Easy to see why patients are prone to exploitation: I have treated patients in the East Valley for almost 20 years. Some come in with chronic fatigue syndrome, which they attribute to Lyme disease, candidiasis, Epstein-Barr virus, [or] parasites ("Lymeaid," Paul Rubin, May 5).
They often have been to many different offices before seeing me, and they bring in extensive computer printouts, books, or medical records to show me why they need antibiotics, anti-parasitics, or other treatments. Some bring "parasites" in a cup, jar, Kleenex, or pocket for me to look at. I usually send these to a pathology lab to evaluate; none has ever come back as a true parasite.
New Times feedback
It is certainly easy to see why unethical practitioners would be tempted to give such willing customers course after course of whatever drug or treatments they wish, while charging them for visits, medications, and equipment.
Many of these patients are unhappy if they do not receive what they are looking for immediately, and never return again if a workup is suggested. A usual comment is, "I've been checked for everything, and my tests are all negative."
Review of their records often indicates no testing for thyroid problems, valley fever, or other common causes for their complaints. Many are on cocktails of various prescription and non-FDA-regulated supplements, and they refuse to stop these to see whether some of their symptoms are drug-related. Some available supplements contain toxic metals or other harmful substances.
Lyme advocacy groups [are] profiting from [such] inappropriate Lyme treatment.
Steven Oscherwitz, MD, Tempe
"Energy machine" inventor was misrepresented: Your story was very, very sad.
I must tell you, I was very sick and treated with the SCIO [energy] machine. It was the only diagnosis that eventually restored my health and quality of life.
I do think you misrepresented Bill Nelson, who is totally against pharmaceuticals, so the fact that these women were treating with pharmaceuticals is absurd. His belief is [about] lifestyle changes, dietary changes, homeopathy, and herbs. He would not be happy knowing the amount of money charged for these [women's] services.
Alternative-healthcare practitioners have enough to deal with, without one of their own misrepresenting the goals. This story is about traditional and alternative medicine being misused and abused.
Carol Gadd, Rochester, New York
Lyme diagnosis set back cancer patient's treatment: To quote one of the people in your story, "Wow!"
I'll have to add your headline to my list of Lyme-literate, quack-survivor quotes. Here's [another]:
"In my heart, I know it delayed my opportunity for treatment," the 45-year-old father said of his Lyme diagnosis, which was actually a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that had spread.
My Lyme doc told me and my wife that if we had kids, they would be born with Lyme disease. We now have two beautiful boys — Lyme-free, of course. As am I.
What I have are stage four non-Hodgkin's marginal zone lymphoma and stage four Hodgkin's lymphoma. My stupid side trip down Lyme Road slowed my diagnosis.
Edward McSweegan, Crofton, Maryland
Watch out for Remnant on 48 Hours someday: When I first started reading this article, it was so unbelievable. I thought it was a joke. Another [spoof] courtesy of New Times.
But I found Remnant Health Clinic is listed with the Better Business Bureau, and [it has] a website. I expect to see Dana Rosdahl and Janet Love featured on 48 Hours soon, when they finally succeed in killing someone.
Sadistic psychopaths come in many forms, even "caring" nurse practitioners — whose weapon of choice is a combination of dangerous meds.
Tracey Hunter, city unavailable
More about scamming than treating: These two snake-oil saleswomen [Rosdahl and Love] fit right into Arizona's wanting to turn back the clock to 1880. Everyone gets a gun and a bottle of laudanum! Yippy-ki-yay, motherfuckers!
The things that these two "nurses" do are not covered under insurance. Their business model is more in line with scamming people out of their money than with healthcare.
Tim Hanner, city unavailable
Seems kind of harsh, David: Can anyone seriously believe these crazy, evil women?
They tried to take everything from Alyssa Goodale. So all she had to focus on was how she was sick.
These two woman are surely going to burn in hell for this, and it puts a smile on my face knowing that. Manipulation can only be taken so far before your fraudulent side is exposed.
I propose that these idiotic women be stripped of their licenses, money, and belongings, and then forced to take every pill Alyssa did.
Parents need to take some responsibility, too: No one ever asks why the patient doesn't question a doctor who put her on 100 pills a day. You should be able to trust that doctors have your best interest in mind, but, frankly, you can't.
When [alleged medical professionals started] throwing words like "energy machine" around, [why] didn't this girl do her own research before shelling out $10,000 and ending up in the emergency room?
Before Lyme, I was diagnosed with Long QT syndrome, Tourette's syndrome, temporal lobe epilepsy, [and] cervical dystonia. When I did finally test positive for Lyme — after it had been allowed to fester and proliferate for seven years — it was through a run-of-the-mill blood test.
Then came testing positive for mycoplasma, babesia, Bartonella, and a parasite. Stories like yours are why I hesitate before telling people that I have chronic Lyme.
I don't see a naturopath or a homeopath or a witch doctor or anything like that. I see a medical doctor.
Of course it's wrong for doctors to use "energy machines" and parasite zappers and aromatherapy and whatever's trendy right now, but if you don't research your own healthcare, you get what's coming to you.
Ten grand over four months should have set off every alarm for those parents. Having been taken advantage of by doctors myself, I sympathize with [Alyssa Goodale's parents], but you cannot place all of the blame on clinicians in situations like this.
Emerson Ailidh, city unavailable
Patient and family were in a vulnerable position: Alyssa Goodale wasn't even an adult when she went to see these women. She was 17 years old. Legally, she was not old enough to make appropriate medical decisions regarding her own medical care. She was a child. A very sick child.
[Her mother] is not a medical professional of any kind. No medical training or education whatsoever. Just a mother of a very sick child who was willing to do anything and everything to help her child get well.
Now, let's take a look at Rosdahl and Love. Both have medical training, whether they are doctors or not. They had to take some sort of courses in the practice of medicine. They were required to pass some form of state exams to practice.
Now, where does the responsibility truly lie?
I realize that we are, individually, ultimately responsible for the medical care that we seek and receive. But can we at least appreciate the fact that someone, in a very fragile, weak, extremely ill state might just be a little, let's say, vulnerable? Can we imagine feeling so poorly that you would be willing to give just about anything a try to feel better? I can't, but I imagine it's probably not a very pleasant place to be.
Lucky to be in AZ, mecca of alternative medicine: In fact, I own several [energy machines]. I beat two lung cancers, one breast cancer, two [other] cancers using only alternative medicine and modalities.
I also was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, mold pneumonia, Lyme, and the poor things [in mainstream medicine] didn't have one clue how to treat me without their toxic drugs.
Statements like you [made in this article] are ignorant to the max. I don't really care if you believe me or not. I'm alive today because of alternative medicine.
We are blessed in Arizona to be the mecca of alternative medicine.
You can continue to run to the white coats and take their toxic drugs. Not me. No one sold me any false anything. I did my own research and sought out what I needed to do.
Healthcare has become too big a business: As long as healthcare is the big business in which politicians get a big chunk for not messing with the bigwigs of insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, there will be people like "Dr." Rosdahl and Janet Love willing to make a quick buck out of people like the Goodales.
Watch out for what they say: Lymeland is also infamous for telling people who have serious diseases such as autism that they probably really are Lyme-disease victims.
For example, the Lyme-induced Autism (LIA) Foundation right up front says "up to 90" percent of children with autism could have Lyme.
There is a cult-like mess surrounding Lyme: Although this was a well-written article and brought attention to this particular exploitative medical practice, there are many practices where medical doctors, licensed MDs, practice equally dangerous and unethical treatment protocols.
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Alternative and natural medicine are one thing; outright medical fraud, malpractice, and patient endangerment are different.
Many chronically ill patients — especially Lyme patients — seem to have become the prey of [unethical] doctors and their activists. There is such a cult-like, convoluted, medical mess going on behind the scenes with these Lyme-specialty practices that I can only hope that really good federal investigators will work to stop the mess. I'm not holding my breath.
Con artists will reinvent their game as long as they are able to find victims. People who are ill, afraid, and in pain are too easily exploited.