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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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.