In 1951 at Fort Detrick, Maryland, construction crews built a hollow metal sphere four stories high. Inside germ weapons were to be exploded, creating mists of infectious aerosols for testing on animals....and people. Employees called it the eight ball.
In the summer of 2006 my sister Lori was afflicted with an illness that, ten months later, has yet to be definitively diagnosed. Less than one year ago she had full function of her body, regularly riding bicycles, swimming and gardening with her son Jackson. One day, while helping Jackson onto his bicycle her leg gave way beneath her and she collapsed. Although it felt no different it just wouldn’t respond.
She quickly sought treatment for what she thought was simply a pinched nerve. However, after seeing a specialist she was told that due to the quickly lost muscle function Guilian Barre Syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease, could be the culprit. She was started on a rigorous and extremely expensive course of intravenous immunoglobulin, or IVIG, which boosts antibodies to help the good guys fight the bad guys. But why after a month of treatments, when improvements should be seen in a few weeks, was Lori not getting better but getting worse?
Countless hours and myriad visits to Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and other traditional and homeopathic specialists only fueled confusion and frustration. Lori soon lost function in her other leg and motion in her hands deteriorated. Finally, after months of testing, poking, scraping, and analyzing, the diagnoses began arriving. They seemed forced and without tangible evidence, some symptoms conflicting with others: Guilian Barre Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Lyme disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, then Lyme disease again, Lou Gehrig’s disease again. Once being told by her neurologist that “Everyone dies”.
Posted on 01/16/09, 02:01 pm