Rheumatic Support


The Journey with RA SLE SS and FMS

Marge Cortegiano (elfmarge@aol.com)

In 1980, this all began with a swollen knuckle. Since I was a sign language interpreter, I thought I would see about it, as my hands were always aching. I saw a rheumatologist who would be treating me for the next 16 *1/2 yrs and he prescribed at first the nsaids, which gave me some relief. Then, my wrists and hips also began to hurt. That brought on the plaquinal and then the prednisone. We ventured on with more muscle pain and in 1983, I wound up doing a month of rehab at a rehab hospital to try and get strength back. However, it backfired as I had an over-enthusiastic PT who felt 30 reps of everything were appropriate! I went into a horrific flare that was so intense I was in a wheel chair as I was no longer able to walk. They gave me a full body brace, as that was the only way I was able to walk with crutches. This is how I was discharged ( after walking in). The medications were increased. Now, it was high dose prednisone, gold injections, as well as 3 different stomach pills for irritable bowel syndrome. I took off the rest of the school year and was able to get out of the wheel chair by teaching myself how to walk again. I held on to a desk chair with wheels. It did not end there. In 1985, I did finally get diagnosed with Lupus and Sjogrens Syndrome. The lupus was very active. I now was on 90 mg of prednisone for 1 year, along with imuran, a DMARD. To get this dosage down, I went for 9 months of Plasmapheresis( now known as the prosorba column) It reduced the prednisone to 20mg a day and then we added methotrexate for 5 * years. The memory problems, concentration and central nervous system issues made keeping my job impossible. The Sjogrens had been progressing as well and I needed to wear special glasses to keep the air from my eyes. The glasses were fully enclosed keeping dirt particles in the air from touching my eyes as there were no tears. I had a procedure done in which the drains for the eyes were permanently occluded. ( punctal occlusion) In 1988, there was much rejoicing when I sought the aid of a chiropractor who could not figure out why I still wore this body brace. With the aid of a technique called flexion distraction(stretching) I was out of the body brace in 3 weeks( I had worn it 5 years.) In 1993, my condition had deteriorated even more and IV cytoxan was the next move. I went once a month for the next 2 * years. I seemed to be doing better until in 1995 when the blood counts went down drastically and would not rebound. I was taken off this treatment and left with just prednisone. Two months later, I was incredibly sick again and now could not swallow food either. There was just no saliva. I was now eating soft watery foods. I sought an oral biologist for the trials of Salagen (pilocarpine). I did not qualify but he took me on as a patient and prescribed the drug. In 1996, on a visit to the rheumatologist, he had said there was nothing more he could do for me. At this point, I was so upset I went home and after a good cry, decided it was my turn to find a way out. I had just gone online so I went to the computer and on a bulletin board, there was the books on this therapy. I asked hubby to drive me for the book as I was unable to drive back then with the 22 medications I was taking. I did succeed in getting the book and read it.I was positive that God was talking to me as it seemed that these peoples stories were mine. The infectious theory made sense to me. I wanted so much to try this as I had always had a lot of sinus and kidney infections and whenever the doctor used antibiotics, my Lupus and RA symptoms improved greatly. I had even said at one point, \"it sure would be good if you could keep me on antibiotics as I feel so much better.\" I emailed the gal on an aol bulletin board and she told me she was in remission. Her name was Emma. She told me about rheumatic.org and immed.org. I went to my doctor, studies, protocol and book in hand. I asked him why this was never made available to me and he just laughed. I asked him for a prescription and he told me this would never work. I said that we needed to try it as I felt it would work. He was not supportive. I received a prescription, with a sneer from this doctor with no instructions on how to take it. I did not know that the brand was the best thing and the generics were not that effective so now I was on the wrong medication and he wrote the prescription for 200 mg a day. I thought I would go t protocol of 100 3x a week. I did that as I just had a feeling that it would be better.( I probably avoided a massive Herxheimer reaction!) My husband had a business trip i business trip in Boston so he looked up the AP doctor there as I did have RA and he uses the minocin for that. I was able to see him the following week. He felt I would do well on Minocin and was dismayed to learn I was already on it, 3 weeks all wrong! He explained how to take it, when to take it and how often. He felt that the Herxheimer was past and, besides, I was still on methotrexate and prednisone as well as an nsaid among the 22 drugs. The methotrexate and prednisone do lessen the chance of a herxheimer reaction, which I did not know then. He said we will start on the Minocin and take it from there, not changing any other medications.I decided to stay with him as I felt hope for the first time in years. His attitude alone made such a difference. I did not mind the almost 5 hour trip, 1 way. I did wonderfully. In about a month, I noticed I had more energy and much less fatigue. In 2 months time, the headaches had increased. I did have migraines anyway but somehow this was different. It continued along with aches and pains. I hung on! ( it eventually did let up as well as the brain fog) In the third month, I never took Darvocet or Vicodin anymore. I just forgot about them. The pain was improving and I was sleeping better. My husband noticed how much more I could do and without resting. Then, the headaches lifted BUT so did all the brain fog and memory problems. I can remember Mike asking me a phonenumber and I told him. Then, we looked at each other. I ran to the phone book to check it. It was correct. This happened over and over. I was ecstatic! I then found I was able to drive, as the pain was gone as well as the confusion in my head. They were not long trips but it was freedom! In the 4th month, the doctor lowered my prednisone by 2 mg and then 1 mg every 4 to 6 weeks until I got down to 5 mg. Then, we increased the time to dropping 1 mg to 6 to 8 weeks. I was doing great. After about 6 months on Minocin we also dropped 2.5 of methotrexate .It all had begun. I just could not believe this was happening. It took 14months to wean off the prednisone and an additional 6 months to wean off the rest of the methotrexate. At the 8-month mark, the irritable bowel syndrome started to leave and I was able to start to drop some of the stomach medication. I now was able to sleep without any sleep aid as well. I needed a check up by the Sjogrens doctor and he asked what I had changed. I was only on Minocin about 2-3 months but he noticed an increase in saliva as he did measurements each time. It continued to progress. I was not putting drops in my eyes any longer either. I started to eat fruit and meats again, as I was unable for a long time. I did not need the special glasses anymore. When I saw him about 3 years on Minocin, he told me my saliva levels now were normal. I went to the eye doctor who concurred that my dry eyes were no longer as there were adequate tears again. Presently I am on Minocin , 71/2 years. I have discarded a neurological drug, 3 stomach medications, all sleep medications, all pain medication, prednisone, Methotrexate, gold and a diuretic. For rheumatic disease I take Minocin and a nsaid which I believe I will also get off. I do take supplements as my body has been so depleted by the toxic drugs I took. I sought the counsel of a certified clinical nutritionist who helped me with leaky gut and problems caused by the cytoxan and methotrexate. I can honestly say I have so much more energy than I ever remember having. I can climb stairs; I love to golf again, to swim to snorkel. I am able to travel (and do a lot) I was bedridden for so many years that I feel like I got a second chance. I do believe had I remained on all those drugs, I would not be sitting here telling you this story but I would have come to a tragic end. Note: I have since the initial start tweaking my therapy often. I dealt with allergies and began Naet( allergy elimination in 2001. It has really been amazing what this has done for me. I also started dealing with yeast. This was in 2000 when acidophilus was just not enough and fatigue and weird swelling set in. Using at first nystatin then diflucan helped this For any flares due to stress( mohter dying) I found the combo on clindy and minocin was good. I then met a doctor who was using the combo of flagyl minocin and nizoral and decided this maybe a course I wanted to embark on. I have done well on this and now am working with hormones as well to balance it all out. Balancing my thyroid was also something I had to keep on top of.It has all been interesting and has led me to such a better place with a super quality of life. .I believe in the use of alternative therapies as well to aid the AP and do utilize the VEGA Testing for my supplements as wellas Accupuncture for allergies( naet.com) and chiropractic. For the FMS, massage for me has been extremely helpful as it gets the mycoplasma from the tissues and into the bloodstream to be addressed by the minocin!. The peroxide baths are wonderful additive and they have helped to move this along even after the initial use for the herxheimer relief.

5/08/05There has been much new info now that some docs are using additional antibiotics to cover other organisms. The use of Ketek with minocin and a little flagyl is a combo recently developed. The ketek can be used 5 to 15 days a month. Some docs are using it instead of minocin with good resultsas it has a bacteriocidal effect. I have used this with minocin and it does provide more energy and help for a lot fo RA symptoms and lupus symptoms

Marge SLE/RA/SS/FMS Diagnosed 1980 AP: 1996 elfmarge@aol.com


Story of Hope

Karen Niedbalski

My purpose in writing this story is to discuss my autoimmune diseases and by telling my story hopefully offer you some inspiration. I am aware I can not use my Dr’s name so I will refer to my antibiotic protocal Dr. as Dr. T.

I was diagnosed with Lupus in 1995 at the age of 48, I had seen seven doctors before this was concluded. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, one of about 80 known to the medical community. My symptoms started with lower back pain and terrible rashes all over my body, the ones on my head neck and chest would ooze and bleed. I had severe gottrons papules on my hands my head itched so bad I thought I would go crazy. Had difficulty swallowing and extreme sun sensitivity along with fatigue, sleep disturbances, dry eyes, hives, shingles, bronchitis, short term memory loss, flushing ears, leaky gut, fibromyalgia and sustained vintricular tackcyardia( rapid heart beat) My CPK (inflamation of the muscles and skin) was elevated to the point where I couldn’t dress myself or drive the car as a result I went on medical leave from work. You might not have all but you will have many of the symptoms to one degree or another. I have also learned that stress produces cortisol and cortisol causes TH-2 cell overactivation the body goes "wacko". For some after a stressful situation an autoimmune disease may manifest. Now for my story.

My name is Karen Niedbalski at present I live in Summerfield, Fl. I had been working at an A.C. Delco General Motors facility in Elk grove Village, Illinois for 29 years. Then I got seriously ill. Some comments need to be made about my work place, there were 55 employees working at the entire warehouse and office, four very healthy women came down with very rare autiommune diseases.

MY friend Carol died from Lou Gehrigs disease at age 48, another friend Shirley died from scleroderma at age 63, my boss Diane age 44 and I are now diagnosed with lupus-dermaotmyositis and polymositis, the odds of this occuring are three million to one, we wanted the EPA (environmental protection agency) to examine the building but it had closed in 2001. It is now known that a combination of genetic factors and some type of environmental "triggers" can activate an autoimmune disease. As I stated in 1995 I was diagnosed with lupus I had been on prednisone and plaquenil and within a year I was in remission and stayed on a maintenance dose. Then after retiring and moving to Florida in 2001 I had severe flaring, my symproms were the same as the first flare only worse I wasn’t responding to high doses of prednisone my rheumatologist incorporated imuran along with high doses of prednisone I would improve slightly but as soon as I started weening down on the prednisone my symptoms would worsen. This went on for a year and a half. My Rhumy suggested methotrexate and I flatly refused to take this drug, when I lived in Illinois I went to a support group and heard so many horror stories about this drug I couldn’t make myself take it. My dermaotlogist suspected I had dermaotmyositis and did extensive blood work to determine I had dermatomyositis along with the lupus.

I continued to stay in touch with my boss Diane who was diagnosed with polymositis in 1998 her CPK was over 13,000 she was in the hospital getting 1000 mg. of I.V. prednisone and sent home to take 80 mg. of prednisone, methotrexate, imuran, arava you name it she tried it, after 2 years of toxic drugs her CPK was still 5,000. She was getting desperate A friend at work suggested antibiotic protocal and she tired it and with in 5 months her CPK was normal. Talk about a miracle! after my severe flaring and talking with Diane I decided to apply the antibiotic protocal to my own use.

The book the New Arthritis Breakthrough by Henry Scammell was a life saver and became my Bible and Liesl a friend I met on the internet who was in remission from dermatomyositis through using antibiotic protocal helped me get started. The next step was to find a DR. willing to apply the A.P. I found a father and son team in Lakeland Fl. they were well-versed in A.P. and put me on the Hallelujah diet (vegetarian diet) daily carrot juicing and chelation. Dr T. said he had never treated anyone so steroid dependent as me and because I was so sick he recommended the diet, juicing and chelation, his theory was to rebuild my diseased body cell by cell. Because I was flaring when I began A.P. I had to increase my prednisone from 30mg. to 60mg.and did so for 5 months. The turning point for me was when Dr. T. switched me from 50mg. prednisone to 60mg. Cortef my improvement started and at present I am taking 40mg. of Cortef (equivalent to 8mg. prednisone) and Minocin 100mg. twice a day every Mon. Wed. and Fri. since starting antibiotic protocal I have quit taking the following drugs- Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Paxil, Desyrel, Premarin and Fosamax.

I am so pleased with my remission and progress, don’t get discouraged it took me 11 months to achieve this remission by faithfully following the antibiotic protocal and diet. My boss Diane achieved remission without the diet or juicing she also used the generic minocycline. I am convinced we are dealing with an infection and thats why we can achieve remission on low dose antibiotics. I still follow a vegetarian diet, carrot juicing and maintenance chelation, because I was on such high doses of prednisone for so long the ween off steroids will be slow. I am now able to incorporate regular dietary foods several times a week I also follow a daily regime of walking for 45 minutes and am even back on the golf course and bowling again. After being house bound for over 2 years due to extreme sun sensitivity you can imagine how happy and pleased I am. I do religiously take a very sufficient amount of vitamins and supplements.

So, to conclude my story I wish to express gratitude to Dr. Thomes Brown who set forth the theory and rationale which is a revolutionary procedure called antibiotic protocal, and to Henry Scammell for writing the book the New Arthritis Breakthrough. To Liesl my internet friend who was such an inspiration to me to start A.P. and mostly to Dr. T. for graciously and professionally leading me down the path to recovery and to my family and friends for their encouragement and support. And last but not least to my devoted husband Mike who has faithfully juiced my carrots every other day for over 2 years and never complained, hes always been there for me thru out this healing process. From the bottom of my heart thank you to everyone who had helped me get thru this difficult time. For those of you thinking about trying A.P. I hope this will inspire you. Feel free to ask questions my only regret is I didn’t find A.P sooner and I could have avoided taking all the toxic drugs that your rheumatologist will encourage you to take.


So Young Yet So Sick


I’m only 29 and soon I’ll be 30. It’s been along road for me and now that I actually think about it, I guess it all began when I was 16. Back then…..

When I was kid, it didn’t matter what happened to me, I never got hurt severely or broke a bone. The only thing I remember is having stomach pains until I was about ten and I got the chicken pox when I was 9. That was it.

That changed though when I was 16. I came down with Mono. I remember how horribly sick I was for three weeks. I thought I was going to die. My mother has told me that she could here me calling out to God during that time begging for help and pleading for relief. Funny though I don’t remember that but that’s probably due to the horrible high fever I had been running. It was also about this time that she had taken me to an Orthopedist to check me for Scoliosis. He considered it to be mild. During that summer I came down with laryngitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, and bronchitis. I remember being horrible sick again and it knocked me down for a few weeks. But I bounced back and seemed to feel well until I was 18. I joined the Navy and off I went for four years although I had to get a waiver due to my Scoliosis which at that time had a 15 degree curve thoracic and 19 degree curve lumbar. In boot camp, I had twisted my ankle during our two mile hikes. They put me on crutches, did some physical therapy, and I seemed no worse for the wear and graduated.

The following year, I kept getting all these sinus infections. The doctor ran some blood work and noticed that the mono infection was still active in my blood. They diagnosed me with rhinitis and sinusitis. When I was 21 I started getting these horrible muscle spasms on the right side of my back in between the thoracic spine and shoulder blade. I remember just doing the dishes would set it off and I’d go into branch medical or the emergency room and get a shot of torridol and be knocked out for a couple of days. The first two years I was in the Navy, I was a plane captain. I did a lot of standing, walking, driving, pushing and pulling heavy equipment, and tying down aircraft using heavy chains. They put me on limited duty and took me off the flight line and stuck me at a desk job which I thoroughly enjoyed. At that time they diagnosed me with myofascial pain syndrome, chronic mechanical lower back pain, and scoliosis. I went to physical therapy, had ultrasound treatments, had adjustments by a chiropractor, got neuromuscular massages, and even wore a tens unit for awhile. I was on pain killers and muscle relaxers. I got pregnant not to long after that and it seemed to get better. Although the Navy went ahead and gave me a medical discharge and it was fair winds and following seas for me. I got worse after my son was born. I started having pain in my back, my neck, and my left wrist. I couldn’t sleep and felt tired all the time. My weight and appetite fluctuated. I got depressed too. They diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It was even discovered I had some nerve damage done to my arm. I continued with the medications, the holists, the chiropractor and massages, and even did acupuncture. When my son was about a year old, it seemed I had pulled out of it and started back to work as a civilian.

I did fine. In 1999 though I came down with bronchitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, and tonsillitis again. But I pulled out of it and every thing seemed hunky dory. I was working, I was active, I was traveling, and I was being a mother to my son. I was 25 and life seemed great. Then I woke up one Saturday morning and my life would never be the same. I woke up that morning and felt like I had pulled a muscle in my back. I had been at a business party the night before and did a lot of dancing aboard a yacht that was cruising up and down the St. John’s River. So I figured I probably had a hangover and just did way to much dancing. I remember going to the mall that day and doing a lot of walking with my fianc’e at the time. The pain seemed to get worse. By the evening, I was running a high fever, shaking uncontrollably, and I felt like the left side of my back was going to explode. My fianc’e threw me in the car and took me to the emergency room. They diagnosed me with Pylonephritis, stuck me on an antibiotic and some Vicodin and sent me home. By Tuesday, I was worse. I went to see my doctor and he karate chopped the left flank side of my back. I jumped off the table and howled. They admitted me and it turned out I had a huge stag horn kidney stone stuck in the cortex part of my kidney and causing the horrible kidney infection. I was there for four days but it didn’t pass. They sent me home and gave me poly citra K to drink. A month later, it was getting worse. In April of 2000 they hospitalized me again and this time they did a percutaneous lithotripsy. I hope I never have to go through that again. I thought I was going to die. For those of you that don’t know what that is, they basically punch a large hole into your back and burrow their way down into the kidney. Then they punch another hole into your kidney until they reach the stone. They apply direct energy to the stone, shatter it, and then remove it. In the meantime, they place a lovely nephrostomy tube in your kidney which is hanging out of your back. So basically, I had a gaping hole in my kidney and my back for four days with a huge tube coming out attached to a bag to drain the blood and urine. Sounds nice doesn’t it? I was so sick. I was throwing up and the pain was horrible. They had me hooked up to a PC pump, the kind where you could hit a button every five minutes to give yourself a dose of pain medication. I was on dialaudid. I don’t think it helped that much. I lost about thirty pounds and I was knocked down for a couple of months. I hope I never have to go through that torment again.

Everything seemed alright. That Fall though my pap smear came back as abnormal. They did some further testing and it turned out I had the very beginning stages of cervical cancer. The froze a part of my cervix and cut it off. They caught it early and told me everything would be alright.

By then I remember just not feeling good. It seemed I was swollen, having horrible back spasms, I was fatigued, I was having constant colds, my body seemed to ache all over, and my blood felt like it was on fire. My mother (who has RA) started to talk to me about getting diagnosed and starting AP. I went and saw a doctor in Lakeland who supposedly did AP. In fact, my mother had been getting her IV’s with this doctor. However, he only put me on a ‘diet’ and didn’t put me on the antibiotics. He did run some tests however. Well, my ANA was positive and he said I had antibodies to Scleroderma. Sclerowhata? I remember saying. I went back to Jacksonville feeling really low and my mother said not to worry, we’d figure it out and she sent me the New Arthritis Breakthrough book and tons of information. I gave it to my doctor’s at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville but they didn’t believe I had anything wrong with me. Then I got a nice letter from the clinic saying they would no longer treat me as a patient. Oh, how lovely that was.

In January of 2001, I was driving to work and it was raining. I got into a bad car wreck. The car was totaled and so was my body. I had some broken ribs, a slight concussion, a twisted and bruised up ankle, a swollen and banged up knee, and my hip got banged up pretty bad and had a bad contusion. Not to mention the whiplash and the horrible back pain. I was driving in my lane and some idiot in an SUV came hauling out of a parking lot and slammed into the right side of the car head on. He sent me off the road and I hit a brick wall of church just after I smashed over a tree. I remember waking up and seeing the entire left side of the car concaved in, the roof peeled back, glass was shattered everywhere, I was bleeding, and I remember thinking, ‘man it’s raining inside the car’. My nice doctors put me on bed rest for a couple of weeks and loaded me up on pain killers. I went back to work and kept trudging along like I had always done.

And would you believe six weeks later I got hit, again! This time I was sitting at a red light and some idiot just ran right into the back of me and just aggravated all of my injuries all over again. Well, it was a done deal after that. For the next few months, I just survived. I remember being in so much pain and I was just going down down down. My body ached and burned, my joints were stiff, achy, and swollen. I started to get this butterfly rash on my face. I started to get this red stripe around my neck and the skin began to harden. I remember my voice began changing and it felt like my throat and chest always felt like it was closing up. I was losing clumps of hair. I couldn’t sleep. I was fatigued all the time. Gravity hurt my body. I was having these weird white clumps coming out of my tonsils in my throat. My lymph nodes in my neck, armpits, and groin were swollen and hard. I was having horrible muscle spasms and muscle pain. I remember having chest pains. I remember it being difficult to drive my car. I remember it being difficult to walk. I remember feeling like I could never catch my breath or feel like I could take in a deep breath with out feeling like a boa constrictor was wrapping around my chest. The list goes on and on, but that pretty much covers it.

In the meantime, the doctor’s kept telling me there was nothing wrong with me, although my ANA was high and I started testing positive for different bacteria strains in my urine and blood. They were Strep Agalactiae Group B, Coccibacilli, Ancinobacter antitrutus, and Nanobacteria. I called my mother in August of 2001 and told her I felt like I was dying and I was so sick. She gave me doc’s number in Iowa and I called to make an appointment. My appointment date was set for November 11, 2001. That was three months away.

In the meantime, the doctor’s told me I could no longer work so they put me on an indefinite period of leave and bed rest. Luckily, I had disability insurance but it was nothing compared to what I had been earning. So I packed up and went home to mom and dad and waited to go see Dr. S.

Oh, what a miracle that man is. He tested me for everything and turns out I tested positive for 3 strains of mycoplasmas. Homins, Pneumonaie, and Fermentans. So he gave me some prescriptions and sent me home. He agreed I had symptoms of scleroderma, fibromyalgia, lupus, raynauds syndrome, and the scoliosis. So he chalked everything into mixed connective tissue disease.

I went home and hooked up with Dr. A in south Florida, Barb’s doc. I was getting better but then I got worse. My vision went blurry and the symptoms got way way worse. I was taken off the Minocin. I was put on the tetracycline, doryx, and cleocin, but via iv. I started the iv’s in the winter of 2001. Dr A suspected I had the hypercoag problem due to the miscarriage I had suffered back in Aug of 2000. So he did the hemex test and sure enough, I hit the lottery. So I started the hepparin shots and within a week, I did a complete 180. Within six months I was in complete remission.

October of 2002, I went to Hawaii and married my husband. I would fly back and forth from Hawaii to Florida to visit my 5 y/o son. I also became pregnant, a lovely wedding present. I found out on a Sunday and called Dr. A Monday morning freaking out and scared to death. I didn’t want to lose this baby like I did the last one. Well of course I had to stop all medications but I continued on the Hepparin.

Everything was fine until May of 2003. In my 29th week of pregnancy, my husband and I were sitting at a restaurant eating dinner. I went to the bathroom for I felt the urge to urinate. I tried to go but nothing came out. I went back to the table and within 10 minutes, I told him to pack it up and lets go. He said why? I said, ‘Because my kidney is going to explode and I betcha I have another stone. To the emergency room!’ Good thing we were in downtown Honolulu because if we had been home on North Shore, it would of taken about an hour and a half to get to the hospital during rush-hour. People in the United States should not even get road rage. Try driving in Hawaii where there is only one highway and 20,000 people are trying to get home at 5 pm. That’s road rage.

Got to the hospital and up to labor and delivery I go. I told the doctors I already knew what my diagnosis was but they were skeptical. They apologized when they saw the stones I had sitting in my left kidney and saw that my right kidney had shut down and was swollen five times it’s normal size. Meanwhile, the baby was agitated and instead of kicking forward, you guessed it, he was kicking my kidneys and ribs.

So I was hospitalized. And they managed to make the stone pass in the right kidney which they suspected for the blockage and shutting down my right kidney. But the left kidney was a no go.

So it was hard back then. If you were here on the board, you may remember me as bunny or Lisa. They tried to induce me 3 times when I hit 37 weeks, but he wasn’t going to come out. So finally I went into the doctor and said break my water and let’s get the show on the road. So I went into the hospital that night and sure enough by 5:30 am the next morning, we had out baby boy. He weighed 8 pounds 9 oz and was 22 inches long. His head circumference was 14 inches around. It was very difficult getting him out but I managed.

The next few weeks were hard. My left kidney just seemed more aggravated. I was nursing so that was sapping a lot of strength out of me. August of 2003 was a hectic month. My husband had broken his leg and was at his doctor’s getting it put into a walking cast with crutches. At the same, I was at the urologist scheduling surgery to get the stones out. My husbands supervisor called me and told me we were being transferred to Fort Bliss Texas within 10 days.

So that was hectic. Moving from Hawaii to Texas, with a six week old baby and husband with a broken leg. Man that was a lot of fun!

I was stubborn. I didn’t want to stop nursing and therefore did not start back up on AP. However, by October it was time to do something. All of my symptoms came back full force. Worse than before. I immediately started on the IV’s. In November I had to have surgery to remove some sort of tumor/cyst that was in my uterus. One test came back as positive for cancer but the next one came back negative. I’ve been getting checked every three months and so far everything is looking fine.

Although, the doctors told me if I had another baby, it would probably do one of three things: have complete kidney failure resulting in dialysis and needing a transplant, I would miscarry, or I would die. So I made the decision to have my tubes burned. My two beautiful boys are enough for me and God has blessed me with healthy children.

I was hospitalized again in December, again for the kidney. Turns out I had Proliferative Glomurelinephritis. Along with Renal Stone Disease and Hydronephrosis. So they did another lithotripsy and it seemed the stone was cleared.

Again, in May I wound back up in the hospital with another kidney stone. They did another lithotripsy. There were three stones now. Two did shatter and pass, but one is still in there.

However, I’ve been taking my supplements, my prescriptions, my Iv’s every two weeks, doing the Hepparin injections, and watching what I eat. I’ve been getting better. I do have my bad days and ruts still, but I’m a lot better where I was just a few months ago.

I have to keep telling myself I put my body under enormous stress due to having the baby when I went into remission. So I keep telling myself it’s going to take a little longer this time, but I will get through it, like I did the last time.

So never give up hope. AP is a life saver but we are all different and it takes time to tweak the treatment to our particular needs. I wish you all health and peace.


Polymiositis - illness and return

Derek (dex3703@gmail.com)

Linus Pauling, the double Nobel prize winning chemist and peace activist, advocated what are considered very large doses of vitamin C to optimize health and increase longevity. He based his conclusions on studies showing all other animals that produce their own vitamin C synthesize very large amounts, far larger than what most human beings now consume. For people who are ill, this can be on the order of 50g to 100g a day, depending on how sick you are. I currently take about 20g a day, divided throughout the day. Since I started doing this about 2 years ago, I haven’t had a cold or been seriously ill. You can find out more in his book “How to Live Longer and Feel Better”, and also at the Vitamin C Foundation website



Polymiositis - illness and return

Derek (dex3703@gmail.com)

In April of 2002, I developed a bout of nausea that was unlike any other I’d experienced, leading to whole body weakness and a host of feelings that I can’t really describe and shudder to remember. That evening I had a seizure and passed out trying to get to the bathroom. Everything went haywire and I was in bed for a week.

This began a long, tortuous, isolated and frightening path to wellness. I had a laundry list of symptoms that doctors (especially HMO doctors I had at the time) shrugged off or could not explain; one simply told me I’d just feel like this forever and to look into disability. Needless to say it took great effort on my part, in my brain-fogged and weakened condition, to do research and figure out what I had. It went from Reiter’s syndrome to Giullaine-Barre, then fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, and then a few more things I don’t remember. I found the New Arthritis Breakthrough and its conclusions sounded reasonable to me. Along with online research I managed to get a sympathetic HMO doctor to give me minocycline, which, for whatever reason, I only took for six months or so before dropping it.

From the Roadback site I found a Seattle naturopath that was familiar with antibiotic therapy and other alternative treatments. By 2003 I was very ill and only working part time, in constant pain and unable to control my movements very well. The doctor’s suggestions seemed well-meaning but I didn’t see any immediate results.

I was able to change insurance and found other doctors that were more thorough and interested in helping me. I found an osteopath that gave me IV’s, but was convinced I had a hormonal and kidney problem. He did find an elevated CPK of 700 and a myoglobin in the 200s and concluded I had polymyositis. He didn’t want to pursue the antibiotics, and gave me a steroid that made everything so much worse that all progress I had made to that point was erased. But at least I had a diagnosis I could use with the naturopath and other doctors and work from there.

The naturopath prescribed doxycycline, 200mg a day, along with a battery of vitamins and supplements that I added to a program from Teitelbaum, whose chronic fatigue book I can’t remember the title of. The basic story after that is my myoglobin returned to normal quickly (which was the scariest part and the biggest relief), and my CPK stayed in the 200-300 range, but was generally going down.

From 2003 to 2005 I gradually got better. In 2004 I went back to school for retraining, which was incredibly difficult, but from quarter to quarter my mind sharpened and it no longer hurt to sit through a class. I would have bouts where I felt far worse than before and would have to claw my way back, not really knowing when things would happen or what turned them around. I tried flagyl in the summer of 2004, and this was so hard to take I could only manage it for a month. From the reaction it inspired it appeared to be effective against whatever I had.

At the end of 2004 I finished my certificate and went looking for a job, wondering if I’d be able to manage working fulltime again. I started a job in early 2005 and just continued to gradually feel better (working and no longer feeling like a sponge on my wife no doubt helped, even when I would have bouts at work and no idea how I’d get through the day). Overall I felt close to normal, with the remaining problems now a strong nuisance more than debilitating, the worst of these being fatigue. In the fall I switched to minocycline and things seemed to get much better a lot faster.

When the job ended on December 1, I realized I felt more or less well. I took a road trip to visit my parents and friends in Texas, and spent a couple days at the beach—wondering in the back of my mind if I would suddenly deteriorate, but nothing negative ever happened. I slept well and enjoyed the trip in a way I hadn’t enjoyed things in a long time.

Since then I have pretty much stayed in that pattern. My labs have been normal, and when the CPK jumped from trying to cut the mino too fast, I went back to the full dose and it was normal in a couple weeks again. I only rarely (maybe once a year) have feelings of falling back to the bad old days. My biggest problem is a persistent fatigue, but this may be due to the minocycline and another drug, both of which I am trying to gradually eliminate. I exercise regularly, eat well, and keep up with Pauling-levels of Vitamin C, which I credit earlier this year of turning around one of those regressions. In retrospect, I wonder if Pauling-level doses of Vitamin C from the outset would have saved me years, or this entire episode.

At any rate, I wanted to post my experience and let people know it is possible to recover. I’m happy to answer questions or emails. You can reach me at dex3703 at gmail dot com.


One womans Journey

Martha M
RA 12 years

My story starts in 1993 just two months after I had buried my only son BJ. I was in a terrible depression and barely noticed the physical aches and pains that came on slowly. When ones soul is in the deepest pits of despair, you simply don’t care about physical problems so I just ignored them.

They say many diseases are activated when people are under severe stress. I believe this is definitely so. It certainly seemed that way for me. For the entire summer I just ignored my physical problems….I simply did not care.

One morning in the fall I went to get out of bed and fell flat on my face. I could not put any weight on one foot. My feet had been giving me problems along with my hands, but I had limped into work and tried to pretend nothing was wrong. I called my neighbor a General Practitioner and he told me to come to his office immediately. I drove there and he listened while I told him of my symptoms. Mostly aches and pains that traveled from joint to joint. Stiffness every morning and pains in my joints at night causing me to toss and turn in an effort to get comfortable. My hands and feet were the worst but any joint might flair up and then slowly go back to normal. He ran the standard blood tests and gave me meds for pain.

A week later he told me I was in the high normals for RA. That did not mean I did not have it. He felt my symptoms were classic and even though I did not test positive, in all probability he felt I had RA. Sometimes he said it went away by itself. If I had it for more than one year, I was probably going to have to live with it for life.

For the next four years I stayed on various NSAIDs. Very seldom was I pain free in spite of all the meds. My neighbor, a kind man, brought bags of samples home to try to find one that would work. The only thing that really helped was prednisone. At the end of this time the fingers of my right hand started to shift to the side. My neighbor was insistant I see a rheumatologist, since he was moving to another state to take up a post, I agreed with reluctance. Part of it was during this time we had discussions of the meds used to treat this disease. According to Jim, they could be worse than the disease itself. He felt that I should learn everything about RA as the time was coming when I would have to decide whether I wanted quantity or quality. He was very honest and open about this, very direct in his assessment of the drugs (most of which he felt had serious side effects)and to this day I am grateful for his openness. He felt I should take a positive role in the decisions made for my disease, as I was the one who had to live with those decisions.

Of course this tended to put me at odds with the new rheumy I went to. I had come across a book on Minocin and wanted to try it, she refused. I ended up going on the Plaquenil that she recommended, and at first did well on it (along with the ever necessary prednisone). At the end of four years the plaquenil, even in large doses, was ineffective. My left hand was starting to look like my right hand, I could barely walk, knees were swollen and painful, and I could no longer straighten out my arms or raise them over my head. Sleeping a whole night through was a distant memory. My Rheumy wanted to start MTX immediately. I again brought up the subject of minocin which I had been researching for the last year. She looked me straight in the eye and told me MTX had few side effects (wrong), the Minocin would not work (wrong), and I had better get used to the idea that I had RA and was going to have to live with it!!! She then slammed the door on her way out. I was furious!!

I stormed out of her office, paid her bill which she had doubled as a penality for questioning her, and climbed in my car. As I struggled to turn the key I broke out in sobs and layed my head against the steering wheel. "Oh God", I sobbed, "If you will just find me a miracle, I promise I will tell everyone about it."

That night I got on line and put out an inquiry for a doctor im my area. Unfortunately Tennessee had only three listings. I called all three, two were no longer practicing, the last was three hours away. I decided if I was going to do the antibiotic protocol, I wanted a doc who was experienced. I hesitantly asked the doctor when he called me back what percentage of people he was getting in remission…........his answer 70%. I made an appointment.

I won’t go into the details of his treatment which was a bit different from Dr. Browns protocol. Suffice it to say I was in complete remission in 6 months. I was estatic. I never in my wildest hopes thought I could feel this well again. I went on 100 mg minocin three days a week for maintanance. Life was great.

Now we’ll jump ahead four years. It is spring of 2005. I have had small aches and pains all winter which I got rid of with an aspirin or two. Nothing really bad. Just annoying. Surely things will get better with spring weather. My husband and I take a trip to a casino in Memphis….suddenly I am having a hard time walking. My knees are swollen and my feet are unable to walk, its like the RA is back in full force. Like I have been slammed into a wall of pain. I panic. I don’t want to go back where I was before Minocin.

I call my doctor when I get home and he does not have an opening for five months. People have found out how good he is and are standing in line to get to him. My stomach does a lurch, I need help now!! I call my regular GP and he gets me in immediately. He has been giving me the minocin prescriptions and is sympathetic to the protocol. Problem is..I am his only patient on it. We put our heads together and decide to go back on 100 mg minocin twice a day everyday and see what happens. I reluctantly fill a prescription for small dose prednisone. Although I was on a combo of meds with the arthritis doc, my GP is not enthusiastic about Nizoral or Flagyl. I start the increased Minocin dose. In a month my pain has just about gone and I’m off prednisone. Another month I am completely pain free, a third month and we run blood tests. I am once again in remission, my bloodwork all came back in the "low" normals. I am now back on the maintanance dose.

I have learned that for most people this treatment will work. This is not a one size fits all treatment and sometimes people will have to "tweak" their meds to get the best outcome. All of us are different, some have had the disease for years, others are newly diagnosed, some have just a few joints involved, others find its all over their bodies. Some of us have high pain thresholds and plow through the pain with high doses of Minocin, others go slowly with small doses. It is mostly a treatment of patience and persistance. I have personally only come across one person who did not get some benefit from this treatment. She was a lady who only took Minocin for two months and then gave up, no amount of pleading would change her mind. Now while I am at the gym working out….she is housebound in a wheelchair. Life is not always fair, but much of what we get is a matter of choices made.

I recommend that anyone who is sick and tired of BEING sick and tired try this protocol. If your rheumatologist refuses, try a family or general practitioner. Better yet, the first time around drive to an experienced doctor even if you have to go to another state to at least get started. Many docs are much more comfortable keeping you on a protocol that another doc has started. Be assertive…this is your life that is at stake. Without the minocin I feel that I would be housebound or even dead by now. The choice is in your hands…...............



Barb Stanley

As I look back some 40 years, I know that is where it all began. I had given birth to 5 children within 6 years. After the birth of my fifth, I came down with a rare blood disorder. They told me I had become allergic to my husband’s blood through the placenta. I became a female hemophiliac in the test tube. I was under the care of an excellent hematologist from Long Island Jewish Hospital that kept me alive for 3 years and 8 months.

Let me regress for a moment. Three months after the birth of my fifth child, I was in severe pain and swelling in my legs. I was originally diagnosed with phlebitis. I was crawling on all fours. Having five babies it was nearly impossible to care for them. I went to the hospital and they began treating me with coumadin. I climbed the walls with the pain and had very high fevers. As it turned out, the diagnosis was incorrect. They were thinning my blood. Can you imagine thinning blood that was already hemorrhaging? I was bleeding into my kidneys. That’s when the GP (we used them for everything years ago) said he was calling in the hematologist. That’s when my ordeal first started. For three years and eight months I was in and out of hospitals. If I put my hand down too hard, I would bleed internally into the tissue. Swelling always accompanied the bleeding, thus causing the pain. Once my four year old, shut the refrigerator door and it hit me in the temple area of the head. I bled and swelled so badly, they had me in intensive care. My face and throat swelled. They put ice in rubber gloves and had them wrapped around my total face and throat area. I couldn’t talk. I literally had hundreds of transfusions. These bleedings continued for three plus years. Pain was excruciating. I was allergic to morphine and most pain meds that were strong enough to combat this pain. I ripped the bed sheets apart in order to deal with the pain. Physically, I looked like I was in an automobile accident. I was black and blue all over due to the constant hemorrhaging. What kept me alive, believe it or not was massive doses of prednisone. I had the moon face. Pred was experimental then, and I had to sign a waiver that they wouldn’t be responsible for my vision. If it weren’t for my family and very dear friends, I don’t know what I would have done with the children. I was bedridden. I had to be carried to the bathroom. I couldn’t walk. My hubby had to go to work to keep the mortgage paid and the food on the table. It was a living hell. Well, I will make this part of my past short..it went on and on. Neighbors even came in to pray over me. Would I make it???? I hid small pieces of paper stating who I wanted to help with my children ,if something happened to me. I knew my hubby couldn’t provide and take care of the children alone. Impossible! My blood disorder left as mysteriously as it came on. I was in elbow braces with both arms. The joints were badly damaged due to the constant bleeding. Big time damage. When I was sure all bleeding had finally stopped I had the left elbow operated on as it was in horrible pain. They fused it at a 45 degree angle as my right elbow became locked (due to the bracing) at 90 degrees. They tried to plan this so I could lift my children and drive. A short while after, I was diagnosed with Raynauds. Then, I decided to go to college. I had made it through this ordeal and decided I had to give something back to society in exchange for my life. It took me 5 years to get my BS and MA in teaching. That was a new beginning.

As the years progressed I had many bouts with leg and back problems. Lived at the chiropractor. All in all, not too bad. Loved raising my children ( I was told to never have anymore. We had wanted at least eight). Then about fourteen years ago my right elbow gave out. I had to have an elbow replacement. Finally, no pain. The past ten years were spent constantly in the orthopedics office. Many cortisone shots in various areas of my body. From my toes, ankles, balls of the feet, knees, hips etc.on, and on. Also many, pred-packs and at times, low dose prednisone. Still nothing for the pain as I can’t take any of them. My Orthopedic doc was stumped. The pain was migratory. He told me I was an enigma. So be it!

In December of ‘99 , I couldn’t walk, lie down or even sit. Hip pain was unreal. Knees were very bad. Couldn’t even get into the car to get to the doctors. He had to prescribe a pred pack, so the inflammation would abate. When I did see him, it took two of them to get me on the table ( I am not a very big person).My daughter who is an RN asked me to have the Doc do some blood work. He did a sed rate, ANA, RA, and Lyme test. RA was negative, Lyme negative, Sed highly elevated (75) and the ANA elevated (1:320). He sent me to the Rheumy. It was then in January of 2000, that I was diagnosed with Connective Tissue Disease-Lupus and Raynauds. I was started on Plaquenil and Pred. Once again, after three months, I became allergic to another med, Plaquenil. He changed the pred to Medrol and put me on Minocyline. I since found out he didn’t believe in the infectious theory He prescribed the mino as it can act as an anti-inflammatory. That is when I found an on-line support group. I was posting on the Lupus Foundation asking my questions when two gals suggested I try this support group . Did I luck out????? You bet! All the way from living through the hemorrhaging to finding caring folks. It has been a very rocky road, but I am so thankful for my hubby, children, family, and old and new friends I have met along the way. I will be celebrating 4 years on Minocin, March 15th. This was a GOOD day for me. I feel wonderful. I have found a supportive doctor. I did have IV’s of Clindamycin.. They gave a boost to my system. All my doctors (Ortho, GYN,Rheumy etc) concur that my "NEW" diagnosis of Lupus and CTD goes back to the birth of my fifth child. I guess we really will never know, and does it really matter? I’m not sure of that answer, BUT I am here to tell about it, and that sure makes me a happy warrior. I just want to say AP works. Be patient, ride the bumps and your future of good health is really just around the corner.

I am presently in remission, but I do take a maintenance dose of Minocin on M-W-F…100mg ....This therapy is not a cure, but oh, what a difference a day makes…

Love, Barb


Jelly/FM/ISAC Syndrome


I started on heparin about 3 years ago and it was truly an amazing experience. I had been very sick with at least 2 mycoplasma infections. My brain fog was tremendous. I was always cold like ice on my hands, feet, nose and even my rear. My skin was blanched white with a purple lace like pattern. My blood was very thick and more brown then red. It was so thick that it was a normal occurance for me to clog the needles when having my blood drawn.

When I was tested using the ISAC panel, I came back positive for T/AT and Soluable Fibrin Monomere. Then I was started on low dose heparin by way of a nasal spray. The results were short of astounding.

Within a day or so, my extremities started warming up and acutally turned pink. I had always felt a heaviness in my arms and legs and that sensation was replaced with a light airy coolness. My body started feeling alive in a way that is hard to explain.

I started having breakouts on my legs. They were strange little infections that seemed to come out of no where. My doctor later explained to me that as the fibrin is desolved, there are no doubt all kinds of things that are released that have been entombed for possibly years. My urine was an odd kind of greenish color which my daughter noticed as well since she was also put on heparin. It is strange because the heparin is clear with no color. That discoloration has long since disappeared.

I may have herxed at some point, but at that time I didn’t know what a herx was so I can’t comment, because it didn’t stand out as that. As time goes on I still see changes in my body, mostly on my skin though. My color is no longer a blanced white, but rather my skin looks alive, hydrated.

About 2 years ago I started on ABX for my mycoplasma infections. I had a herx that was straight out of a bad dream. This was no doubt due to the zillions of pathogens that had been exposed from the heparin. When I started the ABX, my coagulation actually got worse, which we suspect was from the die off. It has since settled down. I had to approach the ABX very slowly as we later found out.

I have been feeling really pretty good, actually pretty great considering what the last 7 months of my life were like. I did get a flu recently that seemed to take some time for recovery, but I think I am starting to get my energy back and am approaching about 95% of what I feel is normal health. I am thrilled with that.

I have just seen my doctor and he ran a few tests. Tested for my hypercoagulation and ran a thyroid panel, since I have just realized that my thyroid is a little swollen. I will be going back on the doxy, but first I need to clear some yeast up, with Diflucan for awhile and I am also going to start an antiviral which I can’t remember the name of it.

I am planning to very soon, hopefully when my ISAC stuff comes back use only bromelain and nattokinase to control the fibrin if it is still a problem. Getting control of the mycos is no doubt going to be what eventually normalizes my blood. I have had at least one of my 2 infections for over 23 years. It took me a long time to get this sick, so I know I’m on a long road to recovery. If I can just beat this down into a remission I would be thrilled.

For those of you who may not have seen my picture at PH, I was in very bad shape at one time. Very anorexic thin and grey, but I look pretty darn good for 47 today.

Today I take Elavil and Flexeril for sleep. Norvasc to treat my Raynaud’s. I have virtually no pain anymore, I sleep great and I live a very active life. I love to garden, play with my grandaughters, I can go hiking, horseback riding. I still do have to pace myself, cuz there is a limit to my energy. I rarely nap anymore and I often am up till 11:00 PM these days. Overall, I am by far, healthier then I have been since I was in my early 20s. I have a great doctor and I am very pleased with how I am doing now.


Dermatomyositis & AP… I won!

Liesl (Lee) Dutro
Dermatomyositis & AP

I like the ‘ending’ best… so I’ll tell you how my story ends first! I am in remission, enjoying life… caring for my 3 kids, my husband, our home and rental homes, work PT, volunteer at the schools, teach religious ed. Does that sound like someone who is sick? Oh, did I mention that I learned to snowboard last year?

Like most of you who will read this… the onset of my illness - Dermatomyositis, was like a bad dream… a reality for others that I never even knew existed came crashing into my life.

I was 28, it was July 1996. My first born - Kyle was almost 4 yrs old and his baby brother was a month old (Ian)... I had a rash that appeared and disappeared on my face and chest. It seemed so odd. When I went to my 6 week OB/GYN follow up appt I asked about it… my doc said to ask my GP.

The nurse practitioner at my GP office looked through books and determined that I probably had polymorphic light erruption… a sun sensitivity… this made no sense to me at all… I am 1/2 Filipino… sun is not a problem! She ran an ANA test… it ended up coming back positive and then they suspected Lupus… by this time my knuckles were pinkish purple with nodules (later to find out they had a name - Gotron’s Papules and a tell tale sign of DM) and I was having weakness in my arms and legs… I was then examined by an idiot doctor (had never seen him before) at the same GP office… his diagnosis was that I had eczema on my hands and I was picking up my 10 pound newborn too much - causing the pain and weakness. I think I pretty much told him he was an idiot… my son Kyle had eczema and I knew that is not what I had, I also knew my abilities and the pain I was feeling was not due to holding my baby.

This doc gave me a referral to see a rheumatologist… 6 weeks until the rheumy could see me and the dumb doc said I was okay to wait the 6 weeks… I found my own rheumy who saw me that same week… he suspected DM (from my knuckles) - ran bloodwork, started me on prednisone (20 mg) and scheduled a muscle biopsy. My cpk was over 900 where around 100 and less is normal. Muscle biopsy showed DM. This was Sept. 1996.

The prednisone seemed to work… I felt better - muscle wise and my skin was a little better - but it was awful the side effects - mood swings, hump on my back, weight gain, thinning hair on my head, growing hair on my face, moon face… and it was a rollercoaster ride… when I’d flare up went the prednisone, then I would decrease until the next flare… at times my skin was like a second degree burn… my muscles so weak I could barely stand or walk. Life was so difficult. I was on prednisone a total of 3 years.

In November 1998, I had read The New Arthritis Breakthrough and did research on the internet about AP… I printed out the protocol and brought my book to my rheumy… I was in the midst of one of my worst flares… he wanted me to get off the prednisone and use Methotrexate. He said, if it were him that is what he would do… he didn’t believe in AP - said Dr. Brown was a quack and AP had not been double blind placebo tested… I told him, if and when this happens to you - you take Methotrexate. I want to try AP, and I think it will work!

He gave me an rx for 200mg minocycline to be taken daily… for 6 months… so I had more than enough to take it MWF and see what would happen… My cpk stabilized and skin began to improve… I slowly did my usual weaning down of my prednisone. At the end I was cutting my 1mg tablets in half and taking a half mg daily… this is when I went back to my rheumy… all symptoms gone, feeling great, looking great. He said, hmmm you have to wonder if that minocycline didn’t help… DUH! At this appointment he also told me he was going to quit practicing and make furniture!!! Okay!

I achieved remission - no meds and no DM, I then conceived our 3 child and she was born in April 2001 (Kaitlyn)... my DM flared a month later… this time I went to my new GP - he had never heard of DM or AP… he read about DM out loud to me from his medical book… he then asked me what I wanted to do… I explained AP to him and said I wanted to continue nursing my baby… he was in favor of that! He prescribed 250mg 2x daily erythromycin… my cpk was 2000… in 2 weeks it dropped to 1100… and kept on dropping. In 8 weeks it was normal… and has been ever since.

I am again in remission - no meds and no DM… I am enjoying life to the fullest… and by that I mean my life is VERY VERY FULL!! I have many demands being a working mother of 3 great kids - almost 12, 8 and 3 yrs old, wife, teacher helper, room parent, religious ed teacher, etc. but that is okay… because being well and being able to do it all is the greatest blessing. Through all the pain and dark times I knew I would be well again, and once I found AP - I just knew it would work. Sometimes, even when others and doctors don’t believe… you just need to have faith.

Liesl Dutro

Colorado Springs, CO

DM dx 1996

Remission smile