“How Can I Get Better?” by Dr. Richard Horowitz

How Can I Get Better?  An Action Plan for Treating Resistant Lyme and Chronic Disease

How Can I Get Better?

Richard Horowitz, MD

Once you go down the rabbit hole of Lyme disease and everything that comes with it, you realize that most of mainstream medicine is some kind of crazy looking glass world (why yes, I DID just reference both “Alice and Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass” there in the same sentence, thank you for asking) where tripped-out caterpillars try to hook you on their hookahs, mad queens are always offering you jam tomorrow but never today, when they’re not screaming “Off with her head!” that is, and walruses and carpenters are sobbing tears of fake sorrow so that they can gobble you down all the faster. Sometimes the only way to get anywhere is to run as fast as possible in the opposite direction as where you think you want to go.

However, there are a few sources of reasonably reliable information and even help. Dr. Horowitz has been treating Lyme patients for decades now, and has built up an arsenal of possibilities to consider and things to try, which he shares here.

“How Can I Get Better?” covers Lyme and its main co-infections, as well as other problems that often go with it, such as hormonal imbalance, mitochondrial disfunction, sleep disorders, and heavy metal toxicity. There are comprehensive lists of different antibiotics and supplements to try, along with suggestions for lifestyle modifications such as meditation. Although I haven’t tried most of the things here, and probably won’t (at least I hope not!), it’s a useful place to start if you’re a patient wondering what your options are, or a doctor wanting to find out more about Lyme in order to help your patients.

The protocols and treatment plans Dr. Horowitz describes are drug-heavy, although he also suggests the use of herbal treatments and traditional Chinese medicine, which he says have proven to be helpful for a number of his patients. If you’re not sure whether synthetic antibiotics or herbs are better for you, he talks about both, although with more emphasis on the former. He also describes various detox methods to try. He does make a rather terrifyingly blithe statement about how exercise is beneficial to Lyme patients, including those who have developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which made all the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. No doubt exercise is beneficial for many people, and after I was infected with Lyme but before I developed post-exertional malaise it was beneficial for me too, but no more, no more. So if you are of the subset of people who have developed PEM and you have suddenly gone from super-fit to being left completely prostrate by even mild exertion, don’t get suckered by that lie that you can exercise your way out of this disease. Treat your infections and start getting better first, and then ease your way back into any sort of exercise very, very slowly and carefully. To Dr. Horowitz’s credit he does mention that his CFS patients often end up making themselves bed-ridden by leaping back into exercise too quickly, and stresses the importance of getting fit slowly, but I feel called upon to stress this super-important point again.

Anyway, if you’re wondering what on earth to do about your mysterious chronic illness that maybe has been diagnosed as Lyme disease and maybe hasn’t, this is a comprehensive and readable place to start your investigation.

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