hen perceived by naïve eyes, modern medicine gives no hint that something is amiss. The medical establishment has all the appearances of authority and proficiency. From new, opulent hospital buildings complete with gray-haired, confident doctors on whose walls hang official credentials, to medical web sites created by the best web designers, the statement is clear: Western medicine knows its stuff. Furthering this perception is, of course, the assurance from medical professionals that everything health can be measured and manipulated and made right.
Clearly, current medical practice has done much good for humankind. In our age-old battle to maintain and restore health, we have celebrated great victories in healing. Broken bones and crooked teeth yield quietly to modern medicine. Critical car accident victims enjoy incredibly optimistic odds as a result of helicopters and advanced emergency rooms. Most bacterial infections cause us no more trouble than the nuisance of a trip to the doctor's office and then the pharmacy. I am grateful for, and I personally benefit from, modern medicine in its many forms.
the World of Lyme Disease
Despite progress in medicine, some maladies continue to plague us. Worse, some medical conditions are even wholly disregarded by the conventional medical community because they do not fit the prevailing paradigms of diagnosis and treatment. When I discovered I had Lyme Disease and subsequently sought treatment, it became obvious that Lyme Disease is such a condition. The longer I was sick, the harder it became to ignore the many clues that Western medicine really didn't have room for Lyme Disease. The complex diagnostic process and dynamic treatment procedures necessary to get well are too different from what doctors are taught in medical school to be widely recognized and applied. The disease simply does not fit the system. Of course, ideally, the system should be flexible to fit the disease—but that doesn't always happen. Most of the conventional-minded doctors I sought for help either denied the existence of the disease altogether, at least in its chronic form, or treated me with therapies which I later discovered to be antiquated and wildly irrational.
Conventional medicine is not the only subsection of healthcare which has difficulty diagnosing and treating Lyme Disease. Most of the arena of alternative medicine is also confused and misled. Although generally more open-minded, acupuncturists, herbalists, homeopaths, alternative MDs, and unconventional healers all tripped over each other and contradicted one another about what I should do. Generally, they recommended roughly the same approaches that conventional doctors recommended, but instead of drugs, they encouraged me to use herbs, essential oils, or homeopathic remedies. Some of the treatments of both conventional and alternative medicine helped me, but none gave me back my health. Most of the health care practitioners I encountered lacked a solid understanding of Lyme Disease pathogenesis.
In the instances when I found a treatment that did help, results were so slow to manifest (due to the hardiness of the infection) that I could never tell if I was using the best available treatment or wasting time with marginally effective approaches. Either way, inevitably, any help I received from a treatment would dissipate and be replaced by increasing and resurgent symptoms.
The truth, the disturbing, authentic truth, is that none of the more than 40 conventional and alternative practitioners I saw really knew what to do. They all wanted to help, but the resources just weren't there. Months of research led me to the discovery that Lyme Disease occupies a dark corner of humankind's medical knowledge base, denied adequate research and funding and even acknowledgment. As a result, Lyme Disease to this day remains a mysterious illness. This is why most Lyme doctors are persecuted as fringe renegades and most of the best books on the subject are written by lay people who were forced to educate themselves by exhaustively searching the annals of medical research and patient experiences.
Despite my worsening Lyme Disease infection and frustration with the medical resources available to me, I continued to seek help from various doctors for many years. That is, until fall of 2002. The following is an account of the events which finally forced me to internalize the reality that Lyme Disease sufferers are on their own.
It was a cool, autumn evening in Nevada. I patiently sat in the office of the medical director of a world renowned "underground" (translated: not condoned by Western medicine) Lyme Disease clinic. This clinic was allegedly one of the most competent Lyme Disease treatment facilities on the planet. This was the top of the ladder of treatment options: expensive, proficient, and well-known, with a patient base that includes people who travel from all around the globe. I felt that I had separated the wheat from the chaff and finally found a valuable way to spend my treatment dollars and time.
And, dollars and time I did spend. After staying at this clinic for three weeks and spending over $15,000, I wasn't really any better, and I wanted to ask someone what the next step was. I didn't know I would actually secure a meeting with the medical director of the clinic himself; in the past he had been elusive and cryptic and I always wound up seeing one of the staff physicians. The clinic was large, with over 50 employees, and the director busied himself with important meetings and lectures. Naturally, I was elated to see this respected and successful alternative-minded physician in person, and I was certain he would have answers and a new path for me to try. After all, a toolbox with useful therapies and suggestions is something you expect from someone who is arguably the world's leading expert on alternative treatments for Lyme Disease, right?
When, in response to my desperate pleas, he offered no new path but instead shrugged and apologized flatly while writing me a prescription for the most antiquated and ineffective chronic Lyme Disease therapy in history (a two-week course of doxycycline), a light went on in my head. As my previous years of struggle in the medical community finally came into focus, I realized that I was truly on my own. There were no more specialists to go see. No more second opinions to be had. I climbed the ladder of medical professionals all the way to the top, and I still did not find what I needed. I left the clinic, depressed and broke and hopeless, with a nagging thought repeating itself over and over in my mind: no one in the world knows how to handle chronic Lyme Disease.
of the World of Lyme Disease
Under normal circumstances I would not choose to take my health into my own hands. The near-infinite resources available in the arena of modern medicine render it silly for people without a medical education to poke around and try to figure out new ways to solve health problems. The probability of a non-medical person finding a medical breakthrough is about as high as that of a business person waltzing into NASA with a correction in the formula used to calculate the shuttle's reentry path.
And, I really didn't have a desire to explore new solutions to medical problems. Before I got sick (although now I believe I have had chronic Lyme since birth), I was happily engaged in a successful business career. I wasn’t looking for new, low-probability-of-success projects. But after that fateful evening in Nevada, it appeared I had no choice but to go it on my own. Conventional and alternative medicine just didn't work for me despite years of treatment and over $100,000 in medical bills. Where would it end? How much more of my life would I waste waiting, hoping for something to change?
I reluctantly concluded that I would either figure this out myself or I wouldn't get better. Ironically, I later learned that one of the most significant discoveries in Lyme Disease treatment history was achieved by a businessman with no medical training—Doug MacLean, who pioneered modern rife technology as a treatment for Lyme Disease. NASA, indeed! Out of options, I now had only one option, so I jumped in head first and committed to doing my absolute best to research, understand, and beat this disease.
What ensued was a none-too-glamorous journey in which I traveled through years of experimentation and endless hours of research. I talked to hundreds of Lyme Disease sufferers and physicians, and even founded an internet-based Lyme Disease support group which now has over 2,000 members. I compared notes with patients and health care practitioners alike. I experimented with countless herbs and pharmaceuticals—many of which were purchased without a prescription from online and overseas pharmacies (do not try this at home!). Using my body as a guinea pig, I had some pretty scary experiences. The worst was when I went to Italy and spent $20,000 on an experimental treatment during which time the patient in the room next to me actually died due to complications of the treatment. Italy didn't heal me.
Many people told me I was crazy and asked how I could take such risks with my own life. The answer was quite simply that I had no other choice. Most people do not understand this concept; most people do not know what it is like to be pressed up against a wall like that. All people who suffer from chronic Lyme Disease do know what it is like. It was crazy, what I was doing. But crazy is better than sick and miserable or dead. Many significant discoveries in history were made by people who took risks they would not normally take simply because they had no choice. A good friend and research partner once said, "you can always identify the pioneers because they are the ones with the arrows in their backs."
I kept detailed records of how I responded to different therapies, and spare mental energy was used to continuously pour over and rehash unsolved issues and unanswered questions. Even when I was not researching, my brain was engaged, processing, contemplating. I corroborated my experiences and conclusions with those of other Lyme Disease sufferers. I found that my discoveries were indeed common among dozens, even hundreds of people afflicted with chronic Lyme Disease who had been doing their own research and guiding their own treatment programs. The information on how to get well was out there, it just wasn't organized. Nothing was very complicated, just obscure. And worse, conventional medicine didn't seem to be interested in helping.
Ultimately, after struggling for several years, I found my way back to an enjoyable, healthy quality of life. Looking back, the therapies and protocols I used to get better are actually not very complex or extreme. Simplicity often goes hand in hand with value. One of the most interesting discoveries I made was that the toolboxes of conventional and alternative medicine actually have the right tools. The problem is that the right tools are either used incorrectly, ignored when they are needed, or esoterically buried deep beneath more commonly used yet less useful tools. In fact, most of the time I spent researching was not dedicated to examining beneficial treatments but instead, trying to navigate through the distraction of hundreds of worthless treatments. Although one of the goals of this book is to introduce you to what I believe are the best conventional and alternative Lyme Disease therapies, a goal of no less importance is to also help you save time by sparing you the monstrous task of sorting through the tools that don't work.
If you have reservations about listening to a non-medical person talk about a medical subject, I don't blame you. You should be wary. I do not ask you to accept this book as scientific fact or proven data. I do not ask you to take my word as gospel. However, let me be the first to break the news to you: if you have chronic Lyme Disease, you don't have many great options staring you in the face. What modern conventional and alternative medicine has to offer you is far short of the mark. "Scientific fact and proven data" leave much to be desired in the area of Lyme Disease treatment. The discoveries and experiences of pioneering Lyme Disease sufferers will be at least as useful to you as the medical textbooks on which your doctors base their decisions and statements. Quite likely, as time goes on and research continues, better options will become available. Until they do, you have much to learn from those who have gone before.
Lyme Disease sufferers are all pioneers, on the frontier of medical discovery—including you! You are a pioneer, and it is your right, actually your responsibility, to sift through the available information and come to your own conclusions. Failure to do this can have dire consequences simply because the alternative is often continued suffering. So think of my book not as your final answer, but instead one of many resources, a roadmap to get you started. If I did my job well in writing this book, I can save a few pioneers from unnecessary arrows in their backs.
Roadmap of this book
Lets take a brief look at what you can expect from this book.
Information for the Reader, the next section of the book, provides some important facts and tips that you should be aware of prior to reading the book.
The Introduction, which follows Information for the Reader, offers background information about Lyme Disease, including obstacles in the diagnosis and treatment processes, and also examines some key issues affecting patients and practitioners. In addition, the Introduction compares conventional and alternative medicine and challenges you to re-examine your current thinking and paradigm with regard to Lyme Disease treatment.
After the Introduction, the book dives right into the 10 most effective conventional and alternative Lyme therapies. Part I of the book, comprised of chapters 1-5, presents the five core treatment protocols, or ideologies on which a foundational treatment plan can be based. These five protocols are the guts of the book—they constitute the main components of successful Lyme Disease treatment.
Part II of the book, comprised of chapters 6-10, presents five nutritional and herbal supplements that can be used in a supportive capacity alongside the five core protocols of Part I. These supplements must be understood as supportive and not foundational. In other words, they do not work toward a cure, but instead, they provide accelerated healing and symptom reduction as the five core protocols work toward a cure.
After we have seen the top 10 Lyme Disease treatments (5 core protocols and 5 supportive supplements), Chapter 11 describes how to integrate them into a comprehensive treatment program. Chapter 11 gives you a basic framework for setting up your treatment plan. You may wish to skip ahead to this chapter before reading the book. Scanning it first can give you an idea of where we are going, how we are getting there, and what the final goal is.
The Top 10 Lyme Disease Treatments:
Defeat Lyme Disease With The Best Of Conventional And