If you’ve read previous posts, you know we are in a battle against Lyme Disease and it’s co-infections.  One of my hubby’s co-infections is Babesiosis which  is a rare and life-threatening infection of the red blood cells that’s usually spread by ticks. It’s caused by tiny parasites called Babesia. The kind that most often affects humans in this country is called Babesia microti. They enter your bloodstream when you’re bitten by an infected deer tick or one of the other critters that can transmit Lyme. Human babesiosis was first described in 1957 and is now known to have worldwide distribution. The increase in reported cases is likely due to increases in actual incidence as well as increased awareness of the disease which is one of the reasons we are sharing our journey.

You can also become infected through blood transfusions or from mother to child in the womb.  We still don’t know if there are other pathways….not enough research!

Symptoms of Babesiosis can show up within 1 to 8 weeks but those symptoms are very similar to the flu….body aches, chills, fatigue, fever, headaches, loss of appetite are all common reactions. Some people never show any symptoms.  We have no idea when my husband contracted Babesiosis. As a teenager her worked in the orange groves in Florida to earn money – tick bites were common. We have read that the ticks that cause babesiosis typically have to stay on your body for 36 to 48 hours to cause an infection. We have also read that just 24 hours is enough. I can’t say it enough – check yourself and your children EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. if you have been in the outdoors. EVERY DAY!

You can also get a condition called hemolytic anemia in which your red blood cells die faster than your body can make new ones. Symptoms of this can include: confusion, dark-colored urine, feeling dizzy, heart issues, weakness and more.  Symptoms are worse if you are elderly. My husband is almost 70.

My husband’s bloodwork shows this parasite in every red blood cell in his body.  He’s had it for a very long time and no one ever noticed.  He’s not a complainer.  He doesn’t remember if he had those symptoms as a teen – if he did he probably thought it was a virus.

We’ve tried every known holistic treatment without success.  He’s had it so long that the parasite has a stranglehold on his body…and his brain. We’ve tried two rounds of the typical allopathic treatment – each time we had to discontinue before finishing because the meds  just about killed him.

Over the last 35+ years of being an herbalist, I have helped hundreds and hundreds of people fight all kinds of issues using herbs and essential oils with tremendous success.  I can’t express how heartbreaking it is that I have not been able to help my own husband. His doctor is as frustrated and heart-broken as we are.  Over the last 5 years we have become personal friends with our doctor and he truly loves my hubby and continues to research looking for answers.

We’ve spent the last week talking with the doctor, getting tons of lab work done, and scheduling an MRI… trying to assess where we are now.  Confusion and memory loss are major symptoms, fatigue is another.  His attitude is always cheerful and hopeful.  He is still trying to take care of me in the midst of me taking care of him.

You learn many little tricks to help someone dealing with short -term memory loss.  Here I labeled his dresser drawers so he didn’t have to open everything to find his socks or shirts.

We’ve had full time help in the home for a period of time because I still needed to work, I have a 93 year old mom that needs attention and children, grand-children, a farm…life continues to flow despite my desire to put it on pause.

We’ve tried respite care in a facility where he could get more specialized help in town.  We had a doctor volunteer to come do some new treatments in this facility in exchange for learning about herbs and essential oils.

And now we await answers to all of the tests…to assess his prognosis.  We continue to pray and look for new treatments, for answers, for hope in the midst of the battle. We have a doctor who won’t give up and neither will we.

Please!  Check for ticks on each of your family members every time you have been outside in the yard, in parks, hiking, camping….finding the tick early can make all the difference between beating this parasite or loosing the battle.