Friday, September 16, 2005


You're probably all wondering what in the proverbial fuck happened to ol' Bri, yes? And if you aren't, well, I'm going to tell you anyway. As a public service. Because what I am about to say is very important, and yes, I am serious. I've been going through my own little personal Hurricane Katrina, and I don't even get any news coverage.

Ready? Here it is: I've been out of commission for several months now, due to the effects of 'acute mercury toxicity' or, as I now call it, 'incompetent medical establishment syndrome'. Yes, it's all true. Read up on it here:, among many other places.

For a couple of years now, I've been having more and more weird inexplicable symptoms, and, not being the hypochondriac type, I tended to dismiss them as a product of turning forty. But eventually they became annoying and severe enough to seek medical attention. Since I am self-employed and thus have exhorbitantly expensive and completely worthless insurance that will essentially only benefit me if all my limbs are severed in a bizarre cockfighting accident, I did not relish the thought of going to the doctor, but eventually I had no choice. I found myself regularly doubled-over in abdominal pain, among many other symptoms.

But alas, upon finally submitting my every orifice to the world-renowned brilliance of the American Medical Establishment, I was thrilled to discover that there was absolutely nothing wrong with me, according to all the generic tests that the overeducated fuckheads perform according to their Pocket Guide to Illness or whatever they use. Several Medical Professionals and a couple thousand hard-earned shekels later, I came up empty. "You're perfectly healthy," they would say, handing me yet another bill for services unrendered.

Don't get me wrong; I was overjoyed that no cancer or some such horrid thing was found. I certainly didn't want to be sick; but Jesus Freekin' Christ, I wasn't making this shit up, and I wanted an explanation for why I could barely get out of bed in the morning other than "well, you're not a kid anymore." Hey I'm forty-three -- not eighty-three! And besides, if my clients come to me for services and I CAN'T HELP THEM, I also can't CHARGE them. How come doctors can stick their finger up your ass, pronounce your bloody diarrhea 'all in your head', and charge you $200 for the whole sordid experience? Huh?

OK; OK; you couldn't pay ME twice that amount to stick my finger up YOUR ass (unless you're Jennifer Connelly), but that's not the point. These guys are immune to this stuff; they do it all day long and make bank in the process -- which is fine, but if you're gonna take my money, at least HELP me, for cryin' out loud. Is that so much to ask?

Anyway, I proceeded to visit several doctors, going through the whole explanation of my problem over and over again, each of them trying some other PPO-approved set of worthless tests. Every one of them seemed callous, distant, preoccupied and in a hurry to get me outta there so they could see the next wallet -- I mean patient.

They all found nothing. And in doctor-land, if they don't find anything with their little bag of tricks, you must not really be sick. Or else they give you one of those meaningless diagnoses like 'chronic fatigue syndrome' which means essentially "we don't know why you're so tired but we'll take what little cash you've been able to scrape together since you can't work much."

One doctor, late in the process, actually said to me, "You're healthy as a horse." Whereupon I replied, "Then you'd better shoot me, because I can't manage to get my ass off this fucking table." He laughed. I told him it wasn't fucking funny. He offered to write me a prescription for anti-anxiety meds. I told him he'd better write himself a prescription for pain pills. I was ushered to the cashier window with extreme prejudice.

By this time, several months had gone by, and I wasn't getting any better.

Constant fatigue. Occasional nausea and dizziness. Dysfunctional gastrointestinal system, resulting in various lovely effects that I will leave to your imagination. Frequent severe abdominal pain, due to said gastro problems. Migraine headaches, at least once a week and sometimes more. Skin rashes. Tremors. Muscle aches. Kidney stones (ouch!). Weight loss, peculiarly paired with a swollen gut from aforementioned GI tract issues. Nervousness, irrational anxiety and panic attacks, combined with sudden confusion and short-term memory loss on par with very-early-onset Alzheimer's. That last part is some seriously scary shit, believe me. { Insert obligatory '80s Heavy Metal joke here to lighten things up }

Are we having fun yet?

OK, so finally, after practically tearing all my hair out, I was recommended to a preventive medical clinic where they do traditional Western AND holistic AND Eastern medicine. They're all MDs, but they've broken out of the narrow-minded stupidity of the insurance-dominated medical establishment, and they approach things from a more cause-and-effect perspective. This of course means that insurance companies refuse to pay for ANY of it -- but since mine hadn't paid for much anyway, and since by this point I'd been beaten down by the process and just wanted to figure out what the fuck was wrong with me at any price, I made an appointment.

To their credit, these folks took me seriously and actually seemed like they wanted to help me rather than just go through the motions and send me a bill. They ran tests that nobody had run before; they took about a gallon of blood and every other fluid and secretion, and even took some hair to test for whatever. That was a first for me. My arm was starting to look like a junkie's by now, but nobody had taken any hair samples before.

What came back was a comprehensive report, detailing all sorts of things that the Doc went over with me, one by one. It showed that I was lacking in several key minerals, which seemed ridiculous to me since I take handfuls of vitamin and mineral supplements and such every day. In response to my incredulity, the Doctor said that it was possible that I had an absorption problem, which would likely be due to the presence of toxic heavy metals in my system -- and that my other symptoms were in line with this as well. So they injected me with some 'provocation chemicals' and had me piss into a jug for a day.

Well, when the next test came back, I got a phone call. "Can you come in today?" they asked. It sounded serious. Kinda freaked me out, actually. I said, "am I gonna die?" Interestingly, the possibility of death was almost a relief. It meant I would never have to spend an entire week in the bathroom again.

The test results were astonishingly simple. All the metals were listed, from antimony to zinc. A bar chart indicated measured amounts, and all were well within the 'safe' zone except two: silver and mercury. Both were through the roof.

High levels of silver in your body are not a particularly wise investment, but the mercury was the killer. There is no 'normal' level, but due to environmental factors in our golden industrial age, they expect to see a level three in the average person. Level nine is considered toxic. My level of mercury measured out at just under twelve.

There are many sources of mercury poisoning: air and water pollution, eating fish, exposure to solvents and paint, household products containing mercury-based preservatives, and others. But there is only one likely source of a high mercury AND silver level, unless you work in a mine. And it's a very controversial source, one that the medical/dental establishment refuses to take seriously: silver amalgam fillings in the teeth, which are 50% poisonous mercury that is supposedly inert but really isn't. It has been proven, though the ADA refuses to accept it, that mercury leaches out of these fillings and into the body over the years, causing all sorts of potential problems including Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Cancer, Alzheimer's and other 'incurable' degenerative horrors. Look it up; this subject is all over the web.

I had five such fillings from childhood, up until a couple of years ago when my dentist replaced them with plastic composites, ironically because of the longterm risk of mercury toxicity. The problem is, as I've discovered in my exhaustive research on the topic in recent months, when they drilled out the fillings, they likely exposed me to a ton of deadly mercury vapors, which I inhaled, and particles which I swallowed. There are procedures they should have followed to minimize this, but they didn't. Proving this would be a daunting task, given the stance of the ADA in general and the fact that my mercury levels BEFORE the replacement are unknown. But I know there is a connection. There has to be. That's right about when my symptoms started, for cryin' out loud!

So anyway, I've been on a regimen of a zillion additional supplements in addition to some chelating agents that are supposed to bond with heavy metals and gradually flush them out of your system. I'm overjoyed that I finally have something to blame all this weird shit on, but it's no picnic. As they warned me it would, it has gotten worse before it can get better.

The chemicals bond with the metals, but not perfectly. And they also bond with important minerals and leach them out of the body -- and replacing the minerals can be difficult because the mercury is still interfering with absorption. The liver and kidneys can only process a small amount of the stuff at once, so a lot of the toxic metal gets reabsorbed into the body before it can be flushed out. This causes whole new problems. The entire process is therefore laborious and difficult, and can take a year or more, during which time there can be constant symptoms. It's been three months since they found the mercury, and I've been going through absolute hell during that time. Some days I'm fine, and some days I can't get out of bed. I haven't gone out much at all, and I take several handfuls of pills every day in addition to watching my diet and trying to eat as nutritiously as possible. The only thing that helps with the stomach problems is weed, which thankfully is medically legal here in semi-enlightened California, at least until the Feds decide to attack us.

So anyway, I'll be okay. I just wanted everyone who reads my rants to know that I'm not dead; I've just been too sick to sit at my computer for anything other than necessary work, which has been piling up and making me want to crawl under the bed. I'm feeling alright more days than I have been in awhile, and so I hope to get more work done and post more regularly as well. Keep your fingers crossed.

And for Christ's sake, GET YOUR SILVER FILLINGS REMOVED, and make sure they take precautions (throat damming, etc -- look online) to make sure you don't get poisoned in the process.

Toxically yours,

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