“My daughter Emma got sick in early 2017. At first, we thought it was the stomach flu but within a week other symptoms appeared; separation anxiety, stomachaches, leg pain, headaches. From one day to the next, she refused to take the school bus. She would no longer eat full meals and constantly complained of bellyaches.
By April her personality had completely changed. She went from being a sweet, outgoing, happy and energetic 6 year old to being angry, depressed, full of rage and anxiety. She would obsess over things and watch the same show over and over. She would often talk about wanting to die. Getting her to school was next to impossible; she’d refuse to get out of the car, she’d cry and cling to me, beg me not to leave her. Every day was a nightmare that just wouldn’t end. It felt like my daughter had been kidnapped without ever leaving the house.
It prompted me to start doing a lot of research and someone suggested that her symptoms were similar to Lyme and Bartonella infections. At first I dismissed it, since she had already been tested for Lyme early on and the results were negative. But the more research I did, the more it made sense. She was finally tested at a specialty lab and we took her to see a Lyme doctor. It turned out she had Borrelia, Babesia and Bartonella infections. At this point, the Lyme was chronic as it had been in her system for over a year. It was devastating news, but I also felt relief knowing that this was the root cause, and that my kid wasn’t just crazy or bratty or overly anxious.
For so long I had to explain her, apologize for her; the behavior, her temper, the constant clinginess. One day a woman reached out to me on Facebook and told me that she had been through the same with her son. She suggested we do homeopathy as opposed to antibiotics. I was very skeptical at first and did not know anything about homeopathy. We started treatment around Christmas and within four weeks, 90% of her symptoms had disappeared. I began to see my child returning. She would again tell me that she loved me. I’d catch her dancing around the house again, and hear her sing along to songs on the radio and she would play with her twin brother. It’s impossible to describe the relief and happiness those moments brought me. It has made me forever grateful for the little, ordinary moments in our lives.
Honestly, there were a couple of times over the past year that I felt like I couldn’t go on. Seeing my daughter suffer and struggle every single day was soul crushing. It literately brought me to my knees, but every time, I would somehow come away with a renewed sense of commitment to educating myself, to finding the right information, to not give up and not allow this illness to ‘win’.
Everything I have learned about functional medicine, about treating Lyme disease, and about the connection between the brain and the gut, is impacting our lives now and our future health. Once I understood the direct connection between our diet and our health, there was no going back to old habits. Now, we are constantly cleaning up her diet and I feel confident, knowing which foods can trigger her immune system, but also which foods benefit her. Before she got sick, I had not ever given any thought to the toxins in our environment; our food, water, even beauty supplies.
I realize that I play an instrumental role in my daughter’s health and I feel a very strong sense of responsibility in educating her about the importance of diet. Despite all the challenges, this experience has brought us even closer.
These days, I feel empowered by all the knowledge I have accumulated over the past year and a half, and while it was a scary and overwhelming journey, I now know that am resilient, stronger than ever and very committed to mastering our health.”