Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by arizona137, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. arizona137

    arizona137 New Member

    Heart Attack from CFS Treatment
    I went to the Fibro and Fatigue Center in Pittsburgh. Within 3 visits ( 2 months) and 1 month on medications, I suffered a heart attack. I am in heart failure as the result. To tell you how serious this is, I won disability on the first try without the help of a lawyer. That is unheard of in CFS cases. This doctor was not experienced in the field of CFS as promised by the F&F Center. He misdiagnosed me as a hormone patient, despite my filling out a 24 page questionnaire detailing how I needed 3 B-12 shots a day in order to make it to work. I explained I had been exposed to chemicals and had pushed myself for nearly 2 years. I nearly collapsed my last day of work and was on sabbatical before seeing him. I was a gradual onset and pushed until I couldn't stand up anymore.

    Dr. Pierotti was on probation with the Pennsylvania Licensing bureau for a year and fined $10,000.00 for passing himself off as a board certified ER doctor at Bloomsburg Hospital during his stint with the F&F Center. This doctor is not allowed to have a license in Ohio. Dr. Teitelbaum said he would see to it that medications were NEVER administered in this way again. Instead of gradually increasing my T3 dose, Dr.Pierotti gave me 100 mcgs off the bat. He also gave me 100 mgs of pregnenolone , which Dr. Ray Sahelian from California, said can cause atrial fibrillation at high doses. I was experiencing symptoms of thyroid storm at my last appointment and no vitals were taken. This doctor also told me when I couldn't take his hydrocortisone, which immune activated me with a sore throat and high temperature for a week, that I was detoxing or had the flu. The drug script says that these symptoms are serious side effects of hydrocortisone. He never even knew that.

    The fact that I suffered the heart attack as the result of a Fibro and Fatigue doctor has been verified by Dr. Cheney. (I have also been diagnosed with CFS by Dr. Cheney.) The cardiologist in the cath lab didn't know what to do and put in 3 drug eleuting stents in the absence of disease, which shouldn't be done. So now I am burdened with 3 drug elueting stents when I didn't need them because I never had coronary artery disease. This has also been verified by Dr. Cheney.

    The only thing I received from the F&F Center was $600.00 in reimbrusement for the payments I gave them. I also was reimbursed for a noninsurance covered test in the amount of $300.00 because I requested it. A total of $900.00 for heart failure, which has been in defibrillator zone, is all I got. Stress exacerbates this illness, so we all know that I have been pushed further into the hole by all these unnecessary circumstances. Dr Teitelbaum wanted me to go to another F&FCenter, but I refused. He worked for a time with my PCP and then told me to go on to Dr. Cheney because my EF was only 30%.

    The doctor was totally irresponsible in my case management. Dr. Pierotti also wanted me to go back to work , despite the fact I had been unable to even walk only a few months earlier. The secretary yelled at me for being a malingerer and the doctor would not allow me to use my sick days, which totaled nearly 100.They told me all I deserved was a FMLA. ( insurance only coverage) This is my horror story and I don't know if it translates into all the F&F doctors being bad. But I think this story needs to be told in the interest of how it was handled and my results. You need to know the REST OF THE STORY ,as the saying goes.

    I never knew about CFS or any other doctor that treated CFS cases. I found Dr. Teitelbaum to be caring , but the doctor staffing the Pittsburgh Center was anything but caring, compassionate or understanding. He was the antithesis of Dr. Teitelbaum.
    [This Message was Edited on 01/25/2010]
    [This Message was Edited on 01/28/2010]
    [This Message was Edited on 01/29/2010]
  2. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    I am sorry to hear about your heart attack, Arizona. I think my biggest concern with the F&FC and Dr. Teitelbaum is that they seem to assume hormone problems are present in all CFS patients regardless of what testing shows.

    I started reading Dr. T's book and never did finish it as I didn't agree with a lot of what he was reporting as being fact when there is no science to back it up. There were several times he stated that he ignored test results even if they showed values being in the "normal" range. To my way of thinking that is dangerous and shouldn't be allowed to happen, especially with hormones.

    I hope you are being seen by a qualified cardiologist for your heart attack. Dr. Cheney is NOT a cardiologist and I wouldn't be relying on him for care.
  3. arizona137

    arizona137 New Member

    After the heart attack, I was asked by Dr. Teitelbaum not to do anything in regards to Dr. Pierotti. He stated many patients were being helped at the F&F Center and would not have adequate care if I were to have him removed from the facility. Also Sue Hrim from corporate headquarters called several times and did the appropriate "damage control" to assure I wouldn't harm them in any way. At the time I was unaware of any other physicans treating this illness and complied. (Where was public education about this illness and why when I googled the worldwideweb did only Dr. Teitelbaum's name come up???) I have met many others through email who have gone to a F&F Center and were less than thrilled with the results. They felt the physicians were less than thoroughly knowledgeable concerning the illness.
    Perhaps if Dr. Teitelbaum is medical director, he should be educating the doctors that work under him to insure proper care is given. According to Dr. Teitelbaum, he would see to it that medication was never administered to anyone in the way it was administered to me. Mmm was there a problem in the way that it was adminstered to me, and if so, why aren't you accepting responsibility for it now????

    When I recently reported to Dr. Teitelbaum the results of my visits with Dr. Cheney , and asked why he hasn't contacted me in nearly a year to ask how I was doing, he only responded that he was concerned about me.( We had emailed for nearly a year before I went to the center, at his recommendation. I also attended a seminar in Pitttsburgh where Dr. T spoke. He had me convinced he knew what he was talking about) Dr. T asked me if he could put a complimentary letter concerning his third edition book on his website and if I would also put it on Amazon .com. ) When I explained by email that my illness had been exacerbated by the effects of Dr. Aldino Pierotti's treatment and the financial burdens would be significant now, he had nothing to say and didn't reply. This is all the more significant in that since 1984/85, I have been able to pull in and out of this illness several times, according to Dr. Cheney. This is the third time I fell into this illness, which this time resulted from chemical exposure and stress. My first bout resulted from a sick building that I worked in in the 80's. People died from cancers at such a high rate that our teachers' union had the place investigated. Others of us suffered from ME/ CFS symptoms. I have exercised, juiced, pursued alternative treatments and supplements since the 90's, used probiotics since the 80's and studied and researched all to my betterment. Now one doctor pulls the rug out from under me with his rogue theories about how to help CFS with a massive dose of T3 not properly ramped up.

    The second bout with this illness came when I nearly died from a twin-twin transfusion pregnancy in 1991. I was filled with infection from experimental treatments which caused my twin girls to die shortly after birth from infection. Their blood supply was not routed properly and they removed fluid from my body ( as much as a 2 liter pop bottle and a half to keep me from going into labor) My organs were shutting down, I had eclampsia, I was filled with pneumonia and had death marks in my face, according to my doctor. I delieverd these babies on a cooling blanket because I was so ill from medical treatment. I had been in such pain throughout this pregnancy and really suffered. I recoverd through my personal research and study, but it took nearly a year. Four months after delivery, I struggled to get to work every day barely able to make the 45 minute journey home. Once home, I had to crawl into bed in order to make it to work the next day. If I was a malingerer, I would have quit then and there.

    The crux of this issue is this.......the illness has been woefully neglected for over twenty years because of the CDC and their efforts to suppress help to our community with knowledge , research and financial support. Why was Dr. DeFrietas's work discredited, when it was right on target in the late 80's and early 90's??? Why in 2007 was the medical community only offering antidepressants for an illness that is possibly as severe as leukemia, lymphoma and HIV/AIDS????? If this illness proves to be from a retro virus, how did it jump from mice to humans??? Was there an experiment that went awry when mutating it from mice to other animals??? Did it jump to human beings by accident.

    With this being said, I don't fault the F&F Centers for trying to help suffering people. I just think they are misguided or perhaps their methodology helps those that are less ill. If you are really ill, their methods are pushing a body faster than it is prepared to go and causing more damage. I do not fear anything that the F&F Center could do to me because what I say is the honest truth and they know it. If I can help even one of you that suffer, then that is my goal. My fate has been sealed at their hands and unless a miracle from God happens, I must bear the burden of what happened to me alone. But then I am not alone because already you have sympathized with my plight in just a few short hours. I thank-you for your concern and well wishes. Perhaps some have received the care that they need from the F&F Center and got well. This did not happen in my case and all sides must be presented, so those of you that need different care can make a wise and prudent decision to get help elsewhere. I am not a basher and trying to put the Centers down. There is a verse from the bible that goes like this " My people parish from lack of knowledge" I am giving you that knowledge and hope you make the best decision for yourself. My one lament is that the F&F Center did not stand up and take responsibility for what happened to me.
    This is my belief and I will stand by it.
    [This Message was Edited on 01/23/2010]
  4. jole

    jole Member

    How long ago did this take place? Because if it had happened to me, and they accnowledged that it was the doctor's fault that you had the heart attack, I would have sued. Not necessarily to make money, but to pay medical expenses for your heart problems and surgery, and to keep this doctor from causing the same outcome to someone else.

    People with CFS are susceptible to heart problems, and it sounds like the medications certainly exacerbated yours, although perhaps they wouldn't have the next person. Nevertheless, these docs are aware of the CFS/heart processes, so you would think they would be alert to any signs of heart problems even if they aren't cardiologists.

    Just another reminder to everyone that what may work for one, won't work for another, and we all need to do our own research instead of going by other people's recommendations. We also need to question our doctors, and question them again.

    Wishing you the best of luck, and so very sorry your life turned out this way......Jole
  5. arizona137

    arizona137 New Member

    Dr. Cheney knows more about the heart and CFS than any cardiologist I have seen so far.
    The cardiologist that did the catherization gave me 40 mgs of statin when my cholesterol was only 119. He got upset with me when I wouldn't take his statins. Does he realize you can get your cholesterol too low and mine was already low enough!!! He also got upset because I couldn't take the beta blockers, because it lowered my thyroid and I would get terrible freezing of my fingers and toes. It also gave me insomnia. Cardiologists are afraid of medical malpractice suits and follow the standard of care to the T whether you need it or not. Beta blockers can prevent T4 to T3 conversion, just what I didn't need to have happen. Cardiologists don't get CFS/ME either. I have gone the gamut and I am very happy with Dr. Cheney. He gets it. There is a book that was on the NYTimes best seller list by a cardiologist from Florida that told about all the unnecessary procedures that cardiologists do for the money. I contacted him and told him my story and told him he could use it for his next book.
    Please, understand that I know what I am talking about and am a researcher above average when it comes to my health. That is why Dr. Pierotti didn't think I was sick. I was recovering slowly, but if I would have gone back to work, I would have relapsed immediately. Dr. T said not to go back to work until you had that ""yippee" feeling. I wasn't even close to that when I was at the F&F Center. In fact, Dr. Pierotti made me a whole lot sicker than when I walked in their door with their medications. I presented him with a calendar of anecdotal comments about how sick I was when I took their meds and he removed it from my file to protect himself.
    How do I know that you ask.........when I asked for my file , it was no where to be found.
  6. arizona137

    arizona137 New Member

    How long ago did this take place? Because if it had happened to me, and they accnowledged that it was the doctor's fault that you had the heart attack, I would have sued. Not necessarily to make money, but to pay medical expenses for your heart problems and surgery, and to keep this doctor from causing the same outcome to someone else.

    I checked the possibility of a law suit out. In fact my lawyer was the one on the Exxon Valdez tanker spill. He said that lawsuit went for 21 years, 600 people died in the meantime, and they only got a tenth of what they should have received, even though the ship captain was dead drunk. It's about politics my friend and money. If you believe it's about justice, you need to think again. If you think it's about right and wrong, think again my friends. Medical malpractice suits are only 40% successful, if that. The F and F Centers have money. I was 54 when it happened and did not have too many more years as a school speech pathologist remaining in my career. So when you take how much I would have made in my remaining career years and the cost of my particular lawsuit, there wouldn't have been much money to be made. The anguish it would have caused on my part would have made my illness worse than what it already is. I checked things out carefully and declined to proceed forward. Contingency lawyers that you see on TV want slam dunk cases. Nothing that might be iffy or questionable.

    I decided to contact Dr. T, but he just lamented how sorry he was that this happened. If it weren't for Dr. Cheney and his knowledge and understanding, I don't know how I would have coped. He agreed with me that this lawsuit would put me over the edge. BUT he says without a doubt, what I suffered was blatant medical malpractice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    [This Message was Edited on 01/23/2010]
    [This Message was Edited on 01/23/2010]
  7. arizona137

    arizona137 New Member

    NO I MEAN 119.!!! Was that crazy or what????? Three stents when there was no coronary artery disease. The hematologist asked him why and he just said, " I didn't know what else to do so I did 3 stents.
  8. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I can understand the stress and why you didn't...

    but, I think I would've at least written the PA medical board and filed a complaint regardless of the 'damage control' they did. I wonder if you still could.

    If you have copies of your file and most of the tests are there and what he rx'd you, I'd think the med board would do something - which would be helping someone in the future at the very least.

    Telling you someone like him was better than nobody is not helping anyone, amounts to patient endangerment. I can't believe they couldn't find a better doctor that that, I wonder if the bottom line was the doc was cheap...

    so sorry you've gone thru all of this, it's horrifying.... my heart goes out to you.
    all the best,

  9. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    How many other patients is this same doctor hurting? I personally think he should be reported to your state medical board. He almost killed you, and chances are if he was reckless in treating you, he is doing the same thing to other patients of his. Dr T should also be reported if he asked you to keep this quiet.

    From everything that I have heard about the F & FC centers, they are purely a money making machine making the doctors very rich, and fleecing the very patients who can afford it the least.
  10. arizona137

    arizona137 New Member

    The letter went into the mail to our licensing bureau last Friday regarding Dr. Pierotti. That is the agency that handles these types of issues. But I won't hear from them for several years. That is how long it took for his ER issue to come before the board. But at least I did something that will get a notation on his record, at the very minimum. I also was advised that he was on Co Cure and to get him off the good doctor list. I did write them and he was removed the other day. The only other thing I can do is alert the CFS/ME population that the Fibro and Fatigue Centers can be very dangerous to your health. I may have went through a living hell, but you don't have to, if I have any chance of reaching you and setting the record straight. I do not want anyone to go through what I went through. I was told by another of their patients that she had atrial fibrillation a year before I did, but it did not turn in to a heart attack. Dr. Pierotti advised her to get off the T3. Please they knew about this dangerous medication and did nothing to alter the course??? Please pass the word along to your friends and loved ones. BTW, Dr.Pierotti is gone and is now doing anti-aging medicine without being board certified in that area of medicine. Who knows who he will hurt next????
  11. bakeman

    bakeman New Member

    The Philly Fibro and fatigue center(s) has no idea what cfs is but they pretend to have all the answers. Dr. T is not your friend, he is non of our friends '123 pain free' 'fatigued to fantastic': B.S. What a load of ****. I was treated for 1 year until i realized it was all a big lie. Broken promises of recovery, one after the other, over and over again, they have no idea what they are doing!

    rant over,
  12. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    on that sat. wholistic health show, its usually good, he did come across like an advocate. someone should contact npr and tell them they made a mistake then.
  13. arizona137

    arizona137 New Member

    I do not know what NPR is. So I certainly can't do anything about it.
  14. Debra49659

    Debra49659 New Member

    Arizona I don't have any advice but I did want to let you know that I think what was done to you at that center is horrible. I was called a malingerer myself 3 years ago by a doctor that diagnosis my FM. He gave me one sheet of paper to learn about FM....really one sheet!

    Next thing I know is the doctor said I was a malingerer because I knew too much about FM! I went home that day I was diagnosed and read everything I could find about FM. I think he was just pissed that I knew more about FM than him at that point:)

  15. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I found this article which appears to be related to what has happened to you.

    Be Wary of "Fad" Diagnoses, 15/3/2009

    In 1991, a 50-year-old woman died after excessive amounts of thyroid hormone prescribed by (Dr.)Wilson had caused rapid heartbeat that led to a heart attack.

    According to Wilson, the patient's daughter filed a malpractice suit, which was settled out of court for $250,000. In 1992, the Florida Board of Medicine fined him $10,000, suspended his license for six months, and ordered him to undergo psychological testing. If his license is reinstated, he would also be required to take courses in endocrinology, the scientific method, and medical ethics. As far as I know, Wilson has not resumed practice.

    However, he still operates the Wilson's Syndrome Foundation, a "900" number "support line" for doctors and patients, and a toll-free number (800-621-7006) for information about his theories and publications. (An article on his Web site states that he thinks he can be more effective by educating the public. The more likely explanation is that if he resumed practice, the state medical board would permanently revoke his license.)

    In 1998, Richard A. Marschall, N.D., a naturopath licensed in the State of Washington, was disciplined for unprofessional conduct for diagnosing and treating between 75 and 100 patients for Wilson's Syndrome solely via telephone, mail, and/or through the Internet. Wilson claims that "thousands of doctors" have been using his methods, but in 2006, the referral directory on his Web site listed 95 worldwide, most of whom were medical doctors or naturopaths. "

    I have read too many posts where a doctor prescribes over the phone without seeing a patient or by a questionaire. Doctor's also rely on signs and symptoms that can only be treated by a doctor seeing you. Unless it is your regular doctor prescribing over the phone it may be considered malpractice.

    Take care.

    ETA NPR is National Public Radio.[This Message was Edited on 01/24/2010]
  16. arizona137

    arizona137 New Member

    Gap, I am well familiar with that information and even presented it to Dr. Teitelbaum after the MI. He refused to even comment on it. But I am so glad that you posted it on this site, so others will be aware of it too. Hopefully it will make others think a bit more carefully.

    My understanding is that Dr. Wilson first started his protocol using regular T3. He had so many calls of heart problems, that he then resorted to timed release T3. This supposedly ended the numerous weekend heart calls that were becoming a nuisance.

    This is exactly what happened to me. I was given the regular T3. Teitelbaum just says he is sorry that I am so ill and I have been through so much. Does that tell you what he is all about in a nutshell??? Do you want a man like that representing CFS on talk and radio shows??? It makes you wonder, doesn't it!!!!
    [This Message was Edited on 01/24/2010]
  17. arizona137

    arizona137 New Member

    My birthday is on the 28th of January and the heart attack happened on the 30th. What a month!!!! This one is going to be difficult, because no one will be held accountable for what they did to me. It's sad to see that no one will step up to the plate, when they know exactly what happened. This world is not about justice, it's not about admitting fault and acting responsibly when you make a mistake. It's about seeing what you can get away with!!! Seeing what money can buy you. Betraying people when they come to you for help because we are so desperately ill. The only thing we have on our mind is becoming a productive member of society again. We have been beaten down by those very people that are supposed to protect us. The CDC, the doctors, our employers our families!!! If anyone sees Dr. Teitelbaum, I hope they let him know what his Fibro and Fatigue Clinic did to me and his inexcusable behavior of turning his back and not admitting what reality knows to be true. His Dr. Pierotti had very little understanding of the illness he was treating, and caused a heart attack, when it didn't need to happen. They were careless and now irresponsible. $600.00 for causing someone to have a heart attack and be in severe cardiac heart failure, as the result. I was getting better before I went to him. I could be back at work today. Now I am another number in the social security disability world. The one thing that someone could have told me


    And Dr. Pierotti wanted me to go back to work because he thought I was a malingerer. I was making myself better and everything he did only got me worse. Then he wants me to go back to work after I show him a daily calendar of how ill I was on his medications. He pulls it from my file to protect himself and it is no where to be found when I request my file.( But fortunately I kept a copy of it. )Now he quietly moves over to be an anti-aging doctor and life goes on in his world , but not mine. And Dr. Teitelbaum goes on about his business representing the CFS/ME world as having all the answers. I asked him how he sleeps at night knowing what he did to me and he doesn't respond. As I said, this last week in January is a tough one for me..................
  18. loto

    loto Member

    That is so bad! The damage they caused you there!!! Have you filed a suit against this place?? I know we live in a society that is quick to file suit against one another, but your case is totally out of hand, to say the least!!!

    I know suing the place would cause more stress for you, but that place needs to pay more than the amount they did. Plus, it would bring more publicity to how incompetent they are!

    That's my opinion. I get so angry when I hear about incompetent doctors and the medical staff in their practices.

  19. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I wonder if other patients have had the same problem as yours. You can probably look up the court case that ended with suspension of his license.

    If you are brave enough to come out about this problem, I would think other's may have had similar experiences, even if they did not have a heart attack.

    Anniversary's can be tough. I am going through that myself, as today would have been mother's birthday. Take special care of yourself.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/25/2010]
  20. arizona137

    arizona137 New Member

    I am trying to get the word out here and on other sites. My heart anniversary is on Saturday and my birthday is tomorrow. I have such anxiety over the whole double whammy month of January. I don't know which is worse, the heart anniversary or the birthday.

    It was decided it would be too much on me to go through this law suit. ( And the lawyer wouldn't make enough money) The lady in Florida that died from the very same treatment I did ..............her family only got $250,000.00 for her death. What would that amount to after lawyer's costs???? Not enough and I didn't die. I guess to bad for that one because I would receive so much less and go through all the aggravation. Dr. T and his infamous clinics walk away from this one without a second thought. I lived so I would get so much less, even though my heart is severely damaged. It is going to have to be word of mouth on this one...........


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