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Michael Wolf
>Medical Info
>Personal Statement
Zachary Watson
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Save The Planet

Brain Damage:
In September 2004, I suffered from exposure to fumes from a house fire in a home with large amounts of high lead-content paint, as well as other chemicals including mercury. I suffered brain damage, manifesting in several ways, but most prominently as a loss of social skills and problems with short term memory. An excellent way to describe my condition is that my condition prevents me from being able to explain my condition - something I had to learn how to express.

Document explaining my disabilities

This condition is the primary reason for my choosing life on The Disperser. What I have come to understand from losing my social skills is what they are: dishonesty, mostly in the form of hiding our true feelings. I prefer an honest life, even if it means only ever being with someone I trust completely and never having contact with anyone else.

Genetic Condition:
In 2012, I was diagnosed with a condition which is caused by a genetic defect. In my case, my immune system does not process lipid (fat) soluble toxins so that my body can eliminate them through what is called the bile cycle. Instead, these toxins accumulate in me unless removed by other means. This means two things: one, I cannot be in an environment where there are any such toxins, and this includes a class of toxins known as VOCs, meaning Volatile Organic Compounds, which are absolutely everywhere, in small quantities, in any modern society. It also means I am extremely sensitive to a particular toxin, the one found in black molds. The fire which caused my brain damage was actually in part caused by this genetic condition, as aflatoxin, the toxin in black molds, causes loss of cognitive ability and affects memory. Fortunately, I discovered a treatment: citrus pectin, which I now make, chelates this toxin and that allows my body to remove it. And as my ship is made of cement, and I have acquired a treatment which prevents mold from ever growing on the hull, as long as I take other precautions, I will never have any problems with mold.

For reasons which remain unexplained, I developed allergies and sensitivities to foods which I began to notice in 2010. These sensitivities now mean I can only safely eat meat, though I tolerate nixtamilized, white, non-GMO corn (corn soaked in calcium hydroxide which partially digests it) in small amounts with only relatively minor discomfort. If I eat anything else, my intestines swell and burn for three days and I suffer intestinal blockages and constipation.

Overall Health:
Because of my diet, my being away from environmental toxins, my being in a controlled environment of my own creation - my ship, and now finally having the live-in caregiver I require; I now experience excellent overall health.

Thanks to my diet, I lost close to 100lbs and have kept it off consistently for six years now. I feel better than I have felt all my life, and I am stronger and healthier than ever. I also heal much faster, easier, and more thoroughly because my immune system isn't busy fighting off toxins from the environment, a battle my body started to lose because of a lifetime of accumulating in my body. Now that I am free of those problems, my health is great. Unfortunately, I cannot fully enjoy it because of the limitations caused by brain damage.

Disability and Discrimination:
I was exposed to enough lead and other heavy metal to have caused physical damage to my brain. This damage had two areas of effects: phyisical health, and mental health. This damage is physical, which means that it is permanent. And because there is physical damage, my condition, while manifesting as mental symptoms, has an organic, or physical cause. Believe it or not, I spent ten years trying to prove this fact to Social Security, only to get disablity for some of the symptoms: testimony to how difficult my situation is, both to understand, and to tolerate.

The brain damage affects me physically because a part of the brain that controls many hormones and regulates many body processes was damaged. This included regulation of salt and body temperature. I have to consume a lot more salt than normal, and have to drink a lot of water to make up for it so that I don't damage my kindeys even further than they were by my step mother's home remedy which left me with a massive cyst on one of my kidneys. I also have a very difficult time adjusting to changes in weather and am very sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. I am also prone to overheating and heat exhaustion. Lucky for me, the best way to cool down is to jump in water, and living on a sailboat means I'll never die from overheating.

Mentally, I was primarily affected by the loss of what we call social skills. Because I cannot easily relate to people, and because I cannot easily or accurately explain myself, people easily misunderstand me and worse, often make assumptions about me, assumptions which are almost always the polar opposite of how I truly am.

The net result of this, from my perspective, is that I am actually nearly universally discriminated against. This is not to say that people intend to discriminate against me or deliberately mistreat me or financially take advantage of me. But it happens, and there certainly isn't much I can do about it, other than having someone who can represent my interests for me. This was impossible to find in the USA, which is the reason I decided to leave. But in Mexico, it means we have to trust someone to do so for us, and finding someone either to volunteer, or whom we can pay and trust, has so far proven impossible.