Phillip Partington's personal appraisal of Dr Petrovic's protocol.
May 24th 1997 my fiancee saw a letter from Roy Collins detailing
contacts for a cure for CFS in the local paper. She was very excited
and rang my mother. Once Mum heard the medication was virtually "on its way" - she had been just waiting for someone to mention the word "cure" .
Mum and Dad had been paying for Naturopathic treatment for me for two
years and I am sure that it did help me - I had also been having regular
treatment from a Masseur who had been treating CFS patients at the
Institute of Sport in Canberra. I think he also gave me some relief at times.
I had been to a CFS Clinic in Melbourne and an Occupational Health and Safety
Doctor and a local doctor had been looking after me - they were very caring
and concerned but the Medical profession had no solutions at all .
When I say that there was nothing they could do except encourage
me to "go with the flow". They mentioned trying to get me in to the
Newcastle Research group but in the end decided that I was not well
enough to be a guinea pig. One specialist I saw told me it was all in my
head and the only medication I could take was long term antibiotic treatment.
Thank God I did not take that option and I hope that this Man wakes up
to himself before he causes further anguish to others.
After his consultation I arranged a visit with a psychologist who told me not
to bother coming back as there was nothing wrong with me mentally.
That was a relief. The Doctors were very worried about me going on to
Dr Petrovics treatment and tried very hard to put me off. They meant well
but as I told them they had nothing to offer and my Mother was determined I
give it a go.
If REST was the only solution ........so help me I had had two years of rest and
was so debilitated by May this year that I was permanently rested - my weight
was down to 62 kg and I did not have a muscle on my body. I am 5' 10" tall and
had been a very active person playing football, water and snow ski-ing and
anything else going. My hair and nails had stopped growing and I was as grey they
tell me as a London winter sky - I know I looked and felt "like a dead man". I did
not even have the strength to eat and had reached the stage where I felt that I
could not go on. I just wanted to collapse and die on the floor - I had no future.
Fatigue does not begin to explain the total destruction CFS causes to the body.
The pain in the limbs and body - the brain fog- the lack of concentration- I could
go on and on. How bad did one have to feel before they died?
I was not enthusiastic about the treatment - after all I had been told often enough
that there was no cure for CFS - why was this treatment so special. It was from
South Africa and very expensive - could it be a witch doctor?. No one could do
any more for me than my Naturopath who had really become my friend.
No stopping my parents - they did not even read the testimonials - Mums
philosophy was "it just might work and we will never know if we dont try".
She did not even know what it was at that stage.
When we found out that it was antioxidents and nutrients etc Mum really fired up
with enthusiasm as she has always been an advocate of alternative methods.
She had me run the ingredient list by the Naturopath and he was also enthuiasic
saying that the approach was definitely the right one and it was only a matter of
time until the right combinations and strengths were discovered. I might add the
programme was already "on the way" by then so I would have been on it anyway.
Friday 20th June 11am - the package arrived. I had managed to swallow the first
dose by 11.10am and wondered how any-one could take so may pills. I had
studied the diet and determined that because Mum and Dad had spent so much
money I had to follow the programme to the letter. My eating habits even when I
was well would not be described as anything like healthy so I had some radical
changes ahead of me and had to force myself to eat those first few days. Inhaling
a boiling tea bag - sounded silly to me I could not comprehend the merits of this
practice and the first couple of days spent huddled over a bubbling saucepan for
10 minutes at a time nearly killed me - I did not have the strength and how my
back and shoulders ached.
On the Sunday I drove to my parents (only a few kilometres) - Mum commented
that my eyes looked brighter - I did not feel brighter and overlooked the fact that I
had driven there and stayed chatting for half an hour or so. I even looked at a few
vehicles in a car yard on the way home (just wandered around).
Monday morning 4th day I woke up early and had a bath and at 7.30am was
brushing my hair when I realised that I was whistling. I just sat on the side of the
bath my head in my hands and thought "My God - what is happening to me". I sat
there for possible 10 minutes and realised that I had eaten my evening meal at the
table the night before, I had not been back to bed on the Sunday and my head felt
clear. Where was the "brain fog" that had not left me for a minute in over 2 years?
I rang my Mother in an excited state and frightened 10 year off her life before she
realised I was giving her good news. I thought that it could not possibly be the
medication as Mum had told me that I would not see any improvement for at least
30 days. She had deliberately extended the expected time of expected
improvement - I found out later as she did not want any disappointments.
At the time I did not realise it and if I had I would not have acknowledged it - I
was on the road to recovery. From that day on I slowly continued to improve and
within 3 weeks was back working again. In July I had four days off - in August 2
days and in September one day. Many days I had diaorrea, stiff shoulders sore
muscles and very tired etc but never again the brain fog, the old fatigue or anything
like the intensity of symptoms I had prior to taking the protocol. After all I was
working again so my worn out body had to be tired.
Four weeks after commencing the treatment I had the first haircut that I had had in
many months. My hair was growing like crazy..... so were my nails.
It has not all been plain sailing, in fact a couple of months ago when I had a "flu like"
episode that Dr Petrovic had warned me of I was emotionally a complete wreck. I
thought that I was going back to "hell"............ and I had tasted life again. I
completely dropped my bundle and was ready to flush the medication down the
Thank goodness I had good support around me and Mum persuaded me to go and
see the Naturopath. Instead of telling me that I was as bad as I felt he told me I was
fantastically physically improved - he said I was now 60% well again. He was so
excited with my improved condition and said that the "flu like symptoms" did not
portray what had and was going on. He said my body had "fought the fight of its life"
and the improvement was beyond his expectations. The down side he said was my
nervous/emotional state which had helped drive recovery and was now on the brink
of collapse. He warned me that I had to really take care and rest - to concentrate on
all the positive improvements eg working - no brain fog etc. Worked through the
symptoms I had before I commenced the protocol and pointed out all the
improvements. Told me to hang on to them and chase all doubts away.
I still felt awful but knew that although I was feeling so bad I was in fact no where
near where I had come from. I was in a panic thinking I was on a trip back there.
How lucky I was to have him because even though the next few weeks saw me see
sawing around and struggling to work I knew that it was only temporary. I was very
tired but it was not the "old fatigue"I would say it took 5-6 weeks to completely
recover - last week I had another "flu like episode - only lasted two days this time
and I did not worry at all.
I am now free of the dreadful curse of CFS - I am building strength and putting on
weight and I AM SO HAPPY. I will never take a day of my life for granted ever
again. I walk early every morning and rejoice in the beauty of each day. I would not
have done that once. My life has been changed forever and I know that if I had not
had CFS I would never have appreciated life as I do now what a dreadful way to
find out. I feel that there are so may people and families suffering with this dreadful
illness and we need to let them know that there is this treatment available to give
them back their lives.
I expect it to take a few more months before I am fit again - I am no where near
where I was three years ago but I am living a normal life again and I just keep
pinching myself to make sure it is true. Last weekend I played four holes of Golf
and I could have kept going. I dont let myself do too much - just take it slow and
steady. I have made up so much ground - I still have a way to go but no-one
could make up the gap between where I was and total fitness in the four months
I have been on the programme. I visit my Naturopath still really for constant
reassurance. Last week he told me that my muscles had fibre growing in them again.
I want to buy some roller blades and rollerblade to work - about 5 kms. That is my
next goal but I know it will be a while before I cross that off my list.
The day the article appeared in the paper was the luckiest day of my life and I will
forever be grateful to Dr Petrovic for his wonderful discovery.
I wish any-one reading my note well - I hope you find the road back to health as
quickly as I have although I know I was lucky to have "no other medical problems"
apart from ME. (And that was more than enough for me)