LGB: Do you consider yourself in remission from Lyme disease and co-infections? How do you define “remission”?
Scott: I have not had any issues that I attribute to Lyme and co-infections for at least five years now. That said, this doesn’t mean that every single Lyme-related microbe is entirely gone from my body, as that may not be the case. I define remission as my prior condition no longer preventing me from doing anything I want to do in life and not experiencing any notable symptoms. I still get some neck and shoulder inflammation, but I’m grateful, as this is minor compared to all I went through. It is important for me to be aware of mold exposures and not be in an environment that has an issue if I want to maintain the level of health that I enjoy today. I continue to be good to myself, but shouldn’t we do that anyway?
LGB: How old were you when you were exposed to Lyme disease? How did you contract it?
Scott: I was bitten by a tick in Sea Ranch, California, in 1996 at the age of 26. I was staying with colleagues for a work project and got bitten in their guest room—likely as a result of a dog that brought a tick into the home.
LGB: Did you get sick right away? When did your symptoms start?
Scott: I did not get sick for several months after the tick bite. I had no EM rash and no initial symptoms. When it came on months later over the course of a weekend, it was like an intense flu—it felt like aliens had invaded my body. I had never been that sick.
LGB: You had quite a list of symptoms, would you mind listing them for us? Which would you consider your worst symptoms?
Scott: My absolute worst symptom was skin burning and neurological pain throughout my body that lasted for several years. It felt like I had a sunburn every day.
I had a fever that lasted for over a year, and with each doctor I reached out to, I was told it was all in my head.
I could not easily get up and walk across the room. I had balance issues, problems with my vision, joint and muscle pain, digestive issues, cognitive challenges, numbness and tingling, twitching, tremors, tapping sensations, vibrations in my body, crawling sensations in my skin, difficulty taking a deep breath, light sensitivity, night sweats, and more.
I had anxiety, depression, obsessive thoughts...lots of fear that I wouldn't get through it.
The list of symptoms from Lyme and mold illness are quite lengthy, and ultimately both played a role in my health challenges.
LGB: How many doctors did you see—and over how long a period of time—before getting diagnosed with Lyme?
Scott: I wish I had kept better track of this over the years. I reached out to a number of different types of practitioners. Before I got diagnosed, I had seen about 45 doctors. Through the last 20 years, I’ve seen over 250 medical practitioners, maybe more.
LGB: Who ended up suspecting that Lyme was what you had?
Scott: That’s an interesting story. After about 45 doctors and limited progress, I did a Google search in 2005, found a new MD, and went to try again. The MD sent me to a practitioner who did energetic testing with a computer and told me to get tested for foods and then avoid all the foods that were stressful, as that had to be my problem.
The EAV practitioner said to have the doctor test for Borrelia, Bartonella, Babesia, and Ehrlichia based on the results of the energetic testing device. Later blood testing was positive, and the MD diagnosed me with Lyme and referred me to an LLMD [Lyme-literate medical doctor].
LGB: What treatment did you initially do and did it help? Did you have any setbacks?
Scott: Shortly after I first got sick in 1997, I worked with Jesse Stoff, MD, who at the time was looking into EBV [Epstein-Barr virus] and parasites. He treated me for a few years with an integrative approach mostly focused on EBV, parasites, and supportive treatment, and I got back to 80 to 90 percent for a few years. I knew I wasn’t perfect, but I thought it was just the residual effects of having had such a difficult illness. I didn’t identify as being sick from about 2001 to 2004. Then in 2004, after a stressful period, all my initial symptoms returned, and I was back to square one. I didn’t ultimately get the Lyme diagnosis until 2005.
Interestingly, BetterHealthGuy.com was launched a few months before my Lyme diagnosis and obviously has a different focus now than when I first created it.
Back then, in 2005 when I got diagnosed with Lyme, antibiotics were about the only option. We have so many more tools now in 2017 than we did in 2005. I was told I would be on antibiotics daily for two to five years, possibly longer. I was on them for a little over three years before I realized that I wasn’t making incremental progress. They were helpful in the first nine to 12 months, and then I didn’t see much more benefit. I’m open to antibiotics and some do benefit, but if I were starting over, I may have opted for a very different path with a focus on natural therapies.
LGB: When did you start IV antibiotics? Were you working at the time?
Scott: I did IV antibiotics for about nine months in 2007 and 2008. I had a flexible boss, drilled a hook into my living room ceiling, and sat for a few hours a day with IV bags. I was very fortunate to have been high-enough functioning prior to my illness to still be viewed as having value in the workplace. I don’t know what I would have done without the financial resources to explore various treatment options—especially since we didn’t know what I was treating for eight years. That said, I think that there are less costly options available today that are still very good.
LGB: When did you depart from antibiotic treatment? What are your feelings on antibiotics?
Scott: I stopped antibiotics in late 2008. I had decided to go to Germany to do photon therapy, and it was a requirement of the doctor there to be off all antibiotics. So, I told my doctor that I had six weeks to be done with them, and we made it happen.
I’ve seen some people have major progress with antibiotics, so I am open to them, but I also see people on IV antibiotics for long periods who haven’t explored testing their homes for mold. I don’t believe that antibiotics alone will get anyone with chronic Lyme well. I think an integrative approach is ideal, and for me, at this point, it would be an integrative approach with a strong leaning towards natural medicine.
Scott’s Note: It is my strong opinion that anyone dealing with Lyme should have their environment tested for mold. If you are getting exposed to mold at home, work, or school and have a genetic susceptibility to mold, you likely won’t make progress until that is addressed. Exploring and addressing mold early in the process makes everything else go so much more smoothly in my experience.
LGB: Were you fearful of going off antibiotics and traveling to Germany to try something alternative? Did it help?
Scott: At the time, I was excited about the possibility of trying something new, and I knew that I could go back to antibiotics if I really needed to. It’s been almost 10 years ago, but I think I took some antibiotics with me on the trip just in case.
Fortunately, though the photon therapy was not a major part of my overall progress, it did get me off the antibiotics, and I continued doing the photon sessions for about a year longer.
I was at that point already working with Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, who became my primary mentor and was a big influence in my shift from the antibiotic options to more natural approaches.
LGB: When did you start addressing mold toxicity as one of your issues? How big of a role did mold play in your illness?
Scott: Mold toxicity was a huge factor, maybe even bigger than Lyme ever was. A year or so after my Lyme diagnosis in 2005, I came across Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker’s book Mold Warriors. I then started having discussions with my doctors about mold. I had some antibodies to mold in my blood testing, which suggested an allergic response to mold but also an exposure. While this is entirely different than the Biotoxin Pathway that Dr. Shoemaker discusses, it was a clue that mold may be a factor. I then did the ERMI [Environmental Relative Moldiness Index] test in 2008 and had a score of about eight.
I had several water intrusions in the apartment I was living in at the time, and I even had visible mold in a closet that had flooded years earlier. Many of my books had mold on them, and the day I moved and threw out the bookcase, the bottom of it was covered in mold. So, I knew there was mold, but I didn’t understand that mold could lead to health problems at that point in my journey. Dr. Shoemaker has really made a difference in the world by bringing attention to this important topic.
LGB: You tried a lot of different treatments that are considered experimental over your 20-year journey. Would you mind listing some? Did any one make a big difference?
Scott: Some of the things I found most helpful included: various detoxification options (such as coffee enemas, drainage remedies, and binders), herbal antimicrobials (for Lyme, co-infections, parasites, viruses, and fungal issues), RX antiparasitics, ozone, essential oils, tonsil cryotherapy, sauna, minimizing EMFs [electromagnetic fields], KPU [Kryptopyrroluria] treatment, melatonin, emotional work.
No one thing was magic. The real key for me was that everything I did was guided by energetic testing of one type or another. That made a big difference.
LGB: Who was the person who was most influential to your recovery and in what way?
Scott: The person who had the most influence on my journey was Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD. His influence was both through introducing me to a system of energetic testing called Autonomic Response Testing and to frameworks such as the 7 Factors, 5 Levels of Healing, and the Klinghardt Axiom. Understanding that my focus had to be broader than just killing Lyme and other microbes was key to moving things forward. At the end of the day, the microbes aren’t generally the primary issue.
LGB: You mentioned that there were things that set the stage for your illness manifesting. What were they?
Scott: I had always been a type A personality, a perfectionist, doer-type. I think some of this came from needing to prove my worth and value in some way. I think that years of pushing yourself impacts both your adrenals and your immune system and can set the stage for later health challenges.
As I worked through my own mental/emotional baggage, I found that I didn’t feel worthy of or deserving of wellness, and that had to be a focus for me to make progress toward health.
LGB: What were some modalities you used to address these emotional and energetic issues?
Scott: I’ve done many things here, including Family Constellation, Dr. Klinghardt’s PK [PsychoKinesiology] and APN [Applied PsychoNeurobiology] work, EFT [Emotional Freedom Technique], EVOX [Perception Reframing Biofeedback Therapy], DNA Theta Healing, NET [Neuro Emotional Technique], and more. I also worked with Amy B. Scher using her own system, which incorporates Body Code, Emotion Code, Donna Eden’s work, and other systems. I mention some potential resources in this realm on my site: http://www.betterhealthguy.com/clearing.
I think EMDR [Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing] can be a very powerful tool in this realm if one can find a good practitioner.
LGB: How long have you considered yourself well?
Scott: I’ve been pretty well now for about the last five or more years, with one major setback after a mold exposure that had to be addressed. As mentioned, I continue to work on improving and maintaining my health. I don’t think one generally gets to a point after so many years of illness where you wake up and say, “It’s done.” Part of the journey is to learn to be better to yourself, to incorporate better nutrition, to manage stress levels, and I think all of this is still important even after we feel better. I don’t think we can go back to doing the things we did before our illness and expect to maintain our progress. I also continue to support detoxification daily.
This combination of things works well for me. I feel good, but I still prioritize the focus on my health very highly.
LGB: Is your energy fully back? Do you experience any lingering symptoms?
Scott: My energy is often a bit too high, my friends tell me. I definitely have my full energy back.
Lingering symptoms include the neck and shoulder inflammation, though I spend a lot of time each day on a computer, which isn’t helping. My vision isn’t perfect, but I had six eye surgeries before Lyme disease.
LGB: What do you do to maintain your current state of health?
Scott: I still take a number of supplements to support my body, primarily around detoxification support. I do things to support detoxification, such as an ionic foot bath and FIR [far infrared] sauna. I use a PEMF [pulsed electromagnetic field] mat. If I have a day where I don’t feel my normal self, I might still do a coffee enema. I don’t eat gluten, and I minimize sugar. I eat highly nutrient-dense foods and incorporate “Power Shakes” into my day with pea and rice protein, healthy fats, chia or black sesame seeds, collagen, minerals, and more.
LGB: What are you doing now? How did your Lyme experience change what you’re doing with your life?
Scott: I was in the corporate world as a software development director until the end of 2016, when I left by choice. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do the work, but after coming through Lyme and mold illness, my perspective had changed, and I didn’t want to do it anymore. I am grateful for what it allowed me to do to get well, but I wanted to do something more.
My focus now is on health consulting; doing my website at BetterHealthGuy.com; working on a weekly podcast called BetterHealthGuy Blogcasts (available on my website, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, and Stitcher); serving on the board of the LymeLight Foundation, which provides treatment grants to young people dealing with Lyme; and various other projects. I’m busier than ever but also having more fun than ever, and the work is more purposeful, which fuels me.
LGB: Is there anything you’d like to add that I haven’t asked you?
Scott: Lyme disease is a difficult journey, but there are many good things that come from it as well in my experience and that of many people I have spoken with over the years. I often like to end with:
Lyme disease is a messenger for many, and the process of going through it is life changing. While it is the biggest challenge many will ever face, something beautiful often happens as a result of the experience.
The content of this interview is not intended to replace the advice of each reader's own medical professional nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness or medical condition. When making healthcare decisions, such as stopping or starting treatments or medications, please consult with a licensed medical authority.