From the Washington Post:
Every morning, Sue says, she found little black specks all over her side of the bed. Then she discovered droplets of blood where the specks appeared to be coming out of her skin. “I looked like I had paper cuts all over,” she says. She began washing the sheets in ammonia every day. Next, her chest, neck, face, back, arms and legs broke out in painful, red gelatinous lesions that never seemed to heal. To get some relief, she stayed in the shower for hours. She bathed in vinegar and sea salt and doused her body with baby powder. Nothing really helped.
Her joints began to ache. She lost all her energy and became forgetful. She says she would comb her hair, and tangled clumps of what looked like hair, fibers, dust and skin tissue would fall out. Then, she says, her actual hair began to fall out and her teeth began to rot. She refused to let anyone in the house and stopped going out. She didn’t know what she had, but she was afraid she might be contagious.
One day, she says, a pink worm came out of one of her eyeballs and she coughed up a springtail fly. “That’s when I thought, ‘I’m really going to kill myself,'” she says.
Sue visited a dermatologist, who said he didn’t know what was wrong. In time, Sue, 51, came across a condition on the Internet that sounded exactly like her own, and joined 11,036 others from the United States and around the world who, as of earlier this month, had registered on a Web site as sufferers of what they say is a strange new debilitating illness. Some call it the “fiber disease,” but most refer to it as Morgellons, a name taken from a similar condition of children wasting away with “harsh hairs” described in the 17th century. A frustrated mother, Mary Leitao, then living in South Carolina, happened upon the description in an old medical history book in 2002 after doctors didn’t believe her when she told them that her son had fibers growing out of his lip.