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Are There Alternatives to Antibiotics?

That is a difficult question to consider! I really like the analogy: Drain the swamp and mosquitoes will not breed there. There are strong healthy persons who seem to never get sick, and others who seem to constantly “catch cold” or “get the flu”. Perhaps there are many paths that can improve one’s general health. I would like to share a few that have helped our family not be susceptible to every disease that seems to be spreading through the town.

In early married life, I was especially susceptible to disease. And as I had children, they were often sick and they developed allergies. At a music camp I heard a mother say: “My children are never sick; I’m an herb lady.” Since I wanted healthier children I went to the local herb store and looked into ways of improving our family’s health.

The lady who owned the local health food store became my “new best friend.” First, she encouraged better eating habits, particularly the elimination of negative nutrients from our diet. Sugar and refined carbohydrates were some of the most damaging. In a sense, they created the “swamp” which allowed bacteria and virus to breed in our bodies. As we curbed the use of these “white foods” (white sugar and white flour), our girls no longer needed an antihistamine for their congestion. Two of our four daughters had allergies bad enough that we had done allergy testing, and they had shots twice a week. After three weeks of a healthier diet, we quit giving them their shots—with no downside. Of course, this is not to suggest that this will be the case for everyone. But it did work for us.

One of our neighbors became terribly sick about four years ago. She recovered her health through studying and eating healthy foods. She has a book and a website http://becky4health.blogspot.com/  to share her findings. Wouldn’t we all like to have more energy, and live a healthier life-style?

becky Jones

Just lately, I have learned that several dear friends have cancer. Although not searching the internet for “cancer cure” (I have heard that cancer patients don’t like others tell them what they should have done), I have become more aware of articles that give evidence that a change in diet helps cancer patients survive. One headline on Newsmaxhealth said: “Sugar Real Cause of Cancer Deaths, Study Finds”. But of course, the actual article told that the study was limited to the link of sugar to oral cancer. However, other articles have confirmed that sugar and poor diet provides cancer the environment in which to grow. One doctor shared his recommendations for a healthy diet to beat cancer by eating raw foods. He reported that his patients who followed this diet had a much lower mortality rate than the national average. [https://markstengler.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Fight-cancer-with-the-healing-power-of-diet-and-supplements.pdf.  Since he wasn’t selling supplements, I wasn’t suspicious of his motives.

We learned more about herbs and found that the wise use of herbal supplements was one way to improve our family’s health. The medical community has generally been skeptical of the use of herbs. Many herbs have similar properties to antibiotics and other pharmaceutical medicines, and there have been and can be reactions and death from the use of herbs as well. On the other hand, they have great potential for building a healthier, stronger body by providing nutrients that are missing in our food supply. It is necessary to study the safe use of these products of nature. Although vitamins have been touted, sometimes the need for a broad range of minerals has not been sufficiently recognized. Again, the products I found in health food world helped us build stronger, more disease resistant bodies.

Nutritional Healing

Essential oils have become popular—partly because they are very effective and partly because most are sold through multi-level marketing. Many of these oils are from plants that have the same healing properties as the herbs from which they are made. We learned about many of these oils when our friend, Linda Barnes, helped Julene by “zoning” [see Chapter 8 p. 65 of One Angel and Twenty-One Miracles] her feet and using essential oils. Our family depends on some of these oils to fend off the sore throat and colds, stop bleeding (yarrow oil—amazingly effective), and relieve aches and pains. Most often it is successful! Although companies claim the oils are completely safe, we have seen some temporary skin reactions with certain oils, but nothing serious.

 

There are other alternative methods to maintain good health. Homeopathy is one of the least understood sciences by the general public, spurned by the medical world, and discredited by most of the articles on the internet. It may be difficult to find homeopathic health care providers, but the treatment is often extremely effective without being invasive.

tissue salts

One example is the use of homeopathic tissue salts. These are very small pellets of sugar that contain certain minerals. The one labelled “#8  Mag Phos” eliminates muscle cramps. This is amazingly effective for menstrual cramps! Here are three links with information about Tissue Salts, how to use them, and their effectiveness:

https://lovelovething.com/cell-salts-easy-homeopathy/

http://www.brighterdayfoods.com/PDFDocs/l/LR72WHCKJQ1V9LTGKT8CGWX7TM5B1NP5.PDF

http://naturalhealthtechniques.com/healingtechniquescell_salts/

 

 

To introduce another alternative health program, NAET [Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Treatment], will require a fair amount of background. Perhaps at first glance, those without an understanding of eastern medicine might immediately discount this method.

NAET

But if you could understand how seriously allergies have impacted our youngest daughter, you would certainly understand why we were willing try most any program that held the promise of eliminating allergies. Here’s her story:

Audra pictures -1_00112A

Audra was born when I was 48 years old. (I have always wondered if that contributed to her not being especially healthy.) As a toddler, she was so allergic to chocolate that she actually started throwing up after only two bites of a chocolate-covered granola bar! It became really difficult to have her at family gatherings or a party where food was served.

After Julene died, she began having severe difficulty breathing—not just wheezing, but to the point that she could not get air. She had been to the emergency room several times. During the most serious episode, she quit breathing at the entrance to the emergency room and lost consciousness. They administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but it was fifteen minutes before they were able to call-in one particular anesthesiologist who was especially proficient at inserting trach tubes. He succeeded and they were finally able to put her on a ventilator. (Oddly enough, there was so much going on—with at least 6-8 medical personnel in room, that no one even noticed that we were standing at the side of the room. Don’t they usually usher parents out when things are life-threatening?) Because of the seriousness of the situation, and the fact that it was a recurring problem, the attending pediatrician felt she needed to be at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake. After she was stable, arrangements were then made for fixed-wing transport, rather than a helicopter, to transport her to Salt Lake. I went with her. A bronchoscopy-–a procedure that puts a camera down the trachea tubes was done. It showed that her trachea was the size of a two-year old rather than a six-year old. When asked what could be done, they answered: “Just hope she grows out of it.”

 

Not knowing what to do for Audra, I met one of my dear friends who suffered terribly with multiple food allergies as well as sensitivities to unclean air, electrical transmissions, and many other things.  This day, she looked better than she had in years. When I asked her what had changed, she shared with me how she had done NAET with a chiropractor in Pocatello. This technique turned out to be the most effective treatment we have ever done. The allergies are eliminated with vibrations rather than invasive procedures. Within about 3 months, several major allergies had been eliminated. At last, the allergy to chocolate was eliminated—and she could finally eat chocolate! We rejoiced. Last summer, her dog tangled with a skunk three times. After the third encounter and the ensuing baths for the dog, she soon found that her breathing had become difficult. We went to Pocatello to have a treatment for her allergy to skunk odor. About 10 minutes after the treatment, Audra said: “Wow! Things have opened up and I can breathe easily.” These treatments have possibly saved her life, but at least given her a much better quality of life.

 

Recently we learned about Dr. Bradley Nelson’s program to promote better health. Nelson’s book is: The Emotion Code:  How to Release Your Trapped Emotions for Abundant Health, Love and Happiness.  The premise is that when a person can release trapped emotions, it can result in the sudden disappearance of physical problems. Although it may seem totally impossible, Dr. Brad (as he is called) has had impressive results. Again, the results may depend on the ability and training of the provider.

 

The above ideas are not to discount the use of doctors or pharmaceutical medicine. It has its place; it has allowed us a better and longer life. However, it is also good to learn to be healthy and not have to rely on it. Here is hoping you may find ways of staying healthy to avoid the dangers of the over-use of medicine which has the potential of causing life-threatening problems.

 

Eileen Wilcox

 

 

 

Writing the Book–The Miracles Continued . . .

The Miracles Continued!

Although I always felt that I should write about our daughter’s life and particularly about the suffering she experienced from this horrific reaction to penicillin, I never had been able to do it. It took several miraculous events to promote the actual writing of this story about Julene which was so close to my heart.

The first prompting to start writing came when we listened to the key-note speaker at a convention in March of 2017.  John O’Leary told of his experiences after he was burned on 100% of his body as a nine-year old boy. As he told about the pain and suffering, the medical treatments, the tortuous physical therapy, and the difficult rehabilitation, it brought back such very vivid memories of our experiences with Julene. Then John concluded his presentation with: “Everyone has a story:  you need to share yours!” I knew then—I HAD to write Julene’s story.

 

Buy his book here

 

Apparently, one prompting was insufficient, for the very next day we returned home and met Julene’s Rexburg doctor as we walked through the Idaho Falls airport. Dr. Hans Redd had been such an amazing support to both Julene and to our family. As we visited for a few minutes, recalling our experiences, he said:  “In my experience as a doctor, I have never seen anyone suffer as much as Julene did.” As I think back, our paths have not crossed either before or since that “chance” meeting at the airport—yet he was there on that particular day, when I needed those words, there he was.

The next day was Sunday, and although I thought about the two incidents, I did not immediately open my computer and start writing. However, on Monday, I received a letter that again let me know I needed to write Julene’s story. The letter was from a member of the Seventy who was presiding over a mission in the Philippines. He had been an adviser to us after Julene’s million-dollar health insurance had maxed out! When he was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Seventy the previous October, I wrote to congratulate him. I updated him about our family and included a picture taken at Audra’s wedding.

0937_original color edit

I shared with him how all of our girls and their husbands were at the temple that day, and how we had felt Julene’s presence as well. The beautiful words in his letter touched me and gave me the courage to start writing. That afternoon, I pulled out all the boxes of papers, letters, cards and photos which I had saved.

On Tuesday, I was at the copy center in Rexburg. There I bumped into a music professor who was particularly close to Julene. He recalled his last visit to Julene at our home the day before she died. He shared how it had been a very spiritual experience for him.

With four promptings in five days, I was left with the definite understanding I needed to start writing immediately. I looked through my computer files to identify what had been written. There was the life sketch from her funeral, there was an outline of a few miracles that I had presented in a Sunday School class, and there were a few other documents and copies of letters. But I was at a loss how to begin. Afterall, I had never written a book—and somewhere deep inside, I knew I needed to share her story, and that meant I needed to write something for publication!

Not many days later, I woke from a restless sleep, and suddenly knew what the title of the book should be:  One Angel and Twenty-One Miracles. With that in mind, I started writing about why Julene was our “Angel.” Although two or three individuals had told me she looked like an angel, I wasn’t really sure how I could just write “Julene was our angel.” So I tried to identify a few characteristics we associate with angels.  I thought of three:  angels are blonde, angels sing, and angels are beautiful. I shared my first one-page draft with my friend who countered with: “I don’t think of angels as blonde!”  Whoops!  Her beautiful daughters all had dark hair. I immediately made first revision!

This title also gave me a framework to choose twenty-one miracles out of the many we experienced over more than two years. Since we had experienced so many miracles, it was almost difficult to only choose twenty-one.  I began grouping miracles into categories and choosing the most outstanding ones. That’s when I started writing.

One of the early “miracles” I recognized when working on the book was the talent and expertise of my youngest daughter, Audra. In fourth grade we finally discovered why reading and some other learning activities were so very, very difficult:  she was dyslexic! In seventh grade, we had her do the Davis Dyslexia Recovery Program—and we discovered we had a new girl at our house. Although I knew she would be a great help when it came to preparing photos, I didn’t really expect her to be a good editor. In truth—she was a fantastic editor and proofreader. For one thing, she wasn’t afraid to say, “Mom, that doesn’t make any sense,” or “Do you realize you started four sentences in a row with the word ‘But’?”  Since she was too young to remember very much about the terrible circumstances, she was open and even curious to read what had really gone on during her early childhood.

JuleneBurnCent_00068A

Were there setbacks? Of course! Whenever we are following the righteous paths, Satan puts roadblocks in our ways. Not knowing the best way to prepare a book, I bought a book that I thought might show me some presentation options. I especially liked this one book had it divided into three parts. That seemed to fit the content of my story. I decided to write to her, hoping for some ideas about writing my book, and especially on how and where to publish. She never answered. I think she may have been too busy preparing to present her story at “Time Out For Women.” : )

Another setback happened after four months of writing. I asked a local English teacher to evaluate what I had written. I had the first two sections, which included the 21 miracles, written—but not perfected.  After reading this she said: “It is a very touching story, but I think it is a nice memory for your family. Thank you for sharing it with me.” This caused me to set my writing aside for several weeks.

During those weeks of respite, we attended a convention in Las Vegas. One of the classes we attended was: “How to Get Your Book Published.” [This was the only class of its kind in the three days of the convention.] One of the things we learned was that before submitting a book to the publisher, have the cover professionally designed. This way you give a great initial impression. I started making a plan for the creation of a beautiful cover.

When we got home from Las Vegas, I decided I needed to talk to “Beehive Bob”, the former owner of an LDS bookstore called, Beehive Bookstore. Still not feeling very confident about the project, I put off calling him until September. He suggested I talk to Jack Weyland, an area resident and the author of many novels, including Charlie, which was made into a full-length movie. I knew the Weylands, at least a little bit—their son, Jed, had been on the folk-dance tour with Julene and Margo. Jed had even come to visit Julene during  the first summer she was home from the hospital in Salt Lake.

Meeting with Jack and Sherry Weyland was a great experience—another tender mercy. They both read the first two parts of the book which I had finished in mid-July. Their response: “You need to publish this.” Jack encouraged me to self-publish, but I told him I strongly felt I needed to publish through Deseret Book. So, Jack provided insight and encouragement, but said he didn’t proofread. Sherry said: “I do the proofreading!” Together their ideas and skills were invaluable.

With the decision to submit the book to Deseret Book, I downloaded their guidelines. One of the stipulations was that I had to have permission from everyone who is named in the book. This was a tall order, because there were so many persons involved with her care. However, this turned out to be a wonderful opportunity to connect with those who had played such an important part of our lives—caring for IMG_1446Julene. We had not kept in touch with anyone, so finding contact information might have been formidable, had we not had the help of Heaven! For example, when I decided to find Teresa, the respiratory therapist who was like a sister, I didn’t remember her last name. When I looked through the address pages of my old planner, I found a Teresa and a phone number with an 801 area code. I decided to call, hoping she had kept the same number. No one answered; so I sent a text asking if this was the Teresa that was a respiratory therapist. It wasn’t long until she called me back and we had a few minutes to renew our friendship. We visited her a few weeks later when we went to Utah.

I wanted to use the beautiful drawing of Julene with Jesus, but felt I needed to visit with the artist, Jean Keaton. I had her address, but not her phone number. It took some internet searching—with the help of others, to find it. During the same trip to Utah, we met were able to meet with Jean. After Julene’s passing, Sister Keaton had asked me to compile a little bit of Julene’s story so she could share that when she gave talks or firesides about some of the pictures of Jesus with children she has drawn. We had a very sweet visit, and then she encouraged me to write Julene’s book and to publish it.

As I started to work on the project again, I had fresh ideas, especially for part 3. As I continued to go through the boxes of saved cards, mail, and paperwork, I saw how many individuals and families had cared. Julene’s tragedy and suffering had affected a surprising number of people in a very large area. I particularly read through the box full of sympathy cards and letters. I chose to quote a sampling of those to share the ways different families or individuals had grown from knowing Julene.

Of course, because I was planning to submit the manuscript to Deseret Book, I had to have permission to use their name and share their messages from these sympathy letters. One of these was Dr. Mark Mifflin, who had restored her sight in her last surgery about two months before she died. He shared his remarkable dream with us, and gave us permission to print this very personal experience in her book. [See Chapter 14, pp. 108, 109.]

Perhaps the most dramatic of the miraculous events that helped me actually write the book happened in late mid October, 2017. Our daughter who lives in Spanish Fork was practicing violin with her 6-year old daughter when she just let the violin slip from her shoulder and fall to the floor. At first she was cross because the little girl had been careless, but soon realized she had the symptoms of a stroke, which then lasted for about 30 minutes. She was taken to Utah Valley Hospital and tested for two days. My husband and I drove down to help them. They ruled out the possibility of a stroke, but still found no serious issues that could have caused the episode. After her fears subsided, our granddaughter loved the attention she received in the pediatric center. Upon discharge, she said: “Grammy, I want you to come see the toy room.”  My daughter found a nurse to unlock the toy room door. I recognized the nurse as a young lady that had been on tour with us the previous summer. We had a happy reunion and caught up on life events. I confided in her that I was writing about Julene and that I wanted to hire her twin sister to help me edit it. She promised to talk to her sister Jenn about the possibility. As we drove down the freeway about 20 minutes later, Jenn sent us a text that said: “I would love to help you, but you can’t pay me.” Jenn’s experience in editing LDS Church materials as a secretary in the Church Office Building was invaluable as we used scriptures and quotes from LDS speakers and general authorities. And best of all, she was wonderful to work with!

One of the seemingly small “tender mercies” turned out to be amazingly helpful. I was sitting by a sister in our church meeting that is for just the ladies:  Relief Society. I did not know this young lady who lived in the apartment complex in our ward. She was probably a student, and it was hard for me to remember who the students were. She was looking up something on her I-pad. I watched with fascination how she quickly found a scripture that fit into the lesson. I asked her to show me the site. It was the LDS Scripture Citation Index [https://scriptures.byu.edu/ ] It was invaluable as I tried to find the scriptures I wanted to place at the end of each miracle. I only remember seeing this new friend one other time.

With the book mostly written, I turned my attention to finding someone to design my cover. I knew that I wanted Julene’s picture on the front cover, and I wanted smaller pictures on the back cover. Audra made a prototype. But I wanted the professional version. I planned to find a college student in graphic design in order to really make it outstanding . In October, I asked a professor in the art department how I could find a student to design my cover. He reminded me that Kelly Burgener, the graphic design teacher (who we both knew) was now a Vice President; he wasn’t sure who was teaching those classes. I suddenly remembered that on a seemingly chance meeting, that Mrs. Burgener had told me their daughter, Erin, had graduated in graphic design. Their family had lived in our neighborhood—and Erin  would have remembered Julene, probably even prayed for her. The mother gave me Erin’s contact information, and she was excited to design my cover!

Needing to receive permission from each person whose name appeared in my book was sometimes a daunting task. I definitely needed to find Ron Andrus because he had played a significant role in our family and with Julene. I searched for quite some time, with no real clues. Even though my daughter was married to his second cousin, we still do not know how to contact him. Finally, he saw my message on Facebook and called me. He said: We are in Rexburg this weekend. What if we just come to visit you. I invited him and his wife and two children to come have breakfast with us on a Sunday morning. It was a great reunion. It was probably a good thing that he knew he was featured in this book because a couple of months later he received a call from one of his friends who asked: “Are you the Ron Andrus in this book about Julene Wilcox?” This friend’s mother, Olivia King, had received a preliminary copy to thank her for the many times she did wonderful things to support Julene. She loaned the book to her daughter, who in turn loaned it to Ron. Was I ever surprised when he sent me a photo of the cover of the book. Then he called to tell me how much he loved the book—and wanted his personal copy!

 

ron

One day when I was tending my five-month old grandson, I brought up all the boxes of papers and files that I had saved about Julene. I sorted stacks of papers that I thought I might be able to throw away. When my husband came home, I asked him if he would look through an inch-thick stack of bills and reports from a hospital. As I leafed through the pages, I suddenly saw the name and signature of the physical therapist on a discharge page.  I doubt if I ever knew his last name at the hospital, since all the personnel are only known by their first name. I asked Teresa, the respiratory therapist who still was working at Salt Lake Regional if she remembered him and knew his last name. She didn’t even remember him. So it was truly a miracle to find his name in that big pile of papers, so I could share his funny story. [See chapter 7 p. 54] He helped Julene so much.  He now had his own practice and it was easy to contact him. He answered my letter by giving me a call, and it was fun to visit with him. He had actually forgotten that Julene had died.

Some of the other things I found in all those boxes were her journals from early grade school to the one she kept on the last tour. I had read the last one (and used quite a few paragraphs in Chapter 5)—but I hadn’t looked at most of them. I picked up one pretty diary, randomly opened to a place in the middle, and found two significant entries. I felt Julene must have been standing at my side—perhaps turning the pages, to immediately turn to those two pages. I found nothing else particularly significant. [Those two journal entries are in Chapter 4, p. 16]

When I was nearing completion, I still felt like I should have a chapter 15. Maybe it was to give the book some symmetry with five chapters in each section. But I was out of ideas. When all the books and papers were still filling my dining room, I went through all the hanging file folders in a portable filing crate. Early in this project, I tried to make sense of all the material I had saved by sorting them by categories. I found that there was a folder that had Julene’s hand-written papers—and I hadn’t even read some of them. Although I was aware that, knowing her health was failing, she started to write her story. However, I didn’t know that she had written six pages, and after her passing, I was too overwhelmed and exhausted to think about reading them. Her thoughts were beautiful, her testimony of Jesus Christ was touching, and she testified that even through all of these trials, she knew that Heavenly Father loved her. This became Chapter 15, and it was the perfect way to end her story.

There were other little miracles—finding persons I never thought I would find, remembering events I had forgotten, and having Jennifer “just happen” to see individuals in the Church Office building to answer certain questions. Even the completion of the book and submitting it to Deseret Book by early December, the goal we had set, seemed to be miraculous. We all felt that God watched over this project, and prompted us as we worked on it. It has been a sacred experience. May it touch the hearts of all who read it.

 

Recognizing Allergic & Toxic Reactions

There is a compelling reason to become more aware of the reactions to medicines and particularly reactions to antibiotics. Most reactions are not nearly as serious as our daughter’s reaction in October of 1997 called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis  (TEN). This reaction was the result of only two capsules of Amoxicillin. Her skin blistered and there was a severe rash over most of her body.

Too often allergic reactions are not recognized even by health care professionals as such a serious problem, and sometimes even ignored. We found there are many people who are allergic to penicillin and other drugs. For example, when we met others in the waiting rooms at the University of Utah Hospital, we would exchange pleasantries and exchange the reasons we were there. When we told others about our daughter’s horrific reaction to penicillin, there were many who said: “Oh, I’m allergic to penicillin,” or “my sister is too” –or some other family member. When we asked if they wore a medical alert bracelet, there was not a single person who did. Yet, it was not Julene’s first reaction! The first reaction, which included difficulty swallowing, had been completely ignored. When contacted, the prescribing doctor said: “I don’t think she is trying very hard.” It took a few days for the symptoms to subside. Unfortunately, the second reaction was devastating for Julene. She was taken to University of Utah Burn Center. These professional photographs were taken after debridement of damaged skin, so medical students could better comprehend the problems of a TEN reaction:

 

Her eyes were particularly damaged. At first, they put a mask over her eyes to preserve them. When that proved to be insufficient, a doctor from the Eye Center stiched her eyelids closed. These were the pictures of Julene’s eyes taken by doctors from the Moran Eye Center early in her stay at the Burn Center:

Julene died after two and a half years of extreme suffering. [Details of her hospital stays, the time she was able to be at home, and the miracles she experienced are given in the book about Julene: One Angel and Twenty-One Miracles. Chapters 6 -10 tell more details about the reaction, her partial recovery, and the miracles that she experienced.

Penicillin is not the only antibiotic or medication that has causes Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) or Stevens Johnson Syndrome as it is often called. (The difference is that with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, there is a smaller body surface covered with blisters and erosions.) Bactrim, a commonly used antibiotic, caused a reaction to a 10-year old boy in Alabama. The headline in WKGW read: EXCLUSIVE: 10-year-old boy burned inside and out in one-in-a-million allergic reaction. The article said that he had been taking Bactrim for a few days and had experienced an upset stomach and dizziness. Then the boy complained in the middle of the night that he was unable to see clearly. The father noticed there were blisters forming on his boy’s face. Looking into his eyes, he could see a film in his eyes. After four hours, blisters covered his body and the skin began to peel. He went into a coma was transported to a Texas hospital. He survived the four-month ordeal, but he lost his eyesight and was left very weak. He experienced a Heavenly vision at the lowest point in his hospital stay. It was reported in several newspapers, but here is the link to two of these:  https://www.wkrg.com/news/mobile-county/is-heaven-for-real/949032663 and  https://www.good4utah.com/news/is-heaven-for-real-10-year-old-says-he-saw-angel-or-god-in-his-hospital-room/949801190. Doing a google search on his name [Thelonious Ziegelschmid-Sylvester] will bring up other websites that give more details and show pictures. The parents of this young boy have expressed the need to increase awareness of this devasting and life-threatening condition.

The incidence of TEN or Stevens Johnson Syndrome is calculated to be about six cases per million persons. Although the differences between the two reactions are not well delineated, one website says describes the effects of both life-threatening diseases as: “Serious complications can include pneumonia, overwhelming bacterial infections (sepsis), shock, multiple organ failure, and death. About 10 percent of people with Stevens-Johnson syndrome die from the disease, while the condition is fatal in up to 50 percent of those with toxic epidermal necrolysis.” https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/stevens-johnson-syndrome-toxic-epidermal-necrolysis

Perhaps our family is more sensitive to medicine than most families. We have both children and grandchildren who have had reactions to antibiotics and to other medications. The most serious to happen in our family (since Julene) was that of a grandson. When he was 21-months old, he was given amoxicillin for a serious ear infection. He took it for several days, with no problems. However, after about a week he started developing a rash. My daughter called her doctor’s office and was told: “Perhaps he is allergic to your laundry detergent.”  My daughter called me and was terribly concerned. After viewing these pictures that she sent, I totally panicked. The picture on the left shows the beginning of the reaction, on the right after about an hour:

I insisted she call the dermatologist who had correctly diagnosed Julene. She was given an appointment in the early afternoon of the same day. A nurse practitioner said it could be caused by several things, but with the family’s history of sensitivities, she prescribed a steroid cream and suggested they discontinue giving him the amoxicillin.

cream used

Two days later, someone from that office called. Presumably, a doctor had examined the photos and called to say he felt it was an allergic reaction to the antibiotic, and warned them to avoid penicillin drugs in the future.

Other medications can cause adverse reactions, and sometimes the health care professionals do not readily admit that the reactions come from the medications. For example, when Julene was in the Burn Center, they started giving her albuterol, the common medicine used in breathing treatments to open up swollen airways. At first, she was doing much better, and suddenly she reacted to the drug. They called us, and suggested we both come to Utah and to the hospital–they were afraid she wouldn’t live.  [See Chapter 6, pp 36, 37] For a short time they were careful not to administer that drug.

JuleneBurnCent_00010A

But as that doctor’s rotation was finished, another doctor made the comment that no one was allergic to albuterol. It took several different episodes for doctors or respiratory therapists to believe she had reacted to albuterol. The most serious was in the Idaho Falls hospital where they gave her a stronger bronchodilator, and it caused so much swelling that she almost didn’t live through the night.  [See Chapter 8, p. 67]

Several years later, her youngest sister was taken to the emergency room several times with an inability to breathe. We eventually found that her trachea was very very small for her age. When in fifth grade, her ability to breathe was again severely compromised and she was admitted to the hospital. The doctor felt albuterol was a very safe drug. After three days of breathing treatments four times a day, she was itching and had hives all over her body. The doctor would not even discuss the reaction nor suggest a protocol to reverse the allergic reaction. He discontinued the albuterol treatments and sent her home on oxygen. We were left to figure out how to reduce the effects of the reaction. So again, we found that almost all medicines can cause allergic reactions.

There is a fairly new procedure for determining if someone has a genetic disposition for having a reaction to certain medicines. It is not invasive and it costs between $150 and $300. It is being used, particularly for patients who take a variety of medications.  More can be found on:  https://www.coriell.com

Hopefully as awareness increases, there will be more concern about the over-use of antibiotics in particular. It also gives good reason to consider alternative health care. [See my post:  Health Alternatives]