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Yesterday for me was one heck of a day!!  It started off as any ordinary Monday...just pluggin’ along.  Then about lunch time I receive a phone call from my oldest son (age 23) that something was wrong with him...he couldn’t breathe....saying something just isn’t right and he was having cold sweats.  Okay...I’m  thinking he is coming down with the flu (and we are scheduled to get flu shots tomorrow).  I can tell his breathing is very  labored and he is never sick and never calls me in a panic like this.  So...I decided I best leave and go check on him at his apartment.  When I get there...his eyes are swollen shut and he is breathing so very hard and  his heart looks like it is going to beat right out of his chest.
Since he is never sick...he didn’t have a primary care physician...so I think where should I take you first.  So..I head to the one our main hospitals primary care facilities that was close to his apartment which was about 10 minutes with traffic away.  I get there..and they never see him.  The lady at the front desk took it upon her self to tell me that they are not set up to monitor that and there was nothing to do for him...AFTER I told her he was having difficulty breathing.  I wasn’t going to argue because I didn’t have time to argue..so I got my son..put him in the car and drove back downtown to the main hospital emergency room.  The manager of the ER at this pretty big hospital goes to my church and she use to work with my mother in law.  I call her to tell her what is going on as I’m driving down the parkway. She tells me they will be waiting.  I get there and they immediately get him to the back and start accessing the situation.  Long story short...the dietary supplement called DREN...sold in GNC Health Stores is what caused him to have Takacardia...however you spell it.  It has 475 mg of caffeine and who knows what other herbs and so forth.  He had been taking it for about two weeks..this was the first time he had a reaction like this.  They did two EKGs on him that show the heart problem...did a chest x-ray...kept him on oxygen...and did other blood work.  Thank the Lord everything came back good except showing the takacardia on the EKG which was induced by the supplement.  They monitored him for 7 hours until they could get his heart rate down.  It scared the hell out of him...and definitely out of me as well.  But I don’t have to worry about him ever taking anything like that again.  

Oh...and the desk clerk that took it upon herself to make that judgment about my son...well...they were not happy with her at all..and my guess is..she got reprimanded for it today.  We had the head guy over everything coming to our room to discuss that.  He apologized and was very unhappy that had happened and would be addressing it.  He could have had a heart attack or died in that waiting room and they said nothing could be done for us.  The nurse at least should have looked him over and made the decision to call an ambulance.  The hospital was more ticked than I was...but after thinking about it...I did get pretty upset.  

So...please tell your kids...family...friends...NOT  to take those things....it’s not good...which I already knew that...but my son thought otherwise.  

We have a lot to be thankful tonight.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Gwendolyn007 wrote Oct 21, 2008
    • I am so glad it all turned out well for your son.  I have never liked those kind of supplements & discouraged my son from taking stuff like that.  I bet something can be done about that product??
      How horrible to be turned away from the first clinic.  My first thought was why didn’t they call an ambulance....like you said, you have a lot to be thankful for!!  I am sorry to hear what you had to go through to get help!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Coachmombabe wrote Oct 21, 2008
    • So glad your son is okay! Good quick thinking on your part. I hope your warning gets out, Mary!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dee Dee Shaw wrote Oct 21, 2008
    • That is the sad thing about dietary supplements - they are not regulated. And there are lots of companies out there that put products on the shelves just because there is a market for the purported results. I am not familiar with DREN, but I am guessing it is much like the “power drinks” that are in all the stores now. My dad had a similar reaction drinking a Monster drink. He takes bp medicine, and it has gensing in it (along with a ton of caffeine and other herbs.) He got dizzy and felt like he was having a heart attack. I am glad your son is okay. And there is a hotline of some sort for reporting adverse effects from dietary supplements I think. You should definitely complain to GNC. I know that chain carries alot of unhealthy ‘health’ products though. :( I don’t even consider them a real health food store.
      All dietary supplements aren’t bad. They should say they are developed using GMP’s and that they are standardized and stablized. There are some really good products on the market, but the crappy ones tend to be like rotten apples in the barrel. Just like with everthing else, we have to choose wisely. These days we have to be especially careful. I won’t touch it if it is made in China which is very limiting. But if it jeopardizes my safety or the safety of my family, then I’ll be inconvenienced.  

      Sharing Hope,

      Dee Dee



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Oct 21, 2008
    • Mary, i am so glad everything turned out good for your son! Thank You Jesus! and i am sorry that that person at the first place made that judgement.. makes you wonder how many others she has done that too..thanks for the warning on that stuff!
      GOd Bless
      Linni



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Oct 26, 2008
    • I am so glad he is ok!
      Blessings



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Becca wrote Oct 30, 2008
    • Hi Mary,
      I’m so glad you acted on this. Good call Mom!
      Becca



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Oct 30, 2008
    • Thanks ya’ll.  He is doing great!!  He threw the rest of them away and is never taking another thing from GNC.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Oct 30, 2008
    • Dear Maryclark: Did you think of bring that to the attention of GNC’s or Food and Drugs Administration?  I will if I were you after taking care of your son first of course.  I will write a letter to GNC and cc. Food and Drugs Admin.  In fact, on the Food and Drugs Admin site, there are many information regarding recalls and warnings.  Even this is not a case of that.  I think you can also send FDA a comment via their site.  In such case, you and your son may soon be on TV.. just kidding.  This way, it can reach many others.... just a thought.



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