Chronic Sneezer Cured of Mystery Ailment

Pa. woman suffered for years with mystery ailment - and she was cured in five minutes

By Xana O'Neill
|  Friday, Dec 4, 2009  |  Updated 11:04 AM PDT
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Wild Idea Cures Woman's Sneezing Fit

NBCPhiladelphia.com

Chronic sneezer Caileen Wendel, 22, said she suffered from debilitating days-long sneezing fits that sent her to the emergency room more than 40 times over a period of five years.

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Wild Idea Cures Woman's Sneezing Fit

Caileen Wendel's uncontrollable sneezing fits sometimes went on for days. Her 40th visit to the ER changed everything.
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This cure is nothing to sneeze at.

Chronic sneezer Caileen Wendel, 22, said she suffered from debilitating days-long sneezing fits that sent her to the emergency room more than 40 times over a period of five years -- until one doctor figured out how to cure her in less than five minutes. 

"He gave me my life back, he really did," the bubbly blonde told NBCPhiladelphia.com.

Wendel was suddenly struck with the ailment when she was a senior in high school and had endured a litany of doctors visits, blood work, neurological consultations, CAT scans and psychological screenings in an effort to find a cure for her mystery affliction.

But it turned out her 40th time at the emergency room would be the charm.

A doctor at St. Mary's Hospital in Langhorne, Pa., took a leap of faith.

"He said to me, 'Do you mind if I try something?' And I said, 'Go right ahead; it's worth a shot," Wendel's mom, Patricia, said.

Dr. Larry Geisler gave her the prescription drug Reglan, an anti-nausea and migraine fighter, combined with Benedryl. Caileen was cured within five minutes.

"I don't know if it's a fix-all, but it happened to work and it worked for Caileen," Dr. Geisler said.

The doctor said he hoped it would work on other patients like 12-year-old Lauren Johnson, who shared her story of compulsive sneezing with the "Today" show about a month ago.

Caileen said the cure has changed her life.

"They treat me like I'm a real person and that I'm not crazy," she said, "and to be able to stop something that I have no control over is probably one of the best feelings in the world."

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