PICC Line is in... Brain Herx?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 10/11/2009 5:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had it in for 10 days.  After the 7th day, I had an emotional mental breakdown at work.  I couldn't even speak I was sobbing so much.  I am an emotional person, but I need a reason to be emotional and this day, I was just sitting at my desk and not under any pressure.  I had to call my doctor and he prescribed me Xanax.  I saw him just this past Friday (a few days after the break-down) and he said what I experienced is a brain-herx.  I had heard of a physical herx, where you feel flu-like and tired.  I did experience that when my first doctor put me on Doxy for 21 days.  Other than that, I haven't had any other flu-like symptoms. 
Anyone else broken-down mentally?  I'm also on two other anti-biotics.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4717
   Posted 10/11/2009 5:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi mokey,

I'm sorry you had to experience that. It's enough we have to go through the physical symptoms. I've experienced the "brain herx"(I like that name), many times. Not only do I cry for no reason at all, I have depression and anxiety too.

Have you done a detox bath yet? This will help. Make sure not to get your line wet. Do you have the waterproof picc line cover from Brown Medical?
**You never know how STRONG you are....until being STRONG is the ONLY choice you have**

Co-Moderator Lyme Disease Forum

Forum Moderator

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 35859
   Posted 10/11/2009 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   
HI Monkeyho,
I have experienced that kind of a herx - boy are they rough!!! The only way I could keep from slipping into a deep depression over the lack of control I had with my emotions & other brain things - was by having a Lymie-buddy. She would call me if I didn't call her during that time & I really believe I wouldn't have made it without her!!

I have been doing some reading on ammonia building up in the brain, due to all of these TBI's & I believe I deal with this a lot. Right of the top of my head, I can't pull the info (funny place to keep info, huh?), but if you are interested I could find what I was reading & by who, so that you can read it for yourself.

Fortunately for others, I haven't been able to work for a little more than 20 yrs now, so no one else (other than hubby) had to live with me as I was going through the worst of brain herxes & the brain infections!!!
It's been said:LD patients can be as ill as people w/ congest. heart failure & in as much pain as post-op patients.

sickof lyme
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 10/11/2009 6:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I like the lyme buddies idea,I have really bad brain herxs when I take my Flagyl, I just cant stop crying and feel so hopeless! I do cry at other times but it defintely gets worse on Flagyl!! Its a lonely experience,definitely will need to fid a lyme buddy!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 10/12/2009 4:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all of the responses. At that time, I really thought I was losing my mind. It's a very unsettling feeling. The Xanax definitely has helped and he also put me on a med for mood-swings.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 10/12/2009 6:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Be careful with the xanax. Only because, well it can be addicting..and it is a "downer". I mean, it will definitely help you, but if you take it too often (even within its prescribed limits) it can make you feel even more down than you already do. Just my experience talking:)
I have severe depression and anxiety already and have a near "melt down" at least once a month, but sometimes once or twice a week. These last couple of weeks, 4 out of 7 days I will stay in bed all day just because I have no energy or desire to do anything. And I am not even getting treatment yet.
I am scared now.. Well, I have been scared. Treatment is really gonna be awful, huh? But, at the same time, I'm not getting any better while this bacteria is eating my brain! I can't believe they make us wait so long:(

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 10/14/2009 4:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Chronic Lyme ( and by this I mean all 3 infections, particularly Bart) affect our brainstem ( limbic system). And cause emotional instability called Limbic seizures.

This used to be my primary symptom. I used low dose Paxil though I felt better they still occurred with stress, loud noise or over stimulation and eith high altitude ( air plane flights).

Lamictal ( an anti seizure medicatio) has stopped them and I would love to do a study with those of that have this! Anyway I recommend this.
Grew up on Cape Cod with Lyme... (TB aged 12 so did 2 yrs antibiotics as a kid). Weak immune system lifelong-self diagnosed Lyme 2003. Treated successfully with Cowden herbs until rebit 2007. Babs, Bart and Lyme treatments- currently using IV Clindamycin/Azithromycin and oral Mepron, Bactrim and Flagy- pulsed therapy.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 10/14/2009 6:27 AM (GMT -7)   
I, must also have this brain herx. The entire time that I've been dealing with this, I have dealt with constant anxiety and crying. I've wondered also about the ammonia in the brain. I also currently have ringing in my ear. I have yet to find any relief for this. I, too, have been prescribed paxil and zanax, but am currently not taking them. I get to the point that between the antibiotics and supplements, I'm on pill overload. I've thought about going to a psychiatrist that also has knowledge of lyme, but have not found one.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1304
   Posted 10/14/2009 7:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Mokey and others: you will see my similar complaints in my 'rehab' post. At the onset of Lyme, I went thru complete and total meltdown mentally and emotionally. It was severe. It still is, tho it comes and goes. It is like a demon is nearby and zaps me, generally daily. You are not alone, even tho I understand the suffering alone that you are going thru is unbearabe.

Not long after starting Amox I began it again and it is at many times unbearable. Comtemplation of suicide is a part of it, altho I am able to hang onto the thoughts I know I don't want to do it. I try to ignore it and it won't leave. I just try to keep moving and in the evening my xanax does help. I know xanax is addictive, but I will use it to stop the muscle spasms and total body stiffness. I will have to deal w/ that addiction later.  It does provide a warm, fuzzy feeling, relief from relentless anxiety and helps improve mental state at bedtime.

Seems more people here attribute this to a herx than the abx or the disease. I stopped the Amox for afew days and was relieved of this horrible depressin, alto I did not feel well. I have started it back and will try to get thru it. If this is a herx, then I am proceeding towards improvement. Try your best to rememer this, OK?
At the very least, at least altogether we are learning a LOT.  I hope we are then able to hlep may people.
pcpc: what is a limbic seizure?

Bit 1972: Acute and chronic tonsillitis, UTI, miscarraige, appendicitis, hypoglycemia,  chronic neck pain w/ crushed vertibrae, chronic severe back pain, mitral valve prolapse, depression, resolution?
Bit Mother's Day 2007: Lyme, Babesia microti, hypothyroidism, EBV, HHV6, Parvovirus B19, low adrenals &misc other hormones, depression, anxiety, more of the above.
What don't these nasty bugs cause? 
CD57= 60, so we're in pretty good shape.

Post Edited (+Lyme) : 10/14/2009 8:43:19 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4717
   Posted 12/3/2009 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Nurse Gary. How are you?

I get the brain herxes too and they are terrible. I cry alot when I'm herxing as well but it seems to make me feel a little better.
**You never know how STRONG you are....until being STRONG is the ONLY choice you have**


Co-Moderator Lyme Disease Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 12/3/2009 7:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Last week I broke down when I was cleaning the kitchen and started crying and could not stop for 2 hours. I have done this several times. I figured I was just sad because THIS IS SAD!! Everything about it is SAD!

OK Sorry I just need to say that.

How do you know if it is a brain herxes? and do you treat it any differently?
My family and I have been enjoying my life without dairy gluten and soy for many years.

Found out about it in spring of 2009 that I have been living with Lyme for over 8 years. My symptoms of Lyme have been Mini-Strokes/TIA's, Hashimoto's disease, swelling of my liver and kidneys. Anaphylactic reactions to raw apples, raw carrots, and Beef. Allergies to dairy, gluten, and Soy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4717
   Posted 12/3/2009 7:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I guess Nurse Gary deleted his post.

Yogamom: The herxes usually happen while on treatment because of all the toxins that are being released from the die off of bacteria. I'm sure you could also get brain herxes from any bacteria die off...yeast, etc.

Detox baths really help with this.
**You never know how STRONG you are....until being STRONG is the ONLY choice you have**


Co-Moderator Lyme Disease Forum

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