One year ago, June 2009, I began yet another new treatment for my uncontrollable rheumatoid arthritis disease, my fourth drug change. My doctor put me on a fairly new drug treatment that was supposed to be a strong medicine to use against RA; the medicine was Rituxan. Rituxan is an IV infusion drug that is very expensive, $200,000 a year or $50,000 a treatment, to maintain my arthritis and beat back the pain I was experiencing. I did have some insurance coverage to assist with the expense. When receiving this new medicine, I was required to lay down for 5-6 hours while the poisonous chemicals ran into my body. Within the first half hour, my body’s natural response to this poisonous chemical was allergic in nature, so I had to stop the treatment and take some liquid Benadryl to make my body able to take in these chemicals. Oddly enough after all that work to make my body accept these chemicals, this expensive drug stop working after 6 months. And I was, yet again, waking up in the morning next to my husband crying because of the dread of getting out of bed and having to move my stiff painful body. On a side note, my husband had been trying to talk me into bee venom therapy (BVT) for months and after the “best” medicine around stop being effective I was more than willing to try something new, even if it seemed scary. I remember the first time I went to visit Dr. Cherbuliez, who I refer to as “the man who gave me back my life”. I was sitting next to my husband on the ride down to Freeport, scared and quiet. However, after meeting Dr. Cherbuliez my nervousness subsided and I was now anxious and curious to see what would happen. I knew I could not get any worse. Well, I found out that bee stings do not hurt as much when you know it is going to happen. They actually created a warm feeling throughout the joints that both hurt me and felt really good. Now after 3 months of BVT I am off my anti-depressant (Celexa), all RA medicine, and even stopped taking my Nexium pill (although sometimes the bee venom will make my stomach slightly upset). My husband, who is very supportive, learned how to sting me and I now get stung 17 times a week at home (and I estimate it only costs 15¢ a bee). What a terrific treatment for RA! I guess the best comment I have received was from my co-workers who thought I was crazy when I started this treatment and amazed at the results they saw as I transformed from a miserable sore person to a happy, more energetic person. Thanks Dr. Cherbuliez and to my husband, without both of you I would not be having the great summer and life that I am now.

- Carol Reed, Leeds, Maine
July 03, 2010