Awhile back in a post titled, Identification Please, I talked about my medic alert bracelet and what my inscription says. This is a list of what medic alert has on file for me “in case of an emergency”. A few months back, my doctor’s PA asked if a certain medication was okay for me. I couldn’t remember if it had been a problem before because my list is long. Years ago, when I was constantly being given something for all my maladies, I knew all that I was allergic/sensitive to without blinking my eyes. Time has passed and the list is less easily remembered. So, I just had him call medic alert and they immediately faxed him this list.
MEDICATIONS (CANNOT USE PLASTIC CATHETER NEEDLES)
Benadryl (all antihistamines)
Dextrose (corn allergy)
Primaxin (this caused the episode that almost killed me)
Sulfites & Sulfa
Synthroid (lost due to an overdose – the pharmacy gave me the wrong dose and I took it for over a week – over time, I have been able to take this again)
Gapabentin (Comp only) – can’t even take that any more
Estradiol (Compounded only)
Progesterone (Comp only)
Phenol (Plastics, etc)
Zephiran (benzalkonium name brand)
Methylmercaptan (in rubber & gas)
FOODS NOT ALLERGIC TO – After looking at this list and then the list of foods I was allergic to in the beginning you can see what I gave up and how hard it was to eat. It took about two to three months on the provocation/neutralization treatments to slowly get some foods back as long as I took the shots every four days. Slowly with this treatment and then later LDA, I gained foods that I never thought I would eat again.
Crab (sulfite free)
FOODS ALLERGIC TO – after taking injections from the Environmental Health Center and now my LDA treatments – I have gained many foods back. I was so sick and my body was fighting so hard that it literally thought everything was the enemy. I lived in a hyper-reactive state for so long. My body still lives in this state but it reacts less violently to some things than in the beginning. Foods that I can now eat as long as I don’t abuse them or foods that I can eat after the two weeks following my LDA are shown in red below.
Apples – organic only
Black Eyed Peas
Chocolate (can have mold)
Coconut (no sulfites)
Concentrated Juices (mold)
CORN (ANAPHYLACTIC) – this was an amazing recovery.
Green Bell Pepper
Oat – steel-cut only
Tea (Black – mold)
Grape/Grapeseed Oil Cod
Fabrics (Cotton, etc)
Posted in Allergies, Allergies and Sensitivities, Chronic Illness and Treatment, Environmental Illness, Food, Food Allergies, Holistic Treatments, Low Dose Antigen/LDA Treatment, Mold Exposure, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Mycotoxins, Provocation/Neutralization Treatment, Reactions
Tagged acute allergies, anaphylaxis, antibiotics, environmental illness, food allergies, LDA, medic alert, medications, multiple chemical sensitivity, provocation/neutralization
This search question showed up this week. For some, just feeling better and having no more pain and symptoms will signal that a sinus infection is gone. For others, and this has happened to me, a sinus culture is required to make sure there are no more detectable bacteria left. I have finished an antibiotic thinking I might be better, days later feel horrible again, only to find that the infection we were treating was gone but a new one had emerged in its wake. It is possible that the first culture only showed one bacteria because it was the most prevalent and once it was gone the other became detected. The antibiotic may have only worked on the first bacteria and allowed the other one to continue growing. My advice is that if you are not sure if the infection is gone to have a sinus culture done to detect any bacteria and to have a sensitivity test done to see what antibiotic will kill off the bacteria present.
I hate antibiotics but with the horrible ordeal my sinuses have been through between strange bacteria that my ENT has never heard of before and the fungal infection, I have had my share of them. We are as cautious as we can be when deciding treatment. Sometimes a good cleaning of my sinus passages and copious amounts of saline irrigating can stop the infection from becoming so rampant that I have no choice but to take an antibiotic. The trick for me is to catch it as early as possible. I also have to remember that if an antibiotic is taken, I need a probiotic.
Posted in Chronic Illness and Treatment, Environmental Illness, Medical Procedures, Mold Exposure, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Uncategorized
Tagged antibiotics, bacterial infections, chronic illness, environmental illness, fungal infections, multiple chemical sensitivity, probiotics, sinus cultures, sinus infections
Well today I saw my ENT. This wonderful doctor has been treating me since the beginning of my ordeal. He put me on thyroid medication despite my levels being in the normal range because nothing else was getting rid of the swelling and as he said, “How do we know that this number is your normal?” He is the only doctor who offered to give me the IV’s I need to help fight all that goes on in my body. He is the only one who knows that I am not the “normal” patient and thus does not treat me like a “normal” patient.
And today despite knowing that antibiotics are not good for me or that I only have one truly safe one that I don’t react to, he truly felt that I needed to take one. The only antibiotic that I haven’t reacted to is Omnicef. It has been quite some time since I have needed one but here I am taking it. Soooo – bring on the probiotics. I don’t dare take this medication without plenty of probiotics even though I am on an antifungal.
I respect my doctor because he does not prescribe medications unless he feels there are no other options. I have tried the silver, I have tried grapefruit seed extract and I irrigate. I have immotile cillia and sometimes no matter how much I irrigate the infection just begins and takes over. The mold exposure and fungal infection has left my sinuses very vulnerable. My face feels like it has been hit by a MAC truck. The trigeminal neuralgia on the left side of my face was so bad yesterday (and helped with acupuncture to reduce the severity) but still I had pain in my ear. The magnesium, glutathione and Vitamin C IV helped with the neuralgia but my maxillary sinuses still hurt.
Dr. Spitzer (have permission to use his name in my book so I feel free to use it here) thank you for being my doctor and not ever for one minute thinking I am crazy and for thinking and working “outside the box” in treating me. And thank you for fighting so hard for me in my battle to prove my work injury and fighting for me with the insurance carriers.
Posted in Chronic Illness and Treatment, Environmental Illness, Food Allergies, Medical Procedures, Mold Exposure, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Mycotoxins, Reactions, Sick Buildings, Worker's Compensation
Tagged acute allergies, anaphylaxis, antibiotics, chronic illness, environmental illness, multiple chemical sensitivity, probiotics, sick building, sinus infections, trigeminal neuralgia, worker's compensation
I have been on a tremendous amount of antibiotics since becoming ill after a mold exposure. I have had numerous rounds of oral antibiotics along with more than one six-week round of IV antibiotics (once a single antibiotic and once with two antibiotics intermittently fed through my PICC line). In the beginning I was never told to take probiotics while taking the oral antibiotics. When I had my first round of IV antibiotics my ENT prescribed probiotics and yogurt while on the treatment. I was taking Primaxin which is a very strong antibiotic. Since that time I regularly add probiotics to my everyday regimen but also make sure I take it daily during the course of antibiotic therapy and for a few weeks after.
Recently a friend told me a story about someone who had a severe tooth infection and was placed on two very strong antibiotics. The infection cleared only to be followed by a severe intestinal infection because the antibiotics had killed off all the good bacteria in the gut. I don’t know why doctors don’t automatically recommend to their patients that they should take some type of probiotic during antibiotic therapy to keep the good bacteria in the gut at a safe level.
This is especially a problem when patients are given broad spectrum antibiotics. Broad spectrum antibiotics act on a wide range of bacteria. They also work on both gram negative and gram positive bacteria. Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella typhimurium, neisseria menningitis, pseudomonas aeruginosa (have had this), and klebsiella pneumoniae (have had this) are among the gram-negative bacteria. Streptococcus (have had this), staphylococcus (have had this), bacillus, clostridium and listeria are among bacteria classified as gram-positive.
Among broad spectrum antibiotics there is Amoxicillin (have taken), Impipenem (have taken this – also known as Primaxin), Levoflaxacin (have taken), Streptomycin and Chloramphenicol (have taken this). My side effects to these various antibiotics and others varied from hives, to tightness in my throat and chest and extreme coughing, muscle pain, photosensitivity and trips to the ER for anaphylaxis (one of those by ambulance when I was home alone). The first time I was given Zyvox for a staph infection that refused to go away, my tongue and teeth turned brown. The doctor had never heard of this. The pharmacist did some checking and found that something like one percent of those in the original test study developed this symptom.
Whenever I hear of someone taking antibiotics, my first response to them is, “Are you taking any probiotics?” Next time you are prescribed antibiotics check with your doctor about probiotics.
Posted in Environmental Illness, Medical Procedures, Mold Exposure, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Mycotoxins, Reactions, Uncategorized
Tagged acute allergies, anaphylaxis, antibiotics, broad spectrum antibiotics, drug allergies/sensitivities, environmental illness, mold exposure, multiple chemical sensitivity, probiotics, sick building
I had my first sinus surgery in November 1999 shortly after the attempt at aspirating my sinuses failed. By January I was still sick and and getting black mucous from my sinuses that my doctor suspected could be fungus. A second surgery was performed in March 2000 to try and alleviate all the pain I was having. I continued to be sick and in pain. By April things had gotten horribly bad. From my book:
…I received a devastating phone call from Dr. Spitzer. The news was not good. He had received the results of the bone scan. The scan showed I had osteomyelitis (an infection of the sinus bone) and I would have to take antibiotics intravenously for six weeks. He had scheduled for a home health nurse to come to my home that night and start and IV…..After several attempts by the home nurse to place a line in my hand, she gave up…the nurse phoned my doctor and I was told to come in at 7:45 a.m. and he would place the IV line and I could take my first dose there…
The schedule for taking this antibiotic (Primaxin) was exceedingly difficult on me. Taking Primaxin is like taking a chemo drug. The IV schedule was three times a day for six weeks. I lost sleep because of having to get up early just to get the medicine out of the refrigerator so I could take it an hour later and going to bed late because of my night time treatment. I lost my appetite and began losing weight. Depression came on me like a big black cloud. Eventually I had to cut my work schedule to half days because I was too tired and depressed to work a full day. Here I had only been working less than a year and had taken time off work for two sinus surgeries and shortened my work days. The guilt I had for leaving my co-workers in such a mess just deepened my depression. Even then I was confident that I was going to get well and had no idea the ride I was in for.
Posted in Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival, Courage and Hope, Antifungal Treatment, Depression, Environmental Illness, Excerpts From Book, Mold, Mold Exposure
Tagged antibiotics, bone infection, bone scan, chemo drugs, fungus, mold book, osteomyelitis, sinus aspiration, sinus infections, sleeplessness
I received a call that I had been selected for a position as a school secretary. I was so excited to return to work that I never questioned the comment by a co-worker that she sometimes burned a candle to mask a smell the office sometimes had. I never asked what it was or what could be causing it. I was just so excited to return to work after being home forever. I was hired during the end of the school year so we spent a month cleaning the office when school ended (file cabinets, the old walk-in safe, etc.). Before I knew it I was sick. Antibiotics wouldn’t touch the sinus infection. When things never seemed to go away I was referred to a ENT specialist. The pain was so bad yet nothing would come out of my sinuses. We had scheduled surgery for December. In my book I describe what happened next.
…..scheduled another appointment with me to see how my sinuses looked and he said he would try and aspirate the sinuses. My appointment was for the afternoon.
I arrived at the office not knowing what aspirating the sinuses meant….A numbing agent was placed on the gum and the underside of the lip area. …Then I was given a couple of shots of anesthetic to further numb the area. I made the mistake of looking at the tray of tools he would use — a hammer and large type of nail. There were also some needles. I began to get nervous and to panic. ..He returned a short time later, took the nail and placed it at the gum line and began tapping at it with the hammer in an attempt to get through the sinus cavity….I could not feel the nail but my head shook violently with each tap of the hammer. An eternity seemed to pass before the nail broke through the sinus cavity. The doctor placed a syringe in the whole the nail had made in the sinus cavity and flushed it with saline. NOTHING HAPPENED! …..I had gone through this awful ordeal and my sinuses had not drained.
This was just the beginning of many things I endured to get to where I am today. This illness has taken its toll emotionally, physically and financially. I am happy to say that I am progressing slowly but progressing none the less.
Posted in Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival, Courage and Hope, Excerpts From Book
Tagged antibiotics, environmental illness, fungal infections, indoor mold, mcs blog, mold blog, mold book, multiple chemical sensitivity, sinus aspiration, sinus infections
You don’t have cancer. Those words still ring in my ears. That is what my physician told me. They were meant as words of encouragement in reference to my hysteria at being so sick and having no real answers. It was true, I did not have cancer. I don’t think my doctors at the time realized the scope of my illness. I had been handed a life sentence to something that few around me knew much about or could completely comprehend how devastating it would be to me.
The year was 2001. I had already been sick since August 1999 with recurrent sinus infections that would not respond to antibiotics. I began to become ill shortly after returning to work following being a stay-at-home mom for eighteen years. I was 44 years old when I became ill. My life was never the same after that.
Posted in Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival, Courage and Hope, Excerpts From Book
Tagged acute allergies, antibiotics, aspergillus, environmental illness, fungus, illness, mcs blog, mold blog, mold book, sinus infections