Tetanus vaccine story
Vaccines can trigger autoimmune diseases
Vaccine story continued from previous page I couldn't believe the diagnosis of a psychological cause at all, because it would defy all logic. First of all, before the vaccination I had no history of mental problems and no reasons for developing any. I had been living a perfect life and was as happy as one could be with my job as an aspiring writer for TV - that was my absolute dream job, which I still missing a lot. Secondly, how in the world could I mimic psychologically the kind of neurological symptoms immediately after the vaccination that comply exactly with GBS symptoms and are also recognized as a possible side effect of the tetanus vaccination, given the fact that before the onset of the disease I didn't have the slightest clue of vaccination side effects in general and Polyneuropathies specifically. What an eerie coincidence that would be! Isn't there a saying: When something looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, most certainly it is a duck!
My immunologists dismissed the alleged psychological illness because my blood tests showed an over immunisation with Tetanus Toxoid , an HLB-8 marker, a high titre of ANA, antibodies and antibodies against the thyroid, all indicating a dysfunction of my immune system.
In 1996, a knowledgeable neurologist diagnosed me with vaccination-induced Polyneuropathy due to:
1) the pattern and history of my symptoms, such as the weakness and paraesthesia in the arms and legs, improving or worsening with remissions and relapses,
2) the results of his physical examination, which confirmed reduced vibration-feelings and hyperaesthesia in the distal limbs, the fact that I'm not able to stand or walk with my eyes close, that knee-reflexes presented with a first increased, then an exhaustible clonus, and the ankle reflexes were decreased,
3)and the fact that the NCV tests he performed showed a reduced nerve conduction in some nerves.
But stunningly, the most of the NVC tests performed by other neurologists were normal, so I didn't receive any treatment at all. What I know now: If I would have been treated with IVIG infusions at the beginning of my symptoms, I would have had the chance to recover quickly and get back to the life I had before. But this is not what happened. Instead, I had to quit my dream job and then felt like I was imprisoned for life, without any chance of parole I don't know how I managed to survive all these years, facing nothing but ignorance from the legal and medical establishment. Instead of being helped, I was only supported by my neurologist, close friends and relatives.
I also found support on the internet. On a GBS site, I found a woman from the US who was suffering from almost the same side effects after a tetanus vaccination as I did, so we both were rocks to each other. She was finally recognized legally that her GBS was a result of a tetanus vaccination.
Finally, seven years after the vaccination, I was been lucky to get diagnosed with Common Variable Immune Deficiency, CVID, presenting mainly with a deficiency of the Immunoglobulin G. Thanks to this diagnosis, I was treated with regular IVIG infusions!!!! Then my recovery began. After the fourth infusion, the most disabling CIDP symptoms improved miraculously. Being tethered by an invisible vice to my home before, only a few months after the beginning of the treatment I was able to visit a British friend in the UK. Flying alone and walking across the huge London Heathrow airport isn't a challenge for a healthy adult, but for me, being confined to my home for all the years before, it was a huge milestone I accomplished. From that point on- thanks to the IVIG infusionsthe doors of my prison opened. I could start living a almost-normal life again.
Believe it or not, before getting the first infusions, I needed someone to drive me to the physician.
Now, I am not only able to take the train but also walk the two miles from the train station to the doctor's office.
Actually, I can say that I have regained about 70% of my previous health, but I still need the IVIG infusions on a regular basis-all 4 weeks to be precise. Otherwise, I suffer from severe relapses. But there are also symptoms that have hardly improved, that is, the huge fatigue and exhaustion.
So in my mind, the finding of Dr. Katz "that the best way to prove that the patient has an immune neuropathy is to treat them with IVIG" is of the highest importance for GBS/CIDP sufferers worldwide. This fact needs to be made public. A treatment with IVIG at the beginning of the disease, despite of electrophysiological tests, will help many CIDP patients to recover quickly rather than to suffer and watch their life fading away, as it was in my case. I know some other GBS/CIDP patients who are also denied a proper diagnosis and IVIG treatment as well. For example, there is a medical student who became almost paralysed after a Hep B vaccination. She was admitted to a mental institution for the treatment of her alleged psychological disorder. Of course, her symptoms have not improved. Despite the psychological treatment, she is still sitting in a wheelchair.
It is one thing is to get medical treatment, and it is another issue is to receive legal compensation for all the suffering. Here in Europe, patients with normal NVC results are denied the diagnosis GBS/CDIP and are usually diagnosed as hysterical or suffering from "psychological" problems, especially if they are females. Having being denied a proper diagnosis and treatment for so long, after having lost my health and dream job due to the Polyneuropathy, I also do not want to lose my dignity by being labelled by officials as stressed or suffering from a psychological disorder when I'm actually suffering from CIDP/GBS. Isn't it amazing that I didn't go nuts as a result from this? Although I am usually gentle-natured, I am also a fighter. As a TV author, I was used to fighting injustice, so I also will show resilience in my case and keep on fighting for my vindication against all odds.
I'd like to thank Mark Brower and CIDPUSA so much for their support. After long-term treatments with monthly hIVIg (intravenous human immunoglobulin, 2 g/kg) and doing well Causes Make sure you do not have celiac disease