To Catch an Arsonist

So one day you get a really bad (not necessarily terrible but not mild) flu and you just never recover from it. You can’t get over how you can’t recover from this flu. A month goes by. You’ve tried and continue to try everything. You talk to friends and family. They say you might have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (“What’s THAT?”). You look into it. The description fits.
Proceed 10 years down the road and find you have taken every possible other road (really, it’s infinite and continues to expand with these far out “remedies”) and still wake up every day in shock over feeling like you must be hung over (“Where was I last night?”) and had been hit by a Mack truck. Many of you reading this will remember all the similar cliché’s that are not really cliché’s but genuine attempts to put into words the sensation of having been dead for a month and then resurrected in the corrupted body, but they essentially came out similar to the “run over” analogy. You’ll remember all the ways you yourself have tried to describe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or Lyme or ME, or this and that – it keeps changing).
You’ve called it many things and you’ve been called many things. Despite the millions of us affected and the ability to contact others since the advent of the internet. (Imagine this life with no contact but the occasional low budget flier from a ME/CFS or Fibromyalgia group you heard about an hour or two’s drive away.) By now you’re familiar with the dead fish eyes you get from the “Specialist” – say a neurologist –, and you’ve probably seen more than one pair. It’s a clear look of hatred. They despise you for being sick and taking up their time. They prefer someone to whom they can give a fancy new MS drug, or someone with a genuine fancy brain tumor in which they can famously participate, probably by referral to an Ivy League, all of which, now, are dead, brown ivy. (And these “Specialists” don’t do much else, when it comes right down to it.)
Fast-forward another 10 years. Now you’re the cultivator of the new green ivy. Yes. There is nothing quite like being shat-upon by everyone for the clever to emerge, reminiscent of the Resistance fighters’ in Europe during World War II. Intelligence, ciphers, and de-ciphers. Think about it.
The mysterious Great Imitator and its more virulent cousin, Borrelia – the thing that manages to trouble all kinds of species, not just humans as Syphilis does? And the U.S.A. Government claims to not know how it makes people ill, despite the two famous crimes of Tuskegee “Bad Blood” and Guatemala Syphilis “studies,” the results of which were never published? That makes the two endeavors not experiments but the product of sick minded individuals with a little too much enthusiasm – enthusiasm more reminiscent of the bored little wannabe hero fireman who set fires he can then famously (among themselves) extinguish.
This time, the arsonists were caught. Just like plain old regular arsonists ran out of luck when gas chromatography enabled forensic scientists to identify an accelerant (gasoline, diesel), along came the Toll Like Receptors and other biochemical means to identify just what the OspA molecule was. The Great Detonator of the post-septic shock condition of the immune systems of Chronic Fatigue, Lyme, Fibromyalgia, Somatoform, “Medically Unexplained,” etc., etc., nonsense syndromes (and even the paranormal, since that’s the actual definition of a somatoform phenomenon), turns out to be fungal toxins. Fungal toxins from a not-regular-bacteria-but-ancient-phylum, or from Moldy New England (and Old England) environment, or from some combination of dual infections like Flu-Moniaâ, … the true mechanisms of which soon later exploded the other crisis of our time, the Autism pandemic.
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