Exploring chronic disease

Category: interview (patient)

While alone in a foreign country, this mom from Houston Texas began to suffer from an array of debilitating symptoms. Soon, she was diagnosed with sarcoidosis. Despite the fact that she had to care for three young children, she successfully started Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol and today, about two years later, is active once again. Meet Lisa Shanahan.

When did you start to get sick?

It all happened very suddenly. Before becoming symptomatic, I considered myself very healthy. I was even preparing to run my second half marathon after completing two full marathons. My husband and I had decided to adopt a baby from Guatemala. We went down to Guatemala to see our son for the very first time. The next morning I woke up and my face was swollen. I didn’t know what to make of it. At the same time, two large lumps appeared on my arm, at my inner elbow area. Upon returning to the US that next week, I saw two different doctors that informed me that I had allergies and not to worry, so I went on with my usual routine. They gave me a small steroid dose pack to decrease the swelling.

A few weeks later I returned to Guatemala in order to finish the process of adopting our son. Since the process takes time, I chose to go live in Guatemala with my twin daughters, who at the time were 3 1/2 years old, so we could have our son live with us instead of in foster care. During that time I was completely on my own. I started to become more symptomatic. My face began to swell again, especially around the area of the parotid gland (near the jowels). Then, I started to have problems with my eyes My vision became fuzzy and I saw what seemed like blind spots. The loss of my vision was very scary. “What is wrong with me?” I thought. I saw three different doctors in Guatemala, none of whom could give me an answer.

One day I walked right off the street into a doctor’s office and asked him to take a biopsy of one of the lumps on my arm. I got the results of the biopsy, but since they were in Spanish and my doctor was on vacation it could not be translated, so I just stuck the papers in my suitcase. When I finally signed the adoption papers I could barely see. By then, not only was my vision affected, but my eyes felt extremely painful, hot, and swollen. I went straight from the embassy where I signed the papers to an eye doctor in Guatemala City. He diagnosed me with uveitus and explained the disease. He gave me a steroid eye drop and sent me home. Soon after that my kids and I went back home to the US.

Immediately upon our return to the US I saw several doctors. The nurse at the first office translated the results of the biopsy that had been taken in Guatemala. The verdict: sarcoidosis. But my doctor refused to accept the results of a biopsy performed in Guatemala and insisted that the procedure be repeated. Two weeks later the results from the new biopsy came back with the same diagnosis. I was also re-diagnosed with the eye disease uveitis by another Opthamologist who explained that uveitis is common in sarcoidosis patients (I now realize that is because both diseases are the result of infection by L-form bacteria).

Sarcoidosis sounded like a death threat (and was, because it’s a deadly disease.) I couldn’t even read or spell the word sarcoidosis, yet I couldn’t look it up online because I still could barely see. My only source of“relief” was that the disease was not in my lungs. I was informed that the kind of sarcoidosis I had (called Heerfordt’s Syndrome) often doesn’t end up affecting the lungs, at least for a long time.

My doctors performed test after test. I went to over 50 doctor appointments that first year. Finally, they informed me that there was basically nothing I could do to get better, and that I would probably never recover. Maybe I would go into spontaneous remission (which I now realize does NOT happen), and even so, my parotid glands could be swollen for the rest of my life. They did put me on the corticosteroid medication prednisone, as well as the medication methotrexate, and more steroid eye drops. The temporary immune suppression from the steroid eye drops and the prednisone made my symptoms improve for short periods of time but the uveitis would always come back as I tried to wean off the eye drops. The only way I could make it go away again was to resume steroid eye drops – something that I really didn’t want to do.

How did you find the MP?

A friend of mine knew about the MP and sent me an email about the treatment. Meg Mangin, one of the nurse moderators also knew my friend. So, through this grapevine I was able to get Meg’s number and talk to her on the phone about the MP. Her insights were very encouraging and she referred me to the MP website where I could read and learn more about the details of the treatment.

To be honest, when I sat down and read about exactly what the MP entailed, I literally started to cry. I had no idea how I would be able to manage my immunopathology and correctly adhere to the light restrictions when I had to take care of three young children. The MP guidelines also state that patients must stop taking all supplements but I was a heavy supplement user. In fact, it’s my livelihood – I am an independent distributor for a health and nutrition company. I really thought that if I started the MP I would never make it. But the only other option was to stay on steroids, and I knew that either the steroids or the illness would eventually kill me.

What did you do?

I pulled myself together and decided that I would just have to make the MP work, not only for me, but for my family. I figured that if I didn’t try it, I would never know whether or not it was possible to succeed. I stopped all my supplements and I also totally weaned off all my medications except for a few eye drops. Everything that the MP guidelines said to do, I did perfectly. My doctor wouldn’t put me on the MP so I said, “you’re fired!” and proceeded to find one who would.

I wrote a letter to all my family and friends basically telling them that I was entering a state of hybernation and quitting my activities. I was very serious about outlining how the antibiotics might affect me and cause my symptoms to flare. But I also included the best-case scenario for how taking these measure would help me – I would slowly come back to life and then become completely better.

At about 6 months into the treatment I realized that perhaps the hybernation wasn’t completely necessary and that I should try to re-enter life. I found that I could hold up just fine. Of course, there were occasional setbacks, especially if I got too much sun. One time a granuloma appeared on my eye, but I knew it was just a result of my immunopatholgy and, as expected, it went away.

One thing really surprised me – after starting the MP I never had signs of uveitis again. My inflammation went away, my vision cleared up immediately. I was able to wean off all my steroid eye drops. At the moment I only use up to one eye drop a day. But it’s not a steroid drop and I only need it on days that I am exposed to a lot of sun or bright lights.

About a 1 1/2 years into the treatment I was able to start wearing contact lenses again – something I had been unable to do since I developed my sarcoidosis symptoms. It was great! I was able to wear the smaller more stylish NoIRs (sunglasses).

How do you feel now?

After emerging from hybernation I decided that I was going to try to live as normal a life as possible while still on the MP. So I get a reasonable amount of sunlight which sometimes flares my symptoms. After all, I live in sunny Houston Texas. So it’s hard to tell exactly how recovered I am – probably around 80%? I lead a pretty normal life and know that I am on my way to a full recovery.

The face swelling and lumps have completely disappeared, and as I said the before, uveitis is no longer an issue. Mentally, I’m a totally different person than I was 3 ½ years ago. I joke that I’m the cheapest date ever because no matter what I do I have a blast. After conquering my illness, every other source of worry seems pretty trivial. If I’m running behind schedule I just think, “well, if I’m late, I’m late.”

Leesa can now spend much more time with her family.

I’m always running around and doing activities with my kids – I watch them play sports, I take them everywhere. All my kids celebrated birthdays in July and we had wonderful indoor roller-skating and ice-skating parties. During my first year on the MP, we actually had the kid’s birthday party at an outdoor Cowboy Ranch that had a nice covered riding area. Recently, I was taking a Spanish class twice a week since one of my life goals is to be fluent in Spanish and I had to put it on hold while I was sick. Most importantly we have started going back to church as a family and we have started going to Sunday school classes. I just wear a hat in church and ask them to dim the lights in the Sunday school class. I’ve also started to work more again, I work about 10 hours a week at home, right around my family!

We moved to a more wooded area to support my new lifestyle. With all the tree shade I am able to do almost EVERYTHING! I just bought new bikes for me and the whole family, so that we can bike through the forest near out house. I go on walk/runs every day alone or with the kids. I’ve also started doing yoga again which makes me feel good both physically and mentally. I’m even lifting light weights at the gym on a regular basis.

Describe your experience with light/heat

Looking back, I realize that all my life I’m been sensitive to sunlight. I was a heavy sunglass wearer. When I started the MP the light sensitivity increased, to the point where I even had to change the lighting throughout the house and in my garage by putting in lower watt bulbs. But it’s gotten better. At this point very bright fluorescent lights still bother me and when I’m in the bright sun I still wear sunglasses. As far as clothes go, in the sun I can get away with wearing longer pants, a light shirt over my t-shirts and a cute little hat. I go outside when it’s sunny as long as there is a covering or shelter that I can stand under. I think that the heat from the sun actually flares my symptoms more than the light itself (heat from the sun also causes vitamin D production in the skin).

As I stated before, we recently moved to a very wooded area so that it’s easier for me to go outside during the day. There are many shady wooded parks by our house where I can take the kids. In many ways, I am a different person during the winter and during the summer. During the winter, I don’t turn down any sort of activity. In the summer I am more careful about my plans because of the light.

How does your doctor feel about your recovery thus far?

My doctor is pleased about my progress. He believed the MP would work from the beginning! He lets me lead the way, as far as making changes in my meds or adding a bit of sun or trying something new, but gives tons of great advice when necessary. He is the person who most encourages me when I need it.

What advice do you have for other parents with young children who are planning to do the MP?

As mothers, we do so much for our children. We are essentially advocates for them – if something were to happen to them we would pursue the issue over and over again looking for a solution. But often, for some reason, we don’t act this same way when it comes to ourselves. But it’s important to realize that you can only be the best parent you can be if you are as healthy as possible. So you need to become an advocate for yourself. Do whatever you can to get better because you need to be there for your children. If doctors say they can’t help you then keep looking, don’t stop. If you can’t find an MP doctor in your area then drive a long distance to reach one or even fly to their office. Getting your health back is that important. I have to drive over an hour each way to visit my MP doctor but it’s worth it. As a matter of fact, I have put him in charge of the health of all three of my kids, so I am putting a lot of miles on the car to see him.

When it comes to the MP, you are in charge of your own health and you can make it work. When I started the MP, I paid one of the school teachers to drive my kids to school. I did not know her well, but had faith that it was the best decision. I went from being an overprotective Mom to someone who had to put faith in a person I didn’t know. I found the driver by calling our school, explaining my situation, and asking for help. And if I hadn’t been able to find someone to drive the kids, I would have pulled them out of school until I got well enough to drive them again. Staying on prednisone and wasting away was just not an option. Eventually I also hired a nanny to help out around the house.

Of course there were times when it was tough because I couldn’t participate in family activities. At first, I had to watch my husband take the kids to the zoo while I stayed at home. But then we got creative and thought up activities where I could participate. For example, we set up our tent in the backyard and went “camping.” We even made a big fire pit where we could roast marshmallows. It was fun! We did the best with whatever we had. There are lots of indoor things to do if you just look around and plan well.

How did you explain the MP to your kids?

I was honest. I said, “Mommy is sick, but she is going to get better.” It was easy. They accepted any changes that had to be made. They just wanted me to get better.

Tell me about the 2006 Marshall Protocol conference.

I wouldn’t say I was ever skeptical about the MP but sometimes I had doubts, – particularly about how long the treatment would take. When I attended the conference I met so many other people, many of them whom had been much sicker than me and were leading normal lives again. From that point on, I was confident that I could recover at the pace that I had mapped out when I started the treatment – basically seeing improvement every six months and feeling normal again around the 3-year mark. So far, I’m right on track.

I also attended the conference six months into the MP, right around the time when I was thinking about emerging from my state of hybernation. At the conference, I saw that many people experiencing immunopathology were still leading fairly normal lives. I saw that others were able to adapt the guidelines to suit their own lifestyles.

This helped me realize that it was ok to experiment. If I pushed myself too hard it wasn’t going to kill me. I needed to explore what level of activity I could tolerate while on the MP, not just assume that I couldn’t do anything. I realized that I was the only one who could figure out what I was capable of handling so it was ok to test myself.

So do you think hibernating during those first 6 months might not have been necessary?

Many people have asked me that. My answer is that I’ll never know. It’s possible that I am where I am today because I took such extreme measures at the start. But I tend to think that I probably didn’t have to be so hard on myself.

What lies ahead?

I want to run again, definitely 5K and 10K races, maybe one more marathon, but most importantly I want to run races with my children. I want to be physically fit with them. I’m already getting there. We just signed up for our first Jingle Bell Family Walk! It is 2 or 3 miles and since it is during a cooler time of year (December), I should be fine as long as I wear my hat, NoIRs, and long sleeves!

I’d also like to go on an annual beach vacation with my family and not have to worry about the sun. Not that I would seek the sun, but I look forward to reaching the point where I don’t have to cover up as much. I also want to raise my kids to realize what I have learned – that they are in charge of their own health and happiness and need to take action on their own if something happens. But when it comes down to it, I just want to lead a normal life with my family. Happily, I am almost there.

Interested in doing the Marshall Protocol yourself? Visit and your questions will be answered free of charge by experienced patient advocates that work for the non-profit organization that runs the treatment. (Th1 is a name currently given to diseases caused by L-form bacteria, hence the name cure my Th1)

  • Comments Off on Interview with Leesa Shanahan – Sarcoidosis (Heerfordt’s Syndrome), Uveitis
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  • After being diagnosed with the deadly disease sarcoidosis, he felt as if his entire body was shutting down. But after several years on Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol this Australian geologist is feeling great and living life to the fullest. Meet Mirek Wozga.

    When did you start to get sick? What happened?

    In 2001, I woke up and went outside. For some reason I was extremely cold. Upon returning inside, I realized that I was running a low-grade fever. Several weeks later it was still there. Then, I started to have terrible night sweats, insomnia and severe gastrointestinal pain. I was exhausted and brain-fogged. Because my body was so burnt out, I began to lose weight – almost 15 kilos, dropping down to 65 kilos. Upon waking up every morning, I felt as if someone had beaten me up – literally, not a single muscle wasn’t aching. It was like I’d been to the gym the night before and completely pushed myself over the top. In reality, I lost the ability to exercise.

    I saw many general practitioners, none of whom were able to give me a diagnosis. Finally, I saw an expert, who after a series of tests discovered that I had enlarged hilar lymph nodes. An MRI also revealed a substantial number of granulomas in my lungs. I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis.

    What did you do?

    I was not yet aware of the MP so my doctor started me on a six-month course of prednisone. It suppressed my immune system to the point where my lungs cleared and my granulomas went away. But six months after stopping prednisone, most of my symptoms returned with a vengeance. My lungs remained clear, however this time my fatigue, abdomen and gastrointestinal symptoms were worse than ever. I could barely tolerate food. It felt like my whole system was just shutting down. I tried prednisone again, but second time around it did nothing. Instead, I developed osteoporosis, which is one of the many side effects of the drug.

    How did you find the MP?

    “Enough is enough!” I thought after my negative experience with prednisone. I turned to the Internet to learn about other treatment options. After scrolling through thousands of web pages about sarcoidosis, I stumbled upon two of Dr. Marshall’s papers. The arguments he put forth seemed extremely plausible. In fact, what I read seemed like common sense. Soon, I had the levels of my two vitamin D metabolites tested. Part of Dr. Marshall’s model includes the fact that people infected with L-form bacteria often have low levels of the precursor form of vitamin D (called 25-D), and high levels of the active form of vitamin D (called 1,25-D). Bloodwork revealed that my vitamin D levels were indeed dysregulated in exactly this fashion. It was then that my trust in Dr. Marshall’s work really took hold. I took the plunge and decided to start the MP. At that point, the treatment was very new and untested. Yet in my eyes, and those of my family, I had nothing to lose.

    What happened when you started the MP?

    I started the MP in the early days, when many of the guidelines were still being developed. At the time, Benicar, the medication that patients on the MP use to activate the innate immune system, wasn’t available in Australia. So it was suggested that I substitute another medication from the same class of drugs (ARBs). So I tried taking the antibiotics with a different ARB called Irbesartan. Well, it didn’t work at all. Not surprisingly, today, Dr. Marshall’s molecular modeling research has confirmed that Benicar is the only ARB that will work for patients on the MP.

    I started to look for a way to obtain Benicar, but in the meantime, I took the MP antibiotics on their own. The immunopathology from just 25 mg of minocycline hit me like a brick. I finally worked my way up to 100 mg but the immunopathology was still hard to tolerate. Luckily, at that point, I found a way to import Benicar to Australia from overseas. Once I started Benicar, the anti-inflammatory properties of the drug made my immunopathology much easier to tolerate, allowing me to ramp up my antibiotics in a smooth manner.

    When did you start to note improvement?

    At the time I started the MP, the phase 2/3 guidelines had not yet been developed. When phase two was finally created (I was about six months into the treatment), a new antibiotic was introduced that really caused my immunopathology to kick in. It was almost like having a rocket under me! Since the reaction was such a positive reflection of the fact that I was killing bacteria, I began to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

    It took me a while to get my level of 25-D down into the range in which maximum bacterial killing occurs (I should note that once the level did drop it was fairly easy to maintain.) I feel that the drop, which occurred about 12 months into the treatment, was a major turning point in my recovery. After that point, the exhaustion, nights sweats and gastrointestinal pain began to dissipate. Any doubts I had about the MP faded. I was confident I would recover.

    Did you have any mental immunopathology?

    Sometimes when I look back at comments I wrote in my early progress reports I think, “Gee, what was I on?” At the time I didn’t even realize how brain-fogged I was, but I remember the sensation of feeling completely phased out. One person talking was sometimes too much to handle, and I often didn’t comprehend or actually process what I was being told. This type of immunopathology came and went. Now it has completely resolved.

    Now that Mirek is feeling better, he can spend more time with his daughter.

    How do you feel now?

    I feel very good! I would say 95-100% recovered. Some days I’m more tired than others, but I have a feeling the occasional tiredness is just a result of living a normal busy life. My abdominal/gastrointestinal symptoms are miniscule compared to 2001, and everything else – the night sweats, the fever, the insomnia, have all resolved completely. A recent lung function test showed that my lung quality is at 105% compared to others in my age group. I get regular x-rays taken, and all have revealed that there is no sign of any granulomas in my lungs. They are completely clear, and I strongly believe that the MP stopped any possible relapse. I’m exercising again – going on walks and spending time with the family. I have also returned to my pre-sarcoid weight.

    What was the hardest part about doing the MP

    Symptoms aside, I think the toughest part might have been watching my family deal with the effects of my illness. I have a young daughter and it was hard to watch her become accustomed to frequently seeing her Dad in bed. As a family, we were also fond of going to the beach. But we successfully worked around these issues. We still went to the beach, but I stayed in the shade and only ventured out at dusk. The beach is actually very beautiful at dusk. During the earlier stages of the treatment where I was quite sensitive to light, I was still able to travel, I just made sure to cover up with thick layers.

    How sensitive to light did you become while on the MP

    As a child and young adult I was very active and loved the beach. I never noticed any problems with the sun at that point. But as soon as I started to become symptomatic I found sun and bright lights difficult to tolerate. When I first started the MP the sun was taboo. I had to wear thick layers when outside. But over time, my sensitivity to light has improved a great deal. The sun doesn’t affect me anymore, although I still wear a hat and dark glasses when I go outside, just to be on the safe side. We have a pool and sometimes I’ll swim for several minutes in the sun with no adverse reaction. I’m sure I can tolerate much more sun than that – I just haven’t had the desire to test my limits.

    When do you plan to stop the treatment?

    Last March, I was feeling quite good so I decided to stop both the antibiotics and Benicar. However, in the weeks that followed, I still noticed some symptoms, possibly because I was no longer reaping the benefits of Benicar’s anti-inflammatory properties. I decided to re-start phase 3 and interestingly am experiencing some very minor immunopathology from antibiotic combinations that had previously stopped generating bacterial killing. Clearly, and in hindsight, it was wrong to stop the MP at that point, as I still had bacteria to kill. My experience goes to show that it may be helpful to do a second round of each antibiotic combination in order to fully eliminate the entire bacterial load.

    What advice do you have for people starting the MP

    Read all the information available about the treatment before seeing your doctor because you may need to help him/her understand the treatment. The MP is a long process, but be patient because the rewards are worth it. There’s also no point in trying to rush through the healing process. You’ll just put your body under too much stress, which could hurt your progress.

    What lies ahead?

    Well, I’ll get to watch my children grow up. Around 2001 when I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis I really didn’t know how much time I had left – it was very possible that I could have died. Now, there’s no looking back. I’m making up for lost time. One of the side effects of being sick for so long is that now I am driven to work harder than ever. I’m traveling a lot for work and pouring as much time as possible into my family and activities. I don’t have much spare time. But it’s all good – basically I’m just enjoying life.

    Interested in doing the Marshall Protocol yourself? Visit and your questions will be answered free of charge by experienced patient advocates who volunteer for the non-profit organization that runs the treatment. (Th1 is a name currently given to diseases caused by L-form bacteria, hence the name cure my Th1)

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  • In 2003, this school teacher from Indiana was suffering from sarocoidosis, fibromyalgia, CFS, and myriad other symptoms. Today, thanks to Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol, she considers herself healthy and is traveling the world with her husband. Meet Carole Morgan.

    What were you dealing with before starting the MP?

    Before I found the MP, I was actually undergoing tests for cancer. I had originally visited the emergency room in December 2003 because my legs had become so swollen and painful that I could hardly walk. An abnormal chest x-ray revealed extremely swollen lymph nodes. My physician referred me to a pulmonologist who ordered more tests, including a CT scan for my bloated and painful stomach. He then referred me to an oncologist, feeling that I probably had cancer. More scans and tests were performed because they just weren’t sure what form of cancer I might be suffering from. First they thought it was lymphoma, then bone cancer, then finally lung cancer. While they were pondering a diagnosis, I started to do my own research on the Internet. Since the second possibility listed from the CT and PET scan reports was sarcoidosis (a disease that I had never before heard of), I started to research sarcoidosis on the web and found—a website created by Autoimmunity Research Foundation that was the predecessor to

    The science behind the Marshall Protocol seemed to make so much sense. Also, I realized that I had nearly every symptom of sarcoidosis, as well as hypervitaminosis-D—a condition in which exposure to light flares a person’s disease symptoms. I could literally go down the list of symptoms and check each one off, such as swollen salivary glands or a metallic taste in my mouth. Since I was sensitive to light, it was another clue that I was on the right track. During the testing process, I shared this information with my family doctor, who luckily agreed to support me in the MP. Since I wanted to start the treatment immediately, he ordered the blood tests, prescribed the medicines, and began to follow my progress.

    However, my oncologist was still adamant that I might have cancer, insisting that I have a mediastinoscopy—a surgical procedure to examine the inside of the upper chest between and in front of the lungs. I did not want to have the surgery done because I was convinced that I had sarcoidosis and could use the MP to treat my illness. Plus, at the time, I had extremely high blood pressure, which put me at greater risk for problems during surgery. Nevertheless, he insisted that I have the mediastinoscopy, so I went along with his wishes in order to prove that I was right.

    Sure enough, when the procedure was over, the surgeon immediately turned to my husband and said, “She definitely has sarcoidosis.” So I had diagnosed myself correctly from the start. I then proceeded with the first antibiotic of the Marshall Protocol.

    What exact symptoms were you suffering from?

    My health had been deteriorating for decades before my doctors started thinking that I might have cancer. When I was a young child, I had chronic inflammation involving my kidneys, tonsils, and sinuses. I also had prolonged pain behind my knees. In retrospect I realize that I was very light sensitive at an early age. In family photos I was always shielding or closing my eyes. By the time I had reached my late 20s, I had gone to numerous doctors looking for ways to treat what had developed into severe back pain. I was told that my x-rays resembled those of an 80-year-old woman. Later I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and had back surgery in 1980.
    Many breast lumpectomies were performed throughout the years, beginning in 1975. In 1982, I developed a pituitary tumor that was also removed by surgery. In 1992, my gallbladder was taken out, and a complete hysterectomy was performed in 1999. In the meantime, I was dealing with colon polyps and began to have serious thyroid issues as well as blurred vision. On occasion when I turned my head, my view became distorted and I had reduced peripheral vision. Sometimes it would seem as if the person I was looking at only had one eye. I also began to have excruciating migraines and often ended up in the emergency room because they were so painful and accompanied by non-stop vomiting. Then, I developed Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder, and my neck and back pain got worse. I also had big-time cardiovascular issues as detected by various EKGs.

    Furthermore, I had a host of gastrointestinal symptoms and a history of recurring colon polyps. I had severe muscle and joint pain and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. During the mid 1990s, I had a case of mononucleosis that never really went away. The flu-like feeling and the symptoms of fatigue persisted, and I was also diagnosed with CFS. I went through a spell where I felt that I was in respiratory distress, unable to naturally inhale or exhale. I was also plagued with unrelenting bladder infections and chronic bronchitis. My blood pressure was increasing, as were the PVCs and tachycardia, so I was put on a beta blocker. Eventually the high blood pressure caused the development of left ventricular hypertrophy which leads to heart failure.

    My teeth also started to fracture, and my fingernails would break off at the level of the cuticle. My throat would tighten when I tried to eat, and I would often choke on food that would get stuck in my throat. My hair started to fall out. I lost all strength in my legs. When I was young I was a dancer, but later in life I had problems even bending without falling over. I also had inner ear problems in that when I would turn my head, I got extremely dizzy and on occasion would need help in order to walk straight. Because of my vision it was very difficult to work at the computer screen.

    Finally, I was deteriorating mentally. I often wasn’t thinking clearly. Sometimes I couldn’t remember how to spell certain words. One time I was engaged in a normal conversation when the word “goat” just came out of my mouth. It was in no way relevant to the conversation. I also developed a buzzing and fluttering feeling in my brain.

    What happened when you started the MP?

    When I first got onto, I read that I should stop taking any supplements (other than those needed to correct a recognized deficiency), and I did exactly that. I had been taking extra vitamin D because I was told that it would help my bones, as well as a multivitamin that also contained vitamin D. I had also sought out foods high in vitamin D because I incorrectly assumed that my bones might benefit from high amounts of the “vitamin.” Within just a few weeks of stopping the supplements, I started to feel better. Soon after I started Benicar, I could bend my knees to an improved angle. I was also used to my muscles feeling like mush – to the point where even my massage therapist didn’t think it was a good idea to massage them. But once on Benicar they started to feel different and more stable.

    I felt symptoms of immunopathology as soon as I started taking minocycline. Since I’m pretty sure that every inch of my body had been infected with L-form bacteria, I did experience strong and diverse immune responses. At first, the immunopathology in the area behind my knees was the hardest to deal with. At one point I even contacted a surgeon to see if there was some way he could help the knee pain, but the board moderators told me to hang in there—that if I put in enough time, it would go away. And they were right. Now, over three years into the MP, I no longer have pain behind my knees.

    When did you first notice improvement?

    On Labor Day weekend, Carole and her husband were honored re and regina for their community’s Little Italy festival.

    Three months into the MP, a CT scan showed a slight decrease in lymph node size. I was encouraged. Then, three months later, another CT showed significant improvement, with resolution of infiltrates! At that point my doctor dropped any skepticism he might have had about the MP. He too was convinced that it was working. The sores in my nose went away, and my migraines improved tremendously. With each new CT scan, my results were better and better. At about a year to a year-and-a-half into the protocol, my CT scan was normal! My other blood markers also returned to normal. My last pulmonary function test showed that my lungs are working even better than what is considered normal.

    How light sensitive did you get when you started the treatment?

    No matter how much I was covered, when I got too much sun I experienced sensitivity with increased throat pressure or tightness, palpitations, a headache, nausea, or swelling. I did not become super sensitive visually until I had been on the MP for about six months.

    How do you feel now?

    I can do just about anything I want. I still don’t spend prolonged periods of time in the sun, but I can tolerate a good amount of light. This past summer I even got a small tan on my face, chest, and hands with no rise in symptoms.

    My fatigue has been replaced with renewed energy. I have better balance and agility. I have strength and muscle tone in my legs again, and my back/neck issues are totally gone. I can now lift, twist, and engage in all kinds of movement. The pain and swelling in my stomach, legs, and feet are gone. My digestion and sleep patterns have normalized. My hair is growing back thickly again; and every time I go to the hair dresser, she says, “Ah! I’m so glad you’re beyond that!” For the most part, my headaches and blurriness are gone, although I may have a slight headache here and there, which is quickly dampened or eliminated with an extra Benicar.

    My blood pressure readings are back to normal, and the chest pain and pressure have disappeared. The TMJ and teeth sensitivity have resolved. Until recently, if I tried to carry a shopping bag, the pressure on my joints would mess up my fingers for a very long time. Now, I can carry shopping bags without any resulting issues. Plus, my two trigger fingers have returned to normal. I have reduced my thyroid meds to a level that is less than half of what they used to be.

    Really, all my symptoms are gone or greatly improved. Some of them were so bad that I feel like I’m 1000% better. There is no doubt in my mind that the MP has literally saved my life. But I still am experiencing immunopathology, which tells me that I still have bacteria to kill. I don’t mind staying on antibiotics for a few more years, because I feel I’ve already regained my health. Now I’m just tweaking my health until I am absolutely confident that I am 100% better. For example, the cyst on my liver is still there, although it might be a little smaller. Perhaps it will go away completely.

    Has your bone density improved?

    Oh, yes! Last spring the Dexa scan revealed that the MP is working toward suppressing my bone reabsorption. My T readings have improved and are reversing direction.

    How does your doctor feel about your progress?

    My family physician has been incredibly supportive since day one on the MP. He reads the information that I provide him about the treatment and writes whatever scripts are needed. He definitely vouches for my progress. He has told me on several occasions, “This treatment has worked for you!” He has also told me that he is very willing to treat other patients with the MP.

    What did you find most difficult about doing the MP?

    Hmmm…I can’t think of anything. Oh, well it was difficult to realize that during the times when I was sensitive to light I could no longer garden. I love to work in my flowerbeds. There is also a rather sunny beautification project that I helped to develop downtown that I could no longer tend to, so this made me a little disappointed. But I soon realized that the guidelines were there for a reason. At the start, even when I would go outside covered from head to toe, I would often still get a rise in symptoms from the sun. However, that reaction has gradually improved and is not a big issue anymore.

    Not everyone has as severe sun sensitivity problems and many are able to use sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or use prescription ketoconazole cream, which allow them to have more sun exposure. See here.

    What advice would you give to people starting the MP?

    Do your research. You must follow the guidelines diligently. Try to be patient because the MP is not a quick fix.

    What lies ahead?

    After 34 years of teaching, I am working as a substitute teacher almost every day. Just today, I spent four straight hours singing with primary children. I am now able to participate in outside recess duty, where I am often in the sun. I have also been traveling with my husband and actively enjoying our retirement together. In May, we visited the Middle East. I walked and climbed through the pyramids in Egypt, and later in July walked throughout the large cities in Italy. On an earlier trip, I hiked around 10,000 ft. of mountainous terrain. Despite the fact that I had not exercised much while on the MP, except for walking our dog, I fared very well. Since I was not “physically fit” as in prior times, I was assuming I would be sore from the exertion. To my surprise, I only had very minimal muscle soreness that went away quickly. Even after a fall, I was hardly sore. So basically I plan to continue enjoying life!

    Interested in doing the Marshall Protocol yourself? Visit and your questions will be answered free of charge by experienced patient advocates. (Th1 is a name currently given to diseases caused by L-form bacteria, hence the name cure my Th1)

  • Comments Off on Interview with Carole Morgan – Sarcoidosis, fibromyalgia, CFS
  • Filed under: interview (patient), marshall protocol
  • She used to alarm others with her wheezing and now she can run up the stairs of her house and not even think about her breathing. In fact, this Texan is literally singing about how good she feels thanks to Autoimmunity Research Foundation’sMarshall Protocol. Shirley J. will now take your questions.

    When were you diagnosed with sarcoidosis? How did you feel?

    I was diagnosed in 2004. It was very scary to be told I had a disease that other doctors believed has no cure. My doctors told me that few people die from sarcoidosis (which is incorrect), but right around that time football player Reggie White died from sarcoidosis. I was very alarmed.

    I started researching sarcoidosis on the internet and found myself at a support site. Marshall Protocol nurse moderator Meg Mangin was also a member of the site. She emailed me an overview of the treatment and also warned me not to take prednisone because it is a steroid that suppresses the activity of the immune system and allows L-form bacteria to spread more easily. Then, Belinda Fenter, another MP moderator helped me find an MP doctor (we both live in Texas).

    I started reading the information on – a site created by Autoimmunity Research Foundation that was a predecessor to As I started to read and understand the science behind the Marshall Protocol, I knew that Dr. Marshall was onto something. It makes so much sense that Th1 illnesses are not genetic but due to the spread of bacteria, and that pulsing the antibiotics gives the body the opportunity to fight these pathogens. I started the MP in January of 2005.

    What were you symptoms like before starting the Marshall Protocol?

    I started wheezing off and on and then it became constant. One day while working out I felt like I was going to pass out because my airway was so constricted. I used to be very self-conscious about my wheezing especially at work and talking on the phone. One day I was talking to my director at work and each time I would take a breath in, it sounded like crackling paper. I would cough really hard because my airway felt like it was stuffed with cotton. My director at work was very concerned about me starting this unknown treatment until I gave her the information on the MP. It wasn’t until she started to see my progress that she became confident that the protocol works. Prior to starting the MP, I had insomnia and experienced soaking night sweats. Due to lack of sleep, I suffered from cloudy thinking and brain fog.

    What happened when you started the MP? Could you tell it was working?

    When I started the MP I had steady immunopathology that was consistent with my disease symptoms. The flares in symptoms correlated with each dose of antibiotics so I knew that the symptoms were due to my body dealing with the consequences of dying bacteria. A week after starting Benicar my insomnia completely resolved. After that point, I never again had trouble sleeping through the night.

    My brain fog went away four to five months into the treatment. Six months into the MP I began to notice a big difference in my level of wheezing and the “stuffed with cotton” feeling began to drop. I started to be able to expel air in a normal way. Before the MP it had felt as if there was a balloon blocking my airway, but at the six-month mark it seemed as if the balloon was shrinking and when I was in certain positions the airway would open up again.

    19 months into the MP, I noticed that I wasn’t even wheezing every day. My husband was amazed at how much my breathing had improved. About two years into the MP I had to clear my airway at work and my director said, “Shirley I haven’t heard you do that in a long time”. I said, “I know, isn’t it wonderful?”

    How do you feel now?

    I feel almost normal again. My energy level is great. My airway feels a lot more open. When I yawn deeply I can fill my lungs up very well, and when I exhale, I don’t hear that wwwhhisstllle. I don’t feel my lymph nodes sticking together the way they used to. When I talk, I do not wheeze. When walking and talking I don’t feel air deprived. My last CT scan showed that my lung fields are clear and the lymph nodes are stable. When I mow the front yard I smile because I can mow like a pro. And no wheezing!!!!

    The other day I was singing at my desk and my Director heard me holding a really long note. She came out of her office and said, “Shirley, I haven’t heard you sound like that in almost three years! You sound great!”. I didn’t even have to take a deep breath in order to hold the note. My voice sounds so much better. Much like when I used to sing for a living. It’s good to know that if I need to sing, I have my voice back and my lung capacity has returned.

    These days, when I walk up high flights of stairs, I don’t even think about my breathing. Over a year ago, my husband and I moved into a new house. When we were first looking for a home, I still felt a little like cotton was stuck in my chest, and I would try to clear my chest all the time. Even when we first moved into our new home, I had a feeling of fullness in my chest, and was still wheezing. Now, it is wonderful. Sometimes I wheeze upon exertion but those occasions are few and far between.

    I am exercising 5 days a weeks walking 2 miles in the morning. My husband and I walk our dog every Saturday morning for about two miles at a park near my home. The park is hilly, and let me tell you on the second time around the park my legs can feel the muscles working. My lungs do great!

    Interestingly, my sense of smell has returned. It seems that I can smell things from a mile away. I can smell my neighbor’s cooking. I realize that my dog can smell stinky if he hasn’t had a bath! I am just amazed at how I can smell things now.

    Most importantly, I no longer fear for my life and have great hope for my future.

    What was the hardest part about doing the MP?

    I was part of the first group of patients to start the treatment so at first there was a bit of uncertainty in terms of whether or not I would completely recover. Now, of course, I have no more doubts along those lines! I also started the MP at a point where I was trying to move up in my career. During meetings at work I had to wear my Noir sunglasses while I was speaking with the leaders of the company. Sometimes it was hard to communicate and I felt self-conscious. They never asked why I was wearing dark glasses and consequently I never offered any sort of explanation.

    How much light can you tolerate now?

    I no longer need to wear my sunglasses indoors. I only wear them when I am outside in the sun. I also no longer have adverse symptoms when I get sun exposure, although I still wear long sleeves when I am outside.

    Do you have any advice for people starting the MP?

    Hang in there. It will take time to get better but you will get better.

    Do you have any funny stories related to the MP?

    About six months into the MP when I still had to avoid light, I went to get a blood test done. It was during the height of summer and the lab had huge open windows. I walked in with a long, dark, coat, a scarf, a hat, mittens and gloves. Everyone looked petrified. I thought to myself, “I should yell out ‘ALRIGHT EVERYBODY’ and then quietly say, ‘don’t be alarmed, I am just on the Marshall Protocol.’ But I didn’t say a word. I just walked in and took my hat, and gloves off and waited to be seen by the lab tech.

    What lies ahead?

    Life lies ahead. We really would like to have a family so we may look into adoption or who knows, maybe we can have a family on our own. The most important thing for me is that I am healthy and happy. I am back writing music again and writing jingles. I am working on one for the MP and I really look forward to the day when I will see advertisements for the MP on TV – much like the adds for other new treatments. I plan to spread the news about the MP in any way that I can.

    Interested in doing the Marshall Protocol yourself? Visit and your questions will be answered free of charge by experienced patient advocates. (Th1 is a name currently given to diseases caused by L-form bacteria, hence the name cure my Th1)

  • Comments Off on Interview with Shirley J. (Saj) – Sarcoidosis
  • Filed under: interview (patient), marshall protocol
  • By 2003 she had physically hit rock bottom and was completely unable to maintain her farm. Now, thanks to Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol, she has the energy she had in college. Sue Andorn will now take your questions.

    1. How long have you been on the Marshall Protocol (MP)?

    I started my 4th year on the Marshall Protocol in June 2007.

    2. Tell me about your symptoms before you started the Marshall Protocol? How did you get sick?

    When I was a child I was quite healthy. I walked four miles to get to school and had perfect attendance. My first sign of illness occurred in college when I got a polynidal cyst on my tailbone. It burst internally before it could be removed. I now know that it was probably filled with bacteria that subsequently drained throughout my body. I graduated from college with a degree in microbiology and proceeded to work at Sterling Drug Company, where our team began doing research on a measles vaccine. Because we were working with germs, I had to get an Asian Flu vaccine. Within minutes of receiving the injection I went into anaphalactic shock. Six months later I got extremely ill with the flu despite the vaccine. Knowing what I know now, it was a vaccine contaminated with L-form bacteria. I never really recovered. That was the start of a downhill slide that lasted 50 years.

    Soon after, I began doing research in the poultry department at Cornell University along with a team who were studying multiple sclerosis in chickens. In the years that followed, I developed symptoms of multiple sclerosis myself. I had a host of neurological symptoms, especially symptoms that interfered with my vision. When driving, I had to put my left hand on my temple in order to force my eyes to see straight ahead.

    As the years wore on, I had various infections that doctors treated with beta-lactam antibiotics, the type of antibiotics I now know actually encourage the formation of L-form bacteria. I also started to get horrendous headaches. I was living with so much pain but had no choice except to push on. I guzzled at least 9-12 aspirin a day, 3 at a time, but got little relief. Several years later, I got bitten by a deer tick and developed Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

    I began to have panic attacks. Many nights I ended up in the emergency room and often my husband had to carry me down the stairs and out of the house. It felt as if the world was spinning and riding in vehicles made me dizzy and sick. Then, about 20 years ago, I was living on my farm (where I still live) and felt something itching on my leg. I looked down and there was a 1.5 inch bullseye 12 inches above my ankle – I had been bitten by another tick. I couldn’t walk ten feet without cramping. I started to take 18 aspirin a day.

    My doctor barely knew what Lyme disease was, let alone how to treat it. In fact, he wouldn’t even give me a test for Lyme and was skeptical when I reported my symptoms. Finally my husband called the Lyme Foundation. I just couldn’t take one more ignorant doctor. At the time their treatment for Lyme was penicillin and prednisone. When I started prednisone I felt horrible. I was so wired – it felt as if I had stuck my finger in an electrical socket. Thankfully, I stopped the prednisone. I continued the penicillin, oblivious to the fact that I was taking yet another antibiotic that encourages the formation of L-form bacteria.

    During this time, my husband was forced to take a job in France. I had to travel back and forth to visit him overseas despite the fact that I was so ill. But most of the time I was on my own. My weight skyrocketed. I gained about 50-60 pounds overnight. Friends and family accused me of having no willpower. Although I ate only small amounts of healthy food I was told I was eating the wrong stuff. In order to appease everyone, I was given an exercise bike. Despite my symptoms I forced myself to pedal for ten miles every night, just to communicate the idea that I was trying my best to manage my weight.

    The fatigue was horrible. It can’t even be described as fatigue, it was utter collapse. I told my husband, “If the house catches on fire and you don’t want me around, don’t get me”, because I couldn’t make it quickly out of the house myself. I started to have horrible problems breathing. I swore I had pneumonia but my doctor told me I was crazy, my chest X-rays were fine. One night I had a breathing attack. I fell on the floor completely unable to breathe. I lost complete consiousness and saw bright lights in front of my eyes. It was a near-death experience.

    I also had terrible pain in my muscles. The muscles in my shoulders were rock hard with tension. The doctor sent me to physical therapy where the therapists tried to break up the muscle fibers by drilling short sticks of wood into the muscle. It was so painful. At this time I had been sent to an infectious disease doctor as my family doctor had no idea how to correctly treat Lyme Disease. This doctor started me on IVs of the antibiotic Rocephin. I administered the IVs everyday at my shop before I opened. One day, a new package of Rocephin arrived by overnight air. It was a different color than usual and I could tell it hadn’t been refrigerated. The drug company told me to take it anyway. It made me incredibly sick. I called my doctor and told him that I refused to take Rocephin anymore.

    During all this time I continued to run my yarn business. I clung to it because working and interacting with other people at the shop was the only thing that made me feel somewhat normal. Plus, I needed the money. I started to suffer from dyslexia and that made working even harder. I would mix up the numbers in the 1000s column of my checks and they would bounce. I had to go to the bank and explain that I had a problem. I also had three children. With each pregnancy I became progressively sicker.

    By this time my blood pressure was out of control – it was extremely high. I was given blood pressure medication. One night when I took the medication I began to hallucinate. It scared me so much that I stopped the blood pressure pills as well. I went to the Mayo Clinic seeking help. They diagnosed me with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis but had few treatments to suggest. I developed a terrible rash on the left side of my face. It felt as if my left ear was on fire. My eyesight got worse. I saw flashing fireworks in the corner of my left eye and I was unable to focus my vision correctly. The headaches got worse. Large crusty scabs and sores developed in the creases of my eyes. I started to have suicidal thoughts, not because I was clinically depressed, but because I just wanted the pain to end.

    I had tremendous incontinence. When I told my doctor he laughed at me. Although I felt like I wanted to sleep all day, I had complete insomnia. I took so many sleep medications that I thought they might kill me instead of put me to sleep. Then, I was bitten by a mosquito and developed West Nile virus and Babesia. I almost died again. After that there were always huge black circles under my eyes.

    3. How did you find your current doctor and the Marshall Protocol?

    I was lurking at a website called Lymenet. I knew I had Lyme disease even though my current doctor had still refused to get me tested for Lyme. The site had a list of doctors that treated Lyme. I chose Dr. Fein, a physician who lived about three hours away. My husband went with me to see Dr Fein. When she asked me about my symptoms I was so sick and brainwashed that I couldn’t even list them. But my husband just rattled them off and they fit the definition of Lyme disease exactly. I was finally given a diagnosis. The diagnosis was later confirmed by spinal tap PCR. Dr. Fein started me on 24 hour pumping antibiotics at the cost of $7,000 a week. After each round of high-dose antibiotics I just got worse.

    I continued to read articles on Lymenet. One day, they featured an article about the Marshall Protocol written by Dr. Scott Taylor. Thanks to my background in microbiology I easily understood the treatment. I screamed “Oh my God! It’s a cure! It’s not just another Band-Aid!” I immediately realized that Benicar was the key to recovery. I mean, the science behind the MP is just damn common sense!

    I presented the Marshall Protocol to Dr. Fein and she agreed to let me try it. However she was a bit skeptical about high dose Benicar. So she wrote me a script for only one Benicar a day, despite the fact patients must take four Benicar each day if the treatment is to work correctly. For some reason, my pharmacy let me fill all six refills for my Benicar prescription in one month. I decided to take three Benicar a day even though I knew I would run out soon.

    By that point, I was very scared of medications because of the terrible reactions to drugs I’d had in the past. The first night I took a Benicar I was very nervous. I swallowed it and said “Here goes!” When I woke up the next morning I could not believe how I felt. I felt better. It was working! Finally I ended up writing Dr. Fein an email confessing I had taken more Benicar than prescribed. I said “Please don’t shoot me, but I’m taking four a day and I feel so much better!” She didn’t get mad. Instead she called the pharmacy and changed my prescription to four a day.

    4. What are your symptoms like now?

    Well, I have my brain back! It feels so good to get my brain back. My short-term memory, which I had completely lost, has been restored. I think that at the moment my brain functions even better than it did when I graduated from college 50 years ago. I’m 71 years old, but I’m even considering going back to college or buying DVDs of college courses. Now I have a great craving for knowledge and may even take some courses in calculus, a subject that was my Waterloo in college.

    My fatigue is virtually gone. I have landscaped the entire yard on my farm, something I haven’t been able to do for the last 30 years. When I work in the yard I dig holes, I clear brush, and I push the lawnmower in order to cut the grass. Last year I buried a 300-pound sheep all by myself. I carry 40 pound bags of salt, and can dump 50 pound bags of grain into a wheelbarrow. I’ve never, in my entire life, had this kind of strength!

    And then there’s my eyesight. My eyesight is only getting stronger. For the last 50 years I have worn prescription lenses for farsightedness. I had a script change in May, and my prescription was not nearly as strong as it used to be. In fact now, just a few months later, the new prescription is too strong. My eye doctor can’t believe it. He’s so impressed that he asked me for written permission to be able to tell his other customers about my progress on the MP. I anticipate that I may not be wearing any lenses at all down the road. The MP is going to change the paradigms on aging. I am just getting younger everyday.

    About four months ago my blood pressure was normal for the first time in 40 years. I just couldn’t believe it. My tests for Lyme and Bartonella (which had been positive before) are now negative.

    The extra weight is completely gone and during the Marshall Protocol I made no changes to my diet. The extra fat just went away gradually as I healed. I used to crave sugar, but not anymore. The other day I bought a cream doughnut and it seemed tasteless. Also, my body temperature is back to normal.

    My headaches are virtually gone. I still have a small headache here and there but I think it’s partially because my glasses are too strong! I still have occasional insomnia but it’s pretty much all cleared up. I have very little grey hair and the new hair that is growing in is black rather than grey. My fungal toenail has grown out.

    I have no more panic attacks and my anxiety level is drastically down. My dyslexia is gone. You wouldn’t believe how fast I can add up the sales slips at work! I’m no longer dizzy. And there are a whole bunch of other smaller improvements. For example, the big toe on my right foot used to be bent like an L. Every time I bought new shoes they became distorted. Now the joint is completely straight and it’s no longer red or inflamed.

    5. What does Dr. Fein think about your progress?

    Dr. Fein is a witness to the fact that I am getting better every day. She admits that I am recovering and is thrilled with my progress. She has started several other patients on the Marshall Protocol.

    6. During the time when you were herxing strongly, how bad did it get? How did it compare to the worst days before the Marshall Protocol? Was it ever hard to make it to work during your time on the MP?

    The herxing was heavy at first, but was never harder to deal with than the symptoms I had before the MP. Once on the MP I had a mental edge – I knew I was on the right track, so I was going to feel the pain to work the gain. The immunopathology never got so bad that I couldn’t get to work. At least I don’t think I missed more than 2 days in 3 years+. I had suffered so much over the previous 20 years and had somehow managed to keep going. So once on the MP I said, “I’m going to make it work”, and I did. The immunopathology-related insomnia was also hard to deal with, especially when I had to work. But since I ran my own business I could pace myself, like the actor that says, “The show must go on.” During the first years on the MP I also had a lot of muscle spasms. Sometimes they were through the roof. But they have virtually gone away now. I did continue to take aspirin because of the pain, despite the fact that the MP does not recommend its use. I also took hot baths, which allowed me to sweat and feel less toxic. Several times I would come home and lay down for an hour before I would have dinner, but that was after I had walked the dog and drove for 1/2 hr to get home. In other words, the MP was a piece of cake in comparison to what I endured before.

    7. How did you dose your antibiotics? Did you push yourself and try and tolerate as much herx as possible, or did you go the “slow and steady” route?

    Bactrim was the only antibiotic that I had to back down on. That packed a huge wallop. I read and still read every single post on the MP board so I am well aware of what symptoms others experience. By reading the progress reports of those who had started the MP before I did, I understood what types of symptoms to anticipate and how to manage them. So I plunged on ahead, although I never let my symptoms reach an intolerable level. My attitude was I was on a killing spree and ridding my body of the enemy. I have never taken an antibiotic vacation, but again, I had put up with so much before the MP that being on the treatment paled in comparison to what I was used to enduring. Likewise I justknew I was getting better and it was worth the pain. Having to help customers at the yarn shop took the focus off myself. Instead, I tried to put my energy out to help others. The distraction really helped. I also took a lot of hot baths. They allowed me to sweat and feel less toxic.

    8. What was the hardest symptom for you to manage while on the Marshall Protocol?

    The hardest symptoms to manage were probably all the brain fog and the dyslexia. I refused to use a calculator to add up sales slips. I made a slow and concerted effort to do all the adding in my head. Most of my customers knew my plight and were very patient. It paid off. The brain fog lifted first, then the dyslexia, and finally my level of motivation increased tremendously. I am so ambitious at the moment.

    9. Did the changes in health occur gradually, or were there any distinct periods where you saw a big jump in improvement? At what stage (what year) did you really begin to notice a lot of improvement?

    The changes occurred gradually. They were little ones, like one fingernail becoming smooth instead of having vertical rips and ridges. I knew that 50 years of a downhill slide wasn’t going to change overnight, so even the littlest changes were very welcome. After the first six months I turned a small corner, then another corner about a year later. The second Marshall Protocol Conference in Los Angeles was held right at the time that marked my completion of 2 years on the MP. While at the conference I thought back over the previous years and really took note of how much better I felt. I said, “Right now I feel gold, but I’m going for platinum!” As Dr. Marshall says, the MP is a voyage of discovery. The immunopathology of the last week just reminds you that there is still work to be done. The IP doesn’t really faze me because I am alive and getting better. Stress just doesn’t exist anymore.

    10. Did you get any herx symptoms on the Marshall Protocol that you weren’t expecting or that were surprising?

    I would have to say nothing was a surprise, as I feel my body didn’t have a cell that wasn’t infected. I did have cardiac symptoms during the first years, but I was prepared for them. The board staff warned me in advance that my heart was most likely infected because I was so ill. But for at least a year now, the cardiac symptoms have completely gone away.

    For a while I also developed shingles, which I’d never had before. But it was probably the herpes virus resurfacing since I’d had chickenpox as a child. The pain was horrendous but it finally went away.

    11. Are you taking the highest possible dose of antibiotics or do you still need to ramp up? Have you tried all the possible combinations of antibiotics?

    I am at the highest dose of the most potent combination of antibiotics used by the MP. I have tried all the different antibiotic combinations twice and this is the third time I’m on the strongest antibiotic combo. I had a small increase in IP symptoms about 8 months ago because the level of 25-D in my body dropped to a very low level and my immune system really kicked in. At about that time my blood pressure became normal for the first in 40 years.

    12. How carefully did you avoid light while on the Marshall Protocol? If you were light sensitive, when did it start getting better?

    Patients on the MP wear special sunglasses made by the company Noir Medical. I didn’t have the Noir sunglasses for the first 3 months on the MP. Instead I was forced to use glasses with photo gray lenses until the Noirs arrived via mail. When I started the MP I was photosensitive. Luckily it was fall, so there wasn’t as much sun. I have never been a sun worshipper, so it was easy to avoid. I did not block the windows in my house as I have two-foot thick stone walls and a huge walnut tree that shades the house. I did keep the lights very low. At the yarn shop it was a little more difficult to avoid light because of the east windows and the fluorescent lights, but I wore my Noirs and was able to manage. When people asked why I was wearing glasses, it gave me a good opportunity to bring up the MP. Stores with fluorescent lights were a problem so I avoided them as much as possible. About 15 months into the MP I found I no longer needed to wear Noirs when I was on the computer or working in the shop. Instead, my photo gray glasses did the job. In order to block sunlight I religiously apply ketaconazole cream to my face and arms. Ketaconazole cream blocks the production of vitamin 1,25-D in the skin. Occasionally I forget to apply it when working in the yard in bright sun and I may have an occasional sun flare. I will probably stop using the ketaconazole cream when the tube runs out in about two months.

    13. What lies ahead?

    I still have a ways to go on the MP. But the majority of my symptoms are only in my lower body. I have problems with the hamstring on my right leg and I have a torn meniscus that I have decided to let heal on its own. Just last week I had strong immunopathology in my legs. It brought back memories of 15 years ago when I first started to have symptoms in that area. But I just got out a knee brace, wrapped the legs up with some ace bandages and proceeded with my day. As of tonight, the pain is almost completely gone. Without the MP, I truly believe I would be six feet under. Now I am going for at least 100, more like 120, and I plan to be very active in the years to come. I have the energy that I had at 35, but I still have a long way to go. I know there are still a LOT of enemy (bacteria) hiding, but they will be found and will succumb! I’m also intent on spreading word about the MP. The MP is the only game in town. When customers come into my shop I give them a free copy of Dr. Marshall’s “Science” DVD. I have also realized that I am in control. Ultimately, I am in charge of my own health and I can actively participate in the decisions that will allow me to recover.

    Interested in doing the Marshall Protocol yourself? Visit and your questions will be answered free of charge by experienced patient advocates. (Th1 is a name currently given to diseases caused by L-form bacteria, hence the name cure my Th1)

  • Comments Off on Interview with Sue Andorn – Lyme, Babesia
  • Filed under: interview (patient), marshall protocol
  • Two years ago he was bedridden with severe body and joint pain. Now he’s back at work and feels better than he has in years. Join Ival Meyer as he talks about his experience thus far on Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol.

    1. What were your symptoms like before starting the Marshall Protocol (MP)?

    Ival Myer

    As I got sick, the first symptoms I felt were confusion, fatigue, and a terrible flu-like feeling. After a while I thought that maybe I’d had a stroke. Of course my doctor told me to take Prozac. Well, I knew I wasn’t crazy and sure enough after about another year my joints started to hurt as well. That is when my doctor diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis. Next thing I knew, my rheumatoid arthritis pain started to get very bad. I had a great deal of pain in my hands and feet. The ligaments were so stiff that my toes started to turn and bend out of shape. My hands were getting very close to doing the same thing right when I found the MP. I’ve also had severe upper and lower back pain my whole life. When I was in high school I had to quit sports because of the back pain.

    2. I assume this affected your ability to work?

    I used to work as a collision technician. When I started to get sick I had to quit my job. Before starting the Marshall Protocol, I wasn’t able to work for over a year, and I couldn’t work during the first 21 months that I was on the treatment.

    3. How do you feel now?

    The lower back pain has completely gone away. The pain in my hands is 100% gone. My toes are still curled up but they don’t hurt anymore. I think the ligaments are definitely loosening up. The flu-like feeling is gone. The fatigue is much better. I’ve been able to start working again. I work in the office of the collision shop but I’m starting to get back out to the cars.

    4. Did you suffer from any other health related issues?

    Absolutely. I had gastrointestinal symptoms. Also, when I was in the second grade I started to suffer from dyslexia. As the years went by, I found it very difficult to read. Phonics didn’t make sense. I remember thinking, “I’m not stupid, but I can’t spell!”

    5. How has your dyslexia been affected by the Marshall Protocol?

    When I started taking Benicar I was completely amazed to find that I could pick up words so much more easily, in a manner I’d never felt before. I had about ten books lying on my nightstand that I started reading! When I started the antibiotics, the dyslexia came back temporarily as my body started to kill bacteria. Symptoms waxed and waned depending on the type and dose of antibiotics. Now I can read and write much more easily. I feel very different and the symptoms are just a small nuisance. I’m sure they will go away completely in the coming years.

    6. Anything else?

    I feel as if I’ve revisited my childhood illnesses. When I was in my 20s my appendix was removed. At the beginning of phase two I started to have severe pain in that area where it used to be. When pain in that area flared, my joint pain went crazy as well. It’s so obvious that all these health issues are connected. Now the pain in the area where my appendix used to be has completely gone away. When I was young I also used to get a rash on the back of my heels. Sure enough, the rash came back during my time on the MP. But gradually the rash has disappeared and been replaced with new skin. I also had quite a bit of dandruff which has now totally gone away.

    7. Were you surprised by any of your symptoms?

    I think what surprised me the most was how infected I was with L-form bacteria. Once I started the Marshall Protocol, it became obvious that I was suffering from a systemic problem because the treatment has addressed every health issue that I have ever had. Also, a few months into the MP, I started to get dark skin blotches all over my body. They came out like crazy. They had never appeared before the MP but my Grandma has many of them. Now they’ve all peeled off and there is new skin underneath. I also had several moles that fell off and disappeared.

    8. Why did you decide to do the Marshall Protocol?

    When I first got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis my doctor put me on prednisone. I felt better, but after six months I relapsed and my symptoms came back twice as badly as before. Nevertheless, my doctor told me to take more prednisone and had a nurse give it to me in the form of a shot. The day after the shot I started to go insane. I sat in bed all day screaming and freaking out. I remember telling my wife “I’m not sure what’s going on but just leave the house.” When she checked on me that afternoon I was starting to come back to reality. When I went back to the rheumatologist, all she said was “Oh, that happens sometimes,” with a smile. But that stupid shot scared me to death. I vowed I would never take prednisone again. So I went searching for another solution and found the Road Back book at the local bookstore. The Road Back is a rheumatoid arthritis treatment that uses minocycline. During the time that I was looking for another treatment, I still had a bottle of leftover prednisone. I knew the drug would hurt me but I was in so much pain. I actually slept with the bottle on my pillow in case I couldn’t stand the pain during the night. But I’m proud to say I never caved, I never took one pill.

    9. Did you hear about the Marshall Protocol right away?

    No. Before I learned about the Marshall Protocol I tried two other treatments that use antibiotics to treat RA. The second treatment made me feel terrible and during that time I was essentially bedridden. When I started the MP I realized that taking Benicar makes a huge difference in being able to tolerate the immune response generated by taking antibiotics.

    10. How did you hear about the Marshall Protocol?

    There was some talk about a new protocol on the RA and lyme boards that I used to frequent. I was so impressed with the Marshall Protocol web page when I found it that I don’t think I slept for a couple days because I was reading all the information. Luckily that was one month before the Chicago conference. I felt terrible but I knew I was going to attend the conference. When I got there, I was completely amazed by Dr. Marshall and the group of people at the conference. I thought it was going to be put on by a big major university or the NIH or some institution like that. Instead, I remember seeing Dr. Trevor Marshall and two board moderators, Meg Mangin and Belinda Fenter, sitting at a table in the hotel restaurant. I walked up to them and asked, “Exactly who is putting on this conference?” They just smiled, looked at each other, and said “We are.” I couldn’t fathom the idea that those three people knew so much about chronic disease that most of the world wasn’t aware of yet.

    11. Did you become sensitive to light after starting the Marshall Protocol?

    Yes. I couldn’t go get the mail, even when I was wearing a thick jacket to block sunlight. During the first four months everything seemed so bright. But the light sensitivity gradually decreased. Now it’s pretty much gone. I still wear sunglasses outside but frequently find myself pushing them up off my eyes and onto my head.

    12. What was the hardest part about doing the Marshall Protocol?

    It takes so long to heal on the Marshall Protocol. When I couldn’t work because of my symptoms, my wife had to work double hours. Meanwhile, I was lying in bed doing nothing. I knew I was getting well but I felt really bad that I couldn’t help out around the house. Also, some mental symptoms flared as well. I went though a period where I just couldn’t make decisions.

    13. What is one of the best aspects of your recovery?

    I’m convinced that I will live longer because I’m doing the Marshall Protocol. Clearly these bacteria are what bring the elderly down. But I’m not going to have any! It’s a good feeling to know that you’re going to age with, let’s say, dignity and grace. When someone asks me “Now how old are you?” I say, “45. I would’ve been 48 but I was sick for three years.” That reflects how much younger I feel.

    14. What advice would you give to people starting the Marshall Protocol?

    Study the website as much as you possibly can so that you can understand what you are doing and what will happen when you start the treatment. The more information you soak up, the better prepared you will be to handle any difficulties that might arise. Fully understand the Marshall Protocol model. Then accept the fact that the healing on the MP is going to take a very long time. Don’t ramp your antibiotics too quickly. If people quit, it’s often because they panic and take their meds too fast or because they set a time frame that is too short for full recovery. You have to put everything on the table. Also set small goals during your recovery.

    15. What lies ahead?

    I still have some pain in my upper back. But I am confident I will recover completely and probably feel better than I’ve ever felt before. I think the future will bring just living a normal healthy life, something that just three years ago I thought was impossible. A better question might be “What lies ahead for humanity?” We are definitely in the early stages of the biggest breakthrough in medicine. It’s going to be very exciting to watch this unfold and become the normal treatment for so many different diseases, not just the so called autoimmune diseases. In my opinion the “autoimmune” diseases are just the tip of the iceberg. This is going to be huge.

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  • About Amy Proal

    Amy and Zeus

    Amy Proal graduated from Georgetown University in 2005 with a degree in biology. While at Georgetown, she wrote her senior thesis on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Marshall Protocol.