Afflicted (2018) s01e01 Episode Script

Toxic World

[woman] Nine.
Eight.
Point.
Six.
Five.
[machine beeps] [woman] It's like you have a gun in your mouth and you're screaming.
and somebody is saying, "No, you don't have that gun in your mouth.
Stop screaming.
" [brushing] [man] I feel poisoned.
[quivering] I get texts every single day.
"What can I do to help?" And I have to tell them, basically, leave me alone.
[man 1] There's something else happening.
This is now at an epidemic level.
These are modern day diseases.
The quality of the air that we're breathing, the water that we're drinking.
There's pollution.
No one's willing to take a look at what's right under your noses.
[woman 1] It's almost like stuff is sticking inside my cells.
It's gruesome.
It's just gruesome.
[woman 2] I miss myself.
I'm grieving.
[quivering] Like, I'll look at pictures, you know.
And I'll be like, wow.
I miss that person.
The physicians are desperate.
You know.
Clinicians, the patients are desperate.
We have no idea how many people are truthfully suffering Millions of people are coming down with chronic diseases every year.
This is just the beginning.
We're seeing just the tip of the iceberg.
Is it psychosomatic? Is it psychological? There is no single biomarker.
No single test.
It's got to be in your head because I can't figure it out.
[woman 3] Many don't believe.
Nobody listens.
[woman 4] I feel rejected.
[machine beeps] Abnormal.
[woman 5] In this day and age, I never thought anybody could be afflicted like this.
[woman 6] I want to get better.
[woman 7] Now, it's time to get better.
[woman 8] I wanna get better.
[man quivering] I want my life back.
I don't want this to kill me.
Hello, guys.
Hi.
So I got some little rules that I wanted to talk to you guys about.
So if we can go over to the back, in the shade, a little bit away from the power lines.
- That would be great.
Yes.
- [woman] Yeah.
Okay.
I hope everybody really follows the rule.
And you don't have to believe, you just have to respect the way I have to do things and live.
So there is no cell phones in my house.
You have to turn them off and leave them in the car.
If you do need to talk on the phone, just go to the street behind and walk.
I don't see any smart watches No smart Well, you got one? Yeah.
So no smart watches.
Like you know, I can deal with some things, but if we had everybody all the time and the cameras and the wireless microphone, um, affects me, affects us.
And I'm sure I'll come up with more things to tell you.
[chuckles] They'll just come but those are the very important ones.
and I think Welcome to Virginia Beach.
[Carmen] There are things outside that haven't been there forever.
Electromagnetic radiation.
Cell towers, Wi-Fi, fluorescent lights.
This is not natural.
We haven't had all this around us for life.
Our bodies are not used to the levels that we have now.
Teenagers now, they use their phones all the time.
They're linking leukemia to living close to power lines.
Some people react to it with more severe symptoms, but it's affecting everybody.
I'm a totally healthy person, uh I just got problems with what's around me.
That's all.
Can I go a little bit more this way? - [man] All right.
- You already everything is set up.
Just to get away from the refrigerator a little bit.
I have electro hypersensitivity.
Something metal? [man] Can you walk that away from me? [Dave] What is electro sensitivity? It's the inability to function in the modern world.
Cell phone radiation, radio waves.
We're all exposed to EMF waves every day.
But a grouping of people, they say they feel sensitive to EMFs.
So if they get around WiFi, they can't sleep, they have mood swings, they get headaches.
Usually I don't feel as bad in this spot as I do right now.
Most of it, from what I've seen, is avoidance.
People literally have to sleep with a netting made of lead to be able to shield themselves from the electromagnetic frequencies.
We keep everything unplugged.
The major change was taking Wi-Fi out of the house.
So everything is hardwired.
We used to have a wireless mouse and I used to get pain in my hand and my fingers.
Now it's wired.
If I need to send a letter or a long email I use my typewriter.
If I'm on the computer too long, I get red.
I get It's called screen dermatitis.
And then I also get really hot and the head hurts.
If there is a place with a lot of electricity, it's like I get fried.
I'm feeling a little something.
Wait a minute.
There's a little pain and my heart It affects my heart with tachycardias, arrhythmias.
It's difficult to breathe.
It burns.
I got some filters for something called dirty electricity.
Different frequencies cause me different pains.
Pain in the back of my head, pain in my teeth, pain in my arms.
All kinds of symptoms.
The first time that it happened was very, very scary.
[Dave] Carmen worked as a school teacher.
Three years ago, she got into a school.
She didn't know where she was at.
All kinds of strange symptoms.
[flickering] I could feel the lights coming down.
And all of a sudden, I started to have the strong chest pain, the heart beating really, really fast.
We went to the emergency room and they did all kinds ofMRIs and started a process, a very lengthy process.
And more tests, and more tests, and more tests.
Blood work.
CAT scans.
Neurologists, cardiologists, immunologists.
A number of doctors were trying to find out what is this? The more time that went by, the worse I got.
When I figured out that it was electro hypersensitivity, I think it was just Google search.
Carmen started doing research and she felt like this is what was the cause of her problem, um, and she's been very adamant that this is it.
[phone ringing] [woman] Thank you for calling Kroger at Shore Drive.
Can I help you? Hello, yes.
This is Carmen.
I got a problem with the fluorescent lights.
And, yeah, you remember? - Yeah.
- Yes.
I was wondering if you could bring me something to customer service? I'm going to be stopping by in about 15 minutes.
Okay.
I need the, um Supreme Waffle Mix - Belgium.
Okay.
No rush.
It takes me a little while to get there.
Okay.
Okay.
Thank you.
- [woman] Okay.
Bye-bye.
- Bye-bye.
[door opens] My neck is stiffened up.
Kroger, it does have florescent lights.
I just know I'm going to be in pain and I need to be fast.
[car door closes, locks] [siren wailing] Hello, how are you doing? [chuckles] How are you? Oh, it's been a long time! [chuckles] I'm still having my same problems I can come in and out really quick in a place with florescent lights.
Yeah.
Okay, good to see you.
Say hello to everybody.
- I will.
- [woman] All right.
Here is the card.
Thank you.
I'll be back.
I used to be able to go to the grocery store.
Now I cannot go.
[siren wailing] I cannot do many things that I want to do.
[siren wailing] [keypad beeps] Okay, bye-bye.
[Carmen] A lot of people think that this is all made up.
A lot of people think that this is a mental illness.
What would you think if somebody told you that they can feel cell phones if you never felt, you know, what would you think of them? So it's very difficult.
I'm like living without full living.
You know, I wanna do things.
I wanna go places.
I wanna work.
So I have to find a place where I can have a new life, not be in pain all the time, start all over.
[door opens] [woman] When I started, I did not know anything about his illness.
JAMISON HILL.
2010.
2014.
2016.
[woman] What I'm used to doing is taking care of people with Alzheimer's or dementia.
So it was a change.
In my 11 years of being a caregiver, I've never had a client like him.
[machine beeps] Bluetooth connected.
My name is Jamison Hill.
JAMISON [Jamison]Seven years ago, I was lifting nearly three times my body weight.
Now I need help lifting a glass of water.
Every movement I make is accompanied by a pain of some kind and it's cumulative.
By the end of the day, my body is usually throbbing all over with pain.
I also get involuntary seizure-like tremors throughout my body.
These usually happen when my senses become over-stimulated.
A lot of my communication is contingent on my energy, as well.
I'll speak multisyllabic words or even short sentences when I need to, but this is very painful on my jaw and throat muscles.
and that usually leaves me out of breath and my lungs burning.
[sniffs] Light and sound sensitivity are also symptoms.
I'm actually wearing earplugs right now because the speaker is too loud for my ears to be unprotected.
I'm constantly at the mercy of my body.
Some days I'm just stuck in a fetal position all day.
[machine whirring] [Matt] Trying to fathom what's going on, it's been difficult.
The doctors, they don't know what this thing is.
That's the mystery part of this story, I think.
What's afflicting him? I'm not sure.
I'm really not sure.
[Kathleen] At first, you'd always be questioning.
You know, the whole hypochondria.
You just want attention.
Is there some psychological reason? You know, that lingered.
[Jamison] I haven't been feeling good today.
Um so I'm waiting in the car for my dad to buy my groceries.
[Kathleen] During his senior year in college, he had been having health issues: fatigue.
Local doctors, they decided to call it mono.
[Jamison] I was aware of mono.
My friends would disappear from school for a couple of months, then would suddenly reappear and be back to normal.
This is what I expected to happen.
But I've never returned to normal.
Yeah, last month or so has been pretty tough.
I've been spending a lot of time just laying around in bed, and it's been sort of difficult to to do, uh, basic tasks like making food and stuff.
[Jamison] When I first got sick, I spent two years just trying to get a diagnosis while my body kept getting sicker.
[Matt] Five or six different doctors.
They've all taken shots at trying to help out.
You know, give him this, that and perhaps some of it was effective.
But, I don't know.
We got the range of suggestions from removing the mercury from your fillings, um, to, no, I can't really do anything for you.
It's incredibly frustrating.
And then finally, we went to see a specialist.
He gave the diagnosis.
ME.
[David] ME stands for myalgic encephalomyelitis also called chronic fatigue syndrome.
Both of those terms are more descriptions than diagnoses of a disease.
[Mark] No one really knows in great detail what ME is.
There is no single test to diagnose chronic fatigue.
That's one of the big challenges.
[Jamison] I'm so tired of hoping someone is going to come along and make my situation better.
I'm over this shit.
I don't like being told I can't do something and that includes being told by my body.
[Jamison] I want to be able to do more to use my body.
I just want to live.
[Carmen] I need my garlic.
Everything in Spain has a lot of garlic.
My mother is a great cook.
- [Dave] You're good too, when you cook.
- Was it I couldn't even cook for a while.
[Dave] Right.
I had to leave him.
[Dave] You still don't cook like you used to.
Yeah.
But at least I'm able to stay by the stove for a little bit.
Which before, remember? I would turn on the stove and go outside crying or go to my room to chop up the vegetables.
[Dave] With Carmen, it's tough.
I question what is happening.
It's hard to understand.
[floorboard creaking] [Carmen] So my room is Everything is disconnected.
Nothing works.
Nothing has electricity.
[Dave] Carmen and I've had conflicts and arguments to what level things can be affecting her.
Um, I come from a scientific background.
The bathroom does have electricity.
Some of the stuff doesn't add up to me.
We just have this long cord.
[Dave] There are circuit breakers, that are turned off routinely because this one gives more symptom than another one and it doesn't make much sense.
[Carmen] Uh, that is not back on.
So I do have one little light for this room.
The TV area.
We've gone through times where it was like we couldn't even be around each other, almost.
It was that difficult.
She had aluminum foil on the back wall back there.
There was, you know all of this stuff with shutting power down came on pretty quick.
- Yeah.
- [Carmen] Yeah.
- I didn't.
- [Carmen] Yeah.
I remember it.
So.
[Carmen] It's sad.
- Yeah.
It is.
- [Carmen] Thank you for living with it.
[chuckles] I mean, it's good that we look at it with humor now, but it's Yeah.
I'd like to go back to the way my wife was, you know? Five years ago.
Seven years ago.
Somebody that participated with me in all the things that we did, that was our family life.
[camera shutter clicks] [Dave] When I met her, I knew that Carmen was the person that I wanted to get married to.
[camera shutter clicks rapidly] [Dave] Carmen was super happy.
Full of life.
Wanted to do everything.
[camera shutter clicks] Our life and the things that we have done together, that's always, you know, a hundred percent in.
So here we are, 22 years later.
[button clicks] [Dave] All of these things it's her existence.
So, uh, it becomes ours.
I want to get better.
I want this to go away.
But it's not going away.
What's happening now, it's not working.
I need, you know, to go.
[Jesse] Don't let me forget to get water.
[Bekah] Oh, yeah.
Get water.
Thanks for reminding me.
[Jesse] I was minding my own business.
I was in my apartment.
And all of a sudden, ping! A little heart came up on my computer.
Checked out the profile of this person.
Bekah Fly.
[Bekah chuckles] I said, you know, you could just come over.
If that's weird, we can meet for coffee.
And she was like, "No, I'll come over.
I'm psychic.
I know you're okay.
" And I was like, all right.
[car door closes] [Bekah] I met him and I was like nice to meet you.
[chuckles] Let's meditate.
[Jesse] When she came over, she said she's a witch and she wanted to look into each other's eyes, as a portal, and try to connect.
I thought for sure she put a spell on me.
I fell in love with her, like pretty quick.
I actually didn't want to have a relationship and supposedly, neither did he, but he was like, I want to make this a thing.
[chuckles] [Jesse] A lot of times we're having fun.
We're making art.
We're painting the van.
But it always comes back to like, oh, hell, she's really sick.
[Bekah] After I met Jesse, I moved into his apartment in New York.
And I started getting nose bleeds there, which I never had before.
I start to get fungal infections all over my body.
I noticed that there was this really intense mold through his old building.
[Jesse] She told me that I can't stay in your apartment anymore.
We need to do something.
She thought we might be gone a week.
We didn't realize what we were in for.
[Bekah] Jesse and I've been on mold avoidance in the desert for a year.
We live in a van that got stripped to metal because I couldn't handle the insulation.
I'm like a medical refugee.
BEKAH [Bekah] I have chronic mold sensitivity.
Mold sensitivity is often misunderstood by patients and doctors alike.
Patients literally do have an allergy to the mold that they're breathing in or may be in contact with.
But then you ask yourself, why do some people react to that, others don't? The theory being that it may be the toxins that the molds release into our body are not really being detoxed very well from the body.
So I think it's difficult to understand where these sensitivities are coming from.
I just started a detox that's supposed to make you like, emotionally unstable.
So [laughs] that'll be fun.
But I just stopped a med that can make you go blind, so emotional instability is better than blindness.
[chuckles] This world is not built for people with my condition.
This stuff tastes like dirt but, like in a nice way.
Minimal levels of mold in houses and in buildings can kill me.
[Bekah] For the most part, I look like a young healthy person, but I'm in intense levels of pain.
I have burning nerve pain in my mouth and my skin and my bladder.
[Bekah] Extreme fatigue and some memory loss.
Fevers all the time, like high, high fevers.
My throat is on fire and my mouth is filling up with blood all the time.
[Bekah] Something smells moldy.
[Bekah coughing] It's in her tissues.
 It's in her nerves.
[Bekah] I'm so out of it.
[Jesse] There's so much attacking her.
It's torture.
[footsteps approaching] [Jesse] Hey, Bekah.
Hey.
Let me know if you need anything, okay.
I'll be right around.
[Bekah] Okay.
[sniffs] [Jesse] I think, with Bekah [car door shuts] she just can't take it any longer.
[Jesse] There's days where she just wants to end it.
You know, just bleed out in the desert.
[Jesse] Every few months I make a contract with her.
I say can you promise me you won't hurt yourself? There's only so much pain that I want to endure here.
If it's still this bad, and I can't handle it, I want to opt out in a peaceful way.
It does help me emotionally to say, you know what? You don't have to do this forever.
[Jesse] Okay, baby.
[car door shuts] You know, I don't want Bekah to end her life.
You know, I don't, I'll do anything.
[engine starts] [Kathleen] Whoops.
Do you want me to open this? A little bit? Too much? Okay? That's good? Okay.
[Claire] Jamison.
You know, he's stuck in a bed.
He has been for going on three years.
Are we ready to start? Okay.
He's in this room that's dark and can't move and he's trapped.
His body's trapped.
It's just like being in solitary confinement.
Except for he doesn't ever know when he can get out.
Here's washcloths for you.
[Jamison] Two years ago, my mom moved me here.
But I've never been outside.
I'm not even sure where I am.
My short-term goals are pretty simple.
Things like getting outside and exploring the house.
Riding in the car and standing without help.
[Kathleen] You going to try to stand? [Jamison] Yeah.
I kinda want to do it by myself.
Just alone.
[deep exhales] [sniffs] [sighs] [grunts] [deep exhales] [Kathleen] Jamison's a fighter.
If he can't do something, it's because he can't do it.
[Bekah] Tomorrow is Sunday, right? Uh No.
[Bekah] Yes.
Yeah, because we were in San Diego for two days.
[Jesse] We're working with a lot of different doctors.
And because we're in the desert, it involves these marathon drives to San Diego to Tucson to LA.
We don't have just one doctor because we kind of need all of them.
Because a lot of people with this disease, end up, after trying everything, you know, they end up opting out.
[car door shuts] [man] This is where we do ozone therapy.
So you can come here, take a look.
Your blood is drawn out into this egg-like thing that sits up in here.
And then while it's in this egg, this machine will ozonate that blood under pressure.
So it's Hyperbaric Ozone Therapy.
And then it pumps it back into your blood.
The data shows that using the ozone under pressure really clears the disease almost completely and often times, totally.
When you're dealing with people who have mold toxicity, we are finding in our practice that many of these people also have Lyme and overlapping factors, which are making them worse.
[woman] All right, well I got it.
[man] Lyme affects your immune system and if your detox Pathways are not working correctly, they can lead to high levels of mold toxins.
[woman] It's going.
[man] See how it's sucking it up? Once the blood fills up, this tube forces the ozone into the blood.
And then the blood's put back in there.
[machine beeps] [man] It's slowing down.
It's going.
- Do you think it's just my vein? - [woman] It's going.
It's just slow.
[button clicks] [woman] Thank you.
- [woman] Maybe this will speed it up.
- [man] Yeah.
No, it's not going.
[woman] So not enough blood? I've heard of ozone therapy, but I don't know the details.
But many of these types of alternative therapies really have no basis in our understanding of physiology or immunology or microbiology.
A lot of these things really just don't have any clear rationale for why they would help.
[Jesse] You know, you're just trying everything you can.
We're pretty fucking desperate.
Do you think that treatment helped? [Carmen] We have the cameras, we have the microphones.
We have somebody in the car talking on the cellphone.
We have a whole lot of things.
I can deal with some things.
That's okay.
But last night when I woke up.
you know, in pain, you know, it's okay, but it's hard to take.
[Carmen] I need to go.
[footsteps fading away] [Carmen clears throat] [door opens, closes] We need to talk a little more.
Yes.
[woman] Okay, great.
[Carmen] This is getting a toll on my head.
My sensitivities are way up.
The wireless, you know, microphones, cameras, all that.
I've had a horrible night.
We need to step it down.
We need to come up with another plan.
My regular life is a lot of time just by myself at the park, at the lake.
You know, I cannot do much.
I have been doing too much the last two days.
- So - [woman] Okay.
you know, I'm reacting to everything again, uh So it's okay.
It will pass.
I'll get better.
We just need to talk and step it down a little bit.
[woman] Okay, let's cut, please.
[Carmen] I cannot get better living where I live.
5G coming to my street, a new cell tower.
There may be something that I cannot deal with and I do have no choice but moving.
People that live in a place like Green Bank do get much better over time.
[Carmen] It's a place where people have been seeking refuge.
Green Bank has a telescope and it's in the national radio quiet zone, the telescope is very sensitive to the electromagnetic radiation.
So there are no cell towers in a certain radius.
I've decided I would like to move there.
Why not? [zips] [Carmen] It's an option that I have openly discussed with my family.
I wouldn't say it's "discussed" as much as it's been argued.
I don't think anybody has a problem with somebody moving somewhere because of their health.
[door shuts] So everybody will adapt.
[Dave] I find it pretty insulting.
She's going to move there after X number of years and I'm going to be here.
It's like, you know, that's not cool.
I'm going to stick with you through all of this and then you're just going to go.
[Carmen] There is a possibility I can start all over in a place like this.
Green Bank, to me, is hope.
[flickering] I'm a little out of it because I've been sleeping.
[shutter clicks] [flickering] [camera shutter clicks] And what? I want to get outside.
[Kathleen] Wow.
[sharp inhales] [Kathleen sighs] [both weeping] [exhales deeply] [Kathleen sniffs, sighs] [Kathleen] To have him get out of the house, there's hope.
[Kathleen inhales deeply, exhales] Now we're going to get him down to where the doctors are.
[Jamison] It's a fucking trip.
[Kathleen laughs] [Jesse] Yeah, I taste it.
I think it's It might not have enough for you.
But for me, it's really sweet.
[Bekah] With Jesse, the entire time I've been on mold avoidance, he's been basically facilitating it.
I haven't had to be alone in this situation yet.
But Jesse, he'll be leaving in about a month.
[Jesse] It's hard to talk about this.
[Jesse] Oh, wow.
[Bekah] It's going to be painful when he leaves.
It's scary.
SDH created by: Salonee Kadam