Feb. 21, 2003
Interviews by LIZ WELCH
Ray Wagner: ''Honeybees gave me my wife back. Pat was bedridden with multiple sclerosis when she first got stung. After five weeks, she was walking. Pat has been stinging people with bees for the last 11 years. I got tired of chasing bees down all over Maryland. So I became a beekeeper.''
Kristin Cooperstock: ''I have chronic fatigue syndrome. When it's full blown, I literally cannot get up. It took 10 doctors to reach a diagnosis six years ago. Then I spent a year on experimental drugs, which didn't work very well, so I started looking into alternatives. I was more excited than scared when I first got stung. Pat is very honest. She said: 'These are bee stings. They hurt.' But I was getting daily migraines. I knew I could handle it. The first sting felt like 100 daggers. I shut down for three days. But then, I had three days of amazing energy. People often say, 'Oh, my God, how can you do that?' I remind them that before I got ill, I never would have.''
Pat Wagner: ''I was diagnosed with M.S. in 1970. By 1992, I was a breathing
corpse. My mother asked if I wanted to try a bee sting. I figured if it
killed me, I was going to die anyway. A beekeeper came and stung my left
knee. Twenty minutes later, my leg felt warm -- usually my bones felt like
ice. I became a convert. I don't have a medical background. But now, I
sting people Mondays and Fridays from 12 to 3. Ray hands me a bee in self-locking
tweezers and I just place it wherever I want to sting. Bee venom is the
strongest anti-inflammatory there is. It is great for arthritis, Bell's
palsy, M.S., chronic pain and fatigue. I always tell people that this is
not approved by the F.D.A. but it is approved by G.O.D.''
© Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company