Medical Mismanagement II - Despair & suicide
As if coping with the chronic symptoms isn't bad enough, never being sure when, or even if, their suffering will end can drive people to the edge of despair.
A thirty-year old father of five, who had been sick for many years, was in a very fragile state by the time D.fragilis was diagnosed:
"For years the doctors found nothing wrong with me and told me it was all in my head. When I finally had this DF confirmed, I started to cry."
A French woman with both B.hominis and D.fragilis was also understandably depressed having to cope with such chronic illness:
"My symptoms are abdominal pain (very intense, night and day, I can’t sleep) on the right side with nausea, anorexia, vomiting, weight loss, lassitude, dizziness, and flatulence, and intestinal inflammation. My life is like hell: I can’t sleep, I can’t work, I can’t walk… It’s so hard that I cry frequently!"
The mother of a fifteen year old New Zealand boy wrote about her son's recently diagnosed B.hominis. He had been unwell for eighteen months. His symptoms included:
"Nausea (to the point of throwing up), stomach cramps so bad we were taken off a plane in Sydney to the childrens hospital, diarreah that occurs embarrasingly for him at the same time as the vomiting, foul smelling flatulance".
With symptoms diagnosed as a "tummy bug", the boy's GP reassured the mother that the symptoms would resolve over time.
"When he didn't recover they started looking at his emotional state, which of course is shattered by the fact that he is sick nearly all the time."
On a flight to Australia for a holiday her child had "his worst attack yet"and was taken by ambulance to a Children's Hospital where "after a long period of time the doctors
felt that he had a case of Giardia" and was prescribed a "strong" dose of Flagyl which made her son "feel so sick and dizzy that he had to have it last thing at night so he
could function though the day". Afterwards the boy's symptoms resolved and his future looked brighter. However, what happened next is really common with Flagyl - a week later his symptoms were back.
In this case the misdiagnoses had many consequences:
"He missed half the term of school being home sick and when he did go to school often I was called to come and get him. No one seemed to be able to provide a reason for this and we did one set of stool tests that we never received the results of. After yet another trip to the hospital here in Christchurch they decided to work with (our family) doctor. We went to the nutritionist who didn't help much as my son used to be a very healthy eater but now finds it hard to trust anything he eats as he often eats then vomits. He eats lots of raw carrots. He seems to be okay with them"
Finally, at the mother's insistence, her child had three stool samples tested and Blasto. was found. Their doctor advised that B.hominis was nothing to worry about:
"I told him about how (my son's) quality of life sucks and that he would rather be dead sometimes than putting up with it. He said we should look at his mental state".
S., an environmental chemist, was diagnosed with Blasto. three months after returning from an overseas trip. He was diagnosed after taking Tinidazole then Flagyl. A naturopath suggested he try six months of herbs and dietary restrictions. Firstly, S. decided to write to me to find out details of the triple therapy. His symptoms - loose stools, diarrhoea, constipation, stomach pain, bloating, indigestion, gripes, indigestion, nausea, and dizziness - are all typical of Blasto.
"I also experience strange perception (hearing or vision a bit like being stoned), some days big appetite even though I have lost 5kg since September, some days feels like my insides are a coffee percolator & I can feel my heart beating in strange places. I've had anxiety attacks really hopeless thoughts late at night in bed, uncontrollable shakes of lower body (esp with bad diarrhoea, coincides with onset of my period), chills, unusually cold stiff hands."
I recommended him to a rare breed of physician - one who readily prescribes the triple therapy for Blasto. Months later I received this good news:
Dear Jackie, I am fixed! It feels so good to be rid of the blastos. Waking up and feeling normal is priceless; Thank you so much for your information, website and kind emails. They really helped me stay sane through it all. I can't imagine living with the symptoms for so long. If there's anything I can ever do for you, please let me know.
Take care, S.
An Australian man with B.hominis was so distressed by his symptoms that he felt he couldn't go on:
Right now I have reached my limit and while I am not depressed in any way I have decided that eventually suicide may be a welcome alternative to remaining ill for the rest of my life. I hope your information will help me.
A US woman found out she had Blasto. after six years of symptoms. Diagnosed by an assortment of health professionals as suffering from food sensitivies, migraines, chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue, she was desperate for a treatment plan:
"The pain and sleeplessness have become unbearable and I sometimes feel life isn't worth living. I can't take any serious drus now because I am pregnant. I am so glad you have put the information together. Please send me the information about for the combination of drugs that works, so I can find a doctor who will treat this properly."
An Australian woman with B.hominis considered whether her friend's suicide had anything to do with his diagnosed Blasto. infection:
"I am in tears after reading your emails from other sufferers. I am SO tired, of this I completely understand their pain. The weight loss, lethargy, depression, others around you not understanding. I too have seriously considered giving up. Living with these parasites is not living at all – it is a continuous nightmare. The chest pains, shortness of breath, every morning not being able to leave the house due to the “runs”. I just want to get well again. Sadly my former fiance committed suicide on April 30th. He too had the Blasto bug and now I wonder if it really worsened his head space as I know it does mine. I am so desperate to have a glimmer of hope really. Sydney. 2008
Its not only people with mismanaged infections who suffer:
"This has affected my parents, my husband, ect because they are so worried about me and have never seen me like this before. They are fed up with the doctors telling me its IBS and saying 'people just live with parasites, most people don't have symptoms, its unfortunate that you do-sorry'."