If you're one of the thousands of people, mostly from Texas, who believe weird, freaky fibers are wiggling out from under their skin, then you may want to check out the fourth annual medical conference on Morgellons Disease in Austin April 2.
Our sister paper in Dallas wrote about the mysterious Morgellons, in which people complain of subdermal stinging and crawling sensations, coupled by the protrusion of tiny thread-like thingies. Picture that dude from the movie Bug, and you get the idea. Many physicians chalk it up to a psychiatric phenomenon, à la delusional parasitosis. Alas, sufferers say the condition takes a huge toll, and advocacy groups -- like the Charles E. Holman Foundation, sponsor of the annual Austin conference -- are demanding that Morgellons be taken seriously.
Conference speakers include Rhonda Casey, assistant professor of pediatrics at Oklahoma State University; Ginger Savely, a nurse who "has medically managed over 300 Morgellons patients in her medical practice"; and others.
Music will be provided by Morgellons sufferer Cliff Mickelson, who's very vocal on Morgellons forums, where he's written about the disease attacking dogs, horses, pigs and even the common fly, à la: "I have personally observed infected house flies that have been totally consumed by the creature leaving nothing but the exoskeleton and a Frankenstein-like collection of Macro-fibers extruding from them in every direction."
We dare you to read the forum for 15 minutes without feeling little creepy-crawlies all over your skin. We just hope that, one day soon, someone like Bono will champion the Morgellons sufferers' cause, and the folks at the CDC will work double-time to find a cure. Or at least a decent placebo.