Medical Error Interviews
Medical Error Interviews
Scott Simpson
Sarah Price Hancock interview (part 3): Surviving Shock Treatment (ECT) and Psychiatric Medications
50 minutes Posted Feb 3, 2020 at 1:20 am.
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Show notes
It is hard to know where to start in describing what Sarah shares in part 3 of our interview. Sarah imparts so much info about things that helped her regain health - and may help you, and things that hurt her health- and may hurt you.
Sarah tells how a correct diagnosis and stopping inappropriate psych meds, resulted in losing 100+ pounds and get back to her high school weight.
She tells about how when she started to treat her liver, even though her liver tests were ‘normal’, her health and quality of life improved.
Perhaps most importantly, Sarah tells about finding a doctor who approaches psychiatric issues as an autoimmune and toxicity problem, and addresses it with appropriate nutrient support. 
This is what stopped the voices in her head that were telling her to kill herself 24/7. 
Sarah also tells how when she got a kidney infection and needed antibiotics, the psychosis and voices in her head returned. What did the psychiatrist want to do? Give her psych meds of course. Every symptom looks like a nail if your only approach is to use the hammer of psych meds.
Sarah says we need to encourage psychiatry to get back to their roots of orthomolecular approach - trauma cannot be treated with ECT or psych meds - research shows trauma causes physiological changes to the gut biome - and there are more neurotransmitters in the gut then in the brain.
And that is why Sarah has started an international petition to create standards for ECT to make patients safer….and not experience the devastating side effects Sarah endures.
One of the pictures Sarah sent, she was much larger - her underlying illness of hepatic encephalopathy, and treatment caused metabolic syndrome from 5 classes of pyschiatric meds - at her her heaviest, Sarah weighed 250 pounds - once she got off those medications and starting eating micronutrition she lost some weight - when she was finally diagnosed with helpatic encephalopathy and the correctly addressed her fungal infection, she has steadily lost weight - she has dropped more than 100 pounds - she's now at 135 pounds, same she weighed in high school
They didn't realize she had fungal edema and what she was eating was also putting stress on her liver, even though liver tests showed normal, when she started treating her liver, her health vastly improved - but Sarah had been living with overgrowth of candidiasis from over prescribed antibiotics - so antifungal meds and herbal protocal helped
Her doctor's website is - he describes how over prescribed antibiotics can cause fatigue, auto immune, and other issues - and approaches psychiatric issues as an autoimmune problem, from an orthomolecular view, looking at toxicity issues and a variety of things
Sarah started see this doctor in January 2017 - and started his diet outlined in his book "An Extraordinary Power to Heal" by Bruce Semon - Sarah was on all 5 steps of the protocol at once - it is usually an elimination approach, but since Sarah was so sick, her doctor recommend she do all 5 steps at once - but Sarah had a kidney infection and was on 3 rounds of antibiotics and even though she'd been without psychosis for 5 years, by the 2nd dose of antibiotics she was in full blown psychosis - her psychiatrist wanted to put Sarah back on psych meds, but Sarah pointed out the psychosis manifested with the antibiotics
Sarah then met the candida doctor, Dr Semon, and he said it was candiadis and she laughed at the idea it was causing her problems - she didn't know there were 20 illnesses that could cause her symptoms - Sarah thought it was all a dopamine issue, so her eyes were really opened - Sarah has seen this doctor turn people's health around - Sarah was catatonic from the antibiotics for the kidney infection, and Dr Semon immediately recognized and gave Sarah to big pushes of IV glutathione
Sarah went from asking the nurse to give Sarah her brain back, she thought the nurse had put it in a jar on the shelf and that was why Sarah couldn't move her arms and her body - an hour later after the IV glutathiones, Sarah was ready to go to work
Previously, Sarah had gnarly responses to some medications, she'd have akathesia where she couldn't stop pacing and felt like fire ants coursing through her brains, and extreme agitation and behavior like screaming at her colleagues - but an IV of ALA (alpha lipoic acid) would calm Sarah's body quickly and relieve her of psychiatric issues
Compared to how her body slowly responded to pysch meds, an orthomolecular approach was so much quicker - whereas they use ECT when people are depressed, catatonic, agitated, etc because it is a 'rapid response' treatment, Dr Semon says give them an IV of glutathione or ALA (depending on symptoms) - so its faster than ECT without the brain damage
We need to encourage psychiatry to get back to their roots of orthomolecular approach - trauma cannot be treated with ECT or psych meds - research shows trauma causes physiological changes to the gut biome - the are more neurotranmitters in the gut then in the brain
The myriad of problems associated with dietary, hormonal, toxicity, trauma can be addressed orthomolecularly - Sarah says she cannot take ALA orally as it causes gnarly symptoms - but it is a precursor for glutathione - when Sarah takes ALA via IV, it has a nice calming effect
Sarah has seen patiens come in with mixed mania, so all the symtpoms of depression and mania, agitation, impulsivity, irritation etc and hook them up to IV of ALA, and they would calm down - its important to eat before ALA IV for blood sugar reasons - she would watch their brain calm and rest
A lot of doctors don't know what they don't know, and they are focused on one paradigm and everything they look at looks like a nail because they have a hammer - in reality, sustainable healing uses an entire wellness toolbox to create personal medicine - recognizing what helps and gathering those activities can mitigate suffering
Sarah does recognize the need for medications - she had psychiatric symptoms, and psych meds made her worse, but she did need anti fungal meds to relieve her psych symptoms - there are so many ways we can get sick - they had a client with a son with ADD, ADHD, behavioral problems
The son's bedroom was beside the bathroom, and when they opened up the wall, it was full of black mold - the entire family had been impacted, the father was being treated for 'treatment resistance' depression and had ECT for it - but it was mold mycotoxins in their home - the son was in his 20s, and they don't know how long he'd been exposed to black mold - the family had to move for their health
There are so many things we don't know about - mold is insidious - people with mold exposure don't realize they have to start from scratch, they can't bring clothing etc to a new home
Mold only needs warmth and moisture to grow, so you can't bring mold spores to a new home without eventually having problems again - Orthomolecular Medicine (OM) looks at micronutrition, phospholipids, minerals, vitamins, tissue and cell structure and addresses those insufficiencies and aims for balance
An interesting book by Dr Carl Pfieffer at Princeton's Brain and Bio Clinic - its a 100 page book and he outlines 27 different causes of psychosis /schizophrenia symptoms, and only 1 of those can be addressed with anti-psychotic meds
We need to address the underlying cause of their symptoms - how symptoms manifest is dependent on individual genetics - for 1 person is toxicity may manifest ADHD or arthritis - it depends on the person's unique vulnerabilities - but if you can address the underlying cause, sustainable healing can be achieved
Sarah cycled through 37 different combinations of pysch meds before they found a combo that 'worked' - even then she was still hearing voices, seeing things, mood problems, just not as extreme as previously - whereas with addressing the underlying issue will be life enhancing as the symptoms will go away and there is real recovery, if you're not damaged by other treatments
In Westen medicine they don't recognize the up or down regulation by the meds, so when the meds are removed, the 'brace' is removed
You wouldn't wear a brace or a cast for longer than you needed to - when the meds are removed or changed over night, they expect the patient's nervous system to immediately re-regulate
Patients may think their symptoms are returning, but what's really happening is the removal of meds has a paradoxical effect - there is little research of the longitudinal effects of antidepressants or antipsychotics - so removal of meds causes withdrawal syndrome
Sarah worked with Dr John Humiston ( noticed with her candida overgrowth, that if they supported her body with nutrients, she could negate the withdrawal symptoms - it makes sense if you think of the CNS as being damaged, but then giving it proper support to function and heal
Sarah witnessed a lot of people going through treatment - it is called neuro-recover infusion of NAD with amino acids - there are 5 different formulations of neuro-recover - the QEEG scans of before and after neuro-recover were dramatic
The withdrawal symptoms people experienced were reduced by 60 - 70% --- Sarah had been in protracted withdrawal sydrome for 2 years before she tried neuro-recover, and immediately it turned off her akathesia, and within days she started sleeping again, instead of 30 minutes at a time - she was able to sleep for 4 hours, and as treatment progressed, Sarah got 8 - 9 hours of sleep at night
When the body gets the nutrition is needs, it can re-find its homeostasis - Scott mentions his interview with Daryl Brown about 'post SSRI sexual dysfunction' (PSSD)
Sarah says she also experienced PSSD but the neuro recover infusion formulation solved that - and Sarah began experiencing a sex life she never knew was possible
Sarah symtpoms are spiralling down - she recently lost windows of good health when sitting up - it looks like she's going to be living a life in a reclined position, which doesn't leave her with many options to get out and enjoy life - it limits what she can do with her family, what she can do in life - but she's tapped into the disability community for support - at this point, people with electrical injury do not have rehab resources
Sarah is working to change that, and is hoping to do it before she's unable to - (Sarah's petition for ECT regulation and standardization) - Sarah is looking into CCI, but there are not sure what to do about the brainstem injuries
Sarah says brainstem auditory evoked potential testing is important for electrical injury - they overstimulate auditorily and see how your brain responds - also show you moving patterns and see how your brain responds
VNG (videonystagmography) testing - cameras measure how pupils react to light, movement, tracking - they can detect brain stem and central nervous system (CNS) issues
When Sarah had problems with one side of her face, her eyelid drooping - she asks 'was that a myloclonic seizure? We have to look at these issues for people with history of electrical injury or ECT - autopsies in animals and humans connect with symptoms seen in people - cranial nerve damage affecting speech, gait, etc
Having evoked potential testing will help determine problems - having a 3T MRI (and eventually 7T) with special sequencing - SWI for microhemorhaging - D3T MRI to see how things are moving
Also MRA sequencing on MRI shows blood brain barrier - research showed that 7 of 12 cats were not damaged by ECT - but they didn't say that the other 5 cats died and their blood brain barrier did not reseal
So how many humans with ECT had a blood brain barrier that didn't re-seal -- for Sarah, any odours can trigger symptoms, so she has to keep a very clean house with few chemical cleaners - her brain is no longer protected from these odours
Sarah's sensitivity to smells kicked in at the same time the delayed electrical injury kicked in, so they are related - Sarah has to careful in public places - she has many air cleaners in her house, completely re-did the HVAC system with extra filters that Sarah changes every 2 weeks
The majority of buildings don't routinely clean their buildings or their HVAC systems - or exposure to perfumes can cause symptoms - recently she went to a pancake breakfast and sitting 5 feet from the propane stove
She was fine for a short while, but then her speech began to slur, Sarah stood up and fell over - anything she breathes in goes straight to her brain
Sarah says it is important for people to know that ECT / shock treatment needs stanardization and regulated - she needs more signatures on the petition - it is an international petition and will be sent to all English speaking countries - it can be translated as Sarah has partners to translate - it is important we have these discussions in a public forum
Sarah says she's gleaned info from the other interviews - and that her doctor's eyes almost popped out of her head when Sarah brought her the CCI info - its weird and exciting that different mechanisms of injury can cause similar symptoms
Scott asks Sarah final question: what is something nice you're doing for yourself today? Sarah is excited to go to the interantional car show because they have an entire mobility section - Sarah is going with her husband to look at accessible transportation so Sarah can get out of the house and integrated into the world
Sarah is thankful for the gift of tickets from the San Diego car show, because without the gift, they would not be able to afford to go because all their money goes to testing, treatment and medical expenses - but is excited to get out of the house with her husband
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Scott Simpson: 
Counsellor + Patient Advocate + (former) Triathlete
I am a counsellor, patient advocate, and - before I became sick and disabled - a passionate triathlete. Work hard. Train hard. Rest hard.
I have been living with HIV since 1998. I was the first person living with HIV to compete at the triathlon world championships.
Thanks to research and access to medications, HIV is not a problem in my life.
I have been living with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) since 2012, and thanks in part to medical error, it is a big problem in my life.
Counseling / Research
I first became aware of the ubiquitousness of medical error during a decade of community based research working with the HIV Prevention Lab at Ryerson University, where I co-authored two research papers on a counseling intervention for people living with HIV, here and here. 
Patient participants would often report varying degrees of medical neglect, error and harms as part of their counseling sessions.
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I am co-founder of the ME patient advocacy non-profit Millions Missing Canada, and on the Executive Committee of the Interdisciplinary Canadian Collaborative Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Research Network.
I am also a patient advisor for Health Quality Ontario’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, and member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada.
Medical Error Interviews podcast and vidcast emerged to give voice to victims, witnesses and participants in this hidden epidemic so we can create change toward a safer health care system.
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