By Kevin Damaskie
With a bit of a chuckle and a hint of seriousness James C. says he has been accused of “wearing a tinfoil hat.”
All because of a tick bite.
James, 55, a resident of Durango, Colorado, believes he contracted Lyme disease from a tick bite he sustained in 1983 while living in Connecticut. His fight to overcome the disease, and the medical system that was not helping him, lasted well over a decade.
He doesn’t pull any punches when he talks of his fight to get better. With a quick wit and quicker desire to help others suffering with Lyme disease, James has amassed a virtual encyclopedia of what, and what not, to do when dealing with Lyme.
“When I was going through the process of healing myself of Lyme disease, I realized it was only a symptom of a larger Industrial Disease which many North Americans are suffering from,” James says on the phone from his Durango home. “We live our lives in a toxic environment, eating toxic, processed food and we end up sick and tired from it.”
And James was very sick. Diagnosed with Lyme in 2002 after years of suffering, he says he didn’t look “sick” but was physically exhausted, suffering from neurological disorders, his ears were constantly ringing and with swollen joints and body pain he was functional for about one hour a day.
“It took me five tries to get out of the house,” he recalls of those dark, painful days.
As diseases go, Lyme is one with a fairly recent history. In 1977, the people of Lyme, Connecticut discovered a correlation between a deer tick bite and a life-disrupting illness.
The ticks carry Borrelia burgdorferi, an infectious bacteria which has the ability to proliferate in all areas of the human body. It can suppress and hide from your natural immune system, and transform itself into a protected dormant state when under attack by antibiotics.
Historically, the general symptoms consisted of a big, round, red bullseye-shaped rash, followed by fever, headache and stiff joints – often diagnosed as the flu.
The typical prescription for Lyme is 30 days of antibiotics. When the course is over it is expected the illness would be gone, and you could go back out into the world and enjoy your life. This does not work for many, especially if the disease is not caught right away. James’s story turned out to be far more complicated, as his infection went untreated for many years, becoming a chronic disease.
After over a year-and-a half on antibiotics, James was not feeling any better and he could feel himself turning from a “joyful” person to one filled with “pain and anxiety.” Doctor after doctor told him the antibiotics would overcome the Lyme.
But they didn’t.
This is when James decided to “turn his back on the system” that was doing nothing for him and “go his own way.”
“I have figured out Lyme disease is another word for this endemic problem which is malnutrition supported by the medical system,” he says. “We need to change our belief system which taught us ‘Ask your doctor, only the doctor knows.’”
Donning his virtual tinfoil hat, much to the chagrin of his friends and medical team, James embarked on a journey of healing self-discovery that delved into what he calls “things that have been around for thousands of years” that have been lost in our modern system.
He converted to a plant-based, nutrient dense diet, went through detoxification treatments and worked hard to give his body the tools it needed to fix itself because the antibiotics were not doing it.
In 2010 he found a new doctor – Dr. Max Gerson. Although Gerson passed away 1959, the therapy he pioneered was helping people cure cancer and chronic disease. James had relocated to San Diego, California and visited the Gerson Clinic. He was turned on to the teachings and treatment of Dr. Gerson that were being applied by his daughter Charlotte at their California clinic.
“People need to believe they can take care of themselves and build a plan to do it,” he says. “All my research was telling me our bodies are too acidic and the Gerson therapy was helping me detoxify and make my body more alkaline.”
For two years, James immersed himself in the Gerson therapy – eating only plant-based, juicing a dozen times a day and detoxifying his body through four daily coffee enemas.
It was not easy, but James was willing to work hard as the option of continuing to live with Lyme disease was not an option at all.
“After I finished the two years of treatment I had taken myself down from two-and-a-half pages of symptoms to almost none,” James says. “The tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and eye floaters persist because there are still bacteria there, but I was quickly getting back to being the joyful child I was before this disease took over.”
James says he did not let the disease take over at all, he took charge of his own health and employed the Gerson therapy to get his life back. He moved to Durango in pursuit of “cleaner air and cleaner water” and has spent the last few years sharing his story, blogging about his experience and has connected with 60-70 people with Lyme, trying to help them see the light at the end of the painful tunnel.
Through this, James developed a five-point plan to personal health:
1) Change your belief system: “Run from a medical system that can’t feel what you feel. Only use antibiotics if the situation is a life or death situation.”
2) Rule out upper cervical spinal misalignment: “I found an Upper Cervical chiropractor (UCC) who made an adjustment to my C1-C2 . The proper communication between brain and body will accelerate your healing.”
3) Feel fine with iodine: “Modern humans are iodine deficient. I use Lugol’s Solution to offset the environmental poisoning.”
4) Can you Candida? Cut sugar out of your diet: “Processed and refined sugar makes you acidic and creates a perfect environment for yeast, fungus and mold to colonize our bodies.”
5) Dive deep into the Gerson Therapy: “Listen to your intuition and use nutrition. Follow the Gerson Therapy and watch the symptoms of Lyme disease slowly disappear.”
“I put myself in the driver’s seat of me and I followed my intuition,” he says. “Right or wrong, my body will tell me in minutes if I am making the right decision. And overall, listen to your body.”