Tuesday, July 19, 2011

THE SHOEMAKER PROJECT



When I last saw Dr. Ross, he was excited to try a new approach, pioneered by Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, which focuses on chronic inflammation caused by factors other than Lyme. That would be (as Dr. Ross explained to me) low Vitamin D, a sinus staff infection, and liver issues. When I ran the tests my Vitamin D was in fact low (see above), but when it came to my liver test (HLA-DR typing) Ross said he needed to do more research and talk to Shoemaker, but he was 90% sure I didn’t have a genetic liver problem.

I was really, really disappointed I didn’t have this. Yes, I know well and strangely pickled when you find yourself wishing for irreversible genetic typing that corresponds to health issues, but that’s where my life is right now. I’m up to my eyeballs in liver detox herbs (five at last count!), liver flush teas that need to be brewed daily, coffee enemas, vitamin C and fiber that need to mixed thoroughly in water before I can take them (three or four times daily)…. It goes on and on, until I feel like 75% of my waking hours are taken up by fulfilling these thirty-second to ten minute tasks—all for the purpose of detoxing, recovering from antibiotics, getting the Lyme die-off out of my system. And as soon as I slack off it means I won't sleep! So the genome typing would have explained a lot of things.

As for the sinus infection, the test kits for it are unavailable for now. I’ll go see Ross next week for a follow up. Here's hoping he's got that test kit.

In the interim, I went back to my old naturopath, Amy Derksen.

“At this point, I’m surprised at how things are going,” I told her. “I’m at the four-year mark on antibiotics, and I’ve made tremendous progress on physical stamina, but the other symptoms, especially insomnia, won’t budge.” She agreed with me, and said she thought the Shoemaker protocol would be helpful. Given the rate I’m needing to do coffee enemas, she said, I have major detox issues, and it’s time to ask whether all of the toxicity is coming just from Lyme or if there are other causes. She changed a few supplements, adding a couple to speed up detoxing, but again she wasn’t familiar enough with Shoemaker’s work to launch into it full on right now.

So I decided to take matters into my own hands. For August and September I will be at my parents’ house in DC. Since Shoemaker is in Maryland, I looked him up on the internet so I could schedule an appointment. It turns out this is not as simple as I had imagined. There was no phone number on the website. I had to fill out an online form requesting an e-mail reply that will give me a phone number to call in order to schedule the appointment. I have yet to receive the e-mail, but the info on the website explained I should be patient—it can take up to two weeks before they send it. So now I am on the wait-list for an opening in the schedule of the appointment scheduler! Now that's a doctor in demand.

2 comments:

S. said...

Just FYI on the genome front, my CBC at my last physical came back low on vitamin D even though I'd been gardening every day for a couple of months.

Naomi said...

Hi S! Yes, my vitamin D was very low, too, even though I've been taking D supplements for years. It's hard to get enough sun exposure in Northern climates!