I dodged a bullet when the Lyme testing came back definitively negative. (This was the Igenex testing, which is more sensitive than other tests.)
However, that leaves the problem of what truly is causing my problems. We've ruled out just about everything but one.
The root of it all is my immune system. Yes, the same immune system that set off Hashimoto's thyroid disease. Lucky me.
Along with the Lyme testing, the doctor also did an organic acids test. This revealed several problems in the Krebs Cycle. I won't go into detail about that, because it's too complicated for me to understand fully, much less explain it. Besides, you can find better descriptions online than what I could ever provide here. Let's just say that several steps in the process have been disrupted and I have started supplementing to fix them.
I also have in infection, but it wasn't what I expected, although I did suspect something...Probiotics. Specifically, an overgrowth of L. acidophilus. I didn't think this possible, but I was seeing worse symptoms after taking probiotics or trying to eat fermented foods--one bite of yogurt would steal my breath for two days. Other fermented/dried foods have done the same to a lesser degree. I took them for nine months before quitting this past February. I started to slowly improve but never truly healed. One possible explanation is that acidophilus produces D-Lactate, which has the same effect as lactic acid in the body...which can cause a lot of the symptoms I've had.
There is some good news. I found online that stevia (whole stevia leaf, not extracts or sweeteners), has some bactericidal qualities. It had some possible applications to Lyme Disease and, before I knew that I did NOT have LD, I decided to have stevia added to my tea. After a couple of days of two mugs a day of my favorite tea steeped with stevia, I did start to see improvements. It's been a week and I've been doing much better. From what I understand, stevia has some effect on biofilms in bacterial colonies, including on acidophilus. I hope this is the tipping point to finally overcoming the issues I've had. One little root cause would be SO much easier to deal with than complicated metabolic processes to correct.
There are some other results from the O.A.T. that I've yet to start suggested supplementation for, but I'm taking this doctor's advice--I'm taking things slow. I'm just relieved that I found a doctor who is giving me a direction to healing rather than saying "It's all in your head; take a xanax [and quit bothering me]."
It's been a year and a half, but the worst started just over a year ago. I'm hoping that this is the beginning of the end of that suffering. I really want to end my need for sleeping medicines to get 5-6 hours of sleep a night (maximum of 1 hour unmedicated, when I follow a strict routine).
Ah! Sleep, wherefore art thou?