In a video post from April, I explained that my new doctor believes I have chronic Lyme disease, but the results of a Stonybrook Lyme test were inconclusive. As a result, she (Dr. M) wanted me to conduct a Lyme "provocation" test, in which I take an herbal supplement (called A-L Complex), which is supposed to stimulate the immune system to kill the Lyme-causing borrelia bacteria. Apparently, after the immune system kills some of these borrelia, the Lyme blood tests are more likely to detect the presence of the borrelia (because live borrelia are adept at hiding.)
My instructions were to begin taking the A-L Complex starting with 3 drops per day, then, three days later, increase to 6. Then, three days later, up to 9, and so on up to 20 per day. After I reach the 20-per day dosage, I was supposed to repeat the Lyme test.
The problem is that even 3 drops per day made me feel awful--brain fog, headache, muscle pains. So, on my own, I reduced the dose to a mere one drop per day, and still felt terrible. (It's interesting that the directions on the bottle of A-L Complex instruct the user to take only 2 drops per week. We're going way off-label here.)
Over the last month or two, I've continued to experiment with fractional doses, hoping that I could find a way to slowly titrate to 20 drops per day. As it stands now, I don't see how I will ever be able to make it to 20. I can't even handle 1. Granted, I'm being a little bit of a baby about this. I could do it if I really needed, but it would be near impossible to keep up with my home and work responsibilities at the same time. So I'm trying to figure out my next step. I either have to set aside a month in which I reduce my responsibilities and devote myself to titrating and testing, or return to my doctor and admit failure. I could ask my doctor if there's a "Plan B"--perhaps using antibiotics instead of A-L Complex. (Antibiotics are, I believe, the standard for Lyme provocation tests, but I originally declined.) Or perhaps my reaction to A-L Complex is evidence enough that I am dealing with Lyme?