About The Top Doctors
Top Doctors | A few words about us
My father was a great man. He loved life and lived it the best he could. He raised four children. Both he and my mother did a good job.
We grew up in an upper middle class neighborhood in New Jersey. In the late 1970’s my father spent a lot of time with his working partners in and around the Westport Connecticut area. As I recall, he made the trip about twice a week.
One day after he came back from Connecticut, he had a pain on his lower back. He said he got bit by something but it was so small that he could hardly see it. That pain lasted approximately one month. He described it as excruciating. With days of the bite, the area turned red. Shortly thereafter, it grew a red ring like a bulls-eye, which grew bigger and bigger on his back. It looked like a target.
A few days after the bite, he went to a local physician, a family friend who had practiced general medicine for almost 20 years. He was surprised and never saw anything like it. He prescribed a pain killer and gave my father a cream to rub into the mark to help it fade away. About a month later, both the pain and the red ring went away. We did not see of it again for almost 5 years.
When the pain came back in the early 80’s, he went back to the doctor. The pain came on quickly; he had fevers and became very nervous. Instead of a red ring, he had multiple red oddly shaped splotches all over his body. For the first time, he was proscribed an antibiotic. The symptoms seemed to slowly go away and we all went back to normal life. We thought nothing of it for several years, until it returned. This time it was worse.
From 1985 to 1993, the pain would come back every few months. It lasted approximately 40 to 60 days and, with increasing amounts of antibiotics, things would seem to resolve themselves. However, things got progressively worse. For the first time, we learned of a disease called Lime Disease.
After mainly spinal taps, blood tests and brain scans, the doctors, including a Neurologist from New York, diagnosed my father with Lyme disease. When showed a picture of a tick, I remember hearing my father curse for the first time. “That Mother-$@&5, that’s the ##*$^^ thing that bit me on my back.”
One day my father came to the breakfast table. He was not feeling well but knew he had to go to work. He had too many responsibilities to stay home or take a sick day. He sat next my brother and I and picked up his orange juice. It fell out of his mouth and spilt on the table. He leaned back and called out for my mother. He could not move his arms. The left side of his face dropped, his left eye closed. My fierce strong father showed his first sign of fear we ever saw. He tried to move his hands but only one seemed to work. He used it to grab the other to force it to respond, but it did not work. His one eye that was open, faded upwards.
He awoke the following day in the hospital. He did not have a stroke, although all the symptoms appeared consistent with that diagnosis. He had in fact suffered from Bells Palsy, in additional to many other ailments. For the next ten years, the Bells Palsy came and went. Sometimes he needed glasses to see because he became legally blind and could not see five feet in front of himself. Other times, he would be in a wheelchair form months, and when the disease retracted, he would run. Some months he was in great pain, suffered from an enlarged heart, lost his balance, suffered from vertigo, his skin grew massive red bumps, he lost control of his body. And then there were the months of peace.
My father spent his last years traveling around the world to save him- self from the next episode of a Lyme disease attack. He was at the Lyme center in Long Island, The Mayo clinic in Colorado, and the United Nations World Health Organization’s sponsored Lyme Disease Center in Germany. He tried every medicine and every experiment. Nothing worked. Nothing lasted.
He eventually said he figured out how to beat the Lyme disease from talking to a Chinese doctor he met traveling in Israel. He said the secret was capsaicin, an element found in the middle of a hot pepper. My father would eat an entire cup every day. His mouth was on fire and the pain was obvious. However, the capsaicin would make his pours turn red, open wide, and ooze. He felt that by making his body angry with capsaicin,the Lyme Disease was leaving his body. He had to eat more and hotter peppers to make his plan work.
He suffered a series of massive strokes shortly their after. He could hardly talk and hardly see. He spent his last three months in a home for invalids. He begged them, that when he died, his body was to go to a science lab. He was so concerned to help others so that no one else would have to feel his pain. The hospital buried him the day after he died. He was no more.
I hope, that in your life time, that you never experience pain, that your family never experiences pain, and that you never go to a doctor who cannot admit that he does not know the answers. For the doctors who helped my father, my love and compassion for you will never falter. For those physicians who were clueless, my words are obvious.
This site is dedicated to those doctors who “get it,” who understand, who feel your pain, who relate to you, who hold your hand when you need it, and have the skills knowledge and maturity to make the right decisions.
Many thanks to the following doctors:
Dr. Roger Coletti, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.S.C.A.I. of Interventional
Cardiovascular Associates, PA in Hackensack and Paramus, New Jersey.
Kenneth B. Liegner, M.D., P.C., Internal & Critical Care
Medicine, Lyme Borreliosis & Related Disorders, Armonk, New York
Eugene D. Shapiro, MD., Professor and doctor at the Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven,
Connecticut, a true genius.