An incurable allergy

Many years ago, I went to see a radical doctor of sorts about my psoriasis, for which more conventional specialists had offered only coal tar, steroids, thrice-weekly ultraviolet light treatments, and the off-label use of certain cancer drugs, like methotrexate.

He was an MD with degrees from reputable mainstream programs. He had nothing to say about the human spirit, or any other spirits, and their role in healing. He claimed no special vision or sensitivities and never used words like energistic.

His radicalism had several dimensions. First, he identified with the orthomolecular offshoot of mainstream medicine associated with the Nobel Prize-winning chemist Linus Pauling and his late-career championing of mega-vitamin C dosing.


Second, he was all-in, and early, in believing that allergies and immunological issues were root causes in all kinds of health issues in which they had not (yet) been clinically implicated. And it was in this connection that he asked about my mercury-laced, amalgam fillings, flashing a somewhat ghoulish gold-capped grin as he seemed to imply that we might as well pluck those culprits right here and now.

If it seems I am telling a tale quackistry, that is not the case. I find no fault in this good doctor’s diet-based approach, and no particular benefit, either, regarding my skin at least.

What he gave me, however, in my first five minutes in his office, was a motto fit for a coat of arms.

“You’ve got no chance,” he nearly yelled. (I am still unclear what he meant by that.) “You are allergic to yourself!”

That part, I felt then and now, pretty much explains everything.


Read more installments of Village Voices by John Burdick.