Envision a nightmare of horror, conspiracy, medical mystery, human suffering and yet being called crazy by your doctor or others. Imagine you might have Morgellons Disease.
People who suffer from Morgellons Disease will tell you it is as if am insect is crawling under their skin. They may have a number of symptoms but in most cases it boils down to unexplained skin rashes and eczemas and the appearance of fibers and granules coming out of their skin. Some have said that they have seen insects or some type of parasite emerging to fly away from under their skin. Often sufferers have had bouts of Lyme disease as well. Lyme disease is the most common tick borne disease in the United States whose incidence and reported incidence is rising alarmingly. Like Morgellons Disease, Lyme disease was a poorly known or diagnosed disease. Suffers were often labeled by their doctors as suffering of imaginary diseases they were at the least hypochondriacs and perhaps psychotic. Like Morgellons disease Lyme disease affects suffers with a myriad of symptoms many of them similar to Morgellons including rashes, eczemas and neurological conditions. Unlike Morgellons disease Lyme disease is now recognized as a valid disease that can be identified through medical diagnostic skills and lab tests. It is now known and appreciated that early treatment of Lyme disease with antibiotics can result in an excellent treatment and prevention of many of the symptoms and complications resulting from untreated Lyme disease . Further it is now appreciated with Lyme Disease delayed or inadequate treatment may result in a condition for the poor patient which is both very disabling and may very difficult to treat. The same approach and understanding can not be said for Morgellons Disease sufferers.
The actual pathogen that is causing Morgellons disease is at the present unknown. It may be an old infection that has been around for eons. It may be a new type of infection that has come into play through evolution, international travel, the destruction of the Amazon and African rain forests or even outer space. It may be a new type of infection – a parasite, a worm, bacteria, a virus, a preon or something not even known yet. Nobody knows. Perhaps it is even transmitted in a latent fashion similar to mad cow disease.
The symptoms of patients presenting with Morgellons are varied and unfortunately for the sufferer may match several other medical conditions most of which are widely known and that medical students and physicians are taught to quickly recognize and treat.
A well known axiom of medical training is to always go for the most common disease when diagnosing and treating.. Unfortunately the sufferer of Morgellons may be incorrectly diagnosed for years and years as time goes on and the disease progresses. They may be told that they have scabies which is also a mite or small insect manifestation. They may be told that they have nothing more than standard run of the mill lice which is also an infestation of parasitic insects. They may be told that they have Impetigo which is a skin rash caused by bacteria The eczema may be diagnosed as simple run of the mill eczema which happens all the time and may be the result of simple allergies at different times of the year or as a result of changes of detergents to wash their clothes or foods that they have eaten.. They may even be told that their skin rash is a result of bad nerves and be given tranquillizers to quell their anxieties. Perhaps they are told that they have Neurodermatitis and that as a result of their allergies or nerves they have made their lesion worse by constant scratching of the sores. If they live in a hotter humid climate such as Florida they may be told that that they have a very hardy resistant fungal infection of their skin, nail or nail beds called Tinea. Their skin infection may have been explained by common terms that really are descriptive of the condition without identifying any real cause or treatment. These descriptive disease names commonly described include Folliculitis : which is an infection of the hair follicles or roots , Cellulitis or skin infection or Seborrhea : which is a condition of skin rash due to overactive sebaceous glands such as is seen in teenagers with acne.
At the worst the Morgellons disease sufferer will be blamed themselves for their condition either for compulsive skin picking , drug side effects , drug addiction or at the very end of the scale as having Delusional parasistosis that is tactile hallucinations of insects , snakes or other vermin crawling over their skin. Lots of luck.
Patients who claim to have Morgellons Disease describe the polysymptomatic syndrome as primarily characterized by skin lesions and the appearance of fibers and granules coming out of the skin.
And yet whether real or delusional the symptoms reported by those they have Morgellons seem real enough and even horrific to those who are convinced that they are suffering. It is as if there is a sensation of bugs or worms crawling and biting under their skin. Often these people claim that they see the organisms actually crawling out and emerging from their skin along with odd fibers or filaments. What a nightmare of human suffering.