Sunday, March 11, 2018

Death by Medicine

On March 5, I watched the documentary titled Death by Medicine. I am in shock and very grateful that I am as well as I am. I really wish I knew back then what I know now, that I could go back in time, and redo that part of my life drug-free. Yes, I had tried... Chinese Medicine and some other alternative solutions... but when I collapsed in 1998, I went to a Physiatrist (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) and trusted his protocol. Afterall, he set me up on permanent disability.

I can't believe I was so dumb to be a guinea pig to so many drugs (and vaccines)! I also can't believe I went to doctors who prescribed them! But I was in pain and it was all I knew. At least now I can understand what was going on with doctors and prescriptions after watching the film.

To sum up, students in medical school are taught by pharmaceutical companies which drugs to prescribe for which symptoms vs. finding the root causes. We trust our doctors to know what they are doing, but it is a guessing game when it comes to most drugs--which makes us guinea pigs. Many of the drugs were pushed through the FDA even though there was proven dangers to using them. Yikes! The sales reps and students acted (and still do) on blind trust. We don't have a healthcare system, we have a sick-care system--one that has an interest in making as much money as it can.

A lot of the drugs discussed in the film are ones I had been prescribed and took for many years. Ouch! I will just review in brief (I have a lot more detail in my memoir, Love, Life, & God: Getting Past the Pain.)

As a child, I was given Belladonna for intestinal cramps... but no one knew back then that I was allergic to milk. I have no memories of the cramps or whether the drug helped to relieve them. The doctor said it was nerves, and I could have also been reacting to the tension in the household.

When I was a teen, I was prescribed Darvon and Demerol for menstrual cramps which made me hallucinate in school. My head detached from my shoulders and I floated a foot above the stairs. The doctor then prescribed a combination of Motrin and Dexedrine. It turned out that I had polycystic ovarian disease. When I was 19, I was put on synthetic birth control pills.

When I was 18, I was given Elavil for depression. It's a good thing I didn't take it for long. I quit because it made me drowsy during the day even though I took it at bedtime and I had to go to work. I also had developed sore throats (later diagnosed as Mono) and I'm sure I had been given too many doses of antibiotics. I am grateful I didn't have the types of side effects discussed in the film.

When I was 21, I dozed at the wheel and opened my eyes just in time to see the car I was about to crash into. I began to take Valium for muscles spasms. They had a rebound effect in which every time I stopped taking them, the spasms returned.

The real problems began in 1998 which I mentioned in the first paragraph. I'm surprised I still have a brain, although I probably lost a good number of brain cells. By July 2010, I was prescribed 11 medications which I took every day.

Proton Pump Inhibitors

I had eroded my esophagus by swallowing three 200mg tablets of Motrin every 4 hours every day and the solution was antacids and PPI's. Every time I stopped taking them, the acid would come up and burn. Within the last few years, I began eating crystalized ginger which stopped the acid reflux. I also learned it is caused by not enough acid and enzymes in your stomach to digest protein. For more information on the dangers of taking these go to The Dangers of Proton Pump Inhibitors

Muscle Relaxers

Valium, Soma, then Flexeril, No wonder the muscle relaxers didn't help. They can trigger the very muscle spasms you are trying to alleviate. (Dr. John Bergman) Better are Somatic exercises to help your brain remember how to release spasms.


I am so grateful I got off of them before the recent crisis hit and people are suddenly unable to get them after being dependent on them for YEARS. The Opioids started off with Vicodin, then a Fentanyl patch which I had an immediate reaction to. Then it was Norco. Vicodin and Norco are hydrocodone combined with acetaminophen but in different doses. Now they say acetaminophen can damage your liver. After someone suggested I Google Opioid induced hyperaglasia... which I did... I knew it was time to stop taking them.


Once again, it's a miracle I still have a brain. There was the cocktail of antidepressants and antiseizure drugs even though I wasn't having seizures. These included Ativan (the nightmare drug in the film), Klonopin, and Neurontin which was later changed to the generic Gabapentin. At some point, I was switched to Lyrica and gained 30 pounds in 2 months so I quit taking it, left to deal with a bloated body.

After being on each of the anti-depressants for 2-3 years, warnings would reach my doctor so he would switch me to a new one--in this order Serzone, Seroquel, Effexor 2x day following by extended release, and Cymbalta. Cymbalta was the last one I was on when I stopped taking everything cold turkey in 2010. When I crawled (literally) back to the doctor several months later, she began to prescribe new ones--Celexa followed by Cymbalta at which point I not only felt suicidal, but I disconnected and disassociated. I could no longer relate to any of the photos of my family members. I am very grateful I didn't end up in a psych ward like the ones in the film as they would have most likely pumped me up with additional ones.

I wouldn't try any more antidepressants for another year after exhausting my efforts to try the nutritional approach. (I didn't have enough information at the time.) When I did accept another one, my doctor prescribed Paxil which made me feel sick, and finally Remeron (Mirtazapine). Are you seeing the pattern of how it is a guessing game as to which drug will actually help? Anyway, at 1/2 the lowest dose, after a week, I began to notice the sun and the clouds again along with the sound of birds--things I had been unable to notice the previous year. However, the dose was continuously increased until I reached max.

Last July, I wanted to begin weaning off Mirtazapine (the last of all the drugs) after realizing grains (whole grains, too) were contributing to pain and inflammation. Besides, I really didn't like feeling drugged 20 minutes after swallowing a pill. I slowly reduced the dose to 7.5 mg and then began skipping 1 day, 2 days, and when I got to 3, the headaches, itching, and ADD-like symptoms would begin. See further down for "Bri Linney."

The Cocktail for Metabolic Syndrome

Among the many side effects of all the medications I was taking were high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and frozen shoulder. I was prescribed drugs for all of these, including the Metformin mentioned in the film. I don't recall Statin drugs being discussed in the film, but there is a lot on the internet about these. For the frozen shoulder, I was prescribed corticosteroids for 7 days which didn't do anything to alleviate it. Again, just a guessing game on the part of the doctor. (It was eventually sound therapy that did.)


Premarin is discussed in the film. I took this for YEARS as well! Now they say bioidentical hormones are much safer.

Osteoporosis Medicines

First, it was Boniva, then it was changed to Fosamax. After taking these for years, I began to learn they keep old bone cells from dying (the natural cycle is old cells dying and new cells birthing) which makes your bones MORE brittle vs. stronger. Several dentists told me about it affecting their patients' jaws and women were fracturing their thighs.

I really do cringe at how much I put my body through!

I recently came across a Facebook page called Cymbalta Hurts Worse and found out how dangerous it is to get off this drug once you start along with information about half-life and what happens when you skip even one day. All the symptoms I dealt with for about 2 years after I quit taking them are noted on this site.

This inspired me to check on the half-life of Mirtazapine and found it to be much better than Cymbalta--it was OK to skip the days I was skipping. At the end of November, I began going to Bri Linney of Complete Chiropractic and Wellness Center with the hope she'd be able to help me get off this drug. She had started me on homeopathy for my hypothalamus followed by one for lymph drainage. I took the last Mirtazapine on February 23. Yay!!!

When you are prescribed an antidepressant, they don't tell you what will happen when you try to stop taking them. Once you start, you must take them for life. This is true for quite a few prescription drugs. Doctors are not informed.

I hope if you haven't already, seek other means of finding the cause of your symptoms. Serotonin is produced in your gut and there are other ways of treating the root causes of your symptoms. I've also been following posts by Amen Clinics and Brain MD, learning about the brain--and watched The Broken Brain.

I don't trust ANY drugs now--not even over the counter ones, nor do I trust what is in Vaccines. Take care of your health where it begins... with nutrition, exercise, the right amount of sleep, stress management, meaningful connections with others, and a sense of purpose. I'm sure if your life depends on it, there is a drug that can save you--side effects and all. And I suppose I'd still want anesthesia if I need surgery. (Have had it a few times.) As for tense muscles, headaches, allergies, anxiety, or an arthritis flare, I've got my doTERRA essential oils.

I can be sad that I lost so many years while "doped up" and sedated on prescription meds. In addition to being a "victim" to childhood experiences which led to all the adult ones I dealt with, I was a "victim" of the allopathic medicine and pharmaceutical industry. However, it's what I do now that matters. I became my own psychologist and wellness advocate and strive to inspire in others the possibility of natural solutions to all the types of issues I used to have, with a few lingering although milder.

Watch the film: Death by Medicine

Then tell me what you think!

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