- First and foremost: Please FORWARD this letter out to
EVERYONE you know. Everyone should be informed so that the decision he
or she makes concerning the use of Nutrasweet. Read on:
- About six years ago, I started drinking Diet Coke. My
girlfriend drank it and it was always in her icebox. Prior to this, I probably
chewed a piece of "Sugar-free" gum, or had a "Sugar-free"
mint, or even occasionally put "Equal" in my coffee. I drank
her Diet Coke and quickly acquired a taste for the "Nutrasweet"
laced soft drink. Before I begin, I want everyone to know that Aspartame,
Nutrasweet, and Equal are all the same thing, hence I will refer to the
substance as Nutrasweet- the trademark name for Aspartame.
- Soon, I was drinking Diet Coke for breakfast, in place
of coffee. I probably drank at least four of five Diet Cokes a day. I went
on about my life and for about two and one half years, and I was doing
real well. I was slowly building up my business, my finances were in order,
and I was certain to ask for my girlfriend's hand in marriage any day.
Which, I did on Christmas Eve 1995. She accepted, and we started making
plans for the union.
- About two months later, I was sitting on my girlfriend's
parents sofa, early one Sunday morning and the next thing I remember: is
me fighting with the paramedics as they were strapping me onto a stretcher.
I remember going into a Cat Scan. I remember seeing my girlfriend sitting
quietly in my hospital room watching me. That was about all I remembered
in the two days that I was in the hospital. I was told that I had a Grand
- I was scheduled to fly to New York City and begin work
on an important project that Monday. I was replaced and I never made that
business connection again.
- I was told that I was epileptic and that I had to take
an anti-seizure medication for the rest of my life. I was told by my neurologist,
that he, for the record, had recommended that I do not drive my car. The
only way that I can get around in my business is to drive. So, I took the
medication, and drove to my subsequent jobs at my own risk. Shortly there
after, my coworkers started to notice a change in me and my mood. They
would say that it swung wildly, and without much provocation. My work was
rapidly declining in the amount of calls I got, as a direct result of this.
My girlfriend noticed the same thing and she decided to augment a: wait
and see policy, before cementing any more marriage plans.
- I visited my doctor and told him that I thought the medication
was changing my moods. He said that he had never heard of this before and
told me that the only other alternative to Dilantin (my anti-seizure medication)
was a drug called Tegritol which he could not recommend because of its
non-time release quality. My doctor and I decided that maybe what ever
caused the seizure had perhaps subsided, as the cat scans showed him nothing
and he could not determine any reason for my Grand Mal seizure. I wanted
off of the medication because I thought it was causing my mood swings.
The doctor agreed to let me try, without giving his approval, to keep him
out of any liability. He suggested that I slowly wean myself off of the
medication. I did. I had another Grand Mal seizure, while driving with
my girlfriend. We were fortunately at a stop light, and she called 911.
I was again in the hospital with virtually no memory of what happened.
My car was impounded and I had to go and retrieve it after paying a fine.
- My hospital bills were staggering. I was barley able
to pay my rent, so I let other bills go by the side. I was losing more
work due to the fact the my mood swings were stronger than ever and people
simply did not want to work with me. I am a freelance film professional.
This was pretty much the last straw for my fiance and she decided that
the marriage was off. Still I drank between four and six Diet Cokes a day.
- Eventually, my doctor told me that Tegritol had come
up with a new time release formula and that we could try it. I was to wean
my self slowly off of the Dilantin and start taking the Tegritol. I was
certain that the Dilantin was not only causing my mood swings, but also
making my mind fuzzy, unable to remember what thing were called that I
worked with everyday. So I switched, I told my prospective employment contacts
that I had a new medication and to give me a new chance. They did, because
we had worked together for years prior to my seizures and subsequent mood
- This was going on at about the same time that another
thing was happening which I thought was completely unrelated to the seizures.
I have always been an excellent athlete. I played soccer in high school
and went on to play "league soccer" my whole life. I had just
helped bring this new team that I just joined into the finals of the league
playoffs. What I have lacked in skill over the years, I more than make
up with speed, endurance, and tenacity. I am a runner and love to run hard
and could always out run and overtake my opponents. I came into the third
season with this same team and all of a sudden, I started to cramp and
pull muscles during the game. I bought Bengay for the first time in my
life. I started taking potassium, eating bananas prior to the matches,
and slowly warming up and stretching for hours before matches. I would
sit out a game or two hoping to heal, but to no avail. I remember playing
hurt, with four or five pulls or strains at about 30 percent, of my capacity.
- I gave up on that season and took the off season to heal.
I started to run after about four weeks of rest. I would stretch and I
went to see a sports medicine doctor, who helped me rehabilitate under
has care and guidance. I started running full stride just weeks before
the season and felt great. In the first game of the season, oiled up with
about a tube of Bengay, having stretched and warmed up for about two hours,
I started pulling and straining muscles fifteen minutes into the game.
I was pretty sure that with age comes problems like these. I was forty-one
at the time. I still went out and played out the season, but in severe
pain and usually could not go for more than ten minutes without everything
cramping at once. So two seasons of soccer, were ruined and things did
not look very bright for my future in this sport, or any sport for that
- Well, the new improved drug Tegritol was in my system
and I was determined that the old drug was the cause of my mood swings.
I made a special effort at work to show my coworkers, THE NEW ME. I had
a new girlfriend who understood what I was going through and things were
- One evening, we were at the movies watching Bowfinger,
I think that was out about two years ago in first release, and I received
a page from my coworker: the friend who has stuck with me though all my
various problems. You have to understand how difficult it was to even have
problems of any kind because I was always the one who was in perfect health
who never had a problem that would bleed into my work. I walked out of
the movie and answered the page. My coworker told me that I had not changed,
and that he could not use me or recommend me anymore. I was hurting his
business by being on the set and disrupting things with my mood swings.
I told him that I thought I was a whole lot better. He assured me that
I was not. I was devastated. He had given me at least one more chance to
prove myself and I failed. He said that he remembered the old Mark, and
wished that he was still around.
- I remember getting work a couple of months later, on
the set of, Walker, Texas Ranger, as what is referred to as a day player.
That is when you come in and help them out because they have two units
shooting in two different locations and they need more help. I was pretty
down about losing a my friend's confidence and all the work that he would
help me get. I remember standing there chatting with a coworker, drinking
a Diet Coke, telling him that I didn't know what I was going to do to effect
change and get my career moving again. He looked at me and simply said,
"MARK, MAYBE, IT IS THE DIET COKE".
- Well, I was grasping for straws at this point in my life.
I was financially ruined, due to lack of work. I was not able to play soccer,
due to my muscle pulls, strains and spasms. My mind was fuzzy and I could
not remember things or relate well because I was always search for that
one word that I couldn't find. I had lost the woman who I wanted to marry.
I still did have this new girlfriend who was very supportive. I looked
at my can of Diet Coke and spoke to it, " NO WAY".
- I got home threw out my Diet Coke. Since, neither I
nor my doctors could figure out what was wrong with me, I figured that
I would give deleting Diet Coke from my diet a shot. I was still convinced
that the medication was responsible for my ills, mood swings, but neither
I nor anyone on earth that I knew or saw could explain the seizures.
- I did try to wean my self off of the two different medications
on about five different occasions during the three years that I was taking
the anti-seizure medications. All of these times were without my doctor's
approval. I knew what he would say if I told him what I was planning on
doing. I wanted to be free of the medication so bad that I thought, each
time that what ever caused the seizures had subsided and I would be free
off all the bad things that were happening to me as a result. I slowly,
and ever so carefully tried to wean myself off the medication each of the
five times and ALL five times, I had seizures, or near seizures.
- What is a near seizure? A near seizure is driving, and
ending up or waking up, thirty miles from where you started in a part of
town that you would rarely go to. I remember pulling over to the side of
the road and grabbing three Dilantin and swigging them down with my trusty
Diet Coke and waiting on the side of the road until I could feel safe.
- A near seizure is driving to a small town, where you
are to stay in a motel, stopping at the motel you are supposed to go to
and asking the clerk if he had ever heard of the motel. I know these two
incidents sound normal, but the sheer terror of not knowing where you are
or why you are there, is what I refer to as a near seizure. It is, like
you concentrate as hard a you can and still you cannot comprehend what
the heck is going on. It is a memory eraser. Of course I thought that the
seizures for partially responsible for my short term memory loss as well
as the medication.
- So, here I was, at the end of my rope. I gave up Diet
Coke cold turkey. I experienced severe headaches and went back to drinking
the Diet Coke for a couple weeks, but a tiny voice told me that I needed
to suspend drinking the Diet Cokes for life. In my heart, I didn't believe
that tiny voice, for I loved and cherished my Diet Cokes.
- People are downright serious about their Diet Cokes.
I know that I was: I remember being on a job, a couple years back, where
the person known as the Craft Service person, he or she provides the snacks,
drinks, and usually some sort of breakfast, did not have DIET COKE! I was
angry, upset, and could not understand why she did not have it. I let her
know it specifically, just what a major infraction this indeed was. I have
spoke with her recently, and she said that I was not the only one who
would get irate if she did not have a particular food or drink item. She
did tell me: it was almost always the Diet Coke drinkers who rant and rave
and carry on like spoiled children when there is no Diet Coke present first
thing in the morning, or God forbid: she runs out. She said it was much
worse than coffee drinkers are when they didn't get their coffee right
- So, I totally stopped drinking the Diet Coke and missed
it terribly. I had to check it off of my list as a possible culprit responsible
for my seizures, mood swings, and muscle problems. My life had change so
drastically that I was willing to try anything to salvage what I could
from the ruins, to even give up: DIET COKE.
- One month passed, and the only thing that I noticed was
that I missed Diet Coke. After two months of this craziness, I decided
that I would attempt, once again to slowly wean myself off the Tegritol,
my anti-seizure medication. I was in a hurry to see if dropping the Diet
Coke was doing any good at all. After all, if it was not doing any good,
then I was depriving myself of the my drink of choice. I still craved it
and watched with envy, others sipping away at the delicious sugary bubbles.
- One week passed. No seizure. Two weeks, a month! I had
weaned myself to one quarter of one pill per day. I was prescribed to take,
three pills a day. After sixty days, I went in to see my neurologists and
told him that I had stopped drinking Diet Coke <which he could have
cared less about and that I had weaned my prescription down to one-twelfth
of what he had prescribed that I should take to avoid having seizures.
<He was not terribly thrilled to hear that either He said that I should
immediately discontinue taking the Tegritol all together, because one forth
of one pill would have the effect of a placebo in my system. The therapeutic
dosage was to keep me in a safe level to keep me from wanting to do what
my body wanted to do: seizure like crazy.
- He thanked me for the years of patronage and released
me from his care, telling me that if I ever experienced even the slightest
feeling of a seizure coming on, to call him. I had almost a full bottle
of Tegritol left, just in case, I had a seizure. He wrote a letter, at
the request of my insurance company six months later, after calling me
and conferring with me that I was still seizure free, stating that I was
no longer in any immediate danger of having another seizure, as I was trying
to bring down the high cost of my health insurance policy. Of course, my
insurance company could have cared less, because they did not grant me
a lower premium.
- After the two Diet Coke 'free' months, I was beginning
to feel calmer, less irritable. I called my coworker and friend who had
given me so much work in the past. I told him that I felt kind of like
the Mark of old. He was leery and told me that if he brought me back for
one more project it would be back to the beginner level and that I would
be given one more chance. He said that was a big if and he would have to
give it a lot of thought. He said that he didn't have anything at all for
me right away. Three months passed, four, five, and six!
- I was finally rehired my by friend on a small job. Everything
went well. Over the next couple months he hired me cautiously on small
jobs at the beginner rate. It was not enough to live off, but it was start
and I had a couple other odd jobs to help me get through this difficult
- Soccer season was beginning again and I was called to
play. I cautiously said that I would give it another shot. I came out and
practiced, ran and did well. Of course, I rubbed down with Bengay, and
stretched for an hour before each practice. I came into the first game
and was able to play a full game, pain and injury free. I was not missing
my Diet Coke any longer. Much of what I had lost was slowly coming back
to me. I played that whole season, injury free, still using my pre-game
routine and Bengay.
- My work was picking up. I started to remember people's
names again, what things were called that I worked with and more importantly
I was getting back memories that I hold so dear and of which had left me
for a while. My sentences were getting clearer and I started to feel less
brain fog. I felt naturally more understanding and felt literally like
I was starting to become myself again. I started to realize that Nutrasweet
<Diet Coke had single-handedly affected my life and changed it for the
- It has now been over two years since I gave up the Diet
Coke. Just as it takes away parts of you in this slow way, it gives back
the thing you lost as Nutrasweet ever so slowly leaves you system. I think
that it took the longest time to leave my brain and maybe it took the shortest
time to leave my legs. I am not sure that the Nutrasweet is totally out
of my system as I still feel clearer each day, and almost everything has
returned to my life as it was before.
- I am proud to say, that I alone cured myself, by listening
to that coworker who said, "Maybe it was the Diet Coke". I cured
myself by listening to that little voice inside me, that cried: FOUL, when
I was trying to decide whether I should consider to give up a drink that
I was quite find of. My doctors were miffed, my life was in shambles, but
I figured it out by GOD! I am not an epileptic. I have not have even the
slightest tinge of a seizure on over two years and I have not taken any
anti-seizure medication, for almost two years.
- I can play soccer, and run like the wind. I have not
opened a tube of Bengal for over a year. I seldom warm up for more than
ten minutes. AND I have not pulled a single muscle for over two years.
My team has once again made the playoffs two years in a row, and we even
moved up a division. Something that this team has never done.
- I am working more than I ever have with more doors opening
up every day. My friend and coworker looks at me as he did before I took
my first can Diet Coke and guzzled it down. I am back to my upper skilled
higher paid position and I am looking forward to greater leaps in the next
year. My mind is clear. I was always known to remember every little detail
and once again I can and do and have back some memories that I thought
I had lost through the Nutrasweet induced fog that I have lived through.
- So, now where does that leave me? I want to make sure
that this substance is removed form our shelves.
- Meanwhile I can tell everyone that I know to stop drinking
this stuff. If it doesn't get you one way, it will find a way to invade
your life and steal from you. I promise that, from personal experience.
- Nutrasweet works slow, so very slow, that you don't notice
the changes, until you are affected in some consequential way.
- I have read some documentation on all the ailments, problems,
and effects of Nutrasweet. From reading all of the available literature,
I feel lucky, that things were not any worse for me; unless I have some
Aspartame full, festering, brain tumor ready to explode. Most of the data
collected and studies done do not mean much to the average consumer. One
can get lost in all of the controversy, but I know what Diet Coke did for
- I DO NOT WISH, WHAT I WENT THROUGH, ON ANYONE.
- Please forward this letter to as many people as you know.
It is time to put an end to this. If the people speak out <by boycotting
products laced with Nutrasweet and do not want to be affected by this any
longer, then the manufacturers will have to listen and effect change.
- Thank you,
- Mark Long
- Dear Mark,
- At this time of year everybody seems to be writing their
horror story on NutraSweet, and your story is at the top. Also during
the holiday season many people who don't even use Diet Coke make it available
for their friends. Here's a story like that: When the people next door
moved they had a party for us to meet the new owners and invited people
in the neighborhood. These people had thanked me repeatedly for the information
I had given them warning on aspartame. Yet at the party they actually
served Diet Coke for those who used it. I immediately went home and got
a stack of flyers and passed them out so nobody would use it. I always
remember this man. He told his wife: "You see, this stuff is poison
and you always have a refrigerator full, and I keep telling you!"
His wife said: "I know its poison and I never use it, I only keep
it for my friends." I looked at her and said: "Do I understand
its okay to poison your friends?" She said: "I guess I just
never thought about it."
- So this year, let's everybody think about it and make
sure at parties or get togethers that nobody is made sick. Remember as
Mark says its a very addictive drug. Methanol is classified as a narcotic.
Coke and Pepsi and the rest of the pop people have always known as they
are part of the National Soft Drink Association who wrote the 30 page protest
that became part of the Congressional Record. Read it at www.dorway.com
- Also be sure to complete the form on web to the FDA and
send us a copy even though they never report all the complaints, if you
are a victim. Let's all pray that in the year 2001 we get this dearly
neurotoxin off the market and that those who poisoned the world are made
to be accountable.
- My own brother got addicted to Diet Coke which caused
his irregular heart rhythm. He had two heart attacks and suffered from
the change in mood just as Mark did. I believe it precipitated his diabetes
and almost destroyed his pancreas. They were giving him Diet Coke in Cardiac
ICU and Dr. James Bowen who went to visit him said you could see the changes
right before your eyes. Thanks to his intervention and the reports by
Doctors Roberts, Blaylock and Walton that I faxed to the doctors there
they got him off NutraSweet and put a sign on his bed - "no aspartame".
He was in critical condition. My other brother told me if he died where
he wanted to be buried. Off aspartame he went from critical to stable.
I was told he would be in the hospital for 3 to 6 weeks and then sent
to rehab. A few days off Diet Coke he has now been sent to rehab and
is on his way to recovery.
- Remember what Mark said - its a slow subtle poison.
Mark lost the woman he loved, his job, his recreation and his health before
he got off his Diet Coke and started to resume a normal life.
- Pass this around your office, put it in your letters
and spread the word. Also, print out our warning flyers at www.dorway.com/handouts.html
- I am sending a copy of this to Coca Cola and the FDA,
asking Coca Cola to take it out of their drinks and stop poisoning the
world, and telling the FDA the 20 year study they decided to perform on
the consumer public has shown that aspartame causes disability and death.
The shattered lives and agony that the public has endured is a betrayal
of the public trust on their part and malfeasance in the approval of a
chemical poison for human consumption. Their own FDA toxicologist, Dr.
Adrian Gross, told Congress that aspartame violated the Delaney Amendment
and "if the FDA violates its own law who is left to protect the public".
The FDA knew better than to approve a deadly drug as an additive. They
have repeatedly been told to have the manufacturer recall it. Monsanto
asked the FDA to even approve a more potent aspartame, Neotame. If they
dare do this they should immediately be shut down and indicted.
- Let's work for the removal of aspartame in 200l, and
again the FDA with this note is being told to have it removed from the
marketplace. All victims can click on to support groups for the victims
of aspartame poisoning on www.dorway.com Books by physicians are on this
web site that go into detail about the horrors of this neurotoxin. H.
J. Roberts, M.D., has declared Aspartame Disease a world plague.
- All my best,
- Betty Martini,
- Mission Possible International 770 242-2599 www.dorway.com
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