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Reading this article, I asked myself: did Alan
Wiseman suffer from 'fatigue' or 'unwellness'?
~jan van roijen
The Wellington Advertiser
Curing an incurable
by Ray Wiseman
Nearly two years ago, I reported my son, Alan,
became seriously ill. It progressed so fast he had to
quit work, ailing to the extent he could walk only
steps without a walker.
He found a wheelchair, his voice faded to a whisper
and he found it difficult to concentrate. His family
doctor and various specialists seemed baffled.
Because he could last only moments on a treadmill,
they assumed he had serious heart problems, but
could not agree on a specific one. Some of the
probable diagnoses suggested imminent death. It
looked like his life would end in his mid-40s.
At times, his condition would improve, but extra
physical exertion or emotional tension would send
him down again. He couldn't even attend church,
where he worked as minister of music; crowds
For nine months he lived with no sense of what ailed
him. Then an internist diagnosed the illness as
chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a condition
triggered by a viral infection. The internist explained:
"Exercise or tension causes an adrenal rush, which
should energize your muscles. But it does the
opposite, causing muscles to weaken, including the
Medical science knew no cure. Sometimes people
with CFS have remissions fully or partly; some never
recover. Physically and emotionally he sank to his
lowest, dropping well down on the disability scale.
But he refused to give up and daily checked for new
treatment on a CFS website.
In early 2007, he read about a preliminary study at
the Stanford University School of Medicine involving a
new drug that suggested hope for some sufferers.
Researchers had treated 25 patients, 21 of whom
responded with significant improvement that
continued even after going off the medication at six
months. The first patient experienced no relapses
three years after ending treatment.
The 21 patients who improved all appeared to have a
type of CFS that originated from a viral infection. The
report said researchers would begin a double-blind
test to gain further data. Neither the internist nor
the family doctor could see any reason for Alan to
continue suffering, waiting years for additional
research. The anti-viral drug used in the Stanford
study did not have Canadian approval, so they
prescribed Valtrex, a similar product.
He began the treatment, and within seven weeks his
health began improving. In a year he returned to
work part time, and began riding a bicycle and
swimming laps. For months he experienced
disorientation when in a crowd or when trying to do
too much at once. We hoped he was on the way to
gaining full health.
Alan had three things going for him: a personal faith
that God would heal him; a determination to take
responsibility for his own health; and doctors with
the courage and imagination to try new things.
Did Alan's faith and the doctors' determination pay
off? His wife said: "Alan has gradually improved over
the last year. Three weeks ago he returned to work
full time. His walking is still limited, so we hope for
more improvement in this area. Now he follows a
strict routine with swimming as his daily physio. We
are grateful for this amount of recovery."
In this age of distrust and skepticism, miracles still
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