I had used the same example for three of my patients this last week. One patient had started seeing me around October of last year and had been on a combination of antibiotics, cefixime, then doxycyline and azithromycin, and had had about 60-75% improvement after about 3 months. We ran into unfortunate side effects with the gut, and decided to discontinue antibiotics for 2 weeks.
I then had an email that the patient did not want to go back on the treatments since she had felt about 90% back to normal after discontinuing the antibiotics. This is absolutely the best choice - when feeling well, stay off and evaluate for if and when there is a recurrence.
Sometimes there is a recurrence after a 4 week honeymoon type cycle - due to the biology of lyme. There seems to be an increase in growth rate every 4 weeks or so after a significant change, so often we can do well until then. Often times, even if there is residual lyme (for example, if cyst forms and biofilm communities were not treated) the burden is low enough that there is no clinical recurrence.
Another patient had started with the Marshall Protocol with another practitioner and most recently we had finished clindamycin and quinine for suspected babesia-like infection with chills, sweats, air hunger, cough. These symptoms had improved, and previous things like joint pains had improved as well. She was still very fatigued, but again, we want to see if the drugs themselves are causing the fatigue, and whether or not hormone supportive and immune supportive measures can keep the previous symptoms of joint pain, headache, neck stiffness, away. We are not likely done treatment with this patient, but sometimes stopping therapy allows for us to see what the new baseline truly is, and if in fact symptoms come back we remember that it is still advantageous that we had stopped since the medications almost universally work only when the organisms are metabolically active. Stopping the medications allows the more dormant forms to become active again, and then susceptible to treatment.