By Hilary Macatangay
When I was 33 years old, I was certified to go into a nursing home. I had two young children, and I thought, and felt that my life was over. I am now 42.
A combination of a long-standing untreated infection in my brain, coupled with aggressive allopathic pharmaceuticals, released an immune system cascade that resulted in chronic, and debilitating inflammation all over my body, but especially in my brain. I told God, it was OK if he was ready for me to go. Even my liver had given up on the situation, running on only 2 cylinders.
After two years in a wheelchair, and countless physical therapy sessions, drug after drug that had different side effects, my husband finally said “enough” and we started on a journey to find another way.
I have cabinets at home where herbs and plant extracts of all kinds can be found. I also have complex books of exotic protocols that take years to treat this type of problem that I got from a tick bite. Funny thing is, when a person is really sick, it can be nearly impossible to follow such complex treatments. This tick-borne problem is so new, even well established medical groups can’t agree on how to treat it. In the middle of this are all the other patients I have talked to who are very ill.
It is now well known that bacteria are becoming antibiotic resistant, but how can a person get well when they can’t get a proper diagnosis, or worse, when doctors can’t agree what to do after a treatment fails? For all the research I had done, and folks I had talked to, there was no single answer. Many other patients with this tick problem I came in contact with had spent thousands of dollars out-of-pocket, and were still not well. Due to climate change, tick-related illnesses are on the rise. It is suggested by the Centers for Disease Control in the USA, that nearly 300,000 people per year are being exposed to, and contracting tick-borne illness. Central Europe is also hard hit by this as well.
I went on to discover that many pharmaceutical medicines cannot reach certain areas of cells, or deep inside tissues where pathogens can continue to lurk, and evade the human immune system. Some essential oils or blends are able to reach those areas, and they do it in a way that is in concert with the same natural intelligence that pathogens also use to evade detection in a living being. Plants create oils to protect themselves from insects like ticks and other bugs, and although overly simplistic, there is a lovely circular logic to an oil essence stopping a problem that a tick transmitted.
Plants have evolved immune responses, and resins (which can be steam distilled into essential oil) to protect themselves from fungus, bacteria, and viruses. I imagine the cumbersome, bulky molecules of the antibiotic cefuroxime getting stuck at my blood brain barrier, while a tiny, fractional (but powerful!) molecule of Thieves essential oil slides past on its way to wipe out a problem lurking in my brain tissue. Pathogens are pretty clever little guys, finding ways to hide inside the proteins of white blood cells like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Many types of bacteria have tough outer layers that are resistant to immune system cells that try to destroy them; they can even hide in these durable cocoons for years, while disease appears to be “cured” excepting relapses that are well known to occur for patients who have had chronic infection (TB, MRSA, Syphillis, Elephatiasis).
According to a scientific study of essential oils in mouthwash, “Essential oil (EO) mouthwashes kill micro-organisms by disrupting their cell walls and inhibiting their enzymic activity. They prevent bacterial aggregation, slow multiplication and extract endotoxins.” (From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12787196) Breaking the cell walls of such an organism is key to killing it, and such walls consist of a phospholipid bilayer; oils are able to permeate that and address the problem at its root -- like having a specific key to fit a powerful door. Lipids are dissolved by other lipids. I use linseed oil to thin my oil paints on a canvas. Cooking oil in my kitchen can dissolve the oil paint on my cabinets. Lemon essential oil removes grease…
While I knew about herbs, I didn’t know much about essential oils, but I felt I had nothing to lose by trying. After all, more tools in the toolbox can get the job done faster, and better. I had studied about the Black Plague (my friend is an expert on it, and works in government testing) and I know a thing or two about the gray areas of MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) because my grandmother acquired it from a nursing home, and my friend’s 31-year-old sister passed away from it after an infection she got during a hospital surgery.
Of course, once I really decided to stick it out, I started researching. Essential oils can bring a bright light to the dark corners where other treatments seem to fail, or fall short; a way to illuminate a different but equally valuable path to detoxification and one day, hopefully, recovery.
Then there was Thieves, and Oregano, and Turmeric, and so many more compounds (even lowly garlic, great for sulfur!) and I decided to keep looking. I heard about YL, and I was at a different meeting my cousin was holding when a gal spoke up about MRSA and Thieves and a rather astonishing story of recovery.
About a month ago, I started taking Inner Defense consistently, because I felt that the combination of Oregano and Thieves and other oils gave me the best shot at handling this tick-based problem in me. Right off the bat, the next day, my face was bloated and a bit swollen looking, and I felt kind of loopy. My doctor was seeing my son that day and asked me what I did to myself (she had recommended PanAway the previous month so I could avoid taking opiates for back pain). She was unhappy with me, but I insisted that even if I had taken an antibiotic, the result would have been the same; temporary mild edema as part of the detoxification process (I had already been taught about this with chlorella). I rehydrated, and went “low an slow” only taking one pill a week at first, then two the following week. Now I am taking Inner Defense every other day. Taking one or two pills a day is easier to remember than managing a complex set of herbal pills.
I started both physical therapy and occupational therapy about the same time in late October. When I do therapy (about one 2 month session a year) it is a slow process of regaining balance, and muscle control. Not so this time, as when I worked up to 3 Inner Defense capsules a week, my balance, and walking improved so much that I was told it was time to be discharged, as I was doing too well! (That was last week). Similar things are happening in occupational therapy where I could barely hold a grip meter and get a 22 measurement, and I am now at an 89 on the scale. How does that happen in four weeks? Even my occupational therapist had to admit it was a big improvement. I bounded up some stairs the other day at a restaurant, and maybe I was showing off a bit for my friend who is an aquatics instructor, but, hey I could do it. I had and have energy! I am even doing calligraphy for the first time in more than 20 years.
There does not seem to be a medical entity that can agree with itself*, and sum up the complexity of these problems that result from a tick bite, and go on even after pharmaceutical treatment. I myself do not really care to solve that issue on a molecular level, as I don’t have the medical or microbiological training, but I do know I am feeling better, and feeling more myself, than being hijacked by toxins that cloud my mind, steal my strength, and sap my energy.
I am thankful for people like Gary Young, and for all the research his company does, and I am thankful for Sarah Fuerstenberger and her sister Ann Fancy, and Karen Vavrick and others “ up the line” who invest in their own training, and knowledge to be good advocates for robust, and fundamental wellness. Thank you for your efforts!
*The most current 2006 guidelines to treating Lyme Disease only allow for a 2-4 week course of Doxycycline in the US (IDSA rules). Insurance companies have the right to refuse to pay for further treatment for a patient, as the testing can be inaccurate, and both false positives, and false negatives are common place (Western Blot, ELISA). US health and veterinary care is taking stringent measures to reduce antibiotic use in hopes of preventing so called “super bugs”.
A new research bill was just passed by US Congress last week to address the huge increase in cases called the “21st Century Cures Bill.” Antibiotics are considered to be immunosuppressant, and can alter a patient’s antibody response, thus causing a false negative for a test. The CDC considers cases “cured” after antibiotics, and any case that becomes chronic is thought to be “Post Lyme Syndrome” due to lack of positive test results.
Cautionary Note: If untreated, Lyme Disease can cause multi system organ damage and life threatening medical problems. Always seek the advice of a medical professional when considering any treatment.