Ulla’s Health Recovery Campaign
In March of 2016, after a lifetime of vibrantly good physical and mental health, a preventable tragedy struck Ulla.
This is Ulla’s story…
She went to her Kaiser Permanente primary doctor for a referral for treatment of symptoms of Neuropathy. The substitute doctor declined the referral until Ulla tried a medication. Ulla said she had been medication free for her entire life and was wary. The doctor prescribed a psychotropic medication, Cymbalta “off-label,” which is known to alleviate Neuropathy symptoms – – and the nightmare began.
In two days, Ulla’s lips and tongue swelled. Her primary doctor reduced the dosage but the damage was done. Even though she discontinued the Cymbalta, the symptoms worsened, culminating in hives which lasted 30 days, causing an almost total loss of sleep. The diagnosis was allergy. The treatment was Benadryl.
During this time, Ulla visited the ER five times and no doctor considered calling in an Allergist. If they had done so, they would have learned that their diagnosis was wrong, as an Allergist confirmed much later. It was not an allergy to the Cymbalta, it was an auto-immune response, which could have been treated with a common over-the-counter pill called Zyrtec. Instead, Ulla’s 30 day sleep loss from the hives caused by the Cymbalta brought her to the ER for the 5th time. Again, instead of an Allergist, a Psychiatrist was called in and he prescribed another psych med, Seroquel, again “off-label”, for sleep. Ulla is an R.N. and she protested but she was desperate to sleep. The Psychiatrist gave her 350mg, which is seven times the initial dose recommended by the makers of the drug. This was a disaster. Within days, again, Ulla developed horrendous symptoms which led her to severe mental illness and six hospitalizations in locked facilities in only 3 years. Kaiser Psychiatry’s only answer for mental illness caused by psych meds was more psych meds – – TWELVE more psych meds – – all of which are designed to alter brain chemistry.
Today, every aspect of Ulla’s personality is reversed. Her prognosis is unknown. She is presently in her sixth hospitalization in a locked facility, this time for treatment of a life-threatening eating disorder that developed after her fifth hospitalization. After several grievances filed with member services, Kaiser Permanente, finally and much too late, determined that Ulla is an “outlier,” meaning psych meds don’t work for her as they do for others and they have begun tapering her off them. Despite the difficulty and danger of tapering psych meds, this is good but it may be far too late for Ulla to fully recover. If even one of the ER doctors who saw her in those 5 ER visits had called in an Allergist, Ulla would have taken the Zyrtec, her hives would have cleared up, her normal sleep would have returned and she never would have received the near-fatal dose of 350mg of Seroquel.
Kaiser members are required to sign an Arbitration Agreement, forcing them to arbitrate any claims. This arbitration clause is patently discriminatory against any member who can’t afford to pay thousands of dollars for an attorney and expert witnesses. Those who arbitrate must contend with Kaiser’s Policies, Standard of Care and an award cap which are protective of Kaiser’s profits to the detriment of their members.
The funds we hope to raise will be earmarked for two explicit purposes:
1. To create a fund to help with the cost of needed tests and treatments not offered by Kaiser, as well as in-home care for as long as it is necessary.
2. To engage a publicist and explore opportunities to get Ulla’s story to the public to advise them about the dangers of psychotropic medications, their careless off-label use and their side effects, especially so-called “suicide ideation and behaviors.”
Ulla has devoted her entire adult life to helping many thousands of people – – as a Registered Nurse, author, lecturer and over forty years as a master Yoga teacher. Now, sadly, the time has come to reach out for help and support.
Thanks very much for your consideration.
Please go to the GoFundMe page if you wish to make a contribution.