Will There be Cake?

I have Lyme. I’d like to not have it anymore. I also just want cake.

Coartem, What is the Deal?

Just finished my fourth round of Coartem. What is Coartem? Well, if we want to get technical and if you feel like reading some fancy (but really not that fancy) descriptive jargon, Wikipedia describes Coartem as the following:

“The combination artemether/lumefantrine (trade names Coartem and Riamet, Falcynate-LF) is a fixed-dose combination artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) indicated for the treatment of acute uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria.  The individual drugs were both initially developed in China. Artemether is one of the semi-synthetic derivatives of artemisinin, and lumefantrine (also known as benflumetol and CGP 56695 during development) is purely synthetic. The combination is an effective and well-tolerated malaria treatment, providing high cure rates even in areas of multi-drug resistance.”

Personally, I just describe Coartem as $124 out-of-pocket for 24 yellow pills that cause a food aversion like whoah.

But the purpose… I don’t have Malaria. I have Babesia. This wonderful little protozoa is just another infection I likely acquired with my Lyme Disease. Perhaps at the same time, perhaps from a separate bite. It doesn’t matter, I have the stupid thing. It is stubborn. It doesn’t want to die. The standard treatment for chronic forms of babesiosis are anti-malarials paired with an antibiotic to prevent resistance, usually Zithromax, Clindamycin, or Septra. I’ve been on all three. I’ve been on Atovaquone for my anti-malarial since May.

Mepron, quite possibly the worst tasting medicine out there, and costing over a grand per bottle at that.

Atovaquone, quite possibly the worst tasting medicine out there, at over a grand per bottle at that.

I’ve also been on Arteminisin since May. This is a herb that has been found to nab the little suckers as well.

Arteminisin. Six pills, two times a day. Heaven be with you, poor liver.

Arteminisin. Six pills, two times a day. Heaven be with you, poor liver.

Around July we introduced this Coartem stuff as a “test of cure” for Babesia. If I got sick on Coartem, I still had it. My symptoms on Coartem were always too vague to really distinguish if I was still sick with Babesia or if it was just my good ‘ole Lyme doin it’s thing.

Me and my first dose of Coartem, posted on Facebook. Little did I know, four rounds later, I'd still be on the little yellow pills. Me and my first dose of Coartem, posted on Facebook July '13. Little did I know, four rounds later, I'd still be on the little yellow pills...

Me and my first dose of Coartem, posted on Facebook. Little did I know, four rounds later, I’d still be on the little yellow pills.

But, THIS time, these past three days, were awful. I was sick. My heart pounded the entire three-day course. I felt tippy and dizzy. My body literally forgot how to regulate its own temperature and I went up and down from cold to hot to shivering to sweating for three straight days. I was fatigued. Like, I really want that glass of water on the table two feet from me but I will collapse if I try to grab it fatigued. My kidneys ached. My eyes hurt. My left ear kept doing funny things with my hearing. I twitched a lot. Random parts of my body would have flares of pain and then disappear. Is this the Lyme? Or was Babesia just like, chilling out in some biofilm somewhere all this time and now that we’re blasting up some biofilm it’s all like naked and out in the open, ready for Coartem to zap it?

Months ago, nay, a year ago, I started telling everyone I’m totally done with trying to explain or predict this disease. Why I’m still postulating things today seems frivolous as I still can’t ever figure it out. I write it all down on a piece of paper, convinced I am going to be so prepared at my next doctor appointment and we’ll finally get to the bottom of all of this weirdness. Then, classic Tara, can’t pull my brain together to even mention half of the stuff that is plainly written on a piece of paper in front of me during my appointment.

I give up. I am just going to take whatever drugs he tells me to and stop trying to explain every ensuing result.

That is a lie.


3 comments on “Coartem, What is the Deal?

  1. Bec
    January 24, 2016

    A note specifically to the humor in this post: Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marc
    November 5, 2015

    Just curious how you are doing now with the babesia? I’ve been sick for 10 years and have been doing coartem for a few days a month for a few months. I know your symptoms well. I can be sitting still and boom I start to sweat with reckless abandon even though I’m not doing anything, just sitting trying to get better. How is the coartem treating you now? Any breakthrough on the babesia? Thanks, Marc


    • tarathackeray
      November 5, 2015

      Marc, I finished my babesia treatment earlier this year and so far so good! I’ve been put back on Daraprim which targets protomyxoa among other things and I tend to sweat a little again since being back on it. But when I’m not taking any meds I am not bothered by it. Just keep going! It gets better 🙂


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This entry was posted on October 16, 2014 by in Babesia, Lyme Disease, Treatment Updates and tagged , , , .
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But seriously. As I’ve been clawing my way out of the dark pit that is Lyme, I’ve tried numerous diets. I’ve been low-carb for years. I tried keto. I tried low-fruit. I tried extremely high fat. I’ve gone no dairy. I’ve been no gluten for-EVER. I did the low-histamine diet. I ended things with sugar. I’ve switched to grass-fed meats. Guys, I’ve tried it all. Some helped, some are still essential, some made no impact, some made me feel worse, one ended up being a nightmare (keto, I’m looking at you). -
I know diet is a huge piece of my puzzle and I know I’m hugely affected by the food I eat. Soooo, on Dec 31st I did the only thing left and took the plunge and went plant-based. Overnight. Really I feel like I’ve been prepping for this my whole life... getting there in stages. I was always too afraid to attempt, thinking it would be extremely hard to not just follow, but to do right so you don’t become deficient in anything. I researched it for a week prior and the transition has actually been so easy for me. I’m almost two weeks in with zero dairy, gluten, sugar, processed food, or meat (with the exception of one serving of salmon at a restaurant). I already feel a difference (more energy, far less food reactions, better digestion, better sleep, and less heart pounding... hallelujah). There was only one time last week I thought “dang, I could eat some ribs right now...” but then I went to bed and forgot about it. It hasn’t been hard at all other than slightly more food prep. -

Sooo, so far so good. My goal is three months and then reassess. I will report any lasting successes in symptom reduction. I refuse to become an annoying vegan and I also think life shouldn’t be so rigid that I will ever say “never”. There IS ice cream and ribs in my future. But for now, me and my juicer are BFFs and plz don’t disturb my sprout garden. Here’s to going green! 🌱🌿🍏🥦 -
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