Dear Dr N Petrovic
1989:I finished my schooling at this time
1990:I became very ill with a terribly sore throat and was told that I might have to have my tonsils out. I was given an antibiotic AUGMENTIN and I had an allergic reaction to it. I became bedridden at this time and had no strength even to talk. I lost 5kg in two weeks and I developed terrible anxiety attacks accompanied by diahorrea and a fear for heights as well as claustrophobia, I slowly recovered.
1991:At the beginning of the year I got a sore throat again. I got a job but found it difficult to get up in the morning even though I would go to be early. I was always exhausted. On returning from a holiday in Durban I got a strange pain in my right elbow. Then gradually as the weeks went by it started etting worse. All my joints became affected. Becoming swollen and red and terribly painful. In this year my cousin was diagnosed with "ME" and I went with her to a lecture of Dr Smith at the Rob Roy Hotel. I then thought that too may have "ME". On returning to Johannesburg I went to see Dr Smith at he Virology Research Centre. He did tests and found I had Epsteins Barr Virus but said I had to have all three viruses before having ME and so according to him I did not have ME
1992:At the beginning of the year I got a sore throat once more. I attended an Art college and went to see a Homeopath, Dr Essex Clark, who diagnosed me as have "Juvenile Arthritis" and I was treated with acupuncture and injected in the joints that pained. I did not improve so I then went to a Dr Kramer and after many test he diagnosed me as having "Crest" a skin disease. He also suggest that I may have anorexia as I had become very thin at this time. I then went to a Specialist, Dr Stephen Hinton. After many tests he discovered that I had "LUPIS". The treatment was paracetamol for the pain and I was put onto "ANOCHLOR', a malaria pill. But it too has side efrects. I was told that not much was known about this illness and that there was no treatment for it.
1993:I got a sore throat once more. I began to temp at this time and I was in and out of remission sometimes drinking up to 8 pain pills a day. At the end of this Year I got married and moved to Pretoria.
1994:I found married life not easy with temping and trying to do all the housework and being a good wife. I would collapse in bed totally exhausted. I started getting low blood pressure attacks and I was treated by my GP for Sinus. Unfortunately the sinus pills "Advils c" has got asprin in and I often was knocked out for a solid 8 hours and experienced a suffocating feeling when lying down. I eventually went to a "Ear Nose and Throat Specialist" and no sinus was discovered. 1995:I again experience the sore throat and asked my GP if I should have my tonsils out.
He said no. I experience terrible bouts of nausea accompanied with a headache. I would wake up feeling so tired that my husband would have to push me out of bed. My whole body ached. I had terrible mood swings but attributed this to the pill. At the end of this year we went on a holiday to Durban where I got terrible sunburnt. My legs were sore for a month.
1996:I developed a sore throat but this time all my glands were swolen. I experience such pain that I could not even stand up for long. I saw my GP and he prescribed an antibiotic. It gave me such diahorea but I finished the course. I experience terrible fevers like hot flushes. The following month I again experience a sore throat but this time worse than the last. I had a headache almost everyday and it lasted for the whole day. My head was all fuzzy inside and I could not think properly. I became extremely forgetful and when some one talked to me my mind would wander. I then went to see a "specialist" in Lupis. He told me I have "Candida" in my lower throat and that is why I am not allowed to take any antibiotics. He said if the pain was really bad I should take morphin or cortisone. I said no. I asked if I could take 8 pain pills a day and he said if it helped I could. All my hope was dashed against the wall. He did tests to see if I still had Lupis. I got the results and it was positive. I remember so clearly how I just began to cry and after that I cried for anything. All hope was gone. I began to deteriorate rapidly. I experienced pains in my lower back and down my legs right to the bottom of my feet. I could not walk or sit or lie down too long. I did not feel like laughing. I just cried all the time. I then began to get All day and night all I could think of was that if I died at least the pain would go away. I had no friends no one understood. If I died no one would notice.
At this time my mom told me I must go and see this Dr Petrovic. I was so disappointed in the medical world that I did not want to go. I thought that it was just another money mak- ing business. Anyway my mother really forced me to go. My first appointment was 2 and a half hours long. It was very tiring but very interesting. For the first time I was told what was happening in my body and why I was experiencing certain symptoms. Everything he said made sense. But I was still skeptical. I went onto the treatment but unfortunately we were renovating our flat and enamel paint as well as varnish had been used and when I woke up in the morning I felt terrible. At 6h00 in the morning my husband drove me to my mother in Johannesburg. I took off work for three days as I had been set back. But after 2 weeks for the first time in 4 years I had "NO PAIN" in my joints. I was able to attend a course on the Saturday from 8:00 till 3:00 and then straight after that I went to a wedding where I danced till late at night and I felt to good I still said to my husband that I was amazed that I had no pain whatsoever. On the Sunday I was joking with my mom and husband and I told them that I feel great for the first time. I went home and did housework and I still felt great. Unfortunately I got the flu but I took two days off work and I felt better. I still have alot of pain at night time but I have a clear head now I don't feel like I have cotton wool in my head. I can concentrate when someone has a conversation with me. I can follow a story and I can watch a full TV programme without falling a sleep. I also am able to stand and do the cooking now. I even feel like painting again. I have so many ideas. I want to start selling my art again. I feel like doing housework now it is not a big mountain any more. I can stand for longer now. I actually don't want to go to bed anymore. My bed is no longer my prisoner anymore. I can have a decent conversation with my husband without falling asleep or forgetting what he tells me. My memory has returned and I feel like a brand new person. I have many friends who have ME and I have one friend who is deterior- ating quickly. She will be coming to see you soon and hopefully she will be dancing at her wedding in a months time. I never, never ever want to go back to what I was. I am trying to convince my cousin to come and see you but she has had ME for 8 years now and she has learned to accept there is no cure and that she can help herself. She is in remission now but I know one day she will come to you and when she does she will realise that ME is not a life.
I have learnt to feel alive, I want to live for the first time in many many years. I am my old self again and I do not feel stupid anymore. I have finally found my brain and my heart. I feel like helping people again and not just my self. My selfish will of ME is slowly disappearing and I can again think of others besides just myself. My husband and I can be close again. It has saved my marriage and for that I am very grateful. I only hope that many more will try your programme, they have more to lose if they do not even want to try, they may even lose their life. I recommend your programme to everyone with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There is life after "ME". I have actually forgotten how "ME" feels. I have a new life now.