Saturday, November 20, 2010

A comment about mercury toxicity

Reading "The Age of Autism" by Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill, I come away with such a sense of hope and yet also futility. The book describes the history of mercury and its abuses in medicine and it indicts the medical profession for having used mercury for so long as a medicine.

The media should be ever so eager to play out the subject. But they don't. Where is the outrage, where the compassion with people who have suffered from mercury toxicity? I would say this lack of outrage is manifested not because the media don't want to have a huge story; it is because they are paid not to bring a huge story.

There is an unwritten taboo that says you cannot bring any story that makes mercury toxicity convincing. And when a story about mercury toxicity is used, it is used in terms of how wrong we people are to still talk about vaccines and Thimerosal. But my experience does not come from only vaccines.

My experience comes from dental amalgam and Merthiolate (psst! another word for Thimerosal) ointment. My stepfather was a veterinarian. He used to talk about the fact that he was "allergic" to mercury. How did he know? He was a veterinarian who rubbed mercury ointment on horses' joints, and whenever he did that he would get a bad rash afterwards. By the time he was fifty years old he had lost all his teeth. He could not stand false teeth because the gums and all the connective tissues in his mouth blistered and became raw.

The "quack-salvers" of old would call that an allergy. I call it toxicity. My stepfather also had the "allergic reaction" of Alzheimer's disease.

I worked as an apprentice at a pharmacy for two years. My immediate boss was a pharmacist. She had done a lot of work with all kinds of toxic substances including mercury during her university studies. She was a very stable woman when I knew her. Two years after I left, she had an "allergy attack". She went on a rampage in which she raked all the old white apothecary jars with the salves and ointments, all the brown glass bottles containing chemicals and all the medicines off the shelves. When she was done, the floor was a mess of chemicals and broken glass and pill bottles and boxed pharmaceutical products. She was taken to a mental hospital in a distant location. Her pharmacist's licence was revoked, and last I heard she was allowed to work again at the mental institution where she had undergone treatment. She was a nice woman and very meticulous when I knew her.

My grandfather was a dentist. He must have laid tens of thousands of amalgam fillings. His wife, my grandmother, helped him at times in his office to mix the mercury amalgam for the fillings.

My grandmother had the "allergy" of becoming senile. She was put into a nursing home from which she escaped with only a fur overcoat; yes she was naked underneath. She was found wandering around 500 km away near the apartment where she used to live asking people if anyone had seen her dog that had been dead for 15 years by that time.

I can only say: "All 'allergy attacks', those!"

A few days ago study was published in The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease that indicates that mercury may be responsible for Alzheimer's disease. Where are the media to report on that?

Reading "The Age of Autism" will enlighten any reader about why mercury is to be avoided at any cost.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The curiosity of doctors

Once again Erik had to see a doctor. Erik's driver spent 3 hours to take him from Capitola to Redwood City to investigate and what we believed to be a check up of a wrist that had been swollen three week ago. The endless questionnaire was again full of unnecessary redundancy, at least for Erik. There were countless questions about whether Erik worked, and whether he was covered by insurance because he could not be seen unless he was covered fully. Erik has never worked. Erik has never been able to answer his own questionnaire. He does not talk. There is so much wasted effort. Why can't all the information be in one computer file? I believe it can't be done because there is no profit in making things simpler. Enough of that.

After the x-ray, there was another half hour to wait for the first doctor. He looked at Erik's x-ray and compared some of the x-rays we had brought. I gave an account of Erik's medical history; that doctor seemed to want to know something. I am already conditioned not to bore anyone. But none of the information (craniosynostosis, Legg-Perthes disease, Kawasaki syndrome) seemed to elicit any curiosity. Erik does not require a comment. He is uninteresting because things are so complicated that he doesn't fit into one neat little vignette in the doctors little brain. Finally the real doctor came in. She greeted us, including Erik-that was refreshing-and pronounced that Erik's wrist was not swollen any longer and that the x-rays showed some healing. Erik definitely had osteopenia. We knew that already. Good bye! No interest in Vitamin D deficiency, no interest in kidney failure and no interest in the fact that he might not live more than a couple of years. That information is non-existent because Erik, with all his problems does not have a diagnosis. For that, his kidney specialist had said, he would have to have the kidney biopsied, and that would not be warranted because he is is not likely to live much longer. Circular argument that. He has already lived with his problems for over 40 years. Where is the curiosity?