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Parasite Portal > Unique tool to answer your questions & share your images...I had been having double vision mixed with severe headaches for a few weeks. Given a previous history of migraine aura, these seemed to be more serious symptoms of migraine. A visit to urgent care lead to an immediate trip to the Emergency Department for a lumbar puncture, a subsequent hospital stay, more tests, and a likely diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. I went home, hoping for the best, but the headaches returned. This time they were not relieved, as before, by aggressive outpatient treatment for migraine and left me vomiting and delirious. My neurologist told me to meet him at the hospital so that we could get the cluster headaches under control. Leaving for the hospital is the last thing I remembered for about five days. During that time, my condition worsened and Dr. Oscherwitz was consulted. As my wife later related, he carefully and thoroughly asked an extensive series of questions that lead to led to a diagnosis of coccidioidomycosis with encephalitis and meningitis. In other words, the common fungus that causes Valley Fever had taken a very unusual course and entered my central nervous system, causing swelling that eventually produced symptoms that looked like a stroke. Dr. Oscherwitz worked with my medical team over the course of my 3 week hospital stay and provided us with encouragement and information that led to my recovery. In the 20 years since, I’ve continued teaching doctoral students, practicing pediatric psychology, raised another beautiful child, and shared it all with the wife who Dr. Oscherwitz so patiently questioned when I couldn’t answer. His knowledge of microscopic fungi has made an enormous impact on our family, the audiences my daughter will delight with her dancing, and the patients that my students (now psychologists) will treat.

This is Vickie now – I must tell you that over the years since you took care of John, (& saved his life), I’ve seen you when I’ve been visiting various family members & friends in what is now Banner Desert Hospital. I’m always so glad to know that you’re helping people overcome these scary “things”. 20 years ago your diagnosis & treatment for him was the first light in a very dark time. I have a clear memory of talking to God at about 3 in the morning in ICU – thinking “Ok, I can raise our 2 year-old by myself, but I really hope that he can stay around to be part of it.” The staff had suggested that I contact John’s family & have them fly in from Nebraska…nothing seemed to be helping. Then you came on the case, & John turned the corner. Thank you from all of us! On the day he was discharged from the hospital, you told us that Valley Fever in the CNS used to be 100% fatal, but now with the medication, many patients survived. His was a long road back to being able to function independently & then resume work, but he was alive to do so! Our daughter joined our family as he recovered. We are grateful to have met you Dr. Oscherwitz.

-- J. & V. Barton

I had ovarian surgery last Friday. Turns out that I do not have cancer, which is a huge relief.

Thank you so much for listening, and for your advice when I first found out that there was something wrong and I needed further testing and possible surgery. It was a very frightening time for me! I didn’t know what questions to be asking or what vocabulary would be used. Your advice helped me feel more confident in my ability to understand and respond to the details I was getting from my doctors. Thanks a million!

-- Stefanie

What an exceptional idea!!!! You have created an answer to so many peoples’ unanswered questions. This will make a huge impact on individual’s health care. Travelers may especially be drawn to your site for pre-travel advice and post-travel concerns. What a plus! Brilliant!

-- M. Trout

In March of our daughter's Freshman year of high school, she came down with whooping cough, followed by a bout of croup and then pain throughout her body that has persisted on and off for the last 2 years. The doctors have diagnosed her with Fibromyalgia and Sjogren's syndrome, but there doesn't seem to be anything that they can do to alleviate her discomfort, and there is no cure for either. What’s worse is that every time doctors try a new medication, she comes down with various side effects, and now, they are offering low dose chemotherapy as the only other thing that they can think of. It feels like they have essentially thrown up their hands and given up.

As frustrated and afraid as we are, we know that this has to have been extremely hard on her socially, academically and mentally as she has missed half of her school days since the onset of her first symptoms. We try our hardest to make her as comfortable as possible, to listen to her, to be quiet when she needs space, and we have fought with her high school administration to allow her to stay in school with a 504 plan. We have bounced around between 3 pediatricians, 2 rheumatologists, a pain specialist, a physical therapist and to 2 holistic chiropractors. All along, she has endured a ridiculous number of blood and physical tests and she is not getting better.

Someone suggested that we speak with Dr. Oscherwitz about our daughter’s condition on the chance that something else might be going on that might have been overlooked. So we contacted him and he was great. He gave us more than ample time to describe her history to him and he answered numerous questions for us. And after asking us several questions, he requested copies of her blood work covering the last two years and we sent it to him immediately. In a follow-up conversation, he discussed things with us that made us feel like he really took the time to try to understand what the blood work was revealing. He mentioned things confirming what we had heard from our other doctors, but he also suggested a potential course of therapy that the other doctors dismissed as not indicated by the blood work. But Dr. Oscherwitz’s thought is that the specific blood test often gives false negatives for the condition tested. So, we are going to approach her rheumatologist with the recommendation to see where we go from here. For right now, we’re still concerned, but where we thought we were at a dead-end with respect to treatment options, Dr. Oscherwitz gave us reason for hope. Thank you Dr. Oscherwitz

-- B. Singer

Having no idea what was wrong with my daughter is a parent’s worst nightmare. I would search day and night on the internet plugging in symptoms, combining key words and symptoms looking at hospitals all over the world for clues to help figure out what was wrong with my daughter. Then came the phone calls and emails hoping someone would have an "aha" moment and solve our mystery. All this was done while taking care of my family and working full time. Thankfully, Dr. Oscherwitz really got us on the right track. He listened to us, mapped out where we had been and then was able to create a list of possible diagnosis along with a list of tests  that were necessary to confirm or rule out  a diagnosis. I am happy to say that after four years of being sick, my daughter has a diagnosis! She has a rare genetic disorder. Not only do we have a name for what she has, we all have a piece of mind that being a detective was the key to solving her mystery illness.

-- K. Reiss

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