By Ray Stern
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
A few days after Alyssa's urgent-care visit, Rosdahl added the sleep aid Ambien and yet another antibiotic, Bactrim, to her already intensive drug cocktail.
Among other things, Bactrim is used to treat infections of the ear and urinary tract.
But Alyssa's condition continued to deteriorate.
She continued her treatments with Love and Rosdahl, whose new, 3,500-square-foot clinic on South Dobson Road was about to open.
During a January 16 "energy treatment," Alyssa says, Love told her she was "picking up" Valley fever, staph infections, and other illnesses on the SCIO device. The Lyme bacteria were making everything worse, Love said, but things would improve with time.
That night, she says, Alyssa underwent a two-hour "virtual" session over the phone from her home with a friend of Love's from Texas named Mickey. (Love confirms that Mickey is another "energized medicine" aficionado.)
"It sounded so believable," Alyssa says. "Janet explained it was like a cell-phone wave over a line. Mickey told me to be calm and watch a movie or something. I know, dumb."
The cost to her parents for the "virtual" session was $250.
Alyssa says Love smacked a hand to her own forehead during another SCIO session a few days later.
"She looked at my mom and said, 'Oh, God! You better pray it doesn't turn into this.'"
Love explained that the device was showing that Alyssa had C. difficile, a bacteria that causes symptoms ranging from severe diarrhea to life-threatening colon inflammation.
C. diff (as it is also called) typically occurs in the intestines after the use of antibiotics, which Alyssa had been ingesting on and off for months. What basically happens is that the antibiotics kill the good bacteria in the gut, leaving the more resistant, bad C. diff bacteria to run rampant.
By then, in addition to the previously mentioned drugs, Alyssa was on Levaquin (used to "treat severe or life-threatening bacterial infections that have failed to respond to other antibiotic(s)," Flagyl (the antibiotic of choice for mild-to-moderate C. diff infections), and Fluconazole (a strong anti-fungal used to treat yeast infections).
Alyssa had signed up for two new classes at her community college but says she soon dropped them because she was feeling so sick.
On January 25, Dana Rosdahl prescribed Vancomycin, an especially potent and expensive (about $5 a pill) antibiotic of "last resort" used to treat serious infections of the intestines that cause colitis — the C. diff.
The drug usually is restricted to hospital use only, and is supposed to be taken only after a stool-test kit confirms the C. diff infection.
"I was supposed to take the stool test," Alyssa says, "but Dana didn't have a kit available. I just started taking the Vanco twice a day for seven days. By that point, I was up to about 100 pills a day for everything."
On January 31, Rosdahl prescribed a Fentanyl pain patch for Alyssa. The drug is supposed to be used "only for long-term or chronic pain requiring continuous, around-the-clock narcotic pain relief that is not helped by other less powerful pain medicines."
A few days later, Janet Love e-mailed Alyssa what she called a "prayer protocol," which included the following words:
"I ask for divine guidance (God, Jesus, etc.) in blessing me as I work through the process of healing. To watch over me and provide me with all necessary guidance to help me maneuver, release, and remove all aspects of this illness and infection."
Things were at a breaking point.
On the morning of February 5, 2010, Alyssa's body crashed.
"I didn't know where I was. I was vomiting up blood, and my parents said my eyes were rolling back in my head," she says.
Lynn Goodale contacted Dana Rosdahl, who told her to take Alyssa to an emergency room for an IV treatment.
"I asked her what we were supposed to tell them [at the hospital] because we never were supposed to mention the Lyme disease," Lynn says. "She said we could say that Alyssa had Lyme. That was a big surprise."
Alyssa's parents drove her to the Mercy Gilbert Medical Center emergency room early that afternoon.
Her medical chart shows that her chief complaint was: "I think I have an infection."
Alyssa's medical chart shows the aforementioned body aches, nausea and vomiting, sore throats, and digestive problems.
But neither she nor her parents mentioned Lyme disease to the doctors, an odd decision that Lynn Goodale tries to explain by saying, "We had been keeping it quiet for months, on Dana's instructions, and my husband just decided to keep it that way."
Alyssa says a nurse asked her what was going on with all the meds she was taking:
"She saw the list of the drugs I was on and said, 'Honey, are they trying to kill you or something?'"
The Goodales say they heard the treating physician at Gilbert Mercy, Dr. Andrea Wolff, berating Rosdahl on the phone. Rosdahl confirms that the call happened and that it was not a pleasant one.
Dr. Wolff's concerns make sense to Dr. Ted Wendel, a pharmacist who is a top administrator at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences in Mesa.