For whatever reason, the disease did not take root in me, though sometimes the beads would become ingrained in my flesh when I stepped on them.
In the last year or so, the disease suddenly became acute, taking up larger and larger portions of the house. When the symptoms were really bad, I’d send Anne into the back yard so the kids would not be overcome by contaminated dust. It didn’t always work, though. The kids wanted to be around mom, even when she was at the height of her fever.
One of the nastier symptoms of this ailment is an uncontrollable urge to buy tools. At this point, Anne has a nicer collection of pliers than anyone I’ve ever met, male or female. Another popular tool amongst those suffering from MJD are Dremels, ball peen hammers and stamps. What’s really whacky is that this disease also generates a craving for silver and copper.
One time, in an attempt to cure herself, Anne bought liver of sulfur. I’ve heard that beef and chicken liver can cure all kinds of ailments, but this stuff came in a block with warnings that eating it will result in a horrible death.
I gently begged Anne to not EAT this liver. Thankfully, her symptoms abated long enough for to use the liver to age her silver, whatever that means.
Although we all survived Anne’s unexplained desire to sit hunched over a desk staring at small objects, the disease is entering the scariest stage of all: The desire to find and presumably consume rare minerals. My mom, much to my chagrin, has become an enabler by taking Anne to the Tucson Gem show. (While my mom shows latter-stage symptom, she never showed the earlier ones.)
Now they both are buying precious minerals and filling up their respective homes with rocks. Such madness!
A few days ago, I realized the whole situation is now hopeless: My kids are getting the disease too; making her wear a mask hasn’t worked at all. In fact, they want the disease so badly, they hang around mom whenever she’s having one of her MJD fits in hopes of catching a few stray beads for their themselves.
Meanwhile, my immunity remains as strong as ever. Thank God I don’t have Making Jewelry Disease.
(You can visit her website here.)