This is my experience with antibiotics and rheumatoid arthritis.
I was diagnosed with RA in 1987 and within one year I was bedridden. I first heard about Dr. Brown and antibiotic treatment when he was interviewed on the television programs "2020" and " Good Morning America" in 1988.
But first... When I was 13, I had an appendectomy. 20 years later after the birth of our second daughter, blood tests revealed I had an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). My resting heart rate was 140 beats per minute. I always felt like I had been running and out of breath. I probably had this condition for years, it just wasn't diagnosed. My thyroid was chemically destroyed with radioactive iodine. I have also experienced migraine headaches since I was a teen.
In 1982 we moved into a beautiful home on two acres of land with lots of grass to cut. We bought a riding lawnmower and one day while I was cutting the lawn, I stopped the mower and put it in neutral to get off and move a board. As I swung my legs to the side, it jumped into gear throwing my left foot under the blades. I did not feel any pain and did not realize I was cut. I remember wondering why I was sitting on the ground and then I saw the blood, part of my left foot was almost severed, the bones just exploding. Fortunately my husband was home. I spent the next eight days in the hospital not knowing if my foot would have to be amputated. We had horses and there must have been so many germs on those blades. It took many months to heal and the infection was awful but I did not lose my foot. I do have nerve damage and it is somewhat deformed. To this day it still swells and is sometimes painful. I was on antibiotics for several months because of infection. I mention this because I think this injury and infection may be related to my RA.
About three years later, my left thumb became so painful that the throbbing would wake me at night. I was taking many aspirin every day. After a couple of months I went to my family doctor. He x-rayed it and thought it might be a sprain. Another year passed and I again went to my doctor, my thumb still painful and now my left hip also and I was very fatigued. He gave me vitamins and thought I might have arthritis in my thumb. A few months later I saw a rheumatologist. He x-rayed me from head to toe and said I needed a left hip replacement and eventually the right one also. He thought I had rheumatoid arthritis. I went to the library and came home with several books on arthritis. I thought arthritis was just something older people got and a few aspirin would take care of it. I learned there are over 100 different types that fall under the "umbrella" term arthritis and even babies can have it. Rheumatoid is the type that can cripple and cause deformity.
Over the next few months I was given eight or nine different anti-inflammatory drugs along with percocet for pain. Nothing was working and now the deterioration was like a speeding train. I could not turn my head or close my hands, my jaw was in almost locked position, it was difficult to talk or eat and I lost 30 pounds. I am 5ft.7in. tall and now weighed 87 pounds. My left femur pushed right through my pelvis to within an inch of my spine. Rheumatologist called this a protrusion. I was in continuous flare that never went away and was not functioning at all. At this point I was hospitalized, not able to eat, lethargic and anemic. Hemoglobin was 9 and sed rate was 98. I just wanted to go to sleep forever. A friend who had not seen me for a while went home and cried, she thought I was near death.
Soon after, I saw Dr. Brown's interview and after reading his book I called his office and made an appointment even though he was booked a year in advance. I asked my rheumatologist if he would start me on the tetracycline until I saw Dr Brown. He called him a quack and would not even discuss it. I was in so much pain I asked him for gold and he said I was too ill and it was too dangerous. I never went back.
My dear family doctor read the book and put me on oral tetracycline. I took this for ten months before going to Dr. Brown's office in Washington DC area. Sadly he passed away six weeks before my appointment.
1989 I saw his associate, Dr. Oliver. My husband drove me there and I remember lying on the back seat with pillows because any bumps were painful. I was there for a week and received IV clindamycin every day. I came home with prescriptions for oral tetracycline and IV clindamycin.
1990 I had a total left hip replacement. My progress was slow on the antibiotics and I was still in pain. I had to keep reminding myself that the book said two years to turn the corner.
1992 I fell and broke my left leg , balance not great after the hip replacement. After three years I was so much better, able to clean my house again by myself, go fishing in the boat, paint my landscapes again. My dear family doctor was amazed at my recovery and started putting his other patients on antibiotics and he would tell me they were so much so better and free from pain. He even talked to other doctors, asking why they were not using this treatment. They told him it was not what they were taught in medical school.
1994 I stopped all medication - (BAD MISTAKE)
1996 I had a benign tumor removed along with the parotid gland it became entangled with.
1997 Sinus infection again. Doctor wanted to do surgery, he thought it might have been caused by a fungus. (Could this be yeast?) Another doctor gave me sporonox and I did not have to have surgery. I've been taking care of my Mom after her stroke, very stressful.
1998 After being off antibiotics for 4 years I began to feel stiff again in the mornings. I took this as a serious warning and immediately went back on oral and IV antibiotics. My antibiotic doctor tells me it is more difficult to get it under control again after stopping antibiotics. Others have found this to be true also. Now I will stay on a maintenance dose forever. I learned a very important lesson.
1988 My SED rate was 98, today it's 10. My hemoglobin was 9, today it's 13
Today I am still in remission, doing very well, and so grateful to Dr. Brown and Henry Scammell's book.
I wish for you all NO MORE PAIN AND REMISSION.
2003 Update, I fell in January, broke my left leg, fractured my right pelvis and sprained my right hand and I don't even drink. Still mending but the good news is my blood work is OK and I am still in remission.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org