Updated: 4 days ago
I once answered one of those perennial complaints that the ACC people are a cult, by saying, that, Yes, you do tend to love and revere someone who figures out why you are sick and helps you recover for free.
I had spent years trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I hadn’t been half as sick as some of the people I work with or listen to on the Facebook group. But it does seem as though I have had every single symptom you could get, just not as severe. I was always trying to figure out what was wrong and doing this or that cleanse or fast…or boiling up paper bags full of Chinese herbs. And all those things helped but nothing would stick. I also endured a lot of surgeries as this or that part of my body gave up and fell to pieces. I don’t think anyone in my family really understood how exhausted and depleted I felt all the time. Most mercury toxic people don’t get much sympathy, that’s for sure.
When I finally got a diagnosis I just jumped on it. After a few mistakes and false starts, and all this part is kind of “the fog of war” for me, I finally got Amalgam Illness and just devoured it. I read the Yahoo group every single day. I can remember, for instance, sitting in this grim little internet café on the Baga road in Goa, India, obsessively reading all the posts. I don’t think I had started chelating by then. Andy used to post in that group a whole lot, so other than from the book, this is the first place I heard his voice.
Later, I got to meet him because he came to a lecture series in Vermont sponsored by Biotics Research. I posted about it in the Yahoo group and Andy read it and thought it was funny and replied! You can read what was said here.
By that time I was overcome with hero worship. Andy was my guru. I was his humble chela. I hung on his every word. I searched the internet for everything I could find. I bought CDs of his lectures.
I think a lot of us went through this kind of transference. He was so ridiculously brilliant and witty and he was saving our lives, too. The thing is, he was a modest sort of person and he sincerely did not like being idolized. I eventually worked through that and started seeing him as an ordinary mortal, albeit one who was ridiculously brilliant and witty and who was saving my life.
One day I was looking through my messages and there was one from him! My guru! He asked if I would consider writing a book for him. Kris Homme had told him I could write. Apparently nobody else he had asked had ever been able to finish anything. I was the first person to actually do that.
He wanted another book to sell so he could make a living. He said I could write about whatever I wanted...my choice. At first I just wanted to do a simple manual, not very thick, with all the rules laid out systematically, because I thought that was what people needed. But the book grew and grew.
Andy would send me big blocks of text and I would slice and dice them and move stuff around. I learned a whole lot from working with him. The fact that I have no scientific background whatsoever was an advantage because once I understood what he was saying, I was able to put it into words that a layperson can understand. Plus there were things that he just assumed that everybody knows that were huge revelations to me. He just assumed things like, “everybody knows that insomnia is caused by your adrenal system being all gummed up.” But that was a world class revelation for me. Or that anxiety is from your adrenals, too. I had suffered with anxiety ALL OF MY LIFE!
So we labored away together on this thing for several years. I was living up on hill in Port Antonio, Jamaica in a board house with no electricity. I would hike down the rocky path with my laptop and work in the gazebo of a decrepit guest house. The electricity came from an extension cord through the yard and the roof leaked and there was not a comfortable chair in the place.
Later on, I flew out to Seattle and stayed with him and Joanne at their place. He told me that he had spent three days cleaning up for my visit. He also had to totally readjust his schedule because he tended to sleep in the day and stay up all night working and talking to people all over the world. mHe got a cot and we struggled with assembling it and I slept in his “book room.” We sat at his old computer all day and went through the manuscript word by word. If there was some topic I thought we needed to cover, I would just ask him and it was all there, right in his head. Andy cooked dinner for us every night. He loved to cook and he was good at it.
While I was there, I got to see his “manufacturing facilities,” which was a garage with pallet loads of photocopied pages, and an industrial strength hand stapler. He manufactured Amalgam Illness and Hair Test Interpretation all by himself and mailed them out via the postman who came to his door. Any business coach would have been horrified.
Once I wrote an article about him and went on about how selfless he was and how he helped people for free and yada, yada, yada. He got really mad at me, “You don’t know anything about my business!” I guess he wasn’t that crazy about the mushy persona I had made for him. He talked to people all over the word and helped them for free all the time, because that was what he liked to do. He probably should have been writing blogs and posting on social media with ‘calls to action’ and charging money and selling books and the fact that he didn’t was in some ways his deep kindness of heart and in another that deep mercurial procrastination symptom. He also procrastinated about chelating. I think he told me he only did a year and a half. Just enough to get his intellect up and running again….and of course he died really young of a heart attack. I have to think that if he had stuck with the program, that wouldn’t have happened.
Towards the end, he did a massive amount of work. I was concerned that there was a disconnect between understanding that autism and amalgam illness is the same thing. I thought we had better have a section on mercury poisoning in children. So he sent me that huge section, “Does your child need to chelate, too?” That is a very important chapter, along with the rules about pregnancy and lactation. Joanne told me that he was getting more and more tired by that time. I feel that his heart’s blood went into those chapters.
Then he up and died like that, right after sending me the chapter on childhood development. He was just getting ready to book his ticket to come to Vermont. I was going to put him up in my brother’s Airbnb and was figuring out where we could work together. My poor brother, who is now far gone with dementia, was looking forward to having Andy check him out. I was going to take him to dinner at my daughter’s house and show him off. ( My SIL is a chemical engineer, too.) Then he up and died like that!
He made me do a lot of reading before we got started, but basically I didn’t do a lick of research for that book. All I would have to do is ask him a question and all the information would come full blown out of his brain. I was really worried about how to proceed without him. I am a French major which is not very useful for understanding chemistry. But with the help of Brian and Linda and many other people, Joanne and I were able to finish. Joanne knew a lot about diabetes so she wrote that chapter…and we got it done. I know that more and more people are reading it. It is making his work really accessible and I am so happy about that.
I miss you Andy. We all miss you. Thank you for figuring this stuff out so that I now have a life! It was an honor to get to write that book with you.