Starting Down This Long Path, but Not Alone

What can I say about mercury toxicity? There’s a good chance that if you are reading this, you too may be suffering from it. It’s not until you have been diagnosed that you realize there is a whole world of people suffering just like you. And while we may not share the same symptoms, there is one thing we most likely do share: we waited a long time for a correct diagnosis.

It all started two years ago. A couple short bouts of double-vision kicked off the festivities, and then came the lack of balance. Walking was a challenge, and I found the best way to ensure I wouldn’t fall was to not stand up.

Then came the short, abrupt and violent attacks of vertigo. Boy will these throw you for a loop! While I am very fortunate that these episodes don’t last too long, they never truly go away. I always have this feeling that the world is moving beneath my feet, and that if I am not paying attention, I can be thrown in any direction without warning.

While some may complain about the ringing in their ears (tinnitus, which I also suffer from) I find the constant, varying levels of ear pressure to be worse. While the tinnitus is definitely distracting, the never-ending feeling of pressure inside my ears is enough to drive one insane.

I also suffer from chronic light intolerance (photophobia). Because of this I never turn on bright lights in my own home, and am forced to always wear a hoody to block out as much peripheral light as possible. The screens on my computer and tablet have the brightness turned all the way down, and even then I have to take breaks when looking at them.

The most annoying symptom is my eyes inability to converge on visual patterns. Anything with fine detail—only made worse with high contrast and/or backlighting—makes me feel miserable. The closer I am to the object, the worse my balance, vertigo and ear symptoms become.

Since becoming ill, I have:

  • Seen many doctors from across many different facilities and states
  • Consulted with multiple doctors (up to five) under the same specialties to get a second (or more) opinion
  • Tried different cocktails of medications
  • Experimented with a myriad of supplements
  • Completely changed my diet many times over

Up until last month, what was the net result of all of this? Nothing. Sure, I was eating a way more healthful diet, but I was out a lot of money and still felt miserable. That is until a gastroenterologist recommended an M.D. who practiced holistic medicine. Intrigued at the premise of an M.D. practicing holistically, and out of options, I decided to give him a try.

After running tests he found that I had a high amount of mercury in my system, and that he believed my symptoms (as well as the disparate issues shown on different lab results over the last couple of years) were from mercury. He started me on a regimen of supplements and DMSA at 500mg, three days a week, to start the chelation process. Boy, was that rough.

During the first week on that protocol I noticed how much worse I felt. My eyes were even more sensitive to light and patterns, my balance was very fragile and the brain fog left me feeling constantly spaced-out. I wondered if this was a normal reaction, so off to the internet I went.

While researching I came across a different chelation protocol created by chemist Andrew Hall Cutler, PhD. Commonly referred to as the “Cutler Protocol,” when done properly, this low-dose chelation procedure helps you more safely remove heavy metals like mercury from your system with a lower risk of side effects. Intrigued, I purchased Andy’s book “Amalgam Illness: Diagnosis and Treatment” and delved in head first. What I found was the solution I was looking for.

Which leads me to why I am writing to you now. Like many others who have followed the “Cutler Protocol,” I have decided to document my experience for the world to follow. I have found that reading other peoples’ experiences has given me what I was looking for: to know that I am not alone. Sure, I have great family and friends who have offered me support this whole time, but they don’t truly understand what I am experiencing. I have found a great support community online, and I want to add to that dialog in the hope that others may benefit from it.

This isn’t the first long path I have ventured down on my journey to recovery, but my hope is it will be my last.