Lyme disease: ‘I can’t stop taking antibiotics, otherwise I’ll be bedridden very quickly’
Two experiences of the illness outline the difficulty in getting a diagnosis and the severity of symptoms
Sometime after Dr Manus Biggs contracted Lyme disease, he began noticing just how many ticks, the tiny creatures that carry the crippling pathogen, were nesting in the grass surrounding his Galway home.
In 2018 a small bite from one of these parasitic arachnids caused him to develop a chronic form of the condition and thus begin a grueling battle with symptoms that endure to this day.
“[It was] either in my back garden or in the local woods. But I have been bitten by ticks I’d say five or six times at least,” he says. “After I became more aware of the situation I couldn’t go out into the garden really without finding a tick on my shoe or on my T-shirt, whatever it might be …[It] is getting worse and worse. My garden was teeming with them.”
But for Biggs the true epiphany of his near five-year experience with the disease, including a regimen of heavy antibiotics and other treatments, has been about the medical understanding of the illness, research and treatments, going right to the core of accepted western medical practice.
Awareness of ticks and the risk of the bacteria they carry is not new — in some parts of the countryside warning signs guide walkers away from infested undergrowth, while parents routinely scan their children for attachments after a day playing outside.
The first symptom Biggs noticed was tiredness, something he dismissed as the rigors of his work at NUI Galway where, as an associate professor in biomedical engineering, he leads a team developing advanced medical technology.
A key problem is the difficulty in diagnosis — one GP assured him he did not have the disease, that there was ‘no point pursuing this’
However, sometime later he suffered a bout of Lyme related meningitis. His condition deteriorated: exhaustion, weakness, severe neurological disorders including vision impairment and communication issues left him housebound and often bedridden.
However, subsequent HSE testing confirmed the illness after six months. At the same time, he received positive results from a German lab. By this stage he was very ill.
A specialist neurologist asked him if he had been tested for Lyme disease and started him on a course of IV antibiotics which got him back on his feet. However, once this hospital treatment ended, he declined rapidly.
“It’s very aggressive. The cessation at all of therapy just leads to disaster,” he says, listing symptoms from extreme dizziness to problems processing sound and light.
Another specialist doctor began prescribing antibiotics. Today he takes three kinds twice a day which prevent replication of the bacteria but does not kill it, something he likens to a “net on top of a passive wild boar”. His own experiments have allowed him to refine a model of treatment that appears to keep the illness at bay.
“Now the position I’m in is that I can’t stop taking antibiotics, otherwise I’ll be bedridden very quickly. So essentially it’s a prophylactic therapy, I take huge amounts of high dose antibiotics and that’s still ongoing.
“I’m stuck in a position of anxiety because there’s always that sword of Damocles hanging over me.” By this he means the possibility of having to stop the medication in the event of a negative response.
The effectiveness of the antibiotics has led him to question medical orthodoxy, even though he knows this provokes a backlash. He came around to the belief, contrary to various studies, that Lyme disease is a persistent infection that requires more research and therapies than just simple antibiotic treatment.
“The realization of that really impacted my worldview in some respects; my educational foundation taught me to accept that a significant body of published work which reports the same conclusions cannot be refuted,” he says. “Unfortunately, I have been exposed to the reality that a lot of scientific studies, even those published in the most reputable journals, can be incomplete or just plain wrong.”
As Biggs continues his battle against the illness, thousands of kilometres away in Montreal, Irishman Dermot O’Sullivan (30) is hoping his is now behind him. (See link for article)
- In O’Sullivan’s case, he initially thought he was having a reaction to the COVID shot, but he developed breathlessness and a large red rash on his chest.
- Then, his heart rate was very low but a monitor tracking it found the rate would dip and climb, setting off an alarm.
- An ID doc suspected Lyme and confirmed this through testing.
- The patient developed complete heart block, was put on IV antibiotics, and was told he might need a pacemaker.
- He was monitored in the hospital by getting a blood test once a week that eventually looked good where all the inflammation and presence of infection were gone.
- He continued IV antibiotics for two more weeks after leaving the hospital.
How can the outcome of two patients with the same disease be so different?
That is the million dollar question and why mainstream medicine and research will NEVER be able to solve this with their current allopathic mindset of one drug for one disease. What is not discussed in this article at all is the existence of coinfections which makes cases more severe and for a longer duration.
The other important factor is the fact Biggs has been bitten by ticks numerous times. When you read the work of experienced Lyme literate doctors you find out there are factors that amplify the problem:
- Multiple bites
- Active Lyme arthritis with a high sedimentation rate
- Heart murmurs
- Hormonally active women
IV’s give much higher blood levels of drugs than orals, and that the following variables necessitated IV treatment:
- Spinal tap shows high inflammation (high protein)
- High Sed rate and synovitis (inflammation of synovial membrane)
- People sick for more than 1 year
- Age over 60
- Acute carditis
- Immune deficiency
- Those who used immunosuppressants
- Failed oral treatment
Another important topic that isn’t discussed is the blow-back these infections can cause. It is nearly impossible to decipher the difference between active infection and the blow-back or damage they can cause. Mainstream calls this “Post treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome” PTLDS and throws everyone into this four-cornered box. The problem of course is that some truly are still fighting active infection(s) and require MORE antimicrobials.
A agree with this interview about PTLDS because the term doesn’t distinguish between the two groups (those with infection and those with blowback). Further, until public health and mainstream medicine admit that some can still be actively infected after the “accepted”, brief, but unscientific monotherapy, patients will not get the help they need.
This problem has been ignored for over 40 years. Polly Murray (RIP), the Connecticut woman in the 70’s who was astute enough to notice everyone in her town was sick with a similar looking illness, complained about this in her book “The Widening Circle,” but nothing’s changed. She also explains how all of these patients, including her entire family improved when put back on antibiotics. The ‘powers that be’ wouldn’t listen then and they aren’t listening now.
Some things never change.
There is hope; however. Unfortunately Lyme/MSIDS is not slowing down. It’s just a matter of time before more and more become infected and have to travel down this pot-hole riddled road. They will find out for themselves that the “accepted science” doesn’t match reality, which BTW appears to be the “new norm,” and hopefully the COVID debacle is waking up even more people from a deep slumber of denial. While Lyme advocates rejoice over a “historic increase in Lyme funding,” this will only line the pockets of a heavily entrenched Cabal that’s been doing the “accepted and approved” research on Lyme since it began.
But don’t take my word for it. Listen to Dr. Willy Burgdorfer, the “discoverer” of Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) the causative agent of Lyme (although there are many more strains and some yet unidentified):
Excerpts from interview with Willy Burgdorferi, Ph.D.
Dr. Willy Burgdorfer “inocuating” Ornithodoros ticks, May 1954 (Rocky Mountain Laboratories Historical Collection/Nicholas J. Kramis) Source Image is public domain