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Wednesday, June 26, 2019
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It’s All About Money

Bonnye MatthewsGuest Blog from Bonnye Matthews


In 1988 I had an explosive reaction to something at work. In seconds I went from normal to abnormal. I had difficulty controlling my arms and legs, difficulty speaking in a normal voice, and I had great mental blanks. I needed to write an email and couldn’t remember how to use the computer. This followed an employee’s entering my office drenched in perfume. I literally thought I’d lost my mind.

I’d been poisoned. It was common in the 1980s and 1990s. People were poisoned from carpets, from aircraft construction, from painting vehicles for the war in Iraq, driving school buses, living in mobile homes, and so on. They were also poisoned by mold.

People were not accorded the medical or legal attention that was appropriate. I could not understand. One of my friends assured me I needed to see an attorney. I made an appointment. The attorney told me that I was out of luck. I’m not one impressed by luck. I asked what he meant. He told me that the economy of the USA would crash if they took care of the poisoned people. I was utterly outraged. I was having difficulty thinking, walking, and speaking. I was very sick. A doctor who “detoxed” patients told me he wouldn’t touch me with a ten foot pole, because he’d likely kill me. I didn’t realize that many doctors expected me to die. Meanwhile, though many tried to make unfounded assumptions, over the years people speculated I had some kind of psychological or psychiatric problem, but not one ever produced a diagnosis. A neuropsychological assessment showed that I’d lost a huge amount of IQ points. My ability to concentrate was at 6%. I had trouble in my brain, but it was because of the damage from poisoning: brain mapping showed that I saw three things with my left eye and two with my right eye; signals from my hands and feet no longer went to the motor cortex but rather bounced all over the brain avoiding the motor cortex altogether except for the right foot which transmitted to the hand on the wrong side of the brain; information arrived at the hippocampus way too late and too feeble to be useful. That doctor told me I could lose the ability to move and communicate based on what he saw. A PET scan showed a lesion on my left hippocampus and uncus. A SPECT scan showed vascular thinning not like Alzheimers. I had developed acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) and porphyria cutania tarda (PCT). Those are diseases of the metabolic pathway of the production of heme for hemoglobin. Attacks of AIP can lead to respiratory failure and PCT to terrible skin lesions from sun contact and both can contribute to liver cancer. In addition the poisoning gave me asthma, and I had severe reactions to a massive number of substances. Some reactions were from porphyria and others were from chemical sensitivity.

Doctors from the University of Washington and Group Health decided to do a study. I was a participant. I went to the study and was outraged. The study was not a study. I called one of the creators of the study, Gregg Simon, MD. I told him I was outraged at what they did. It was not a scientific study at all. His response was, “If you get me the money, I’ll do the study right.” As long as I live I’ll never forget his words. The attorney told me it was all about money. The medical people were saying the same thing. I was dumbfounded. These people in service occupations were focused on money, period. Those who funded that so-called study got what they paid for. It should go down in infamy. It did come to the University of Washington as a complaint. Some of the reviewers were outraged, but their reactions were quashed. I contributed to the complaint, but wasn’t part of it. Money? I have no proof of that.

Meanwhile medical doctors were literally making fun of people who had been poisoned. One doctor who literally performed initial reviews on chemically poisoned patients for the State of Washington and also was paid to review those cases, literally said that people who claimed to be poisoned ought to have a rocket set off under their butts. They pretended people who’d been poisoned were lazy or crazy or both. It was cruel. The doctors knew the truth but their reports were often clearly something from a word processing machine. Poisoned patients shared them. Mine was hilarious. The doctor used all the State of Washington terminology when I was a federal government worker.

I worked as an advocate for a while. Eventually I realized I was being defined as a disabled person and I had been doing everything on earth to recover. I was a virtual workaholic and separation from work was totally frustrating. With no help whatsoever, I learned to rewire my brain. I learned to see one thing instead of several. I learned to walk and use my hands to hold things instead of dropping them. It took work, hard work. I learned to use sticky notes in place of my brain for remembering.

Eventually I moved to Alaska and began to improve slightly. It is likely the cleaner air made a difference. I took heart.

Then I discovered a great wonder. I think of it as my miracle. It was a training DVD from Canada. A friend of mine who’d been poisoned at NASA insisted I buy the course and try it. It had made a huge difference for her. I looked at the website and wrote her back that there was no science on the website. At her insistence I bought it and tried it. It taught me how to cure the chemical sensitivity. I still had porphyria and asthma, but the chemical sensitivity and brain fog that would come with it was cured in half a day! The course uses neuroplasticity exercise to cure the problem. To explain it at the website, I realized, would have enabled some people to cure the problem without the course. Money.

After my cure of the chemical sensitivity, I was overjoyed. I let the doctors I knew who had poisoned patients know. I let people who worked as advocates of injured workers know. The reaction instead of joy was utter skepticism at best. How could I be cured of chemical sensitivity in half a day? I said I’d developed it in less time than that, and that they should look at me. The evidence was visible. I could take the top off a bottle of cologne and have no extreme heightened sense of smell and no reaction. My sense of smell had normalized! They were not interested. Patients weren’t interested. I was dumbfounded. Finally someone explained: doctors made money from it; advocates had carved out niches where they felt important; patients were happy in their new norm.

I was one of those poisoned people. But today I’m an author of a series of novels. Each novel has won an award and the award reviewer called me America’s pre-eminent writer of prehistoric fiction. A national book reviewer exclaimed over the series. My story in more detail is on the DVD at the link below. In it you can see the brain scans and hear the doctor tell me things nobody wants to hear. What’s important to keep in mind is that the human is resilient and will power can carry people to success when all is pitted against it. The government left me in poverty as soon as they could get doctors to say they couldn’t see anything. It was all about money. Now I’m hoping the novels and my current work, novellas on the peopling of the Americas BEFORE the Ice Age will ultimately supply enough money to live on comfortably. Until then it’s still about money. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dadn3Oz0SOU

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