Addressing the Root Cause of Illness

Clover Kreger

Woodlands Healing Centre

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The Aim is to be Unfettered

Clover Kreger, Feb 2006

This full article can alternatively be downloaded for reading and printing here.

How can I restrain myself from waxing lyrical about life before M.E.? Irrespective of the dubious current trend that views unwelcome twists of fate as uninvited, but none-the-less positive learning experiences, and the irrefutable fact that hardships can temper the steel of our souls to a finer template, life before illness permeated every aspect of it, although a mixed bag of tricks, was, at least, exuberantly joyous upon occasion. Ever an independent, unorthodox soul, for twenty years I worked when necessity compelled me to, and travelled whenever possible, to a total of seventy-three widely diverse nations. Just prior to being waylaid by the initial phase of CFS/M.E I was attending evening classes in French in order to be able to tour Madagascar and Reunión more effectively, and delightedly perusing travel books documenting those two fascinating and little-known countries. I even continued to diligently study français for a couple of years after falling ill in the futile hope of making a full recovery within a brief span of time. It was after a bout of ’flu during a walking tour of Brittany that a pattern was established of virtual normality between short, feverish, ultimately bedbound relapses always brought on by an unusual amount of exertion. This allowed for two years of travel restricted to the confines of the European continent, but for the remainder of my eleven years of enduring this tenacious plague ‘holidays abroad’ have been comparatively banal events, and the term ‘travel’ conjures up visions of important family occasions, such as my brother’s third wedding to his current and wonderful wife, and a large extended family reunion, as well as those inevitable, arduous treks to the portals of a few professionals who claimed success at curing an illness that a scant number indeed in the health care professions desire to have any dealings with whatsoever, let alone specialize in.

I have recently regained enough vitality to venture further afield – this time south to the longer, warmer days of Madeira. I have, moreover, become my own ‘doctor,’ and treat my partner Simon, the cat and a small number of patients. I am extirpating the root cause of both M.E. and the vast majority of health problems likely to arise. No alchemy, no chemicals, pharmaceuticals, spiritual healing, magic bullet or quick fix involved – just a slow, fastidious removal of the spanners in the works which are skewing my metabolic homeostasis: that is, the toxic factors which prevent the smooth running of my mortal coils.

I did not arrive at the solution to my travail in a straightforward fashion, nor through unalloyed serendipity, but through desperation, an indomitable will to claw my way back to health – which surfaced when energy and mood allowed, an ability to know who to trust, and a pugnacious temperament.

Some would think I was fortunate to receive a relatively quick diagnosis a year after falling ill and a month after extensive tests began. I was, quite frankly, devastated, as the infectious illness specialist recommended ‘meditation’ (an impossible task in any case until recently owing to my fractured powers of concentration) and my G.P., a charming man who seemed to return the compliment, could only offer the statement ‘people do recover’ by way of a spark of consolation. No-one, in those days a decade past, had much to proffer in the way of concrete therapy, and I could do naught but cling to the feeble belief that some day the sun would come out, the fog dissipate, and I would find myself back among humanity on equal terms, with the solid earth firm beneath my feet, bathed in golden light, and with my five senses and powers of perception all in glorious working order, able to dance, swim, travel, write, cycle and roller skate once again. The emasculating symptoms worsened, however, and a life of travel was reduced to part-time teaching of English-as-a-foreign-language in Turkey, then to attending classes in Spanish and French two hours a day, for four days a week, in Andalusia, for two years, and then finally to a largely housebound existence co-habitating with all three types of insomnia, periods of depression, severe cognitive dysfunction, an overwhelming sensation of enervation and an inability to do much of anything beyond reading, cooking and doing the laundry. Not a suitable life for anyone, and certainly a grossly misbegotten one for a restless wanderer previously incapable of living in one place for more than a year. I’d have literally climbed the walls if I’d had the energy, stuck as I was in an existence bedevilled by torturous nightmares, insomnia, pain and disablement that I would not have wished upon my worst enemy. M.E., at its most flamboyant, wears you down in the cruellest way, and a modicum of improvement unleashes a desire to dance until dawn – while you can not dance across the room and back without risking a relapse. If tears possessed any value beyond that of sometimes eliciting sympathy I would be wealthy beyond my wildest dreams now. Ditto if one could sell nightmares for gold. . .

In short, I detested the illness which ravaged me, my then current persona, and life in the slow lane (bed). After seven years of enduring CFS and a very bad year mostly housebound I declared to my partner Simon that if he didn’t make a concerted effort to track down an efficacious therapy I would be forced to commit suicide, as I saw no point in prolonging my suffering indefinitely. Simon practically lived at a cybercafé for three days in a row, and I, as a result, had my one amalgam filling removed and booked a flight to New York.

For many years I had dwelt as a half-hermit, in a species of hiatus, remote from normal life and world affairs. After teaching in Antalya, Turkey, I had moved to Spain, where Simon joined me. I possessed no friends there, no energy with which to seek out like-minded individuals, and access to the kind of knowledge one can glean from books and the internet was severely limited. Spanish libraries and bookstores are poorly stocked, most non-fiction books are not published in Spanish, which, in any case, I read at a slow pace, and most important scientific research is carried out either in English speaking countries or in places able to freely translate their ideas and test results into English. If an understanding of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was then a creature of miniscule proportions in most English-speaking nations it was an all-but-invisible micro-organism in Spain. So for years I’d had little input as to the admittedly minimal progress being made in the medical field in relation to M.E. What I had tried were obscure devices and reported cures: a ‘black box,’ Dr Petrovic’s daunting regimes of huge quantities of nutritional supplements, coffee enemas, liver cleanses, acupuncture and moxibustion (the smoke quickly became another foe as I became sensitive to it) and 714X. Some of these therapies did cause surges of distinct improvement, but anything inhalable, ingestible or injectable eventually engendered allergic responses and if a modality was improving my energy levels, which was the case with acupuncture, as soon as I desisted from daily treatments I began to regress back to my original level of impairment. I did periodically and successfully modify my diet until I felt I could alter it no further. Eliminating sugar achieved the most noticeable effect, as my immune system immediately rebounded sufficiently to be able to annihilate whatever had sparked off intermittent low-grade fevers for several years. That symptom never returned. I now hand recalcitrant patients print-outs of an article which summarises a study on how sugar depresses white blood cell, and hence immune, function. This has not worked in regards to a patient’s addiction to refined carbohydrates – currently manifesting itself in the form of biscuits, but as a homeopathic chocolate isode* has kept him off chocolate, normally a daily indulgence, for months, I have high hopes for the sugar isode – if I can get him to agree to take it.

*An isode is a homeopathic remedy made from a pernicious agent and used to treat that particular agent.

As to other changes in diet – it has gradually evolved to the healthiest style of diet that I can achieve: no sugar, chocolate, fruit juice, dried fruit, honey, sweeteners, large fish (due to mercury levels), dairy products, refined carbohydrates or wheat and only organic eggs and mostly organic vegetables. Though more time-consuming, and often inconvenient, it is a pleasure in its own right. One has to evaluate one’s priorities and make decisions as to what one most values in life. To me health is infinitely more important than transient gustatory pleasures that leave a lingering bad taste in one’s mouth or wreak havoc in one’s digestive tract and with one’s overall health. One of the few benefits of ill-health is its tendency to jog one into reassessing one’s priorities and exerting more self-control. I, for one, am unwilling to participate in digging my own (early) grave just because of an unadmirable inability to do without certain harmful foodstuffs.

These last four years in America and Ireland have made it possible for me to access what the experts have to say on what is still considered an enigmatic illness. Much of what is in print would be laughable if it wasn’t for the suffering it has given rise to. Of particular note is the Simon Wessely school of thought that M.E. is a psychiatric illness. Hillary Johnson, the author of “Osler’s Web,” skilfully details the machinations of Mr Wessely’s precursor at the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) in Georgia. Bureaucrats, far from medical battlefields, evidently feel no compunction when it comes to making sweeping, and grossly inaccurate, statements. How M.E. sufferers could mimic the symptoms of a disease they knew nothing about above and beyond its connection to fatigue, and why whole communities have been so cruelly afflicted, is not something the self-proclaimed experts have deigned to answer. The brief history of governmental, and bureaucratic, reaction to our devastating illness is a lamentable tale of misappropriated funds, lack of scientific rigour, apathy, false beliefs and a few powerful individuals who have utterly abused their disproportionate influence, and who show every sign of suffering themselves from personality disorders and their own egocentric concerns. The CDC misused millions of dollars hallmarked by Congress for M.E., the CFIDS Association of America is no longer under the control of M.E.-afflicted individuals, and consistently avoided answering my queries back when I was in the habit of attempting to contact them, whether by phone or email, and not one of the many ‘experts’ on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis I have written to has shown any interest in observing my doctor’s unique method of treatment. MERGE, Action for M.E., Sarah Myhill. . . the more clout a person or organisation has the less willing they seem to be when it comes to taking on board new paradigms, no matter how sound a scientific backing they possess. Many individuals unassociated with organisations have demonstrated sterling character and have given valuable advice and information, but CFS ‘organisations’ of any scale quickly become mired in dubious investigations of recent trends, and scientific studies focusing on minor metabolic changes rather than on efficacious treatments, or lean towards printing inspirational recovery stories lacking in details of concrete therapies which could account for the narrator’s stupendous improvement. Perhaps they become what is known as ‘institutionalized,’ hidebound and catering to the status quo, clinging to whatever theories they have made an emotional investment in. I penned an article three years ago and only relatively small organisations – such as a health food store in Northern Ireland, apparently, the Wisconsin CFS Association, and a Columbian woman propagating awareness of the nature of CFS in Spanish – have been eager to distribute my story. Enquiries trickle in because of these sources, but the whole exercise of putting together a substantial mail-out yielded little fruit and soured my opinion of the relative value of large institutions which do not take an active role in running to earth a cure to the specific illness which has brought them into being – and kept them in existence.

My personal odyssey of fitting together the pieces of the puzzle called ‘the aetiology of M.E.’ really kicked off at Clymer Clinic, in Pennsylvania. My journey and sojourn there took place thanks to the labours of my living companion, a dab hand at the computer, bless him, but as in the dark as I was, until my recovery began, as to the reasons for my free fall from grace.

There are few residential treatment centres for Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome and still less are there ones affordable to those without considerable means at their disposal. Dr Poesnecker, and Clymer Clinic, cornered the market in some ways, as well as capturing ‘prime time’ by his comparatively ancient websites, which were in existence well before competitors. And this despite his claim that his work with M.E. patients was a hobby of sorts, an adjunct to his chiropractic work. The disadvantages of his modus operandi were soon apparent – as was the major advantage of being a resident at the clinic: we were given a splendid opportunity to observe other CFS-afflicted individuals under treatment – at work and at play, so to speak.

I hasten to fill in a few blanks in my own saga. I am, as of nearly thirty years, an ex-patriot American. Political inclinations and personal sensibilities, or perhaps I should say sensitivity, provided the impetus for my translocation to Europe. For some inscrutable reason I also evidently favour English men, having had long relationships with two of them. Owing to my acquisition of a British accent of sorts after six months in southern England, Americans capable of identifying accents invariably categorize me as British. In terms of my now rare stays stateside, this has stacked the cards in my favour, as Americans have a predilection for the lively cadence of English inflection, but it does cause more than a little chagrin, and, at times, disbelief, when I reveal my true origins (California). And this no doubt placed me in a box all of my own at Clymer Clinic.

The pervading atmosphere at the clinic is perhaps best described as parochial. Aesthetically, the clinic buildings and property had considerable charm and appeal, as the clinic was an off-shoot of the headquarters of the Rosicrucian faith. Nested cosily in the countryside, well outside the nearest town, quaintly dubbed ‘Quakertown,’ spread out alongside a country road, and covering an impressive amount of acreage, the clinic’s real estate included two typical clapboard houses, the White and Blue Sanctuaries, set opposite each other on either side of the main road. The main property was a short stroll down the road. A cluster of hoary – in US terms – edifices comprised the clinic proper, a gracious two storey building with what appeared to be the original, now undulating, wooden floor upstairs, and, nearby, a grand old residence worthy of ‘national trust’ or ‘historic site’ status, opulent in an almost southern fashion, without quite being ostentatious or aristocratic in tone.  A more austere residence with thick stone walls, virtually empty after a fumigation many months before, was also used to house guests when they hosted more or less bi-annual meetings of Dr P’s ‘flock’; well-heeled believers who flew across the country to participate in week-long retreats. I camped out on cushions in the living room for a time, as the upstairs rooms all made me cough and wheeze; the White Sanctuary had by then become too crowded and noisy to be tenable. Behind this solid construction stood their church, a spacious rose garden, and a memorial to a former founding father, as well as various houses consigned to staff members. Considerable effort had been devoted, over the years, to landscaping, and among the acres of lawn there were specimen trees – I remember chestnuts, dogwoods, lilacs, maples and weeping willows, as well as local oaks, hickories, tulip poplars and sumac. I was particularly fond of their massive ginkgo trees, planted in front of the clinic, which turned bright yellow in autumn and scattered their pungent fruit all over the front lawn. Behind the clinic squatted a round pond, with a level walking path encircling it, and the sweeping expanses of grass were all backed by state forest, angling at times gently and at times steeply, down over a boulder-strewn forest floor to a gurgling stream. An idyllic spot to recover one’s health at, one would imagine. Only I didn’t.

I didn’t locate my stray health. I didn’t win any popularity contests, either. I did learn a good deal, losing a large chunk of my personal fortune, and a smaller one of my self-esteem, in the process.

The day I arrived stateside New York City had regaled me with an unusually fresh day, given the season, as it had only just turned September. A local strolling by outside the arrival lounge exclaimed, “Man, I love this weather.” Optimism was the order of the day.

Years living one state south, in Maryland, had acquainted me with mid-East Coast autumns and their freakish moods, and, indeed, the weather became sultry almost immediately and the in-patient houses were mostly stiflingly hot until October. Nights in the upstairs rooms were sweaty, as heat rises. They were never spent in solitary confinement, however. My fellow temporary guests were a shifting panorama of individuals with varied habits, and degrees of affliction, all desperately bent on conquering their illness, as well as, when it came to the overseas clients, lingering jetlag. The most unfortunate of us were those who suffered an extreme hyper-sensitivity to noise. House rules were sketchy and there seemed to be someone slouched in front of the TV at all hours. Now cognizant of the detrimental effects of electromagnetic energy fields, I cringe when recalling how accidentally hot-wired the White House – my first port of call – was: a computer in the short hallway between the three upstairs bedrooms, and a downstairs television and phone in the living room; in the kitchen a microwave and two refrigerators as well as electric stoves. With six bedrooms in what was a modest-sized house, there was a surfeit of human beings when it was full. As fate would have it, by the second week the TV, which had been pumping out an interminable stream of unappetizing programmes, was featuring seemingly end to end repetitive shots of the Twin Towers collapsing in a plume of toxic debris.
Seven months of my life were devoted to chasing after an ever-elusive vision of good health. The company was not of my choosing, the local library a disgrace, the clinic’s organisation sorely lacking, and my improvements ephemeral. Disappointment on a major scale – and yet there did seem to be an answer hovering just out of reach.

“Doc” Poesnecker, soon to succumb to the effects of leukaemia, was the guiding light of the clinic, as well as the equivalent of the Pope in terms of the Rosicrucian faith. His psychological investment in the clinic’s modus operandi was patent, and I was a fool to have initially taken him at his word when he boasted that he’d long ago learned not to involve his ego in his clinical practice. Altogether too many individuals regarded him as a wise and wonderful patriarch and were blinded to his, in some ways, quite dangerous flaws in judgement. In a relatively benevolent fashion he’d become a despot, and no one seemed willing to question, or analyze, the clinic’s customary therapies and approach to disease states, which were based on magnetic machines reputed to support the adrenals and naturopathic practices such as liquorice concoctions for the adrenals, vitamin and mineral supplements, herbal remedies, digestive enzymes, probiotics, hormone cream, essential fatty acids and anti-viral or bacterial agents made from natural supplements, given in copious quantities and with a very circumscribed awareness of the ease with which M.E. sufferers develop sensitivities. A list I held on to dating back to the time when I’d reached maximal dosage looks utterly daunting, in hindsight. I reproduce it in its entirety:

Morning, pre-breakfast:            2 liquorice
                                                1 ginkgo biloba
                                                1 gut permeability factors
                                                1 castor bean oil
                                                2 P100
                                                1 pregnenolone
                                                1 pycnogenol (self-prescribed)
                                                1 evening primrose oil
                                                1 digeszyme 5
                                                1 cap electrolyte formula
                                                ¼-tsp colloidal silver
                                                1 vitamin B2
                                                1 multivitamin
                                                1 biotin
                                                1 calcium complex
                                                1 electrolytes with minerals
10 am:                                      10 drops dioxychlor

Pre-lunch:                                 1 dropper ACE
                                                1 digeszyme
                                                1 liquorice
                                                1 multivitamin
Lunch:                                      1 castor bean oil
                                                1 P100
                                                1 folate
                                                1 gut permeability factors
                                                1 evening primrose oil
3 pm:                                        10 drops dioxychlor
                                                1 dropper ACE

Evening:                                    1 castor bean oil
                                                1 pycnogenol
                                                1 evening primrose oil
                                                1 digeszyme
                                                1 gut permeability factors
                                                1 seriphos
                                                1 calcium complex
                                                1 multivitamin
Bedtime:                                   1 bifidus
Thirty seven doses per day. Phew! My opinion is that Doc just kept tossing remedies at symptoms in the way that visitors to the zoological gardens of my childhood would throw smelly fish to the fat sea-lions, without keeping proper tabs on the exact daily dosage.

The net result was that I developed a luxuriant crop of new symptoms. When I complained to the doctor he advised me to stop taking all the remedies and then to add them back to my schedule one at a time. This seemed excessively time-consuming, as it would obviously take weeks to return to what was, hypothetically, square one, so I compromised by adding them back two at a time. However I contrived it, though, the allergic reactions (diarrhoea, agitation, exhaustion, muddled thinking, etc.) would bloom forth immediately after I reintroduced disparate twosomes of supposedly beneficial supplements.

In other respects I dutifully continued to do their bidding – I trotted across the road to a separate clinic (my health didn’t allow me to undertake the longer strolls to the main clinic and I was given a lift by the housemother, as were most of the other patients) for nutritional analysis, received my daily quota of ‘therapeutic’ electromagnetic energy exposure and waited for up to four hours at the clinic in order to see the doctor. His basic philosophy was to take care of his chiropractic patients, who sometimes drove all the way up from New York City, or New Jersey, first, so that they could return home at a reasonable hour, and to slot in his live-in CFS patients as time allowed. What he didn’t factor into the equation were the long waits we had to endure day after worrisome day. Eventually I quoted an excerpt from his book on CFS which pertained to his opinion that M.E. sufferers could not, above all, deal with long waits, while observing that interminable delays were de rigueur at the clinic. He appeared genuinely astonished. Why hadn’t I mentioned this to the receptionist? As if she had any power over precisely when we saw the doctor.

I do not wish to imply that all of Dr Poesnecker’s methods lacked value. Many of the comments in his book on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome were astute enough to have seduced us into electing to stay at his clinic facilities. An example of this was his request that prospective clients forward a copy of their Adrenal Stress Index test results. This allowed him to rate patients on a scale of I to VI in terms of the degree of their impairment. ‘VI’ was totally bedbound, if not comatose, and ‘VII’ was a corpse: ‘V’s and ‘VI’s never made it to the clinic. I was a ‘IV’; our housemother, for all intents and purposes well before taking up her position at the clinic, was a ‘I’, and I judged ‘I’s accordingly. The pattern of her illness was that of frenetic activity during the workweek, with increasing irritability and exhaustion towards the end of it, then collapse on her day off. She improved when given two days a week off, but some bright spark among the clinic staff, no doubt envious of her extra free day, soon decided that her schedule was unfair on the other workers, who put in six days, and she was clapped back in the harness for six days a week – to the detriment of her health status. Though inherently kind, the illness made her incapable of sound judgement and even temper and the clinic housekeeper, who lived in town and was in no way affiliated with the church or other staff, frequently reiterated to me that it didn’t make sense to have a housemother suffering from CFS in charge of guests stricken with the same incapacitating malady. (She had been offered the job of housemother and unhesitatingly turned it down). The clinic’s live-in staff laboured under the claustrophobic atmosphere that often occurs when one works in an isolated location, with other live-in employees and a demanding, controlling employer.

Another of Dr P’s valuable innovations consisted of his version of the tilt-table test. The person under his care submitted to consecutive blood pressure readings while lying down, sitting up and standing. The readings would plunge when the patient sat up, then stabilise to some degree. The same sequence of events was apparent when patients changed to a standing position. This was for all intents and purposes the hallmark of the M.E.-afflicted.

Blood pressure readings allowed him to closely monitor our health status, as blood pressures could plummet alarmingly – a precursor to patients spiralling into relapses.

The daily clinic routine for house guests began with time at the machines whenever they became available. We’d lay on massage-type tables while box-like ‘Magnatherm’ devices on long jointed arms were manoeuvred into position and switched on, directing “healing energy” at our adrenals and kidneys. They were left on for increment periods of time, up to some twenty minutes for patients who stayed the course. There was also a Tiktok ticking machine, which I would often set myself in order to save time when clinic staff weren’t available. Luckily, chiropractic patients didn’t necessarily require the machine’s services, so the machines were often free, unlike the doctor. He saw us four days a week in spare moments, when he would check our blood pressure, flash a low level laser at problem spots and then massage lumps in the back of our necks three separate times. The lumps were another diagnostic marker of CFS, according to his theories, and the manipulation of them proffered some temporary sense of relief. He also fished for symptoms and altered naturopathic prescriptions accordingly. A graduate of the famous Bastyr University of Naturopathy, he’d attended what may well be the Oxbridge equivalent in the world of naturopaths, but as he was then over seventy I was never clear as to how thoroughly and regularly he’d updated his knowledge base. His case-taking was glaringly sloppy: for instance, he inquired some four times – the first time in sotto voce – if I still menstruated, never noting down the answer, nor did we fill in a patient questionnaire, from what I recall, except for the lengthy one pertaining to the clinic next to the Blue Sanctuary. My folder, a highly pregnant-looking article by the time I left, was simply a stack of blood-pressure readings and brief notes.

Rebellious by nature, an unbeliever, and inclined to question the merit of their proceedings, my popularity at the clinic waxed and waned. Firmly convinced that oversights should be rectified, I tried to coerce the staff into improving our situation or took matters into my own hands when possible.

The general organisation of the place was embarrassingly inept. Although supposedly catering to fragile and often chemically sensitive CFS patients, highly pungent mouse poison was positioned under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, short flimsy curtains hung in the bedrooms (a bane to insomniacs), the fridges were rarely cleaned out, vile-smelling dishwashing liquid permeated the kitchen environment (although the house was sensibly cleaned with nought but H2O), there were no designated quiet periods in our living quarters, the bookshelves were stocked with patriotic rubbish, and the living rooms in both dwellings plus the kitchen in the Blue house were colonized by televisions. The Blue Sanctuary, with only three bedrooms, became my haven when the White Sanctuary became intolerable. There one of my fellow guests, not cursed with M.E., but with severe liver dysfunction, once turned the television under my bedroom on at 7:30am. I straggled blearily down the stairs and remarked that it was 7:30 in the morning, I was suffering from insomnia and the TV had woken me up and was preventing me from sleeping. The woman’s reply was, “We live here too, Clover.”

Why is it that people unreceptive to one’s perception of reality are so eager to bandy one’s name about? Perhaps because it’s the sort of tack scolding parents so often take. In any case, I could hardly ignore her presence in the house as she was very heavy-set and overweight and limped in elephantine mode right by my bedroom door several times each and every night, often waking me up in the wee hours of the morning. I used a potty at night – and tread on cotton wool.

The same woman decided to grill a large roast during her first night in residence. It was so near the oven’s heating mechanism that it caught fire, tripping the fire-alarm and filling the house with an acrid blue-grey haze. I swore loudly when I opened my bedroom door on a smoke-laden scene, coughed my way out the door and phoned the housemother from the White Sanctuary across the road. Life at Clymer Clinic – ho hum. I definitely missed the highly intelligent and attractive 19-year-old Irish woman who was at the White House my first fortnight there. An unusual individual altogether, she spoke French and Russian, had mastered the violin, and hoped to become a judge. She filled me in on all the clinic gossip, treatment modalities and the weekly timetable, gave me instructions in computer use and made the daily grind infinitely more pleasant. I missed her when she’d gone and appointed myself as a ‘tourist guide’ for incoming patients, but I lacked her beauty and diplomacy. I’ve tried to run her to earth to see how she has fared, but have been unable to locate her despite living in the same small country. She blamed a series of injections in the Ukraine as the causative agents in her disease state. Her sleep cycle was particularly bizarre, as she’d be awake for a full twenty-four hours or more and then sleep for an entire day.

The most valuable tip Lefre passed on was her recommendation to make an appointment with the resident kinesiologist. In that respect I carried on her good work. When I finally admonished Dr Poesnecker because for months I’d been the only one informing patients as to his colleague’s presence he manifested what appeared to be genuine surprise. The clinic’s waiting room fronted into the reception area and on either side of the waiting room doors opened into Dr Poesnecker’s and Dr Cushing’s offices, respectively right and left. Dr Cushing would occasionally pop his head out to page a patient, and yet none of the staff let slip that he was the resident allergist and kinesiologist, or that he worked with M.E. patients for a reduced fee. In the end it was Lefre, who pointed me in the direction of Dr Cushing, and Dr Cushing, who recommended Dr Yurkovsky, who were my salvation. Dr P’s protocols were mostly indicative of the type of errors the vast majority of those working with CFS sufferers tend to make.

Dr P flicked in and out of the periphery of one’s vision, ever on the move, on his feet, flitting from patient to patient: white-haired, blue-eyed, rosy-cheeked – and genial, on most days. Dr Cushing, a more introspective type, gave all his patients half an hour of his time at one stretch. Over the months I purchased thousands of dollars of his time in a setting of improvements, discouraging setbacks, more improvements and even greater regressions. What was invaluable, however, were his explanations. He provided reasons, theories, sometimes answers, and even, in his modest, quiet way, psychological support. I felt at sea and a long way from ‘home,’ which I consider a state of being rather than a place. Wherever one is one needs, above all, if not friends, at least people with whom one can establish rapport and trust – people who are willing to explain the basis for their actions.

For the most part Dr Cushing’s work consisted of testing for allergic reactions by using a form of kinesiology (muscle-testing) and then eliminating them one at a time, via NAET, a physical modality based on tapping acupuncture meridians. A very tedious process, as only one allergy can be treated per day. In the event, my body eventually reached some kind of overload plateau and the desensitisations began to unravel in a day or two. Soon we were no further ahead than at the beginning, as long past allergic reactions started to reappear. We applied scientific rigour to the subject and checked out virtually every one of his hundreds of little vials for allergic reactions, discovering in the process that I was sensitive to the majority of more-or-less common substances. I brought in my supplements and medicaments and the outcome there was even bleaker. Then one day I felt distinctly odd when lying under a magnetic machine, so Dr Cushing tested my reactions to its different energy fields. I reacted to the ones I was most frequently subjected to. On the low-level laser: more reactions. The world, evidently, was not my oyster. I was its patsy, more like. And Dr P, for the first time forced to observe his colleague’s mode of operating, and conclusions, was decidedly displeased. Where was the exit to the maze?

It was evidently time to mouth that transcendent three-letter question: why? Why had I become so overwhelmingly sensitive to so many normally benign substances? What was my body telling me?

The allergy expert had a ready answer: something was “poisoning the soil,” skewing my metabolism. I concurred, and ventured the query as to what it might be, although I’d already formulated an answer. He hazarded a guess; an informed conclusion, really, “Mercury.” I perked up and spurted out, “That’s exactly what I thought!” We metaphorically rubbed our hands together and contemplated our next move. I mentioned that I’d heard the name of a heavy metal test (we already had test results from the useless hair analysis method) bandied about at the clinic, naturally by other guests and the receptionist, as Doc was often the last to verbalize useful suggestions. So Dr Cushing arranged for another visit to a doctor at the clinic next to the Blue Sanctuary. As only registered physicians can prescribe pharmaceuticals, this was a necessity. The heavy metal post-chelation urine test entailed ingesting a chelation agent* called DMPS, since fallen into disrepute after reputedly causing adverse reactions, mainly due to its use intravenously.

*A chelation agent is a substance used in the treatment of heavy metal poisoning which binds and isolates metals so  that they can be excreted from the body. This process is called chelation.

The physician was puzzled as to why on Earth I desired a heavy metal test, but complied readily enough. I religiously followed the instructions for ingestion of the chelation agent and urine collection and posted the urine sample off with alacrity and great anticipation. In this interim, while awaiting test results, Dr Cushing prescribed PCA, an expensive liquid one sprays under the tongue. I noticed no improvement in that month – and, of course, was soon reacting to the PCA as I had to all those other substances which I’d put into my mouth.

Circumscribed, dull, provincial places being the breeding-grounds for gossip grapevines that they are, my test results went through the receptionist’s daughter (who worked at the other clinic), the receptionist, Dr Cushing and the housemother before I got word of them. As luck would have it they turned up the day before my period did, not at that point precisely my calmest time of month in regards to temperamental outbursts. I was livid. What had they been doing beating around the bush for all those months, wasting my time and money and wearing my scant patience paper-thin? Why hadn’t anyone suggested a post-chelation heavy metal urine test before?

The reactions of the clinic staff to the outcome of my test were revealing. The receptionist was moved to question why it was that whenever patients didn’t respond to their protocols they always had high mercury levels. Dr Cushing, naturally enough, was happy to have been able to solve at least part of the mystery of my illness. While Doc himself, last to hear the hot news, grumbled, “I’ve seen higher,” as I waved my chart in his face. And what were my test results? Just up to the reference range for aluminium, arsenic, lead, cadmium and tin. Tiny amounts of antimony, tungsten and thallium. And 32 times the upper end of the reference range for mercury. The reference range was up to 3. My level clocked in at 96 – the end of the thick indicative line carried on off the page and would have stretched a number of pages further out. Doc purported to have seen a patient with mercury levels over 200. I glared at him and quipped that I was surprised she was still on her feet.

Granted, no one likes to be proved wrong. But all of us are, at times, and we need to have the grace to admit, reluctantly or no, to having committed errors of judgement. If Dr Poesnecker had admitted that heavy metal toxicity was the lynchpin of M.E., however, that admission would have undermined his life-work. The last day I saw him he felt obliged to repeat that he was sure that something else was at the root of my symptoms, not mercury. “What?” I demanded. He could only remonstrate that he didn’t know. Ironically, he died the next summer of leukaemia, which even medical textbooks link to toxic exposures.

Once I’d vented my spleen on the day of the good-bad news Dr Cushing and I drew up a plan which was to be implemented by the other clinic. Clymer Clinic’s dogsbody, a bland, polite, subservient, pleasant-enough fellow, was the in-house expert on chelation therapy and chipped in as general advisor. The plan was a DMPS capsule taken at as accelerated a pace as possible, which the other clinic set at once a fortnight, followed by an I.V. of vitamins, minerals and glutathione, supplemented by daily doses of chlorella. The first capsule unleashed a twelve-hour washout syndrome which resembled influenza blended with psychosis and a nervous breakdown. I burst into tears at the slightest provocation and therefore made an attempt to wall myself off from any source of stress. The first dose (actually the second as the post-chelation heavy metal urine test dosage was the first) fell smack dab on the day they arranged for a “meeting” between myself and my fellow houseguest, the one who’d switched on the telly at 7:30 in the morning, in order to reconcile our differences of opinion. In the event a lachrymal outpouring (I’m hyper-sensitive to criticism at the best of times) aborted that fiasco. And alas, by dose number four, a long four weeks later, the whole experiment was abandoned, as I reacted to the I.V. by collapsing into a three-hour nap after making my zombie-like return from the clinic next door, and was mind-bogglingly groggy for the remainder of the day. The clinic doctor refused to prescribe DMPS if I did not take my expensive cocktail chaser I.V. as, in theory, DMPS also chelates minerals out of the body, and I’d already become reactive to the chlorella, and thus, for all intents and purposes, I was back in the starting block again.

One of the most important skills one can possess, as I already mentioned, is the ability to be able to judge who is on one’s side, although being able to express oneself well obviously does not go amiss. I made another appointment to pour out my woes to the inimitable Dr Cushing. There I was, chock-full of a virulently poisonous heavy metal, and the clinic refused to prescribe their chelation agent of choice. Not only that, but, given my predilection for developing sensitivities to a wide array of therapeutic agents, I could easily work up an allergic reaction to DMPS, given time.
Dr Cushing, a good listener, and as keen to provide solutions to predicaments as the infamous Sherlock Holmes, stopped in his tracks, apparently experienced some sort of epiphany and scribbled a name and address down on a piece of paper. “Go see this man,” he commanded. Dr Cushing described his therapy as “laser-sharp” and “precise” and said he’d been able to help several patients beyond the scope of the clinic. He was a cardiologist and homeopath who specialized in detoxification and “difficult” patients. Not one to turn my nose up at that hard-won gesture of defiance of the clinic’s status quo, I booked the first possible appointment, three weeks later, with the man who was to become my new doctor.

My partner Simon had by then agreed to join me in several weeks’ time as at that point we’d been apart for over six months. He’d been teaching English in Tenerife while I’d been ploughing through sloughs of despond, occasionally contemplating throwing myself in the local pond seriously enough to ponder whether its depth was sufficient and how difficult it would be to fracture the ice, meeting my rather brain-dead comrades in misfortune and hardly having what anyone would describe as the time of my life while laboriously piecing together the puzzle of the aetiology of my state of chronic illness in the rare lucid moments allowed by my own cognitive dysfunction.

Invariably slow to exchange one chapter of his life for another, Simon finally agreed to come stateside because, among other considerations, he had health problems of his own: IBS, bouts of anxiety, migraines, insomnia, lack of stamina, frequent colds, chocolate addiction and a number of detrimental coping mechanisms. As I had little faith that Clymer Clinic would sort out his health problems, I decided to ask the new doctor, if he looked promising, to fit Simon in as well.

The new doctor, ostensibly my primary caretaker still, presented a complete contrast to Dr Poesnecker: their only salient shared characteristic being short stature. Doc was good-looking, blue-eyed and rosy-cheeked, charming in a somewhat superficial manner, quite dictatorial behind the scenes, unwell himself and lacking in scientific rigour. Dr Yurkovsky was, and is, a scientist at heart. Russian-Ukrainian-Jewish-Christian, he is dark-eyed, sallow and laconic. Blunt, even rude and taciturn on bad days, he is comparatively humorous and expansive on good ones. He makes no exaggerated promises and is short on a good bedside manner, but he is a man of integrity. Homeopaths will recognize a Sulphur type: the brilliant, independent scientist bent on forging a new path.

By the time I passed the threshold of Dr Yurkovsky’s office I was exhausted, having made a long bus journey from Quakertown to New York City and then commuted between stations via the subway before hopping on the Metro North line out of Grand Central to Chappaqua. He sat quietly behind his desk, directed his intense gaze at me and asked me what he could do for me with a mien so serious that I was quaking in my booties. I pulled my rabbit out of my hat: my shocking heavy metal test result. “Yes,” he said, “Your mercury level is very high.” Was I in the right place? Wasn’t he an expert in chelation? An uninspiring start, but indeed he was, and a crème de la crème expert at that.

It has been a very time-consuming, very hard road to better health. My mercury level was extraordinarily high, my illness entrenched, and Dr Y’s new innovations which cause detoxification to move forward at a much more rapid pace have only been made over the last year. When I was informed that chelation with DMPS would take six months to five years I yelped in anguish, but I have now been detoxifying for four years and the finishing line is still uncertain. In fact, there is no definitive finale, for, in our highly toxic world, most people must detoxify from time to time in order to maintain good health.

That afternoon I possessed no crystal ball, no way to predict the outcome of this unique therapy and scant knowledge of the effects of mercury poisoning. His basic premise that pernicious agents, and, in particular, mercury, lodged in disparate organs and tissues cause all degenerative and chronic disease states, the name of the illness being largely superfluous, made complete sense, so I was enthusiastic about his method of detoxification, which was based on prescribing a carefully fine-tuned sequence of homeopathic remedies derived from toxins, followed by homeopathic organ support. Each protocol was worked out individually, based on testing using a form of Applied Kinesiology, and regiments of vials of homeopathic dilutions of pernicious factors and anatomical parts. Which organs are intoxified depends on genetic weaknesses and stresses (whether pathogens, cold, injury, over-use of specific organs or areas of the human anatomy, degree of exposure, etc.) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients, judging from the limited number we’ve tested and treated, show involvement of the HPA* axis, lymphatic system and kidneys as well as a complex but individualistic medley of other organs. Depressed patients almost invariably harbour toxins in their emotional centres (amygdala), women with menstrual difficulties will be afflicted with a poisoned pituitary gland and/or hypothalamus or ovaries. And so on.


I experienced a surge of energy after the initial protocol and Simon happily accompanied me on the next visit. Unfortunately, at that stage my reputation at Clymer Clinic was at an historic low; for one, house guests tended to desert the Blue Sanctuary either because it was more expensive than the White one or because I was unsociable, at times morose, and staff members felt I was appropriating the place. I’d also ceased to patronize Doc’s therapies due to allergic reactions and was hardly a walking advertisement for his methodology, having gotten worse rather than better despite six months in situ. Simon was being treated by Dr Cushing, however, and we had informed the housemother that we would move on some time in the next two weeks. And then, abruptly, we were asked to leave; an unkind gesture, given the fact that I’d made no secret of long-term plans.

Given a day or two to pack our belongings, this left us in a quandary as to alternative accommodation. Dr Yurkovsky had been very up-front about the prerequisite of my living locally for the first five months of what would be long-term treatment, so we could hardly beeline for the European continent. The greater New York City area is infamously expensive, noisy, polluted, and, in my mind, a dismal place to set up housekeeping. And one of the reasons Dr Y’s cutting-edge therapy, dubbed Field Control Therapy, is not more popular is because patients have to avoid electromagnetic fields (EMFs) during the course of the regimes – which in those days in my case could last up to ten days, although these days they usually last no more than three days. NYC was infinitely fraught with peril in that respect, not the sort of place to stroll about in and expect to avoid mobile phones, motors, elevators, fluorescent lights and computers. North of the city, near where the doctor rented his office, was upmarket and poorly endowed in temporary lodgings. We decamped in haste and headed to Manhatten for my third protocol, where I huddled in a tiny room in the YMCA, urinated into plastic bottles, as there were fluorescent lights in the toilet block, and ate picnic food while Simon cavorted about the city until the wee hours. Luckily, an odd guardian angel in the form of a working class Brit materialized at our next port of call. Despite spending lavishly on a three-week tour of North America which included NYC, Quebec City, “Mexico,” New Orleans and L.A., he was lodging at a hostel in Harlem. He offered me his Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York guidebook. Somehow he’d only managed to squeeze the Big Apple into his East Coast itinerary. The guide was a godsend because it was soon crystal clear to me that the New Jersey coast – the last sort of holiday resort I’d ever consider normally – was virtually made to order: good public transport to the city, compact, walkable town centres, hotels at affordable prices, EMF-free beaches to walk on and cleaner air than in NYC. After a few days of analyzing the pros and cons of various seaside resort Meccas we headed for the most likely option, Ocean Grove, and Simon – polite, still young and cute, and in possession of that ever-popular English accent Americans so love – was offered an apartment which was free for the space of several months before the next tenant moved in, as the previous occupant had recently died of cancer. As the rent was eminently affordable we snapped it up, and for five months my life became a routine of commuting several hours each way to Chappaqua and back every week or two. Hardly a life of my choice, though I adored Grand Central’s white marble opulence and the oasis of calm it became outside rush hour, as well as the multitudinous small gardens of Ocean Grove with their emphasis on a wide array of herbaceous perennials with showy blossoms. Though I continued to improve at a laborious pace the detoxification protocols were an endurance test, as they always laid me flat – not quite psychosis plus nervous breakdown plus influenza but perilously close. Almost like having a relapse – funny coincidence, that. Or perhaps not.

After five months we moved to Ireland and Dr Yurkovsky continued to treat me long distance. Simon, unenamoured with the subjects taught at Galway University, and yet intent on pursuing higher education, decided to sign up for a five-year course in naturopathic medicine. Although he is the son of a nurse and a doctor he had never seriously considered a career in medicine before. Passing eight years in the study of the very form of medicine that had been so grossly inadequate when it came to rendering any useful assistance in our manifold health problems would have seemed ludicrous. Naturopathy, despite Dr Poesnecker’s manifest shortcomings, gave off more allure.

It was soon apparent, however, that heavy metal toxicity was as overlooked by many alternative medicine practitioners as it was by their mainstream counterparts, and that most forms of alternative medicine were unable to target toxins. By then we had both devoted considerable time to researching, through the internet and several well-known publications, the effects of mercury amalgams, and heavy metal toxicity, and were familiar with the salient points of the issue as well as the major researchers’ articles. To wit: mercury is the second most toxic substance known to man; ‘silver’ amalgams are approximately 50% mercury, are a bigger source of mercury poisoning than fish, and they leak poisonous vapour; mercury toxicity can cause a huge range of symptoms, depending on where the cursed stuff lodges; it has a special affinity for fatty tissue – i.e., the brain and bone marrow and the lymphatic and endocrine systems, and it is not easy to chelate out of one’s system – and in particular out of the brain. One practitioner dubbed putting mercury into amalgams as “the most expensive medical mistake in the history of the world.” A talk by one of Ireland’s mercury-free dentists included an x-ray of a patient’s head whose mouth was crammed to capacity with amalgam fillings. It turned out to be a photo of a man with grave psychological and physical health impairment; Hitler. Daily beatings from his father with the neighbours bearing witness, amalgams from an early age, descent into Borderline behaviour and Parkinson’s and a fall from grace so thorough that no one dares to name their son Adolf to this day. What can I say? Simply that I do wonder what his heavy metal chart would have looked like. With only one amalgam ever I probably wouldn’t have survived this long if my teeth had been less intact.

We’ve lived in Ireland over three years now. Simon is a qualified acupressurist and is on the verge of completing his course in homeopathy. And we both practise Field Control Therapy.

Long distance treatment had not worked very well for me. The gap between my relaying my then current symptoms to Dr Yurkovsky and the arrival by UPS of the actual protocols sometimes spanned a week, and self-testing has made it abundantly clear that I am what is termed a volatile patient – that is to say, the toxins in my cells shift about rapidly, probably as they are offloaded from my overburdened lymphatic system, and in response to EMFs. Six months of daily exposure to a neighbour’s coal smoke also nullified much of FCT’s effect during that time period, though it took me no little while to identify the reason why my washouts had become so mild. And then the herbicide the landlord sprayed so liberally on the drive and edges of the flowerbeds set off a new symptom I still struggle with: peripheral neuropathy. This disturbing turn of events began the first time the landlord sprayed herbicide around the yard (I was in town at the time). Although I begged him not to repeat that scenario he used his own faulty logic and reasoned that it would do no harm to drench the back part of the property and drive in the same organophosphate brew. The idea that I, because I tend the garden, or the cat, because she can not do otherwise, crossed the drive a good deal, or that the resident feline jumps into my lap after wading through the herbicide, had evidently not entered his head. When I registered that the weeds in the back garden were bleaching yellow and dying simultaneously with the resurfacing of my numb-hands-at-night syndrome I put two and two together and realized that the herbicide was the culprit. I am now so sensitive to it that I dare not weed the flowerbeds once edged in herbicide – or pet the cat too often. It seems that a few molecules of that particular formula are enough to bring on a return of peripheral neuropathy. We are now searching for a new abode in hopes of ameliorating my problems with chemical sensitivity disorder. In the meantime, I nip fresh exposure in the bud by detoxifying as often as possible. I’m able to do this because my partner decided that, rather than attending one of Dr Y’s infrequent seminars in the U.S., he would ‘bring the mountain to Mohammed’ and contrive to host a seminar in Ireland. His college agreed – for a price – to do mailouts in England, and Simon volunteered himself as our doctor’s seminar organiser in Britain and Éire. I was conscripted to do donkey work such as addressing interminable envelopes as well as struggling to wrest sense and proper syntax from the doctor’s idiosyncratic English, which had obviously been torturously translated from Russian, losing a fair amount of coherence in the process by way of incorrect grammar, word usage and syntax. The seminar synopsis was forwarded to us three days before the seminar and panic ensued when we read it. Nevertheless, we managed to piece everything together, albeit some of it at the very last minute, and the first two seminars, held in October 2004 in Dublin and London, were fully booked and a great success, considering Simon’s lack of experience at the time. I attended the Dublin one as a ‘star’ patient, as I was too unwell to manage three days ‘on the trot.’ Simon wore his faculties to a frazzle answering queries, locating venues, unravelling the intricacies of Dr Y’s technique and attempting to please all and sundry. The doctor and most of the attendees appeared to enjoy the event, in which he elucidated his theories extremely well, but there was no denying that everyone there would have fallen short in terms of mastering the testing modality and algorithm if Simon hadn’t elected to hold additional workshops. While a few of us – mainly individuals with previous experience in kinesiology – began to put Field Control Therapy (FCT) into practice straight away, it has taken over a year for the community of FCT practitioners to grow to the unimpressive figure of ten. My years as a patient handling large quantities of homeopathic remedies, in all their potencies, my use of kinesiology to test for allergies, and my sheer delight at the prospect of breaking free of the heavy financial burden of doctor’s fees, as well as Simon’s invaluable assistance concerning how to put the therapy into practice, meant that I took to FCT like a duck to its liquid element. Being at last able to master the previously obscure intricacies of FCT gave me such a feeling of accomplishment that I lost little time in putting it into practice and testing and treating the tortoise-shell puss, Simon, and fellow FCT students.

One fact has become glaringly obvious: everyone carries toxic burdens. Although the algorithm (the testing sequence) now no longer includes working up heavy metal and xenobiotic* toxic burdens, I did test using that former method for nearly a year, and can attest to the veracity of my doctor’s statement that mercury, in the form of ‘Silver Amalgam,’ ‘Mercury Vivus’ or ‘Mercury Solubis/Argent Metallicum,’ is the most ubiquitous toxin. Lead is also a leading player, and one can need any number of protocols to dislodge it. Other common undesirable lodgers include pesticides, herbicides, arsenic, cadmium, tin, petrol, nickel, etc. etc. A depressing picture, on the whole, as these residues remain hidden in our cells and are present in food, water, air, ‘silver’ amalgams, fish, paint, coal smoke (in the form of mercury and sulphur), cosmetics and other everyday materials. And they maim and kill.

*Organic substances that are foreign to the body such as drugs and organic poisons.

Self-treating proceeds in a style rather different to that of being the good doctor’s client. No longer one of a line of ailing patients, I am my own first priority patient. I can linger over testing, paw over medical textbooks, test and retest, and ponder variables. I am familiar with my complicated medical history inside out, can experiment on myself if need be free of ethical considerations one would apply to patients, and I generally test the day I begin the protocol. I can also pick up on all of the ‘rogue elements,’ because what was clearly in evidence when I had worked up a few protocols was that while Dr Y goes for the ‘big fish,’ that is, the priority toxins, when I tested a whole slew of minor players were present and vying for attention. For nearly a year, above and beyond the toxin-plus-organ-sarcode* basic protocols, I was kept busy winkling out those ‘rogue elements’: residues from antibiotics, including some fourteen rounds of treatment for tetracycline, thanks largely to two years of daily tetracycline for teenage acne, as well as all those non-organic eggs; vaccines (MMR; polio; DPT; tetanus and typhoid: homeopaths take note of this as I am of the tubercular miasm group); pharmaceuticals; quinine; ionizing radiation; tranquilizers and more – including three pathogens at the very beginning related to gut dysbiosis. Now treatments have been whittled down for the most part to main protocols, and treatment for scar and physical trauma and those opportunistic organisms which take advantage of a depressed immune system. Physical trauma is tackled with classical homeopathy, usually Natrum Sulphuricum or Arnica, and the effect can be mild or dramatic. It can also unlock hidden layers; recently I’ve been attempting to pull Herpes Zoster out of the trigeminal nerve, although it must have remained locked in my nervous tissue since my tango with childhood chickenpox, it has only surfaced of late. Dr Y describes his approach of stripping off layers of toxins as being like peeling successive layers of skin off an onion. As pernicious factors are offloaded new ones appear, sometimes with alarming fresh symptoms advertising their presence. At one point my joints and muscles were suddenly causing me excruciating pain in a radically new manner, and when I searched for the culprit it was ionizing radiation. The remedy is taken on its own, with no follow-up organ support, and the 48-hour washout bowled me over, after which the agonizing joint pain was miraculously better. A similar effect occurred with the tetanus vaccine remedy and nerve pain, as tetanus is a disease which targets nervous tissue. Little did I suspect that toxins and pathogenic substances could so easily affect nervous tissue – or that they could provoke such obscure and variable symptoms.

*A sarcode is a homeopathic remedy made from an organ or tissue and used to treat that particular organ or tissue.

The second round of seminars – this time a sole Basic seminar as well as an Advanced one – were held in July (2005) in Dublin. I’d already watched the Basic seminar on DVD and took notes in order to help Simon, who was putting together short explanations as to what areas were covered in each disc. I was just well enough to attend all three days of the Advanced Seminar, the most enjoyable aspects of which were meeting so many of the people who had been phoning and emailing regularly since the first seminar and learning how to incorporate Dr Yurkovsky’s improved algorithm. I currently help to train a few people who live near Galway, but don’t have the opportunity to liaise with other practitioners, as EMF sensitivity makes it wiser to avoid phones and computers as much as possible.

The new method is, hearteningly, more efficacious and much easier to administer. Rather than having to deal with a protocol of homeopathic heavy metals and xenobiotics at 15-second intervals on the first day, followed by organ support at (usually) one hour intervals, with the organ support sarcodes repeated on several subsequent days, now DNA ‘scrapings’ are incorporated into some of the organ support sarcodes, the gaps between drops range from twelve to two hours, and less days are generally required. The longest time lapses, and the highest potencies, show up early in the protocols as these are the most intensely intoxicated areas of the body. Small homeopathic vials dubbed ‘filters’ are utilized for testing, and ones labelled First to Fifth Degenerative Organ State and First to Tenth Stressed Organ State, allow us to gauge the depth of organ impairment, as does a vial marked ‘Vitality.’ As patients improve, the number of symptoms diminishes, and energy levels are enhanced, but remaining symptoms can become temporarily more intense. Organs will register a lesser degree of affliction, but flare-ups can occur in the case of re-exposure or undue stress. An anti-candida diet must also be adhered to for a considerable period of time, and a healthy lifestyle will go far towards allowing one to continue to progress. Practitioners soon learn to spot patients likely to stay the course, and which organs are implicated, according to symptoms, although there are some organs that can be gravely compromised, such as members of the cardiovascular system, even though the person has few obvious outward signs. Cognitive dysfunction, and brain involvement, are common, owing to the dental profession’s penchant for placing mercury in our mouths. Emotional Centre is the organ of choice in cases of depression, anxiety, worry and mood swings, while Frontal Lobe or Cerebral Cortex relates to cognitive dysfunction: memory loss, spelling difficulties and cross-wiring. Hypothalamus malfunction may be diagnosed by outbursts of anger, loss of libido, exhaustion, food cravings, poor temperature control and irregular thirst – or any one of these. Interesting enough, the only two patients I’ve treated in which no ‘Silver Amalgam’ was evident in their organs were felines. Human beings sans fillings usually are exposed to silver amalgam while in the womb. The cats, by-the-by, responded very well to Field Control Therapy, which cleared up skin infections with hair loss and vomiting.

In order to address the sceptical among you who may baulk at the idea that heavy metal toxicity is the lynchpin in the aetiology of M.E., I feel a compunction to draw your attention to the heavy metal post-chelation urine test results of the ex-Clymer Clinic patients I kept in touch with. Keep in mind that the upper end of the ‘normal’ range was 3 and compare that to these results: 45; 48; 66; 73; 84 and 96 (one person – my favourite at the clinic – unfortunately managed to reach the exact same level as myself). As to the efficacy of DMPS or DMSA (Kelmer) – of those who opted for DMPS or DMSA chelation one recently finished a nursing course; another ended up with an acoustic neuroma and the third still sends me rare, exquisitely expressed emails packed with typographical and spelling errors. Patients using DMSA are not advised to avoid EMFs and organs are not sufficiently protected from redistribution of toxicity.

As to myself – I no longer suffer from relapses or the exhaustion that typifies M.E. or many of the other severe symptoms I had in the past. During my month in Madeira I was able to go on long hikes, visit gardens, shop and travel around the island on public transport – with the proviso of lugging along my heavy FCT equipment and detoxing once a week while I was there. However, my immune system is undoubtedly still below par and I suffer from a number of recalcitrant health problems: tinnitus, a tendency to bladder/urethra infections, mood swings, swollen finger joints, digestive disturbances and allergic reactions. I continue to self-treat, and closely follow Dr Y’s latest innovations. I also have been working as an FCT therapist – with a small number of individuals – for over a year.

I gaze out over my vanishing illness, lingering symptoms and squandered energies and hark to the refrain, ‘Where do I go from here?’ With this in mind I invite you to confer with me in hopes that you may shed some light on a problem of unwieldy proportions and no clear solution. It is this: millions suffer from CFS, millions more suffer from chronic illness. Toxins, lodged in our cells and tissues – and even in the DNA itself – block normal metabolic processes and cause these disease states. The very best preventative and curative approach to chronic illness consists of dislodging, and helping the sufferer to safely excrete, these pernicious agents in a carefully orchestrated manner, so as to largely prevent redistribution of toxins and aggravations of symptoms. However, this paradigm is not in fashion and attempting to convey this apparently unacceptable truth to the uninformed has more often than not engendered a far from friendly response. Clapping hands together may have saved Tinkerbell, but it will do naught for us. The clamour of a million voices, however, might well do. Please carefully consider this paradigm – and ensure that your health care practitioner, M.E. association, family, friends and fellow sufferers do as well. We need to seize the future and to drag it into the present. Mercury-free dentistry and the best and safest chelation possible should be a majority practice, not the domain of a small vanguard. When that happens, no one will be able to consign CFS to the realm of ‘psychosomatic’ illnesses any longer, and I, and many others, can devote ourselves to happier tasks than that of endlessly arguing with obstinate relatives, mainstream practitioners and M.E. ‘experts’ as to the nature of chronic illness – and M.E.

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© Copyright 2007 Clover Kreger

Disclaimer: The information at this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The content of this website comprises only the observations and opinions of the authors and contributors: it does not constitute medical advice to readers.