Journey to Healing: Finding New Life with Lyme Disease
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” (Margaret Thatcher)
“I keep pinching myself… it has been two months since we left Riordan and I STILL feel amazing!” That’s what I said to my husband after coming home from two weeks of intense IV Vitamin C (IVC) and Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation (UBI) treatments at the Riordan Clinic in Kansas.
When the Riordan Clinic asked me to share our experience in writing, I struggled with where to start and how much to share. I gave it quite a bit of thought and finally decided on answering two questions:
- What did I need to hear to convince myself to fly halfway across the country and begin treatment at the Riordan Clinic?
- Why am I sharing our story?
Our journey to healing from Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease (for both my daughter and myself) has taken four years, more than ten doctors, five states, countless blood tests, x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs, EEGs, EKGs, IVIG, special diets and too many pharmaceutical/herbal treatments to count; none of which permanently cured us. Don’t get me wrong, our doctors were amazing, brilliant and compassionate people and some of the treatments worked. In fact, some treatments worked amazingly well and literally saved us in a crisis situation (in my opinion, antibiotics do have a place; usually to put out a “fire” and get stable, and getting stable could take a long time). But none of the treatments had consistent long-term lasting power; we always relapsed at some point. At my worst, I had over 75 symptoms including a seizure, chronic and unbearable pain, electrical shock sensations to my brain, severe anxiety and panic attacks, significant memory issues, extreme cognitive and executive function problems, nerve damage, terrible insomnia and mind numbing fatigue (even sitting was too exhausting some days), just to name a few. Most days were a monumental struggle to endure. I did my best to push through for the first four years, but this past year, that was not possible. After losing both of my parents and struggling to get our daughter well, I had zero reserves left. It was a difficult way to function as a wife and mom of a child with Lyme disease and Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome or PANDAS/PANS. *Read more at: pandasnetwork.org
I sometimes think that God lets us encounter a particular struggle in our life in order to bring us closer to Him, help us learn something, and to wake us up to get us moving in the right direction – or simply to get us moving at all! After years of eagerly trying MANY treatments in an effort to get well quickly, I was now literally frozen. I was terrified to try even the simplest of natural treatments because by this point I would always have a horrible Herxheimer Reaction (herx or “healing crisis”); which would leave me struggling to get my balance for months or, worse, reach a new “low” that my body could not rebound from. I was unable to make any move regarding treatment, for fear of becoming even more ill. In case you are wondering if I herxed on treatment at Riordan, the answer is NO! After the first day, I did not have any side effects other than being tired at the end of the day. In fact, some days I had unusual energy after treatment, and each day I saw huge cognitive improvements from the day before. Let me repeat that important note… I had ZERO herxing after DAILY IVC and UBI treatment for two weeks!
As most chronically ill Lyme disease patients know, it is not just Lyme and co-infections. It’s much more including methylation and detoxification issues, oxidative stress, nutritional imbalances, heavy metals, GI imbalances, leaky gut syndrome, food and chemical sensitivities, adrenal fatigue, hormones, diet etc. I knew all of this at a very high level (or so I thought) before going to the Riordan Clinic, and even had a significant amount of excellent bloodwork done years earlier. So what could Riordan tell me, or do for me, that I didn’t already know or try? What does Kansas have that I cannot find at home in one of the top metropolitan and medically advanced cities in the U.S.? Apparently, A LOT!
The Riordan medical staff is well-versed in all of the components mentioned above, more so than most doctors I had seen by this time. But they also knew about other components and tests that I had never heard of before, which was VERY surprising and life-changing for me. Riordan explained that in some instances while my bloodwork showed I had enough of a certain vitamin or mineral, that based on other factors and symptoms my body wasn’t using that vitamin or mineral properly (due to methylation issues) so I needed more of it to get the job done. But most importantly, they knew how to pull it all together for me and my daughter. There was no more running around to five different doctors for five different symptoms. While I thought I knew about those key components listed above, I didn’t fully understand or “buy into” the fact that they were all equally important and needed tending to; nor did I truly understand how they all impacted my body and brain. Riordan Clinic helped me understand this. You may think you’ve read everything there is to read, and tried everything there is to try to get yourself well; but I promise you… unless you have been to the Riordan Clinic, you have not tried everything.
So what was the silver bullet? I think for the first time, I was not looking for a silver bullet. I finally understood that I didn’t end up this ill overnight, it wasn’t just Lyme disease making me feel so miserable; and I certainly wasn’t going to get better overnight. While I was not expecting a miracle at the Riordan Clinic, I actually got one! For me, IV Vitamin C (and other nutritionals), IV Glutathione and Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation were the keys that literally unlocked my body and brain and saved me. While it didn’t happen overnight, it happened in six days. The changes in my body were shocking. I went from sitting in a chair for four straight months (too fatigued or in too much pain to do simple chores; barely dragging myself through the day) to literally moving ALL day (7 a.m. to 9 p.m.) without sitting. That is a miracle in my book!
If you are thinking this all sounds too good to be true, how can an all natural treatment cure Lyme disease, co-infections, cancer, bacteria, viruses and more without ANY herxing? If I didn’t live it, I’d be thinking the same thing and probably not even finish reading this article but indulge me and finish the read.
In simple terms, as explained to me by Dr. Ron Hunninghake, IV Vitamin C works like a Trojan horse. The Vitamin C molecule looks very similar to a glucose (sugar) molecule. The cancer, bacteria, virus, infection, pathogen etc. mistakenly eat the Vitamin C thinking it’s sugar and when they eat the Vitamin C, the byproduct is hydrogen peroxide. The hydrogen peroxide oxidizes the cell and kills the bad cells leaving the good cells alone. The bad cells don’t want oxygen, so it’s basically death by oxygen.
Since 1928, UBI (Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation) has been a proven medical procedure that kills bacteria and viruses. It assists the immune system and rejuvenates blood properties. It has proven to increase oxygen flow to the tissues, causing vasodilatation and microcirculation. UBI treatment works by extracting a small portion of your blood (about the size of a large syringe), combining it with either hydrogen peroxide or ozone and then sending your blood through a UV light machine and back into your body in a sterile closed-loop process. This essentially serves to directly kill any disease-causing microorganisms that are circulating in your blood, and also to produce byproducts that can work against any disease-causing microorganisms that are outside of the bloodstream.
Before heading to Kansas, I wanted to know more about IVC, IV Glutathione, UBI and the Riordan Clinic. So I focused my research and ultimately went to Kansas for six reasons:
- I had a friend graciously share her family’s recent experience and their son’s dramatic results from 10 days at the Riordan Clinic.
- I read the “Clinical Guide to the Use of Vitamin C” online.
- I read Dr. Thomas Levy’s book, “Curing the Incurable – Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins” LivOn Books; 1st edition (September 2002).
- I watched the 60 Minutes episode of a man with swine flu who was in a coma for 4 months and healed completely via IV Vitamin C (a MUST watch for anyone chronically ill – YouTube: Vitamin C: The Miracle Swine Flu Cure (60 Minutes) Living “Proof”).
- I believed in the power of IV Vitamin C, IV Glutathione, UBI treatment and the doctors and nurses at the Riordan Clinic.
- I trusted in God and believed in the power of prayer.
If I had to sum up our experience at the Riordan Clinic I would say I had dramatic, life-changing results at the hands of extremely caring, compassionate and smart doctors and nurses. In fact, I would go so far as to say my results were shocking – especially to me. I could barely walk into my first appointment at the Riordan Clinic on the first day I was in so much pain, and within six days I was able to think very clearly and smile (something I had not done in a very long time).
The Doctors, nurses and staff at Riordan felt like friends from day one, but 16 days later they felt like family. Dr. Ron Hunninghake and Dr. Jennifer Mead are excellent, thorough and took an incredible amount of time to help us understand what was happening in our bodies and how to fix them. The continued support that we have received from the doctors since being home has been exceptional. During our time at Riordan, the nurses went out of their way to make us feel safe, comfortable and extremely well cared for everyday. They have a very tough job administering and caring for many chronically ill patients at the same time (many patients with cancer and far more ill than we were). ALL of the nurses had unwavering kind hearts, positive attitudes and calm spirits. We feel truly indebted to Dr. Ron, Dr. Jenn and the fabulous nurses at Riordan Clinic. Their care was exceptional; they were gentle, kind, humble and infinitely patient. They all truly have generous hearts and a strong desire to see people get well.
Dr. Ron had an excellent analogy to share with me on our last day. He said, “When you came to Riordan, your body was like a field where the grass had all dried up. What happens when you throw a match on a dried up field? It catches on fire; a BIG fire! Our goal is to make your field green and healthy so that when a tiny spark hits your field, it burns out immediately.” This was a mind shift that, for us, had started about six months before we even knew about the Riordan Clinic. A shift from focusing on eradicating Lyme disease and co-infections to a mindset of correcting and supporting the deficiencies within the body (whether that be nutrients, enzymes, fixing methylation and detox pathways, healing the GI system, diet, stress etc.) and letting YOUR BODY kill the Lyme. The goal is to support the body so fully that whenever it is under attack, anything from a cold to cancer, the body knows exactly how to respond. I had heard this before and I didn’t believe it; sheepishly, I do now. This does take time and a lot of work and discipline. The hard work and treatment continues at home. Yes, I still have a few symptoms to work out, but none of the debilitating symptoms; those are significantly better or gone. Full healing doesn’t happen in two weeks, but I promise you that the Riordan Clinic brought me back from near dead in six little days! I could not be more pleased or amazed that Riordan got me on my feet with a calm, centered mind and a smile on my face. They far exceeded my expectations and gave me an amazing framework to take back home and continue to build upon. My job is not done, but I can live my life now and trust that my daughter and I will have full happy lives.
It’s funny, in days after returning from the Riordan Clinic I was going through old paperwork and found notes (from four years ago) that I took after talking to the first person I met who had Lyme disease. In my notes, I had written (and forgotten), “they did not get better until they did IV Vitamin C and salt.” I laughed to myself thinking, “Boy, I sure could’ve saved myself a lot of trouble, pain, heartache, time and money had I listened to that person four years ago.” They say timing is everything. At the time I heard that comment, IV Vitamin C sounded so unconventional and foreign to me. What’s funnier, is that I didn’t think twice about taking synthetic, man-made antibiotics full of fillers, preservatives, stabilizers and food dyes. Which do you honestly think is better for your body and brain? If you don’t know, then read up on methylation pathways and MTHFR.
This is where faith, prayer and trust come in. There are two times in my life that I whole-heartedly turned everything over to God and trusted that He would fulfill my request, if it was His will. The first time resulted in the birth of our wonderful daughter; the second resulted in our finding the Riordan Clinic and their fabulous staff.
Whether you are deep into your Lyme disease journey (or any other chronic illness) or just starting out, please go to the Riordan Clinic. If it is not possible for you to travel, then have a phone consult with one of their excellent doctors and do some remote testing. If you are still questioning that phone call, then please read (or watch) the following items that explain and support the success of IV Vitamin C and nutritionals, IV glutathione and UBI treatment:
- Read the excellent information on Riordan’s website (the tests they offer, the case studies, the success stories, how IV Vitamin C works to kill cancer and other infections, how UBI works, particularly read “The Clinical Impact of Vitamin C: My Personal Experiences as a Physician” where they outline one woman’s experience with Chronic Lyme disease. riordanclinic.org
- Read the “Clinical Guide to the Use of Vitamin C” found online. seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/198x/smith-lh-clinical_guide_1988.htm
- Read Dr. Thomas E. Levy’s book, “Curing the Incurable – Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases and Toxins” LivOn Books; 1st edition (September 2002).
- Read the 1949 Time Magazine article regarding UBI treatment in children with Rheumatic Fever (this particularly peaked my interest because Rheumatic Fever is a condition where one’s own antibodies attack the heart; PANDAS/PANS is very similar in that the body’s own antibodies attack the basil ganglia in the brain and cause terrible symptoms). http://drsubi.com/bpt/time-magazine-article/
- Visit the website: drsubi.com
- Watch YouTube videos of Dr. Ron Hunninghake (and Dr. Levy and Dr. Rau) discussing the way to cure Lyme disease, cancer and other chronic conditions is to change the body’s milieu. youtube.com/riordanclinic
- Watch the 60 minutes segment on YouTube entitled, “Vitamin C: The Miracle Swine Flu Cure (60 Minutes) Living ‘Proof’.”
- Read the article “Elucidating PANDAS; A follow-up Discussion of an Immune-Mediated Mental Illness” in the Naturopathic Doctor News & Review to understand how IVC and IV Glutathione help autoimmune conditions like PANDAS/PANS. http://wholeness.com/Articles/Elucidating_PANDAS.pdf
I sometimes wonder to myself, had I not tried so many different treatment protocols, herxed so terribly, been through so many relapses and been so terribly ill at the end, would we have gone to Kansas? I think not. I don’t take a lot of risks, especially with my daughter’s health or our finances. I research and want to understand all the variables so I can make the best decision possible and I like to see proof. Well, I got that proof first hand on the sixth day at the Riordan Clinic. I truly hope you do too.
To answer the second question I noted at the start of this article, “Why am I sharing my story?” the answer is simple. Someone shared their Riordan experience and amazing results with me and convinced me to go to the Riordan Clinic and I got well. I have my life back. I could not be more thankful. I want to do the same for someone else.
I’ll leave you with a one of the Riordan Clinic’s quotes that truly struck a chord with me,