I was first introduced to Dr. Brown's book, The Road Back, by an acquaintance with scleroderma who had achieved remarkable success on the treatment. Upon reading Dr. Brown's book, I knew this was something I wished to pursue, and called immediately for appointment.
At the time of my first appointment with Dr. Oliver in September of 1989, I was being treated with the following medications: Procardia, prednisone, Plaquenil, Naprosyn and methotrexate. Since 1975 I have consulted with a dermatologist in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and rheumatologists in Columbus, Ohio, Mansfield, Ohio and at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
In the spring of l989, I was suffering from decreased circulation particularly in my legs. Several of my toes were blue, and ulcers had appeared that did not respond to increased amounts of prednisone. When the methotrexate also failed to improve my condition, I was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic where I received a week of nitrogen mustard treatment. Had I been aware of the side effects of this course of treatment, I would never have agreed to undergo it. My condition had deteriorated to such a frightening point and there appeared to be no alternative. I feel that the improvement I noticed in the hospital was for the most part due to the fact that I was on total bed rest and off of my feet for a week. Once home, my ulcers continued to worsen. At its worst, one was about an inch in diameter and close to exposing the bone. After treatment by a plastic surgeon with little success, I was forced to discontinue working, and try to remain off of my feet and treat the ulcers myself.
While I was waiting for the appointment with Dr. Oliver, one of my toes (still prone to turn blue) developed an ingrown nail and became very infected. My local physician began treating me with doxycycline, and by the time I went to Arlington, my infection was clearing, and my ulcer was improving.
My first appointment with Dr. Oliver was in September 1989, and I have been on the road to recovery ever since. By my second appointment six months later, my ulcers were completely healed and I no longer had blue toes. I had discontinued taking methotrexate and Procardia with no adverse reaction, decreased my prednisone from 15 mg. daily to 5 mg. daily, and cut my Naprosyn by half to 250 mg. twice daily. I also discontinued the Naprosyn and Plaquenil. At this point, I am taking 2-1/2 mg. of prednisone daily and working at eliminating it totally. I continue to receive an IV of Cleocin once every two weeks along with oral doxycycline and (because of an elevated ASO titer) ampicillin.
It is amazing to me that so many people stop me and tell me how wonderful I look - especially those who have not seen me for a while. My 'moon face' is gone and I continue to feel better. Before I found the antibiotic treatment, I was very fearful of my future. I realized that the drugs I was taking were damaging my body, and, because of my worsening condition, they were being administered at an ever-increasing rate. I felt and looked terrible, and held little hope for improvement. I truly feel blessed to have discovered Dr. Brown's treatment.
My experience at the clinic in Arlington has been a very positive one. Each and every staff member is a thoughtful, caring person, and I consider then all good friends. My contact there with other patients from all over the country has only confirmed my belief in the effectiveness of this therapy. With every visit I meet new people who tell me their success stories - a great source of hope and encouragement for those just beginning treatment.
I would advise anyone just beginning this treatment to be patient. Although my own experience led to a quick response to antibiotic therapy, I know that many people don't show improvement for quite a while. Just knowing that there is light at the end of the tunnel will help you through. Listening to other patients while at the clinic was a great inspiration to me. With so many success stories floating around, I knew that I had finally found the answer I was looking for.
My local physician has been very open and understanding, and has given me my IV's on a regular basis. My improvement has been steady, with only a couple of minor flare-ups during stressful times. Each lasted 2-3 days, and I have encountered no other problems.
As stated earlier, I feel truly fortunate to have found this treatment when I so desperately needed it, and know that it has been the answer for many other people who had no where else to turn.
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Note: Kathy tested positive for mycoplasma pneumoniae, mycoplasma salivarium, mycoplasma hominus and mycoplasma fermentans.