Lyme Disease: What I’ve Learned The Hard Way

Heather Dessinger

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Several years ago, I thought I knew two things about Lyme disease:

  1. It was pronounced Lymes. (Nope)
  2. It wasn’t something to be concerned about where I lived. (Also nope, Lyme infected ticks are in half of all U.S. counties.) (1)

Today I know more about it than I ever would have imagined, both from a diagnostic/treatment standpoint and the impact it can have on a family . . . mine.

Deep breath. Here we go.

When my family moved from Texas to a little neighborhood near Nashville*, I had no idea that the perfectly manicured, suburban lawn we played tag on would change our lives.

Ticks were not common where I grew up, so late one afternoon when I found a tick on myself and one of my kids I freaked out, went immediately to the CDC website, and searched to see if Lyme disease had been reported in the area.

No reported cases. Phew.

I exhaled, not knowing that Lyme disease is vastly underreported due to lack of awareness and inadequate testing methods.

My husband was also bitten around the same time and didn’t think much of it. Like me, he thought he was safe because the tick hadn’t been attached long.

Myths About Lyme Disease Transmission

The CDC current stance is that “In most cases, the tick must be attached for 36-48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted.” (2) However, according to this study, “the minimum attachment time for transmission of infection has never been established.”

It was once assumed that ticks couldn’t transmit Lyme until they’d fed for a long time – the rationale was that when they are very full they regurgitate some of the contents of their stomach into the host, including the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria that causes Lyme.

However, what we now know is that Borrelia burgdorferi can be found in tick salivary glands, not just their stomachs, making rapid transmission more possible. Also, if a tick has fed partially on another host before attaching to someone, it can accelerate the rate of transmission.

Mechanisms for early transmission of spirochetes have been proposed based on their presence in different organs of the tick. Studies have found systemic infection and the presence of spirochetes in the tick salivary glands prior to feeding, which could result in cases of rapid transmission. Also, there is evidence that spirochete transmission times and virulence depend upon the tick and Borrelia species. These factors support anecdotal evidence that Borrelia infection can occur in humans within a short time after tick attachment.” (3)

Other tick-borne illnesses are known to be transmitted in as little as ten minutes. (3)

It’s also important to note that “Most people never notice the tick that gave them Lyme disease.” Ticks in the nymph stage can be as small as a poppy seed, and “UC Berkeley entomologist Robert Lane reports that one of his team of researchers was fed upon by infected nymphal ticks for at least 1-2 days after exposure to tick-infested habitat, despite ‘extreme personal preventive measures.’ He advises people who work or recreate in endemic areas to check themselves frequently and carefully for several days following exposure since unfed nymphs are very difficult to spot and may be easier to detect when partially replete.” (4) (emphasis mine)

Testing for Lyme Disease

A few years after those original bites, my husband began struggling to remember things and developed severe joint and muscle pain. We went to a local functional medicine practitioner to try to figure out why.

My gut said it had something to do with the tick bites, but the practitioner thought otherwise. It took awhile to find someone who didn’t just run the two conventional tests – Western Blot test and the ELISA test –  which often fail to deliver accurate results. Even when both are performed together, 44 out of every 100 cases are missed. (5) (6)

He eventually did get proper testing, though, which came back positive for not just Lyme but several other tick-borne infections. At that point, we opted to test our entire family and I came back positive as well as one of my three children.

My husband definitely had symptoms and my child had started reporting frequent stomach aches that didn’t resolve with our usual natural remedies, so I immediately began researching healing protocols for them.

Because I wasn’t having any symptoms at all, the doctor who ordered our tests said my immune system was strong and had likely taken care of it. I’ve learned the hard way that Lyme can stay in stealth mode for a long time until it finds a weakness to exploit. Eventually it found mine, which turned out to be related to a genetic mutation I didn’t know I had and a procedure that was done while I was in junior high. (More on those later, too.)

Treatment & Recovery

Because I wasn’t experiencing any symptoms, I did one round of UVLRx (a natural, complementary medicine therapy offered by the M.D. we were working with) along with an herbal protocol “just in case.” Really, though, I mostly focused my efforts on my family.

If we haven’t had the chance to meet in person (yet!), here’s something you need to know about me: When I get together with close friends for any length of time – a multi-family trip, for example – it’s never considered over until I cry.

Because I ALWAYS CRY. Happy tears. Sad tears. Empathy tears. Tears because I’ve laughed until it literally hurts. When it comes to health I’m a “show me the data” and “I’ll just hop over to PubMed” kind of girl, but when it comes to relationships I’m all about connection. And crying, apparently.

Except when I’m processing something really difficult. 

You see, I pushed my last baby out without my midwives – who were just a few feet away – even realizing I’d hit the transition phase of labor. Most people moan or grunt communicate in some way, but when I’m working through something hard – labor and otherwise – I don’t make a sound. I just focus on finding every ounce of strength I have to do what I need to do.

That’s what I did with my family. When it came to them, I focused first on seeing them through and then planned to share our journey with you. Today they’re both considered fully recovered by their Lyme-literate doctor based on their lab results – a victory that they’ve been celebrating for over two years now.

Waking A Sleeping Giant

Unfortunately, just when I felt ready to share our journey with you – with my family’s blessing, of course – I began experiencing symptoms that my doctor and I eventually figured out were related to Lyme. My symptoms and recovery have been completely different than my husband and child’s, and it taught me that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to Lyme that fits for everyone.

For me, everything started when one non-standard test came back out of range, and I immediately started therapies for the most likely causes. Now, one thing to know about stealth infections like Lyme (and many viruses) is that they don’t really like it when you find them. When I started addressing things head-on, it felt like I woke a sleeping giant. I am still trying to find the words to describe what that experience was like.

Maybe you think waiting to share makes me inauthentic, but I agree with Brené Brown, who wrote in one of her many books (I wish I could remember which one) that sharing our stories on a public level when they are still very raw is not brave or vulnerable in a healthy way. I needed to own my story before I could share it with you. I needed to gather my strength to do hard things, not be distracted by negative or hurtful comments.

After not publishing much on the blog because I was focused on healing, I’m writing more often again. Some of what I share – like a recent article on cellulite – may not seem directly related, but it usually is. (For example, I learned a lot about cellulite while diving deep into lymphatic health.) If my articles sometimes seem too playful or lighthearted given what I’ve shared, know this: I won’t waste one drop of love or joy that finds it’s way into my life.

I’ve learned so much that I hope will be valuable to you or to someone you love. I know intimately the pain so many of you feel, and I wish I could hug every one of you and tell you that you are not alone.

More specific blog posts about Lyme and other topics (plus usual subjects like herbs) are in the works, but first I wanted to share this story with you and hear your questions and thoughts. As always, thank you for reading.

* We no longer live in the Nashville area.


1. Asher, Claire (2016) Lyme disease–carrying ticks are now in half of all U.S. counties.

2. CDC. Lyme Disease Transmission.

3. Cook, Michael (2014) Lyme borreliosis: a review of data on transmission time after tick attachment

4. Bay Area Lyme

5. Pub Med article: “Lyme Wars: Let’s Tackle the Testing”

6. – “If You’re Testing for Lyme Disease, Here’s What You Should Know. 

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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79 thoughts on “Lyme Disease: What I’ve Learned The Hard Way”

  1. God bless you for sharing your story with all of us – This is such a timely post for me… I just removed a tick a couple of weeks ago that was a tiny nymph (the poppyseed size is a great analogy). I wouldn’t have noticed it if it wasn’t on the front of my neck. I have many friends who have been severely affected by Lyme Disease & so I’m concerned that I might be carrying around the bacteria myself. I’d love for you to share more when you can about the treatments you pursued & resources you found helpful. Thank you so much!

    • I am really *really* excited to hear what you have to say about this disease. You are a trusted source to me! And I’ve worried about me or one of my family members getting this disease for a while now— it’s kind of a fear of mine. I’m anxious to hear more of your story.

      • My husband was bit by a tick a couple years ago. He has RA type symptoms now, the Dr said a marker showed up for that as well. He didn’t check for Lyme but, I wonder….. looking forward to seeing what you have done to see if it makes a difference

        • Please pray for me, I’ve been battling Lyme disease for over and year and feel so hopeless and helpless if ever getting better, I’m actually getting new symptoms even on antibiotics, I had a picc line in for over 3 months. It has crossed my blood brain barrier and caroused so many problems I cannot even describe the misery I endure all day, everyday and night, myself and family pray without ceasing for a miracle. Thank you for prayers. If you have any advice please, please, please let me know as soon as possible ???

          • Check out Dietrich Klinghart Md,Phd researcher & professor, a wealth of information on the subject. Also a speaker in the online lyme summits… which they have had in April the past 3 years & can still be purchased from Jay Davidson,, a functional medicine practitioner. Apparently antibiotics only work if started soon after initial bite & then you have to do herbs & other protocols.

          • I’m anxious to hear about your healing journey. My son has just been diagnosed and I’m searching for info from trusted sources

          • Thank you for this! My son was bit 3 times this summer. And he’s starting to have speech problems, I’m wondering if it has to do with his bites. Would love more info on treating!!

        • Thank you for sharing your story. I would love to hear more about the treatment and if there is a herbal treatment for it.

          Thanks and Regards,

    • Hi Heather
      I have found your web site to be consistently good and useful.
      Do you have this information on a memory stick or something that i can buy. An old fashioned book would be great.
      The reason is that i am watching everything tighten down on anything alternative or natural. I don’t think it will be long before we see google and friends restricting the info.
      I would like to have it in my hands and not be dependent on the Internet for this.

    • People have different opinions on this, but if you think you may have Lyme, I would encourage you to do a round of antibiotics because it was so recent! I did t know I had Lyme until around 4.5 years into chronic illness, so treatment looked much different for me. But I have heard if you catch it right away, antibiotics can be very effective!

  2. Thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to hear the rest! So sorry your family had to go through that. Especially your child.
    In most cases, if the tick has bitten too, it would be attached still correct?

  3. Living in rural New Jersey, Lyme is one of my biggest fears. Everytime I take my boys out and tell them to go barefoot and sit in the grass the fear of ticks fills my head! Can’t wait to see how you and your family healed! You are an amazing mama!

  4. I sympathize with you. I have chronic Lyme’s for years now. I really hate to tell you this but your resources are severely lacking. You haven’t even skimmed the surface of this disease. Broad spectrum antibiotics actually can make it worse. You did mention the virus “hiding” which is does in the joints when you take antibiotics. Lyme’s crosses the blood brain barrier and Epstian-Barr virus is the original mother of Lyme’s. All this is too lengthy for a comment section. Contact me if you want more info.

    • Just curious, how could a virus be the “mother” of Lyme? Borrelia are all bacteria, so totally unrelated to the viral world.

      • Have loved and followed your site for years! PLEASE share the protocols you followed for each member of your family. We live in an area where there are deer and ticks. My husband just got bit by one and of course I’m freaking out. Not our first tick rodeo but definitely our first since hearing so much news on Lyme disease :/ Anxious mama over here with 3 babes!

    • Hi Wendy, I’m really interested in anything you have to say on the subject of lyme, and anything that has helped you…my daughter has had chronic lyme for years now too, but we only found out 8 months ago….she is being treated by a someone who does biomagnetism and finds the parasites and draws them out.. What are your thoughts on that?

  5. Any real potent home made tick spray.
    We are in the wilderness and I fear them.

    Thanks for sharing. We all need to hear your story.

  6. I had Lyme disease back in 1988 when my second baby wasn’t yet 2. I’ve always been an outdoors person and ticks were just something you dealt with. Never had the red bullet which is the signature of Lyme disease. I had pain in my joints and got to the point where I could barely walk. There were news articles about Lyme disease back east but being in Kansas it wasn’t supposed to be a threat. Fortunately a doctor listened to me when I asked to be tested. I went on an oral antibiotic and recovered. Still feel it is underreported and wonder if it will rise up again.

  7. I am really looking forward to an interested in hearing the rest of this series of articles on Lyme disease which, I too, thought was pronounced “Lymes”! A little over a month ago I bull’s-eye rash appeared on my daughters upper chest. I took her to the pediatrician, he sent us away saying to put on some cortisol because it was a topic dermatitis. Meanwhile, my neighbor who also homeschools and his daughter was in the same outdoor program, began experiencing pain and swelling in her knees to the point where she could not even walk. We both took our children in again and I was turned away a second time. It was an integrative functional medicine Doctor Who did the testing and confirmed both of our daughters were positive for Lyme. So, both used doxycycline and are on an herbal protocol for 17 weeks post antibiotics, plus no sugar or gluten. I’m wondering if I should also get tested and how to prevent this in the future! I had been using the rose geranium essential oil on my kids b4 their Forest school as a prevention to no avail. I’ve found other ticks since and they were literally smaller than some of their freckles! Is there an easy online test one can order without going to the doctor and how do we prevent these in the future?

  8. Heather, thank you for sharing your story. About 25 years ago, I was feeling run down, tired, and out of focus. I was just exhausted. My doctor suggested that I might have Lyme disease.

    I thought he was crazy since I had not been bitten by a tick to my knowledge. That was the key point – to my knowledge. Yep, I had it. I took the prescribed treatment at that time, which was three months of high dose antibiotics. I recovered to a degree but was left with rapidly accelerating degenerative joint disease. Every joint in my body is affected, but we push on when we have to, don’t we? I hope you and your family do not suffer any further negative effects. This disease is a pain.

  9. It’s lovely to hear from you again after so long. I’m sorry to hear all that you and your beautiful family went through, and I’m glad you’ve found healing. I can’t wait to hear your story!

    • Thanks for sharing. I am very curious to hear about the treatment and symptoms you had after it was dormant for so long. My aunt has had it and still struggles with many odd health issues that we think may be related.

  10. So glad to hear from you again!

    I suspect I may have Lyme, but it’s a bit hard to tell with other things I’ve discovered in my health. You mentioned there was more than just the Western blot and ELISA tests – can you tell me what other tests they administered? I don’t have any good evidence as to why I’m always so tired and have lots of brain fog. Thanks so much!!

    • I appreciate your article on this topic, but you only mentioned which tests aren’t accurate; I need to know which one you used because I believe I have Lyme disease and don’t want to bother with inaccurate tests. Does anyone know which test to use?

      • Did you ever figure out which tests to use? I’m trying to education myself on tick borne illnesses as my 6 yr old had has 3 ticks on her in just 3 weeks and I want to know what to Lol for incase there are symptoms. Anyhow, I recently watched an interview done by Dr. Mark Hyman and he shared tests that are accurate however I do not remember what they are; I want to rewatch the interview and take notes of the tests and treatments he spoke highly of.

  11. Oh my! Just found a tick that had to be attached for several days!
    I will be watching for symotons and wanting to know NATURAL ways for treating.
    Thank you for sharing and being REAL!
    Kathy Lee

  12. I am reading this post with intrigue. I am wondering, how do I find a proper lyme literate doctor to do the right testing?

  13. Welcome back!
    Thank you for sharing! I cannot wait to read more as I have had 2 ticks within a year. I feel in a fog, tired and achey. After reading your story, I feel a test may be needed. Please share what test your smart doctor prescribed !!
    Blessings to you and your family!
    We have missed You!

  14. Heather, I’m so glad you are still you. you are a tonic to everyone who get your updates. I have missed them so much. you are so down to earth, I’ve told lots of people about you. great info about Lyme.

  15. Hi Heather, so glad to hear from you once again..sorry for the failings you had planned with w/m…
    I heard the comment from Jay Davidson that not only can you contract Lyme from ticks but, fly bites, gnats, mosquitoes, and i believe fleas but not for sure on that one. so it is a bigger problem
    than just ticks. I commend you for all you did for your family and that you are determined to heal
    yourself in a judicious manner with all your tricks and remedies. The world is better place with you
    in it.
    Carry on…..

  16. Thank you Heather. I am so very glad to you are back! I’m also very sorry to hear of what you and your family have gone through. I would like you to know how much I appreciate YOUR blog. I’ve read several blogs on home remedies, etc. and started receiving Katie’s emails when you went undercover. I eventually unsubscribed from them because they weren’t what I wanted. Your posts however I always find informative and often entertaining. I appreciate your personality, warmth and overall “vibe.” Thank you for all the time and research you put into your recipes, articles, etc.
    So, WELCOME back!

    • I’m with Debi and Donna. I appreciate the research from other websites, but your posts most resonate with me, and some of your recipes are a part of my regular rotation. I’m a granny who appreciates the contribution you busy young moms are making to the new paradigm of health we desperately need. So happy to be hearing your thoughts, experiences, and learnings again.

  17. I am curious what other testing is more accurate. I had heard that the Western Blot test was much more accurate than the standard Lyme test and is the one to have done. Now I’m wondering if I should be asking for a different test.

    • is the most reliable source for Lyme-related information. You can contact ILADS for a list of Lyme-literate physicians in your area. In most cases, your physician will send your blood to iGenex, a laboratory in California. Their testing is more accurate, as it tests for several Lyme-specific antibody bands that were removed from traditional CDC testing.

  18. Heather, I live in Nashville too. I’ve followed you for years and always hoped we’d bump into each other! I’d love the name of the doc you used for diagnosis. My 3 year old son has been bitten by ticks 3 times this year already and has recently been complaining of frequent tummy aches. I’ve been bitten twice this year so far. We live on acreage with woods and trying to figure out a natural way to rid our yard of ticks has been impossible. There isn’t enough diatomaceous earth or peppermint, cedar, or cinnamon essential oil. I’ve been racking my brain over it.
    The name of your doc would be a huge help. Thanks!

    • I believe Guinnea fowl are supposed to eat them, but I know if you have lots of property that may not be feasible either. It helps to keep tall grasses mown in our West coast acreage.

      • Yes, Guinea Fowl eat tons of ticks! I don’t know why having more property would make them prohibitive. They are quite noisy, so most appropriate for larger properties.

        • I’m so sorry you went through all of this. My daughter in law has a friend who has Lyme Disease. What was the protocol you all did to heal?

    • Did you ever come up with a way to control the ticks? My 6 yr old has been bitten 3 times just this summer (spring) and we still have all summer to go. Turns my tummy and makes me a nervous Momma…trying to keep an eye out for symptoms.

  19. Well first welcome to TN! I live in west TN, moved here from FL and wouldn’t live anywhere else! I was tested for Lyme a few years ago and the standard test were “inconclusive” so I was sent to a neurologist who told me that there are very few “authentic” cases Lyme disease diagnosed, but that there was “Lyme Like” illness in this area that was very prevalent. I took to the internet and searched for a Lyme literate practitioner, unable to find any, I gave up and started “cleaning” up my body as best I could. So I am curious what functional medicine and Lyme literate practitioners you have found in the Nashville area.
    Welcome Back

  20. I have chronic Lyme and have found the Salt/C+ protocol by Marc Fett to be helpful. (I don’t benefit from this recommendation) He has a book on Amazon or there is also a not currently super active yahoo group that has some good files and some members available for questions. It was helpful with pregnancy and nursing when I didn’t want to take preventative antibiotics for 9 months plus nursing after (to prevent passing on to baby). It’s very easy to go too fast and have herxheimer reaction with Lyme though, so slow is good, with plenty of detoxing. General immune support also good (I take a variety of standard process for that as well as colloidal silver), and rifing for me has made a difference as well. I have Epstein Barr in my bloodwork but Lyme has been diagnosed other ways. What blood testing did you end up doing? The Germany one? Blessings to you on your journey!

  21. Can’t wait to hear what all has worked for your family’s healing. It took a looooong time for my many awful symptoms to finally be diagnosed as being caused by Lyme’s disease. Western Blot was negative, so I had put Lyme’s out of my mind for years. Got a clinical diagnosis from a Lyme literate doctor several years back. Then recent bio scans and electro dermal screening (EDS) very quickly and easily revealed borellia infections and exactly where it is concentrating in my body. My EDS practitioner has had no trace of the Lyme’s disease that caused her PCOS and infertility for over 30 years since she did an 18 month homeopathic and dietary protocol. I’m hopeful I’ll make a full recovery too since there are so many folks who have done so through different means. Just trying to find the exact right protocol/approach for my body.

  22. Thank you for sharing your story and for your honesty! You are a trusted source of information and I appreciate your transparency. I look forward to hearing from you again—you have been missed! God bless you!

  23. I live in Clarksville, TN which is near Nashville.
    How can you tell the difference from joint pain caused by arthritis and by a tick bite?
    What about cats, and dogs? Our cat recently had one removed by a vet.
    Better put on insect repellent if you go hiking. I hate to have to give up eating meat.
    Meat Allergies on the Rise Because of Lone Star Tick Bites
    The Lone Star tick is to blame for a rise in tickborne meat allergies, which can lead people to have allergic reactions to beef, lamb, pork and even dairy.
    At a Glance:
    The Lone Star tick is a “very aggressive” insect whose bite can lead to a lifelong meat allergy.
    The allergy sufferers are told to avoid beef, pork and lamb, and some have to avoid dairy.
    The tick is indigenous to much of the eastern United States, but is most common in the South.
    The greatest risk of being bitten occurs during the warmer months.

  24. I agree with another commenter that you have barely scratched the surface on Lyme. My sister who lives in Ohio has had Lyme twice, but two different strains, which are treated differently, one from a tick and one from the airborne kind. Yes it is airborne as well! I believe the northeast part of the country is more affected by that than the rest. The only reason she knows this is, not to be all black helicopter, but her doctor who has helped her recover from one strain and in the process of recovering from the second strain, worked for the government to make Lyme airborne. It sounds whacko and crazy but with multiple strains of the airborne Lyme as well as tick-borne Lyme, each having a different treatment, it could explain why people are not finding healing and why people don’t remember the tick bite! There is so much we don’t know about Lyme and we should be demanding more studies for all of our health. I have been dealing with autoimmunity for a decade and have so many issues finding doctors that will help, learning so much on my own, thanks to Heather and many others, that I find myself believing there really could be an airborne Lyme.

  25. Thank you for your honesty and sharing this journey with us. You will be in my prayers! I’m interested in your research strategy, as well!

  26. Definitely looking forward to the rest of your thoughts on this! I have a friend who has struggled a lot with this, have had several tick bites over the years and family members that I’m wondering about as well.

  27. Have you heard of Anthony William The Medical Medium? He has a whole chapter in his first book explaining how Lyme disease is really a viral disease not bacterial and a group of super smart doctors agreed on this back in the day but it was also around the time antibiotic were invented so the industries wanted to sell their new drugs not promote the truth. He also explains how the bite is really just a trigger and not the root cause of Lyme. Most of the symptoms associated are from the Epstein Barr Virus or other herpetic viruses or a combination. EBV creates neurotoxins when it feeds on heavy metals in the body which then creates the symptoms as they damage our nerves and much more. It’s complicated but he says the spirochetes doctors see in the lab are really just the viral casings and that the bacteria they think is responsible is fairly harmless. There are lots of people all over the world healing from Lyme and many many more diseases with his information and I’m sure you used some of the same herbs too. I highly recommended reading his books they have truly changed my life in every possible way. The truth is science and research is too far behind and we have to take matters into our own hands because we don’t have time to wait. Most of the Medical Medium information in free to read, lots of radio shows, and he encourages all to get copies at the library as well. It’s not about money it’s about people getting the answers they need to heal and live their lives ?

    I truly appreciate your dedication and passion for getting healing information out there and I really respect the work you have done so far. Thank you! Hope this information helps you and your family and everyone following you even more!

  28. Hi Heather,
    Thanks for sharing this! You mentioned that the M.D. gave you an herbal protocol. Were you concerned at all about taking herbs? I don’t have Lyme but I do have parasites discovered by a comprehensive stool test. My acupuncturist/ herbalist recommended a combination of various herbs in the form of tinctures. Do you ever have concerns about taking herbs?

  29. First, so glad to have you back! Second, I originally found your Mommypotamus site 2 years ago after going through a long process that finally led to the discovery of Lyme co-infection (Barbesia) 9 months ago. My symptoms began with forgetfulness, extreme fatigue, and food allergies that had never been something I had experienced. It has been a journey and I am not “fully healed” (if there is even such a thing), but I love the encouragement and support from blogs and communities such as this.

  30. Thanks for sharing this story, and I look forward to your future posts on recovering from Lyme disease. I’m glad you’re on the mend!

  31. Thank you for sharing this story. I live in Australia. In 2017 I was bitten by a snake, and last year I was bitten by a tick in the back of my head. I have also been bitten by ants, wasps, spiders, bees, mosquitoes, sand flies……. and bed bugs in a questionable motel!! I am normally physically fit, energetic, social and positive. Since the tick bite in 2018, my health deteriorated so quickly that I could not carry out normal household or gardening duties. I stopped socialising because that took energy which I did not have. All I wanted to do was lie in bed and sleep. My joints ached to the point it was painful to walk, or lift even a log into the fire. I dragged myself around outside trying to make an effort, but all the while I was just wanting to sleep. Doctors in Australia do not admit to Lyme being here, but statistics show an alarming number of people with Lyme or lyme-like symptoms (particularly if a person has been bitten/stung numerous times as I had (above)). I focused on my immunity. Painful boils started to appear over my body when I changed my diet to predominantly fresh foods, and taking herbal / alternative methods to strengthen my immunity. I had also started on Chanca Piedra (CP) to soften some suspected gall stones, but in that process I noticed that my aches and pains started decreasing and my energy increased. One day I noticed in an article that CP assists with Lyme (or lyme-like) symptoms. I stopped the CP for a couple of weeks (as an experiment) and the symptoms increased again. I restarted CP and after a few days, I noticed the positive effect occurring again. Perhaps I was on to something. I actually feel alive and motivated to get outside in my garden, and also to socialise again. I was so excited to feel human again. Some days I get an ache in my elbows particularly, but each day I feel an increase in my energy. I hope that this may assist somebody.

  32. Heather!
    I am super glad to see you are back to blogging! I have missed you! I have learned so much from your blog. From crock pot soap making to essential oils and herb growing. So much useful info and you are a very trusted source for it!
    I am sorry you and your family went through Lyme disease. I and my husband have been working with a functional MD for a few months now and have discovered that I have chronic Epstine Barr and my husband has Lyme. I agree it’s like “waking a sleeping giant”. Really hard some days!
    I will be awaiting more info on the cures you discovered. We really want to be well!
    Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing so much great info. Never a moment is wasted reading anything you have written!
    God bless you and have a great day!

  33. It is good to hear that you are back! I have missed your posts. So sorry to hear all that you have been through. Am looking forward to hearing more of your healing journey…

  34. Sorry to hear that Lyme has affected your family. We live in a more rural area and everyone in my family has had a tick on them at some point. We live outdoors people. My husband, who farms, and is exposed to ticks on a regular basis is complaining about joint pain. My daughter has been suffering from extreme fatigue and her pediatrician says it’s just depression and wants to prescribe her Zoloft. My mother-in-law has been suffering from aches and pains for a couple of years now. She was tested but it came back negative. I am gearing up to look for a physician who will actually find the cause of a problem and not just sit there with their prescription pad out but that will cost us out of pocket. I am wondering what it the test that you had done that actually confirmed a diagnosis. I don’t want to spend money on unnecessary tests if I don’t have to.

  35. Thank you! Welcome back! So happy to learn you are posting again. So sorry to learn of your family’s first-hand battles with Lyme. We truly appreciate the time and energy you spend in order to share with us – especially when you have personal health priorities front and center. Every time you gift us with your credible research and personal experience it creates a ripple effect toward wellness for everyone listening. Please keep sharing when you can. We’re anxious to hear what you have to say!

  36. My thoughts and prayers go out to you with the Lyme disease. This happened to me in 2000 and I suffered terribly for two years before my body could recoup it’s defenses. No one could identify what was wrong: I tested positive for (ready?) lyme disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, and two more inflammatory condition markers.
    I finally did start to remiss after a very short and minimal amount (15 mg) of prednisone. What has kept me healthy since, and works for ME, is 10 grams of vitamin c, taken throughout the day to keep my blood constantly supplied with C. Take heart, at least you know what you are dealing with and your immune defenses will figure out what to do.

  37. Slightly off topic…. I’ve been following you for years and loved hearing about your move to a property that sounded rural and lovely. I think maybe you had your third child there? It had a whole getting back to nature vibe. Have you moved from that property? Just wondering why? I’ve often thought about getting out of our city and interested in your thought processes on different places to live and styles of living.

  38. Wow, I didn’t know about Heather move.

    We bought land 15 yrs ago. Are now planning on a large pole barn.
    Brought a friend grid out for a week to live
    It is not for all, we have dealt with a 100,000 acre fire, lost all and are just now getting our lives back.
    I slept in an old RV last night, made it through my first lightening storm. Then found roof leaks but loved it.
    My friend is in her own vintage Shasta.
    We live more like pioneers out here.
    The peace, the clouds, the wind all make me healthier.
    My grind parents were pioneer stock.
    When the ranchers cow/calf pairs are near at night they may have a cow choir. Or momma’s calling babies near dark.

    We would encourage all to try country life. But you define country for you. We have lived 17 miles out of a meto area.
    This place is in a County of only 750 people.
    Our small town is 36 miles away, and that county is 3,814,000 acres and only 5000 people. We drive for long distances to shop. Just joined Unifi and Asure Standard for healthy food.
    Heather if you the time and desire to share county life please do.
    This life is not for all.


  39. I hope you continue to regain your health and strength! I always find it remarkable when I hear someone got Lyme disease after only one or a few tick bites. I moved out into the Ozark mountains National Forest in 1980 to “live off the land” for the next 12 years, and over that time I had thousands (literally) of tick bites, not to mention all the chigger bites! And yet I never suffered anything more than swelling, itchy skin. Life is weird.
    A brown recluse spider bite, however, did leave me ill for months, but that occurred after I moved back to the city.
    In any case, thank you for your posts, and may you and your family have a wonderful new year!

  40. Hey! I made a whole protocol for Lyme that is the reason I’m alive today. It’s free. Still ironing out the kinks to make it work faster and better for me but I have several rare side effects to certain herbs like Japanese Knotweed that you probably don’t. Give it a try, it should help. Also, you should check out the Advanced Biotic stuff made by Vital Plan, because it’s quality stuff. Wish I’d had it years ago. Thank you for posting so many quality resources on here over the years BTW. Drink up some coconut milk and I hope you get well soon.

  41. Ticks *were* my fear…until this morning…as I just removed 2 ticks from my 6 yr old’s hair. I had to keep it together for her (and my other kiddo watching). Ticks are in the freezer now. I read about how to remove ticks and even bought a removing tool when we moved to our home 3 yrs ago that is loacted on the outskirts of town…we love our home…yet I feared that day I would have to handle a tick. (I also make multiple bottles of Rose Geranium and vodka spray for if the kids are out by the timber). Well here is that day and I feel like I conquered it since I had to stay calm outwardly. Now…I have to conquer the post-tick care…wondering if I’ll notice a bull eye rash on either of the two places on her scalp…I’m wondering how long they were attached (I’m assuming they have been since yesterday as they are more on the smaller size)…I’m wondering if there are some holistic remedies or supplements I can give her to boost her body in the off chances the ticks shared their bacteria with her. I’ve read your blogs for about 4 yrs now and completely trust your research and the things you share. Thank you for sharing your experience. It is hard to read and comprehend why these little creatures even exist and NOT be fearful of them but I know that will not cease their existence so I will now buckle down and read some more on them so that I can watch and hopefully tackle any issues that may arise. (Though I have to say…I saw some comments above that request your research and info be put into a book…sounds good to me…easy to say when I’m not the one doing it, heh?) THANK YOU MOMMYPOTAMUS!

  42. Ok… My first try was too long, so I’ll try again. I’ve had lyme every summer since moving to CT – until this year. We hired Naturalawn to spray for ticks – which worked. They spray with cedar oil – no synthetic chemicals – which deters & kills ticks. Also, check out ILADS…They are the top lyme research group in the country while also providing advocacy & referrals to lyme literate doctors. Know that this is a tough disease to treat & that many traditional doctors aren’t trained in proper protocols. If you’re not getting help – or worse, that you’re symptoms aren’t real, have a good cry then look for another doctor, advocate&/or support group. Help is out there…

  43. thanks for sharing and i look fwd to hopefully more Lyme posts! i am just getting started. (Your recipes are great, too; thank you!)

  44. Thank you for speaking truth to power and ignorance. It’s so important to increase awareness about Lyme and it’s impact nationwide/globally. So many myths to bust!

  45. Hi!
    Could you please give the names of the tests run to confirm Lyme other than the Western Blot and ELISA? We are considering having our son tested and I’d like to know what tests I’m looking for.
    Thank you!

  46. 4 stars
    When you say “He eventually did get proper testing,” could you tell us what testing that was? That would be very helpful for those of us struggling with Lyme. You told us what isn’t reliable, could you now tell us what is reliable? Thanks!

  47. Thank you for sharing. I believe my 7 year old has Lyme. He had a duck bite 3 years ago. He complains a lot of stomach aches and comes down with cold symptoms a lot. On top of that, I too have struggled with what I think is mold issues. Where do you start? I can barely get through the days and the cost of treatment scares me.

  48. 5 stars
    I’m becoming more and more familiar with Lyme than I ever wanted to! I’m looking forward to your information about remedies/protocols and hopefully prevention! We just recently moved to Vermont and I know it’s rampant in these parts. Wish us luck.
    BTW, did you move away from Nashville for that reason?