHD. with my blood work and all of my medical reports. Rich asked if anyone did a Lyme test on me? Well, I thought for sure they did because they tested me for Lupus, MS and what I thought, all of the other autoimmune diseases. I was wrong. No Lyme test was given. I contacted my doctor at the pain clinic and asked her to run a blood test. She agreed but informed me that she does NOT treat Lyme Disease. I said no problem, I just need the test ordered. The Lyme Antibody Test came back 1.38High! I had switched my main medical doctor right before this test came back. My new Doctor ordered colonoscopy and abdominal ultra sound. Everything was fine. When the Lyme Antibody test came back she started me on antibiotics and an anti anxiety pill. The doctor ordered what was “suppose to be” a Western Bloc Test. I had my blood drawn and went up to Drumand Island for my daughter’s destination wedding. I was soooo ill. I could barely make any of the events and I was only able to make her wedding and the beginning toast to her wedding reception. Yes, I know what heartbreak and pain feels like:(. 4 days after the wedding on Wednesday, August 20th, I saw a Neurologist. She concurred if my western bloc came back that I had Lyme Disease. Unfortunately the western bloc was never ordered because doctors in our area do not know how to order it. Thank you CDC. Instead a second Lyme Antibody test came back at 1.33 HIGH on August 21st. That same day my heart palpations and breathing were so bad, I ended up in the ER again. They gave me 1 hour IV fluids and chest X-ray. I was asked if I was ever diagnosed emphysema. I told them about needing a Western Bloc test and was informed they don’t treat Lyme. I need to make an appointment like everyone else with an infectious disease doctor. I was given an antidepressant (which happened at every ER visit) and sent home with my high blood pressure and trouble breathing. I called my doctor office and they said to come in and pick up the order for western bloc. I had a friend drive me there the next day. When I reached the doctor office, winded of course, I was informed by the receptionist that the doctor on call said “don’t be to excited if you have Lyme Disease. It is nothing to be excited about!” I grinned and left. My thoughts were “Really!!!! Like I want this disease? I just need to know what I am dealing with so I can treat it.” On my way to the lab I read the orders. No, I am NOT a doctor, but by now I know what the same blood orders look like! Yes, once again the other doctor ordered me the Lyme Antibody Test! I questioned the Lab and they concurred. But to my amazement, they didn’t know what a Western Bloc Test was! After 20 minutes of them making calls, I believe one was to the CDC, they told me they knew what to do. I got my blood drawn and was told I would know in 5-6 business days. Later that day I received 2 phone calls from my Doctor Office informing me that they do NOT treat Lyme Disease and if the test came back positive, it isn’t accurate. The ONLY test that is, is IGeneX test and that I had to call this 800 number to order it and bring it to them for the blood draw to mail in. The test was anywhere from $500-$1,000! I didn’t know which one to order ! I decided to wait. On Friday, August 22nd , the same day of blood draw, I started throwing up for a week straight. The story behind not going to the dr or ER is to painful to discuss at this time. I called Rich Easterling on Wednesday, August 27th. Rich found me a holistic clinic in Grand Rapids that he felt could help. I called and could of gotten in that day, but I had no transportation. I booked an appointment on Friday afternoon. When I finally barely got there( I had to drive myself) the doctor ordered some test and said, let’s start some IV nutrition today on you! Praise God! I drove home and threw up for the last time that night. My friend, Kim Ellicott and my brother Richie came over the next day and started making my potassium broth, Oat Straw Tea, juiced organic carrot and apples and prepared my herbs for my herbal colemas and coffee enemas. That was the game changer. A 7 day deep tissue cleanse along with IV Nutrition and Lauricidin, Vera Thera CF and cytothyme THY, and supplements for my body via a hair analysis. I had 4 IV nutrition treatments total in a week and a half. On Tuesday, September 2nd I had my blood drawn for the IGeneX test before my 2nd IV Nutrition. Rich Easterling ND worked with an MD in Tennessee for many years successfully treated Lyme Patients with IV Hydrogen Peroxide instead of antibiotics. Rich wanted me to find a doctor in Michigan that would do that. On Monday, September 8th I found a 3 doctors in Michigan from the free online book called “The Truth About Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide”. www.foodgrade-hydrogenperoxide.com I mad the call to Dr Nebbeling office and was able to get in two days later as a new Patient. Dr Nebbeling did a full exam and went over all my medical records. He started me on Photoluminescence (UBI) treatments. I ended up doing 8 of those and getting 2 Neurotherapy (it opened my lymphatic system up and stopped my sciatic and carpel tunnel). Dr Nebbeling also started me on Bio-Identical Hormones. Awesome stuff. After almost a year of waking up every hour due to sweating or hot flashes, I am finally able to sleep! When the IGeneX test came back, Dr Nebbeling had just went to a weekend seminar on Lyme Disease. Before me, he only saw a few people with it. Dr Nebbeling ordered me 10 big bags of IV H2O2 and 10 big bags of IV Vit C with ozone and gluthosinine push. Talk about detoxing. If it wasn’t for my daily coffee enemas and a diet free of sugar dairy and gluten, I don’t think it would of been as easy.
Another part of my healing was having my mercury fillings removed. Unfortunately, I have 4 root canals and all 4 were/are infected with Lyme and Bacteria. This is the last part of my healing process. Dr Nebbeling referred me to a holistic dentist in Milan(where I grew up). Her name is Dr Natalie Horn. Amazing lady. I have undergone two separate surgeries removing two infected root canals. The infections were so bad into my jaw bone that she had to take out some the bone! Tomorrow, Dec 3rd the last two infected root canals will be removed. After that, I plan on 5 more IV H2O2 treatments in hope to be done with this. Dr Nebbeling ordered on November 10th blood work for Lyme markers and cancer markers. If I do have cancer, which unfortunately my co-infections can cause, I will tweak what I am doing and kick that too!

jenniferdarrMy Story, by Jennifer Darr
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A Loved One Has Lyme Disease: What To Expect

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This is a well written blog from the Travel Journal. A Must Read!

Travels Journal
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
A Loved One Has Lyme Disease: What to Expect
It may be a friend, a sibling, a child, even a parent, but if you’re reading this, someone you deeply care for has Lyme Disease and you’re trying to understand what this all means. It’s surely a confusing time for everyone involved. Whether your loved one has been sick for years, or just a short time, your understanding of their situation and unwavering support will be crucial in their recovery. You may not realize it. You may not fully comprehend why someone you thought you knew so well may be behaving differently, but it doesn’t mean their feelings for you have changed or they need you any less. When this is all behind the both of you, your relationship will be much stronger for what you’ve both endured, and for your ability to understand their struggle. But how do you even begin to understand what one is dealing with in terms of this illness? I’ll do my best to help.

Lyme Disease is difficult to deal with, one of the most difficult illnesses someone could be handed in today’s medical society. There’s a good chance that you were happy when you heard your loved one had been diagnosed with Lyme. They likely had some horrific diseases thrown at them as possible diagnoses before this. But be clear, this is not an easy illness. The person you cared about has just embarked on a very difficult journey, one that will take months, maybe even years.

Let’s get this out of the way right now. Lyme is misunderstood by everyone! Friends, family, even the medical community. To say the general knowledge of this illness is limited would be the understatement of the year. Lyme patients often lack the empathy of those closest to them. This disease doesn’t incite the same type of reaction in people as hearing that someone they know has Cancer. You know, the big C word. Cancer is a horrendous disease, one that should have as much resources pumped into defeating it as possible. However, in many cases, Lyme Disease can be just as devastating as a cancer diagnosis. This is not an over exaggeration, this is clearly stating the truth. Please, if anything, acknowledge how scary this is for your loved one. Lyme is also different in everyone’s body, so don’t compare other patients stories with one another. If you know someone that got well in a few weeks, great for them. However, that doesn’t mean that your loved one will have the same outcome. Be aware, that they will be on their own individual path to wellness that will be vastly different from many other patients.

First off, understand that your loved one is not lazy. I can’t state this enough. Their inability to get out of bed isn’t borne out of some type of depression. They are not leaving their bedroom more often than not because they are physically unable to. Lyme can present itself in many different ways, but the one universal symptom is the devastating fatigue. The illness attacks the mitochondria, which helps energize our bodies. When the mitochondria within our cells are damaged, as they are in Lyme, it creates an inability to produce high energy molecules. In those with Lyme, our mitochondria tend to be at about half of their normal capabilities, creating the chronic fatigue. The fatigue robs you of the ability to maintain almost any quality of life. Your mind may tell you to do things, but your body is physically unable to. It’s hard to describe, but it is unlike anything I could’ve ever imagined experiencing. A vibrant, athletic, teenager can be transformed into someone that looks as if they belong in a hospice. The task of walking down the block could take your loved one the same amount of energy as it does for you to run five miles.

Second, your loved one is not crazy. This distinction manifests itself into two different parts, and I’ll touch on them both. The medical community is extremely behind on its knowledge of this illness. It would take me a short book to describe the reasons why, and then it still wouldn’t be enough. Just realize, the research behind Lyme is in its infancy stage. Right now, there is a huge argument taking place within the medical community on whether late stage Lyme even exists (A main factor in why your loved one has a hard time finding a diagnosis). Due to this, those with the illness often feel alienated. They are routinely told they’re healthy, when their clearly not. MS was once deemed the crazy person disease before the MRI was invented that allowed physicians to see lesions in the brain. We are now going through this same type of treatment, and after research catches up with Lyme, I’m sure it’ll happen to patients with another disease. Since we’re told we’re healthy, some will be deemed as mentally ill, when their illness is very much physical. Your loved one isn’t crazy, they have simply been mistreated by those within the medical community.

However, Lyme can effect some cognitively and emotionally. Depression is common due to simply being isolated from the world with this illness, but it does have the ability to alter the chemistry within one’s brain. You may notice that your loved one may start exhibiting some odd behavior or may not be as sharp as they once were. Don’t be alarmed, this is relatively normal, and will dissipate with proper treatment but it won’t happen overnight. Be aware, if their behavior has changed, it truly isn’t their fault. They may become harder to deal with, and may even seem like a different person. It is temporary. If they lash out at you, or do something odd, try not to let it get to you. You may even have to simply ignore these outbursts for awhile. If they seem to be dazed and out of it, don’t make fun of them by pointing out how stupid they seem. This once again, isn’t their fault and it’s best left ignored. Eventually things will return to normal, and you’ll have your loved one back and you may even laugh off some of the odd things that happen. Please, just be patient with them.

Third, your loved one’s feelings haven’t changed for you simply because you no longer hear from them. There are a number of factors why you may lose touch with this person, and it has nothing to do with their affection towards you. For many of us, we have to take a sabbatical from life while we recover, and it’s painful. Sometimes, the painful part is watching those close to you move on with their lives while yours is stuck in neutral. I was always happy when one of my friends accomplished something great, but at times it did become hard to connect and relate when you were in bed all day. Your loved one may be in touch less because they simply don’t know what to talk about anymore, your lives are much different now. Please feel free to share with them your life when you do talk, but don’t list your latest personal achievements extensively, it will create a divide between you two. Also, ask about their illness, but try not to push the questions too hard. They’ll open up when they’re ready. If anything, when communicating, try to laugh and joke about past memories and reassure them that you’ll be doing the same things once they’re better. Also don’t feel shy to leave a simple message that you’re thinking of them. It may not seem like much, but it can really turn a bad day to a good one when someone isn’t feeling well. Lastly, don’t be afraid to contact them a few times in a row if they weren’t the first one to initiate the conversation. You may have to do the heavy lifting in your relationship, and that’s ok for now.

Lastly, we’ll go through the process of treatment for your loved one. Something that you must understand is that this will get worse for them before it gets better. You may hear them mention going through a herxheimer reaction. You’ll probably ask yourself, “What the hell is that?” When we kill the bacteria associated with Lyme Disease or its Co-Infections it releases toxins within our bodies. This toxic build up will have many of us feeling like we have a constant hangover or flu. Unfortunately, there’s not much of a way around it. We simply have to tolerate it and push through. But since the disease is disabling on its own, this can do nothing more but pile onto the misery. After awhile they will start seeing improvements but it will rarely be quick or significant. This is a slow race to wellness that involves a lot of steps. They will be on a host of different medication, sometimes one can be taking up to 100 pills per day! Those pills may also carry along side effects that also have us feeling worse. No lyme patients will get better from the same treatment, we usually get better from trial and error. Our doctors will put us on different meds, see our reactions and continually switch them in and out as if it’s an act of juggling, trying to discern the right protocol. Your loved one is going to hit a wall where progress won’t be made for awhile, hang in there with them. This recovery will not be a straight hike up the mountain, there will be peaks and large valleys they must travel through to reach their desired destination.

If you went into this article thinking this illness would be a breeze, I hope you’re coming out with a very different impression. Love and support will make the recovery process ten times easier, I’d even go as far to say its required for your love one to get well. If you’re able to understand the seriousness of this illness while being there for them through the tears, the smiles, the confusion, you will be part of their treatment protocol to get well, you will be their medicine! I was recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, if my quality of life was hypothetically at 100, diabetes would take it to 99. Lyme, well Lyme can and has taken it from 100 to 0. Thats the significance of this insidious disease! So go out there, find your loved one, give them a hug, and let them know that you’re there for them!

jenniferdarrA Loved One Has Lyme Disease: What To Expect
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My first post !

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Hip Hip Hooray! After 3 months of finally being diagnosed with Lyme Disease, I am able to tell my story and help others overcome this debilitating and sometimes deadly disease that no one really knows about, especially the medical community.

jenniferdarrMy first post !
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