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There is help available for rare disorder
Friday 1 July 2011
HELP is available for sufferers of a rare reaction to electricity says one local sufferer who has shared her experiences in a TV documentary.
Sue Ledger, of Top Street, North Wheatley, suffers from electrosensitivity – a reaction to electromagnetic fields that she says leaves her feeling faint, dizzy and shaky.
Her other symptoms include chest pains, palpitations, headaches and, on occasion, a rash when exposed to electricity.
After reading the story in the Retford Times of Janice Tunnicliffe, a fellow sufferer from Wellow, Sue wanted to reassure others affected there is help available.
Sue, who attends meetings of Electrosensitivity UK (ESUK) – a national support group – said making contact should be the first step.
"I found it very difficult to contact anyone in the beginning.
"There was a time I couldn't use an ordinary phone.
"When I initially contacted somebody it was enormously helpful to be told to get rid of my WiFi and the phone.
"ESUK has been an enormous help."
She said: "The problem is getting past the GP, as most are not accepting it as a condition.
"Fortunately, I have been accepted by my GP – the fortunate situation of having a doctor as a son is he spoke to my GP and they discussed it."
For Sue, day-to-day life is marred by having to deal with two conditions, in addition to electrosensitivity, she is also affected by multiple chemical sensitivity.
The latter was picked up first, following an injury in a car accident, while the electrosenstivity manifested after an electric cable fell on her house.
As well as having to manage with minimal electricity, she has also had to limit her exposure to man-made foods and fibres, which she says can induce another set of symptoms by themselves.
It's a story that could be about to get a lot more exposure, with one filmmaker producing a Channel Four programme hoping to interview Sue to discuss her experience.
For Sue, it's a chance to discuss how her life has been completely changed by the condition.
As the symptoms would be overpowering if left exposed to electrical fields beyond the safety of her home, Sue has several tools to limit her exposure.
Among them is a device to monitor 'electrosmog' in the air from nearby technology, while a set of clothing made from deflective netting offers some protection while out and about.
However, these are only aids to help make getting around more bearable and, for the most part, her symptoms have severely restricted what she can do.
"Having been widowed as I was retiring, I would have wanted to fill my time going to college classes and things," she said.
"I can't do any of these things now. All I do is gardening, sew and knit."
The above originally appeared here.
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