DECEMBER 2013
Tell us your story: Hi, I have had ciguatera severly twice. My family vacationed in Eleuthera in the Bahamas, my girlfriend and I ate grouper at a restaurant called Mate and Jenny’s. Hours after are meal I was starting to hallucinate, couch breathing, completely uncomfortable and both of us started to throw up with simultaneous diareah. I literally didn’t think that I was going to make throug the night it was terrifying. My wife told me to, “wait until morning to die.” We alternated in the shower and outside I truley have never been that sick in my life. We were young then in are early twenties, I experienced symptoms for years after the poisoning mostly sweating when I drank, night mares, and bizarre itchy, and numb toes. Finally after years the symptoms were no longer noticeable. Then we went back to the island when we were in our early thirties. My friend’s father happened to go to school with the leading expert in ciguatoxins. Her name is Dr. Donna Blythe. I talked to her and she told me to not eat any fish at all and see what I could drink. Any way we went back and I ate shell fish, spiny lobster and conch, I too love the ocean, I love to spear fish and I love sea food and drinking. Any way I had not gastrointestinal problems, but when I got home I began to not feel at all like my self, sort of off and kind od nutty. I was also experiencing bizarre neurological problems, I continued to drink and ignored them, which was not so smart. Eventually I had numb tingling toes, hands and it had even started to spread up my side. It was terrifying and my wife looked at me with fear in her eyes and told me she felt like she was loosing me. I took this to heart and stopped drinking. Called Dr. Blythe and asked her if I could get poisoned again from eating shell fish? She told me yes and to not eat any fish or shellfish from the ocean again period, and to stop drinking. I’m not an alcoholic but I was hitting it pretty hard. She told me that she had one patient thar was an alcoholic that had drank until he had a entire suite of that uncomfortable tingling. She said that by getting him to stop drinking that he had got down to just gloves. I felt these neurological symptoms for over a year as they slowly moved through my body subsided and changed. At one point I actually thought that I might have the gought it felt like plyers pinching down on both of my big toes. After I quite drinking the symptoms changed over the coars of a year until it got down in just my feet. Then I slept for what seemed like months, sweating it was like pure exhaustion. Now about three years have gone by and I only eat cold water seafood, I do still eat it. I can drink again and my energy is back but I still feel odd neurological symptoms in both of my big toes especially when I drink hard. Honestly this poisoning has changed my life and I truly recommend not repoisinioning yourself, BE CAREFUL IT’S NOT WORTH IT!!! I hope you find this information helpful. Time does seem to heal but I’ve had symptoms for years and I have read the sever poisoning can leave you with symptoms for up to ten years. Thanks for your work on this problem I hope you find my story helpful. T.G.