Afflicted (2018) s01e04 Episode Script

The Mind

Saying that everything feels like a dream where I feel high all the time.
Just saying nothing seems real to me.
You sound like a crazy person.
A lot of people think that this is all made up.
It's a head fucking, it's alienating.
A lot of chronically ill people.
We are each other's doctors.
It's cuz we're just used to being called crazy.
Even when something is easily diagnosable.
Some cases of unexplained chronicle illness.
Can originate from the mind.
After all, the brain is a very very powerful organ and can cause all kinds of mischief.
We have a saying in medicine that when you hear hoofbeats, the first thing that should come to mind is a horse, not a zebra.
Statistically it's more likely that the cause of the problem is a common psychiatric problem more than it is an unknown or uncatalogued physical illness.
You can be deluded that you're sick.
Meaning you can believe that you're sick when in fact, you're not sick and have a false belief about anything.
Cool, thank you.
You okay? But let's do it together.
- Wrap it together? - Here, yes.
I thought that we had more, not that it was in such little pieces.
Sense.
Chemicals.
People, their lotions.
There's so many things destroying my whole life.
I don't quite think that people really truly understand what this is.
I have MCS.
Multiple chemical sensitivity.
Multiple chemical sensitivity.
It's a syndrome that makes you allergic to life.
It makes you feel like you don't belong to this world.
Chemical sensitivity is a kind of catchall term for people developing negative reactions to some sort of chemical exposure.
Perfumes, driving on the freeway, pumping gas, second hand smoke, any strong smells will produce headache, or joint pain, or nausea, or things like that.
Many of these people, their detox pathways are basically overwhelmed by the number of environmental chemicals.
Your body is like a rain barrel.
you fill it up with DDT, car exhaust, and mold, and mercury, whatever, it overflows with symptoms.
So, today's turkey.
I can tolerate this water for drinking water, this one for cooking.
I use this for my face too, so In order to stay well, I have to control my environment.
The clothing that I wear.
They have to be 100% organic cotton.
The things that I put on my skin they have to be really pure because when I touch things I can get rashes even the foods that I eat have to be extremely clean.
I'm very limited.
I eat cauliflower and turkey for lunch, breakfast, and dinner.
Tap water can have metals, mold.
It can have chemicals.
My body has a hard time filtering toxins.
So if I drink it, it's like a major no-no, I mean it's insane.
I start feeling like really pale, and my blood pressure goes down.
Being in isolation is not easy.
It's a very regimented life style.
I have to make sure I have all these air purifiers running 24/7.
I have to make sure that windows are never opened.
One time a neighbor below, he was painting something.
I mean, immediately, I started feeling heart palpitations.
So everything has to be controlled.
I have to avoid all of those triggers.
This whole condition is very bizarre.
I never know what's going to make her react and what's going to make her feel better.
Being outside, I can smell more of the car fumes.
I mean, there's so many things going on that you can't control, cars that come in and out, people that are walking by with their own scents, animals, pets, dogs.
If I'm around something that's very strong, it's pain in my stomach.
It will give me a lot of headaches, brain fog, and I feel like I'm not breathing.
It's exhausting for sure.
It's like being my own baby.
I have to take care of myself everyday.
I have to drive myself to treatments.
My current treatment program, it's something that I came up with the knowledge of doctors and my research, too.
I am doing the infrared sauna about four or five days a week because it's really important to be able to sweat out all of those toxins.
I'm also doing lymphatic massage.
It helps to be able to drain your lymphatic system and get rid of all of that junk that's just piling up.
Hyperbaric oxygen, which is very important to open up the vasculatory system.
Then I take all of my supplements.
I also have a pulse electromagnetic therapy mat.
This really helps energize yourself.
This type of illness makes you feel like, just like a freak.
I mean, you're basically a prisoner inside four walls.
I can't keep going like this.
CAMBRIDGE, MA After a year of, like, caregiving in the desert I didn't take care of myself in any way.
I really let myself go.
Physically, my body's really beat down.
Being here I realized I was coming really close to being no good or no help.
The night before I was to jump on the plane, I was having, you know, a lot of trouble leaving.
What we decided was we'd give this a shot.
Being here gives me a chance to expand my world outside of mold avoidance.
If, uh, my health is going down, and, you know, if Bekah's disease pulls us both down and keeps us so isolated You know, that's that's no good.
This community, this school community is crucial, you know, at this point.
I take care of myself.
I've been here for six weeks, about.
Soon after I got here was when she started getting worse.
Jesse and Bekah, they were kind of doing a patchwork of, like, acupuncture, and herbal treatments as well.
But there was no real comprehensive approach to trying to make her better.
I would like to find real solutions to Becca's health issues.
Do you have a minute to talk? So, I had a couple of things I was wondering about.
Maybe you could help me out with this, but it's been very complicated looking for doctors and trying out different doctors.
It's made me feel helpless.
How can I help you? i'm just really, really, really dizzy, really nauseous.
- Do you want to be seen in the ER? - Yes.
- Let me have your first and last name.
- Okay.
- Can you put this on for me? - Sure.
We try to see if we can address fundamental medical stuff.
if we can, but it's been, it's been pretty bad since I got here.
Do you have any medical problems? I have a common variable immunodeficiency What, immunities? - Yeah, like - So did you ask unexplained things? - Do you use any drugs; cocaine, anything? - No.
- Do I believe in what? - Mold sensitivity.
Never even heard of it.
Dealing with health professionals who wouldn't go deeply into what was going on, that's been a real injustice in my sister's life.
- Where are we? - Well, my car is over there.
Okay.
I'm worried about Bekah.
She just started to have these abdominal issues that were exacerbated by the stress on her body from trying to live outdoors.
It's going to be hard for Bekah to heal living in the desert.
I don't really know what to do.
Ouch - Just, like, when I move it.
- How you move it? Yeah, I know.
It can be very painful.
Relax, honey.
Just breathe and relax.
My whole body is just tense because of it now.
Where is the bulge you were feeling? It's right right here.
Yep, right there.
- Okay.
- You feel it, or am I crazy? Hmm I don't I don't feel anything.
Okay.
This could be just like a muscle injury.
One you have to recover from.
So You don't think I'm at like a particularly high risk for a pulmonary elbolism right now? - I don't know.
- Okay.
I mean, you know is, is anxiety something that you have been suffering from? Yeah, that.
I mean I've had anxiety for years.
Have you had any care? I'm not interested in taking any prescription medication for anxiety If you feel like it's starting to affect your quality of life, where it's starting, you know, your ability to go out and be productive.
At that point I would seek treatment.
But obviously you know that's that's totally up to you.
Hearing the doctor say it must be in your head? I mean it just it feels really insulting to physically be suffering and told you're not sick.
I'm desperate.
I just want help.
Sorry, it's so messy.
It's a kind of twisted path to getting to where we are with Becca's health.
When Becca was 15, 14, she started to feel a lot of depression and anxiety.
As a teenager, she had emotional problems that were extreme.
She didn't have the normal 13 to 17 year-old years.
She started having very serious issues with cutting herself.
Yeah.
She was suicidal, and, also, she had been starting to hear voices.
I was very aware that it was serious and we needed to help her take some action there.
We sought psychiatric care for her.
She was in a psych ward for a while, on a lot of psychiatric drugs.
It's pretty horrible to think about going through that experience, especially when you're young.
I don't know if this fish is done.
Um, it probably is.
I can check it out.
Salmon is, like I need to chop it up a bit.
By being sick so long, she never really was able to experience being independent.
But make sure you chew enough.
Thank you for your concern.
In a practical way, she wasn't able to experience just pursuing what she wanted to pursue in her 20s.
I'm, like, having a panic attack.
Right now? What? Wait, how did you know I was sad? You looked sad.
You're gonna be okay.
Thanks.
I promise.
She's had a lot of experiences where she wasn't trusted when she was growing up.
Now she's feeling very physically ill and is not believed by medical doctors.
And I think it's very hard to take care of yourself if no one else is really believing that you have problems.
Whether it's panic attack or something in her head, Bekah is still chronically ill.
She needs help and I need to find something else.
I want to see B really badly.
I don't like her texting me while she's driving.
My name is Bradyn.
I am Jake's girlfriend of almost 2 years.
There's now a lady in my life.
Her name is Bradyn.
And she's really great.
Yeah, so things are really good right now.
Jake and I've always been long distance.
I don't mind traveling to see him and be with him.
She's very very kind and very sweet and very unique.
She's the most important person in my life.
Jake having an illness doesn't change anything for me.
Like, it makes things a little bit more difficult, but we just go well together.
I really love him.
How was the drive? it wasn't bad, but I was already tired.
She's there by his side even though he's not there.
He's sick and there's no relationship.
But she's there for the joy of what was and what will be, not what is now.
So leave here at 5:00, probably.
Okay.
We both can see a life together and I'm excited about it.
I know.
If I get better I'm going to marry that girl.
But if I'm not at least seeing progress, we need to seriously start looking at what our relationship is going to look like.
We're going to The Trail to Health, trailtohealth.
com.
I Googled to find it.
I Googled molds.
Lyme, I believe.
This lady's name is Erica, and she had mold and Lyme and seems to be informed about a lot of different kinds of things.
So I'm very interested in seeing what happens.
I'm not incredibly hopeful, but good to keep trying.
I think it will be best if we start by having you fill out the introductory paperwork.
So the first street is just a simple contract.
Obviously, I'm not a medical doctor.
So I can't diagnose, treat, or prescribe, but can definitely help you explore different options.
Nobody knows what to do with me.
I wish that I could find a doctor that new more than I do.
I do know quite a few good doctors that do treat mold and Lyme.
So I can definitely send you a list with some recommendations for those doctors.
Can definitely, definetely send that over.
Western medicine has failed me.
Doctors, they obviously didn't believe that I could possibly know what's going on with my body.
I personally use the word crazy.
But, I know that I have Lyme.
I got a positive on a Western blot, which is really rare.
DISEASE AND IS RECOMMENDED BY THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL.
Another thing that can be really helpful, too, have you considered maybe stem cells.
I mean from what I've seen, just from what I've seen o peop other people, it seems like that doesn't work as well.
Don't know if it worked on you.
Yeah, well, I didn't do blood ones.
I did fat ones, but it's from your own fat tissue.
One of the positives of doing the fat stem sells is they give it back to you via IV.
- That's crazy.
- Yeah.
And it's all in one day.
I can say out of all the treatments that I researched, I watched a lot of people do it first.
And so many people are getting better with as many conditions that we both had.
This is more kind of a foundational approach that can really help with those things.
So I think that's definitely a good option.
Right.
So, do you have any questions or anything else you want to ask me about before we wrap up? I don't think so, thanks a lot.
Yeah.
You're so welcome.
- Cool? - Yeah.
Thanks so much.
Awesome.
You're so welcome.
It's nice to have someone, like resonating with your experience, to talk to somebody, like, on that level.
If I could get stem cells, that would be what I want to do.
Stem cells could keep my sister alive.
Whatever that takes is what we'll do.
How did I have to come to a place where I can't function the way a thirty-year-old should function? Growing up at Santiago, Chile I really wanted to be able to get a career in acting or music, something related with the Arts.
But in Chile there's really not that many opportunities.
So it's, "Okay, how can I go to United States?" I came by myself.
I just left everything behind, and that's how I began my dream.
Booking my first national commercial was a big thing I got to discover All my friends are doing it.
You should try it.
I was excited for her.
She did a number of commercials.
She was getting parts in different series that was on the TV.
I mean, she was just really well.
She was always moving towards what she wanted, towards her goals.
But it didn't really last for too long because that's right about during the time that I started to experience different symptoms and I started to feel very sick.
Beginning stages, should would be like, "Oh, I have a really bad headache, " or, "You know what? I'm really tired today.
I'm really really fatigued.
" And then it began to get progressively worse.
I was starting to forget lines, completely out of it.
I was feeling lack of oxygen, tightness of my chest.
You know, there were so many symptoms.
My hair was falling out.
It's really thin right now and and it breaks really easily.
So By January of 2012, my sister was already losing weight.
and there is not much that she could eat.
I make the bed.
She was so, so, so thin that was as if Jeff had picked up a feather.
And he carried her and she was like snuggled on Jeff's body, and she looked small.
Very small.
I thought, "Okay, let's go to a gastroenterologist.
" She ran some basic blood tests.
She got the blood tests back, says, "Well, you look normal to me.
" And I remember Pilar saying, "But, then, why do I feel like this?" And the lady said, "I don't know.
" It got so severe that I had to stop acting and I had to stop everything.
I was building this career and it was like losing everything from one day to the next.
it's like, you know, you're nothing to anyone.
Everything just kind of died.
This is where I spend most of my time and I wait for the next day to come.
She didn't want to make any of us worry, and so she lived a lot of this on her own.
It was so painful for her.
She was at her worst.
Doctors were just, like, "You know what? I think it's really in your head.
I think you are probably going under a lot of stress and you'd probably benefit by taking some antidepressants.
" I wasn't getting any answers.
I just knew there was something wrong.
I just didn't know what it was.
That's when they found there was a gas leak.
THREE YEARS AGO, THE UTILITY COMPANY DISCOVERED A GAS LEAK IN PILAR'S APARTMENT.
THEY ESTIMATED IT HAD BEEN LEAKING NATURAL GAS FOR OVER TWO YEARS One of our general doctors that I was seeing at that time, she felt that I was exposed to a severe chemical.
In this case, it was like the compound's of natural gas.
My nerve system was compromise, my immune system was compromised, and my brain was severely injured by the chemical exposure.
That was when I was diagnosed MCS, multiple chemical sensitivity, mast cell Activation Syndrome, vasculitis, neuropathy, toxic encephalopathy, autoimmune disease.
Syringes, I have to give myself multiple files.
I saw maybe 10 or 15 doctors, and the doctors didn't really know how to treat me.
It just seemed like there were so many different theories, and so she did a lot of research.
Homeopathic Physicians.
We were trying that.
Oh, my gosh! It's been really hard.
It's been like four years.
It really threw a wrench in our relationship.
And you guys are married? Do you live with her? No, I don't live with her right now.
She's only a few miles away.
I can't stay with her.
I don't have my key, so, just letting you know you'll have to leave the front door unlocked.
She's sensitive to me.
I feel you.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - Hi.
- Hi.
Bekah? Hi.
I'm Dr.
Kim.
Nice to meet you.
- Come on back.
- Okay.
And let's have you sit in this chair because they'll hook you up to this thing.
He's going to set you up with the global diagnostics.
Are you all set? It's coming I'm a board-certified family physician working primarily with patients with chronic illnesses.
Specifically we treat a lot of patients with Lyme disease.
Can you can sit down, so we can kind of look at it? What it's looking at is this different colors of purple.
This is what the body is actually trying to repair.
It tends to indicate that there could be a gut issue.
Your diet is like crazy restricted.
First of all.
Also, I was on, like, years of antibiotics and various There is some mold exposure going on, so for you, I think an IV just that has minerals and their, glyconutrients in there, and I think that would be good for you, and then have you do the laser bed for a little bit.
Alright, perfect.
So if you want to hang out here, I'll let them know and we'll get the IVs ready for you.
Thank you.
- Spot the fuck on.
- Yeah.
Mainstream medicine's good for acute illnesses, but when it comes to chronic illnesses, It's usually medication, that you're going to stay on for the rest of your life.
We've kind of missed the mark.
And so we're just gonna hit the mold button.
People come to see me because they have seen about 10 doctors or so.
They've been told that they're crazy, that it's on their head, that there's nothing wrong with them, and it's unfortunate.
These patients then become their own advocates, and as a result, they become fiercely entrenched in what they believe because they don't trust medical community anymore.
Are you under the care of anybody right now? I don't have a steady person that I'm seeing because I've seen people that understand mold really well.
They don't really believe in in Lyme and I've seen people that understand Lyme, but they don't, they know mold as a thing, but they don't know how to address it.
Sure, sure.
Right.
Your story is really not unusual.
We see Abby.
You're actually a very typical person that we see here in this office.
So we do understand your issues very well.
So what we're essentially trying to do is to activate your own stem cells.
The body can then take care of the fungal issues, and the other infectious issues.
The burden of treatment for Lyme it's hefty.
It's not a poor man's disease, um, and it turns people poor.
THE FULL COURSE OF TREATMENT COSTS OVER $25,000.
This is that next level.
This is that Beverly Hills experience.
I would like to come here if I had the money.
my dream scenario would be I'm living inside, and I'm healthy and strong and I can go where I want.
I can go inside without the mask.
I can have people come over and make art with me.
That's really all I want.
I really want this to be the cure for me.
Like to be recovered and to be, like, back in society, like living indoors.
That is my dream.
Jake has a lot of drive to get well.
It's just a lack of energy.
Is that everything? I researched a lot of centers I was looking all around the planet and the Hansa Center seemed like the most legitimate.
They treat every person as an individual, so it's not just a wide brush.
My hope while Jake's at the Hansa Center is that he'll see some sort of improvement.
I'm hoping that they might be able to help with that depersonalization.
I'm always hoping that something can help him with that.
I know they can help him because they've helped other people, and and that is the the hope.
That's the Hansa Center.
A lot of people show results immediately and they start seeing healing Best case scenario, I get well.
I don't want to expect that and be disappointed.
But, just some kind of evidence that healing is taking place.
That's what I want.
I do believe he's going to get better.
I believe that with all my heart.
I just really am desperate to see it, desperate to see some improvement.
I don't want to think about if it doesn't work.