Lois’ Lyme Story: From Struggle to Recovery

dandelion-729693_1920Guest Author: Lois Janish

I’ve decided to share my story you all are asking about. I’m going to guess it will be a read that takes almost a full cup of coffee but since I never pre-write anything (even my music and lyrics come in one sitting) I have no idea. Many who don’t know me really well will choose to skip it. Others who have blessed me by coming into my life somewhere over the past 24 years have bits of a story and more than ever are asking for the whole picture and how I’m to this miraculous point of recovering. As my story unfolds to my diagnosis and treatment things get pretty interesting 😉 If you or anyone suffers from Lyme or unexplained illness at least skip down to the bottom and read about the treatment.

So I begin…..

24 years ago I had a dream job. I was working in Detroit just a week after graduating with a degree in Preventive Medicine/Sports Med and a double minor in Cardic Rehab and Nutrition. I trained Olympic athletes, some Red Wings and Pistons, even Bette Midler, Jimmy Buffet, Joe Perry, Ellen Degeneres…anyone who came and played or performed at The Palace. I developed sports conditioning programs the Jensen brothers taught after they came back from the French Open, and worked with Richard Simmons on a weight loss program I developed that was published. The point of this information is to show you I that I was quite a fit specimen. I was soon to be married in a few weeks. I’d walk several miles a day, bike 20-40 miles later that day, and then pick up a volleyball game for a few hours. The world was my oyster.

A few weeks before my wedding I was lifting with Isaiah Thomas and almost passed out. Did I push it too hard? Coming down with something? I went home and weeks passed and it never went away. Weak and light headed with migraines out of the blue. Beaumont Hospital, U of M, Cleveland Clinic, you name it. For almost a year. They all saw issues with no answers to explain. One was sure it was MS.

I was shot in the eye in an accident at 10 years old and lost sight in my right eye. That surgery required a buckle and metal implant so we spent months tracking the retired surgeon to find the type of metal to check for MRI compatibility. Turned out to be titanium and MRI was scheduled. No MS lesions on the brain. No MS. Spinal taps for fever and head pain. Lyme Disease tests. 7 over the years. Even from Mayo Clinic. All negative. Except one…the Western blot came back positive ONCE out of 7 times over 24 years but ELISA was negative so they said no Lyme. Besides there was no bite and rash, even though over 50% who have Lyme have false negative tests and over half don’t get the rash or remember being bitten.

Several months went by and my dad ended up getting my new husband a job with Edward Jones and we packed up and moved to Grand Rapids. I had good months and bad months. I ran a health club in GR and had to quit after a year due to new symptoms off an on. One time chicken pox…at age 27! Mono, more migraines. Tumor began to grow. Fast forward to early 30s. After 10 years I began to hemorrhage…right off a plane from Mexico. Literally 3 hours home. I was rushed to the hospital and needed an emergency hysterectomy. A tumor had grown in my uterus in 3 months. From a clear normal ultrasound at my annual check up to the size of a grapefruit in 11 weeks. Benign. As all 11 surgeries removing tumors over the years have been benign. A year ago to this day exactly I had three tumors removed. All odd. All different. All benign.

I was sent to Mayo after the hysterectomy because months later I wasn’t healing. Light-headed. Can’t even explain the feeling. They did their tests and did say I have a virus in the heart. Keep in mind this is 10 years ago. They said we don’t know what causes these. Antibiotics can’t fix it. It will run its course. Well they had the story right. They just didn’t name it properly due to negative Lyme results. Again.

They sent me home and told me to be checked for heavy metals. I would have had to wait 3 more days there after being there for 8 or 10 so they sent me home to be tested here.

It was positive. Thru the roof positive. I still have the results. Arsenic, lead, cadmium, aluminum. You name it. The levels were so high they couldn’t chart them. The line went off the paper! I still have that report. My scoot or I couldn’t believe I lived with that level. This is 10 years ago mind you. I always loved heavy metal but this was ridiculous! So there! The answer right? Keep reading…

The past 10 years people always ask. “How did you get heavy metal poisoning? What causes it?”

I would properly regurgitate what Mayo Clinic told me “We won’t ever know. Either I have an unflagged autoimmune disorder that doesn’t let my body filter the metals we come into contact with every day or else I got in to something. Bad water well on campus or one of the many houses I lived in over the years? Contaminated site?”

Well they were right even 10 years ago. Heart virus. Heavy metals. Many surgeries removing tumors were more than likely caused by arsenic and metal that love to cause those problems. All parts of the story but not the complete picture.

Something was missing. I knew it.

My life was a constant struggle. A game face on every day for 20 years. Lost my marriage. It gets old eventually. It got old hearing from people “now what’s wrong with you” and “boy you have everything wrong with you don’t you.”

Ummm yes. Sorry if this inconveniences you.

My parents and you amazing friends watched as I went from the athlete and trainer to the stars to someone who truly couldn’t sit up in bed many days. Then months would go by and I’m fine. And you’d see me picking myself up and starting all over. 6-8 miles a day. Up at 5:30 am swimming laps. Then boom “now what’s wrong with Lois? I thought it was migraines. Now tumors? Now heavy metals?”

Thank you all for never doubting me. My parents…

I cry now typing this…my parents. Watching this. Their little girl with the world at her feet, now this. I can’t count the times an of an ambulance or late night emergency hospitalization. Emergency surgeries. They must have had a pit in their stomach every time the phone rang.

I lost count at 26 as the number of hospitals I’ve been in. I’m sure there are more. All different symptoms. No set pattern.

My parents never once got frustrated. So I couldn’t. My friends stayed and supported me. Helped me raise my kids without question when I needed help. Were by my side for surgeries. I wasn’t isolated like so many. In fact my friends grew in number ten fold.

That and my faith is why I’m here. Only that. No miracle.

My daughter was 4 when I had to “go to the best hospital in the world to get fixed” and my son was 2. My closest friend watched me whittle away to nothing. You could see the ribs in my back. Even though I still got up every morning. Made all meals. Acted normal. I was so good at it people were stunned when they heard I had a surgery or was sick. Truth be told I never got well. I just didn’t say anything and developed my coping skills. My kids were my focus. 12 years into my battle. With no medication. No antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds. Just faith. It was getting really rough. My marriage crumbling from all this. I got really tired for the first time. Two young kids at home and a busy active husband gone a lot. My little 4 year old Alaina says to me, “Mommy, can I see you when you go to heaven or will I just be able to talk to you?”

The fight was back on!

Fast forward to year 20-24 into it. Present day. 4 years ago I suddenly developed heart arrhythmias. I didn’t say anything for a while. Big shock. It worsened. To the point of 10,000 then 15.000 even 20,000 arrhythmias a day. Numerous overnight holter monitors all showing the same thing. BP rising. To where 140/112 was unacceptable. Mine was 104/62 BP just a few months ago and always was. Long story short…beta blockers and BP meds, pacemaker and ablation surgery discussions.

I wouldn’t have any of it. I knew in my gut all these years something was going on. Doctors telling me I’m crazy when no symptoms could be detected. I’m healthy and young. Especially as a trainer. I was ripped. A specimen of health sitting in front of their eyes. Yet then what? I made tumors just so you can cut them out? Found a way to make my heart fake it for 4 years? Drank some mercury and lead water?

I remember one specialist had just watched me on ABC news channel doing my fairly common fitness interviews. I felt like I was dying and he asked for Paul Coffey’s autograph.

That was his focus.

Nothing is wrong with me he said. Stress. Ripped trainer. I’m fine.

Yeah. That’s right I just conjure up tumors and heavy metals. It’s fun.

Whatever.

This past year I knew my battle was ending. My closest friend knew. My brother and sister in law knew. In August I said goodbye to Lake Michigan on the beach. I knew it was my last summer here. The meds weren’t working. I was exhausted just spending the whole day trying to have my heart beat normally. Bearing down several times an hour while holding my breath to get it to beat a few beats normally here and there. Sprint up the steps while making dinner to try and get it into rhythm. Lay for hours to try and sleep waking up trying to catch my breath. All night every night. They only reprieve I had was the few hours a night where I slept intermittently. I would wake constantly needing air and with my heart so badly out of rhythm. I gained 30 pounds of water in 8 weeks. Albumin levels low for 3 years. Unexplained. I just knew. And those closest around me did, too.

My body was tired. My mind was exhausted. I made my peace. I made a will. Prayed I would make it to December on the 5 month waiting list to see this doctor. My last shot.

I knew I wouldn’t make it to spring. I just knew.

My doctor confirmed this. I have a very deadly strain of Lyme disease. I shouldn’t have been here for years. If I had a dollar for every time a doctor told me that over the decades…

I have had a heart virus (nice job Mayo!) and many co-infections from the Lyme attacking me for so long. After one treatment my heart went in rhythm. Chest pain and air gulping gone. I lost 14 pound of water in 11 days. I feel better than I have since I was 20. I’m almost a month post treatment.

I left out hundreds of points in this “story” how the pacemaker and ablation weren’t even options for me. That I die on the table during surgery. Heart stops. Breathing stops. Whole sha-bang. I can’t have MRI and CT scans again as I developed deadly reaction to each even with Prednisone and Benadryl preps. See. Everything is wrong with you Lois?

So all my 24 years of diagnoses were all part right. The unreliable Lyme test even was once. There is no good system for testing. Read about it. More than half of us are walking around undiagnosed. Lyme has surpassed breast cancer and HIV combined in new cases.

I don’t have MS or Lupus or anything they thought and could never prove either. Personally I don’t believe MS, Parkinson’s, ALS, Alzheimer’s, sudden unexplained heart arrhythmias and many others are as prevalent as they are. I and thousands and thousands of people believe those diseases ARE Lyme. That’s why they can’t find causes and cures. They are symptoms of Lyme that manifest themselves differently in everyone.

Lyme is the Great Imitator. Or is it?

I can have my opinion. I’ve met, talked to, group chatted with hundreds who have all these diseases and even treated for years in wheelchairs with them and get treated for Lyme and are cured.

My Lyme was treated naturally. With bio magnetic treatment. It’s new and only one doctor does it. He does it so successfully it now takes a half year to get to him and Australia and Sweden and Switzerland and Germany and England send their patients to him.

People ask what do your doctors say when you tell them this? “Lois c’mon you have a medical degree yourself. Magnetic treatment?”

Yup. And so do the MDs and DOs who see him and take their kids to him and are treated. Medical doctors go to him!

If you know me well you know I’m very quick on my feet and in my thinking.

My cardiologist and I had this discussion. “Really? Bio Magnetic Therapy…..c’mon Lois”

My answer came quick. “Why not? What do you use to perform your surgeries and detect heart issues with? An EKG? What is that? An electro cardiogram. That measures electrical activity in the heart.”

Complete silence ..

So I continue with my infamous one two punch and close with my strongest point last.

“What do you think they said to the guy who said ‘I’m inventing a machine. You lay in it with powerful magnets. So powerful that if you have metal anywhere in your body it’ll come flying out and kill you man! And it’s going to save lives by creating images of tumors and everything! All hospitals will use it routinely and it will save millions of lives. I call it the MRI. MAGNETIC resonance imaging”

So silent you could hear my perfectly beating heart…

“So why can’t someone have discovered a way for the immune system to recognize bacteria and virus’ hiding in the body?”

Still nothing.

So what do my doctors here say about all this? What CAN my doctors say? My heart had 20,000 irregular beats. I went for treatment and I have zero. My chest pain and shortness of breath are gone. I lost 14 pounds of water in 11 days. And more things I’m not going to get into here. And not a pill. Not a drug. Nothing. Clearly I didn’t alter years of holter monitor readings and BP reading and even on the beta blockers and BP meds still ran 130/96.

Now I’m 112/72 for almost a month since I returned.

So that’s my story. I left out the sad parts and struggles and heartbreak because none if it matters. You got the gist of it. It’s all in my past now. None of the tears and let downs matter. It didn’t make me stronger. If I wasn’t this strong to start with I wouldn’t have made it through losing a dream career and going from full bore in life to just existing in what feels like someone else’s.

You can’t begin to imagine losing 24 years of your life.

But if you’re struggling and you need me and you don’t know how to get through your struggle in life I’m here for you. I’ll help you any way I can. I know how to tap into hope and live there for a very long time and I’m here for you. Please share this. Tag someone in it who you think could use this.

Thank you for all who have been here for me.

I love you,
Lois Janish

*Please note, Lois has kindly offered her email address in case you would like to contact her: Ludingtonlois@gmail.com

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One thought on “Lois’ Lyme Story: From Struggle to Recovery

  1. Proud of you, my sister and friend!!! What an amazing story! I believe that the best is yet to come!!! God is restoring! So very thankful God brought you into my life! Love you dear friend!!!

    Like

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