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What and Whom Have I Infected?

April 07, 2013 By: kajay Category: Tips

Jan, a fellow sufferer, has asked me some good questions whose answers I thought I should share. Before I tell you what she asked or give you my answers, I will put them into perspective:

BODY, HOUSE, WORK, CAR?

This started for me when I was carrying a gobbler out of the woods over my shoulder. I should have waited until his carcass cooled. I picked up some kind of a mite from him, but thought my house was infested with fleas. At the same time, two other things occurred: mosquitoes began homing in on me and leaving others alone, and I developed horrible restless legs syndrome. When I bombed the house, I would be okay for a few days, then had to bomb again. This reinforced my belief that the problem was the house.

House

Before moving from there, my ex-husband refinished the wood flooring and replaced the built-in carpet. We painted and cleaned and left what I believe was an immaculate house. The buyers still live there and for five years knew where to find us, and never contacted us. For this reason, I believe they are ok. (I know if it had been me, and I had believed I caught something from the house, I would have contacted the sellers.)

Work

In 1998 or 1999, I forget which now, my shop moved to a different location with carpet, and an intern came to train with me for a month. She spoke of having to do extraordinary things to prepare for body for sleep. She said she had to put vaseline on her eyelashes. She left me with Morgellons.

Car

I really didn’t have a problem with my car until the Morgellons. I did not think of them as pinprick bites. I thought of them as ICE pick bites. When I fled work at the end of each day of misery and tears and definitely reduced productivity, I would take off my shoes and see that my feet were covered with black dots. If I touched my feet, whatever it was would get on my hands and start biting them too.

Q&A

Thank you so much for sharing about how you stay social and safe. Do you never go to people’s homes? Did you infect someone who is now sick? Have you infected anyone who simply has some symptoms, but is not sick? I think sharing a car with someone may be particularly dangeorus. What do you think? Also, do you know of any sites you have infected?

I will take these one at the time. Also, I realize that since I live only with my husband and have no children or grandchildren around, it is much easier to make my claim of not infecting anyone. I absolutely believe that a lot of close contact makes transmission inevitable. My heart goes out to those who do have families and whose families have become infected.

Do You NEVER Go to People’s Homes?

Never if I can help it. And no matter what, absolutely not if I am having a crawly day. The body lotion and clothing spray recipes I developed over time years ago, and “combing” every single night year in and year out make most of my days uncrawly and, as far as I can tell, shed free. If I must go to someone’s home, I say that something in their house is making my throat close up, and that, gosh, I must be allergic to something in their home. I make a hasty departure and leave them apologizing. They do not usually ask me back, and if they do, I remind them about my allergies.

Have you infected someone who has some symptoms but who does not
otherwise seem sick?

Did you infect someone who is now sick?

In answer to the first question, yes; my husband. They get on him when he is (very) close to me but die within a day or two.

In answer to the second question, yes; my mother. She caught it when I had to care for her in her last year with lung cancer.

I have avoided infecting others by avoiding personal contact and shared surfaces, and I avoid leaning over them. Sometimes people just grab us and shake our hand, or give us a hug or kiss. If I see them coming, I can hold up a hand and say, “Hold it! I’ve got to ask you something.” If that doesn’t look like it is going to work, or if they just grab my hand or hug me, I smile and say in a low voice like I’m telling a secret, “Do you have some ZICAM?” If they don’t know what it is, I say, “You know, that stuff for colds.” If they don’t know that Zicam is to prevent a cold when we think we are coming down with something, they will assume I am already sick. If they do know what it is, they will still stay away. It works. If I am where a lot of people are likely to do the same thing, I wait for a break in conversation and then say, “Say, does anyone happen to have any Zicam on them?” I watch them scurry. My host can’t wait for me to go.

NO one at my workplace has ever gotten sick from this. Early on, when I thought this was environmental, I disclosed about the bites to get my workplace sprayed or when that failed to get permission for me to spray. No go. My solution was to buy a large custom antistatic mat (cost a fortune) and to keep it cleaned with the only thing I am allowed to use, the disinfectant wipes they issue us. It is my little island in a sea of commercial carpet. Becoming the office maid and vacuuming my area daily and the whole office (six workspaces) weekly helped – a lot. Later, once I learned the problem was systemic and not just environmental, I again asked to spray, because I wanted to do everything I could to ensure I didn’t infect others. Again they turned me down. The antistatic mat, which I have taken with me through two moves, is the best investment I have made for my work environment. I just roll under my chair daily with a lint roller and then use my disinfectant wipes. I clean my keyboard with a couple of paintbrushes, removing debris straight onto my lint roller, and then use sharp-edges like business cards to clean out the crevices in my mouse. I rejected the optical wireless mouse they offered me because it had too many places that would be difficult to clean. I just said the old corded one was more comfortable to use.

Is sharing a car with someone particularly dangerous?

It probably would be with a bench seat and a regular companion. Remember above I said I avoid sitting on the same surface, especially if it is upholstered. Having a console in the middle kind of keeps things concentrated on my side of the car, plus people very seldom ride with me, and I do whatever I can to keep it that way. I use my environmental spray on my car every six months and occasionally toss a couple of menthol crystals under my seat. I vacuum my car every week or two. I seldom have a problem in my car and when I do, it is usually because I missed my six month spraying, because about the eighth month is when I start seeing problems if I miss my six month spraying, both in my car and in my home.

Do you know of any sites (places) you have infected?

Years after I picked up whatever I got that made me think I had fleas, I shared a chair, keyboard, and computer with an intern I was training. She left me with Morgellons. We soon moved to a new workspace, and the office I left behind was renovated and the rooms converted into our IT shop. So I got lucky and no one got it from that spot. It was in my new workspace that I began to experience the needle prick bites that felt more like ice picks. That was when I first begged my employer to spray and they not only refused to spray, they also prohibited me from spraying. It was also about then that I realized the problem was systemic (in my body). That was when I started vacuuming my area daily and our whole office weekly. No one else caught it. We stayed there for several years then were moved to semi-permanent buildings to work while the building was gutted and completely renovated. We are now in the new building and I still have my antistatic mat. Thanks to computers, I have been able to eliminate about twelve boxes of research materials and I am able to keep my area clean clean clean. I rarely leave my workspace but when I do it is only to cross a carpeted area that is vacuumed weekly. The carpets are new and have an antimicrobial feature (lucky).

For many of you, what has worked for me is moot for you because your symptoms are more obvious or more intense. The reason that these things work for me is that I got lucky and figured out a combination to use to spray my home, another to spray my clothes, and a lotion that blocks movement on my body, and they make it possible for me to live in a way that at least normal to others.  I pray you also find something to make this journey less horrid.

Jan, my new friend, I hope this answers your questions, and thank you for asking them.

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