Claudia’s Lyme Disease is No Fun

In a few minutes, Claudia will collapse. It’s making me sad. Her normal schedule is to wake up around 4:30-5am, read with me for awhile, and then begin her yoga routine which could last from 2-3 hours. But for the past six weeks she has not done yoga. For the first time in ten years.

She still wakes up the same every day. Full of energy. You wouldn’t know she was sick. Too much energy for me. C’mon! she says, the coffee machine is on. And she’d be talking, laughing, getting me to talk, and we’d have our coffee and read and chat about what we’re reading

Then I go over to the computer and start writing. She’s usually writing as well. Then, around 8am, I hear nothing. I look over and my heart sinks. I can tell the Lyme has kicked in. She’s done for the day. Every day I keep hoping the antibiotics will work. Every morning it seems like they will. She has more energy than ever.

It’s usually at precisely 8:26am. I see the disappointment on her face. She’s just staring ahead. She’s not reading or writing. No yoga today.

“You ok?” I ask every day around the same time.  Hoping for a different answer.

“I’m feeling the collapse.” My heart would sink. Today wouldn’t be the day that the antibiotics would kick in. That the symptoms would start to die down.

And then about ten to twenty minutes later she would not quite walk, not quite crawl, upstairs. She’s done  for the day. She’ll sleep or read in bed for the rest of the day. By ten AM she’ll start to cry. She’ll say, “I’m sorry”, to me, which is ridiculous.

The Lyme affects the brain. So first in the day she gets the chronic fatigue syndrome (apparently the Lyme thickens the blood so it forces the fatigue),and then by ten AM she starts to get depressed and/or anxious and will start crying. She’ll have half-dreams talking to her dead mother who fell out of a window when Claudia was 18.

Meanwhile, she was going to go study yoga in Chicago with one of her favorite teachers last weekend (cancelled) and then this weekend she was going to Minnesota to give a talk at a yoga conference and give a class (cancelled) and in Cold Spring, where we live, she was going to start (today) to teach a class twice a week (cancelled). She tries to post on her blog before her inevitable collapse and sometimes she pulls it off. She was going to work on her second book but that’s now postponed.

Last week she was helping me with my book. And she was getting a lot done on edits every morning but by 8am: “I’m sorry,” and she would stumble upstairs unable to walk straight. The Lyme causes joint pain similar to arthritis until you aren’t able to move.

She’s attempted a few times to not go to bed but then she’ll really collapse to the floor with lights flashing before her eyes and, “I feel like something is crawling up and down my back.”

Once she’s in bed, and after the 10am inevitable panic attack, she’ll feel joint pain all over. She feel heart burn and have heart palpitations. Kolonopin calms those down enough so she can sleep.

Then we’d call the doctor, “I don’t know why the antibiotics are not working,” the doctor said, “I have to give up and hand you over to a lyme specialist.”

(a Lyme tick)

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We go to the lyme specialist, “All of those alternative therapies you are hearing about are garbage.” And he just ups the dosage on the antibiotics. He wanted us to see a neurologist also but we know that’s a “cover your ass” move so we won’t.

One of the doctors took an EKG. The Lyme spread to the heart so she has something called a “left branch bundle block”. Apparently the electric current that goes up the left side of the heart is blocked.

The cardiologist now wants to do all sorts of stress tests or whatever. We aren’t doing it. Every  doctor kicks in with a “cover your ass” mentality so they don’t get sued. We know she has the heart issue because of Lyme. She’s not an obese diabetic 80 year old (the typical demographic that gets an "LBBB"). She gets a little energy between 4pm and 5pm each day. Enough to eat and take the next dose of antibiotics and then she’s done and by 7pm asleep. When she’s asleep her legs flop around the bed. The Lyme causes “restless leg syndrome” when she sleeps.

We got a bunch of books on Lyme. We’ve gotten a lot of helpful emails. We look all over the Internet. There does seem to be a lot of special therapies that have worked for people (rife machines, “the Marshal Protocol”, acupuncture, special detoxes, etc) but by far (100-1) the thing that works most for people is  antibiotics, despite the side effects that antibiotics have. Everybody is different and perhaps the antibiotics won’t work for Claudia but we have to keep trying them because we don’t want the Lyme to get worse. Apparently Lyme is like an onion. It gathers in the body in dense layers and the antibiotics peel one layer after another. But slowly. And if the Lyme gets worse she could get Bell’s Palsy – partial paralysis – which she has felt slightly kick in.

So we have to keep giving the antibiotics a try (although she mixes in the alternative stuff with things like “cat’s claw”, “bee pollen”, “Vitamin B-5”. )

We brought up “the Marshall Protocol” to the lyme specialist. This protocol says you should aggressively eliminate Vitamin D from your system because it fights the antibiotics. The lyme specialist, an MD, looked at us for a few seconds and then said, “Marshall was a PhD. I’m an MD.” And that was that. He then did nothing our own doctor didn’t do but wasted 3 hours of our time (because we drove an hour) doing it.

But we’re trying to limit the Vitamin D anyway. Sometimes we listen to these guys, sometimes we don’t. You always have to use your own judgment with doctors. At this point, I feel like I could be a Lyme doctor. That said, we just don’t have the time or energy to try every alternative therapy. Claudia can’t make it into NYC for instance, where all the alternative guys are. And everyone needs to meet face to face so they can justify charging their full fee.

I hate seeing her at 1% of her usual energy. I told her the other day, only half-jokingly, that I had the best Labor Day weekend ever because of her Lyme disease. All I did was lie in bed and read and write and whenever she had some energy we were able to talk and laugh. We stayed inside all weekend . How great is that? I hate being outside. But really I wish she had been better.

It’s 6:54am. She’s reading a book that I had recommended to her and she’s laughing. Laughing is a good cure for everything. Last night we watched the Comedy Central roast of Charlie Sheen. She laughed at that. The night before, we watched the beginning of the movie “Superbad”, which I’ve seen on 18 other occasions. She laughed at that. We also tried “Wayne’s World” but it wasn’t as funny as I remembered.

Now, it’s 6:56am. In about 90 minutes we’ll see if the collapse kicks in. I hope this is the first day in the past six weeks that it doesn’t.  If the collapse doesn’t happen and her energy spikes up I’m going to have to figure out how to bottle it.

For future occasions when I might need it.


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  • jim

    I hope the antibiotics kick in ASAP. But meanwhile, James, how are you taking care of yourself so you can take care of Claudia?

  • Sending healing thoughts your way Claudia.  I hope you have a good day tomorrow. :)

  • Sending healing thoughts your way Claudia.  I hope you have a good day tomorrow. :)

  • pjc

    So sorry to hear about Claudia. I wish there was something I could say to help.

    There is something about Wayne’s World that makes it more funny in your memory. All of Mike Meyer’s movies are like that … they’re worth watching, because they make you laugh a few days later.

  • pjc

    So sorry to hear about Claudia. I wish there was something I could say to help.

    There is something about Wayne’s World that makes it more funny in your memory. All of Mike Meyer’s movies are like that … they’re worth watching, because they make you laugh a few days later.

  • This is what worked for my chronic fatigue, although it was induced by food intolerances not Lyme Disease. I am suggesting it because I think it yields tremendous energy dividends. I’ve also observed that it ridiculously increases the effectiveness of my immune system, specifically in fighting acne (both physical healing and fighting bacteria). 

    Ok, here’s the formula: 
    1. Eat scallops with minimal browning (by “browning” I mean carmelization, crispyness, burnt)
    2. Eat white rice

    Eat nothing else, except water. Try it for 3 days and if results don’t show, ditch it. 

  • This is what worked for my chronic fatigue, although it was induced by food intolerances not Lyme Disease. I am suggesting it because I think it yields tremendous energy dividends. I’ve also observed that it ridiculously increases the effectiveness of my immune system, specifically in fighting acne (both physical healing and fighting bacteria). 

    Ok, here’s the formula: 
    1. Eat scallops with minimal browning (by “browning” I mean carmelization, crispyness, burnt)
    2. Eat white rice

    Eat nothing else, except water. Try it for 3 days and if results don’t show, ditch it. 

  • Tim Hofmann

    That’s terrible James. I hope it turns around next week, or sooner.

  • Tim Hofmann

    That’s terrible James. I hope it turns around next week, or sooner.

  • Jascheng

    Hope Claudia will feeling better after the treatment. God bless.

  • Jascheng

    Hope Claudia will feeling better after the treatment. God bless.

  • Trevor G.

    I really hope everything turns out okay!

  • Trevor G.

    I really hope everything turns out okay!

  • Trevor G.

    I really hope everything turns out okay!

  • After going through your blog about “…Stress..” yesterday, I did feel it was your stress, your feelings you were giving a vent. I care for you and your family. I will pray for Claudia to get well soon. Please keep yourself calm and I sincerely request you to follow the advice given by TheAcsMan.

  • After going through your blog about “…Stress..” yesterday, I did feel it was your stress, your feelings you were giving a vent. I care for you and your family. I will pray for Claudia to get well soon. Please keep yourself calm and I sincerely request you to follow the advice given by TheAcsMan.

  • YYogini Y

    My heart aches reading this….. I really hope Claudia gets better soon.

  • YYogini Y

    My heart aches reading this….. I really hope Claudia gets better soon.

  • YYogini Y

    My heart aches reading this….. I really hope Claudia gets better soon.

  • Mansal

    Best of luck, James. I hope she recovers soon.

  • Mansal

    Best of luck, James. I hope she recovers soon.

  • Mansal

    Best of luck, James. I hope she recovers soon.

  • Frank_zhen

    so sad

  • Rachel Pasqua

    James, so sorry and so sad to hear that Claudia is sick. I hope she is feeling better soon and that both of you are as happy as you look in this picture.

  • Brenna

    One of my very good friends has Lyme disease, it has caused her arms to be completely paralyzed-when you touch them they are cold and dead. After about 6 months of intravenous antibiotic therapy she is finally starting to get feeling back in her arms but she still has a long way to go. Patience is key!  She was originally diagnosed with ALS before they found out about the Lyme disease. She too is exploring alternative medicines.

    You should encourage your wife to pick up her yoga again, even if its really basic stretching. I went through a year of chemotherapy and even though I felt exhausted, just ten minutes of light exercise would give me loads of energy. 

  • Jessica

    While I am certain that you’ve done an incredible amount of research, I hope this article may help, if only a small amount. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

  • Ugh, James, it’s SO awful. I wish there were something I could do to help. Hang in there. Your family is in my prayers.

  • Strength and luck to you both. It’s always hard to see a body give out on someone when the mind and soul are still carrying on as usual. We’re pulling for you Claudia – and pulling for James to keep his chin up and keep you laughing. 

  • Suuzin

    I’m sorry to hear this. I had a Lyme scare this summer – ‘bullseye rash’ bite so I was treated with low dose antibiotics. There is a lot of confusion out there about Lyme and I am far from knowing what the truth is. Politics abound in medicine when it comes to Lyme is what I came away with after reading e-mails from people who have suffered greatly and have lobbied the government to take Lyme research more seriously. A few things I’d try – seek out a “LLMD” – Lyme Literate Medical Doctor if you haven’t already. People say they treat Lyme more aggressively than infectious disease specialists. Google Dr. Burrascano treatment guidelines. And see for a TCM doctor that Dr. Weil recommends.

  • Anonymous

    I trained at Boston Children’s hospital back when a very large portion of its in-patient beds were devoted to treatment of CF children. Back then, the emotional toll was different as kids spent much more time as in-patients and had far less time between admissions than is typically the situation now. They were more likely to be resigned to their lot rather than mad about it.

    I recall seeing the same patients coming back at 6-8 week intervals for admissions and therapy. Year in and out. There was relatively little place for child support groups because so much time was spent in hospitals, rather than at home.

    Due to significant life span differences back then, many of the kids would adopt risky life styles, trying to get in as much “living” as possible, again, resigned to an accelerated outcome.

    The stunningly incredible advances in the management of this chronic illness, resulting in more out-patient treatment and survival well into adulthood, has also changed expectations. It’s so normal to be mad at the disease and whatever may be perceived as being responsible for causing the disease.Now, the disease is more likely to interfere with normal activites, rather than itself being a normal activity.

    As with all of these terrible chronic diseases, aggressive therapy not only gives the best physical outcome, but the most emotionally satisying one as well, returning everyone to their normal life as quickly as possible.

    Good luck and best wishes. Your son is being cared for by the very best

    • How many of these children with chronic diseases (including stuff like diabetes and even some Cystic Fibrosis and cancer etc.) are just suffering from the root cause of poor nutrition (not enough vegetables, too much junk including dairy and refined carbs) and vitamin D deficiency? Please read Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s “Disease-Proof Your Child”:
      “Scientific research has demonstrated that humans have a powerful immune
      system, even stronger than other animals. Our bodies are self-repairing,
      self-defending organisms, which have the innate ability to defend
      themselves against microbes and prevent chronic illnesses. This can only
      happen if we give our bodies the correct raw materials. When we don’t
      supply the young body with its nutritional requirements, we see bizarre
      diseases occur. We even witness the increasing appearance of cancers
      that were unheard of in prior human history.”

      • Although no one should ever discount the role of nutrition in disease, there is not a great body of evidence to suggest that it is a “root cause” of disease.

        Of course, in the cases of deprivation, such as Vitamin D or C, there is strong correlation, the same can’t be said for other diseases.

        Even in the case of adult onset diabetes, the relationship with diet is outwardly evident, but there is poor specificity and sensitivity, or in other words a preponderance of both false positives and false negatives.

        In fact, where there is high correlation is in the basic building blocks of life. Whereas you suggest that even cystic fibrosis may have a root cause in nutrition, the science indicates that 100% of those with cystic fibrosis started life by carrying two recessive genes, one from each parent, that determines their disease state. Those genes determined the outcome at the instant of union of perm and egg.

        If the develping fetus survived pregancy there was a 100% probability of having cytic fibrosis. Vegans do not have a lower rate of giving birth to cystic fibrosis free children, by the way.

        In the case of Juvenile Onset Diabetes, what used to be referred to as IDDM (insulin dependent diabetes) there is a very strong genetic marker. There has never been any evidence that these kinds of genes can be turned on or off through nutritional intervention, although proper nutrition certainly will limit the devestation of high metabolic demands of the process of catabolism

        • If you look at Dr. Fuhrman’s book, “Eat To Live”, it references thousands of medical studies, so you will see there is lots of documentation for a link between nutrition and health (especially chronic disease). Your knowledge may be behind the times. Have you ever really looked for any evidence?

          As for vitamin D, consider that human evolved outdoors, wearing little clothes in the summer, and near the equator. But now humans in industrialized cultures live at extreme latitudes wearing lots of clothes and living indoors most of the time, most people are vitamin D deficient unless they supplement (or use UV lamps or whatnot). Maybe Innuit were a bit of an exception, but they eat a lot of whole fish that has some vitamin D (and their health was not that great).

          But, humans also evolved, in general, eating a lot of vegetables and fruits. But, most people in industrialized countries don’t eat that way now, and so are likewise deficient in phytonutrients.

          While certainly there are rare situations where genetics is the primary factor in the main symptoms of a disease (and perhaps many cases that present as CF may be them), most of what most people suffer from can’t be blamed so easily on “genetics”. As Dr. Fuhrman says, genetics may give us “weak links”, but whether those weak links get pulled on to the point of breaking usually has to do with things like nutrition and lifestyle.

          Most cases of type II diabetes can be eliminated with improved nutrition (again, see Dr. Fuhrman or others with proven cases). Much type I diabetes may be from vitamin D deficiency and nutrition (and while it may not be reversible like Type II, it still can be much better managed with a high nutrient diet to avoid many complications). Most heart disease can be reversed by diet too (without stents, bypasses, or all that other expensive stuff). Fasting (juice or water) can work a lot of miracles, too.

          You may not believe it, but if you look around, you will see case after case of that. And study after study. Welcome to the nutritional revolution.

          Still, that probably only covers maybe 80% of medical problems. For accidents, some infections, and yes, some rare genetic conditions, modern medicine is the way to go. The problem is, most doctors don’t know their limits or much about alternatives like superior nutrition, so they mistreat that 80% with pills or surgery.

          BTW, as Dr. Fuhrman points out, most vegetarians and vegans still eat poorly (too much starch, dairy, and fake meat junk food).

          The bottom line — for someone with something like Cystic Fibrosis, and at increased risk of stuff like pneumonia, they should be eating *better* than everyone else, not worse, to prevent the complications which they don’t have as much physical health resources to deal with. Likewise for people with heart disease or diabetes and so on.

          See also the PubMed stuff this links to:

          • Having thousands of references is less a sign of corroboration than it is of subterfuge. Confusing with “the facts” is a well known strategy that seeks to deluge the onlooker while an interpretation of “facts” are weaved to create an a posteriori reality, which then supports the original supposition.

            Abbott and Costello were able to convincingky prove that 13 times 7 equalled 21 and used division and addition to seamlessly corroborate their flawed logic.

            The reality is that there is a nearly infinite stream of “counter” explanations and false associations promoted by all communities to further their own needs. That obviously includes individuals in the scientific community. However, science builds on ityself and withstands scrutiny. The myriad of disconnected hypotheses that are pushed as “truths du jour” do not and disappear into the ether when scrutiny is applied.

            The further reality is that the scientific method, including controlled study, application of epidemiological principles and analyses will never become behind the times, as they are objective analyses of quantifiable outcomes and not a house built upon layers upon layers of faulty suppositions.

  • Gerald Kimber White

    Hi James –

    Let me first say that your blog is one of my favorite things to read.  And I am in PR so I read a lot.  :^)

    Secondly, my wife has been struggling with Chronic Lyme Disease for at least a couple years (since her diagnosis) but possibly for 10 years or more.  I know how exceedingly difficult it can be on both the person suffering from Lyme and their care giver and how maddening the lack of clear direction and support from experts and the outside world can be.  I will pray for you and Claudia as you continue this fight.  Hopefully, we’ll all find healing and relief soon.

    Have a nice weekend.

    – Gerald

  • You guys have a lot friends who wish you well. I am sad to read that Claudia’s Lyme disease situation is persisting. I hope she get’s well soon. 

  • scott thomas

    I’m a doctor. Recently, I was threatened with a potential law suit. The situation was reviewed by  colleagues, peers and lawyers. They all agreed I treated the patient absolutely correctly, but I didn’t order enough CYA tests, so I’ve exposed myself to a potentially very damaging lawsuit. This discouraged me, to say the least, and led me to blogs such as this one to seek alternative career paths, life solutions, etc. So it was ironic for me to read this post criticizing physicians for ordering too many CYA tests.

    The healthcare delivery system in this country is broken. Perhaps one of your 52 scams.  Don’t know why people fight so viciously to protect it.

    I hope she reaches a complete recovery as quickly as possible. Best to both of you.

    • Scott, I am changing my beliefs abouot doctors the more I read, I see the amount of pressure you guys are under, god bless you for being a doctor! I mean, it is sooooo scary these days!

    • Anne1958

      I am a family physician and I am exiting medicine too. Sometimes I lie awake at night and wonder if there was anything I missed that might come back to hit me. Then the people who try lawsuits are often the ones with the weakest cases. Like when I documented that a patient was exercising and lifting weights on his physical exam. His insurance company saw the information and kicked him off of disability (rightly so). He couldn’t go after the insurance company but I had many tense weeks until he decided to drop the lawsuit against me. I don’t want to continue in an environment where I am always wondering if I am doing the right thing. The most innocuous items can cause trouble. You have my sympathy.

  • Soon. Soon Claudia will be better.  Soon. 

    I believe that. And I am going to ask/pray to “God” to make it so.  I am not sure who my “God” is, or if anyone’s God can do better than mine.  So for good measure, I think everyone who reads your blog and/or Claudia’s blog should ask/pray to their God for Claudia to get better.

    Let’s put our spirituality to work.  We have it, let’s use it.


  • Anonymous

    all the best to both your families.

    Fred my brother had CF

  • Mercman185

    James it is nice of you to tell us how Claudia is doing .This is a difficult situation and can be an emotional roller coaster . My advise to you comes from a decade of dealing with doctors . First thing to remember is they work for you you are paying them for their services you are  not paying them to talk down to you . The more you self educate on the subject the more respect you will gain from them in conversation. With them unsure of where your knowledge stops they become more motivated to stay on top of things(sadly true) . There is a reason why it is called the practice of medicine . I live about 20 miles outside of Boston for the usual stuff the local guys are fine when you need to fix the tough stuff the guys at the major teaching hospitals are light years ahead of the locals . Some where there is someone that is the person to talk to on this your a smart guy find that person. I know some will say my statement is to critical of the medical profession my statement is derived from my experience with this profession.You will meet some people who are very dedicated and knowledgeable you will realize this as soon as you meet them. Sad to say I think it is a little like finding a car mechanic some are great and others not so .Organize a game plan similar to your motivational posts and attack this.Sorry for the fragmented thoughts I am watching the kids as I type.  Good luck !

  • Vladimir Bedolla

    Mis mejores deseos para ambos. Fe y amor.

  • You are quite a man James.  Get better Claudia!

  • How heartbreaking for both of you. I hope they find antibiotics that will work for her soon.

  • Claudia and James,

    Only one person here suggested going to a TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner. If you are in New York head to China Town. You can find one of them easily by going to a shop dispensing Ginseng and a bunch of weird looking foodstuffs. Claudia will have a seat in front of the Asian gentleman look at her face, her tongue, and read several pulses on each wrist. Then they will write out a recipe in Chinese and their herbalist or the doctor himself will gather up a bunch of different herbs, often 2 to 5 piles. One bagful for each day.  You will have to buy one of their special ceramic pots to boil the stuff in. The herb mix must not touch metal when prepared. 

    Take it home and put in the recommended amount of water and boil it for the recommended time. After it runs out, take the recipe back to him and he will go through the same procedure to check for changes. He might give you the same recipe again but often it will be changed.

    Where I live there are many traditional Chinese doctors, and they do not charge for the treatment, just the herbs mixtures and it is very affordable and effective. You will smell up the house in the process and the stuff may taste rather disgusting. This medical system is thousands of years old and will often get excellent results where Western Medicine is useless. 

    If that fails, try to find an East Indian Ayurvedic doctor. Similar to Chinese medicine, but much older. Traditionally in their system, you pay the doctor when you are healthy. You stop paying him when you are sick. Much of Western medicine by contrast is very harmful, expensive, and will often do more damage than good while bankrupting the patient. 

    There used to be a medical system similar to what the Chinese and East Indians had in Europe. Then along came “The Church” and burnt them at the stake for heresy and witchcraft. Any documentation of what they had was wiped out long long ago and it is very unlikely it will ever be re discovered. Then came the Dark Ages. Current Herbal medicine in Europe has nothing to do with the very old ways. This is a tragedy. 

    If you guys try or choose not to try the Chinese medical route, I look forward to your writings on the subject. 

  • Anonymous

    You’re adorable Claudia, I know how debilitating a disease like this can be, and I wish you a speedy recovery. I wish there was more I could do.

  • Jeff

    I pluck several ticks from my skin every year.  Sometimes they leave their mouth parts imbedded in my skin when I rip them out. 
    I think about the paralells of Lyme Disease with the Black Death, the plaque that killed about 1/3 of the European population.  The same way those those bubonic plague-infected fleas were spread by rats, todays infected Deer Ticks are spread by mice and deer. 
    Maybe we are not as medically advanced as a civilization as we think we are.

  • Dan Limbach

    Totally rooting for both of you.

  • I don’t know if I can type anything which’ll help. So I’ll pray, an especial one. I believe she’ll be better sooner. Keep taking care of her James.

  • Anonymous

    Feel better soon.

  • Sooz

    Constant positive thoughts and prayers..
    Oh Claudia, I still have the hardest time imagining you down and out. From this day on I will send extra positive thoughts at 8:26am hopes that they reach you.

    As much as you can,J.A., try to make her laugh. Sometimes it’s easiest to laugh when all you want to do is cry. You are masterful  at humor and thank goodness she has you.
    Oh Lord…reading up on it, as well!
    (everytime I near the woods it’s in Hunter boots and long pants)

    • I could send copies of some of my old financial statements. Those were always good for a laugh.

  • While you are looking at things, I suggest you read a few of Paul Stamets’  books:
    He gave a quite interesting TED talk a while back, but he has also found some very interesting medicinal fungi.  I know if I was in your position, I would write him and ask him if he has any ideas.
    Stay confident! 

  • Travis Stanley

    Hi James,

    As with others, I am sorry to hear about the suffering of one you love.  I don’t use antibiotics when I’m sick, I actually use high doses of garlic:

    Garlic contains powerful antibiotic compounds similar to penicillin, namely, Allicin Allicin is even effective at inhibiting or killing MRSA.  Garlic compounds are also effective at protecting the heart, lowering blood pressure and thinning blood (which is why you shouldn’t take it with warfarin). It also slows the heart rate (the US military is experimenting with the gas garlic releases  -hydrogen sulfide – for putting soldiers into suspended hibernation if they are injured on the battlefield)

    You can buy pure Allicin, but I think nature put garlic and its endogenous compounds together for synergistic purposes (it grows in dark, moist dirt and needs to protect itself), so I crush up about 10 cloves with a fork (to release and activate the allicin) chop the crushed bits up and throw it in some warm water mixed with honey and lemon.

    Her skin will stink and have garlic breath (not the mention gassiness) but it comes with the territory.  Hoping your loved one beats this soon.

    Travis stanley

  • Dee

    James and Claudia,

    I am so sorry to hear how much this is making you both hurt in so many ways.

    With that said, for the condition of Lyme
    Disease, I would like to start by suggesting a few crystals that can
    help with a number of Lyme Disease symptoms: pain and discomfort, joint
    inflammation, headaches, fatigue and general malaise.

    I highly recommend getting some Amber.
    Amber is one of my favorite “go to” natural pain killers. It helps with
    joint pain and inflammation, muscle pain, and headaches. It is also a
    wonderful piece to use when going through (or helping with) the
    detoxification process.

    is a wonderful piece to specifically ease joint inflammation. Hematite
    is also often used to ease headache pains, many times eradicating the
    headache all together.

    facilitates the flow of energy. It is one of my favorite pieces to use
    when combating fatigue and lethargy. Copper also can help to ease joint
    inflammation and pain.

    I like these three as starters because each of them cover a number of
    issues/symptoms of Lyme Disease and each is a powerful healer in its own

    For overall healing, get some Amethyst and Clear Quartz crystals.

    Crystals DO have healing properties and they can’t hurt/harm in any way.

    I don’t know how close you are to Patterson but there is a new age shop that will likely have the crystals you need. 914-500-7732 You might also find they can recommend a Reiki Master that can work with Claudia. 

    I hope these suggestions are helpful! Sending you much love, healing and support.

  • Matt


    Have you heard the theory that Lyme Disease is a bio weapon developed on Plum Island? That would explain why it is so concentrated in your part of the country. I read Nelson DeMille’s novel about Plum Island, but I can’t remember if he mentioned Lyme. Here is the Wikipedia page:

    Also, I recommend “Eat Right 4 Your Type” by Peter D’Adamo. He has a theory about how people should avoid certain foods based upon their blood type. It is cheap, easy, and harmless and could increase the power of Claudia’s immune system so that it can fight the Lyme better. It’s a fascinating theory and definitely panned out for me.


  • I have three friends – one of whom I consider the ultimate skeptic – who have had success with Dr. Sarno’s treatment for Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS). 

  • Randle

    Sorry to hear Claudia is still so unwell..

    Would be interested to hear you right on how this sickness interacts with your daily practise and methods for happiness? From the sound of things, this is not going so well – particularly because you can’t boyle her up;)

    • Randle

      right = write ; boyle = boil
      my mobile phone keyboard was having fun with me!

  • Juliana

    I have had Lyme disease and bartonella for over a year now and some of the same symptoms as Claudia – severe joint pain in hips, knees, and shoulders so that every step I took hurt, fatigue that forced me to take 1,2 or 3 naps a day, strong muscle spasms in my legs when waking up from sleep, and inexplicable muscle pain. I still have bartonella and perhaps chlamydia pneumonia, but am about 70% cured, thanks to my LLMD (Lyme Literate M.D.). I’ve been on 5 different antibiotics and anti-parasitics, on and off over the course of a year and will start a 6th soon.  Also many herbs (Buhner protocol), vitamins and minerals. I had just turned 60 when Lyme hit me over a year ago and at first I thought I was just “getting old” !
    I highly recommend that you use the ILADS website to find an LLMD who is qualified to help you. It sounds like your doctor might not have sufficient knowledge or experience in treating Lyme. You could also contact my LLMD, Dr. Neil Nathan, at Gordon Medical Associates in Santa Rosa, CA to see if he would refer you to someone in your area. Phone is 707-575-5180.

    • Please look into vitamin D deficiency (Dr. John Cannell) and vegetable deficiency (Dr. Joel Fuhrman). That helped me deal with Lyme much more than antibiotics.

  • Hang in there Claudia and James. We’re all rooting for Claudia to recover. Stay strong and determined. 

  • MDstudent

    Kind of stupid question but does she take calcium with the “alternate stuff”. This often inhibates the good absorption of antibiotics. Small details that are sometimes good to know…

    • MDstudent

      PS that is why Vitamine D is so not good

  • LP

    just wanted to say i’m so sorry this is happening to you guys.

    fwiw (nothing), here’s my medical story. many years ago, i suddenly started going blind. spots appeared in front of my eyes one morning .. more spots the next day .. and so on. they scanned me and said i had a brain tumor but it must be tiny because they couldn’t find it. eventually my eyesight would stop getting worse; it might even improve somewhat, but i would never get it back completely. i would be partially to totally blind. they would keep scanning me and eventually the tumor would show itself and then i’d have brain surgery. this was all from a leading specialist.

    my eyesight started getting better. then it got ALL the way better, which of course they’d said couldn’t happen. they still couldn’t find my tumor. the specialist told me if i didn’t have a brain tumor – and he was sure i did – then i had something equally bad. i should go home and make peace with it. (his bedside manner was wanting.)

    finally i went home, stopped going back in for regular scans, and they gave me a list of indications my brain tumor had returned. come back immediately if you get any of these.

    a year later, i went to the doctor to complain of sudden, unexplained projectile vomiting. “how long have you had this?” oh, uh [think: what seems reasonable?] a couple of weeks [it was months — i hate the doctor]. “YOU IDIOT THIS WAS ON YOUR BRAIN TUMOR LIST.” oh. that again?

    once again, “you *definitely* have a brain tumor.” once again, scans. once again, they couldn’t find anything. once again, the speech of doom. if this is not a brain tumor – and it IS – then you have MS. if you don’t die, you’re going to end up in a wheelchair. the nurses cried when i was there, it was that tragic.

    i got completely well again. they couldn’t understand or explain it. i went home. i stopped getting scans. they gave me the list again. i lost it. i got pregnant and had a baby. i went on with my life.

    i want this story to be encouraging. like — never mind them. they don’t know wth they’re doing. they’re well-intentioned but they don’t know and that drives them crazy. they are often wrong. i’m afraid saying drs don’t always know what they’re talking about is discouraging, though. but i mean it to be encouraging. also, evidently, whatever my problem was, my body healed itself. i find that encouraging.

    thinking of you & sending you good thoughts.

  • This post beats with the pulse of every philosophical quest in life. I wish it were purely an exercise in postulating theory. Instead, it is your real lives. That makes it a tragedy. I am ever an optimist and hope that your blog leads you to doctors Eastern & Western with answers and relief. Secondly, I hope Claudia can surrender to the imposition of the disease and use her powers of self-awareness to take her on the journey of discovery. Perhaps when she recovers, you both can return to The City where it’s safe.  Every pot has a lid, and it’s no accident you found each other. In that regard, your post is a loving testament. My love to the both of you.

  • I had a mild case, and we got through. Keep faith just a bit longer than you think you can..sending good vibes and prayers

  • Anonymous

    Ok, hate to say this as my wife’s company specializes in this, but Bartonella.


  • Wcurl25

    Have you heard of the SCIO machine; works off Quantum Energy uses natural energies within the body to repair itself.  I have used it before and would buy one if I could afford it. Haha. You can find people who you can pay for sessions though.  There is a lot of information out there about it.  Here is one site, there are many:

  • Dude that is awesome you look like Austin Powers in that picture. When you exit out and plug your website or whatever in your next interview you should make his face and “YEAHHHH  BAAAABBYYY!!!!”

  • I have no recommendations or suggestions, so I’m just wishing you both the best luck humanly possible.

  • First off…my prayers to both of you…
    “Let medicine be your food and food be your medicine”

    Every thing has a solution, God Willing

    Thank you both for sharing this story….it takes alot of courage…

    I have a friend that has Lyme disease….

    Have you heard of the vitamin C cure:

  • Brett M

    Long time reader, first time poster. I wish I had something helpful to say but I really don’t. Stay positive. I know lots of people move to IV Rocephin(ceftriaxone) later in the disease and it seems to work. That means either staying in the hospital or setting up a home health nurse to administer the IV, but it would be worth it. Just my two cents.
    Reading your blog is something I enjoy doing every day and it sucks that you guys are going through this.

  • Jeremy

    I’m a doc on Long Island and have had two bouts of Lyme Disease (weekend house on Fire Island). It is a truly miserable experience and my heart goes out to you both. That being said I can get you in touch with some outstanding infectious disease specialists in Nassau and Suffolk County – folks that I trust and send my own family members to. No need to go to Manhattan.

  • Moshkosh

    well, I will throw in my alternative therapy(it works for everything for me, especially joint/muscle pain)
    Virgin coconut oil.  it is loaded with lauric acid which is the good stuff in breast milk.
    It truly is amazing stuff, all natural, good fats and lauric acid.

    Lyme is a multi-system inflammatory disease and coconut oil attacks all inflammation in the body.  I have given it to friends with gout, arthritis, brain fog, chronic fatigue, muscle soreness, ACL tears, etc.   They were amazed.
     After I separated cartiledge in my ribs and was basically paralized for 5 days and the doctor says sorry cant do much about it, just takes weeks to heal  I loaded up on it.  I went from being not able to breathe, laugh, walk, lay down or sleep due to the pain to almost normal in 3 days.
    Try it, it certainly won’t hurt you.

    Wish you well Claudia!!!

    • Moshkosh
      • Ossicle

        Moshkosh, I’m a coconut oil exponent as well.  However, there is a better brand than the one you indicated:

        There’s lots of info there, making their case for why theirs is the best on the market.  I find their case, and I sure as hell endorse the effects on one’s health.

        • Ossicle

          @#$%  “I find their case PERSUASIVE.”   All readers, check it out for yourselves, though.  All hail coconut oil!

    • thank you!

  • C Pennybrown

    First – don’t panic.  I watched the whole film “Under Our Skin” which I guess you’ve watched too since you had on your site.  Remember the blonde woman who could barely walk?  Well, she made it back to perfect health and Claudia will too.  

    Here’s what I would do:  Make a list of the doctors mentioned in the film.  Begin with the ones closest to you.  I think there must be good doctors in the CT area – hell, Ct is infested with it so they must know how to treat it.

    By any chance is she on doxycylcine?  That’s supposed to be a very good antibiotic for Lyme.  If that’s what she’s on maybe she just needs to go on to a higher dose.  And if that doesn’t do the trick why not ask if she can take it intravenously.  

    You have options.  And you are going to get her better.  Hang in there.  This can’t be easy for you.  It’s never fun watching someone you love suffer.  But take good care of yourself (take breaks, play, exercise) or you won’t be able to take care of her.

    • Claudia

      Yes I watched the film, I think that woman was studying to be a nurse at the end? glad she recovered.  I cannot believe how much politics are behind this decision to declare that long term lyme is non-existent by a doctor who never met with the pannel of doctors they were supposed to meet and just went ahead and declared that… then people dying… doctors with licenses revoked… God Bless, may we all evolve and not take brives in our lives….

      As per my treatment I caught it earlier I know I will recover and yes I am on doxy… thank you for your comment!

  • C Pennybrown

    One more thing – the person who asked if Claudia was taking calcium supplements was on to something.  

    Some antibiotics are inhibited by calcium.  It might be a good idea for Claudia to stay off milk for awhile and switch to soy.  

  • I am in Bali. Every morning the local people make offerings to the spirits of Bali. Today I asked them to include Claudia.

    • Claudia

      Derek, thank you so much! :-)

  • Andrew Ramponi

    I’m sorry this is a difficult time for you both. Especially frustrating when the professionals seem unable to really help. 

    My wife’s grandma Connie (96 years old and maybe the oldest yoga teacher in the UK) has had shingles for the past 2 months. Although a different thing medically to Lyme disease I was interested to see that many of the symptoms are similar, ie inflammation, pain, tiredness, nerve damage. Apparently as with Lyme disease antibiotics could have helped if the virus had been identified early on, before it had caused the inflammation of the nerves, but once that happens all you can do is manage the pain and other side effects for however long it takes to pass, which can be many months. 

    Connie speaks about the pain spasms, which thankfully are better managed now, and how she wouldn’t have liked anyone to see her when they came  on as it would probably distress them! She spends most of the time in bed, in her own house with her dog, getting the help she needs to sort out pain killers and meals from close family. She has days where she is so totally exhausted she can barely stay awake for more than the time it takes to eat; other days she looks forward to getting back to doing all the jobs around the house that she see’s piling up. Her eyesight and hearing are very bad and she misses reading the local newspaper and listening to the radio.

    Other than pain management and it’s side effects, apparently a common difficulty for especially elderly shingles sufferers are the psychological effects, mainly depression. I mentioned this to Connie the other day, how she appeared in much the same spirits as normal in her conversation and general aliveness. She said she’d never been depressed in her life, as she just felt so lucky; lucky with lovely friends and family and to have a nice view to her garden…

    Last week she asked if, just in case she can’t see well enough to drive someone could drive her so she could take her yoga class when it starts on 6th October, her first mental target for getting back to normal. Yesterday she revised this and asked my wife if she could take her class in case she just isn’t quite up to doing the 1st one. Her lucky attitude involves it seems remaining realistic.

    Your Lyme specialist says all those alternative therapies are garbage. Well, they might be, all except one; the mind affects the body in ways much more profoundly and effectively than we, including any so-called specialist, can ever understand. 

    Good luck to you both. 

    Maybe luck, and the belief in it, are worth something….

  • Rolf Norfolk

    I don’t know what to say, except that I hope it gets better.

  • doug graves

    Bugger.  That’s tough. God bless you both.

  • :-)

  • Karen

    Just recently started reading here daily. Claudia and James sending good thoughts your way.

    Living  in CT, everyone in my family has had some sort of Lyme or tick borne illness at some point in time. Nothing as debilitating as Claudia’s.

    For comfort perhaps some red clover blossom tea (blood purifying, anti inflammatory properties). It can’t hurt and can be comforting when the chills set in.

    Best to you both.

  • Mfh1399

    Thank you for sharing this information about Claudia.  It has helped me to realize my symptoms arent just in my head and that other people are experiencing the same thing.  I am so sorry she is going thru the same thing that I am at this time… I wake up full of energy and by 1030 its gone for the day..I have noticed and increase in  some days that my energy   can last until 130 and then im done for the day.. so depressing, but now that I know that its not all in my head , it makes me feel so much better… 

  • I’m sending her all my best hopes for a speedy recovery! I don’t know anyone suffering from Lyme’s so I have no advice and this is the best I can offer. It can’t hurt. I also hope you guys find ways to keep laughing until one day (hopefully tomorrow) you laugh right on through 8:26 and well into the day. Health, strength, and laughter to you both!

  • Trond Hildahl

    James (and Claudia), I’m concerned about “He wanted us to see a neurologist also but we know that’s a “cover your ass” move so we won’t.”  Especially since you later say you went off Vitamin D contra to his recommendation!  Do as you will, but if yuo go to a doctor, at least follow all their recs first before going off the reservation!

    Hope Claudia feels better, and soon.


  • doubtingthomasina

    Have you tried low dose naltrexone?

  • I cried when I read this.  I hate to think of someone in that much pain, unable to function the way they need to.  Days lost.  Weeks lost.  No end in sight.

    I’m heartened by the love and caring from all your readers.  I want every piece of advice to be “the cure.”  I want every prayer to resonate with the universe and heal Claudia.

    James, take care of yourself so you can be strong for Claudia.  Claudia, I add my prayers and healing to all the loving voices who answered this post.

  • AdamH

    Came across this discussion on a blog. here -my take- If certain foods are known to increase or cause the risk of things like cancer or heart disease, and at the same time new studies show that certain foods reduce and prevent those diseases, is it really hard to believe that a diet could improve a health condition? anyways hope it helps.


    Cured my Lyme disease with a live aloe vera drink that I still make
    occassionally. Take a large aloe stalk and harvest gel as demonstrated
    by Mike Adams – add this plus tbls of spirulina to live juice consisting
    of celery, carrots, beet, cabbage, kale, apple/pineapple or similar
    combo to taste – I also add 3 or 4 drops of oceans alive marine
    phytoplankton(optional) I Breville the juice – pour 1/2 off and shoot
    the aloe, spirulina & OA with a bullet blender. Blend all back
    together and enjoy – Good Luck

    4/03/2010 08:38:00 PM


    What a novel approach to treating Lyme. How often did you drink this and
    what did you eat while doing this protocol? How long did it take you to
    feel better? Are your labs negative and CD57 above 200? Please let us
    know more!!

    4/05/2010 09:18:00 AM


    Not novel and certainly not new – you might call it Gerson on steroids,
    since she endorses a similar protocol – a raw organic juice flushing to
    detox the body. In fact, I believe she advocates drinking as many as
    eight servings per/day which would equate to several pounds of organic
    produce vs my AM and PM 16oz serving of this beautifully synergetic
    concoction of thick dark purple raw juices and super foods that I simply
    refer to as my Aloe-Spira Bloody Mary.(failed to mention the garlic
    glove, shot of cayenne & sea salt added . . too bad, no booze, of
    course ) The terrifying rash across my upper chest area slowly faded
    away over a period of about 3 weeks. Sorry I have no lab numbers or
    scientific backed evidence of my diagnosis for your followers, but my
    point is this: It is my belief that most western docs fail to seriously
    address the bacterial side of this illness – how to actually attack
    the spirochete instead of merely treating symptoms – which they are
    adeptly trained to do in medical school. (nothing wrong w/ a little
    professional sustainability, right?) No, I am certainly not a doctor –
    and like Mr. Adams, I chose not to even set foot inside a western
    medical clinic. My knowledge and interest is in medicinal herbs and
    spiritual healing . . . all bets fly out the window when I run into
    someone who absolutely refuses to understand the basics of healthtransformation
    – starting with the dietary shift necessary to arrive at a more
    alkaline ph followed by a colon and liver cleanse and a solemn
    declaration of no more meat, dairy, processed, anything white, in a box,
    etc, etc, in short most anything not located in the fresh produce
    section – 2 points for going all organic. Lots of other factors like
    finding a pure spring water source, sunlight, execise, and of course my
    favorite . . simple spiritual responsibility for being on this beautiful
    planet.(it is, after all, OUR responsibility to restore it to be
    beautiful again) I would urge your followers to review Mike Adam’s
    wonderful research article about the wide range of healing qualities in
    the living aloe vera plant seen here:
    The durable aloe plant as being one of the most assessable (mainstay
    in my garden) and most impressive medicinal herb that just so happens to
    be antibacterial, antifungal, AND does a terific job of halting
    inflammation. I hope this plants a seed of hope for some of your
    followers. Sorry for invading your blog space. Off blog e-mail me
    direct . . . Rick at Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

    4/08/2010 06:38:00 AM

  • John


    Do you think you could get access to some diagnostic time for Claudia with IBM’s Watson project?

    Who knows, it might might extract something of value from its vast database. You probably wouldn’t have to travel far to see the “doctor”, and its schedule should be flexible.

    I wish both of you the best with this challenge.

  • Bill Walker

    There was an effective vaccine against Lyme disease in 1998 called LYMErix but the FDA pulled its approval (there weren’t any controlled studies showing the vaccine caused problems, they just pulled it). The FDA is our biggest health problem:

  • So sorry to hear your battle isn’t going your way yet.  Dr. Weil recommends chronic lyme disease patients see a Chinese Medicine doctor, who happens to be in New York…Dr. Zhang.  Here’s a link to his website and Dr. Weil’s recommendation.  I wish you the best:

  • what a sweet coupe! i will pray for you both Claudia and James, healing and restoration, this i will do. peace, love gary

  • Lionsandtigersbeach

    If I’m not mistaken PBS recently showed a special on Lyme disease.  There is some kind of uproar within the lyme specialist medical community on how to handle the disease.  There are doctors who have lost their license because of the therapies they have prescribed.  The show showed patients who have had success in their battle against the disease.  I wish I knew more about the show.

  • Anonymous

    best wishes to both of you and good luck with treatment

  • Dgarber

    James I wish to avoid promoting a product, but you recommended a product that reduces low grade inflammation in your financial writings. -As a potential cure for alzheimer’s.

    The reason I bring it up is that I have found the lower dosage product to be helpful for my low grade arthritis and age-related stiffness. It would not be curative but it might be palliative.

    I often try products as a check against hyperbole before I invest and was pleasantly surprised in this case. I have been in and out of the trade many times to make good money, but the product has made my life better and I thank you for the stock tip and the product info.

    I hope that Claudia is much better soon.


  • C Pennybrown

    James & Claudia:  Take a look at page 8 in the weekend edition of FT.  Gillian Tett has an article on Lyme.  

    It good to see someone bringing out the controversy in a national newspaper.  The more attention this problem gets, the better I say.

    I had no idea that Lyme was the fastest growing infectious disease in this country.   Now thanks to Claudia, I’m being much more careful.  No more sitting in the grass for me.

    I think more should be done to get Glaxo (or any other pharma – I don’t care who goes 1st) to re-release the vaccine that had been on the market.  Does anyone know why Glaxo stopped marketing it?

    And why is so little research being done?  

  • cupofjoe

    I know you have advice from all corners, but please consider some form of oxygen therapy (e.g., hyperbaric oxygen therapy).  My wife had success for a different disease at the Cole Center for Healing in Cincinnati, OH (  Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • cupofjoe

      …more specifically: 

  • greentina

    Hola James & Clau, The four of us been thinking a lot about you two. Hope this hill slopes down soon enough.
    Clau, you got enough recipes and prescriptions here to write a couple of books on Lyme… Please don’t try them all at once..

    • Hola gracias por el comment Tina!  I hope the hill slows down too but it has not, antibiotics can take a while… and about the prescriptions yes people have been trying to help from all angles and I appreciate it.

      But at the moment I can barely move or read so I am trying one thing at the time, for now just the antibiotics and a million supplements to help the inmune system, and probiotics…

      Also a little yoga when it lets me.  One thing I found out, the Lyme DOES NOT like yoga… it goes crazy with it…


  • Ferrum26

    I wish you both all the best.  I have been looking for a cure for my own illness for the past four years.  I haven’t been diagnosed with anything, though the doctors can all see the symptoms (fatigue, post nasal drip, chronic sinus infections, etc.).  Recently, I have been taking Grape Fruit Seed extract and oil of oregano, and have been feeling steadily better over the past two months.  Perhaps it’s a placebo affect, but as long as I’m feeling better, I don’t care how it works.  Since neither supplement has known side effects, I figure it can’t hurt to try.  All the best.

  • Already Rich

    I am passing this onto my good friend Dr. Jones at DHC which are cutting-edge holistic therapies and Dr. Jones gets results where others truly don’t. He’s totally ethical and very spiritual, someone you can trust. He will contact you.

  • Daveheffner

    I’m surprised not a single mention about “Plum Island” conspiracy.

  • Cmckhann

    I have had Lyme for five years
    with similar issues and 5 hospitalizations with life threatening
    episodes. I am still not great, but I am much better. I have found that I
    require at least 4-500 mg of Doxycycline to keep symptoms at bay – no
    other antibiotics work for me.
    The other thing that has made a HUGE
    difference is a ketogenic diet (very low carbs, Atkins style diet). You
    start with a fast of sorts (just eggs) and go from there and I made a
    huge improvement within weeks. it is hard, but very worthwhile.
    Good luck

  • Drjones

    James, I’m very sorry to hear what has been going on with Claudia. I believe that she will get through this, and that she will get to her normal state of functionality. DrJones

  • russ

    There are some good lyme docs and therapies.  Have a good friend doing hyperbaric chamber treatments with herbs successfully.  Luck

  • Dick

    I wish you much luck with your Lyme Disease, I recommend you go to and look at our sound therapy protocol for this disease.  We have helped many people and hopefully can help you.

  • Guruprasad V

    HI James,

    I’m from India. There is a state named kerala in our country. In that place they’ve been curing things like this with a massage. Please google search and make calls to your indian friends and try that. It was really good. Please try that.

  • Stacey Lowe

    How horrible! Sending good thoughts your way. I have been practicing yoga for 5 years and my guess is I am not even  half as accomplished as Caludia. What I do know is that yoga saves me years in life everyday, in so many ways. The advice I always hear in practice is Child’s Pose is the place to go when you can not go anywhere else. So maybe before her energy runs out she can sit with Child’s Pose(if physically that is ok to do)? It must be frustrating trying treatments that do not seem to work, but do not lose hope. If the treatment does not harm then learning what doesn’t work may bring you closer to something that does. Hang in there!

  • Rufus

    This book changed our lives.

  • I am very very sorry for you James, will pray for speedy recovery for

  • Mfh1399

    Claudia, there is hope. I sent a message saying I have the same symptoms , only the time frame was different and mine lasted only three weeks… On Monday, the fatigue finally left me and a new (body ache appeared out of the blue)  I now have arthritic ache in every one of my bones, but that’s okay.  at least I’m not sleeping so much and can do more things.  SO THERE IS HOPE, hang in there… you will get better.. By the way my age is against me , unfortunalty im 71 and still have so much to do in this world, so I really need to get better and get on with my life..

  • Proteinbenny

    As a fellow Lyme-ee, I hope you find the protocol that works for you.  It’s frustrating to search for that ellusive cure, but I do understand something now that I would never have known prior to this, which is the plight of the chronically ill.  It doesn’t take much to make the strong weak and in “forced” humility I’ve realized that all is a gift to be received with thanksgiving.  I trust you too will learn valuable lessons through this momentary trial. 
    Strangely enough, I was recently in Haiti for a week and felt incredible energy as I have not felt in years, but upon return degraded again.  Wondering if it is polution or pesticides that is a catalyst here…the journey continues!

  • Gmark

    It took my wife two, two-month rounds of high-dosage antibiotics until the Lyme’s went away.
    Symptoms did not sound as severe as Claudia’s.

  • Ringlis44

    Thank you for sharing and yet again pointing out what is important, valuable and needing our undivided and devoted attention.

    Despite it all you both remain Happy People – all the best.

  • Deb

    I too have Lyme Disease and have been on many forums for the past 2+ years.   Curious if Claudia is taking Boluoke (Lumbrokinase) for the hypercoagulation.  This, plus thyroid and adrenal support, did wonders for my fatigue.

  • Dr. Charles

    I am an MD, primary care, and I diagnose a couple of cases of Lyme a year here in the Mid-Atlantic.  Some things for you to think about:  is the diagnosis clear cut? there should be a positive ELISA test followed by a positive Western Blot.Other findings consistent with late stage or second stage Lyme:   meningitis confirmed by spinal fluid exam, isolated nerve palsies (Bell’s, sciatica, numbness/pain corresponding to a particular nerve);  swollen joints that have had to be tapped to remove fluid…      The LBBB mentioned in James’ post might be from Lyme, but far more common is abnormality in the AV conduction pathway, which usually appears in the first 2-3 months after infection.  My concern would be that another diagnosis could be overlooked, such as an autoimmune disease (lupus, for ex.) or CFS. 
        You and your doctors may have already been through this already, but sometimes when a person is not improving it’s worthwhile to start over and review all the information with fresh eyes.
         Best wishes to both of you.
    Dr. Charles

  • Eb

    See the guy who wrote this book

  • zen pen

    I had a number of friends who cured their lyme disease with:

    Rose Hip Tea – 3-4 cups a day

    Humic Acid -1 tablespoon added to Rose Hip Tea, 2 times per day

    Himalayan Salt – 3 grams 2-3 times a day

    Glucosamine – 1.5 grams per day (this really helped with joint pain in all but one case)

  • Scipio_3

    Good luck to you both! Here’s hoping that the positive energy you have been putting out these many months through your blog comes back around to find you.

  • Blue Devil

    Myself and thousands of other people you’ve never met are wishing you the best. That’s (1) incredible, when you think about it; and (2) gotta count for something. Good luck!

  • Susan Szews

    Hi Claudia, I’m a big fan of your husband’s blog and want you to know my thoughts are with you as you battle Lyme Disease. In early 2010 I came down with Behcets Disease, which is chronic and does have a genetic component. Thankfully, I had an ultra-severe case, with a huge amount of skin lesions, a hypopion in my eye, GI ulcers, apthous ulcers in my mouth and throat, my CRP levels were in the 230s, my blood was septic, I got an aneuryism, I now have severe RA from this, but it was easy to diagnose because it hit me all at once. Some people get symptoms in bits and pieces so it takes years to diagnose. I looked and felt like a monster, an oozing red-eyed monster. 

    In any case, I totally understand how disabling the chronic and severe fatigue is, especially when you’re fighting off the worst of the infection. In 2010 I wasn’t sure if I would have to go on disability or if I would even live or what would happen, and most of the time I was too tired to even care, which made it worse during the times when I was alert, with the worries that my optical nerve was becoming more and more damaged, my joints were going crazy, I had this invader in my body, and nothing I was doing was helping, and I couldn’t even help the household run.

    Don’t beat yourself up, okay? It’s hard, because you remember a time when taking a shower didn’t make you have to take nap afterwards and when it wasn’t literally almost impossible to turn a doorknob. Also, revolving doors are really hard to push with arthritic wrists, so use your shoulders if you can, when you see doctors. Try not to lift things without thinking about it first, because you might drop them if they’re too heavy for you now. You’re in a new body and it sucks, but it gets better, I think. It taught me how different the world is for arthritic people and for weaker people and hopefully made me more optimistic than I was before. I wish you a speedy recovery, and am thinking about you. 

  • Karl Jacobs

    be well Claudia

  • Claudia, I hope you find a cure and/or series of cures/treatments that add up.  James, being a caretaker and husband is awful. There are days I wonder if it is worse to be me or my husband. I won’t bore you with my list of chronic illnesses [I don’t have Lyme] — but sick people apologize b/c we KNOW how much you work, worry, and are incredibly sad that we can’t just WILL ourselves to get better.  This book/site may be helpful:  “How to be Sick: A Buddhist Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers”.  The book is on my kindle (I am too tired to read it, but I can tell it isn’t the normal crap), her site is great, and the FB page is helpful. 

    And Claudia, you are NOT a burden.  You just have sucky luck.  And BOTH of you need to take care of yourselves and talk about it — with friends, and with people you will find on various illness or caregiver boards. The internet is a powerful place for the sick. They are making some changes here, but it is great:  An article there, “The Spoon Theory” helped my family hugely, it changed how hard I was on myself,  No one should have to carry the burden and hell of chronic illness alone — if you share it with enough people it becomes a lighter load all around.  Not easier, but not as crushing as it can be.

    Good luck.  It is awful, I hate that you both have this in your lives, and being furious about it is JUST FINE.  My husband will come in and say, “I hate your illnesses.  I wish we could go out to dinner, or that you could play with the kid [our son is 5].  I hate that this has stolen your life AND mine.”  I reply, “Yeah, me too.”.  He can love me and hate my diseases.  I can love me and hate the illnesses. So we say it outloud, and then talk about the next thing – if I have energy. But Claudia, you are NOT your disease.  It’s tough to remember.  James, remind her as much as you can.


  • D. W.

    Have you tried treating coinfections?  That is what finally made me better.  Bartonella that was seronegative and babesia that was seronegative.  After antibiotic treatment for those as well as lyme—i am feeling so much better.  Though still on the antibiotics, I have my life back after having been nearly bedridden.  

  • Ben

    I was treated for Lyme for 5+ years on high dose antibiotics, never making it much above 50% and always relapsing. In one year on the Marshall Protocol, I was far ahead of the previous 5+ years, and haven’t looked back. I know dozens more who are getting results.

    I thought I was going to die (and yes, I wanted to) but now I have 90% of my life back!

    Best wishes to Claudia in her journey.
    NEVER give up! NEVER!

  • Ben

    I was treated for Lyme for 5+ years on high dose antibiotics, never making it much above 50% and always relapsing. In one year on the Marshall Protocol, I was far ahead of the previous 5+ years, and haven’t looked back. I know dozens more who are getting results.

    I thought I was going to die (and yes, I wanted to) but now I have 90% of my life back!

    Best wishes to Claudia in her journey.
    NEVER give up! NEVER!

  • Cynthia Allingham

    Try glutamine.  Energy crashes happen when the body exhausts it supply of glutamine.  And anybody with an infection is going to exhaust their supply of glutamine. Anyway, it works very well for me.

  • Hi James

    Here’s a link on Lyme disease from earth clinic. Look it up. It’s a site I’ve used for years…hence no doctors for me anymore. There are a number of things Claudia can try and most of them cost nothing. Nobody’s selling anything on the site. The site is for the people by the people and it’s worth a shot. There’s a little bit of reading involved. But I know you like to read :)

  • You may be killing yourselves with the Marshall Protocol and vitamin D deficiency.

    It is true there are some rare health conditions (sarcoidosis, like Marshall has) that can be made worse by vitamin D, but they are very rare. Please read this page by Dr. John Cannell and the rest of his site:

    You probably are both vitamin D deficient, and that puts you at risk of
    infections and cancer. Vitamin D is used by every cell in the body. More
    likely, you both need a lot of it. Vitamin D deficiency may be why Claudia can not fight off the Lyme disease because her immune systems is crippled. Reduce the vitamin D more and some symptoms may go away, but only because you have completely shut down here immune system.

    And please see my other note to your later post (on eating more vegetables, and avoiding refined carbohydrates and most animal products, including dairy). Iodine can help with immune function and cancer prevention too.

    It’s take me years to wade through all this stuff on health and Lyme and vegetables and so on. Please keep learning.

    • Ben

      I disagree, Paul. You have it upside down.

      Vitamin D is not a vitamin, it is a steroid that controls the immune system (and thus reduces the SYMPTOMS of inflammatory diseases like Lyme.)

      This is critical: “Deficiency” is not CAUSING these diseases, but is a RESULT of these disease – correlation is not causality. : “Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids. In humans, vitamin D is unique both because it functions as a prohormone and because the body can synthesize it”

      A vitamin is a nutrient that cannot be synthesized by the body (so we
      have to eat it). As it says above, we synthesize D in our skin, so again, D is not a vitamin.

      Being a hormone, D activates a RECEPTOR (Vitamin D Receptor) as do other hormones in other receptors like the thyroid or the gonads. Real vitamins don’t dock into receptors!

      Like any hormone, D is a signalling molecule. It controls almost a thousand genes, including the ones for our immune system that manufactures our “natural antibiotics” – the antimicrobial peptides (McGill University). Shut off this VDR receptor and you shut off the immune system that is fighting Lyme. The tricky part is that as a side effect, you ALSO shut down the nasty painful inflammation. Result: you feel better for a while.

      (Lyme bacteria shut down the D receptor by 30 fold! The HIV virus shuts it down 100 percent.)

      Hormone D is the poor man’s prednisone – anyone with Lyme will tell you the LAST thing you want is prednisone, and for the same reasons. You feel better only temporarily.

      Dr. Cannell gets money from promoting D, BTW as do other D proponents.
      Happily, the science is mounting that hormone D supplementation is a mistake.

      • You make some good points (yes I knew the hormone aspects), but overall your post has half-truths in it.

        Think about what you wrote. You accept that vitamin D is essential to a functional immune system, which means an immune system that can start itself up when needed, and shut itself down when excessive, and attack the right things. As an analogy, depriving your body of vitamin D is like ripping the electronics out of your car — in contrast to using Prednisone to suppress your immune system which is more like just just slashing the tires on a car so it can’t move fast. The two are very different things. So your comparison is flawed.

        Or from another angle, by your logic of alternative causality, diabetics with high blood sugar maybe should eat a lot more
        sugar to get well, because the disease must be causing the high blood
        sugar (not also what a person eats). So if we raise high blood sugar even more with candy, that will cure diabetes? Highly unlikely, and
        in practice, that strategy would just kill a diabetic faster, which we know from observation and presumably experiment (like animal studies). But could it have been true? Yes. But it isn’t.

        How is that different from Marshall’s argument that Lyme causes lower vitamin D levels and so vitamin D levels should be lowered even more?

        Even if Lyme shuts down 30% of receptors (where is your evidence?) that just argues for supplementing all the more with vitamin D (while managing any symptoms of your immune system finally kicking Lyme out of your body).

        I challenge you to provide any significant scientific studies supporting your points (or Marshall’s) including the suggesting that Lyme reduces vitamin D levels of that “Happily, the science is mounting that hormone D supplementation is a mistake.”. Whereas if you go to the vitamin D council, or Dr. Fuhrman’s, you will find lots of studies supporting my points. And there is also plenty of anecdotal evidence (me included, and I considered the Marshall Protocol briefly, I’m so glad I rejected it) that eating better and getting enough vitamin D can reduce joint pain and so on.

        Yes, I agree the commercial tie-in on Dr. John Cannell’s site is problematical. It’s sad it is hard to get funding for health education that goes (especially at the time, years ago) counter to conventional wisdom. I’d rather his site did not have that (same for Dr. Fuhrman selling products).

        Are there situations, like having sarcoidosis like Marshall had (a calcium regulation problem), where extra vitamin D could be problematical? Yes. But they are very rare. Most of the industrialized world suffers from vitamin D deficiency, not excess. Could there be a way that an odd disease exploits vitamin D to somehow be more effective in spreading? Maybe. But where is the good evidence for that (other than speculation)? There is lots of good evidence for the role of vitamin D in fighting infection as well as preventing cytokine storms (from too much immune action). See for example:

        Again, vitamin D is not like Prednisone. It helps the immune system *both* start up and shut down. Crippling your immune system because it is working poorly is not a solution. Improving your immune system is likely a better solution.

        As a financial analogy, what would James Altucher say if you see headlines about a company like GM having failing finances (like a failing immune system)? That pulling more money out of the company would make it financially healthier because you would stop reading bad news about the company in the headlines? Yes, there might be situations where that could be true that pulling money out of a failing company might transform it into a more effective operation, but generally it is not true. And certainly it’s true that after a company goes bankrupt (dies) you are not going to have bad headlines about it for that much longer.

        If people are eating junk food (refined starch sugar, dairy, too much meat, processed food products with additives) and also have low vitamin D, doesn’t it stand to reason that an inability to deal with an infection is more likely from lifestyle than from anything else? Is eating more junk food and taking less vitamin D going to solve the problem? It just seems very unlikely. Not impossible (some rare people may have sarcoidosis etc. like Marshall), but very, very unlikely. I’d still suspect maybe Marshall eats a lot of junk food? So, might there be a few people who benefit from Marshall’s treatment? Maybe. But I’d suggest that at least 10,000 people will be harmed for every one helped.

        The bottom line: if someone has Lyme symptoms after routine antibiotic
        treatments, you need to start eating a lot healthier (more fruits and
        vegetables) and get your vitamin D level checked (and probably look at
        iodine levels too). Might other things (herbs) help too? Maybe. But you have to get the basics right.

        I bought a dozen books on Lyme a few years ago. A couple mentioned people feeling better when getting sunlight or eating a Lyme diet (which is not that far from Dr. Fuhrman’s). I thought those were ridiculous suggestions at first (and a new diet impossible to realistically follow), and I wanted the magic bullet of herbs and antibiotics. But the vitamin D and eating better worked for me. I even lost about 50 excess pounds and felt better in all sorts of ways, and my skin looked better, I had more color to my face. I got my drivers license renewed, and the picture on it of me almost a decade older, looks far healthier than that of a decade ago.

  • Please look into vitamin D deficiency and eating more vegetables and less SAD food (see my other posts here for links to Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Dr. John Cannell, two heroes of nutritional medicine). Even if could not cure CF, it will help your son have less secondary problems like pneumonia.

  • Mikela

    I am a holistic practitioner and treat Lyme. I don’t believe that many people get completely better with traditional medicine. When people say they’ve gotten rid of it and then got it back 3 more times, it’s because it never really went away; it’s in remission for awhile. It’s not they they’ve been bitten 3 more times. I recommend Bryan Rosner’s books for information to use adjunctively with your antibiotic care. People with Lyme need to educate themselves. The best books I’ve found arre: Healing Lyme by Buhner, The Top 10 Lyme Disease Treatments and Lyme and Rife by Bryan Rosner. If you read all these and sort it out for yourself, I think you will find some things to help you improve. Or get a second opinion or third from another Lyme Literate MD or Naturopath.I have not seen much improvement in patients without adding these alternative treatments that are mentioned in these books.

    • Scott Segal

      I agree with your post. Curing Lyme is almost never a straight path.

  • Rad

    Hope Claudia gets well soon. I am from India and I would recommend Ayurveda from Kerala for chronic diseases. all the best.

  • desert

    I had chronic Lyme too.
    Most people who get it in a chronic way have bad HLA genes where they don’t detoxify biotoxins.
    Things to look at: Mold avoidance, the book Back from the Edge by Lisa Petrison on amazon, Ritchie Shoemaker’s videos on Lyme, youtube videos on treating Lyme with ozone (many success stories), and Dave Asprey’s experiences with Lyme, ozone, and avoiding mycotoxins.
    It’s curable! I’m back to working at a demanding job.

  • desert

    Can I post links here?

    I had chronic Lyme for five years and couldn’t work for four years, often was too tired to walk across the room, change clothes, or shower and barely was able to keep taking care of myself. within three months on ozone I moved, got an internship and started working again.

    Ozone is better than antibiotics in that it moves out the biotoxins while it’s working, so the herxing is not as bad, and it also oxygenates the body (by increasing 2,3-DPG). Some people are afraid of it since it sounds like it creates free radicals, but it actually works by stimulating antioxidant production by the body and other downstream chemical changes through “hormesis.”

    Youtube videos on ozone and Lyme:

    this woman works as a lawyer:

    The standard way to use ozone for Lyme is a combination of ozone steam saunas daily (gets it into the lymph and raises body temperature, very powerful) and ozone insufflations (vaginal, rectal, or ears), pretty much every day for a year, while taking nutritional support for glutathione production (whey, high-gamma Vitamin E, minerals, etc). You can join the yahoo group ozonetherapy to learn more from the doctor who runs that group.

    Also see this book for info on the importance of avoiding mold biotoxins while dealing with CFS or Lyme or any sort of fatigue disorder:

  • Scott Segal

    Hi James, I see that this is a post from 2011. I’m curious about where her Lyme disease stands right now? I’m hoping since she’s on your podcasts that she is doing better. I have two kids with Lyme disease. We’ve made incredible progress in curing them by using a combination of antibiotics and herbal remedies. They were both necessary.

    For people struggling for answers, I suggest looking at There is a wealth of information there. There is such little understanding of Lyme in the medical community that it’s not unlike AIDS in the 80’s where the patients were more studied on the disease than the medical community at large.

    If you know someone with Lyme, an “LLMD” is a good choice…Lyme literate MD. LLMD’s are often practitioners of integrative medicine because they recognize that antibiotics alone can’t always do it with Lyme. There is a lot of work done to build up a patients immune system to help it fight the lyme. This is often done with nutritional supplements and herbals.

    We were not able to really knock it out in our son until we did the DNA test and shared the results with our LLMD, which indicated that he had a methylation problem. This discovery helped us to understand that some of what we were giving him was having the wrong effect in his body due to his DNA mutations.

    Lyme disease is complex to beat, but it is beatable if you stick with it and never give up on finding better answers.