I have included 4 profound cases of misdiagnosed Lyme disease in my new book, “Autoimmune Illness & Lyme Disease Recovery Guide, Mending the Body, Mind & Spirit” published by Helios Press with a German translation due, too. These are all real people, whom lived ‘normal’ lives in normal American towns when they became oddly ill, each in prime age and then sadly succumbed to years and decades of medical mismanagement. With so little medical research and even basic physician clinical information properly understood about this aggressive, invasive bacterial infection, serious long term damages to organs and joints can result. Early infections are erradicated with swift steady 6 weeks of antibiotic treatment, yet so many cases slip under the radar and ‘chronic’ longer duration conditions defy traditional medical routine pill and procedure care.
All the cases that recover– and these are brave, determined souls you will meet in my pages- went outside mainstream allopathic medicine to reclaim their lives. They are examples of thrivers: those that beat the odds because they BELIEVE IN THEIR POTENTIAL and do not give up. I include them as testimonies to great willpower, listening to their inner healer (intuition) and as examples to you all that even when at death’s door, healing can happen. It is often the surrender to your old mindset and holding patterns that launches the opening of energy flow and personal healing shifts.
In honor of one of my favorite Lyme disease philanthropic gatherings, fundraising for patient financial aid and harmonizing communities to education and awareness, I share the stunning and ‘out of the box’ truly restorative success of Ticked Off Music Fest genius, Gregg Kirk’s recovery story. With 5 Fests under our belt and more on the slate into 2017, this venue is the ‘feel good’ place to be, if you are ill or concerned, or just love great music and day long dancing and community building.
TOMF is in Hawaii, Jan 23 at the Blaisdale Center on Waikiki Beach ; including dynamite talent and speakers ( I had to cancel as keynote with cracked ribs and a bad injury) includes Gregg Kirk and the Zen Engines, Melissa Cox, “Survivorman” and crowd favorite Les Stroud, and our killer headliner Mike Love. Visit http://www.TickedOffMusicFest.org for more details and tickets!
Meanwhile please read Gregg’s profound recovery path and how he created these Fests!!
Thank you courageous, wise and visionary Gregg– beating lyme is a long journey!! RESTORE; DETOX, REKNEW!!! BLESS YOU and your brilliant spirt and incredibly generous heart.
Katina I. Makris, CCH, CIH
Healing From Chronic Disease on the Spiritual Level: A Healing Journey
In November of 1999, my wife and I moved from the Philadelphia area to southwestern Connecticut to start a new life and raise a family. Within three years of moving into our new house, I began noticing some strange symptoms that were not “classic” to Lyme disease or any other illness that I knew of. At the time I was in very good physical condition and I had been going to the gym three times a week working on bodybuilding. However, I was feeling fatigued and foggy every time I ate a meal.
After two more years of bouncing from doctor to doctor, I still had no answers. On two separate occasions, I had MDs tell me, “Your symptoms aren’t life threatening, so maybe you should learn to live with them.” I was shocked at their lack of curiosity, and since I was paying them for a service that I wasn’t satisfied with, I “fired” them. In the meantime, I was feeling worse and getting worried.
Finally in 2005, I visited a holistic doctor who asked me to chronicle my symptoms in a journal for one week. The day I visited her, she read my journal and immediately said, “You have Lyme disease. I can test you to be sure, but I can start you on a round of antibiotics right away.”
I was relieved that the mystery illness now had an identity, and I was hellbent on disinfecting my body and getting rid of it as soon as possible. I began taking oral doxycycline and immediately began to feel worse.
I visited my holistic doctor a week later and she asked me how I felt. “Terrible!” I said. “Good!” she responded. “It means the antibiotics are working. They’re breaking down the cell walls of the bacteria and releasing toxins in your bloodstream. That’s why you feel so bad.”
The funny thing is, she never gave me much advice on how to rid myself of these toxins, so I continued to feel worse. It would be years until I would learn how to diminish and avoid the Jarrish Herxheimer reaction or “herx” as all the “Lymies” were calling it online.
I also learned about something called a PICC line during my daily quest for research online, and I asked my doctor about that. To me, this seemed like the “nuclear option,” which involved a port installed in your arm so you could administer your own daily dose of antibiotics, directly into your bloodstream. This appealed to my idea of disinfecting my body.
But my doctor thought the PICC-line route was too harsh and risky and would not agree to sign off on it. So I found another doctor who would, and within weeks I had an appointment scheduled at a local hospital for the procedure. I have to admit, I was not prepared for what the PICC line was all about. I thought it was a simple prick of the arm and easy insertion of the port, but it was a full-on surgical procedure. I was laid on an operating table with an X-ray machine above my chest and three attendants helping the doctor. During the procedure, the doctor ran a wire lead to route the line close to my Aorta and he went too far and jabbed my heart. My blood pressure began to drop and I began to feel like I would pass out while lying on the table. Everyone got worried, but I managed to pull through and they wheeled me on a gurney into the hallway, fed me some lunch and kept me for observation for a few hours.
I ended up driving myself home from the hospital and I felt OK until I went to sleep that night. While in deep sleep, I rolled over on my left side and apparently the PICC line jabbed my heart further because wild palpitations and pain woke me from my sleep. I didn’t know what to do, so I went downstairs and laid on the couch to see if I would die or make it through the night.
When the first rays of sunlight broke through my living room curtains, I called the emergency line at the hospital and talked to the doctor on call. His advice surprised me. “You’ve been through the worst of it,” he said. “Do you think you can tough it out and keep it in for a few weeks and try the antibiotics?”
I was so intent on ridding myself of the disease that I took the doctor’s advice and tried to tough it out. As I administered my own antibiotics each day, I began to spiral downward. I developed a severe intestinal infection, strong headaches, and paralyzing depression. I felt like a walking zombie and began to feel detached from the world.
When the PICC line was finally removed, I felt slightly better for about three months but then backslid into worse symptoms and actually had a second PICC line inserted, this time with no anesthesia and no X-ray. The procedure felt like someone jabbing a ball point pen in my bicep for 45 minutes.
Unfortunately, this PICC experience was no different than the first with the added aggravation of having this second line broken during a routine weekly cleaning by a visiting nurse. I had to have the line reinstalled again, making it three surgical procedures in one year. I had never been to a doctor for anything more than a plantars wart removal prior to this and I was losing hope after the symptoms returned three months later.
I began seeing a new Lyme-literate doctor in NYC who did further testing and found I had several co-infections; other bacteria besides the borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme bacteria). He prescribed multiple antibiotics simultaneously. I felt slightly better than I had with the PICC line but I was far from feeling “disinfected.”
I’m a musician, and one night during a performance I almost passed out on stage for no apparent reason, and I instinctively felt the need to get off of all antibiotics. I discovered another doctor in Manhattan who prescribed a combination of herbs instead of synthetic meds. After starting his protocol, I experienced stronger herx reactions than I had with the PICC line and he recommended I scale back my dosage until I felt better.
I remained on this protocol for a few years but felt my quality of life was only a fraction of where I wanted it to be. I continued to do research online and during my travels I stumbled upon a video episode of Oprah Winfrey’s, featuring a healer from Brazil named John of God.
Something about this episode appealed to me. The fact that thousands of people traveled to meet this man who healed them through energy, love, and faith, and trained doctors who had been sent to debunk him couldn’t. In fact, many of them had spiritual experiences that showed on their faces. I was intrigued enough to book the 10-hour plane flight and take the pilgrimage.
On the day I arrived, two counselors sat down with me to find out why I had made the journey and to translate my healing intention to John of God, who only speaks Portuguese. When I told them I was there to be healed from Lyme disease, they looked up from their notes and said, “and what else?”
I laughed, “Do I get three wishes?” to which one of them asked, “Why stop at three?” I could see they were serious, so I told them I’m a musician and I would like to heal people with the music I write and perform.
The next day, I went with a group of people to see John of God to be “diagnosed.” Several hundred of us gathered in an open-air room called “The Casa” where João Teixeira de Faria (John of God as he is called by the local Brazilians) took to a small stage and began speaking in Portuguese. Later, I was told that he had said that he wasn’t the one doing the healing but that God did all of it. Soon after his speech, he dropped the microphone and a shudder ran through his body. His appearance began to change instantly, and his body seemed to swell and his eye color changed. He stumbled for a second and then attendants brought surgical instruments to him and he turned to a woman who was standing as if in a trance onstage. I was standing a mere six feet away and I grabbed my camera phone and started filming him cutting into her abdomen while she neither flinched nor bled. The energy in the room made me feel as if I would pass out and one of the attendants actually did so and dropped a container of rubbing alcohol.
The woman was wheeled away in a wheelchair, and several days later I saw her on the street and she lifted her shirt to show she barely had a scar from the whole experience.
Many of the people in my group later waited in line to go up in front of John of God who had retreated to a large meditation room in the back of the Casa. We all went before him silently, while a few hundred people meditated in nearby benches that reminded me of church pews. As we all touched his hand, he told us our next step, and mine was to have “spiritual surgery.” I was told to return in the afternoon and meet a few dozen others in a private meditation room where we were asked to meditate and keep our eyes closed. After sitting in silence for about 15 minutes, we could hear John of God enter the room and offer a blessing in a booming voice. I felt electrical sensations all over my body and several members of my group confessed they had felt shoved forward or to the side when there was no person there to physically do this.
When the session ended, we were met by our group leader who put each of us in a taxi to make the block and a half ride to our hotel. We were told to immediately go to bed even though it was in the early afternoon. I laid there with my eyes wide open and wondered how I would be able to sleep, and then I woke up 16 hours later, feeling as if I had been hit by a truck.
We each went through this experience again later in the week and one day, I looked in the mirror in my bathroom and burst into laughter. The face that stared back at me looked 10 years younger. I grabbed my phone to video chat with my wife and the first thing she said to me was, “What happened? You look different!”
I choked back tears and said, “I’m healed!” and I could feel that every symptom I had ever had simply vanished. All of this had occurred through the energy John of God had brought forth but it was held in place by my faith and positive thinking, as the counselors had instructed us. Some in my group had even more dramatic experiences but I noticed that the ones who didn’t were struggling with their own limiting thoughts and internal “demons.”
When I returned home, I also experienced a surge of songs and lyrics that seemed to come from nowhere. I’ve since recorded two CDs full of music that I never would have written had it not been for my experiences in Brazil. I have returned to the Casa five times since, more for my own spiritual evolution than for healing purposes, and I have begun devoting my life to helping others stricken with Lyme and tick-borne illnesses through the music I create and the Lyme disease benefit concert series I’ve created called the Ticked Off Music Fest: www.tickedoffmusicfest.com. The funds we generate from the concerts go to research and patient funds, and I’ve begun doing motivational speaking to help others struggle with chronic illnesses.
The Zen Engines
founder of The Ticked Off Music Fest series