Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society

David Crowe, President
Phone: +1-403-289-6609
Fax: +1-403-289-6658

Kathleen Newell, Treasurer
Box 61037, Kensington Postal Outlet
Calgary, Alberta T2N 4S6
Phone: +1-403-220-0129

I Choose Life

Noreen Martin
May 14, 2006

It is May 2006 and, as I sit and watch an old movie from 1945 on the movie channel, I think about how simple and different life was back then. Nevertheless, showing life in black and white does add a sense of gloom and suspense to the whole movie with shadows lurking in the background.

Ironically, while writing this, the movie had the star of the movie, then actor, Ronald Reagan, saying “Death isn’t the worse thing in a man’s life, only the last”. How very true.

Until the fall of 2003, I would not have believed this statement to be true, but what transpired during a few, short months was worse than death.

In the movie, Ronald Reagan has an incurable disease and is in love. He is talking to his girlfriend in a room and has a loaded gun, she tells him that life isn’t ours to end. She walks out of the room sobbing, closes the door and waits. Several moments later, he walks out to her, he chose life.

So my story begins. In the previous years, I had health issues starting with back and leg pain which was found to be caused by a herniated disc and pinched nerves. At that point tests to include, x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were performed at the Veterans Hospital (VA).

At the pain clinic, I was placed on a barrage of medications to no avail. Next, a nerve block into the spine was performed in the hospital. The pain subsided for only 3 weeks and I was back on numerous, pain medications. In a 2 year period I was prescribed over 20 different medications.

At this time I developed more symptoms such as, extreme tiredness, as I already had chronic fatigue, and diarrhea. The diarrhea was attributed to radiation treatments for previous cancer treatments. I also had an ear infection and was placed on the antibiotic Cipro which I was allergic to.

Around this time, I noticed that every time that I was bitten by a mosquito, I developed very large welts. Also, I developed GERD or severe heartburn. The doctor’s attributed it to medication to prevent osteoporosis and they stopped this medication.

It was customary to have an annual physical along with my other appointments relating to previous, health issues at the Veterans Hospital.

The following year, I complained of tiredness again and by now I was irritable and having problems with my short, term memory.  I could remember something 20 years ago but had trouble remembering something 2 weeks ago.

I would need to go to the store but when it was time to go I could not remember what I needed and later found myself writing down 3 digit area codes.

Some of this was noted in my medical records but no special tests were performed of my complaints. I was placed on Prozac which did help with some of my other symptoms.

In 2003 I continued to go down hill, meaning extreme tiredness, weakness, nausea, diarrhea, weight loss and severe memory problems. Later, I could not walk steadily, developed candidadis, Epstein-Barr virus, low platelets, abnormal blood and had heavy, wheezing and difficult breathing.

By Thanksgiving and past Christmas, I was extremely sick and could only lie around on the couch and do very little.

I went to a small clinic several times for tests and it was discovered that I was anemic and had other, blood problems. They recommended that I see an oncologist as soon as possible.

I made an appointment with the oncologist but before I saw him I had to go to the emergency room at a local hospital. I was given IV treatment, breathing treatment, X-rays, lab tests and a CAT scan.

This hospital wanted to transfer me to the VA hospital but since they had not addressed my previous complaints, I refused to go. They released me with the advice to see an oncologist which I already had an appointment to see.

The oncologist performed blood tests and recommended that I have a bone biopsy. Due to the expense of this procedure, I went back to the VA hospital. The VA oncologist performed two, excruciating bone biopsies and more blood tests. I did not have cancer but my test results were not normal. They ran an HIV test and I was positive.

By this time, I was not doing very well and was weak. I remember standing in line outside the laboratory at the VA hospital waiting for a blood test and I had to sit down in the floor as I felt so bad.

I had numerous blood tests in my arms, in my arteries and the oncologist had to give me an IV in my right foot because they could not get the IV into my arms.

Since I did not have cancer, I was sent home and had to wait 2 months to the day to be seen by the Infectious Disease Doctors.

During this time, I was extremely ill. I had to do something besides lie around and wait to die. Although, on one particular day, I knew that I was going to die.

After months of suffering every day with extreme exhaustion, throwing-up, diarrhea and difficult breathing, it finally felt rather peaceful at this point, as I could not get much sicker.

While waiting for the Infectious Disease appointment, I went to my favorite health store and talked to the owner, a very special person. She referred me to an alternative doctor.

The alternative doctor did lab tests, placed me on supplements and I had 8 chelation treatments which are special IV treatments given in the arm.

Chelation Therapy Doctors are specially trained in this procedure. These treatments can chelate the bad things [e.g. heavy metals] out of the body and also add minerals to the body. I had hydrogen peroxide treatments too which supplies needed oxygen to the cells.

I personally attribute these treatments to saving my life as on the chelation days, I could at least get off the couch, even though I was still quite sick.

For those who may not be familiar with how this is done, it is fairly simple. Usually, the therapy is given in a large room with other people who are having this therapy. The patient sits in a comfortable recliner and is free to talk, read, watch television and can even go to the restroom if needed because the IV is on a portable stand.

Chelation therapy takes 2 to 3 hours depending upon the treatment. The only side effect that I experienced is some minor bruising of the arm which is quite common when IV’s are given.

When I finally saw the Infectious Disease Doctors, they were in a frenzy. By now I was half-dead by being placed on hold for 2, unnecessary months waiting to see them.

Earlier that same day I had undergone an MRI of my head which had been ordered 2 months earlier by the oncologist. I had encephalitis and abnormal gray, matter in my brain. As you can see, I was not doing well.

I was immediately placed on the anti-viral medications. I stayed on my supplements and added many more to the disapproval of my new doctors. They did not understand the chelation treatments and why I felt the need to try natural products.

Being the stubborn person that I am, I continued on my vitamins, supplements and health drinks but I never hid this information from them.

I think that this was the first sign to me that something was not right when I could not get any support from them. It is difficult to beat up on them too badly because they did save my life by resolving my problems with other viruses. I wished that they would have been more receptive to my overall health issues, and my use of vitamins and supplements.

It is only natural for anyone with a particular disease to want to learn all that they can about it so I started doing just that, mainly via the internet.

You have to remember, at that point in time, I believed the propaganda that most people still believe concerning HIV and AIDS. The only good thing that I had going for me was that I had survived cancer and was not so frightened by AIDS.

The more I read and communicated with other people who knew about this or had AIDS, the more I realized that 2 and 2 did not equal 4 in this case.

At one point, for approximately 6 weeks, I stopped the anti-viral mediations and felt fine. Nevertheless, due to pressure from four doctors and a mate, I went back on them against my true feelings.

I continued to read and was constantly weighing both sides of the coin. In all times, the Rethinker’s side always outweighed the other, meaning that it made more sense to me because the HIV theory was based on a press conference and fear tactics.

Yes, I tested positive for HIV, whatever that means and at that point in time I almost tested positive for everything. Yes, the anti-viral medications did help me along with good, health habits and supplements.

You should know that I had four, known, old viruses going on in my body, so the anti-viral medicines did help. I was also placed on fungus and antibiotic medicines.

However, I compare the anti-viral medicines to radiation treatments. Yes, the radiation treatments did cure my cancer, but what would have happened if I had taken these treatments for the rest of my life? If I had survived, these treatments would have caused what they were trying to cure.

My view of what causes AIDS is many things but mainly, drugs (legal and otherwise), health habits of the person, past medical problems, environmental influences, malnutrition, severe stress, diseases and viruses.

Although each person with AIDS may arrive there by different means, the treatment should be as it has always been in medicine, treat what you know the person has for sure, not some elusive, manmade fear of a virus.

My personal view of medicine is to take it only when absolutely necessary as one cannot be medicated or vaccinated into health or as better stated by Dr. McCoy from Star Trek, “Eat right and exercise”, probably the all-time, best, medical advice!

I hope that by sharing my own experiences may somehow help others who are dealing with AIDS. As it is with other things of life, one size does not fit all and what works for me may not work for you.

I came to terms with my personal feelings on this subject and have been off the anti-viral medication for over 10 weeks and never felt better. One note, I did find Environmental Physicians who are really up on natural products and have a totally, different viewpoint on medicine.

They prescribed Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) which I have found to be wonderful. This drug is being used for many who suffer with immune deficiency diseases. For further information about LDN, go to

My outlook is that God has spared my life for a purpose because, believe me, it’s a miracle that I am here. Since that time, I have started writing and have been fortunate to have some of my articles printed and am extremely thankful.

© – Copyright Friday, July 7, 2006 by Noreen Martin and the Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society.