Dramatic increase in shop speed then sudden slow-down

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About 3 or 4 weeks ago my store, which is currently paused, showed a dramatic increase in speed. Collection pages that took a ridiculously long time to load (15 - 30 seconds) were suddenly loading in 2 or 3 seconds. I check several stores (4) I had built for clients and found the same performance increases. The speed increases were not due to caching. I validated the performance improvement on different systems (mobile and desktop) and with many different users. Today I finally got back to my paused site to make it live and found the speed had dropped to the original dismal slowness, in fact, it was even slower. The theme I am using (Out of the Sandbox - Turbo) was outdated so I assumed that was the issue, but when I updated it, the results were the same.

I am baffled! When I say the speed increases were dramatic I am not exaggerating. Now my store is a slug. Does this story sound familiar to anyone? Any ideas?