A Dentist and His Mercury Demons
by Leo Cashman
What was this nice man doing with the agony of the Demons he was facing? He had a solid dental practice and his loving family around him but all he could feel was torture. As a married, professional man in Sarasota, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico, he was living in a place close to Paradise. But, no. There were mood swings, rapid heartbeat, feelings of impending doom. There was something he called “morbid irritability.” “My nights were unbelievable nightmares. They were horrible. The feeling of impending death was worst at night as if I were having a heart attack.” Stuart Scheckner’s true story is an intense and daunting tale to read but, for those of us who have been through Mercury poisoning, the suffering ring echoes of our own stories with their unpleasant symptoms and difficult days. For so many of us, as with Dr. Scheckner, the suffering of being Mercury poisoned may go on for years, and even decades, without being properly understood and given the correct diagnosis. Our society’s ignorance about Mercury is wide and deep, making it a sort of wasteland where the Mercury poisoned person’s journey can be lonely and desolate.
The American Dental Association (ADA) pooh-poohed Dr. Scheckner’s concern that he was Mercury poisoned; ADA told him he was fine. Holistic doctors and dentists, on the other hand, were well informed and really helped him. One was Hal Huggins, DDS, who offered him the insight that, when his urine tested as having no Mercury in it, he was actually very Mercury toxic and was just manifesting Mercury “retention toxicity,” his kidneys having become unable to excrete the Mercury. Sandra Denton, M.D., provided knowledgeable medical care and Louis Chang, PhD, a Mercury toxicology expert, provided expert testimony as a witness in his second lawsuit effort to win a workers compensation award.
Unfortunately, Scheckner did not find justice in the court system despite his two attempts to win a workers compensation award and despite having suffered what had clearly been a Mercury accident-a spill onto a shag rug that couldn’t possibly get cleaned up of the Mercury and that remained in place for years after the spill. He had had to contend with an unscrupulous, dishonest “expert” witness for the insurance company that fought the claim and he had a judge who seem to rule with bias. So, not only were Scheckner’s career ended by Mercury, but ultimately he was not awarded any workers compensation benefits. He was left to endure and simply survive, although he managed to improve recover his health to some degree. “It is the purpose of my book to make a difference and help people understand the reality of the effect of Mercury on health,” he said. “I hope I can enlighten untold numbers of people suffering from this horrible, insidious poison. This gives meaning to all I have endured.”
Time Bomb from Within, Mercury poisoning in dentistry, by Stuart Scheckner, DDS, is available from DAMS.