Monday, April 9, 2012

A Frustrating LLMD Appointment

A few days ago I had an appointment with my LLMD. I have been treating Babesia and Lyme for about 7 months. In the beginning, prior to meeting with my LLMD, I started taking herbs. I was highly against antibiotics. At this time, I was much less severe than I am now. I was still hiking daily with just some pain and dizziness.  Over a period of several months, I continued to decline on herbs. At my first appointment with my LLMD, he told me that my case was too severe and herbs would not be strong enough so I began antibiotics.

Every time I start antibiotics, my liver enzymes go up and I have to stop. Last month, I was off antibiotics for 3.5 out of 4 weeks. I just restarted a new protocol 3 weeks ago. I developed an allergy and needed to stop 2 out of 3 of the meds I was on.

I have been trying everything I can to get my liver enzymes down. I drink 4-6 cups of liver detox teas per day. I take N-acetyl cystene, alpha lipoic acid, glutathione IV's, milk thistle and many other liver support methods. Nothing has been able to keep my liver enzymes down reliably. 

This week, I had a liver function test, and my ALT and AST were up again. They weren't incredibly high. Still in the 60-80 range. Nevertheless, I got some shocking news from my LLMD: "I can't treat you with antibiotics."

WHAT? How does he know that the antibiotics are causing the elevations? Erlichia and other tick borne infections are also known to cause liver enzymes to raise as well as bacterial die off that is filtered through the liver.

Last month while I was off everything, my liver dropped the first week than rose back up the second week before dropping down to normal in the third week. If antibiotics were to blame than why did they raise up while I was off everything?

I was beyond frustrated with the entire situation. My LLMD wants me to go back to the lab for another liver function test as well as tests for hepatitis. Hepatitis is going to be a near impossibility for me. I have absolutely NO risk factors for hepatitis. In fact, I have no risk factors for liver issues at all. I have never even had one sip of alcohol, I don't eat an unhealthy diet and I don't use any drugs, even Tylenol!

I am EXTREMELY worried and upset by this situation. When I was last off antibiotics, my symptoms started getting really severe. I had seizures, started losing feeling in my hands, and started having severe muscle twitching. The numbness and twitching have continued. The seizures luckily have not recurred so far.

Another thing that worries me is the cost involved with herbs. I can't afford them. It's as simple as that. There is no insurance coverage for herbs. They cost a fortune. I am particularly worried about having to start cryptolepsis or artemisinin. These two are hard to find. Some of the tinctures are $40 for a few days supply.

In a few days I go back to the LLMD for the results of my tests and to discuss a new plan. I am very angry at the situation. I feel sometimes like my LLMD is being too cautious by pulling my meds every time I have minor elevations in liver enzymes. I'm worried about ever making any progress, and I'm annoyed that I can't control how my liver reacts to the diseases and medications. Once I lose ground (like I have been for many months) I never seem to regain it.