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Entering the world of Chinese Herbs

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I have officially begun my first experience with Chinese herbs as another protocol for my Lyme treatment. I’ve obviously heard about Chinese herbs and Chinese medicine before, but I’ve never tried it myself and honestly felt deep down like it was a little “hokey”. My illness and treatment is also already a full-time job to deal with and incredibly complex, so I’m not about to go try new medicine on my own, reach out to new types of doctors, schedule more appointments or add to my already insanely high medical bills.

But I finally decided to give it a try when both my Lyme doctor and my Psychiatrist told me I need to add an Herbalist to my medical team.

My Psychiatrist (who if you haven’t read my other posts is the reason I even found out it was Lyme – and has been my Naturopath and Psychiatrist rockstar helping me maneuver through my Neurological Lyme symptoms) recommended I see an Herbalist named Da-Gang Wang here in SF because he has been having a lot of successes specifically with advanced Lyme patients. What really sold me to give him a try was her story about one of her patients who has congenital Lyme (meaning she was born with it). This poor girl has had it even worse than me – she has had to go to the hospital at least once a year for her entire life, and was unable to even finish a semester of college because her symptoms were too disruptive. She’s been a patient of my doctor’s for several years, and started trying Da-Gang’s herbal protocol a couple years ago, and she has now completed her 2nd semester of college and is in her third.

It’s hard to be hopeful that I’ll ever get better, so I’m afraid to have hope for myself just yet, but I’d be doing myself a disservice to not try everything I can to get through this, especially when it’s something both doctors are urging me to do.

So I had my consultation with the Herbalist, and on Valentine’s Day got my first herbs. The Herbalist and I spent a couple hours over two appointments going through my story and symptoms, then he created a powder mix of herbs to last me two weeks. It’s $50 every two weeks, which compared to my other meds is chump change so I’m ok with it.

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My instructions are to have 5 scoops of the powder twice a day, mixed in 4-5 ounces of warm water.

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And it didn’t taste bad! 🙂 I have to take some pretty nasty tasting prescriptions on a regular basis, so I expected the worst, but this tasted like unflavored oatmeal. Phew!

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This pic is just to show off my awesome new rainbow silverware I got from Amazon as a treat to myself. I freakin LOVE them. 🙂

At this point I’m used to constantly watching the clock and setting timers for all my meds and vitamins and meals, so I don’t mind adding another thing to the mix. What I DO mind though is that my Herbalist has given me an even more restrictive diet that I’m calling “The Warm Diet” – I can not eat anything cold or raw. :/

Now I never thought that eating raw fruits or veggies would ever be a bad thing, but there’s something really important to Chinese medicine about keeping your stomach/digestive system “warm”. My Herbalist has brought this up a lot, he’s even given me homework to only eat warm or room temperature things and then feeling my body for cold spots (which for me was my head and stomach), but I haven’t really asked why so I still have a lot to learn about it.

I’m super intrigued and will probably learn a lot more as I continue this Chinese medicine treatment, but am also a little grumpy that my already restrictive Lyme diet (vegetarian, gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free) and my IBS diet (no greasy foods, no fried foods, no falafels, no beans) is going to get even worse with this “Warm diet”. Have I mentioned how much I HATE ticks??

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