Letter of commendation – Cape Town Dream Team
It gives me great pleasure to write this letter to thank you for your concern, kindness, compassion and assistance over the past 12 months. You have an amazing team in Cape Town. I call them “my Dream Team”, with Dr Graham as the leader of the pack and my miracle man!
I am overwhelmed with emotions. Today was the first time in 4 years that I have had the confidence to step out without any make-up (foundation) to cover up hyperpigmentation.
I have just come back from a follow up session with Dr Graham going over the latest blood test results – remarkable improvement from 2013. After a long and painful battle to get rid of the pigmentation, Dr Graham suggested further investigations and has probably saved my life.
I was diagnosed with Addison’s disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis following Dr Graham’s investigations. I was in complete shock when I got the news. A year earlier I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia so suffering from 3 auto-immune diseases came as a complete shock. My entire life changed.
I have been working for over 30 years and my performance went from a top achiever to virtually non-performing. I couldn’t concentrate. I was having tremors. I was anxious all the time. My hair was falling out. My body was retaining fluid. I suffered short term memory loss. I had hallucinations. I was moody. My whole personality changed. I felt worthless and incompetent and wanted to resign. L Our HR, Corporate Health and GP talked me out of it several times. Thankfully, my employer has a temporary incapacity programme in place to assist employees with rehabilitation.
I was booked off work for just over 3 months and returned to work in mid-January 2014. During my time at home, our business unit went through a restructure and our entire team was dissolved. I was hoping to be retrenched but was given another job which I really did not enjoy. As a result, the fibromyalgia flared up again.
The Rheumatologist prescribed a new drug, lyrica, starting off with 50mg daily increasing the dosage gradually until 175 mg twice a day. I was already taking Pixicam, Tramahexal, Tripiline and Altosec at the time and have been for about 18 months. Initially, I thought lyrica was the miracle drug. I had no more pain and my personally and sense of humour back.
However, when I hit 175 mg, I suffered severe side effects, I.e.
- Memory loss (my dog had a different name every day!)
- Slow responses
- Unstable on my feet
- I forgot common, every day words.
- I could not speak a full sentence without searching for the appropriate words
- I was restless at work and could not concentrate
- I could not co-ordinate an outfit for work despite my good sense for fashion
- I felt like a veil of fog was hovering over my brain
- I was trance like and could not respond to conflict situations or any situation that required a response
- I had no logic, cognitive and mathematical ability
- I burnt my leg one night during winter sitting next to the heater. I felt no pain and only noticed the burns the next morning.
The Rheumatologist disregarded my concerns. In fact he became sarcastic, personal and outright hurtful. I started to reduce the dosage on my own in an attempt to eventually wean myself off the medication.
During that time, I started seeing a Psychologist, who referred me to Dr Fred. Dr Fred became my pillar of strength. I explained to him that I wanted off all chronic medication. I started treatment in September and after only 4 months; I have achieved my goal…. No more chronic medication!
At the end of September, an alternative drug was prescribed by the Rheumatologist, Cymgen 60. Although I picked up a box at the pharmacy, the box is still sealed.
I will always be eternally grateful to Dr Graham for possibly saving my life and for helping me to rekindle personal passions such as fashion styling and interior decorating. In fact, I am considering doing a course in make-up because Dr Graham would always compliment me on the professional manner in which the pigmentation was always covered up. I have been off work now (for a second time) since July 2014. With the customized treatment plan consisting of a combination of IV Infusion, Supplements and Hormone treatment I have come to reap the rewards with phenomenal improved quality of life!
Thank you to the Cape Town team, Janine, Hendi, Helete of Willowbridge and Tracey and Storm of Cape Quarter for your concern, kindness and compassion. Big thanks to Donné Louw in Johannesburg for her patience, advice, compassion and assistance.
I had two goals last year and your team has helped me to achieve both. I am not quite ready to open the champagne yet but it will be soon. I still have work to do regarding my glands and antibodies in view of the latest blood test results.
The work that you do is amazing! Thank you so much for everything!!
Mrs P – Cape Town