My mom is very health conscious. She’s in her early 60’s, and in the last five years or so, she’s been on a mission to get into better shape, and make herself very healthy, naturally.
She doesn’t drink soda, never has. She drinks water, and a ton of it. She doesn’t flavor her water either. She doesn’t eat or drink anything that is “sugar-free” or contains sweeteners, like aspartame, sucralose, etc. She watches her carbs, her fats, etc. She eats lots of greens including dandelion greens, kale, bitter melon, etc.
She’s been seeing a couple of different herbalists, and they suggested lots of different herbs & vitamins for her to take that will benefit her in many ways.
Some of the things she was taking was bitter melon, gymnema, cinnamon powder, biotin, b-12, chromium picolinate, Alpha Lipoic acid, Acetyl L-carnitine HCI, lipase and several other products.
My mom exercises very regularly, and walks about 5 to 6 miles every day. She’s probably in the best shape that she’s been in, in many, many years.
So you can imagine my surprise when I received a phone call Tuesday morning from my dad, telling me that he had to rush my mom to the emergency room. I of course, rushed there as well. The doctors thought she had some type of infection. We were told it could have been a kidney infection or a gallbladder infection. The doctor told us “she came very close to dying today”. That was frightening to hear.
My mom had been feeling fine. On Monday, Labor Day, she woke up feeling ok, but early in the morning she started to feel ill. She slept on the couch the entire day. And that is not like my mom at all. She is very active. For her to just sleep all day, something was wrong. My dad wanted to take her to the doctor’s, but she refused.
Tuesday morning, she woke up vomiting. Six times. My dad told her she’s going to the ER, and she did not refuse this time.
She was in the ER for about 6 hours, when they transferred her to ICU. They really couldn’t tell us what was wrong with her, because they were not sure themselves. Just that she was extremely sick and had come very close to dying. Once in ICU, they ran more tests, but were always puzzled because nothing was jumping out at them. She was also septic. They kept going back to the gallbladder, thinking it was infected. So they did ultrasounds on her gallbladder & heart, and also did a CT scan, and a Hida-Scan for her gallbladder. The surgeon thought she may need gallbladder surgery, but had to be sure that’s what the problem was.
After more scans and tests yesterday, they found nothing wrong with her gallbladder. She had been on some very heavy antibiotics for the last 3 days, but she was not getting any better. They called in a doctor from the city to see her last night. Yesterday they said she was the “sickest person in the hospital” and they didn’t know what was causing her to be so sick.
The doctor from the city asked my dad to bring in all of her medications, herbs, vitamins, etc that she had been taking. So he brought them right in and the doctors took them away to analyze.
We later received a visit from the doctor, telling us “we found out what is wrong with your mom”. Finally! After 4 days! What was it??
She was poisoned. It was the Bitter Melon powder from China that she had been taking. It was toxic. She was poisoning herself all this time without even knowing it. She bought the powder on Amazon (not Amazon’s fault in any way), from a seller in China.
Herbs and medications from other countries are not regulated by the FDA. My mom was told that Bitter Melon had all these health benefits, and simply looked for the best price and purchased it.
This is the actual product that almost cost my mom her life:
She’s still in ICU, but now that they know what caused her to become so ill & septic, they are able to treat her accordingly. She’s eaten nothing but ice chips in the last 4 days (couldn’t even drink water), but today she’s finally allowed to drink anything clear (like chicken broth). It’s a baby step, but an improvement in the right direction. We’re hopeful that she’ll be moved out of ICU and into a regular hospital room by next week.
I wanted to write this post so you can share this with your loved ones, family and friends, and warn them about buying herbs & medications from other countries. You do not know what is really in them!! Taking them is a risk. Not everything that has a great price tag is a “bargain”! This bargain almost cost my mom her life.
UPDATE: I’ve been getting questions & comments as to how much she was taking. This powder came with a tiny little spoon, less than a teaspoon. She put it in her tea diffuser, so she drank it in her tea. She said most of the powder stayed in the diffuser, so she was only getting about 1/4 teaspoon a day.
9/7 UPDATE: Another update. In the ICU again with mom today, and she’s had a setback. The Dr’s are now testing her for “heavy metals”, as they believe this product had metal fillers in it. Fillers could possibly be lead, magnesium, silver, mercury, etc. They said it could very likely also have dirt in it. This could be why it was such a “bargain”. They are also considering transferring her to a hospital an hour away in the city, where they are better equipped for cases like this.
9/8 UPDATE: Mom is doing better today! After eating nothing but ice chips for 4 days, she was finally able to eat food yesterday. But she was having a hard time eating hospital food (can’t blame her there) so I got the OK from the Dr. to bring in home made chicken soup for her. So I got up early this morning and made her a big pot of it, and she ate a big bowl of it for lunch! Was so nice to see her eating and smiling again. Her color is coming back a little bit too. The docs say she’s not completely out of the woods yet, but is starting to improve. Prayers are working! Thank you all so much!
9/9 UPDATE: An infection control doctor came to see my mom in ICU today. He said that he’s heard of cases where people ingested herbs from India and China that contained arsenic. He said there is absolutely NO quality control in those countries, and it’s a huge risk to take ANYTHING from those countries.
9/11 UPDATE: Awesome news! My mom left ICU on Monday and was transferred to a regular hospital room while she continued to recover. And tonight, she is getting released! It’s been a LONG 9 days! They took samples for heavy metals and they have to send out the samples for testing, as we live in a very rural part of Upstate NY and our hospitals here are not equipped for something like this. But hopefully we will have her results in about a week or so. But either way, they treated her and she is doing SO much better! She’s very excited to sleep in her own bed tonight, and we’re relieved that she’s being discharged and will be ok from this!
Please share this story with your friends & family – so this does not happen to them!