Turns out my faux herx maybe wasn't so faux after all. Yes, quite possibly my faux herx was a combination of one part faux, one part real and one part flu. At least that is the latest theory anyway. Confused yet? Yup. Me too. C'est la vie...avec lyme!
Let me try to sort through the confusion. I originally thought my faux herx was actually a real herx. Easy enough to assume because I had an excerbation of my 'garden variety' or 'my standard' herxing symptoms during the time that I generally begin my herxing cycle.
However, I also had some additional symptoms crop up that were not things I normally deal with. While it was a little of the ordinary, I didn't initially think too much of it because living with lyme is generally wierd and rarely explainable.
Additionally, this herx was incredibly bad. It was similar to the herxes I endured way back when I first started treatment. I was scarily ill again. As in back in that place where the pain is so bad that I flopped between either thinking I was dying or wishing for the release of death. Yup. It was that bad. Again. Graham has since admitted that it was so bad that he pretty much gave up hope. I managed to stay a knot above him on the proverbial hope rope this time round. Partly because I had been expecting this herx to be a doozer. Why per say?- Well, during my in office appointment with DR H in January,we (as in DR H and I ) noticed an interesting pattern with my herxing - aside from that they occur every 4 weeks, there seems to be an extra bad flare every second month. Of course this herx fell into that second month bad cycle category.
So, yes, I expected it to be bad. But not as bad as it got. 5 days into it was when we discovered that I had been mistakenly mixing one of my IV meds into the bags of sterile water. Sterile water is not a compound that should be transfused into your bloodstream. Once this was discovered some of my odder than normal symptoms could be somewhat explained. (It has taken a full 3 weeks for these symptoms to resolve and for me to feel like I have regained my 'normal lyme equilibrium'.)
As soon as we discovered that I had been inadvertently attempting to internally drown myself, lab testing was immediately done to check my liver function, electrolyte levels and blood counts.
Last week, I saw my Canadian doctor, DR A to go over the results of this blood work. My lab results revealed elevated liver enzymes. Makes sense as it was having to act as a water filter, so to speak. Interestingly my WBC (White Blood Cell) count came back pretty low. Hmmm. The low WBC piqued DR A's interest. My WBC always tends to be on the low side however this was a fairly significant drop. A low WBC usually is indicative of some sort of viral infection.
Hmm. DR A asked me if anyone in my family had been sick recently. Affirmative. Taylor had been home on MY convalescing couch sicker than a dog with a nasty flu during the week of my not so faux or maybe faux herx. "That's fantastic." replied the (usually) incredibly compassionate DR A. I gave him an inquisitive sideways glance "I mean, bad for Taylor." he sheepishly responded, "BUT I think you maybe had a touch of the flu too. AND that would be a good thing!" What? NO WAY! NOT POSSIBLE! I NEVER get sick. Aside from having Lyme, that is."
Since when is getting the flu seen as a 'good thing'? Only in the twisted world of lyme.
Lyme suppresses the immune system so that the body does not have the sensors to sense foreign invaders and it lacks the juice to fight off any sort of infection. One of the goals of my treatment is to 'turn my immune system back on... therefore getting a touch of the flu is actually a really good thing. It means my immune system is starting to work again.
Yup. Getting the flu turns me on.
So, my faux herx has been re-assessed. One part faux, one part real, one part flu.