On April 1, thousands of musicians and fans packed the Marquee Ballroom of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to honor Joni Mitchell’s music at the MusiCares Person of the Year Gala. Billy Porter sung “Both Sides Now” beautifully. Brandi Carlile and Jon Batiste, both nominees for Grammy Awards in 2022, served as the evening’s artistic directors.
Mitchell’s presence enhanced the performance, which was already fantastic. According to Billboard, the singer’s appearance was in doubt. Mitchell has made few public appearances over the years. In addition to recovering from a brain aneurysm in 2015, she also suffered for several years from Morgellons Disease, a rare and disputed medical ailment.
Mitchell was discovered unconscious at her home in 2015 after suffering from a brain aneurysm. Mitchell recovered her speech fast despite having to relearn how to walk. Mitchell was said to be “making good progress” in a later NME report. She had daily therapy and was soon walking again.
On the other hand, Mitchell had been unable to perform or travel for years owing to a separate condition. She diagnosed herself with Morgellons Disease, which many medical specialists feel is a delusion.
Mitchell told the Los Angeles Times in 2010 that she has a “weird, incurable condition that seems to be from another planet,” but her health is better than it has been in a long time. ” Two nights ago, I went out for the first time since December 23. I don’t look too bad in incandescent light, but in daylight, I’m terrifying.:
“Fibers of various colors spring out of my skin like mushrooms after a rain,” Mitchell described her condition. “They cannot be characterized forensically as animal, vegetable, or mineral. Morgellons, will blow up one of your organs, rendering you incapacitated for a year. It is a slow and unpredictable assassin.
“As a polio survivor, I understand how conservative the medical community can be. But I have a tremendous will to live.”
Mitchell revealed in her 2014 book Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words, “I couldn’t wear clothing,” according to Billboard. ” I was unable to leave my house for several years. I felt myself having to crawl across the floor on occasion. My legs would cramp up, much like a polio spasm. It had an impact on every part of my body where I had polio.”
Doctors remain unconvinced despite what the singer of “Case of You” and others allege. According to Billboard, Mary Leitao, a lab worker from Pennsylvania, gave it that name in 2002.
According to Billboard, patients allege that fibers form from skin lesions, maybe as a result of microscopic parasites. Crawling sensations, acute itching, and overall fatigue/mental fog are also reported as symptoms of the condition.
“Although victims have come together behind groups such as the Morgellons Research Foundation, the ailment is still not recognized by the mainstream medical profession. Because it isn’t a recognized condition, there aren’t many exact figures on the number of sufferers.”
According to Slate, the Mayo Clinic believes the ailment is psychosomatic. In a Morgellons report issued in 2012, the Centers for Disease Control found no environmental or viral causes of the condition.
All biopsies from the affected areas were either negative or positive for skin conditions such as dermatitis, demonstrating that the illness characterized as “unexplained apparent dermopathy” is psychological. According to Billboard, persons who self-diagnose Morgellons syndrome are usually treated for delusional parasitosis (the belief that they are parasite-infested).
According to Mitchell, her condition in America is “always labeled as ‘parasitic delusion,’ and they send you to a psychiatrist,” according to the Los Angeles Times. “I sincerely want to leave the music industry so that I may campaign for Morgellons patients to be treated with dignity.”
“I’m not cured, but I’ve found a helpful doctor who thinks outside the box,” she reportedly told The Star in 2013. ” According to traditional medicine, this is a non-existent mental disorder. It’s not.”
Given the prevalence of self-diagnosis, some argue that Morgellons disease is psychosomatic. According to Billboard, they seek solace in the misery of others rather than accepting a doctor’s opinion that there is no medical basis for their problems. “Many are afraid to accept such a diagnosis because of the stigma of mental illness,” writes Torie Bosch of Slate.
“Further research is required,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
Mitchell is recovering despite her circumstances.
Mitchel informed Cameron Crowe in 2020 that she was “inching” her way forward, according to the Guardian. “I’m progressing slowly but steadily. I was unable to move once again. I had to relearn how. I couldn’t say anything.” She felt that the aneurysm took away far more from her than the polio.”
“I lost my ability to speak and walk. While I quickly regained my speech, I am still having difficulty walking. But, I mean, I’m a fighter. I have Irish ancestors! As a result, I was conscious of the fact that here I go again, another battle.”
Mitchell has since begun a new chapter in her life. In 2021, she was honored at both the MusiCares Gala and the Kennedy Center.
“I’m astounded by the amount of exposure my work has recently garnered, as well as the welcome I’ve received when attending Clive Davis’ Grammy ceremonies. He introduces me, and that audience gives me this thunderous applause,” she told the LA Times in 2021.
“I’m moved every time someone tells me how the music has affected them. I find it remarkable that, despite the criticism, the intimacy ultimately paid off enormously. You know, people were able to confront their own intimacy? Truth and beauty. That is what I aim to do.”
Mitchell has proven that she will never let her condition prevent her from doing what she enjoys.