It was a long year plus of dealing with EMF sensitivity (also known as electromagnetic hypersensitivities) which erupted in the midst of my attempt to re-design our website. Yet through all of this, we sensed that God wanted us to continue with “Peppermint Stick” online, regardless of how bleak the future using technology can initially look for someone who is super-sensitive to manmade electromagnetic frequencies. My computer work area has been set up in a special manner so that I can return to work at it for periods of time and I am grateful for that. I do appreciate all of you who have patiently waited along with us.
Legal disclaimer: This article is not offered as medical advice. This is a blog based on anecdotal, personal experiences and thoughts.
How did I get so sensitive? That remains partially a mystery although we have some clues, especially given our experiences and investigations since the fall of 2017. (Someday, perhaps we’ll share more of our discoveries. But not now.)
However, what happened to me can happen to anyone, including any other homeschooling mom or child, particularly the part about the RF-EMF which seems to have a wider impact. The most common reason we have seen in knowing of others with it is simply “over-exposures” to the things a person is now sensitive to. For example, too much cell phone or wireless laptop usage, etc. can result in EMF sensitivities (also known as EHS).
It is rare to hear about it yet but it IS a growing issue across North America (and Europe, etc.). Because the information is slow to be spread about EMF sensitivity, it may not be initially recognized to be what it really is. It often seems that the effects from EMF can sneak up on a person, although for me, it was dramatically apparent.
I’m guessing that the reason we could pinpoint things so clearly once we learned about it was because we had been a family who had been slow to have new technologies change our daily lives so when we were more-suddenly exposed, we saw the results suddenly and knew something was amiss and had changed drastically. People who just get used to a pattern of expecting that things like poor sleep, dry eyes, or digestive issues are “normal”, might not guess that things can be improved if wireless technology is minimized.
Also, since I am sensitive/allergic to certain treatments, I couldn’t just have the typical stuff that could have masked the eye/skin problem. So we had to keep pressing for a cause and explanation for my symptoms.
Our former home had been on a property known as a “black hole”. It was kind of funny in the sense that to use a cell phone very well, you had to be in the middle of the driveway to catch a strong-enough signal. It was frustrating though too since our business managed under “dial-up” and stuff for homeschooling might need a trip to use the internet at the town library. It could take all night or even a couple of nights in order to upload stuff onto our website back then. (Shortly after we moved away, that area got a new cell tower.)
Where we lived in a trailer park while we built our next house, was known as THE section that no wifi. So we’d have to walk down to a wireless zone to get our e-mails that summer. Even at the new house, due to the trees and steep terrain of a valley, signals couldn’t go well through land or trees so outdoors was fairly good for me, in comparison to what it could have been. And indoors at the new home was generally OK too…until our ethernet cord broke towards the end of our school year and we decided to become a wireless household – that threw my dry eyes into ripping and peeling, resulting in very poor eyesight, and quickly added peeling eyelids and facial skin that refused to heal.
Does having EMF mean a person is crazy? No, not at all! But some people claim that EMF sensitivity is “all in the head”. Yet, my story is a bit different than the usual EMF reports in that, because much of my symptoms were very visible – so it flies against those erroneous ideas that claims that EMF sensitivity is due to the nocebo effect. In other words, it makes no logical sense that this is just something that can be overcome if I change my mind about it.
Many of the common symptoms for EMF sensitivity are typically invisible ones (e.g. sleep quality issues, headaches, poor digestion, dizziness that goes away “on its own” but is doing so because of recovering in a lower-level of EMFs – in other words, an environmental change that causes the change of symptoms). So it might take more patience to convince someone that this kind of radiation can cause a real, cell-damaging injury to a human body. After all, people like the convenience of their technologies. It’s quite normal to hear responses that have a simple misunderstanding or ignorance and query – that’s OK and somewhat expected initially, at least from people who have not read any research on it yet.
But this pathetic excuse from the “people-who-should-know-better” (e.g. health officials in the government) insisting that someone is crazy if they are sensitive to some electromagnetic frequencies exemplifies one of three foundations:
- an economic interest (governments and companies make a lot of money selling wireless technologies or benefiting from its advertisements and/or sponsorships)
- a lack of willingness to learn with an open-mind, and/or
- a glued attraction/addiction to the technologies themselves to the point of caring more about devices and convenience instead of a community of people.
(The people in Health Canada and several other relevant places have already been informed from science researchers. They have known that numerous studies exist, even if, to date, they do not want to show that they do.)
I am so grateful that almost everyone whom I have talked to about our situation believes this to be a real problem with our environment instead. I recognize that a number of other people with EMF sensitivity have not faced such an encouraging response from their communities.
I have no greater craziness than the person who sputters over second-hand cigarette smoke or has a severe food additive allergy. Nor does anyone else who is sensitive to environmental hazards.
One of the nicest comments I’ve heard from more than one person came to test stuff at our house was, “First I want you to know that I believe you.” (We had a building biologist plus other engineering tests.) Even though the various people involved in our situation didn’t understand everything about it, they were willing to admit that some people are indeed sensitive to cell radiation or certain levels of electricity, etc.. So at least the people testing things might see the truth, even if not all officials who make the rules and standards might not yet admit it.
EMF sensitivity is no nocebo. It’s not craziness. This is a very real physiological problem and it is caused by something outside of yourself. Your body is doing what it is designed to do – to react to something that is injuring you. (Don’t believe that you can just manage this through stress management because that won’t work in the long-term.)
As I implied earlier, most of the general people that I meet or have known of my situation thankfully are very willing to consider the possibilities of the environmental pollution of this kind. Strangers often comment, “I’ve sometimes wondered about how safe these things are.”
Some folks might see or hear my acoustimeter as it demonstrates what our natural eyesight cannot see with sound. I have been met with a lot of kindness and honest questions, some of which I have no answers for but I am always happy to hear them anyways.
A number of people knew about my functional blindness and skin peeling before we had any clue as to its cause and they know the difference it made when we turned off our wireless at home and then experimented with various exposures in public.
Our church then, which had installed wifi at the same time I began to have dry eyes (plus noticeably lower energy until midweek), had a much appreciated response of true Christian love as well. They turned the wifi off for services and created a policy which encourages attendees to turn their cell phones in airplane mode or off unless they’re “on-call” for other needs.
And yes, people can still use a Bible app or type-in sermon notes with airplane mode and that is far better compared to texting or going online. I do hope more churches will eventually consider a similar approach, even if other public places ignore the issue. (Update 2021: Due to the changing of how wireless settings are in some newer devices, if not simply turned “off”, the settings should be changed to not just “airplane mode on” but also “Bluetooth disabled”. Some devices do that in a two-step function while others do it all in one-step.)
(Also, to my knowledge and the wee bit I have tested with my acoustimeter, those popular Fitbits cannot be turned fully “off” but rather they always still emit a small signal. It is a functionality that some people (e.g. those in military jobs who cannot have Bluetooth emissions in their workplace) have asked the company to give an option for, but I have not yet seen it as an option. When I know otherwise, I’ll try to update this paragraph.)
When I’m out in places, I sometimes offer my basic story in brochure format so that people can learn more about EMF sensitivity. To download it (pdf format), you can click here or on the graphic below.
I don’t expect this section of my blog to be written in a lot in comparison to other EMF websites, however, I do want to provide a few articles along the way and let people know that you CAN live with this AND still have hope!
This blog section will be a place sharing about family life with environmental sensitivities in today’s world. It is educational (health science, technology, chemistry, ecology) and relates to how we do our business so we feel it does fit on our website even though it is more personal in tone.