It has been exactly 4 weeks today since I left the place that changed my life; 4 weeks ago I walked out of Klinik St. Georg in Bad Aibling, Germany, a person with a new hope for life and healthier than I had been in over a decade.
The journey to the Klinik started six months before I checked in on January 2nd, 2019. It was a process my husband began for me. After hearing about the Klinik from a family friend, my husband began researching it and trying to find a way to get me there. It wasn’t until September that I was actually told about going to the Klinik. By that time my health was deteriorating rapidly. My Lyme doctor in the U.S. was ready to put me back on a port. After hearing about the Klinik and learning about them through my own research (I know I wasn’t comprehending more than a quarter of what I was reading) I decided to put my faith in them. I put off having a port and thus any further treatment in the U.S. I had already been off of antibiotics since the beginning of July because my stomach and body was so worn out and beaten up that I wasn’t able to absorb treatment. It was risky for me to take the chance of going off antibiotics that long but I just had faith that I would get to the Klinik and that was really my last hope at getting significantly better.
We got the paperwork in October to fill out. Due to my declining health it took me a long time to be able to fill it out, even with the help of my husband and my mother. I had to sift through years of medical records to find some of the information that I needed, after all I had been sick for almost two decades. I was the one that knew what to look for and the one who had to find the information. Finally by the beginning of November I had completed all the necessary information and returned the information to the Klinik. It then became a matter of waiting. What I thought would take weeks, took days. I had a date set, January 2, 2019. My in-laws gifted me treatment at the Klinik. It was the best present I have ever received or could have ever asked for. I will always be eternally grateful to them.
The months leading up to treatment were some of the worst of my life. I was getting sicker daily. My heart was stopping and I was having to be revived by my husband. I was in the hospital. I had a massive herpes outbreak (the first one of my life) which taxed my weakened immune system even more. I was living moment to moment, never knowing when my last breath would come, when my heart would take its last beat. I was so depressed and I was so sick that I welcomed death. I was making my peace. I was trying to hold on long enough to get to treatment in Germany and I saw it as my last chance at living. I was barely able to pull myself together in front of anyone other than my husband and my mom, to seem functional. It wasn’t until I came home from treatment that my mom confessed to me that she spent so much time crying and telling my aunt that she didn’t know how much time she was going to have left with her daughter.
I wasn’t sure that I was going to even be able to make the trip to Germany, let alone make it through treatment but I did.
We left the U.S. on New Year’s Eve. The airport was empty. Most people would rather be out celebrating than flying on that night. Once we got through security, we sat in the lounge. We had sat by the window and I remember looking out and the first plane I saw was “Aer Lingus” which is Ireland’s airline. It made me think of my trip to Ireland and how inspiring that had been. I saw it as a good sign of things to come. I posted on Facebook:
“This year I received the best Christmas present I could ask for (not to mention my family.) My in-laws are paying for me to go to Germany for the top of the line Lyme treatment. As I write this, I’m sitting in the Admiral’s Lounge staring out at the planes departing. It’s New Year’s Eve and While everyone else is out partying, I’m already celebrating. This is my chance to come back radically better and to begin a new life, healthier that I have been in many, many years. So 2019 starts with 3 weeks in patient in a hospital, with my first wedding anniversary (in the hospital but celebrating in Munich after discharge.) I want to than all those that have been there for me, supported me, prayed for me and have understood my inability to be the friend I once was and will be soon again. Mostly I want to thank my amazing husband for putting this together for e and my family for their unconditional love and support for without the I would never had made it this far and none of this would be possible. See you all when I get back, hopefully much healthier and happier and thinner! Happy New Year’s everyone and be safe!”
The third comment I received on the post said “This is the best “new year, new me” post I’ve seen!! Good luck to you and your family.” It was my new year and it would truly prove to be a new me.
Treatment was easier than I had expected. Most other people said how hard it was but I guess being that I had been through such harsh and hard treatment in the U.S. it seemed much easier to me. I was used to IV’s and a central line and antibiotics. Even hyperthermia was easier than I expected. Maybe I was just lucky. I don’t know but either way I was glad for it. The worst thing for me was colon hydrotherapy. I had not been looking forward to that at all. The first one was horrific for me. It was so painful. I swelled up and felt like my insides were going to explode. I know that I was tense despite me trying not to be. Others did not have anything similar to my experience (at least those that I spoke with at the Klinik.) My second round with it was much easier and not painful at all. I guess that with years of stomach issues and so many medications I was really backed up and that was the reason for my awful first experience.
My third week of treatment was solely based on repair, injections, plasmapharesis, I-therm, chelation and the list goes on. It was a week to really detox my system and repair it on a cellular level. It was such a great experience. The plasmapharesis made me feel incredible! I slept through most of it and I felt so amazing when it was done. They got over 2 pounds of toxins out of my blood and body!
Leaving the Klinik, I couldn’t believe how good I felt. My mind was clearer. My pain was minimal. My fatigue was greatly improved. I came out better than I could have ever even dreamed.
The treatment I received at the Klinik was nothing short of a miracle for me! The staff was amazing and so wonderful. Everyone there wants to be there to help people. I have never had such an experience in the U.S. and doubt I ever will.
The day we left the Klinik, we headed to Munich. My husband and I were staying the night there before flying out the next morning for the U.S. and we were also celebrating our first anniversary. We went to the city center. (For those of you who have never been, you can only get to the outskirts of the city center because there are no roads in the city center, so it is all walking.) I walked and walked and yes, ultimately I overdid it. I paid the price that night because by the time we got back to the hotel (3.5 hours later) I could barely walk because my feet hurt so bad. Instead of going out for dinner we ended ordering room service (which was so delicious), relaxing in bed and finishing up packing for the flight the next morning. While my feet hurt so bad, I couldn’t even see straight, I looked at my Apple Watch and we had walked over 2.5 miles. I had run up the stairs at the Klinik before I left. These things were unbelievable to me. I could barely walk when I arrived at the Klinik. I couldn’t even walk a single flight of stairs. I had trouble walking 10 feet. And now I was able to walk over 2.5 miles in just 3 weeks of treatment?!
I had been worried about coming home. I was thriving in the Klinik. I was comfortable and being taken care of and I knew I was safe. How was I going to do once I got home? I had after care/at home treatment to do. Was I going to be able to do it myself? Would I crash and relapse? I was in unknown territory again and I was actually scared to come home.
The day after we got home, I slept. All. Day. I let my body rest. I knew that a major pitfall for people after treatment is that they feel better and think they can do so much but they actually end up burning out and slowing recovery and healing. The next couple of days I fell into that too. I came home to a house that didn’t seem like mine anymore, a house that was cluttered and not immaculate and I wanted to change all of that immediately. I started decluttering and straightening and despite my best efforts to pace myself and take breaks I over did it. I didn’t feel it for about a week and then I realized my body was catching up to me and I needed to rest. I had to put the brakes on hard and force myself to stop. I needed bed rest and recuperation but I was terrified of being back in bed again and getting stuck there. Years of living with Lyme had confined me to bed and I was desperate not to end up back in that place. It took a major mental adjustment.
When you are sick for years and years on end it does psychological damage. It changes your brain. You have to learn to adapt to what your new “normal” is. I spent years never knowing when a “good” day would come and when it did I knew I needed to pack as much into that “good” day as possible because I wasn’t sure when I’d have another one and I knew that I would be in terrible pain the next day anyway. Coming home I’ve had to learn how to shift that mentality again. A little at a time. Good days come more often than not and as long as I pace myself I can get there. I’m still working on this. I am trying to listen to my body and rest when I need to and try not to see it as a sign of regression.
Beside my Lyme being treated at the Klinik I also discovered a host of other problems that had not been addressed in the U.S. First of all was my heavy metals. I was literally at toxic levels with a multitude of metals. I received Chelation and that was treated and helped tremendously. I’ve got to be very careful with everything I put in my body now. Everything has to be organic and heavy metal free and natural. While the Klinik only said no gluten and no sugar, I have gone back to being strict Paleo again because that has done such wonders for me in the past (so no gluten, no dairy, no soy, no sugar.) Going to the grocery store is a nightmare now. I have to read every ingredient on everything I buy and look at where my food is coming from and its expensive. I have to be very careful with any type of medication I take. I’m working with my primary to come off as many prescription medications as I can so that I don’t continue to poison myself with pharmaceuticals. Food has become my medicine again but more intensely than ever before.
I also found out that I have a severe hormonal imbalance. Lyme can screw with your hormones and throw them out of whack. The fact that I was on birth control for so long (almost 15 years) also complicated my hormones. The Klinik sent me home with a protocol to correct my hormonal imbalances and I’m already seeing a major improvement with that. In 2 more months, I will be more fertile than I was at 16 and will be able to start trying for baby and will be healthy enough to not only conceive a child but actually carry a child to full term and I don’t have to worry about transmitting Lyme to a child because I’m in remission. No fear of breast feeding either. Dr. Douwes is so sure of this he told me to write him when I am pregnant and send pictures when the baby is born.
Finally, I got the correct testing done on my thyroid. I was diagnosed with very severe hypothyroidism. I was put on a combination of supplements to correct that. One of the supplements is available by prescription in the United States and the head doctor at the Klinik, Dr. Douwes said that the medication in U.S. is one of the only medications that is better here than in Europe. Since going on the medications for my hypothyroidism, I’ve lost 30 pounds and my energy is improving. It’s definitely working for sure! All the weight that I gained from being in bed is literally falling off. Dr. Douwes promised I would see a change and that I would continue to lose weight and be able to get back down to my goal weight in about 6 months.
I haven’t had any signs or symptoms of my coinfections (Babesia, Bartonella or Mycoplasma) since my second hyperthermia treatment. The Klinik does NOT treat or cure coinfections. They do say that because your immune system is reactivated and boosted it CAN help you fight the infections on your own. I believe that since my coinfections were targeted and treated so heavily before treatment that after treatment my body was able to fight what was left in my body. I’m still keeping an eye on them and if needed, I will get treatment for them again. But so far so good.
I’m still doing treatment at home. I have tons of supplements and my body is still healing. I still have a long way to go. Lyme wrecked havoc on my body and it will take time to recover from all of that. The hyperthermia is still working. They say it can take up to 12 weeks for hyperthermia to still be working in your body. My mind is still healing but I’m able to think again. I can talk without pausing or losing my train of thought. When we first got home, my husband kept telling me I was talking too much but I was finally able to say things I couldn’t get out before. The psychological effects of being sick for so long will take even more time. I am not cured but I am in remission.
So did it work? Do I think it was all worth it? ABSOLUTELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT! I still believe that my Lyme doctor in the U.S. saved my life. Without treatment here, I would be dead. They treated me coinfections and kept the Lyme from getting worse. But Klinik St. Georg was where I needed to be to truly get better. I wish I had know about them sooner. The cost is expensive but minor compared to what I have spent just in the last six years here. I would tell anyone with Lyme and/or cancer to go there immediately. Don’t trust medicine in the U.S. I met people from all over the world at the Klinik with similar stories. One woman’s daughter had even been seeing the same Lyme specialist I did in the U.S. with the same story.
One thing that I attribute my great success to is the fact that I finally “let go” of control while I was at the Klinik. From the moment I walked through the doors, I decided to let go of whatever I thought I knew about Lyme and treatment. I surrendered completely to God and turned myself and my life over to him. I trusted in the Klinik and their program and what they have proven to work. I never questioned anything (well other than what something was or how it worked.) I completely trusted. I let myself be taken care of, I asked for help when I needed it, I let myself and my body focus on healing and believing that it would work. I celebrated every single small improvement I had. I went in with and maintained a positive attitude throughout the entire process. This, I think, is key in treatment.
I still have aftercare and healing to do but I’m adjusting to my new “normal” and I’m appreciating every day. I finally feel like I have the opportunity to have a life again and to actually be able to live again!