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    John McDonald

    My RA was diagnosed in June 2002. I started AP from Feb 2004. I began MP in September 2005. As of March 2008 I have progressed to MP phase-3 and I am happy with it.

    My rheumatoid arthritis started explosively in June of 2002. On Tuesday I woke with some stiffness in my neck. I thought that I had slept badly. By Saturday my joints were on fire and I couldn't bear the touch of my wee girls. I was limping and shuffling like a very old man, with extreme pain in my fingers, wrists, toes and feet, neck, and everywhere. I though I had some strange flu. After 10 days the pain had eased everywhere except my fingers and feet. After prodding from my dear wife I saw a physician who diagnosed me with RA.

    Doc started me on Vioxx and sulfasalizine. The sulfasalizine made every meal a nauseous ordeal so doc switched me to Plaquenil. I tolerated Plaquenil and after the requisite month or so it offered considerable relief, for about 2 years, but the pain never really left my fingers or feet and sometimes it could be quite bad. I suffered from unusual fatigue and depression. I did not know these were also RA symptoms until reading Scammell's book. Doc added methotrexate in August of 2003. SARS had just savaged Asia and I needed to go there. Doc said I shouldn't take an immune suppressant (methotrexate) until I returned and that clued me that Methotrexate might have serious ill effects. In doc's mind, the side-effects were justified by my inevitible, auto-immune destruction.

    In December of 2003 I discovered an AP patient history online that in turns led me to Dr. Brown's AP, Henry's book, and the Road Back web site.  I started with Daily Doxycycline in February 2004, while continuing Vioxx and Plaquenil. I had a strong herx right away. Then came months of see-sawing, ups and downs and glacial, invisible progress. However by October 2004 (about 8 months) I felt improved enough to cut my Plaquenil dose in half. On New Year's Day I dropped Plaquenil altogether and had another week long herx.

    By May of 2005 I had something that could credibly be defended as remission of a sort. Nothing much was changing anymore and I felt pretty good. I was still taking 200mg of Minocin in place of Doxy, and I took daily Celebrex in place of Vioxx. But my RA had really subsided and I pretty much had my hope and life back. It was nearly a year more before I stopped Celebrex. I don't know how much I needed it in that year, but I was afraid to stop the NSAID from fear of pain. I drive frequently and often in LA traffic and in those days, that would still make my fingers ache from the white knuckle grip on the wheel.

    On the 9th April of 2005 I stopped Mino for a 2 week washout to try the Marshall Protocol. I began taking Benicar per the MP and added a mere 25mg of Mino on 23 April and again on 25 April. The Benicar by itself did little scarcely  but adding the Mino made me light headed, my blood pressure dropped, and I became intensely light sensitive. Indoor daylight made my eyes hurt. I did not have an arthritic herx but lots of things were changing in unsettling ways. Throughout the Minocin washout and MP toe-dip, I did have gradually returning arthralgia. So I gained a sense that my RA was under control but not yet defeated. My wife and I were not prepared for my strong MP herxing that April so we set the MP aside until September (2005). I resumed 200mg of Minocin, all taken at once in the AM on alternate days.

    In September I acquired a systemic yeast problem after 2 weeks of vacation and poor diet. I knew it was yeast because my bowel movements changed quite a lot and my body was trying to turn any carbs into gas and beer. But it also gave me an arthritic flare for the first time in months which again convinced me that my RA was in abeyance but was not yet defeated.

    So I started the MP again in September of 2005 to see if I could move from remission to something more approaching cure. It was no easier than in April, but this time I was better prepared and I had darkened two rooms of my house so that I could hide from light when needed.

    John McDonald

    I will put my early MP history here in a bit. Then another post for phase 2 & 3 MP experiences to bring me to date. Then I will make periodic progress posts so y'all can see if I get cured :cool:or whether my ears fall off.:shock:

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