Monday, October 24, 2011

People With Chronic Lyme Disease Feel Terrible

People with Chronic Lyme Disease feel terrible. Imagine feeling exhausted most of the time, having no energy. You hurt everywhere, especially in your joints. The pain can be severe. You may be nauseous every waking minute and eating takes effort. Brain fog is persistent, and you cannot concentrate. Headaches are a daily occurrence, with light and sound sensitivity that drives you away from people and into your home. Depression is pervasive, and sometimes ideas of suicide enter your thoughts. Neurological symptoms, such as tingling and numbness, and electrical, painful shocks travel up your arms and legs, coming and going. It is hard to get out of bed in the morning and function in daily life activities.

Besides feeling terrible and having to struggle to get from place to place, you go to one doctor after another who tells you there is nothing wrong because all the test results are negative. Then you are offered an antidepressant because it must be all in your head. Unfortunately these are bacterial and parasitic infections affecting different parts of the body, antidepressants are usually infective.

Later you are sent to a specialist, a rheumatologist or an infectious disease specialist, and they again do testing which is negative; therefore, again it is believed you don't have any disease. Instead of looking at the clinical picture being presented to them, these physicians say there is nothing wrong. It is implied that it is all in your head. Over and over again, this scenario plays out until you feel like you are going crazy.

Family members look at you like you're going insane, and your loved ones begin to turn away from you. However, you remain caught in this horrible cycle of feeling terrible, not able to function on a daily basis, and in pain most of the time. It is devastating in every which way *Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually, Mentally, and Financially. The emotional cost to a patient and their families is horrendous. How does an ill person participate in life? People with CLD are dependent on family and friends to take care of them, to prepare food for them, to do errands, to pick up their medicines, to call the doctor and arrange for appointments, to help with their children, if they have any. *Basically any activity healthy people take for granted.

Since insurance will not pay for a problem that does not exist, the costs are extremely high. Not only must you pay for a health insurance policy and the attendant co-pays that go with it, you go to doctors who say nothing is wrong. Then you seek out, if you are lucky to find one, a Lyme-Literate provider who does not take your insurance. Most Lyme specialists have cash practices because they could not stay in business otherwise. It takes one to two hours in an initial visit to tease out the problems and begin to address them. At your primary doctor's office, you pay your co-pay, the doctor bills your insurance the remainder, and this doctor only spends five to ten minutes with you. How can anyone know what is going on in such a short period of time? It is not possible. Your story, your symptoms, how you live on a daily basis are important in diagnosing your illness and deciding on the first step in treatment.

It is time for something new. There are many differences between the way Western health care and Eastern health care deal with Lyme Disease and other co-infections. While most of the providers who practice in our current system fail to acknowledge CLD, it is often an acupuncturist or naturopathic physician that suggests the possibility of CLD to a person and gets them to begin looking for other providers who understand what they might be going through.

In an integrative practice, the best of both worlds are utilized in a blended way by using herbals, neutraceuticals, and antibiotics. Using nutrients and herbals, instead of drugs, can control many chronic conditions, as they have fewer side effects and are accepted by the body more readily. There are herbal tinctures specific to the treatment of Lyme and the co-infections that work well in combination with antibiotics. A well as other supplements utilized to help the body clear toxins from the bugs and support the lymph and liver system.

As a knowledgable health care provider and Lyme Literate, I find it incomprehensible that the current medical system shuns and marginalizes people with CLD. The suffering this disease can cause exemplifies this wrong and shows the need for a place those with CLD can find Solace, Support, and Respect, as well as treatment that moves them toward a healing state.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Vision For A New Paradigm In Health Care

Inanna is the queen of Heaven and Earth and the Goddess of Love from the Sumerian Civilization that existed in 3000 BC in what is now known as Iraq. 

In the first chapter of "Nature's Dirty Needle", I mention that the current health care system is broken, possibly beyond repair. A new health care system is needed. The time is now. It is necessary to address all aspects of an individual * Physical, Emotional, Energetic, Mental, and Spiritual * at the same time. There is not one way to accomplish this. Complexity demands that each individual be considered separately * As An Individual

In the current health care system, there is no place for the millions who are ill with CLD to get help when they are in need of more intensive support and care. No hospital exists that recognizes and treats these infections. For hyper-sensitive people, there is no place they can go to start IV antibiotics and get the needed hydration and IV medicine to control their symptoms while they react to the die-off and toxins. The costs for treating TBDs are staggering and insurance companies refuse to pay for them.

Every person that I have spoken with  who is ill with CLD has mentioned their frustration that there is nowhere for them to go to get help when they are relapsing or herxing.

It is time for a change, a different way. It is time for a new paradigm for true health and healing. Inanna House will offer an oasis of Peace, Health, and Healing.

Over 20 years ago, I was in Mexico on the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, floating in the water late one night, when I had a vision. I do not have visions very often, but this one was like a movie reel playing in my head, showing a place where people could come and receive the care needed to heal. I was aware that my visions was not unique, that many others would have a similar experience because it is so important and the world needs a new paradigm of health that truly serves everyone. For years, I held this vision. When my daughter was lying in the hospital, in agony, being under treated and misdiagnosed, I realized that the time has come to create my vision. It became clear that this population of people with CLD desperately needed a place to go for help. A place where there would be competent care and treatment that would move them forward and help them to heal.

Inanna House will be a residence for debilitated chronically ill individuals, a place to receive supportive therapies in many modalities and to start treatment with IV antibiotics in a safe environment. The program is designed in one week modules, although extended stay beyond one week would be very common. It is a program designed to address all aspects of healing * Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual, and Energetic.

An endowment will be created in which people can invest, so that those who have depleted their resources can get help as well. Inanna House will not be able to use any government or health insurance monies, because then the government would be able to dictate what could be done and what could not. It would unacceptable to limit my vision of what should be possible. The intention is to blend all the best of what health care has to offer, using various modalities in a synergistic way to build and support, cleanse, and detoxify the body so that treatment of TBDs can be maximally effective.

Inanna House will be the first facility of many to model the new paradigm. It is part of the vision that Inanna House be built around the world. Many of these centers are needed as millions are in need of help.

You can read in more detail of my plans and what type of treatments Inanna House will offer in my book 

Click To Buy Nature's Dirty Needle Here!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why I Wrote "Nature's Dirty Needle"

As a Nurse Practitioner, I have been blessed to work with some amazing and courageous physicians who practice "out of the box" medicine. Using herbals, neutraceuticals, as well as pharmaceuticals to offer the best of both natural and allopathic ways of health care, this group of providers gives their best to help people discover the root cause of their problem and get well. They listen and take the time to understand what is going on with a person, what their story is telling them, and the clinical picture being presented. The past three years, I have focused on Chronic Lyme Disease (CLD) and other illnesses that cause chronic and debilitating illness. Then a little over a year ago, I realized that my daughter was very sick with CLD. It was a stunning moment. Fortunately, I work with providers who can help her as I had to assume the role of mother once again. What our family has endured when it becomes necessary to interact with the current health care system is a horror story. It is this experience that has compelled me to write "Nature's Dirty Needle". My daughter's story and the others that are in the book must be told. Hopefully, this will lead to a greater awareness of the worldwide issue of CLD, the politics around it, and how to get and help and feel better.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Nature's Dirty Needle: Book Review

Book review for "Nature's Dirty Needle" written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland.

"The image of heroin addicts sharing dirty needles is a strong one. Most people understand it’s a bad idea, an easy way to spread diseases like HIV and hepatitis.
The image of ticks as “nature’s dirty needle” is also dramatic. Ticks stick their mouth parts into mice, birds, squirrels, deer and untold other wild animals, picking up viruses, worms, protozoa and oh yes, bacterial infections like Lyme disease. By the time the tick sticks its dirty needle into you, you risk contracting a variety of different pathogens, some of them not even named yet.

In her book, “Nature’s Dirty Needle,” Lyme-literate nurse practitioner Mara Williams explores the topic of chronic Lyme disease as the end result of this toxic soup transmitted by tick saliva. The Lyme spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, is only part of the mix.

The complexity of chronic Lyme, with its myriad coinfections, is one reason it can be so confounding to diagnose and treat this disease. And why it’s essential for Lyme patients to find a knowledgeable practitioner. Williams describes symptoms, treatment and some of the politics surrounding Lyme and coinfections.
She interweaves personal anecdotes from individuals with Lyme, spelling out how difficult it was for them to get properly diagnosed, as well as the ups and downs of their experiences with treatment.

Ultimately, she sums up a bleak picture: “In the current health care system, there is no place for the millions who are ill with CLD (chronic Lyme disease) to get help when they are in need of more intensive support and care. No hospital exists that recognizes and treats these infections….Every person that I have spoken with who is ill with CLD has mentioned their frustration that there is nowhere for them to get help when they are relapsing or herxing.”

At the end of the book, Williams lays out her ideas for a healing center called Inanna House, which she would like to build in Sonoma County, CA.  It would be geared to the needs of chronic Lyme patients, a place to receive supportive therapies and start IV treatments in a safe environment. It would offer both in-patient and out-patient care, as well as workshops and classes. It would incorporate a range of healing modalities, both western and alternative.

I don’t know how far along her plans are, or what it would take to open and run such a facility. But as I read the last chapter, where she describes her vision for Inanna House, I could imagine Lyme patients everywhere giving the idea a standing ovation."

About Me

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"We all strive for balance in our lives. If you find yourself striving for inner peace and a sense of harmony, it takes more than a good attitude. Our sense of self is regulated by neurotransmitters, hormones, and many other cellular functions within our bodies that influence our stamina, immune function, sexual drive, and nervous systems."

Nurse Practitioner and Energetic Healer, Mara Williams has been a health care provider for over 30 years. For 15 years, Mara worked in Hospice, helping people at the end of their life. For most of her life she has been devoted to a spiritual practice and developing her gift of working with energy. Eventually she returned to school at UCSF to earn a Masters and become a Nationally Board Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner so she could have a greater impact in helping people heal. Currently, she specializes in treating people with Tick Borne Diseases (TBDs), using an integrative approach to help them attain greater health and well-being. The secret to healing is discovering the root cause of the problem, and this is what Mara does best.

Besides being a provider, Mara has personal experience as a mother of a child with Chronic Lyme Disease. It has given her a greater understanding of what patients with TBDs experience in the Medical World of Western Medicine and how difficult it is to find a Lyme-literate provider who recognizes and understands the complexity of these chronic diseases.

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