In The Polar Express: The Bell Still Rings Part I, I describe how this particular journey began.

And now, we begin from where we left off. My train stop. At Boston’s Mass General Hospital.

I stepped foot off the train. Feeling isolated. Alone. Scared. Excited. I wandered into the courtyard that lead to the hospital entrance. I meandered aimlessly through the halls until the kindness of strangers brought me to the conference location. The Lyme and Tick Borne Illness Community Conference, with a waiting list a mile long. I was feeling fortunate to have locked in my spot so early.

There, I was rejoined with a few of my lymie friends. Together, we sat with child-like awe, like the young CGI characters in the movie waiting for something magical to happen at the North Pole. CGI is the art of blending two visual worlds, realism and fantasy. And isn’t that just what it feels like to be in a lyme haze? And isn’t that just what it feels like to be caught up in a political disease? Yes, it feels like being caught in a middle world between realism and…a nightmare. But we are not CGI characters. We are real people. With a real disease.

The making of CGI characters

The making of CGI characters

Dr. Phuli Cohan, the first speaker that morning, knows first hand just how that feels. Dr. Phuli is a pioneering integrative medical doctor. Her medical experiences took her to New Zealand and Australia where she developed her passion for Chinese medicine. Dr. Phuli fuels that passion by combining both western and eastern medicine in her innovative, Massachusetts based practice. Dr. Phuli is no stranger to Lyme and the warped realism fantasy conundrum.

Dr. Phuli’s first message: You can overcome. With perseverance. How does she know? She did. Even after an infectious disease doctor refused to treat her for babesiosis, forcing her to succumb to her illness at the time and to sell her medical practice. Even after getting buried under an avalanche of symptoms and problems: light and noise sensitivity, headaches, tendonitis, memory problems, number confusion, word block and being diagnosed with “brain injury”. She still overcame.

How? As Dr. Phuli put it, she learned more in bed than in med school. And from her bed, her protocol for recovery included seizure meds, picc lines, herbs, and pulsing antibiotics. Dr. Phuli advised that everyone frequently ask themselves the question “Are you still sick?” and if the answer is yes, and your lyme symptoms still persist, change the plan. But always focus on three main areas: Toxins. Metabolism. Infection.

In addition to the toxins generated by herxing, or by taking antibiotics–lyme disease makes your body susceptible to lots of toxins your body was previously or is currently exposed to. Including mold, yeast, viral infections, strep, staph…and anyone else on this type of Naughty List. The build up and inability to clear these toxins affects the whole body, including the brain. Toxins that get into the brain mess with hormones, emotions and heart rhythm. Having toxins is like having coal in your stocking.

Dr. Phuli’s favorite and most effective toxin removal and health restoration suggestions?
1. Antioxidant Support: Melatonin
2. Electrolytes: Matrix Electrolyte Solution
3. Nutritional Detox Support: Vitamin C, NAC, methylB12
4. Cleansing/Heavy Metal Chelation: bentonite clay, apple pectin, chlorella, MicroSilica

Importantly, Dr. Phuli also indicated the importance of being tested for the MTHFR mutation, a genetic mutation of folate metabolism that affects your ability to remove toxins, make neurotransmitters and that can negatively impact your immune systems among a host of many other problems. She also discussed the need to limit or eliminate exposure to psychological toxins. Toxic people. Toxic thoughts. Don’t let your recovery be ruined by any grinches or scrooges.

On the subject of metabolism, Dr. Phuli reminded everyone to support the thyroid and adrenals as these control our metabolic functions and are disrupted by…TOXINS! Regarding infection, treat the infections that may be at play now that your immune system is down. Be checked for viruses, parasites, etc. and address them.

For metabolic and immune function she recommends nutritional repletion with: Magnesium, zinc, calcium, vitamin K2, lithium, iodine, vitamin A and vitamin D.. Now THESE would make great stocking stuffers.


The bell. I could hear the jingling of the bell in the distance. The bell that you can only hear when you believe. And over it I heard Dr. Phuli’s concluding words like a softly sung and inspiring little song: “Remove toxins. Replace nutrients. Address genetic mutations. Don’t rush. Be persistent. Take breaks. Antibiotics. Nutrients. Herbs. It will take years. But you CAN do it.” Fa la la la la, la la la la.

And now us CGI character friends looked at each other, satisfied and inspired by the pointers and direction, the encouragement and motivation form Dr. Phuli.

Next, Dr. Richard Horowitz would take the stage…