Barbara's History with Arthritis
At age 25 Barbara Allan became one of the over 9.1 million people in the United States with an autoimmune-type arthritis. Her arthritis was triggered by a bout of bacterial dysentery caused by eating food tainted with a bacterium called Shigella. She was on vacation at the time.
Reactive arthritis was the name given to her condition. In many respects, it is very similar to rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, she eventually got well using methods proven to work for rheumatoid arthritis.
The onset of her arthritis was about 6 weeks after the dysentery. The arthritis came on very suddenly and left her in chronic, overwhelming pain that often made it difficult to walk even a few steps without passing out. Sometimes the pain was so bad that she was incapable of rational thought, or any thought at all. Sometimes her hands hurt so much she couldn't even hold silverware well enough to feed herself. For years she lived with the loss of many things that she had valued highly: her health, her mobility and to a some extent the use of her mind. She lost friendships, status, the ability to continue as a graduate student, and the ability to hold a regular job.
Usually this type of arthritis goes away within a month, but her case went on for years. Her doctors didn't know what to do with her. Nothing they tried did much good.
Her illness led her to devote 11 years of her life to systematically researching and personally testing promising alternative therapies until she perfected the nine secrets
that successfully cured her own difficult disease.
When she first got sick, she started reading everything she could get her hands on related to the latest scientific research on the causes of arthritis and possible new treatments. In a doctoral program in molecular biology at Washington University in St. Louis, one of the major medical research universities in the country, this type of information was readily available to her. When she was in too much pain to leave her apartment, friends brought copies of journal articles to her. Unfortunately, the most promising research was years away from possible clinical trials, and the current cutting edge treatments were not very effective.
After four and a half years of conventional treatments that did little or nothing to improve her condition, she decided that if she continued to follow the conventions dictated by the current medical model, she was unlikely to get well. Even those in the medical field are aware that few patients treated by rheumatologists can expect any lasting or substantial improvements. She needed a new plan.
In her next phase of the search, she started evaluating everything she came across in the lay press that promised to help arthritis, pain, or rebuild health. Not surprisingly, much was silly or potentially dangerous. In this category are claims that arthritis can be cured by burial in horse manure, taking cocaine, topical application of motor oil, brake fluid, gasoline, kerosene, and lighter fluid, and sitting in inactive uranium mines.
However, as she avidly read material targeted to the lay public, she did find many treatments that made sense and that were supported by studies published in reputable research journals. She applied these promising alternative therapies to her own condition. Some helped and some didn't.
Eventually she was able to completely overcome her arthritic condition using the nine secrets mentioned in the title of her upcoming book. Each method provided a lasting and dramatic improvement in her condition. After years of having difficulty just walking from one room to another, she now enjoys walking many miles a week and goes on 30-50 mile bike rides for fun. She has regained full use of her hands and her hips. The pain and fatigue are gone. In addition, her health has improved each of the last 8 years since she discovered these methods. She credits this to the fact that she has continued to use and refine the health promoting measures described in Conquering Arthritis
, allowing her body to heal at deeper and deeper levels.
What Barbara Does for Fun
- Attends martial arts classes. She loves learning to roll, break-fall, throw and be thrown.
- She used to attend silent meditation retreats about 3 times a year. Her shortest has been 5 days, her longest a month. Lately she has been drawn to studying and doing ceremony within a Native American spiritual path open to people of all heritages.
Barbara's Speaking Credentials
- Past president of Midtown Clayton Toastmaster's No. 283 in St. Louis MO
- Recipient of the Competent Toastmaster Award (CTM)
- Recipient of the Star CTM award on the district level for most exemplifying the spirit of toastmasters. Wayne Mosher, past president of Club No. 283, wrote, "One could hardly find a more enthusiastic member and leader. Barbara is always upbeat and her positive attitude influences everyone around her."
- Graduated from a year-long speaking apprenticeship program offered by the NSA-St. Louis chapter of the National Speaker Association.
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Barbara's Formal Education
Barbara's Work History
- Public Speaking on the topic of "Conquering Arthritis" (June 1999-present).
- Teaching at St. Louis University School of Medicine as part of the physical diagnosis course for medical students. (Aug. 1992 - Aug. 2003).
- Translating approximately 4,000 -15,000 words per week of German to English. Primarily translation of technical documents in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, and biomedicine. Extensive translating over a period of 8 years for a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Contract through FLS. Spent a year doing medical translations for a VA hospital system contract. (Dec. 1991-Dec. 2000).
- Laboratory research at Washington University School of Medicine Department of Pathology studying tyrosine phosphatases and early events in the differentiation pathways of lymphocytes. (April - Aug. 1994).
- Writing and editing grant proposals and papers for publication for Dr. Richard Gross, a cardiologist who was then head of the Washington University School of Medicine Department of Bioorganic Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and whose lab studied changes in lipid metabolism and membrane properties during heart attacks. (Aug. 1992 - Jan. 1994).
- Editor and Science Advisor for a series of three 'biotechnology' lab manuals for secondary students prepared for publication by the Mathematics and Science Education Center at the University of Missouri St. Louis. (Aug. - Nov. 1991).
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