I do not know quite why it is that I keep believing: “Finally – I have found THE answer”. I long ago learned that is a fallacy. It is a statement that is nearly always wrong.
My journey to curing my arthritis is an example. It seems like a dozen or more times I felt: “Finally – I have found THE answer”. Each time has been hugely important. Each step filled in gaps. Each step accomplished a better solution. Yet each step was incomplete.
I am there again. Perhaps this is a part of why I have had difficulty writing my stories. More to the point – why I have had difficulty motivating myself to write my stories. The stories aren’t done yet. They haven’t finished with me.
I have been impatiently awaiting the arrival of several of Stephen Harrod Buhner’s books – two in particular. Both books cover co-infections for Lyme disease. The first arrived yesterday.
To the best of my knowledge I have never contracted Lyme disease. However, I was severely bitten by a cat when I was ten. My hand swoll to many times normal size. It hurt. The doctor gave me what seemed like a huge shot of penicillin.
I ‘knew’, or at the least I believed, for my whole life that that cat bite caused my 30 plus year battle with two rare forms of arthritis: Reactive Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis. They are twins, slight variants on one another. I had both. They turned most of my spine and neck to solid bone. They fused my sacroiliac joints. My entire pelvis is one bone. This hugely limits my flexibility.
Over decades, I told every doctor I met about that particular cat bite. I attributed my arthritis to it. They were never able to “hear” me. I also told doctors over and over that I was experiencing “bone crushing pain”, especially shin pain. It crushed my soul. A lot of my life’s story centered around that pain and it’s impacts. I lived with it crushing me day and night for over 30 years.
I tried all kinds of things to cure the disease, and to relieve the pain. Some worked a little. Most did nothing. Many were extremely dangerous. The pain was savage. It was unrelenting. Opiates merely seemed to cut the edge. Only in the last few years have I learned that my body doesn’t process opiates as most people’s bodies do. I lack a critically important enzyme. In truth, the opiates never did anything at all. For me they were and are placebos.
After decades of research I believed I found answers. I did. It was caused by bacteria. I killed them. It worked. I cured my arthritis. The anti-inflammatories shredded my intestines. I healed them. My immune system misfired and thought I was the enemy. I quieted it. The story though was bigger than I thought. It was simpler too.
The key was in the pieces that never fit. The shin pain was a biggest clue. There were others. Endocarditis. Skin conditions. Swollen lymph nodes. A chronic unproductive cough that lasted a decade. Repeated bouts of eye inflammation. And many more.
I was right all those years ago. It was the cat bite that started it all. It was Bartonellosis, an infection with bartonella henslae.
Stephen’s book details that. All of the pieces finally fit. Cats are often infected with the bartonella bacteria. Cats transmit it to people most often through scratches. That causes ‘cat scratch fever’. It is more than that. They also transmit it through bites.
In many ways the disease looks like Lyme disease, with a twist. That twist comes from my genetics, genetics that make me susceptible to arthritis.
All of my puzzle pieces now fit. Finally.
Stephen details the mechanisms, herbs and nutrients needed to fully resolve the disease. I am likely cured already. But the bug is good at hiding and waiting. So I will now embark on a journey to finally clear any last remnants of the infections, infections from more than half a century ago.
Here I am once more thinking: “Finally – I have found THE answer!” I know that is not true. This is just another step. It is a big step.
The journey has been long. It has taken me far afield. It changed my life. It dominated my life. Yet, I am so very much the richer for it, despite the decades of pain and suffering.