Personal Stories: Katie Hickox
"How I figured out that EMF (ungrounded electrical fields from electrical devices and wiring) caused my chronic fatigue"
MY PERSONAL STORY ABOUT HOW EMF CAUSED CHRONIC FATIGUE
I'm very interested in the topic of EMF because for FOUR YEARS I suffered from chronic fatigue, poor digestion and low immunity as a result of exposure to ungrounded electrical fields generated by ancient electrical wiring and a substandard power panel/circuit breaker in a beautiful gingerbread style Victorian house built in 1900.
Starting in April 2006, when I first moved into my old studio apartment of a subdivided Victorian house on Jackson Street in San Francisco, I found that I had no energy after work in the evenings and hardly had enough energy to open up mail and would frequently fall asleep during evening television programs after working a stressful 9 hour day at a fast paced financial firm. I would drag myself out of bed in the mornings to go work out at the gym before work but found myself nodding off at work in the afternoon if I didn’t take some kind of a 5 minute catnap. I also noticed I experienced a chronic “tired feeling” in my eyes and my eyes were also dry, irritated and felt hot. Starting about the same time I moved into the new apartment, I started suffering from allergies to pollen and dust I never had before, and came down more frequently with colds and flu which was unusual for me.
Even wen my job was eliminated in February 2008 due to outsourcing, I was still exhausted and thought it was stress from being laid off. In fact, it seemed that the longer I spent inside the studio apartment, the more tired I became, and I started to think I was coming down with cancer. But it wasn’t the stress from working or being laid off, it was the continued exposure to the ungrounded electrical fields in my studio apartment that was part of a single family Victorian house which had been subdivided into 4 separate apartments but all continued to use the same old original electrical system installed back in the 40s and 50s! None of the units had their own electrical or gas hookup. My apartment was the closest to the building’s electrical power panel, and my bed was less than 15 feet from the power panel located below in the basement, so the ungrounded electrical fields were the highest in my unit.
It wasn't until when I rented a self-test voltage meter in March 2010 and discovered that I was being subjected to excessive levels of ungrounded electrical fields in my bed and in my studio apt, and was finally able to take steps to reduce the high levels of ungrounded electrical fields that I was being bathed in. I had rented several EMF meters to see if my personal WiFi network was zapping me, and instead, I discovered to my horror that the problem was with all the electrical devices I had surrounded myself with along with the daisy chained electrical extension cords and multiplug surge protector that were needed in order to provide power for the electrical devices.
Because my studio apartment was small and didn’t have enough electrical outlets, I daisy chained four extension cords that I connected to multiplug surge protectors and had put one underneath my bed, several others in the kitchen and another in the main studio for the entertainment center I had setup. I had NO IDEA that the combination of the extension cord connected to the multiplug surge protector along with having 4 or 5 electrical devices plugged in each of these multiplug surge protectors resulted in nightmarish and unhealthy levels of ungrounded electrical fields underneath my bed. My bed’s metal frame and metal boxspring actually helped to amplify the electrical fields from the devices that were located underneath just a few inches below the bed.
I set it up this way because I was short of space. I unknowingly sabotaged the quality of my sleep. I also got zapped whenever I was sitting on the bed watching TV or working on the laptop while attempting to watch TV—for some reason I would always fall asleep when I turned on the laptop on my lap while on the bed and also was watching the TV. I used my bed as a sofa because the studio room was too small to fit both a queensize bed and a sofa and dresser drawers in addition to a small entertainment setup with my TV, DVD player, and stereo system with amplifier. I paid a terrible price for convenience and to make do with a small studio apartment all because I couldn’t afford to pay for a larger one bedroom apartment in Pacific Heights.
If I turned on the laptop while sitting on my bed to watch TV, then that caused the total amount of ungrounded AC current to jump to 37 volts that was being conducted through my bed, and thus was being conducted through me per the test reading on the self-test voltage meter. See www.emfcenter.com for more info on rental self-test meters. So no wonder I would fall asleep every time I turned on the laptop when I was sitting on the bed watching TV!
I also was getting “zapped” while working on my desktop computer in the kitchen table because my computer was of course connected via multiplug surge protector that had a printer, WiFi router, modem, timer, monitor and anything else plugged into it.
The biggest problem is I couldn’t feel these ungrounded electrical fields, they don’t shock or burn so one assumes that one’s electrical system is perfectly safe when it is not. But these ungrounded electrical fields were robbing me of my energy and health for four years and I’ll never get that energy back and I was fortunate I haven’t developed some form of cancer.
I don't think anyone has any idea of how these low levels of EMF and "dirty electricity" caused by substandard wiring, power panels can adversely affecting one's health. It is these low levels that are the silent killer and can trigger people to come down with cancer and other major illnesses. I thought I was starting to come down with cancer because I was so incredibly tired all the time when I was still working and after I was laid off, I started to experience memory loss as well in addition to the chronic fatigue.
My general physician shrugged it off and said I wasn't getting enough sleep despite having the same problem year after year. None of the blood work showed anything wrong.
Once I discvered what the problem was in March 2010, I removed all electrical devices from underneath/near my bed and this helped reduced the ungrounded electrical fields from roughly 27 volts of AC current (yes it was that high without even turning on a laptop or even a nightstand) to roughly 11 volts, but then I had an electrician come onsite, Michael Neuert of www.emfcenter.com , and after confirming my test measurements and seeing that the electrical wiring was overloaded and generating high levels of ungrounded electrical fields, he installed grounding cables attached to the circuit in my kitchen and bedroom and then took it outside to the garden attached to a small metal screwdriver that was driven into the soil, which reduced total ungrounded electrical fields to between 1 and 2 volts. For me, the change was overnight, I felt so much better the next day, almost was like I was in heaven! Michael recommends max exposure levels of no more than .5 volts in your bedroom, but I was happy being exposed to a mere 1 or 2 volts of AC current instead of the 25 to 27 volts everynight in my bed!
That's the end of my story. If you don't suffer from chronic fatigue (that awful tired feeling in one's eyes especially during the day) and don't experience any problems from EMF, that's great, but please forward this to anyone you know who can't figure out why they're tired all the time, like I was. It's been a struggle to regain my energy and my health since I found out in March 2010, and I’m finding that I don’t handle sugar and starches very well anymore without getting tired and I believe 4 years of exposure to high levels of electrical fields has really taken a toll on my overall health and has significantly added to my overall stress and also caused premature aging. Nearly 2 years later, I still get tired more easily than I had before.
If you can’t wait to schedule an appointment with an electrician who specializes in EMF like Michael Neuert, than check out this new book, ‘ZAPPED : Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn't Be Your Alarm Clock and 1,268 Ways to Outsmart the Hazards of Electronic Pollution.’
'Zapped' is a new book on EMF By Dr. Ann Louise Gittelman. I suffered firsthand for four years from old ancient "knob and tube wiring" which couldn't handle the electrical load. I took the quiz from http://www.areyouzapped.com/ and based on my old studio apt in San Francisco, I scored over 1,000 points!
I wish someone had told me about this problem back in 2006, that it was possible to have one’s life force energy zapped as a result of substandard, overloaded old electrical wiring originally installed in the 30s and 40s and the building’s old power panel that dates back to the 50s and was designed for a single family, not a multi-unit building.
I believe this book is a real breakthrough in that it's the first of its kind to spell out in black and white how electrical devices take a toll on one's health and wellbeing. This is assuming that the house/building has adequate electrical wiring and a well-grounded power panel/circuit breaker which unfortunately many houses/buildings including my old house didn't. If a circuit keeps getting blown in your house/building and you have to frequently replace the light bulbs that burn out within a few months of use, this means it can't handle the electrical load and guess what? When a circuit can't handle the load, the electrical wiring and attached devices plugged into that circuit generate high levels of ungrounded electrical fields that we, humans, end up getting subjected to. I was bathed in excessively high levels of ungrounded electrical fields which caused chronic fatigue for FOUR years at my old studio apartment in Pacific (pricey) Heights in a Victorian House.
I've already learned a few new things from taking her quiz that fluorescent lights when installed in the apartment below cause even greater fields of low level EMF than those installed in the ceiling of my apartment! Yikes!