Morgellons: A hidden epidemic or mass hysteria? part 2

Dr Greg Smith is covered in waxy scars caused, he says, by morgellons: ‘You feel the

Morgellons relentless itching

sensation of something that’s trying to come out of your skin.’ Photograph: Bartram Nason for the Guardian

An hour south of Austin, in the lobby of the Westoak Woods Baptist Church convention centre, morgellons sufferers from the US, UK, Spain, Germany and Mexico gather by the breakfast buffet. Threads of conversation rise from the hubbub: “I mix Vaseline with sulphur and cover my entire body”; “The more you try to prove you’re not crazy, the more crazy they think you are”; “The whole medical community is part of this. I wouldn’t say it’s a conspiracy but…”

Many of the attendees have been diagnosed with DOP, a subject that enrages one of the first speakers – Dr Greg

Where does "DOP" diagnosis come from?

Smith, a paediatrician of 28 years’ experience. “Excuse me, people!” he says. “This is morally and ethically wrong! So let me make a political statement, boys and girls.” He pulls off his jumper, to reveal a T-shirt reading, “DOP” with a red line through it. “No more!” he shouts above wild applause. “No more!”

Later, Smith tells me he’s been a sufferer since 2004. “I put a sweatshirt I’d been wearing in the garden over my arm and there was this intense burning, sticking sensation. I thought it was cactus spines. I began picking to get them out, but it wasn’t long before it was all over my body.” He describes “almost an obsession. You just can’t stop picking. You feel the sensation of something that’s trying to come out of your skin. You’ve just got to get in there. And there’s this sense of incredible release when you get something out.”

Smith’s exposed skin is covered in waxy scars. Although he still itches, his lesions appear to have healed. If, as morgellons patients believe, the sores are not self-inflicted but caused by fiber-creating parasites, how is this possible? “I absolutely positively stopped picking,” he says.

Notice the black specs under the eye

That evening, at a nearby Mexican restaurant, I meet Margot, a midwife from Ramsgate who has resorted to bathing in bleach to rid herself of morgellons. She describes how, armed with times-three magnification spectacles, a magnifying glass and a nit comb, she scraped “black specks” from her hair and face on to sticky labels and took them to a dermatologist. She was diagnosed with DOP. “I’m a midwife,” she says. “I take urine samples and blood specimens. So I was taking them a specimen. That’s what wrecked my life and career.”

Next, I corner Randy Wymore. He is a slim man with a charcoal shirt, orange tie and

Actual Morgellons fibers

neatly squared goatee. “We have not yet exactly replicated the exact results of the forensics people in Tulsa,” he admits. So far, the laboratory has found Wymore’s various morgellons fibres to be: nylon; cotton; a blond human hair; a fungal fibre; a rodent hair; and down, most likely from geese or ducks.

“That’s disappointing,” I say.

He leans his head to one side and smiles. “It is, for the most part, disappointing, but there was a bunch of cellulose that didn’t make sense on one. And another was unknown.” There’s a pause. “Well, they said it was a ‘big fungal fiber’, but they weren’t completely convinced.”

Ginger Savely

The next day, nursing practitioner Dr Ginger Savely, who claims to have treated more than 500 morgellons patients, leads an informal discussion in the conference room. Around large circular tables sit the dismissed and the angry. “I’ve seen a fiber go into my glasses,” says one. “I’ve seen one burrow into a pad,” adds another. “One of my doctors thinks it’s nanotechnology”; “I was attacked by a swarm of some type of tiny wasps that seemed to inject parts of their bodies under my skin”; “They have bugs on public transport. Never put your suitcase on the floor of a train.”

CareMan note: Ms. Savely was offered free NutraSilver way back in 2007, the only known effective treatment for Morgellons, and declined to even test it. Thousands of Morgellons sufferers have eliminated their symptoms, while Ms. Savely continues to administer concoctions of various antibiotics with virtually no results.

A furious woman with a big scar on her jaw says, “I have Erin Brockovich’s lawyer’s number in my purse. Don’t you think I’m not going to use it.”

Money for Medicine

“But who are you going to sue?” asks a frail, elderly lady two tables away.

The morgellons believers look expectantly at the indignant litigant. “I don’t know,” she says.

In a far corner, a woman with a round plaster covering a dry, pinkly scrubbed cheek weeps.

I retire to the lobby to await my allotted chat with Savely. I become aware of a commotion at reception. One of the attendees is complaining loudly: “It’s disgusting! Bugs! In the bed. I’ve already been in two rooms…”

When she’s gone, I ask the receptionist if, over the weekend, there has been a surge in complaints about cleanliness. “Oh yeah.” She leans forward and whispers conspiratorially. “I think it’s part of their condition.”

Yet, when we speak, Savely is resolute. “These people are not crazy,” she insists. “They’re good, solid people who have been dealt a bad lot.”

A woman approaches the vending machine behind Savely. Between her hand and the handle of her walking stick is a layer of tissue paper.

There is an element of craziness, I suggest.

“OK, there is,” she says, “but it’s understandable. For people to say you’re delusional is very anxiety-provoking. Then they get depressed. Who wouldn’t? The next stage is usually an obsessive-compulsive thing – paying attention to the body in great detail. But, again, I feel this is understandable, in the circumstances.”

I slip back into the conference room, where Margot is using her $500 Wi-Fi iPad telescope to examine herself. I have an idea.

“Can I have a go?”

Pushing the lens into my palm, I immediately see a fiber. The group around me falls into a hush. “Did you clean your hand?” Margot asks. She fetches an antibacterial wet-wipe. I scrub and try again. I find an even bigger fiber. I wipe for a second time. And find another one. Margot looks up at me with wet, sorry eyes. “Are you worried?” She puts a comforting hand on my arm. “Oh, don’t be worried, Will. I’m sure you haven’t got it.”

Painful Morgellons lesion

Back in London, I find a 2008 paper on morgellons in the journal Dermatologic Therapy that describes patients picking “at their skin continuously in order to ‘extract’ an organism”; “obsessive cleaning rituals, showering often” and individuals going “to many physicians, such as infectious disease specialists and dermatologists” – all behaviors “consistent with DOP”. (For treatment, the authors recommend prescribing a benign antiparasitic ointment to build trust, and supplementing it with an antipsychotic.) After finding “fibres” on my own hand, I’m fairly satisfied morgellons is some 21st-century genre of OCD spread through the internet and the fibres are – as Wymore’s labs report – particles of everyday, miscellaneous stuff: cotton, human hair, rat hair and so on.

There is one element of the condition that’s been niggling, though. Both Paul and Greg’s morgellons began with an explosion of itching. Now it’s affecting me: the night after my meeting with Paul, I couldn’t sleep for itching. I had two showers before bed and another in the morning. All through the convention, I am tormented; driven to senseless scratching. Why is itch so infectious?

Free Telephone Consultations

If you wish to discuss how you can get your life back without Morgellons, call our toll-free number and our experienced (4+ years) counselors will help you through this nightmare.  We have seen thousands of Morgellons victims recover.  It is your turn now, so pick up your telephone and call this number now.

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About CareMan
I am the CareMan, have been for 7 years now. I really do care about YOU and getting YOU back to great, natural health, so long as you have an open mind.

One Response to Morgellons: A hidden epidemic or mass hysteria? part 2

  1. Dear “CareMan” (whoever you are – wonder why you won’t give your name?) – Before you speak ill of me, please know of what you speak! I was offered Nutrasilver samples about 5 years ago (and TOOK them, didn’t DECLINE them!) and I gave them to quite a few Morgellons patients. My patients all said the same thing – it worked great for 2 weeks, then stopped working. That is why I did not push it. If people ask me about it I say “Sure, try it!” but I don’t RECOMMEND treatments that only work for 2 weeks. I have cured many people with my “concoctions” or they wouldn’t be continuing to come to me! How about confronting me face to face and finding out the truth about me before speaking ill of me? How about having the guts to be out there with your real name, like I am, instead of hiding behind a pseudonym? Just curious…….Ginger Savely

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