Lyme continues to be a mysterious disease. The medical establishment has had to admit that the spirochetes that cause Lyme disease cannot be killed by modern medicine. They admit that Lyme can barely be detected by the tests that modern medicine has created.
We know that spirochetes hide in our organs, feeding on the magnesium in our joints and the sugar in our blood. The co-infection Babesia finds refuge in our red blood cells, where it sucks the life out of our immune systems, resulting in a weakened immune system to fight off invading infection and bacteria.
Is it any wonder that many Lyme sufferers have gone AWOL, depending instead upon what the internet, books, and communication with fellow patients have to offer?
Tapp Francke, a young Sagaponack native, was attending her last year of graduate school at St. Andrew’s in Scotland, when she began to experience terrible headaches and intense brain fog. She had spent the summer living on Loper’s Path with her family, and working as a waitress at a bar/restaurant and disco in Bridgehampton, then known as The Wild Rose on the Turnpike.
One night, while riding her bike home from her job, she was stampeded by a herd of deer, causing her to fall off her bike onto the grass. She was stunned by how many deer there were walking across the road at the same time. But she avoided injury, and got to her door just as the sun began to rise.
She can’t recall whether she had gotten a tick bite that night or at another time, but some time around that incident, she began to experience crushing, crippling headaches, accompanied by intense nausea. Sometimes they got so bad that she had to get into bed, in a darkened room with a cool cloth over her head, and a king-size bottle of Excedrin Migraine next to her on the nightstand.
It was the summer of 1992, and no one thought to make the connection. There were no fevers, and no joint pain. By September, and her return to graduate school, she began experiencing memory issues.
Back at school, Tapp noticed that she was unable to follow the lectures. She could not take notes as she always had; she couldn’t remember what had been said long enough to write it down. More embarrassingly, she could not remember her friends’ names. And when she realized she’d forgotten, she would have panic attacks because she was aware of what was happening and was horrified by it.
She was convinced she had a brain tumor that simply hadn’t surfaced yet. Trips to doctors in London began. They all diagnosed her with migraines and gave her “Butal”, which only made her sicker.
Tapp had always been super sharp, and had been one of those kids with high standards who year after year got great grades. She was having a tough time dealing with her newly acquired neurological limitations. “I limped through my last year, and ended up with a lower degree. By normal standards, it was a good degree, the American equivalent of a B, but that was not good enough, and definitely was not what I had been capable of for most of my life,” Tapp said by telephone earlier this week. “I would have to read a page 10 times for it to compute.”
Tens of thousands of human beings all over the world experience what Tapp describes. Some end up going to a psychiatrist, some to a neurologist, some to their family doctor, and all end up on some kind of medication that has nothing to do with the issue at hand. We take what is prescribed because that is all there is. Then acceptance sets in.
“Your body and mind adjust to your new reality, “ Tapp said. “And you simply learn how to live like that. You become socially isolated, because in order to cope, you sleep a lot.”
When physical energy is in short supply, social engagements fall away. The amount of will necessary to simply function becomes enormous.
Upon graduation, she returned to the Hamptons. She was just functioning. And there were episodes when the disease would return. “When I first got back from school,” Tapp said, “I was offered a job on a movie, but I turned it down because I was afraid I would not be able to remember … I was symptomatic. I decided that I needed a safe environment in which to live and work.”
She continued seeing doctors to find a diagnosis. The MRIs, scans, even biofeedback continued, but nothing was found.
Then on July 24, 2005, a wedding announcement appeared in the New York Times: “Tapp FitzGerald Francke and Lawrence George Ingolia are to be married today on Block Island. John A.L. Sisto, a town warden of New Shoreham, R.I., is to officiate at the Spring House Hotel.
“The bride, 34, is a photographer based in Bridgehampton, N.Y. She received a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland …”
A testament to her strength and character, in the midst of all the illness and the searching, Tapp married and had a son. When her oldest son was 9 months old, she became suddenly and violently ill. Whether a new tick had bitten her, she did not know, but the symptoms were dramatic. Her body felt terribly heavy, she had a fever, experienced crushing headaches, and was dizzy. Tapp described the feeling as, “a deep, aching flu”.
She was treated with Doxycycline for 28 days by her doctor, and for the first two weeks felt great. Then at the start of week three, she got much worse. She was told that sometimes symptoms continue for up to six months. That was considered normal.
This time, her doctor’s diagnosis was unacceptable. Now Tapp was a young mother, wife, and known artist and she wanted to live a full life. She started looking for alternatives. Her step-mother brought the American Institute of Biological Sciences (www.aibs.org) in Boston to her attention. It was a referral service for doctors who practiced alternative medicine. It was through them that she became a patient of Dr. Fred Schultz.
Dr. Schultz used something called the Bradford Method; a series of herbal detoxes, and intravenous vitamin drips, combined with homeopathy and anti-microbial medication. He treated Tapp with a drug known as Dioxychlor. That turned out to be Tapp’s wonder drug. Tapp’s mind cleared, her headaches went away, and she felt like her old self again. She felt so great, in fact, that she and her husband decided to have another child.
Nine days prior to the birth of her second son, Tapp found a tick in a warm, moist spot beneath her belly. She returned to Dr. Schultz. Only by this time, her miracle drug Dioxychlor was no longer on the market. In the Bradford protocol, it had been replaced by DC4, which failed to work for her.
She began making the rounds of various doctors, along with a merry-go-round of antibiotics. For two years, she went from one to the other, and her symptoms kept changing. Now added to all the usual symptoms, Tapp experienced a rapid deterioration of her vision.
In 2007, by word of mouth, she found out about “Rifing”. Individuals were using something called a Rife machine to cure Lyme disease.
In the 1950s, Dr. Royal Rife, an American doctor and inventor, created a machine that he claimed was capable of destroying pathogens. He was having great success curing people with cancer. The AMA and Department of Public Health immediately rejected his claims, discrediting and destroying him in the process.
Dr. Rife believed that all disease had a vibration. And if you could attack that disease with sound waves, at a higher vibration than the disease itself, then the disease would be destroyed, without damage to the rest of the body. Imagine an opera singer who hits a very high note, and the wineglass on the table explodes. That is essentially how the vibrations from a Rife machine work against disease.
Today, technology has improved upon the original machine, and anyone who can afford it, can buy their own Rife machine online at www.rifedigital.com. The website makes the claim that: “Through the use of Modern Electronics, one can now access the Rife Frequency Manual, and program in specific frequency sets to assist with the reversal of many chronic diseases and ailments … The Rife Digital automatically reproduces these frequencies … so as to provide a harmonious frequency wave, which kills and destroys pathogens in the body.”
Many in the medical community still consider Dr. Rife’s work to be highly controversial. In addition, in 2007, not many people knew about Dr. Rife. Remarkably, Tapp found her way to a doctor in New York City (a gynecologist) who claimed she had cured herself of Lyme using a Rife machine. As they say, the proof is in the pudding.
“The moment I started,” Tapp said, “I knew it would work. My first time on the machine, my eyes went clear. Then, my allergies went away.”
According to Tapp, “The reason Rife seems to work is that the spirochetes can’t fight against it. The sound vibration interrupts the protein outer layer and kills the pathogen.”
All the treatments thus far had cost Tapp and her family at least $100,000. At that point, most people might have considered stopping. Instead, Tapp made a huge commitment to her well-being and bought her own Rife machine for personal use.
“The first thing I did was get rid of all the inflammatory foods—gluten, nightshades, red meat, nothing fried, no sugar. I ate green veggies, aloe, and quinoa. If ever I ate outside those parameters, I felt sick right away. After all those years of antibiotics, my gut and adrenals were in poor shape. When my gut got better, I was able to reintroduce some of those foods, in very limited amounts.”
Then, Tapp went back to school, where she is working toward a Master’s of Clinical Nutrition degree through Maryland University of Integrative Health.
“By using a detox, and change in diet, along with the Rife treatments,” she said, “the cure was expedited.”
There was no more “thinking through oatmeal,” she said.
After one year of treatment, she was significantly better.
After two years, Tapp was cured.
Today, four years post cure, she can wake up at 6 a.m. That’s a sign that her adrenals are working again. She no longer needs a crane to lift her out of bed. She is very active and rightfully tired at the end of the day.
When I met Tapp, I was immediately struck by her healthy glow, charm and high energy level that was at once pleasantly stabilizing and yet energizing. Her compassion for others is palpable. And she is absolutely beautiful.
Tapp recommends to anyone who has or suspects they have Lyme, whether they are in treatment or not, to get off all inflammatory foods, take antioxidants, and to juice everyday using green vegetables like celery, cucumber, parsley, lemon or lime, turmeric and ginger. She suggests cooking with heat inducing spices like garlic, cayenne and ginger, which are antimicrobial. Drinking aloe juice, or if you have an aloe plant, she recommends filleting one, 2-by-4-inch leaf per day, and eating it or blending it into a smoothie—aloe is super anti-inflammatory and great for the stomach.
Having gone through the process and come out on the other side, she wants to help others find their own healing path. She is available for nutritional consultations, and can coach a patient through a Lyme detox and rebuild, and is available to refer patients to a Lyme literate doctor. If nutrition is your thing, or you need a referral, she can be reached at email@example.com.
If you have a story you would like to share or have questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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