Monday, February 1, 2010
My Ampligen Treatment Week 2
Three down, scores more to go! Today as before, Gwen got the needle in quickly, and strapped me up to 200ml of Ampligen, this time pushed through in under 35 minutes. Today I followed that up with a saline infusion, recommended by many, and it seemed to actually give me a boost! So far, so good.
Because so many have asked, I’ll use this time to describe how I got here.
My journey with this disease started 25 years ago, in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, when seven of us working at the same place all were slammed with what we thought was “one of the worse cases of flu” we’d ever experienced. Each of us manifested some unique symptoms, but we all shared the commonality of not being able to recover after the usual 7-10 days, and, scarily, not being able to lift even our arms off the bed without extreme exertion. For months we all struggled with weird pains and body failures; my most particular distressing were blisters and canker-sore like outbreaks on the back of my throat and upper arms. We’d take antibiotics, see our respective Doctors who by and large all went to the same school of “I don’t have any idea what this is”, and tried to cope as best we could.
After about two years of this most had quit work and were home in bed, but not me; I suffered through, not realizing both my productivity, and my life, were going down rapidly. In late 1988 my Dad came to visit L.A. and when he saw me blurted out “Son, you need to go to the Mayo Clinic, immediately. I’m very concerned for you.” He was in the pharmaceutical business so had been around doctors and patients for years. His words, and the look on his face convinced me I should go.
The Mayo Clinic at that time had seen others with M.E. but they had not treatment recommendation other than- “quit work go to someplace where you can be taken care of, and take a full year off. You might recover.” Amazingly, I did! And thought I had seen the last of this ugly invader that still was hardly recognized by the medical community. I was fine with that, selfishly, because I thought this horrible part of my life was over.
Fast forward to 2005. I am now living outside of the USA in a tropical climate. I’m skin diving, body surfing, eating the local foliage and fauna. Slowly, I find myself losing weight. I have diarrhea often, my head hurts a lot, and my workouts at the gym keep getting shorter. My ears ring most of the day and night, my concentration wanes, and for the first time in 2 decades, my wife hears me using the “F” word as an adjective. She said my mouth was toxic. I felt like my whole body was. This more than anything made me go to a doctor.
He asked me, “you took no prophylactics to prevent our local parasites to invade your stomach, did you?” The deer in the headlights look I gave him was all he needed as an answer, and after uttering the "F" word in his native tongue under his breath, he wrote me a prescription
Turns out the worm eggs that reside in the local fruit, the bugs and parasites that are in the local waters, all decided to make my body their new home, rent-free! But what was worse, the increase load on my already damaged immune-system actually reactivated all the other viruses in my body, and M.E. came back, uninvited. Must have been crowded in there, but the old bastard disease found a way to rear its ugly head again, amid all the competition.
As a result, beginning in late 2005, my U.S.A-based specialist, who I am with today, began suggesting, lobbying, and strongly recommending that I move back to the states to start Ampligen. It took me almost 5 years to heed his advice, and leave the life and family I had established, but now I am so glad I did. I can already tell the medicine is doing things in my body for the good.
In a future post I’ll describe the actual formal application process, and the move here. That was hard, frustrating, and it gave me many more opportunities to say the “F” word. Not because I’m not a seasoned traveler- I am. But because when you are sick, and tired, and emotionally spent, the last thing you feel like doing is moving to a hotel in a foreign city, during post 9-11 airport security lunacy.
But look, I had my treatment this morning, and I was able to write this post almost without correction or editing...or cursing! I really think the Ampligen is working!