My name is Ralf B., I'm now 46 years old.
About 14 years ago, I unwittingly contracted Lyme disease, possibly from a horse fly bite. I didn't develop a rash or flu-like symptoms. Since then, I have had various health problems: bouts of depression, decreasing stamina, difficulties concentrating, insomnia and occasional attacks of paralysis (paraesthesia, as my doctors called it, i.e. feelings of numbness, particularly in my legs). I consulted several doctors but no accurate diagnosis was made during the first few years. The usual line was "somatisation disorder".
I couldn't accept this diagnosis and refused to put up with it! In 2008, I took matters into my own hands and went to a clinic which specialises in Lyme disease. My doctor said that my symptoms could be indicative of Lyme disease and ordered a battery of lab tests. Lo and behold, the results were positive: chronic Lyme disease with occasional acute attacks.
After that, I began treatment with antibiotics, a fairly low dose of Rocephin for 4 weeks. It took a lot of effort to travel to the clinic every day for the infusion. Unfortunately, it was largely a waste of time; my symptoms didn't really get any better. Afterwards, another series of laboratory tests was ordered; the results were similar to the first batch. My doctor then repeated the treatment, another four weeks of Rocephin, unfortunately with zero success; my symptoms didn't improve at all. These days, I know that the experts recommend a course of treatment lasting at least three months and that a higher dose of antibiotics should be given.
Dr. Waldherr tried to get to the bottom of things: firstly, he warned me that Lyme disease of such long standing is difficult to treat. The likelihood of complications after such a long time is very high. He proposed an extensive program: firstly extensive laboratory testing, then the elimination of mercury with a DMPS infusion (I had had various amalgam tooth fillings over the years), as mercury, like Borrelia bacteria, suppresses the immune system. This was followed by checks on the immune system, both the so-called cellular defences (he called this the "lymphocyte subpopulation") and the immunoglobulins.
The results seemed to indicate a shift in my immune system. I am currently undergoing tests to clarify this issue. My doctor calls this a Th1/Th2 shift. If such a shift has occurred, he wants to start an "immunomodulatory treatment" aimed at whipping my immune system into shape. At the same time, I started another course of antibiotics, this time in capsule form. I am now looking forward to the test results and am hoping for a breakthrough in the treatment: I've had enough of stuffing myself with medication such as antidepressants which only superficially hide the problem. I want to cure this Lyme disease in the long term.
- Ralph B., 46 years old