Afflicted (2018) s01e05 Episode Script

The Cost

Definitely individualized medicine is becoming more and more popular these days.
[woman 1] Close your eyes.
Patients are frustrated so they're trying to find a solution.
[Philip] They seem to have this whole group of professionals around them to kind of help them through life.
[woman 2]Going from doctor to healer, doctor to healer and testing, testing, testing.
[man 1] I don't really have any idea what its cost.
Medicine is a business and people forget that.
[whirring] I can't imagine how people with no money get any treatment whatsoever.
[man 2] It's very frightening.
I feel like the whole burden of everything financial falls on me.
[man 3] They have to keep working as hard as they can to keep it all going.
[man 4] What if it's a lot more than this and it doesn't work? [Jill] Take really good care of yourself because this is gonna keep cooking in you.
- Nice work.
- [man] Thanks, Jill.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- [Jill] I'll see you next week? - [man] I'll see you later.
[door closes] [Jill] I am a psychotherapist.
I specialize in trauma.
I love my work.
My clients are eclectic, creative, smart, interesting.
Awesome, brave people.
Recently, there's been a paradigm shift for me as a therapist.
In cognitive behavioral therapy you learn to think, what was I just thinking? What was I just doing? What just happened? You know now, it's like what changed in my environment? [train stopping] You're walking around with all these toxic things going on.
They're coming in through your mouth and your nose.
Anything that goes in there can harm your organs.
So many of these mood states: anxiety and depression, fear can be psychiatric manifestations of exposure to mold.
It's more from the time before I got sick.
I am afflicted with chemical sensitivity and mold and metal toxicity.
[air hissing] [liquid bubbling] [Robin] The toxicity is much worse than it was 100 years ago.
We have 84,000 toxic chemicals in our immediate exposure that have been tested.
[exhales deeply] [liquid bubbling] [Robin] EPA suggests that the indoor air for most people is six times more polluted than the outdoor air.
[exhales deeply] [Lisa] Fifteen percent of the population are moderately chemically sensitive.
And forty percent are mildly chemically sensitive and are unaware.
Five percent is chemically sensitive and disabled from it.
That means 75 million people in this country have mild to moderate or severe chemical sensitivity.
[Jill] Things that trigger me are detergents air fresheners gasoline, diesel fumes.
You've got people and their detergent and their perfume.
I get dizzy, nauseous.
Plastic like Tupperware.
Plastic, how could that be? But I think some of these micro-toxins are very strong.
My life is divided into the before time and the after time.
A year ago everything went haywire.
[Jill] The big day was in October of 2016.
I had a big incident.
Like a chemical injury.
I went to a Rosh Hashanah dinner.
Afterwards we decided to stay in this hotel.
That hotel had that sort of hotel smell.
I wake up in the middle of the night.
My heart was racing.
My skin was burning.
She couldn't breathe.
And her brain was scrambled.
[Jill] The light, I was blinded.
I couldn't keep my eyes open.
I was really dizzy.
I was very confused.
I thought I was having a stroke.
That was the day that everything changed.
[Janine] She started getting really spacey.
Sick, exhausted.
It was super bizarre.
It wasn't until we had done some tests on her.
We found out that she had really high levels of mold and mycotoxins in her body.
[Jill] It was such a self-pity moment.
I was like I'm so screwed.
- [birds chirping] - [dogs barking] [door closes] [clinks] [Janine] Jill's treatment plan is ever-evolving.
- And it's never-ending.
- [screwing the top] It has affected every single layer of her life.
When she's not with clients, she's really working on self-care.
It's a hell of a process.
It literally takes her hours every day.
Before she works out she has to take medicine and wait.
[Jill] I give myself antigen shots.
It's part of this idea of provocation neutralization.
Two different kinds of molds.
Stachybotrys and aspergillus.
I give myself those to neutralize those things if you encounter them.
[Janine] After that she has to work out.
[exhales deeply] And then she has to take medicine.
Then she has to sauna cause it's baking out the stuff in her.
She has to wait a certain amount of time to take another bunch of medicine.
[Jill] Everything is an ordeal.
Every little thing has to be thought out.
[pills rattling] [Jill] There's anti-inflammatory stuff, detoxification, brain functioning, thyroid.
Just stuff to rebuild my gut.
This is what I have to do just to leave the house.
Western medicine doesn't really get the chemical sensitivity world.
I'm trying to help myself actually start to really get better.
[Janine] She went to a doctor who kind of straddles both alternative and Western medicine.
And he basically said, "I can't help you.
" You need to find somebody who can.
He directed her to try and find an environmental medicine specialist.
I tried to do everything I could to make it not be true that I'm chronically ill.
But I feel so scared and sick and out of it and beaten down.
I I gotta do something.
I can't take it anymore.
I miss not being sick.
I need to see an expert.
[door opens] - [Pilar] Hey.
- [Jeff] Hi, Pilly.
[Pilar] How you doing? [Jeff sighs] I need to go back for water.
- I got two cases.
- [glasses clink] [Pilar] Can you put that box on the other side 'cause [glasses clink] that's where I cook and stuff.
[clinking continues] And be careful because I put a knife on top of the one of the pans.
- [Jeff] I see it.
- Can you put the knife on the sink? - [Pilar] Yeah, it's kind of - [Jeff] Where at? [Pilar] Just on the sink.
- So here? - [Pilar] Yeah.
[Pilar] Well, you know.
Like I have to wash it.
So in the sink.
- So you don't have to use it again.
- [Pilar] No, I already used it.
- I already ate.
- [Jeff] Okay.
[glasses clinking] - [Jeff] I'll be back with the Starky's.
- [Pilar] Okay.
You're gonna have to disinfect that part where you put that box.
- The - [clinking continues] - [Pilar] Before I forget - Okay, so now? [Pilar] Yeah, because I don't want to forget.
Just Just use the spray that's behind you.
[spraying] [Pilar] Thank you.
- [Jeff] I'll be back.
- Okay.
[clinking continues] It's so bizarre.
We have It's just our communication is just not like this.
When we were a couple, these are things I have to just completely forget.
[sighs] [Pilar] So Jeff When I started to get my first symptoms he would say that I was exaggerating, so that would hurt me.
Ahh! He thought I was making it up.
That would create a lot of stress in our marriage.
Unfortunately, his parents don't understand my condition, especially his dad.
And there were times that I thought Jeff wasn't really standing up for me.
- [water running] - [door opens] So that's when the relationship got worse.
- [water running] - Hold on.
Place it here? Let me see if you smell, though, 'cause - Can I see if you smell? Yeah.
- Oh, yeah.
- I do smell? - [Pilar] Slightly.
I would end up getting frustrated.
[sighs] And that, um That proved to be very destructive over time.
With the detergents, I used the one that you use with no fragrance at all.
- And so I thought that one was okay.
- [water running] - And baking soda.
You have to - I put everything in there.
- I put everything in there.
- [Pilar] Yeah, okay.
[Pilar] Well, I have to go to the sauna so - [glass clinks] - What time is the sauna? I don't know how long you're gonna stay here.
I have to leave, like, in 15 more minutes.
- You know, I'm only gonna be here for - [water running] For you.
Unless you want me to - [Pilar] No.
- So, do these Do they still smell too much to be in your car? Are you not going? I was gonna If you want I mean I would like to take you.
- [water running] - Yeah, you have to change.
If I could have gone back I would tell the person I was back then "Look, she's This is what's happening to her.
" You know, he now feels very sorry.
The problem is that unfortunately, my body is reacting to Jeff and whenever he's around, it's not really working.
And so we are growing apart from each other.
I'm gonna put I should put my clothes in a bag and put them outside, right? Yes.
[Jeff] I want us to be a couple again.
I want us to be able to be able to lie next to her, be able to hold her hand.
Be able to kiss her.
[Pilar] Okay, I'm ready.
But she's gonna feel what she feels because of her condition.
So I need to do everything I can until we get her to a better place.
Doctor's visits, treatments, we're gonna keep opening doors.
We're gonna do it all.
If you see somebody has a chronic illness that's in chemical sensitivity and the actual symptoms seem to only appear in certain contexts let's say when it benefits them, it does make you wonder what is the role of the symptom.
If it provides a benefit and it's only in some situations but not in others, therefore, it's not consistent with the idea of chemical sensitivity, you have to entertain the hypothesis that this is not a physical problem, but this is an emotional one.
[water running] [exhales deeply] - Take a deep breath.
One, two, three.
- [breathing] [woman] Good.
[woman] Is this your first visit? Yeah, except I met Dr.
Klinghardt maybe a month ago and had an examination.
[Star] I was blessed enough to meet Dr.
Klinghardt, who did testing on me and immediately knew that I was a classic lyme case.
So, the blood will come back through here and be swirled around in that glass tube and be treated by infrared light, as well as a few other frequencies.
[Star] It was a big eye-opener.
I really felt validated.
He laid out a plan that made sense to me.
We have developed a treatment with Lyme disease.
[woman] We have about 30 more seconds on this side.
People get basically broadcast with certain frequencies of light.
That may involve some lymphatic drainage massage, some acupuncture and other techniques.
[woman] We're gonna do some cranial compressions.
That's interesting.
- [Star] Look at how darker it's getting.
- [woman] Yeah.
[woman] It seems like lymph is your primary here.
- [Star] The white foam? - The white foam, absolutely.
- [Star] Then the dark is just - Your liver.
- [Star] Yeah.
- Yeah.
[ Dr.
Klinghardt] There's the ionic foot bath, sauna therapy.
There is pulsating electromagnetic field.
And then the toxins can come out.
With this we're just using light and frequency.
[exhales] [Star] Massage, acupuncture, IVs, supplements, pharmaceuticals, healing, it's been a very expensive journey.
[inhales] [exhales] So, with our abundance, we have spent a lot of time and fortune with Star.
In the past 10 years it's been about two and a half million dollars.
So with bills and medical costs I had to surrender.
Okay, I just had to surrender, so that the other people that are helping her could do their work.
Oh, yeah, immediate.
- You hear that? - [woman] Um-hmm.
I do fear not getting rid of these symptoms.
And if if I don't get better that scares me a lot.
[clicks tongue] [mechanical whirring] [thud] [whirring continues] [water running] We've got a construction crew upstairs making a bathroom.
There's no bathroom because the bathroom got gutted completely.
There wasn't even a floor.
That would have been the floor.
The boards are so the guys don't fall through.
- [Jill] It's not really the floor.
- [woman] Why did it have to be gutted? It was gutted because of the remediation we had to do.
There was mold.
[Jill] The thing about the mold is that it's not like we had a fridge covered in mold spores.
It's that the mold spores make the invisible particles and they are everywhere and they get into everything.
From June 2016 until March 2017, I've been living in a house that is killing me.
We had this very high-end biological, environmental dude come and do all kinds of testing.
- [Jill] We're approaching the work so - [stairs creaking] It said that there were very high levels of dangerous micro-toxins.
Oh my! Whoa! [Jill] The house is a system so they're everywhere.
We had to strip the house of everything.
Get rid of all of our clothes, all of our furniture.
This was a lot of money, this remediation, really a lot.
I thought it was going to be like $10,000, 20 at the worst.
Remediation cost almost $60,000.
[Janine] There's no way that this situation couldn't be frustrating.
It's frustrating for so many reasons.
[Jill] This is the thing that made Janine buy the house.
She walked in and it was this beautiful fireplace.
There was a beautiful mantle and these were bookcases.
Built-in bookcases, and they had to pull those out.
That was just heartbreaking.
I may have forgot to mention, this is Janine's house.
[chuckling] [Janine] Buying this house was like a huge achievement for me.
I had always wanted a house with a fireplace with bookcases on the side.
I walked in and I was like this is it.
It was when they removed the mantle and the bookcases that it hit me hard.
Like, fuck you.
Really? I finally got everything I wanted and it's slowly degrading in front of my eyes.
It sucked.
We're like 20-year-olds sitting on IKEA futons and camp chairs where a year ago at this time we had large savings accounts and a fully furnished home and a really bright future.
[Jill] Hey, Janine? [Janine] Oh, look at this! This is awesome.
- [Jill] Here's what's gonna happen? - [Janine] What's gonna happen? Cocktails snacks and we'll pick out fixtures.
[Janine] Oh, yay! That'll be good.
We have to do that.
We totally have to.
[Jill] I knew that would make you very happy.
[Janine laughing] Hey [Jill] Janine is amazing.
Devoted, loyal, adorable, weird.
[laughing] To [exhales] Our new toilet? [both laugh] To our new toilet.
May it be installed quickly.
- [Janine] Cheers.
- [clink] Jill and I met via OkCupid.
[Janine chuckles] - [laughing] - I'm so excited.
It's been forever since - No, you want company.
- I want company.
[Jill] I moved in so fast.
Officially, Jill moved in about two months after we met.
[woman] Unofficially.
Probably about two weeks after we met.
I never do that but I did this time.
[both laughing] [indistinct voice on TV] [Janine] When I met Jill she was not sick.
She didn't get sick for a few months after me meeting her.
[both laughing hysterically] All right.
[Janine] So, let me pull up what we are buying.
So, I found something that was remotely hex.
Do we have to clear with Lucas as far as the special grout? - For me.
- [Janine] Is it rated high enough? It doesn't have enough whatever [Janine] I don't think we're getting special grout.
We are! - [Janine] Um - We are.
- We're getting the grout from the tile.
- No.
- [Janine] We're getting grout from - We're not getting regular grout.
[Jill] No way! We're just getting regular grout? Won't it make me sick if it's not special? I don't know.
[clicks tongue] I mean, did we overlook that or [Janine] It's been less than a year since she got sick.
But every day is like a new journey into the depths of hell, so to speak.
We do need it.
Yeah, we We can't just have regular grout.
- Fuck.
- I mean, why would we? [Janine] It's such a massive, massive pain.
[Janine inhales] This is not a crisis.
I'd be lying if I said anything different.
[Jill] I'm not being a dick.
I just think that Good news.
It's getting delivered tomorrow.
[sighs] At this particular point, if you ask me has it been worth it? At this point, I haven't been able to comprehend everything going on.
[Janine] But I'm just kind of rolling with the punches.
We're still getting to know each other.
[Jill] Okay, thank you.
I really had to battle with that kind of part of me that said am I with somebody who's just cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs? Is this in her head? Is this psychosomatic? Sometimes it's just like, oh my god, really, another thing? Really? That's bothering you? What a shocker.
[Pilar groans] Oh, Dr.
Hi! [chuckles] - [gasps] Your office does smell like new.
- [Dr.
Steve] Yeah? [Pilar] When was it painted? Do you remember? - [Dr.
Steve] It's been about four weeks.
- [Pilar] Yeah.
I've done a lot of treatment so far.
I've done a lot of detoxification.
[Pilar] It's a multi-therapeutic approach because you have to treat many different things.
And roll the ball into the arm.
Do you feel that? Everything that I've done to get better is definitely very expensive.
Insurances don't cover the treatments.
And so everything has to be done, you know, out of pocket.
[electric buzzing] She got a reaction from the shower.
Really strange, man.
That's really strange.
[blinker clicking] - [door opens] - [bell clinks] [Pilar] On a regular basis I am doing hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which is very important to open up the vasculatory system, and it helps the brain.
The hyperbaric oxygen made a really huge difference.
Treatments are just not They're not They're really expensive.
They're not cheap.
The oxygen, it's like 300 bucks for a session.
So she's got to do 90 minutes.
[Anthony sighs] I've already done over 200 sessions of oxygen just to get to where I am today.
I can't work.
So, Jeff, my husband, he tries to pay for my treatments, and pay for my meals and my water and even my apartment, my home.
It does bother me that I'm having to have him cover my treatments.
It is a lot of money.
We are up to $200,000 in just two years.
We're buying supplement after supplement after supplement.
I spent almost 50 grand on supplements.
[Anthony] Jeff is a great guy.
[clicks tongue] You know how many people, men, I've spoken to who said, "Dude, and I'm just gonna be blunt, I would have left that woman a long time ago.
" And he's like, "I love her.
I made a vow to her.
I want her to get well.
" I'm not going to abandon her.
[blows air] Getting better means that you have to keep knocking on doors.
You have to keep, you know, fighting everyday.
You have to keep searching for answers.
I wish this illness wasn't so expensive, but without the treatments it's very hard to make progress.
When I give this to you you occlude one nostril, put this up into the other nostril [inhales] and then you take a deep breath before you push any in.
- [Star] Okay.
- Okay? I don't want - any of this going into your lungs.
- Okay.
[woman 1] Then you will gently then push this up into your airway.
- [whirring] - [click] - [inhaling deeply] - [woman 1] Now breathe in deep and put that up.
[woman 2] I was on this anti-microbial.
It will target those things you're dealing with.
[Star] I'm feeling some real relief already.
- [exhaling deeply] - [woman 1] Beautiful.
[inhaling] The experience of going in circles and taking every supplement and trying every diet and not getting better.
Now, all of a sudden we're dialing it in and I'm like, "My gosh.
Already I'm feeling more like a human, a normal person.
" [exhaling deeply] I feel like I'm getting healthier.
Look at how good you look.
Are they taking good care of you? [Star] I'm so happy to see you.
- [Bo] I'm happy to see you too.
- [Star] Super long day.
So I'm feeling really soft and really grateful.
Not just in having found this clinic but also to you.
[inhaling] You know, how much you've been supporting me and how hard it's been for us in general.
- It's a great journey we're on.
- Yeah.
[Star] My husband and I I mean, we both have cried together.
I often had said that I didn't think I would live to be very old because maintaining these symptoms literally are impossible.
Honestly, I'm feeling so grateful right now and I'm feeling really blessed.
We're making progress, aren't we? It's a lot for me, you know? [Bo] My emotional state with Star has taken me to a level where I have a deeper appreciation for being alive, being with her, and much greater, grace and gratitude for this life.
[Star] It's unbelievable how much dedication this is taking both of us, right? I feel like I'm going through treatments.
But my suffering is being alleviated.
You go through this with somebody that you love that's suffering so much.
[Star] Yeah.
We're getting healed together.
I knew someday we would get to the solution.
Now we're at the solution.
- [both kiss] - [Bo] You're glowing.
[Star] Aww! I'm experiencing relief, you know, in my mind, body, and spirit.
I know I'm getting better.
Honestly, like, I feel excited.
[Jill] It's so hard to find a doctor who knows what the deal is in the chemical sensitivity world.
With Dr.
Magaziner, he has a center in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, which is an hour and a half away.
He's also a member of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.
So it's really he's really got it all going on.
- [Janine] Does Magaziner take insurance? - No.
- [Janine] So, this is all out of pocket.
- This is out of pocket.
Have a seat up on the exam table, please.
I'm gonna tap your knees.
Look right here.
Now, look over here.
Close your eyes real tight.
Don't let me open them.
I want you to put one hand on top of the other.
And just kind of do this.
Put your arms to the side.
Reach up toward the ceiling.
Push down to the floor.
Have you been on any or many antibiotics in the last few years? Before this happened, yeah, because I had surgeries.
Magaziner] Okay.
Now I just want you to do a heel to toe walking.
Okay, you can sit down and relax.
I had a chance - to read over all your paperwork.
- [Jill] Did you get my labs? [Dr.
Magaziner] I got everything.
Couple of things.
I saw your thyroid was under active.
- Your vitamin D is suboptimal.
- [Jill] Yep.
Magaziner] You have some autoimmunity with the ANA.
- In a speckled pattern.
- [Jill] What's ANA? It stands for antinuclear antibodies.
It means there's some degree of autoimmunity, which means your body - is sort of reacting against itself.
- [Jill] Nice.
This is what chemicals can do.
Molds can do it as well.
So, what I think the bottom line sort of is, we need to strengthen your whole immune system.
We need to get your mitochondria working better.
We need to get your detoxification pathways to work better.
Those are three of the main areas I would focus on.
What does that mean from our standpoint? We'd like to have you come to the office.
- Special IV's I'd do with you.
- [Jill] Um-hmm.
There's things that we do to stimulate the antioxidant defenses.
To get rid of the bad guys and bring in the good guys, basically.
What I have to do is put a little plan together for you.
- Okay.
- And we can proceed.
[Jill] Nice.
That was smooth.
I liked him.
I feel like I want to see him again.
I trust him.
It's gonna be great to have somebody to check in with and keep me on track.
It's just the house.
[Janine] All right, what's happening? Nothing.
Just Worried about money.
It looks like these IVs every week are gonna be three hundred and something.
We are doing badly, financially, right now.
[Janine] The cost of dealing with everything that's happened in the house has been like absolutely insane.
And Jill's IVs aren't covered.
Her supplements aren't covered.
Treatments are not covered by insurance, by and large.
I'm doing everything I can to support Jill.
But that savings account is nearly gone.
And this is super expensive.
[water trickling] [keys clink] - [Jeff] Bye, Mom.
- Bye, Jeff.
- [door opens] - [phone line ringing] - [woman] Hello? - This is Jeff, your Uber driver.
- I just wanted - Oh.
Hi, just wanted to make sure I have the address here right.
235, correct? - [blinker clicking] - Uh - I'm 249, but I'll be outside.
- Okay.
Sounds good.
Thank you.
- All right, thank you.
- Okay, bye.
[Jeff] I mean, I would love to be Pilly and I at our own place.
Just enjoying life.
Anything beyond this.
I never thought that [gasps softly] That this would would happen.
Thank you.
All I want her to do is to recover.
I want to restore our relationship.
I want to make it right.
No matter how expensive it is.
[Eldon] I can't imagine how he can be happy.
I don't understand it all.
I don't have a lot of sympathy for how you stay with her.
I stay away from it.
I sit out here in the front yard.
[chuckles] And eat yogurt.
[clicks tongue] [tearing wrapper] What are you doing up there? - [Jeff] Just listening.
- [Eldon] What? I'm just listening.
What are you listening to? I'm listening to you.
Did you listen to me when you were this tall? I listened to you for many years, Dad.
[Eldon] I hope that you work this out.
I have no empathy for what you're going through at all.
I don't have pity for your wife.
I never asked for any pity.
- [Eldon] I know.
- It's not like I went off the deep end.
[Eldon] Yeah, but you're letting someone goof up your life.
- [Eldon] Well? - [Jeff] Dad, would you do this to Mom? - Honestly.
- [Eldon] Your mom would not whine.
Okay? [Jeff exhales] [Eldon] With Pilar, she's not a bad girl.
She's gotta learn to toughen up.
She's gotta understand that she's ruining him, and destroying him in the process, destroying themselves.
She's doing things that could kill you financially.
- [Jeff] Dad, but - She doesn't care either.
[Jeff] She cares, but the thing is that she's the one She's the one that has the condition.
She's the one that She's my wife and I'm gonna do everything I can to bring her back.
I'm not asking you for anything except for you to tolerate me.
Nothing I can do.
So, here you are.
And I just put up with you.
Waiting for the day I don't know what the hell you're doing.
You deserve each other, I think.
Do you want to put up with it? Go for it.
But do it without me.
I'm just waiting for the day that he moves out.
Fifty years old, staying at home with me, you gotta be kidding.
Sounds cold and cruel but it's not.
That's just That's just me and my culture that I come from.
[Eldon] That's it.
I'm through.
Have a nice evening.
But now, it's just tough.
It's tough now.
[door opens] [door closes] [Eldon] That part of my family is deteriorating.
It's really sad.
Really sad.
Actually, it breaks my heart.
[stammering] You can't imagine.
[clicks tongue] [gasping] [switch clicks] [Pilar] I feel like I'm taking advantage of him.
But I know because of his love towards me he wants to continue to help me.
Maybe Jeff feels that if he can keep helping me that somehow he can keep making this relationship happen.
But he can't force me to love him back.
I I don't see him as a husband anymore.
SDH created by: Riddhish Patel