My favorite line in the "Bourne" trilogy is given by The Professor. He appears briefly in the first installment, but it is in the second film, the Bourne Conspiracy, that Clive Owen utters the quintessential phrase of the movie. After dueling with fellow agent Jason Bourne in the countryside and lying mortally wounded from Bourne's shotgun blast, he looks at his bleeding body, and then up at Matt Damon's character and says, "Look at us. Look at what they make us give."
In that moment of humanity and pathos, when two field agents who have both been through the same trenches and heartaches connect in unspoken respect, both "The Professor" and Jason Bourne arrive at the same conclusion - that "they" have required too much of them. That the pain and trauma and incredible amount of time and life that "they" require just isn't worth the price.
At that moment, you can see on Matt Damon's face the realization - that regardless of the supposed "good" he and his fellow agent were doing...
- the remedy was worse than the disease;
- the medicine was worse than the infirmity.
I remember clearly when it dawned on me that the "remedies" I was using to fight M.E., were worse than the supposed "benefits" I was getting.
When all the medicines, foods, protein shakes, herbs, injections, pills and baths that "they" had recommended for my good with this hideous disease, was just too much - and that I had to find a better way. And it explains why I am writing the New Ampligen Diaries.
It was a typical morning. On the counter were all my vitamins, flasks, needles, herbs, tablets, supplements, and prescriptions, laid out for the day. There were the vials of B-12 and "Nexavir", the supposed Kutapressin replacement. There were my Doctor-prescribed medicines, my natural health foods, and a ton of vitamins and supplements. My body ached, so as was normal for my morning routine, while waiting for my magnesium salt infused hot bath, I asked my wife to mix up my whey protein drink in that special little blender. For years I had read that this whey protein contained the glutathione that my body lacked, and since "they" recommended it so strongly, I dutifully and habitually drank the mixture twice a day.
I hated that drink, not only because it tasted like chalk, but also because it wasn't water soluble. You had to dump these envelopes of white powder into this special mixer to blend it, or else you ended up with clumps of goo that would stick to your glass and turn to concrete within minutes. I sacrificed a lot of cups to that whey powder over the years. Plus you invariably ended up with white powder everywhere, on the sink, on your hands, in your hair - all for the sake of this "miracle" drug.
My wife was better at it than I was, so while waiting for her to carefully open the packets and gently mix the concoction that "they" insisted I drink, I opened my laptop and went to my news feeds about M.E and CFS treatments. What I saw rocked my world, and changed forever how I would view "them," and how I would survive with this disease from then on.
"Cheney Advises Against Whey Protein and Glutathione" rang the headline, louder than a shotgun blast in my ears.
"Whaaaat?" I screamed out loud. "After 15 years of promotion, dozens of published articles, a feature position on "Pro Health" and other vitamin retailers that cater to us, NOW whey protein is bad for me?"
I couldn't believe it. The money and time I'd invested in getting whey protein delivered to me, (outside the USA) was eclipsed only by the hundreds of hours spent trying to get that confounded blender to work with that hellish powder.
As if on cue, my wife came around the corner with my little elixir in hand, white whey powder dancing from her eyebrows, her nose, and covering her fingers.She looked like Al Pacino in the closing scene of Scarface.
"Guess what?" I said sarcastically to my wife, "We've been spending thousands of dollars each year apparently poisoning me with whey protein."
"Why?" she asked me sincerely.
"Because," I answered, "they told us to."
Looking at my precious wife covered in whey, that fricking little battery operated blender, superimposed over the headline seemingly mocking me on my computer screen, something came over me, and I had my "Bourne" moment.
Taking the mixture from her cute little hands, I actually repeated the words out loud: "Look at what they make us give," I said.
Today my wife and I say that line often, resonant with the knowledge that it means much more to us than dialogue from a spy thriller. It recalls to us the moment when we stopped believing in all the remedies that "they" speculated would work. It signals the time when I decided to get serious about my recovery, and put everything I had into it, for survival. Though not as dramatic as a Bourne thriller, it was every bit as serious.
For out of that "whey protein" fiasco and subsequent "they don't always know what they're talking about" revelation came a new-found respect for research, and a renewed desire to do whatever it took to get well, regardless of what "they" said.
Which is the reason that today, I have moved 10,000 kilometers across an ocean to receive the drug "Ampligen" and have committed to a full year of treatment under one of the few doctors in the world who has it, in order to get well.
I came after doing exhaustive research. I looked at everything that was out there, from Valtrex and/or Valcyte therapy, to Vistide, and other antivirals, to even stem-cell therapy and antibiotic "cocktails", and guess what I found? The drug with the most research and the most potential success turns out to be the much maligned, often controversial, immune modulator called Ampligen. I found that there were over 20 years of Journal published research reports, way more than any other therapy today, that gave me the overall impression that, this drug actually could "fix"or modulate my immune system to make me better.
I do not have a financial interest in Ampligen or Hemispherx. I am not lobbying for Hemispherx or working "against" any other drug, protocol or therapy. But so far, Ampligen is proving to work in my body as advertised, and there is lots of research to back that up. For example, from just a few of the hundreds of published studies:
There are literally hundreds of other references and published studies that cover the last 20+ years of Ampligen research, that to me added up to the best option for my time, money and hope. To see these just use and search Google Scholar for Ampligen. Then compare what you find with any other remedy currently in vogue today, and tell me, does the protocol you are following have this much research behind it? Is the remedy actually helping you, or is it another "whey protein" drink?
Recently there was a really interesting study published by a Doctor I really admire regarding his decades long statistical analysis of patients using long-term antibiotic therapy. I'm thankful for this study, and the new insights it brings to our treatment options. Yet I have to admit, when I read that this research portends $1000/month worth of antibiotics, plus liver tests monthly, for a period of 4-11 years, I have to stop and ask myself "The Professor's" implied question. Is the remedy worth it?
"Look what they make us give." 4 years and $50,000 minimum? To maybe get better?
No. Not for me. I'm putting my money on Ampligen. 1 year and less than $25,000.
With the added bonus of no ridiculous powder in a battery operated mixer.