My name is Susan. I am 41 years old and I live in Fletcher, North Carolina. My story started in 2002 when my husband Scott and our three boys, Matthew, Quincy, and James were visiting my parents in Oklahoma for Christmas. We had gone to the mall for some Christmas shopping when I started feeling unwell. I went to the ladies room to discover that I had hives all over my trunk area and legs. My mother gave me some Benadryl and it went away. Then on New Years Eve we had a nice dinner with my parents and I went to bed around 10:00 p.m. because I did not feel very well. Around 11:30 p.m., I woke up to my chest hurting and I felt like I could not breathe very well. I then noticed that my whole body was covered with hives. I went to the emergency room and they pumped me full of Benadryl and steroids. The doctor said it would probably never happen again and sent me home with a week of Prednisone.
I then went back to Bermuda, where we were living at the time. I started having more allergic reactions where I would end up in the emergency room. I would start breaking out in hives and then it was like an angry demon that just took over my body, causing me to be violently ill and not able to breathe very well. I went to my family doctor and they could not figure it out and did not seem to be concerned at what was causing the reactions. My next step was calling the Lahey Clinic in Boston. They said they could not do a skin test because I was taking Zyrtec and Benadryl, but they would do a blood test. They did not find anything with the blood tests. The doctor there said it was just a passing phase in my life that one day would go away. He thought I might be allergic to sulfites and red dye and said to keep taking Zyrtec, Benadryl, and Prednisone as needed. I went back to Bermuda and tried to keep a food journal. I was scared to eat anything and I lost a lot of weight and proceeded to become depressed.
One night we were eating Indian food with some friends and I had a very scary reaction. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling terrible and tried to make it to the bathroom, but felt like I was going to pass out. I was covered in one big hive all over my body. I became violently ill, vomiting and having trouble breathing. I called for my husband because I could not get off the bathroom floor. I felt like if I closed my eyes that I might not wake up. He then called the ambulance and once again they pumped me up with Benadryl and steroids and sent me home with a prescription of Prednisone. I called Lahey the next day and told them what happened. The doctor said that he thought I should take Prednisone for 3-6 months; this frustrated me as they were treating the symptoms without diagnosing the cause. I knew that was not the right path for me and I was beginning to feel helpless. My reactions were starting to become more severe each time and I was living in fear, afraid of my throat closing and not being able to breathe.
In early 2003, my husband went on a business trip and brought home an article from an in-flight magazine that he had read while flying home. He said that he knew it sounded 'hokey' but the article was about a lady that had been having the same symptoms as I had (hives, allergies, depression) and she had gone to Hotze Health and Wellness Center in Houston, Texas to get well. Her story was an inspiration to me and gave me hope that I could return to living a happy life again. I knew I had to try everything and figured I owed it to myself and to my family to give Hotze a try. We did our research on the internet and then I made an appointment with Hotze for April of 2003.
My life started to become my own after that. I went through the Hotze program full of hope because I just wanted to feel good again and by June 2003, I felt like a new person. I found out the major foods that I was allergic to. I did the Candida diet and never cheated once in the whole 6 weeks. By the time June rolled around I was starting to get my life back. I have not had an allergic reaction in a year and a half and I feel like I have been given a second chance. I learned a lot through all my trials and tribulations. I am taking better care of my family now and making sure that we are all eating healthier. I am enjoying my life once again with my wonderful husband Scott and my three beautiful boys Matthew, Quincy, and James.
Thank you Hotze for giving me my life back.
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