Some peace while putting the pieces together

I am creating this at the new coffee shop in town. The owner and I just talked about a concept we're calling a "bright ripple". The bright ripple starts with one, builds to two, and keeps growing. It's positive action growing exponentially until it creates a tsunami of bright beauty and chases off the dark. Everyone get your boards and surf the ripple!
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chelation Break

Yesterday was an especially stressful day with my students (trauma over the cancellation of Secret Santa). A life lesson learn? Let us be hopeful.

Speaking of stress and all things toxic, my chelation replacement minerals are running short. Given the difficulty and cost of having some meds mailed to me in Tanzania, I emailed Dr. Bruce Shelton (my primary doctor for all things related to chelation). He more or less said, "Take a break". This makes me a little nervous and I'm not certain why.

Given all I've gone through in this new setting, I have officially resigned from my teaching post. I plan to return to the US when summer comes around.

So, I will be going off chelation for six months. It may give me more reason to expand on other means of detox (such as yoga and exercise). I have been steadily following my chelation protocol for 3 1/2 years. It'll be a change. I will plan some major detox when I return to The States.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Toxic Presentation

I have offered to do a workshop presentation on toxicity at the school I work at. I'm not entirely certain what I'll say. I have in my mind a picture of dealing with toxicity at three levels (individually, within the home and regionally). I can speak from my experience with Morgellons and toxicity. I guess the more we share, the more we learn.

I am doing my best to keep myself healthy while abroad. My water filters don't fit the tap or showers. So, for now, I drink bottled water and limit my showers.

With the rains lately the mosquito population is booming. I do use some toxic spray on my netting once each day. I wish I didn't feel I need to (guess I weigh toxins against possible malaria).

Sources tell me the effects of the B.P. oil spill are terrifying! It amazes me in today's world I have to rely on words from a friend and do not hear anything from the media. I guess greed begets greed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Is Morgellons in Natural Home Magazine?

It's late on a Saturday night in Arusha. Part of what I'm missing in Tanzania is regular mail. I like to know I can put something in an envelope or box and know it will arrive at its destination in a couple of days or, at most, four. Things can go slow over here...especially mail.

My brother Chris emailed me yesterday to tell me he'd gotten his copy of Natural Home Magazine (Nov/Dec issue) and the return article on my home in Wellsboro, PA. I'd wanted to take a "green" approach towards eliminating/containing toxins. I think I did a decent job. The article looks at all I did and cost (I believe).

Not having seen the article, I'm wondering if it mentions Morgellons Disease. When I spoke with the writer I mentioned Morgellons and prompted her to look into it further. I am wondering if she mentioned my having this condition and the necessity for detox work. I suspect my copy of the magazine will arrive here in two or three weeks. If you're quick about getting to your local news store, you may be able to read it before I do. If any of my three followers read it, let me know if Morgellons is mentioned.

Back to my Mer-world edit.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Adjusting

I've been caught in a whirlwind over the last couple of months. Simply put, I've been adjusting to a new life far from home.

Tanzania has some amazing sights. Living below Mount Meru is pretty inspirational...at least when the clouds clear. I like the sight of well dressed women riding side saddle on the backs of bicycles. Along the roads to school are swarms of people walking somewhere; many are groups of children dressed in school uniforms. I also see men acting as beast of burden...pulling carts full of tires, pineapples, people, furniture. Bikes with motors and motorcycles sneak through narrows in the slow moving traffic. Diesel fills the air puffing out of trucks and buses. Dali dalis packed and moving sometimes at breakneck speed through heavy traffic...daring and obnoxious in the same breath.

I have enjoyed my time with many of the Tanzanians. Swahili is like some happy dream language someone made up on a slow boat ride along the coast.

I still have Morgellons on my mind (not literally). I've wanted to see if Morgellons symptoms appear in connection to skin whitening cream use. Some studies reviewed document "scabies" with skin creams. I haven't been able to connect with any dermatologists or parasitologists who might have encountered patients with Morgellons along the way. There is a medical center with dermatologist in Moshi...I hope to go over there and visit.

Since this is a blog and I am a writer, I need to mention the official release date for my first book. Grandpa and the Christmas Crib will be released by Turquoise Morning Press on next Monday. It is already available for sale through Amazon. Cool, eh!? Unknown to my editor, forgive me Kim, are some Morgellons related imagery in the illustrations (it just felt right).

Monday, July 19, 2010

Off To Africa!

I don't have much time to blog, but wanted to spread the word. I'm off to teach at a school in Tanzania. I need to be there by August 1st, so I don't have much time.

There are two related thoughts I've had. As with my move to Wellsboro, I wonder what people would think if they knew what I'd gone through. Recovery is recovery...I've not had the symptoms in over three years. I'm well. I suppose I'll share my story along the way.

My other thought is of the possibility of another piece of research. I do think the "scabies" documented as a symptom of extensive use of skin whitening creams is the same as Morgellons. So, I'm wondering if I might be able to get a better handle on how common it is and whether it completely mimics Morgellons.

I need to go finish my storage shed, start packing, and take care of a bunch. There's plenty here to read as well as on Mr. Commonsense. Grow in health and writers...keep on writing!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Words-How'd They Become My Life?

It's odd to think back through my history as a writer. I remember in my youth struggling to read, write and make any sense of my days at school. Somehow, I always felt alien. Given the chance, I'd always sit where I could watch everyone in the class (what this means I don't know). My elementary experiences with writing were often terrorizing; I couldn't get cursive down and was often asked to "Write each word 10 times" or some other lame approach to teaching.

In third grade, I was in a special room. To get up to Mrs. Bowen's room we had to climb narrow staircases up to our class; it seemed to float above the rest of the school. Our isolation was somehow earned and rumor had it we were kind of outcasts set to sea with a mad woman at the helm. Her approach to teaching was to pace behind us kids, ask a question, and physically choke us if we didn't answer quickly enough (see if you can get away with this in today's classroom!). Her mantra shouted in your ear was, "Answer me! Answer me!". I still nearly poop my pants thinking about her!

Through my grade school and up into high school, I can't say I ever had an "Aha!" when I thought I must become a writer. I had moments of brilliance hidden in unending crazies of home and school life. I actually saved a couple of pieces of writing from way back then. They're pretty fun to look at and, yeah, my handwriting sucked.

I did once promised a Beloit professor I would one day write a book. I sat across the desk from her. She was a serious writer. An aged New England woman, who shuddered to recall the McCarthy Era, shocked her freshmen students by dedicating one of her lectures to the history of the word fuck. Anyhow, I went to her office to explain why I was dropping her class, told her I would one day write a book, she nodded (I think) and signed my form; that was that.

I enjoyed very little of my graduate schooling. The anthropology department was hidden in a complex designed for student housing. We had plenty of room...but it was serious mouse maze! I quickly learned much of graduate level learning had to do with politics. I was never much for politics. I had difficulty with some of the staff. I found my long history of panic attacks started sometime in my first semester (if you read my entry "Morgellons Spectrum", this is where the spectrum began for me).

My writing experience in graduate school sucked. I enjoyed it about as much as a colonoscopy. Really, it was that bad! Four years of my life later my MA was published and likely read by a handful of archaeologists; I suspect most disagreed with my conclusions (who could blame them...it was a pretty lame piece of research). To make matters worse, the editor misspelled my name. Anyhow, I can't say I got excited about writing from those years!

So, when did writing begin for me? Interestingly, it came one morning when I was living at Crystal Boarding School out on the Navajo Nation. I woke up one morning from a dream and decided it made a great story. It felt cosmic. I started writing down this story (a mystery involving an old typewriter and clues rewriting Hitler history...silly stuff).

And I've been writing since. Yesterday, I signed two more book contracts. So, currently I am under three contracts for books and waiting for word on a fourth. This didn't come easy. I've been sending off manuscripts, synopses, and query letters for almost six years. It is work, but I love it! I'm especially keen on finishing a story or scene when I'm in the middle of it (I get motivated because I want to see how it turns out). I think everybody should write. Why not!

It may seem this post is off the Morgellons's path. Not really. I have used my writing to share, build and clarify my understanding of this condition. I can't say I'd even intended on writing extensively about a medical mystery. I feel it is my duty, my gift, and my reason for getting well. The "Big Bus Driver in the Sky" insist I write...and he doesn't seem to mind my penmanship.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Dam About to Break?

There's an energy in the air. It feels like something is about to happen. Answers to Morgellons and what it is all about...patterns...progress.

Those of you who follow Mr. Commonsense (http://morgellonspgpr.wordpress.com/), know some valuable pieces of research have been presented. Recently, an entry "Common Patterns Emerging From Testing Morgellons Sufferers" presented some outcome and interpretation. I don't qualify to critique this study, but find it a good thing when anyone is presenting common traits among sufferers. I also like to see the comments presented.

Mr. CS has also been kind enough to post the library research, patterning and speculation of my own efforts. He set aside a category under "Joseph Keleher", if you have the desire to read them.

Mary Leito and those at Morgellons Research Foundation published the results of their studies last summer. Patterns of physiologic effect emerge and clearly show Morgellons is anything but delusional!

Online I also see sufferers communicating patterns of their own. For example, Mr. CS made mention of being found to have low potassium levels on his blog. My ER visits showed the same and mentioned it. What does it mean? I'm not certain...but patterns are emerging!

I wonder about the CDC study at the cost of somewhere around $350,000 dollars. I'm not certain what has happened to this research. Did it get lost in the mail? Did they realize they were completely off on their approach? Do they need more money? Is this even "good enough for government work"?

I mentioned pubmed.gov as a valuable and free resource for any of us to tap into. Really, it is great! My own research was done during my spare time and at my own expense (I'll guess the trip to Europe to explore resources at noted locations of historic Morgellons symptoms cost somewhere around $4,000...I slept in a lot of hostel...some where pretty nasty). So, when I hear research can't be done because of "time and money" I don't believe it.

A recent blog entry mentioned a doctor in Florida taking on Morgellons patients. Evidently he doesn't like the term Morgellons...he prefers toxicity!

Are there cracks in the Morgellons's dam? Is it about to break? I hope so! I want to see crystal clear patterning and understanding of this condition. It really is the right time. And, while I have my own ideas of how I would spend $350,000 of taxpayers money on better understanding this condition, I wonder how you would spend it? Really, what do you think needs to be considered? Who are the experts you would want to include in such a study? What results would you want to see? I'm ready for some answers...and I think they're coming! If our knowledge of this condition continues to expand, eventually the dam has got to give!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Opening Up to Health

If you've read any of my research, you know I think mercury as a neurotoxin is in part or whole the cause of Morgellons symptoms. For the nervous system to clean out, channels need to be opened and tensions need to be released.

Exercise good for internal flow include: yoga, tai chi, martial arts, and so on. Even simple stretches can help. Key is to move the body in ways it doesn't move regularly (to a point...and with care). A slow and easy start is best.

I like yoga as it is moving meditation (somehow it feels like I'm multitasking). I find it relaxing, enjoyable and I always feel better afterwords. I went to classes at one time, but discovered yoga card sets and found I could do the asanas on my own (of course it is better with a professional guiding you).

I recently went to a free yoga class (I was visiting a friend in NYC and wanted something to do while she was off on a bike trip) where yoga was combined with tai chi. The instructor told us to do a soft pounding rhythm about 2 inches below our belly button (connected to some important chi point?). Whatever the term for the point, it is a major area for nerves. I now do this light fisted pounding when I go trail running in the morning (I count to 100 pounds 5 times over a 1 hour jog). Does it help? I don't know...but I think it could.

The other exercise I learned in this session is something I'll call "bobble head". You simply bobble your head back and forth in a figure eight (think Stevie Wonder) while sitting upright. This should loosen up the nerves and muscles below the skull. You might try it and see what you think. I usually do this when I'm sitting in the sauna.

One of the purchases I made when I started to detox was a hand massager. It cost around $35 and I find it very helpful (I carry a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders).

If you can afford a professional massage or chiropractic alignment, I say go for it! I think once a month or even weekly would be great (someday, when my cash flow is back, I'd like to get these regularly again).

If you have thoughts or suggestions, please leave a comment. This is called Morg. Joe...but it's not about me...it's about everyone benefiting from shared knowledge. What is good for you may help out another.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Anger Hurts Us More Than Anyone

For myself, there was a great degree of anger when I first had the symptoms found in the Morgellons symptoms set. I was angry at my workplace (convinced I'd gotten parasites from the condemned school buildings or lack of cleaning), I was angry at the medical world...especially the medical practitioner I went to at first (who was annoyed that I kept coming back with new theories) and the dermatologist who laughed when he told me I had scabies (from his side of the room he said in his best twanglish, "There's a reason they call it the seven year itch" (Thanks, Mr. Professional!). So, I was angry at my surroundings, at the medical world (answers please!), and, honestly, at God (you know...I don't deserve this. Why me?...that kind of thing). Anyhow, my anger was minor to some of those who suffer.

Given what anyone with these symptoms goes through, I understand the anger. It is a very difficult, cruel, and frustrating condition! I do believe answers are coming...but it is difficult to have to continue to wait on the medical world (I know there are many good medical folk out there working on this...but the medical world, in general, still grasps thoughts of delusion and other falsehoods. It's time for a paradigm shift!).

One of the pieces of wisdom I've learned as a school teacher is anger is a form of defeat. I'd see some of the "old school" teachers on the reservation where I taught get angry, red faced and loud. Once you set that tone, the kids learn your buttons. From then on, they have the reins....and they are immune to your yelling. Teaching will happen...but (my opinion) it is minimally effective. These teachers tend to be the ones sitting at their desk and saying repeatedly, "Get to work". It's kinda sad.

Anger does seem to have an instantaneous gratification effect. Usually though, when I get good and angry without thinking it through...I find I regret it.

I like to use my anger in working out. I find I'm always in better shape and mind after a jog or long walk. Often I think things through and find a constructive means to express myself. It helps. Use your anger wisely and it may be a benefit.

Anger has a negative effect on our health. I know, as someone following the 12 Steps program, when I "make amends" it is much more for me than anyone else. "Forgive and you will be forgiven"...this I do believe. It may help to put your thoughts down on paper, talk to a friend, or whatever helps.

Focus on your health. If something/someone makes you angry, depressed or negative, it is best avoided. Part of getting over this condition is facing your demons high and low. And an attitude of gratitude doesn't hurt.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Help Yourself to Medical Research!

In a recent Mr. Commonsense blog entry, mention of thyroid and iodine level issues prompted me to take a trip to my new favorite medical research source- pubmed.gov(actually, my favorite medical research center open to the public is the Wellcome Center in London...but I can't always hop on a plane and head for merry olde England). I did a search of "thyroid and mercury"; there were 136 results (some of these are really interesting!). The entire search and scan of contents took me under a minute. The cost was free...and I found many studies out there connecting thyroid issues to mercury. Cool,eh!

If you do a pubmed.gov search on Morgellons, you will be disappointed. Today, I found 21 results. One new piece that caught my attention was the article titled "Intraoral Morgellons Disease or Delutional Parasitosis" by A.J. Dovigi from the Midwestern School of Dental Medicine (my spider senses are tingling...or maybe it's just my feet?).

Anyhow, it pays to be educated. Pubmed.gov is a reliable source for possible cause and cure of symptoms (at least it will give you something to talk with your doctor about). I'd suggest you take the time to do some searches under crawling sensations, fibers, exhaustion, depression, anxiety, and any other symptom you may be having. I've done some searches combining the symptoms I experienced and mercury; this is how I found mention of "scabies" as a symptom of extensive use of skin whitening creams (containing high levels of mercury).

If you find any interesting connections, be willing to share. We all benefit from it and all it cost is your time.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Do- It- Yourself Lymphatic Drainage

A key piece of cleaning out our bodies is getting lymphatic drainage. I included this as part of my protocol for cleansing from the beginning. I had a massage therapist not to far from my apartment in Scottsdale, so, at first, it was easy to get this done weekly.

When I moved to a remote setting for work, I found the nearest massage therapist, who knew how to do lymphatic drainage, was a two hour drive away. I asked her about self-drainage and she thought it was a good idea. If you can't get or afford a professional, you may want to take this do-it-yourself approach (and I'm hoping I can describe it correctly).

These directions are as I understand them. If you find a massage therapist in your area, it may be best to ask them. Anyhow, I'll try to share what I know.

For toxins in the lymph node to be expelled from the body, they must be guided towards the area above the heart or somewhere right around your belly button. I do this drainage while I'm in the sauna (clothing isn't an issue). I start by pulling from my mandible down the face...further down the neck...to the heart area (I do this 20+ times). The massage is gentle. The lymphatic system is just below the skin, so no need to attempt deep tissue. Next, I pull or slide down my arms, across my armpit, and again towards the heart (20+ times).

The lower part of my body is done similarly (though I pull or slide towards the belly button). First, I go up and down each side following the ribs towards the belly button (20+ times for each area). I do this to the left and right. Next I start down on my thigh go up through the groin and again pull towards the belly button area. The entire process takes 5-10 minutes. I suppose I could do more, but I think it is effective as is.

I hope this is helpful. I can have difficulty in trying to give directions (never ask me how to get from point A to point B). Make use of it if you like. I'm certain it could be improved on. I think to start you might try to do this every other day. I really don't know how to document the impact, but it should help in the detoxing. Good luck!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Twitching Feet

The base of my feet twitch on occasion. It happens primarily after a long walk and the end of the day when the temperatures are dropping. It is the most visible remaining Morgellons related symptom (I believe) I continue to have.

The physical sensations I had as documented in my account "Hell and Back Again" (found in Dec. issue of Explore 2008)felt like bugs crawling under or on my skin. This reduced, numbed and disappeared for approximately six months. As I continued to detox eventually I started to get twitching on occasion (at base of feet and spot on scalp that correlates with lowest scalp area when sleeping). It's not bad. I think it relates to nerve repairs.

The location at base of feet is significant. This is the area furthest out in terms of the nervous system. Mercury is extremely dense...making me think it would pool in the lowest points.

Note: While I've have some pretty active twitching lately, for some reason every time I tried to record it over the past week it was active...but not hugely.The twitching on this little video occurs on the side of foot (near the middle of picture) and not the base. Still, my foot video documents some.

Thanks for looking- Joe

p.s. Don't expect clean.

Say It Loud and Proud- Morgellons!

Last year my house was featured in Natural Homes Magazine's column "Can You Green This?"(see http://www.naturalhomemagazine.com/Green-Remodeling/Pennsylvania-Pick-Me-Up.aspx). My primary reason for taking a green approach in remodeling/ clean-up was to remove toxins. The article outlines what I planned to do. I followed through on my plans and over last fall cleaned up the place, insulated, rewired, and had the foundation repaired. Jessica, NHM editor, liked that I'd jumped on the projects,kept track of cost and wrote about my experience; she suggested a follow-up article. Tomorrow a professional photographer comes to record my humble abode.

What's this got to do with Morgellons? Hold on. A couple days back I had a long telephone conversation with Susan, NHM writer, and we talked extensively about my home and why I did what I did. Of course, she was noting everything.

"What was the medical reasons for cleaning up the place?" she asked.

"I had a condition called Morgellons."

"Morgellons?"

"Google it. It's pretty controversial." I could hear her fingers tapping on the keyboard and typing up my words.

She asked a good deal about the changes I'd noticed since I cleaned out toxins. Always the scientist, I let her know I couldn't quantify the effects (though I suspect there are ways to do this). I told her my mom had visited and said she could breathe better in my house and didn't wake up feeling "stuffed-up". Pretty anecdotal, but it's what I shared.

Later in the day, I emailed some thoughts on the article to Susan. I told her making an effort to get rid of toxins brought me a kind of peace. Peace is good for this condition (see yesterday's blog).

She has asked me several time, "Is there anything else I should include?". Thoughts. Reasons. Inspiration. I want her to mention Morgellons. In an internationally distributed magazine, chances are it will have impact. The less this condition is hidden, the less chomp it has. In fact I'm taking the approach of saying it loud and proud- Morgellons!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sacred Space


In the very back of my yard, beyond the half-finished storage shed and hammock, is my sacred space. A labyrinth. It is simple made from bricks a friend gave me. It makes me think of Ireland and my Celtic heritage. It makes me feel connected. It is sacred space.

In my recovery from Morgellons symptoms faith and quiet-mindedness were more important than any protocol. My path was and is spiritual (Morgellons just a challenging hurdle to help me grow...as I've said before).

Physiologically, quieting the mind reduces the symptoms. My symptoms could be triggered by thinking about them (especially when I mentally scanned my body for them). I think in scanning subtle changes in body temperature occurred as blood flowed to those areas. Mercury expands and contrast according to temperature and slight change could start symptoms (crawling sensations). Anyhow, this scanning-temperature change-mercury movement-symptom's relationship makes sense to me as I look back. What matters here isn't the why but knowing quieting the mind quiets the symptoms. That's all.

A sacred space could be as simple as a pillow in the corner of a room, a warm rock to sit on under a tree, or just a quiet sit in a comfortable chair. Remind yourself of the words in the poem Desiderata, "You are a child of this Universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should".

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What the Dog Whisperer Taught Me

A couple days back I was visiting my Uncle John. He asked if I'd take his dog for a walk. As I was pulled along the country road by the beast, I was reminded of some simple advice given by Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer. Primary to caring for a dog focus on these three areas in this order: 1) exercise, 2)discipline, and 3) affection.

I used Millan's approach in the past to teach parenting style (I know, as I don't have any kids, I hardly qualify to teach parenting...but it was part of my job as an Adult Education Teacher). Parents were not entirely receptive toward my comparing bringing up kids with training a dog. Think about it though...kids without exercise tend to have discipline problems. When a parent overshadows with affection the kids is often labeled spoiled. Anyhow, I think it applies.

Then I thought about these three areas with application to detoxifying.

I try to exercise every day. I usually jog for an hour or more and walk at least an hour each day. In the winter months, I bounce on my mini-trampoline. I try to get my exercise out of the way at the beginning of the day (burns more fat...and takes it off my mind for the rest of the day).

Discipline tends to go along with exercise. It also goes with diet. In the past, I have created a list of "What I want to do more" and "What I want to do less". Do more included exercise and eating better (vegetables and fruit). Do less included: cookies, ice cream, bad thinking (I'm bored or life isn't fair...you know those kind of thoughts)and chips (and the list goes on). I kept a weekly count of when I was doing what I wanted to and when I did what I didn't want to. I "paid" myself a dollar for each time I did what I should and "lost" a dollar each time I did something I didn't want to. On Friday, I would see how much I'd earned (usually 20-30 dollars); this was my money for going to the movies or out to dinner or whatever. It helped me become more aware of my habits and better disciplined.

Affection is something we all need. I guess we shouldn't limit it. But I'm certain exercise and discipline are themselves a kind of affection. It tends to be what we crave the most. Everybody needs to know they are loved. Without affection, we cannot survive.

Exercise, discipline, and affection can help in the detox approach. Whatever your protocol, follow the dog whisperer's advice and try to stay out of the dog house.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Worse Before it Gets Better

If you follow my speculation (I think you could replace speculation with "pattern recognition") that Morgellons symptoms are connected to mercury as a neurotoxin, then what I have to say about healing and symptoms should make sense. I wish I didn't have to say it, but the symptoms may get worse before they get better.

Mercury in the body can be categories as primary sources and secondary sources. The primary sources in my case were the nine amalgam fillings in my mouth. In removing and replacing fillings, there may be an increase in secondary deposits (in other words carriage of mercury beyond the blood/brain barrier). In my case, I was lucky...my symptoms did not seem to get worse. I do know I've seen blog entries related to sufferers getting fillings removed and having the crawling sensations get much worse; this makes sense to me as I think (at least in these cases) the secondary levels were increased resulting in increased symptoms. My recommendation is if you are going to have your dental work removed and replaced, get the best biologic dentist you can find! It may cost more, but you're worth it!

If you are a sufferer and find your symptoms to get worse, it may be a good sign. I would, at least, understand it is probably indicative of toxins (mercury) being on the move. Keep some quiet time for yourself daily. It will help greatly to replace all fear of bugs with "just symptoms" thoughts.

I'm happy to have one follower presently. My hope is to double this weekly from this week forward. The tsunami is a little ways off yet.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What's Religion and Politics got to do with Morgellons?

I think the answer is everything and nothing. I don't want to sound wishy-washy. I'm not a fence sitter.

I see religion and spirituality as two different realms with overlap. Spirituality as a necessary part of us needing to heal. I've already posted my thoughts on the importance of spirituality.

I think different religions and beliefs are right for different people. In the realm of Morgellons symptoms, every religion and belief system has sufferers. The patterns of Morgellons distribution may be effected by access to computers and the internet. Globally, I suspect there are many sufferers of these symptoms...especially in Africa and Arabic speaking countries who are suffering greatly (I have seen several large scale studies on the effects of mercurial skin whitening creams make mention of "scabies" as a symptom of prolonged use). I guess my point is Muslims and others in Africa, The Middle East, The Persian Gulf and other areas throughout the world may be suffering in silence.

Toxins do not choose their victims based on political affiliation. We all suffer. My sense is politics does have an abnormal association with the medical world. We have to move beyond the politics and focus on cleaning up our bodies and our world.

For sufferers or former sufferers (like myself)we need to put aside our desires of everyone to be/think just like me. Priority #1 is getting well...the politics and religious zealous can wait!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Protocols- Enough to Make Your Head Spin!

Okay...before I begin listing what my current protocol is I need to make some clarifications. First, I am not a medical professional (yes, right...got it!). Second, I am finding my current protocol helpful...but I am not presenting it as what you, the sufferer, need to follow (in other words I'm not marketing). Third, I believe there are two major stages of recovery with separate overlapping protocols (detox first and then overlap with nerve repair protocol).

My original protocols were designed by medical professionals Dr. Omar Amin and Dr. Bruce Shelton. Honestly, when I started three years ago, the original protocols were complicated but helpful. I am uncertain whether Dr. Amin's protocol has changed, but I think Dr. Shelton's has improved (due in part to the influence of Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt and his work related to neurotoxins).

My current protocol falls into two major categories--detox and nerve repair. Related to detox I do the following: EDTA Chelation Mineral Replacer daily, Phospholipid Exchange (one tablespoon)+ OSR#1 every other day, chlorella (4 tablets after dinner) and 10 drops of organic cilantro at bedtime M-F. I discussed nerve repair with Dr. Shelton and he prescribed the following homeopathic remedies: Cerebromax and Spinalmax (Friday- Sunday), Detox (1, 2, and 3) as well as Matrix Support (Monday through Thursday). Of course, I also exercise, eat right, and keep a calm spirit throughout life's hurdles.

I am interested in hearing about protocols working for others. I know, when I was deep in my symptoms, I was extremely vulnerable. WATCH OUT FOR THE SNAKE OIL SALES PEOPLE! Be careful! Take your time, listen to your body, and think everything through before you send off any money. I have opinions on all that is out there...but I'm not a medical professional. Listen to the medical professionals who are truly having success with Morgellons patients. Cleaning out your system takes time. There are no magic cures. You need to clean out your system and repair it (my opinion). I do believe the path is becoming clearer and clearer. We can all get beyond these symptoms.

Send your thoughts.

Happy trails- Joe

Monday, June 7, 2010

Morgellons Spectrum

I believe the primary cause of Morgellons's symptoms is mercury as a neurotoxin. As the levels of mercury increases beyond the blood/brain barrier so too do the symptoms. When I consider my own case it is like an onion with layers (increase the layers and additional symptoms occur, decrease the layers and symptoms disappear).

I had many unexplained medical symptoms prior to the crawling sensations of Morgellons; these include panic attacks/ depression (these symptoms go hand in hand), racing/irregular heart beats, severe loss of energy (went from 20 miles+ of mountainous trail running to barely being able to walk a single mile), bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, "chronic prostatitis", E. D. (hope I don't have to spell it out). These symptoms started as early as 1988 (graduate school)and carry through the present. Since I had my dental work replaced and began chelation, most of these symptoms have not occurred (although I still have some degree of bloating). In short, I do feel there is a connection between past symptoms and issues of toxicity. The cleaner my body, the better I am.

I will mention having had five emergency room visits over the last six years. The symptoms for each were similar--I felt disoriented, had difficulty breathing, got irregular heart beats, and was certain I was about to die. I was told they were severe panic attacks. There was also something going on with my blood sugar levels. I haven't had anything like this in over a year and think they could relate to high levels of mercury in the air from the power plants in the Four Corners (I do not live there any more because of these).

I have to mention in my many years of suffering from this mix of various symptoms no medical professional ever made mention of them possibly related to mercury poisoning. The medical world needs to better understand mercury's effects!

So, if my case is typical of the effects of increased mercury levels, then Morgellons as a condition related to mercury levels is occurring in a spectrum. The reason documented cases do not appear the same is due to 1) levels of toxin, and 2) individual reaction to toxin.

If this spectrum is proven true, consider the drugs being given to cover up or manage symptoms. The drug industry makes more money if we stay sick.

While I am concerned about those suffering, I think the unborn may be the "canaries in the coal mine" as mercury is passed from mother to child at ten times the rate! It is awful to think about. Again, the drug industry profits by children being born with autism, ADD and ADHD.

The hope I give in this entry is that we can see the patterns and understand the implication. Removing primary toxins (dental and etc.) along with aggressive detoxing can lead to elimination of symptoms. Clean up our bodies,our families, our towns, our countries... then we can clean up the world.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Exercise Before Eight

Let's talk a little about body fat. Fat is used by the body to insulate toxins. Losing fat will help in eliminating toxins. Your body burns 300% more fat in the early morning than the rest of the day. You can guess where this is heading.

Early morning exercise with an hour wait before eating is a great way to melt away the pounds. Exercise doesn't have to be grueling. I find the more I enjoy it, the more I'm likely to keep with it. I'm lucky to have found a footpath through the woods right near my home.

Here's how my morning looks:
5:30am or close to it- I get up, put my sweats on, stretch and go for a morning jog. I have a background in running (ran cross country in college and coached several X-C teams in the past). Still, I haven't ran regularly in about five years. It is still slow going, but I like that I'm keeping with it. Speed will come with time.
7:00am- I jump in a quick cold shower and go in my sauna for 30 minutes. While in the sauna I do lymphatic drainage, neck twist and other motions to loosen things up. Once I finish my sit, I hit the auto on my coffee maker and jump back in the shower.
8:00am- I'm dressed, drinking coffee and eating breakfast. As I do oral chelation every other day, I may take the time to attempt to mix it with my juice (it does mix very well...but I don't mind the taste). I also drink lots of water!

Anyhow, that's how my morning looks. I like getting exercise done with and out of the way before my day starts. I recommend those detoxing do the same (if running isn't what you are into, try something else. Even an early morning walk can make a difference). You know yourself. Do what works for you! Just keep in mind exercise is good for the mind, body and spirit. It also will help get toxins out!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Detox- The No or Little Cost Start

I have done a great deal to clean my body out of toxins. If you've read my account of symptoms and recovery, you know I took drastic and expensive measures to clean out my body (removal/replacement of dental materials and chelation being the primary costs); these I will get to. Today though, I want to try to give sufferers a start that will cost little or nothing; the focus is attitude, exercise, and intake.

The first step to my recover was to change my perspective (and believe me it was hard!). Instead of saying "bugs, bugs, bugs!" when the crawling came...I started to say "symptoms, symptoms, symptoms"! Being terrified of bugs crawling on or under my skin seemed to cause the symptoms to get worse. I started to make note of when the symptoms would start up (towards evening, changes in temperature, and thinking/scanning my body for crawling). The more I told myself, "These are only symptoms", the better I felt and the less the symptoms occurred (of course, the dental detox as documented made symptoms lesson...and eventually subside. I do still get twitching, which is nothing like the crawling, at the base of my feet after long hikes or other physical activities).

Exercise was essential even when I was deep in symptoms (every day I went walking and found it helpful). Exercise like walking, yoga and stretching can be combined with prayer and meditation. Work up to cardiovascular workouts (I run now...but started by bouncing on a mini-trampoline). Experiment with exercise. You may be surprised by discovering a new passion (such as my mid-life discovery of rock climbing).

A key piece to detoxing is to not put toxins in your system to begin with. I think of my body as a sack of mostly water; I need to take out toxins and keep toxins from going in. I do my best to eat organic. I also try to take in high amounts of greens. I avoid anything with heavy metal content (such as tortillas...some have aluminum. I now read every label). Air quality and water quality need to also be considered. Filters for drinking and showering water are necessary (and worth every penny). Air quality needs to also be considered (I recently moved from a location near power plants that were polluting with mercury among other things (as I believe in a mercury connection, I decided my life depended on cleaner air)); hopefully, you are not in a situation where you are regularly exposed to toxins.

This start should cost little to nothing, but will make a difference. As stated, I do believe any approach should be done with a trusted medical professional.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mercury to Morgellons Connection or Is anybody Out There- Part II

So, I went on a summer adventure. I put several days and endless hours into writing up my findings (I was in a rush, as the new school year was about to begin)and found Explore! wanted to publish my piece. It would be published without any changes or input from medical professionals (I did not know if this was a good or bad thing). I was content I had done what I should and hoped the medical world would show attention to the patterns I'd found. I emailed my article off to the few research teams out there looking at Morgellons (only one was willing to respond...and, while expressing interest, stated no response was possible "...due to legalities").

How is someone suppose to respond to this kind of situation? To sum up my emotional roller coaster over the past couple of years, I'd say I've felt frustrated, ignored, angry, sad (lots of bad feelings)...but I also have had a constant thankfulness. Where would I be if I hadn't followed the protocols of Dr. Amin and Shelton? And I have to mention one other feeling. I felt somehow an odd guilt when I shared with other sufferers my getting well (it's not their fault...it's just how I felt).

But, hey, I'm not here to harp on the bad feelings. This is suppose to be about creating a positive ripple...right?! Right now, I feel there are wheels in motion. I do think there are a growing number of medical professionals considering my input. I've done and continue to do a lot of "Let go and let God" angles on life. Things will work out--exactly as they should!

I'm guessing if you're reading this, you're taking steps to clean out your system. Great! Getting mercury out is tough and takes patience as well as resources (most of which cost money...but life is worth it!). I think my next entry will focus on cleaning out the body. I'm not a medical professional (be that good or bad), but I suspect some of what I've learned would be helpful to share. Of course I'll want to hear what others have to share too!

Let the ripple keep growing!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Mercury Morgellons Connection or Is Anyone Out There?

It''s study hall period at the junior high. The students have been abnormally reserved (considering we're so close to summer break). I've been wondering about a topic to blog on. Should I blog? I guess blogging is like substitute teaching; sometimes you say, "Yeah, sure, I'm game!" and other times you roll over in bed and fall back to sleep (okay, honestly I've never done this). I pick up some scrap paper, pen and clipboard--blogging starts now.

So, here's my topic. It's a big one....the mercury to Morgellons connection (I warned you about this slant). I want to write this in a more personal way. Articles I've written on this are nicely organized on the Mr. Common Sense blog (look for "Joseph Keleher" category...or I may include these on here as well...once I'm better organized). My research has a healthy portion of speculation (though I feel it a decent framework to speculate within). Anyhow, back to the topic. I've presented many of these connections and, honestly, gotten a mix of feedback (from raging anger to "that makes sense"). Still, I have and do see this connection. I guess the place to start is when I first made this connection.

The editor of the medical journal Explore! asked if they could publish my account of symptoms and recover (I'd written this up to share with other sufferers). I felt incredibly guided (another story). I remember being so incredibly joyful at getting beyond my horrible symptoms, but I had another set of feelings. I wanted to put Morgellons as far out of my mind as I could. Yeah, sure, I was willing to have what I went through published, but I didn't want to relive the experience. I wanted to move on in life, but God had other plans.

It was springtime. Summer was coming fast. A single teacher spending most of my time in reservation isolation, I spend my breaks traveling--seeing new places and faces. A friend had invited me to Greece. I'd never been, but still hadn't committed myself to going.

One afternoon, shortly after word from the Explore! editor, I decided to surf the net and visit Morgellons one last time. This was the day I came across Kellett's 1935 article.

I found the article interesting. I knew that my symptoms somehow related to toxicity (Dr. Omar Amin's research connects symptoms to dental adhesives, but dental adhesives didn't exist in the historic period's documented). Humm... The historically documented symptoms, to a novice like me, sounded similar to today's accounts. How could the same symptoms occur today as in the past? That's when bells and whistles went off (or you can picture a big light bulb over my head, if you wish). Mercury!!!

In the past I'd had a number of conversation with dentist asking about amalgam filling. The typical response was something like...there's no proof that amalgam fillings effect health (now I know to respond with...there's no proof that amalgam fillings are safe). I've always respected the opinions of medical professionals. So...there I was. I looked at the article again. I printed it out. I asked myself Is there a connection to mercury? and the archaeologist in me asked Are there patterns?

I spent the evening at my old desk asking, interpreting, digesting and sorting through the puzzle pieces.

By now you've read a few of my words. You know a little about me. Let me share a deep piece of my personality. I cannot pass up on a mystery (not the written mystery necessarily...but the real mysteries)! As a kid, I always picked my scabs and never missed Scooby Doo (mysteries suck me in--whether it's to see if I bleed or to find out who is messing with Scooby and friends). The patterns in Kellett were worth a further look--I decided. I'd need to go to the places he'd mentioned--London and the Languedoc area of France. I decided if there was a connection to mercury, I'd find it!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Normal Life?

I'm sitting at the coffee shop. I'll be substitute teaching for the afternoon. I've a little time before the caribbe crepes are finished (my lunch). Some people would say I'm living a normal life...others wouldn't.

I'm trying to have some clear idea of how I view my life as normal since my symptoms.Of course, I'm asking first "What is normal?"

I think my town and neighborhood is normal. I've compared it to Bedford Falls in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" (it really does look like it...except there isn't any high bridges to jump from. This may be a good thing). There's a town square, gas lit medians, and tons of well-kept historic buildings. The look of the place,it being a walk-around town, and easy access to hiking made it appealing.

My neighborhood has well-groomed yards, good neighbors, bad neighbors, and well-used porches. It has a pleasant Mayberry kind of feel to it. Generally there isn't much excitement.

I'm not certain what people think of me. I think I'm considered a decent person with a liberal slant. I am open to talking about my health situation. I even share what I've written about Morgellons with some. Some are interested, some aren't.

LATER-
I've returned from subbing for a half day. The kids were great and I enjoyed my time. I had thoughts about how I'd finish this entry after work. Thoughts can change though...and mine have.

Stopping at the school office before walking down to the library to blog, I spoke with the school secretary.

"How'd it go?" She asked (as she always does).
"Very well," I said. "I'm glad I didn't take the sub position up in the high school."
"It was a good day not to sub in the high school. A student was in an accident."
We talked for a little while longer.It is very sad.

I guess we all find ourselves from time to time remembering just how precious life is. Though I didn't know this young person, I feel for the family and friends. I had a similar situation happen last year when I was living and teaching on the Navajo Nation. A friend's boyfriend, who had recently become a father, had a heart attack and died; it was sudden and unexpected (I called my mother just after this to tell her I loved her...it's the most awkward words to share with her).

What does it cost to let each other know we care about each other? I wasn't brought up in a "warm fuzzy" family setting, but I try to let people know I care about them (family, friends, neighbors, and even you). It cost nothing and yet it brings light to us and others.

Maybe this is what I need to be writing about (funny how things work). Maybe I needed to remind myself and others that no matter what...life is precious. Whatever your situation, whatever you ache or pain, see your life as a fragile and unique creation...because that is exactly what it is!

Me normal? Maybe not. Instead of reaching for a normal life, we need to reach for the best life we can have!

Love and light to you.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Morgellons Spirituality

(This was written several weeks ago when I went on a camping/climbing adventure in West Virginia. I thought this might be a good home for it. In a sense it is a condensed version or alteration of the A.A. 12 Steps)

I’m twisted to the side in my sleeping bag. It is early morning at a campsite near Coopers Rock, West Virginia. Birds are calling across the fields and between trees and I’m admiring the nylon fabric patterns and stitching of the tent. I’m with a group of friends to go climbing for the weekend.

Why am I contorting with pen in hand to write you? I’ve been trying my best to compose a piece on spirituality in Morgellons; it’s an important topic. I can’t possibly explain the significance my beliefs, my spirituality, and my faith played in my own recovery. I’ve made a couple of drafts on the topic, felt they were decent and then looked at them the next day and decided they weren’t quite right. Here’s another attempt (let’s hope I find the right words and don’t run out of scrap paper).

First let me confess. I’m not a saint…never have been, never will be. There were many times when I was suffering from Morgellons symptoms that I was convinced I was making payment for past sins. It’s possible. Looking back now though, I think it was a hurdle, a problem, a challenge to overcome—that’s all.

In a recent conversation about Morgellons with a friend, she said, “It seems very spiritual”.
My response was, “When you feel like your body has been taken over and you’re loosing your mind, what have you got left?—your spirit”. At least that’s how it was for me.

Maybe it is different for you. Maybe it is possible to find a way to health without building on your spirituality. Maybe.

The sensei for a karate class I took many years ago used to have us meditate forming a triangle with our thumbs and forefingers—the corners representing body, mind, and spirit—and constantly reminded us to “Bring your spirit to class!”. The triangle is the strongest form when creating architecture. A tripod is infinitely more stable than a bi-pod. The Celts, my ancestors, considered three a sacred number (and this transferred nicely when St. Patrick came along). In healing, consider the three. Body. Mind. Spirit.

My recovery relied greatly on skills I’d built over my years of attending twelve step meetings (Adult Children Of Alcoholics…as one friend put it, after finding out about my situation with Morgellons, “You’re a survivor and then a survivor again!”). Without going into what I believe or what I think you should believe (I’m not into proselytizing…and this may be the greater part of the reason I’ve had difficulty writing about this topic), I also follow the Quaker faith. Those pieces being presented, let me share what I think was useful in my coping and recovery.

1) Know what you believe- I think The Creator (God, The Light, Nature, Collective Conscience, The Force or whichever name you give your Higher Power) image for each of us is personal. Even those who label themselves atheist or agnostic carry some impression of a “Higher Power” (I had a saying from a high school teacher, and former army sergeant, coming back to me when I first suffered from Morgellons; he’d often say, “There’s no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole”. If Morgellons isn’t a foxhole, I don’t know what is!). The Morgellons Sufferers are of every shape, size and faith. Let your faith comfort you.
2) Build on your faith foundation- Prayer and meditation calmly connect us to our Higher Power. I am certain calming helps in healing. For some this connection is formal, such as going to church services, for some it is not (maybe just a walk in the park). You know what works for you—let it help you heal.
3) Expect miracles- Einstein once said, “There are two ways to live your life—one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.” Consideration of the interconnectedness of perception and miracles helped me. I suppose we all self-define miracles. Along my path to health, there were many miracles. Whatever you perceive as a miracle, acknowledge it as such…and give thanks.
4) Give thanks- I had to say it again. When I was deeply suffering, I found myself waking with exhaustion but started my day by mentally listing and giving thanks for the little things—the sunshine, the bird songs, the beauty of this world, and other things that came to mind. Simple pleasures of life became more meaningful. Three years later, I am more thankful of my life than ever! Life is a gift and the little things (bills, confrontations, and telemarketers for example) that used to consume me have little power.

There is something that needs to be said, but I’m not certain I can say it correctly. Faith, hope and love are every bit as important as any managing or healing protocol. The tides are turning with this condition. People are reclaiming their lives. I hope and pray the medical community will soon share answers and all of us will be on the path to wellness.

I’m off to spend some quality time with some big rocks. I’ve thought about some clever analogies of climbing and faith, but I suppose all of them go without saying. May your spirit grow along with your health! Peace, Joe

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Beginning

This is the second blog I've started up. I'm titling it Morgellons Joe.

My story should be fiction, but it isn't. Just over three years ago, I had a set of physiologic symptoms some call Morgellons Disease. For several months, I had what felt like bugs crawling under my skin (especially at night). I was severely exhausted (slept 12 hours each night and woke up feeling like I'd just run a half marathon), anxious, fearful and depressed.

With the removal and replacement of amalgam fillings along with aggressive detoxification, I found my way back to health. I still have visible twitching at the base of my feet from time to time, but have not felt the crawling in three year. My energy levels are normal and seem to be improving with time (I've recently started up running again).

On my path toward healing, I documented what I went though (I recommend all sufferers of similar symptoms do the same) and it was published. I also noted patterns in the historic documentation of these symptoms in relation to mercury exposure; this was also published by Explore Publications. I posted several other articles on the blog created by another sufferer and titled Mr. Common Sense (great blog...by the way!). So, I feel like I've made some contribution toward understanding this serious medical condition.

I see this condition as the result of toxicity issues (specifically mercury as a neurotoxin), so understand my blog will have a mercury-as-neurotoxin slant. General topics of discussion are likely to include (but not be limited to): detoxing, healing, and life after Morgellons.

I am a fairly average Joe. I guess you'll find that out.