A Better Way to Beat Lyme Disease

Customized care helps busy CEO reclaim her life.

Jimmelynn Garland Rice

Jimmelynn Garland Rice has always been known as an energy powerhouse. A high school teacher and pastor’s wife, she founded Girls Nite In International®, a non-profit group to help girls in the greater Indianapolis area work through self-esteem issues and make wise life choices.

Though initially designed to aid girls locally, the organization quickly went global. When Jimmelynn traveled to Argentina to help launch a chapter there in 2015, life was a huge wave, and she was riding its crest.

Shortly after returning home from Argentina, however, the wave crashed.

“I had been a blessed leader with a high capacity for life and relationships, capable of sustaining a high level of stress and productivity,” says the woman with the big smile and bigger personality. “But in 2015, I began noticing that I was really sick, desperately sick, and something was desperately wrong with my body.”

That “something” manifested itself as severe exhaustion that depleted Jimmelynn to the core.

“I should not be here, but I am the most grateful girl on the planet. And I’ll credit that to the two G’s in my life – God and Dr. Gordon Crozier.” – Jimmelynn

“It was all I could do many days just to crawl from the bed to the bathroom,” she says. “It was like plugging your cell phone into the charger at night and hoping that when you wake up the next morning, it’s powered up to one hundred percent.

“But I would wake up and feel like my body had only two percent power. Maybe I could walk to the kitchen and get a cup of coffee, but I couldn’t do anything else. Or if I was able to take a shower, that took all of my energy.”

Jimmelynn’s struggles became so great that simple tasks such as writing an email, something that used to take her three minutes, instead took three hours. Then there were the constant headaches.

“It was like somebody was taking a drill into both sides of my cranium and drilling tighter and tighter,” she describes. “It was like I had a VISE-GRIP® on top of my head. The headaches were excruciating. It was like my brain was going to literally explode.”

Searching for Answers

Unable to work, Jimmelynn went to her primary care physician for help. The doctor ran many specialized tests, but nothing pointed to a condition. She then went from specialist to specialist in search of an answer. Each gave her a different diagnosis: stroke, adrenal failure, burnout.

A three-month sabbatical provided no relief. Then, about six months later, Jimmelynn found herself struggling on the stage at the church in Indiana where her husband serves as senior pastor. After leading worship at the piano, Jimmelynn typically walks to the podium and welcomes the worshipers.

“But this time, I could hardly put one foot in front of the other,” she recalls. “It took a long time to just walk over to the podium. Then when I tried to speak, I was struggling for every word to piece together a sentence. I teared up and looked over at my husband as if to say, Help me, because I couldn’t make sense and couldn’t speak, so I had to be taken home.”

For most in the congregation, seeing their pastor’s wife undermined by her health problems was not unusual. But as fate would have it, one visitor, Gordon J. Crozier, DO, was able to do more than pray for her recovery.

Dr. Crozier is the medical director of the Crozier Clinic in Lake Mary, where he treats illness and injury on a cellular level by integrating natural healing methods and traditional medicine. He is also a leader in the research and application of integrative medicine and a pioneer in genetics-based medicine.

As a child, Dr. Crozier contracted Lyme disease, an infectious disease spread by ticks. Originally, however, his doctors misdiagnosed the ailment as Bell’s palsy, a condition caused by a virus in which the muscles on half the face are contracted.

Upon seeing Jimmelynn, Dr. Crozier turned to his wife seated beside him. “I said, Oh my goodness, she has Lyme disease,” Dr. Crozier remembers. “You could tell by the look in her eyes.”

Dr. Crozier, who attends the church where Jimmelynn and her husband were preaching whenever he and his wife visit family in Indiana, soon made a house call to Jimmelynn and examined her medical records.

He later performed a blood test called a Western blot, which is recommended for diagnosing Lyme disease. It confirmed Dr. Crozier’s suspicion that Jimmelynn did indeed have the disease.

Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. Jimmelynn does not recall being bitten but suspects she contracted the disease during her mission trip to Argentina.

The most common initial sign of infection is an expanding area of redness known as erythema migrans. The rash, which often looks like a bullseye, is neither itchy nor painful, and Dr. Crozier says that half of all infected people don’t develop a rash and may not realize they are infected until it’s too late.

Other early symptoms may include fever, headache and fatigue. Left untreated, Lyme disease can cause paralysis, severe headaches, joint stiffness and pain, heart palpitations and other physical and neurological problems.

Customized Care Brings Relief

Jimmelynn Garland Rice

Traditional treatments for Lyme disease include antibiotics, but Dr. Crozier says antibiotics don’t always work in severe cases because the bacteria morphs very rapidly and becomes resistant to antibiotics within 72 hours.

“Because people’s genetics are different, not every treatment works with every person, so a degree of trial and error exists in the treatment of Lyme disease,” Dr. Crozier adds. “But I have honed things down to looking at a person’s genetics to see what will work and what won’t work.”

What wound up working for Jimmelynn, who moved to the Orlando area and spent six months undergoing Dr. Crozier’s individualized treatment, was a combination of Vitamin B and amino acids that were given intravenously to boost her immune system.

Dr. Crozier also prescribed injections of peptides and intravenous lipid washing to cleanse cell membranes and mitochondria, where energy production occurs. Those treatments helped rid Jimmelynn’s body of the toxins that the bacteria produce.

Dr. Crozier says most of the patients he treats for Lyme disease begin to notice an improvement in how they feel six weeks after their treatments begin. He notes, though, that complete healing takes about three months.

“I tell people they’re not going to feel tip-top until about ninety days after they finish treatment,” Dr. Crozier says. “That’s because cells have a turnover rate of ninety days. So in ninety days, your cells begin to replicate newer, healthier cells. That’s when you begin to see the biggest difference.”

In Jimmelynn’s case, it took about eight weeks for her to notice a change because of the severity of her illness. But at that point, she was able to enjoy occasional dinner dates with her husband.

Today, she’s back in Indiana, helping girls navigate life through her non-profit. She still visits the Crozier Clinic, but only “once in a while,” for a booster IV to ensure she does not experience a regression.

“I should not be here, but I am the most grateful girl on the planet,” she says. “And I credit that to the two G’s in my life – God and Dr. Gordon Crozier. Not only is he a brilliant Lyme specialist, but he is an incredible geneticist and brilliant researcher and scientist.

“I recommend him, because I trust my body completely to him. When he treats you, he is repairing you and bringing healing to your body one cell at a time, and that is the only reason I am here carrying out my mission.”

Photos courtesy of Jimmelynn Garland Rice.

 

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    • Crozier Clinic

      Find the genetic markers that are scientifically known to impact your health and longevity, empowering you with the tools and knowledge to live longer and healthier. Dr. Crozier treats common illnesses and diseases including Lyme Disease,... Read More

    • Gordon J. Crozier, DO

      Gordon J. Crozier, DO, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Science from Alderson-Broaddus College and an Associate’s degree in Biblical Studies from Lutheran Bible College. He received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Des Mo... Read More