HLA Testing & Intravenous Antibiotic Medication

Over the past two years I have had an array of blood tests done in a bid to discover what was wrong with me. Many of which resulted in a huge pile of paperwork and not many answers, but thankfully in the winter months of 2013 I finally had the answer to the illness and destruction of my life…I discovered I had Lyme Disease.

I recently had a HLA DR Test (Human Leukocyte Antigen). HLA is a protein/marker found on the surface of almost all cells in your body, and the immune system uses this ‘marker’ to determine which cells belong to your body and which don’t. There are many different genes in our body and they determine more than how we look, more so how our body behaves. The human body should be able to distinguish between the bodies own proteins and those that are invading it, such such as bacteria and viruses. Chronic levels of bacteria can flood the detox pathways and the system can then struggle to eradicate these toxins, simply because the body is not recognising them as a foreign invader.

I had my HLA Genotypes tested and from the results, it’s was discovered that I have two ‘poor detoxifier’ genes. These are identified as 4-3-53 & 11-3-52B. This means I have a particular genetic predisposition in which my body has a much lower capability to deal with toxins and without particular intervention one would struggle to recover from chronic illness.

Dr. R. Shoemaker is known as an expert in bio-toxin illness and treatments and describes the two genotypes above as ‘dreaded’. This is not to say that I won’t be able to recover from this illness, it just means I have to pay particular attention to this genetic information. I will use it as another tool to help adjust my treatment protocol, to enable me to have the best chance of recovering long term from this illness.The test results also determine that I have multiple chemical sensitivity. This means that I must be particularly carful to to stay clear of cleaning products, pesticides, solvents etc. It is most likely that on-going exposure to many cleaning chemicals when I was a stewardess has had an effect on my immune system, and did make me more susceptible to these bacterial Infections, but obviously I was in aware of this sensitivity prior to working onboard the yacht. I think it is important for anyone who is dealing with Lyme to see if they have this particular problem, as antibiotics alone will not be successful in treating these chronic bacterial infections.

I have just completed my first two weeks of a new antibiotic Ceftriaxone, also known as Rocephin. This medication is administered twice daily through an intravenous catheter which is placed in a peripheral vein in my arm. This is also called a hep-lock. At the beginning of each week, I have a new hep-lock inserted by a nurse, and I then have 2g doses eight times a week. This is distributed over four days followed by a three day break, for which the heplock is removed. This particular antibiotic is to target the Borrelia Bergdorferi bacteria, more commonly known as Lyme.

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The nurses at the medical clinic have put me through training of how to mix and administer this medication so I can do so from the comfort of my hotel hotel room. I was very anxious at first when learning to do this, I just have little confidence in my abilities while my memory and brain in general feels so foggy. This quickly became routine and luckily I am managing the administration fine. It is sort of surreal sitting in my pyjamas mixing up my meds, like I have become a character from Breaking  Bad, just casually ‘shooting-up’. I can confirm there is nothing illegal or dodgy going on here just my imagination from watching too much crime drama on TV! Each week I pick up a supply of Ceftriaxone vials, syringes, needles, IV tubing, bags of fluid, saline and heparin.

IV Ceftriaxone

I have to be cautious of following correct procedure when mixing this medication, ensuring I have thoroughly washed my hands, as well as the attachment on my catheter. I also must be very careful not to contaminate any of the sterilised needles etc before using them, as this causes risk of infection… and I am not really keen to add any more to my list!

IV meds in action

So far apart form the expected herx reactions, I have experienced as a whole a positive reaction to this medication, and already I have noticed an increase in my energy levels and mental clarity…although I am aware not quite ready to hit the dance floor yet! I am happy for any progress, however small, it gives me hope and that extra determination not to give up.

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