Mrs. Margaret Lambert
Another impressive therapeutical success in Australia and recovery report written by Mrs. Margaret Lambert a professional counselor and educator
As Christmas approaches I reflect back to last Christmas when I wondered if I would ever be able to live a normal life again. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), or Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) as it may be more appropriately called, can be the most debilitating illness that can take your life away, but unfortunately it won’t! 14 months ago I experienced this most severe form of CFS, after having learned to live ‘reasonably’ well with the illness for the previous 10 years. The year leading up to this total debilitation was punctuated by several relapses of diminished energy, and in October 2002 I became bed-ridden for a frighteningly prolonged period. In my previous 10 years I had always improved after some days or weeks spent in bed, but in this particular instance there was no sign of improvement after 2 months. I was only just able to take care of my personal hygiene, and had to rely on family members to undertake all household activities such as cooking, washing and cleaning. This illness held implications for each family member as I could no longer perform regular routine tasks and it seemed that I was stripped of my roles of wife and mother. Amazingly and with great determination, I held onto my part-time position as counsellor and educator, even though this was a great struggle at times. Apart from being debilitated with extreme weakness, the other main symptoms I experienced were severe muscle aches, particularly in the legs, chest pain, palpitations, brain fog, insomnia, depression and a general feeling of being ‘hung-over’. I knew I was seriously unwell and held fears for my recovery.
Being at a very low point, I decided that it was again time to look on the Internet for any advances on treatments for CFS, or at least some management strategies. Over the years I had searched the Internet during particularly low periods. With such a flood of information, it is difficult to discern what is worth pursuing. For some reason on this particular occasion, the site of Dr Nash Petrovic grabbed my attention. I have no idea why I had not noticed this site during previous searches, but here was something that held my interest, and after I searched all the pages of the site, I felt was worth investigating further. I made contact with the person who was listed as the Australian contact for Dr Petrovic, Mr Roy Collins and continued to be intrigued by the information about Dr Petrovic and his treatment for CFS that was being revealed, particularly the successes he was achieving with patients who claimed to be cured of CFS. I contacted some of these people by email, some within Australia and others in the US, and the claims of success were substantiated. It seemed that the worst scenario was that the treatment did not make any difference to the patient’s condition, and this had occurred in only 2 cases that I heard about. I was impressed by the many success stories and the statistics of 8 Australians who had been researched by a former patient, of which 4 claimed to be completely cured, another 2 claimed to be markedly improved and the remaining 2 unchanged. It seemed that based on these odds, I had a good chance of at least improving my condition if I pursued the treatment. I commenced communication with Dr Petrovic, asking a load of questions and voicing concerns that I had about his protocol, and I was impressed by his responses that seemed to be medically sound and to reveal his integrity. I always held onto a certain amount of scepticism however, as it is “well known” that there is no cure for CFS – ten years of visiting various health practitioners confirmed this “fact” for me – and it is difficult to be absolutely certain about the integrity of a person through Internet communication alone. Nevertheless I was impressed by Dr Petrovic and his work, and my gut feeling was to give it a go.
I completed the questionnaire, paid the money and waited one month for the protocol to arrive. A large box containing the five month protocol, of what I estimated to be around 10,000 tablets and capsules arrived and I wasted no time in taking my first dose of 28. It was not easy to allay the fear that consumed me as I wondered what would happen to me after taking such a massive dose. Surprisingly, nothing! And so I continued to take the doses as prescribed and followed the recommended diet.
When it came time to complete the next symptom questionnaire at the end of the first month, I noticed that the intensity ratings of many of my symptoms had decreased. I started to believe then that progress was being made. However I wasn’t prepared for the difficult roller-coaster ride that was part of this treatment’s journey, and repeatedly throughout the treatment, periods of improvement would be followed by setbacks. I found the setbacks completely disconcerting as I wondered whether any improvements I had made would ever be lasting. At these times depression would set in and it became so difficult to believe that recovery would be the outcome of this uphill road. I was heartened by the words of the spiritual seeker Thomas Merton, who seemed also to have been in a position of such uncertainty:
My God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me,
I cannot know for certain where it will end…
I think I believed that the road to recovery would be a slow but steady progress of improvement. This was not the case and I was completely unprepared for setbacks that seemed to put me back further than ever before. Dr Petrovic was a terrific support through these difficult times and continued to offer words of encouragement as well as professional advice. I was impressed by his estimates of how long a particular setback may last and wondered afterwards how he could possibly have been so accurate. My respect for Dr Petrovic and trust in his professional opinion grew over the period of treatment and I came to believe that I would recover on his treatment.
After the initial protocol of 5 months, I have continued with a further two batches of follow-up treatment, each of 6 months’ duration. It seems that many people continue with at least one follow-up treatment, and some people, mostly those who have continued to work during treatment, take on a further 6 month treatment. It is one year since commencing the protocol, and I am in the early stages of the second follow-up treatment and feel that I am still improving. I have discovered that most people recover between one and two years after commencing treatment.
At this stage, I am not claiming that I am recovered, though I am alive again and for the most part, I feel well. This is a huge improvement compared with this time last year when I was able to do little more than simply stay alive. This year I can look forward to Christmas – I can even get out and do some Christmas shopping. I have been able to commence socialising again and go out at night, but I know that I still need to pace myself.
The protocol may seem expensive, but no more expensive than the cost of a family holiday, and what is the value of a holiday if you are not well enough to enjoy it? I have no regrets about the amount of money I have spent to arrive at a point where my life is worth living again.
I look forward to continued improvement and recommend that any sufferers of CFS give this treatment a go. I believe that at the very worst, it will improve your condition, but most likely you will recover your life again. I sincerely thank Dr Petrovic for the support he has given to me over the past twelve months and for dedicating his work to the condition of CFS. There are so many sufferers of this condition who are offered little relief from symptoms or who are simply not believed. Dr Petrovic deserves world-wide recognition for the successes he has made in this field and for the many people who have re-gained their lives as a result of his work.
Having been through desperate and desolate times during my experience of CFS and the treatment period, I would like to offer hope and encouragement to others. I am happy to be contacted about CFS, Dr Petrovic and his protocol at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Margaret Lambert, DipT., B.Ed, Grad Dip Lib & Inf Sc., Grad Dip Psych.