Saturday, June 9, 2012

"Unbroken trust" OR Why I let my husband die

Why I let my husband die

Paul Anderson wanted to die. He'd been chronically ill for many years
and had tried to take his own life three times. The next time, his
wife Jill found him in time but decided to respect his wishes. And she
was charged with manslaughter. Hannah Booth meets her

By Hannah Booth
The Guardian, Friday 8 June 2012

On a hot sticky day in July 2003, Jill Anderson was driving home
across the North Yorkshire moors with some groceries when something
told her to put her foot down. Hurrying back, she dumped her shopping
bags in the kitchen and ran upstairs, where her husband Paul was
sitting on the bed. "What's wrong? Has anything happened?" she said.

"I'm sorry," said Paul. "I've taken enough this time."

He slumped on to the bed, falling into a deep sleep. By next morning,
he was dead.

Nine years later, Jill is sitting in a cafe in sunny Bristol reliving
that day, her marriage to "the love of her life", her arrest on
charges of manslaughter – and what it was like being in a relationship
with the threat of suicide constantly hanging over it.

Jill met Paul in September 1992. She was 37, and had been single for
much of her late 20s and early 30s. "I'd been on countless dates, but
they were never people I wanted to spend much time with, or felt
comfortable with," she says. Paul was different. "I felt secure with
him, felt I could say or do anything and he would accept me.

"I knew very quickly he was the one I'd been waiting for. I didn't
think I'd ever meet anyone, and suddenly there he was, and it was
lovely. He made life magical."

They married two and a half years later. But three days before the
wedding, Paul picked up a flu-like virus. Weeks passed, then months,
and he didn't get any better. He started to feel weak, and spent
periods in bed. Doctors did tests, but told him there was nothing
wrong, and sent him home with some aspirin. Undeterred, the couple
spent hours researching Paul's symptoms online, and soon
self-diagnosed chronic fatigue syndrome, or myalgic encephalitis,
usually known as ME.

CFS is persistent exhaustion that doesn't go away with sleep or rest.
There is no cure, but treatment can ease the symptoms, the most common
of which is muscle pain. Paul was unlucky: he was one of around 25% of
sufferers with severe symptoms that were compounded by health problems
since he was very young, including arthritis. CFS's physical symptoms
can lead to emotional and psychological problems, too, born out of
frustration, and from the fact that often the medical profession
doesn't take the condition seriously.

"From our wedding day on, Paul's health was up and down, but always on
a downward curve," says Jill.

Shortly after they married, they moved from London to Yorkshire, for
some quiet. Paul was a linguist and they had started a translation
agency, which was thriving. It meant they could work from home so
didn't need to live in the city. On the day they moved in, Paul "was
full of beans, putting up shelves, building a dining table and bench.
We were so happy, we thought he was finally on the mend. But it was
the adrenalin of moving because after that he crashed."

It wasn't until three years later that a consultant finally accepted
there was something wrong with Paul. He was given pain relief drugs
and encouraged to seek psychological help, which he didn't do. "He was
open-minded about [therapy] and would have had some if he thought it
would get results," says Jill. "But he had some homeopathic treatment
and fishing was a form of therapy for him."

Jill watched as her husband gradually lost his health. In the early
days, he was still well enough to take a gentle stroll in the
countryside. "We would do five miles, then it was four, three, two,
one, until he could only walk 100 yards before he was too tired to go
on," she says. His pain increased, and by the time he died, he was
virtually bedridden. The business, reliant on Paul's translating,
didn't survive and they were declared bankrupt.

She became his carer. "Looking after Paul, as well as trying to keep
the business ticking over before it went under, was a full-time job,"
she says. "It got to the point when I didn't have time to even cut my
own toenails."

Did it occur to her to ask for some help? "I should have done, but I
wanted to do it on my own. We both thought we were coping. I was in
contact with support groups, but we never had anyone come in to
relieve me. Paul would get terribly upset if I even called a helpline,
as he didn't want to be a burden to me. He was constantly looking for
ways to make my life easier, like setting up online shopping."

A year before he died, Paul gave up his beloved fishing. He had
started to get less movement in his upper back, and the pain was
becoming vicious. It was around this time that he made his first
suicide attempt. He left Jill a note:

"To my darling Jill, I love you more than I could ever say. I'm so
sorry. I just can't stand the pain any more. Thank you for everything
you have done for me. Please try to have the best life you can. I love
you for ever. Your loving Paul."

Jill got him quickly to Harrogate district hospital, where they saved
his life. "I understood why he wanted to die, as he was in so much
pain," she says, quietly. "But it terrified me. I loved being with him
and didn't want him to go."

Paul made a second suicide attempt shortly after that, this time
taking a combination of pills. Again, she called an ambulance and he
was rushed to hospital. From that point on, he was contemplating
suicide on a regular basis – on the third occasion, a few months
before he died, attaching a hosepipe to the car exhaust.

"I watched him go into the garage," says Jill. "I waited five minutes
then followed him in there. I pulled the hosepipe out of the car
window, and he shouted 'I want to die!' I said, you can't – and gave
him a list of all the reasons to stay alive."

During those months, as suicide became part of the language of their
relationship, how did she cope? "I don't know. I just saved him and
then we'd carry on as if nothing had happened."

Did they ever talk about it? "Just to the extent that I would tell him
how much I didn't want him to die. I became dedicated to saving his
life – clean sheets, neck pillows, his favourite foods, anything I
could think of to alleviate his suffering in the hope that he would
make some sort of recovery, and wouldn't want to [kill himself]."

It was in the final six months of Paul's life that the couple realised
his illness was serious. "Before then, neither of us wanted to admit
he was terminal, that he was never going to get better. I lived on
hope and couldn't accept he wouldn't recover. I kept thinking, what if
he'd not gone out that day [when he caught the virus] and got soaked,
or what if we'd moved to Devon and given him some sea air? But Paul
would always say that nothing would have made any difference."

The day Paul died, he and Jill had started, finally, to fill out a
detailed, 60-page form that would allow them to claim disability
allowance. It was something Paul had been putting off for months. Jill
now believes it was the trigger for his suicide – and it was this
realisation that made her rush home that hot July day. "The form meant
Paul had finally accepted that he was never going to get better," she
says. "He failed on every question. It sounds stupid, but I think we
were both stunned [by the realisation]."

When Jill found him, after returning home from her shopping trip, she
hoped – despite what he told her – that he had not taken enough pills
to kill himself. But this time, she didn't call for an ambulance. "I
felt defeated. I had to accept that he didn't want to go on. I didn't
want to see him pumped full of drugs again, forced to stay alive when
he didn't want to be."

Instead, she left him sleeping, and lay down beside him. At 9:30am the
following morning, Paul took his last breath. She called her doctor at
11am. "I wanted a few more hours with him," she writes in her memoir.
"It was selfish but these moments were all I had left of him. I felt a
strange euphoria; there was no physical pain in this place any more."

Later that day, the police arrived to take a statement – standard
procedure. And Jill's story could have ended there, with the sad but
peaceful death of her husband, an end to his suffering, and the
beginning of a slow grieving process. But on 30 July 2003, nearly two
weeks after Paul's death, Jill was arrested for assisted suicide and

She was questioned for three days – about Paul's illness, their
marriage, his suicide attempts, and her actions on the day he died.
She told them she didn't know why she hadn't called for an ambulance
when she found him, but regretted not doing so. In September 2004, she
was charged with manslaughter. The charge of assisted suicide was
dropped because the police couldn't find any evidence that Jill had
assisted Paul in taking his own life. She gave up her passport and had
to report weekly to the police station. "It was awful. They turned my
life upside down. My solicitor kept telling me, they are clutching at
straws, they'll drop the charges."

They didn't. The case came to trial – by jury – on 20 April 2005. Much
was made of Paul's history of hypochondria, and the fact that he had
rejected psychiatric treatment.

Jill was found not guilty. Today, she believes hers was a test case,
the result having serious implications for the emotive assisted
suicide and right-to-die debates. Does she ever wish she'd never
confessed to finding him before he died, and thereby implicating
herself? After all, his previous attempts to take his own life were
surely proof enough of his intentions. "No. And they would have found
out anyway."

The day Jill was arrested, she told the police: "I have to live with
this for the rest of my life." I ask her why, when she was so
convinced that her actions were right, she said that as it suggests
she blames herself for what happened.

"I was Paul's carer, and the duty of any carer is to look after
someone and make sure nothing happens to them," she says. "So in that
way, I failed. Because of all the media attention, and the trial, I've
been made to feel guilty. But deep inside, I know I did the right
thing for him. I knew he didn't want to live with such pain, feel
suicidal – or try to take his own life and end up in a coma, a
vegetable – permanently paralysed."

As the trial ended, Jill's grief began. "I started grieving as soon as
he died, but it's been such a strange, traumatic process that
sometimes I think it was only [after the trial] that I really started
to come to terms with it all," she says. "And grief is not a one-off
thing, it comes in waves, like acts in a play. There are certain
points in your life – the trial, moving house, writing this book –
that propel you forward."

Today, Jill lives in Devon, where she had planned to live with Paul.
Despite her occasional sweet smile, she carries a heavy sadness about
her. "Life is reasonable," she says. "But it's awful being without
him. I hate being on my own. He's completely irreplaceable."

Has writing the book been cathartic? "No, it's been like rubbing salt
in the wounds." She smiles. "But ultimately, I hope it will be."

Jill Anderson's memoir, Unbroken Trust: The Forbidden Goodbye of a
Husband's Suicide, is published by Simon & Schuster), £12.99. To order
a copy for £10.39, including free UK p&P, go to or call 0330 333 6846

Good news from WPI

Source: Whittemore Peterson Institute
Date:   June 7, 2012

WPI is pleased that Wingfield Nevada Group voluntarily dismissed
the complaints filed against WPI, with no money exchanged. This
dismissal is a complete victory and acknowledgment that the claims
against WPI had no merit.

(c) 2012 WPI

Whittemore charged with violating federal campaign finance laws

Source: Reno Gazette Journal
Date:   June 6, 2012
Author: Martha Bellisle

Former Nevada lobbyist Harvey Whittemore charged with violating
federal campaign finance laws; lying to FBI

Former lobbyist and political fundraiser Harvey Whittemore was
indicted Wednesday for allegedly making illegal campaign contributions
to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and lying to federal
officials, including the Federal Election Commission and the FBI. If
convicted, he could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000
fine on each of the four counts. U.S. Magistrate William Cobb signed
an arrest warrant Wednesday commanding 'any authorized law enforcement
officer' to arrest Whittemore 'without unnecessary delay.' One of his
lawyers, John Arrascada, said he could not comment on why federal
prosecutors sought an arrest warrant instead of a summons, which is
often used in white-collar cases involving defendants with no criminal
history. But he said late Wednesday that Whittemore would surrender
today to officials to be arraigned. A trial date will then be set.

Whittemore, 55, was charged by the grand jury with one count of making
excessive contributions, one count of making contributions in the name
of another and two counts of making false statements to a federal
agency, according to the indictment. 'Mr. Whittemore allegedly used
his family members and employees as conduits to make illegal
contributions to the campaign committee of an elected member of
Congress,' Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said. 'Furthermore,
according to today's indictment, he attempted to conceal his crimes by
lying to the FBI.'

Natalie Collins, spokeswoman for the Nevada U.S. Attorney's office,
said in a statement that the member of Congress who received the
tainted money 'unknowingly' filed false reports with the Federal
Election Commission. Although the indictment does not name the member
of Congress, a review of campaign finance records done by the Reno
Gazette-Journal showed that the only one to receive that level of
funding from Whittemore in 2007 was Reid, D-Nev.

In a statement, Reid denied knowing that any crimes were allegedly
committed. 'The Whittemore family gave money to local, state and
federal officials over many years,' said Kristen Orthman, a
spokeswoman for Reid. 'At no time did Senator Reid have any knowledge
that Mr. Whittemore was engaging in these alleged unlawful
contributions to Senator Reid or any elected official. Senator Reid
believes that this is a very serious matter, and he has full
confidence in the American justice system.'

Another one of Whittemore's lawyers, Dominic Gentile, said they will
aggressively fight the charges against his client. 'It is clear to us
and it will be clear to a jury that Mr. Whittemore always acted in a
law-abiding manner, well within his constitutional rights and with
complete transparency,' Gentile wrote in an email. 'We respectfully,
but strongly, disagree with the government's interpretation of both
the facts and law applicable to this case as well as the decision to
indict Mr. Whittemore.'

For decades, Whittemore was considered one of Nevada's key political
fundraisers, thanks to his effective lobbying skills and powerful
clients. Sporting his signature goatee, an easy smile and an endless
supply of energy, Whittemore sweet-talked his way through the Nevada
Legislature representing old-guard casino owners, tobacco companies
and other top-dollar clients. Over the years, he built a reputation as
one of the most influential and successful players in Nevada politics,
land development and business. The indictment also could affect
Whittemore, who also was a longtime lawyer with the powerhouse firm of
Lionel, Sawyer & Collins, in other ways. The Nevada Bar Association
said the indictment could cause him to lose his license to practice
law in Nevada.

Phil Pattee, assistant counsel for the state Bar, said they have
monitored the investigation into Whittemore's activities and if he's
convicted, they will gather the court documents and send them to the
Nevada Supreme Court. The court will then decide whether to send the
case to a disciplinary panel that will decide on suspension or

Nevada's state campaign finance laws also prohibit conduct that is
similar to the federal charges against Whittemore, namely using
conduits to make campaign contributions. A recent Reno Gazette-Journal
investigation found that Whittemore, his companies and employees
-including some of the workers who testified before the federal grand
jury that handed down the indictment Wednesday - made contributions to
certain state and local candidates in recent years.

Spokeswomen from the Nevada Secretary of State's office and the Nevada
Attorney General's office both wrote in emails that they can't
'confirm nor deny whether we have an ongoing criminal investigation.'
The jurors and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre returned the
indictment to the magistrate in U.S. District Court in Reno on
Wednesday afternoon. The charges resulted from an FBI investigation
and secret grand jury hearings that took place over the past four
months. No information was immediately available on whether any of the
people who testified before the grand jury or any elected officials
who received tainted money would also be charged.

The FBI served subpoenas to about 30 Whittemore associates, family
members and former employees on Feb. 9 as part of an investigation
into whether Whittemore used others to funnel campaign contributions
to candidates. They had contributed more than $150,000 to Reid's
campaign on a single day in 2007. Under federal law, it is illegal to
contribute to a federal political campaign using a conduit to hide the
identity of the true contributor. Federal law also sets limits on the
amount that an individual can contribute to a campaign. In 2007, the
maximum individual contribution was $2,300 for a primary election and
$2,300 for a general election; making the maximum for one candidate to
be $4,600.

The prosecutor said Whittemore met with a member of Congress on Feb.
21, 2007, and agreed to try to collect $150,000 in contributions by
March 31, 2007. At the time, Whittemore was owner of the Wingfield
Nevada Group, called 'Company A' in the indictment. 'Aware of the
strict limits on individual federal campaign contributions, Whittemore
allegedly devised a scheme and plan whereby he used family members,
employees of Company A, and their respective spouses, as prohibited
conduits through which to funnel his own money to the federal elected
official's campaign committee under the guise of lawful campaign
contributions,' said Collins, the Nevada U.S. Attorney's office
spokeswoman. 'This scheme allowed Whittemore to make an individual
campaign donation to the federal elected official in excess of the
limits established by federal law. Whittemore allegedly concealed the
scheme from the FEC, the elected official and the elected official's
campaign committee.'

Collins said that Whittemore solicited employees, family members and
their spouses to make the maximum campaign donations to the federal
official. He then reimbursed them with personal checks and wire
transfer, she said. 'In numerous cases, he provided money to the
contributors before the contributions were made,' she said. 'The
indictment alleges that Whittemore attempted to conceal some of the
reimbursements he made to the contributors by telling the employees
that they were bonuses. Whittemore also allegedly paid the
contributors additional money on top of the reimbursements. If a
conduit contributed $4,600, Whittemore reimbursed them $5,000;
likewise if a couple contributed $9,200, he paid the couple $10,000.'
On March 28, 2007, Whittemore had his company transmit $138,000 in
contributions to the congressman's campaign committee, Collins said.
And on April 15, 2007, the campaign committee 'unknowingly filed false
reports with the FEC stating that the conduits had made the
contributions, when, in fact, Whittemore had made them,' Collins said.

After making a name for himself as a lobbyist in the 1990s, Whittemore
teamed up with the founder of the Wingfield Springs community in
Sparks and became part-owner of the Resort at Red Hawk and the
Wingfield company in the early 2000s. They also formed and became
owners of the Coyote Springs development northeast of Las Vegas.
Whittemore formed the Wingfield Nevada Group in 2004 and teamed up
with Bay Area homebuilders Thomas and Albert Seeno Jr. in 2005. The
Wingfield company absorbed Coyote Springs, Red Hawk and a list of
other entities. But that partnership fell apart in January. From 2007
to 2009, Whittemore controlled the books for the Wingfield companies.
But in 2010, the Seenos allegedly found discrepancies that led to
Whittemore's resignation in 2011, according to court documents. The
Seenos filed a lawsuit in Clark County District Court in January
claiming Whittemore embezzled and misappropriated Wingfield funds for
his own personal use. Whittemore responded by filing a lawsuit in U.S.
District Court in Reno accusing the Seenos of racketeering and
claiming they threatened him with bodily harm or death if he didn't
turn over his assets to the company.

(c) 2012 Reno Gazette Journal

Friday, June 8, 2012

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome A polio by another name

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

A polio by another name

Jane Colby, What Doctors Don't Tell You, 6(9)

Research into Post-Polio syndrome and chronic fatigue has-made the astounding discovery that the virus that most often triggers CFS is closely related to the one that causes polio.

Just a few decades ago, hospital wards were full of children in iron lungs as a result of polio. No longer. The horrific spectacle appeared to abate with the advent of vaccination, but nothing is without its price.

The public breathed a sigh of relief and even the medical profession believed, and still seems to believe, that the dreaded scourge of polio was at last being vanquished. We read predictions that it will be wiped out by the year 2000.

But a body of evidence is growing linking Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), to this terrible disease, largely caused by attempts to eradicate polio. An alternative polio seems to be upon us.

The proceedings of the first intemational scientific conference on the Post-Polio Syndrome in the US have been collated in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science. It includes 50 papers written by 118 contributors from a wide range of specialties, including clinical neurology.

In particular, papers by Dr Richard Bruno, assistant professor at the New Jersey Medical School's department of physical medicine and rehabilitation and director of Post-Polio Rehabilitation and Research Service at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in New Jersey, and four other specialists compare Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Post-Polio Syndrome (Dalakas, et al, ed. The Post Polio Syndrome: Advances in the Pathogenesis Treatment,Annals, NY Academy, Sciences, 1995: 273: 1-409). Post-Polio is developing in those who had polio 25-30 years previously. Clinically, it is indistinguishable from CFS.

Other researchers demonstrate that CFS is just another form of polio, which has increased with the advent of polio vaccination. As one type of gut virus has been eradicated, so other forms have had the space to proliferate. Up to one in every 500 Americans may have CFS, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

To understand the link one needs to understand the microbiological habits of both polio and other enterovirus disease-that is, gut bugs.

A historical accident has led to various names being given to viruses, all of which share physical , chemical and epidemiological characteristics of what we consider the classic polio virus, which science refers to as polio viruses 1, 2, and 3 (Dowsett: Journal of Hospital Infection, 1988:11:103-15). ln 1948, a polio-like illness in New York state prompted scientists to culture the virus. But what grew looked to them at that time like a new virus.

They called it "Coxsackie' after the small town up the Hudson River where it was found. And they called the disease "Atypical Polio" because its symptoms identified it as a kind of polio, despite the virus being apparently different.

This kind of polio, "Atypical Polio,' has since been renamed, 'Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,' or ME. But it remains a kind of poIio despite the change of name. and newer technology has shown up the generic similarities of the most frequent agent that causes it.

These techniques place Coxsackie, the virus most often implicated in CFS, in the polio family tree, along with so-called echo viruses. Coxsackie has been further divided into Coxsackie type A (with 24 viruses) and Coxsackie type B (six viruses ). There are 34 echo viruses. In total, there are at least 72 enteroviruses in all, with new ones still being discovered.

All this has been unnecessarily confusing and complicated, even for doctors. These days newly discovered enteroviruses are just given a new number, not a new name, since their inter-relationship is recognized.

Had the techniques been available that we now have at our disposal, all these viruses might simply have been called "Polio 1 through 72."

There are several angles from which to investigate the hypothesis that CFS is a type of polio. One is its clinical symptoms. Dr. Elizabeth Dowsett, consultant microbiologist of the Southeast Essex NHS Trust who is in the forefront of British CFS research, explains that true CFS (as opposed to fatigue states with other etiologies) strikes one clinically as being polio-like, and it has often been diagnosed as a "non-paralytic polio." "These patients have weakness, pain down their spines and are systemically ill," she says.

She feels that it has been an unfortunate mistake to turn to the label "Chronic Fatigue" because true CFS is a neurological condition that usually originates with a gut virus infection like Coxsackie.

Apart from clinical examination, in some cases of CFS you can actually demonstrate the presence of gut virus infection in the patient. The requirement to put off diagnosing CFS for six months after the patient falls ill has unwittingly militated against this. If tests are not done very rapidly after the onset of infection, it is too late to identify the virus.

A blood screening test called the IGM, which shows up recent infection, can be positive up to three months after infection in adults. As the enteroviruses are characterized by their relapsing nature (on average, three-week intervals), it could also be identified on relapse.

Apart from modern techniques, a research procedure called the acid elution test can identify your antibody from a circulating virus and can be applied to viruses multiplying in the bowel. Years ago it was difficult to diagnose polio, and it was this very test which was used.

A third way to compare CFS with polio is by looking at studies of actual outbreaks which identified the viruses causing it. Here the evidence is particularly striking.

A recent paper by Richard T. Johnson, at the Department of Neurology, John Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, published in the 1995 Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences mentioned above, sets out evidence that has been available since the 1950s. "In the spring of 1957," he wrote, "we investigated an epidemic of poliomyelitis in Hawaii...of the 39 cases of nonparalytic poliomyelitis, only four were related to type I poliovirus. There were 16 cases of echovirus 9, seven cases of Coxsackie, and four to five other enteroviruses."

The very enteroviruses known to be implicated in CFS were here identified as causing "non-paralytic polio." CFS has often been diagnpsed as "non-paralytic polio." And even more interestingly, two of the 38 cases of paralytic disease were not caused by the polio virus at all, but by one of the Coxsackie viruses.

So we know that enteroviruses in general can cause varying forms of the disease we call polio.

Other parallels between CFS and polio concern neurological damage.
In the November 1991 edition of Orthopedics, Dr. Bruno says that "all the evidence available shows conclusively that every case of poliomyelitis, human or experimental, exhibits lesions of the brain. In the experimental animal this included non-paralytic and abortive cases as well as paralytic cases." CFS has been diagnosed by both italicized names. In fact, brain abnormalities can now be demonstrated in the brains of people with CFS using SPECT and MRI scans.

One would expect there to be differences in the diseases caused by different viruses, but if these viruses are all of the same family and use the same receptor sites in the body, one would also expect there to be simularities. This is just what we find.

Dr. Bruno says: "Despite the differences between poliomyelitis and CFS, an association with the polio virus was suggested by the fact that, of the more than one dozen CFS outbreaks before the introduction of the Salk vaccine, nine occurred during or immediately after outbreaks of polio, and several involved hospital staff who cared for polio patients" (Annals, NY Academy of Sciences, 1995).

There is also the case of a woman who fell ill with classical CFS while nursing a lady friend with acute paralytic polio (Hyde et al: Epidemiological Aspects of ME/CFS, Nightingale Research Foundation, Ottowa, Canada, 1994).

But if CFS is a type of polio, why doesn't everyone exposed to the relevant viruses develop ME just as they did polio?

It has been forgotten that, as Dr. Thomas Stuttaford of The London Times explains, ". . only a small number of those infected with the polio virus became paralyzed; about 90 percent didn't even realize that they had annthing more threatening than a cold." With polio and CFS, the state of your immune system governs whether you will be susceptible.

By altering the population's resistance to a particular organism, we alter the balance of infectious agents in the environment. The circulation of wild polio viruses 1-3 has declined through vaccination. However, this has left us open to the other 69 polio-related viruses, which have thrived (see How viruses compete with each other).

It is therefore not surprising that since the late 1950s the incidence of CFS has risen, and experts predict that it will be the neurological disease of the 21st century. By suppressing the spread of three enteroviruses we have opened the door to the rest.

The argument about whether enterovirus infection persists over many years is still raging. In her 1995 review of the proceedings of the 1994 Post-Polio Conference, Dr. Dowsett draws attention to new evidence of persistent enterovirus infection in the central nervous system of Post-Polio patients.

She concluded: "Three separate groups of Virologists from the US, UK and France have found fragments of enteroviral RNA in the spinal cord, cerebrospinal fluid and bIood of some patients with Post-Polio syndrome. The fragments are identified as polio virus by some and as Coxsackie virus by others," she said.

It is thought that the emergence of late-onset Post-Polio fatigue may result from age-related changes in brain cells that survived the original polio infection (Bruno, Annals, NY Academy of Sciences, 1995).

But it can be observed through case histories that just as we see Post-Polio Syndrome 30 years after initial infection, so we are seeing "Post-CFS" as well. The Nightingale Research Foundation in Ottawa proposes that in fact they are one and the same condition-others believe they may be variations of each other.

What has arisen is "two new diseases with different names, with different degrees of acceptance and exactly the same set of symptoms at exactly the same time. It is unrealistic to believe that we are dealing with two different disease processes and two different causes," the researchers concluded.

A paper investigating the epidemiological aspects of CFS has revealed further convincing parallels between the behavior of this disease and polio. It describes the onset of CFS as mainly being ushered in by a "minor illness" which has "recently been described as a flu-like illness. . .", The researchers continue: ". . in reality it is identical to and has all of the features and variability of the 'minor illness' of missed or abortive poliomyelitis."

In comparisons with epidemic polio going back to 1916, they note that "we see the same two typical features" in a typical year with an epidemic of CFS: "a decreasing incidence from January to reach a summer low; then ... the strong late summer increased incidence, peaking in the August to October period." (Hyde et al: Nightingale Research Foundation. Ottowa, 1994).

CFS, or Atypical Polio, is such a serious and devastatingly debilitating multisystem malfunction leading to such profound weakness in some children that they are unable to speak and have to be tube-fed. But they can breathe; enteroviruses have an affinity for certain tissues and many do not attack the respiratory center, causing paralysis, as in polio itself.

Children with polio were given intensive physiotherapy and exercised. Now. up to a half of survivors have gone on to develop Post-Polio. It has been predicted that this will eventually rise to 100 percent.

What are we doing to our teenage CFS sufferers when we force them back to school, deny home tutoring and tell them to exercise as a form of therapy?

The treatment of choice for those with Post-Polio is "adequate rest, energy conservation, the pacing of activities, and reducing physical and emotional stress" (Bruno: Annals NY Academy of Sciences, 1995).

What on earth will happen in 30 years' time to children now getting CFS in a climate where they are disbelieved and told to push themselves through the pain barrier? The condition 'Post-CFS,' which we are already seeing in adults, may well await them with a vengeance.

We have to ask ourselves the disturbing question: if polio victims had been able to breathe, would we ever have taken that disease seriously?


This article was excerpted from Ms. Colby's book ME: The New Plague
First and Best in Education Ltd.
24 Nene Valley Business Park, Oundle, Peterborough, PE 8 4HL, UK


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A very interesting read:The Polio Paradox, Richard L. Bruno
a1 Books;; Amazon US; Amazon UK; Barnes&Noble; Booksamillion

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Medicare/Social Security surveys

Election season is underway, but so far politicians are being pretty quiet about their views on Medicare and Social Security. We've earned a say in the future of these programs. I just told AARP what I think about Medicare and Social Security – will you join me? It only takes a few minutes to make your voice heard.

Let's show Washington that seniors care about what happens to these programs. Tell AARP what you think today.


If you have bright ideas, share them!

45 Nearly Useless Medical Tests

45 Nearly Useless Medical Tests

Dear Readers,

Believe it or not, common sense is making a bit of a comeback in conventional medicine.

In a program called "Choosing Wisely," nine medical societies have listed the 5 most unnecessary tests in each of their specialties, for a grand total of 45 routinely ordered tests that are useless in all but the most serious cases. (As we've discussed recently, sometimes those tests aren't only useless — they're downright deadly. Case in point: routine PSA testing for prostate cancer, which research shows actually leads to more suffering and deaths from overtreatment of slow-growing cancers.)

The American College of Physicians (with 132,000 members) have partnered with Consumer Reports to jointly participate in the Choosing Wisely initiative, while simultaneously developing their own, similar educational program called "High Value Care."

Of course, not everybody is happy to embrace medical common sense. As soon as the medical societies started publishing their lists of unnecessary medical tests, groups with a financial interest in the tests — along with their corporate buddies in the media — started crying "medical rationing!"

It's difficult to have a discussion about the fact that our medical care system is driving us into national bankruptcy when some in the health industry appeal to mob hysteria with this type of sloganeering? We can't! So it's up to YOU to be an informed consumer of medical care. That means recognizing the difference between common sense, where you get only the medical care that that is best for you, vs. testing that gets popular, even among well meaning physicians, because it is profitable rather than helpful. I encourage you to look at all the unnecessary tests Choosing Wisely identified. You can see them at the Choosing Wisely website.

You'll find a lot of good recommendations there: Don't do medical imaging for an uncomplicated headache. Avoid routine, pre-op chest x-rays. And many more. I don't necessarily agree with every recommendation, of course. But they're definitely a step in the right direction, and a number of these suggestions reflect what I've been saying for years (sometimes decades).

Love & blessings,

Dr. T

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Left Behind

Patients with any chronic illness often find themselves being left behind by the world, watching their contemporaries go on to have careers and families and financial successes, while the patient goes nowhere fast.  You feel you have nothing to talk about when friends call, because while they've been vacationing in the tropics, your big "trip" for the past year was that visit to your doctor cross-town.  Hardly a fascinating subject of discussion.
New York Times columnist and author of Bad Religion Ross Douthat sums up the current attitude, "If you fail to master everyday events, and fall into struggles and suffering, it's a sign that you just haven't prayed hard enough, or trusted faithfully enough, or thought big enough... The fault where any evil is concerned, in other words, lies not with God, the devil, or the fallen-ness of creation but with you -- so stop whining about your troubles, get down on your knees, and do something about it!"
Douthat acknowledges "Such a message may sound cruel."  And it does -- because we have millions of patients (and their friends and families) around the world praying for a cure, and in over a quarter century, not a one of those prayers has been answered.  They've gone up to Jesus, God, Allah, Buddha, and deities whose names I don't even know, so it can't be that we're praying to the wrong divine entity, because we have people praying to all of them. 
A professional acquaintance worked at the Vatican, and, at my request, added "a cure for CFS" to the prayer list for her office.  An old friend is a nun, and added "a cure for CFS" to her convent's daily prayer list.  When John Paul II died and needed miracles for canonization, some CFS patients started to pray to him for our miracle cure.
If even someone as close to God as those three cannot get His attention to get us our cure, then don't blame yourself for not praying hard enough.  Surely if the answer to our problems were praying hard, we'd have gotten somewhere by now with that kind of firepower!
It's one of those guilt trips that people like to send you on so that they won't have to acknowledge "there but for the grace of God go I." 
The simple fact is that people of all walks of life, all belief systems, all levels of religious belief from atheist to ministers, have come down with this disease.  It's not a lifestyle disease like AIDS -- I lived a very healthy lifestyle; the only thing I did wrong was to leave my germ-free apartment during flu season and cross paths with the wrong stranger.  It had to be a stranger who infected me, because no one else I knew had CFS.  Perhaps that man who sneezed on the bus, perhaps the woman who coughed as I passed her on the sidewalk?  Washing your hands constantly won't help if you inhale an airborne germ.
A friend within the CFS community who has heard quite a bit about the 30 years of struggles I've had in my life (even before being struck by CFS) has suggested that I title my autobiography "Wednesday's Child is Full of Woe."  Going to church every Sunday did nothing to insulate me from troubles.  Leaving the church didn't make things any worse (in fact, it made things better, because I wasn't coming home from Sunday services with the latest germ that would make me miss work later in the week).
Next time someone tells you to just "pray harder", look them right in the eye and suggest that since you already pray quite hard enough, they should pray harder for you, and for the millions of other patients around the world.  When you see them again, tell them that there is still no cure for CFS, and accuse them of not praying hard enough.
Then ask them for a donation to your favorite CFS researcher.
To borrow a line from a religious writer, "sometimes bad things happen to good people."  I've started to look at it as my poor health being God's test of those around me.  One friend who decks herself out in every piece of What Would Jesus Do? paraphernalia available to trumpet her Christianity has proven herself to be completely unwilling to lift a finger to do anything hands-on to help me.  When she gets to the Pearly Gates, God's not going to care about the T-shirt; she'll need to defend her constant excuses to not perform charitable acts to help the disabled. 
It's been the non-Christians who have been most likely to step up and help: the Jewish friend who made phone calls trying to get volunteers to help me in a crisis, the Pagan and Wiccan friends who've phoned and written to keep my spirits up, the non-believer who sent me books and videos to keep me entertained when I was bedridden...  
Those are the people who've passed the test.  Those who think tossing a casual "I'll pray for you" over their shoulder as they run off to do something more fun than tend to my needs have failed.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Viruses proliferate in the nervous system by taking over proteins

Herpes viruses proliferate in the nervous system by taking over proteins the mitochondria need - Princeton
To: [email protected]
[Note: this article discusses using alpha herpes viruses (herpes simplex
viruses HHV-1 and HHV-2, and varicella zoster - the virus responsible for
chickenpox and shingles - HHV-3, but not any of the herpes viruses I have
seen mentioned in association with ME or CFS: EVB (HHV-4), cytomegalovirus
(HHV-5) or HHV-6 or HHV-7), but as a model organism: that is, something
studied because it's convenient which they think can provide insight about
how things work in similar situations.

That is to say, the researchers think their work could apply broadly to any
infection which is able to affect the nervous system. e.g. any organism
which could be associated with, or produce, ME could theoretically work in
this manner, although they have not studied those here.

Because of copyright law, I have included only a little of the article here
and one will need to follow the link to read it all on ProHealth.


Findings suggest that other neurotropic viruses (e.g., West Nile or
polioviruses) could corrupt mitochondria in the same way.

Note: This news, written by Morgan Kelly, is provided courtesy of the
Princeton University Office of Communications.


To spread, nervous system viruses sabotage cell, hijack transportation

Herpes and other viruses that attack the nervous system may thrive by
disrupting cell function in order to hijack a neuron's internal
transportation network and spread to other cells. [A process that stops
mitochondrial energy generation in the cells.]

Princeton University researchers made the first observation in neurons that
common strains of the herpes virus indirectly take control of a cell's
mitochondria, the mobile organelles that regulate a cell's:

. Energy supply,

. Communication with other cells,

. And self-destruction response to infection.

The team reports in the journal Cell Host and Microbe [May 17,
"Alpha-herpes virus infection disrupts mitochondrial transport in neurons"]
that viral infection elevates neuron activity, as well as the cell's level
of calcium - a key chemical in cell communication - and brings mitochondrial
motion to a halt in the cell's axon, which connects to and allows
communication with other neurons.

The authors propose that the viruses then commandeer the proteins that
mitochondria typically use to move about the cell.

[end excerpt]

the link to the publishing journal (I have not read the full text; I just
thought it sounded interesting from the ProHealth article):


To vote for the Hunter-Hopkins Center to win an Intuit grant: (ideally, once per session, which is currently once per

The PACE trial announced that status quo was great for ME/CFS, but is this
conclusion appropriate? See an analysis here:

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