The Harriet Bishop Story
My name is Harriet Bishop. It’s an old-fashioned name because I am 78 years old!
I was 76 when it was determined in Ginger’s office that the open lesions oozing on my hands for the previous 11 years, since August 14, 1994, had been something called Morgellon’s all along.
Twenty-six different doctors of all kinds, starting with dermatologists, had had a shot at trying to improve the condition. Some were nice and tried their best, to no avail, but most ‘blamed the victim’. I’ll give you an example that is typical.
Several years into the ordeal, after staring at my hands, one rheumatologist practically threw me out of her office, and refused to see me for joint pain and muscle spasms even though her respected mentor had referred me to her. She told me not to come back until my hands were well! I became indignant, and told her I couldn’t find anyone who could help– who would she suggest!
She haughtily gave me the name of one of her friends, an infectious disease specialist. I am a fighter, and I had about ‘had it’, so I asked her to call him up and get me in. She did so, and my husband and I went right over there.
This infectious disease doctor condescended only to look at me standing up in the waiting room, and in the presence of all the other patients, tell me rudely I was in the wrong kind of office! Once again, “OK, where would you suggest I go?”
He sent me immediately to the building next door, to the worst kind of doctor for this skin condition, a dermatologist, supposedly the best in San Antonio. For nearly a year this arrogant guy refused to listen to any input from me, but I gave him lots of time to prove to myself that I was not just “doctor-hopping.” He refused to believe and couldn’t see that the steroid creams were making it all worse, causing an overgrowth that buried the infection far below, insuring the accelerated pain and deepening symptoms. On our final office visit, which I came to call ‘confrontations,’ he said that I was causing it myself and I needed a psychiatrist! This time I didn’t bother to ask for a referral.
By now I had found an eminent rheumatologist in Riverside CA who was going to help me with the Nicholson protocol for the mycolasma fermentans incognito which had been diagnosed by PCR in Irvine, CA.
That was an opportunity to consult a kindly neuropsychopharmacologist (!) in nearby Anaheim, CA who has written well researched and well received books on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. I was treated in his office all day for a solid week, twice within six months.
During these all day sessions he tries different doses of varying drugs to try to find what helps, and to try to determine what is wrong. With me, he had given IV’s that really helped the all-over pain, and some trigger point injections that were also effective in relieving muscle spasms.
At the end of our sessions, he said he did not know what was wrong with my hands, but he declared the problem was not “all in my mind” nor was it within my brain, except insofar as the immune function had failed to prevent my body from fighting off this infection. As we parted for the last time, he gently shook my white-gloved hand, and said “You need a better dermatologist!”
I never did find one.
Meanwhile, my Master of Public Health husband, intensely interested in epidemiology, encouraged me to make slides of the things I extracted from my fingers to lessen the pain temporarily. My local GP tried everything he knew, and even used his own microscope to examine the various kinds of strange objects that came out of my fingers, never once accusing me of “matchbox syndrome.” There were jagged red crystals, and black seed-like specks and long undulating fibers, and shapes like miniscule cockroaches, all hairy. My GP approved when I added to my health care team an internist who was skilled in alternative medicine, including homeopathy and energy medicine. This internist came close when he considered and prescribed for ‘a form of rickettsia’ but he apparently did not think of Lyme specifically.
Eventually in March 2005 my daughter in Houston saw a Channel 2 television clip featuring Ginger, and I saw on the TV screen microscope slides that looked just like mine! The narrative startled me with the statement that most patients with Morgellon’s also had Lyme disease! With the blessing of my local GP, off to Ginger I went!
By May 2005 I had tested positive for Lyme disease, babesiosis, bartonella and anaplasmosis. Ginger made the diagnosis of Morgellon’s. And I had already had the mycoplasma that frequently is a co-infection of Lyme.
My course of action seemed clear: put myself in her hands and comply fully. I resolved to do whatever it took, for however long it took.
I do not have to tell you how debilitating the condition was, bleeding and oozing and making most hand work impossible, even to turning the car ignition and opening doors. Sewing and playing the piano were impossible for years, as was washing vegetables and dishes. Water aggravated the condition, and resulted in my giving up my beloved Senior Swim Team. But, goldurnit, I would wear the gloves and paddle my kayak, and not fall in! I will not give my entire life to Morgellon’s!
So I have followed Ginger’s astute advice, and I have done several optional therapies she has mentioned, and I have taken all the medications on time. It is two years later now, and I no longer have constant nausea, frequent debilitating dizzy spells, and exhausting fatigue.
But best of all, my fingers are healing. They are 85% better than when I first went to her nearly two years ago. She said, “There is no specific treatment for Morgellon’s. We treat the Lyme, and the Morgellon’s gets better.” She was absolutely right.
The fingers are healing from the inside out, so that now there are still red crystals emanating but they are much, much shallower, because there is healthy skin beneath. It’s healing according to the homeopathic rules. And yes, it did get worse before it got better, so don’t get discouraged when the condition seems to worsen. You will be on the right track. Persistence is key.
The therapies that helped the most——–
The antibiotics to get at the Lyme spirochetes and the blood cell parasites.
The antiparasitics for the inevitable infestations of the worms we all seem to have.
An OTC topical ointment with painkilling ingredients which also helped with softening.
Mary Kay Extra Emollient Night Cream
Ayurvedic topical oils from Shankara.com
Daily very deep breathing to maximize oxygen in the tissues
Yoga to induce a deeper, more healing level of sleep and lessen muscle spasms
Deep sleep however you can get it
And I simply must put in a plug here for a product that allegedly increases the body’s supply of glutathione by 300%! It is the Skin Care Patch by LifeWave, a nanotechnology company. Nothing goes into the body, but the patch worn every other day communicates with body cells to increase the body’s own production of glutathione. A free sample can be obtained at
Click on the video to get the screen for the free sample. Try it for yourself and see….but don’t give up anything Ginger says to do!
The place I was when I contracted Lyme:
Somewhat of a jigsaw puzzle. Several places, all around the Northern Hemisphere.
I believe now that I was six years old, living in a tent all summer in northern Arizona’s pine forest with my father and brothers when I was first bitten. I remember my parents very upset upon seeing a “bulls-eye” on my back. And then I remember that entire winter when I was sick. How could anyone forget being that sick?
After that I was a weak child and couldn’t keep up with my peers in any sports, though I excelled in school, spending my time reading instead of running.
As a teenager, and later as an adult, the skin around the tips of my fingers often broke open and was extremely painful in strange triangular lesions that were not hangnails. I now believe it was the beginning of Morgellon’s.
I removed numerous ticks from my body in summer jobs in Rocky Mountain National Park, and Big Bear Lake, California in the 1940’s.
In 1954 I was bitten probably a hundred times all over my body while spending a night in a communal hut half way up the side of Mt. Fuji in Japan where we lived.
In 1956 we moved into a house later discovered to be completely infested with ticks in Panama City, Florida. They were so tiny as to be nearly invisible, but once noted, they were seen to all be crawling up the interior plastered wall, thousands of them all at once! Is it coincidental that I began to have odd bleeding requiring surgical intervention? … spells of nausea and vertigo so overpowering that I had to put the toddlers in their beds with crackers and their bottles and strict orders to stay there because I could not get help and could not take care of them?
In the early 1960’s we hiked the Black Forest in Germany where we were living then, kicking through ankle-deep leaves in the fall. Only a few ticks….
By 1968 we moved onto a ranch southeast of Seguin Texas, where we raised dogs of several breeds as well as the cattle and horses common to Texas ranches. So many deer roamed that three orphan deer became our pets and ran with our dogs….ticks were everywhere and on every one of us.
In 1986 we moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, and joined swimming teams, ice skating groups, and cross country ski groups. We joined hiking groups to gain the summits of all the mountains along the shoreline. In 1990 after a hike in a bog that turned into a scramble through a thorny glacial meadow, I noted scratches all over my body from the barbs that went through my Levis. On my right upper thigh the next week there was one last remaining lesion that didn’t heal. It was reddened around it, and had a little thing in it that I thought was a thorn tip. I couldn’t get it out with tweezers because it was embedded so deeply. There is only a tiny scar there now. And there was another on my right heel and another on left ankle that now are hardened nodules. I believe all three were sick ticks.
It was 1991 that I became extremely ill, having eventually to give up all sports. During the summer of 1991 I was on bed rest, and could function in no capacity in the home. By 1994 I was able to get out into the sun and do a little gardening at the co-op apartment where we lived.
August 14, 1994 I scratched both hands by pulling up weeds for several hours. I washed them thoroughly and applied Campho-Phenique, but the scratches increased in size to become the deep lesions that never healed. They were on all sides of the fingers, quarter to half an inch deep, shot all the way through the fingers with infection. The holes would partially fill in with some strange callus-like material that was abnormal, and very painful. The condition crept upward on my arms toward the elbows, and then receded back down to the fingers, but never went away. Last summer the juicy lesion on back of my right hand looked exactly like Acrodermatitis Chronica Atropicans.
I am happy to say that it has healed over now with tender new normal skin. I am confident that continuing Ginger’s program for another year will effect the cure that I am seeking. It will be 2008. I will have had the condition 14 years. To cure it in three years seems a miraculous achievement. Are you willing to give it three years to be well again?
You can do it! If I could, anybody can.