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It was a modern-day Grimm's fairy tale.

We went on holiday.

Booked ourselves a sweet little cottage in the middle of an orchard for a week.

The cottage was billed as remote and off-grid. It had solar power. Propane for the stove & hot water.

We were excited about going off-grid. Particularly about observing the effect on Matthew, as he has proven himself to be highly sensitive to electromagnetic radiation.

To the point where, at home, we have all our electrical outlets filtered; pay extra monthly to retain an old analog electric meter (to avoid a smart meter); have wired internet; and don't use portable phones.

These adaptations have tangibly improved Matthew's quality of life.

In fact they enable him to once again spend periods of time in the city, which he couldn't do before.

Even with these precautions, our home environment isn't perfect. We are flooded with wifi from our neighbors and my #3 kid and I both have mobile phones, so I can track her teenaged meanderings.

The holiday & the cell phone tower

As Matthew and I drove through bright green fields & forests on our way to the cottage, we were looking forward to a week alone together even more than the reduction of electromagnetic radiation. In fact, the electromagnetic part had kind of fallen out of our minds.

Until we saw the cell phone tower.

Right. Next. Door.

After years of living with chronic illness, we are adept at navigating unexpected and adverse circumstances. So we tried to just accept the tower and enjoy ourselves anyway.

The symptoms

In the four days we stuck it out at the cute little cottage...

Matthew experienced:

  • Reduced appetite;
  • Disrupted digestion & elimination;
  • Distorted sense of the passage of time;
  • Reduced ability to manage his autoimmune symptoms.

We both experienced:

  • An inability to focus and remember;
  • Sleep disruption;
  • Impaired vision;
  • Anxiety.

I experienced:

  • A sensation as if the outer surface of my brain was hot.

Ironically, the worse Matthew felt, the less inclined he was to go out to do things, resulting in even more time in the cottage & more exposure to electromagnetic radiation.

We noticed that all the adjacent properties in this otherwise bucolic rural area were for sale. The hosts of our cottage had just bought the property. When we explained our reason for leaving early, they insisted that they'd read the research before they bought and that cell phone towers are perfectly safe.

Despite the soothing words from the researchers, the effects were sufficiently problematic that we found somewhere else to stay for the final three days of our holiday. Though our next 'cottage' was a converted garage with wifi, all the symptoms we'd experienced when we were neighbourly with the cell phone tower abated.

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Of course, to be sure, we'd want to continue the experiment with an ABAB time series, ideally without knowing when we were being exposed to radiation, but in this case, as nerdy as I may otherwise be about rigor in n=1 experimentation, we're not going to.

We went on vacation and all we got was this lousy blog post

It wasn't the holiday we were hoping for, but we managed to get a couple of good days in the converted garage. And we got further confirmation of a hypothesis we long ago confirmed.

In effect it's been a years-long ongoing ABABABABABA time series experiment.

According to Health Canada (the same government department that endorses the Canada Food Guide):"Scientific evidence has failed to demonstrate that the EHS symptoms are caused by electromagnetic fields." While we're waiting for the evidence, I can direct you to some really cheap (& truly beautiful) land right next door to a cell phone tower.

Featured Resource

AIP Reset

Beginning on the first day of most months, AIP Reset is a 30 day program for people who have been following the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) but have deviated from the elimination phase and want to get back on track.

AIP Reset is created and facilitated by two certified health coaches, Jo and Emma, who use the AIP to manage their own autoimmune diseases.

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