The Sun, 29/6/07
I’m allergic to mobile phones
By CORINNE ABRAMS
June 29, 2007
COMMENT ON THIS STORY
WHEN Sarah Dacre started to get headaches, little did she know within four years she’d need foil-lined wallpaper and silver curtains in her house to protect her.
The 51-year-old from London believes she suffers from the condition electrosensitivity.
The mum-of-one says electromagnetic radiation emitted by devices such as mobile phones, TVs, computers and vacuum cleaners led her to develop ME.
Nowadays she can’t even leave the house without a special silver shroud she says blocks out the electromagnetic radiation.
When Sarah started suffering from headaches and nausea she put them down to her hectic lifestyle working as a TV producer.
But within two years her symptoms had escalated so she was suffering from numbness in her right side, had poor eyesight in her right eye, erratic blood pressure readings, insomnia, heart palpitations and was constantly nauseous.
Sarah had been a high-flying TV exec who travelled the world for work but soon she was confined to her house.
"I went from being Mrs Powerhouse with a really wonderful life, a lovely partner, lovely home to being a decrepit old woman," Sarah says.
"I had to shuffle around the house because I had pains everywhere. I thought I was going to have a heart attack, my heart felt like putty.
"I used to get really frustrated and fly off the handle at my beautiful son. He would say ’Mum, why are you so angry?’ I couldn’t explain why."
Numerous trips to the doctor failed to reveal any answers. Sarah was offered sleeping pills but refused them.
Then a benign tumour appeared in her right breast. "It was terrifying, after all those health freak outs for years, I ended up with a tumour that grew overnight. It’s still there, it’s very big and has to be monitored every month."
It was then that Sarah decided to start investigating other possible causes of her illnesses.
"I started spending an enormous amount of money sending blood samples overseas and having telephone consultancies.
"Then in one of my investigations I called a man in Scotland who is an expert in flower essences.
"After telling him my symptoms, he said ’You’re electrosensitive, I’m 99 per cent sure.’
"I felt like I’d been given a present. I didn’t have a clue what it was but at least there was a name for the way I’d been feeling."
Electrosensitive sufferers believe they are affected by electromagnetic radiation coming from devices such as mobile phones, mobile phone masts, wifi connections, computers and microwaves to name a few.
Sarah was unable to look at a computer screen because it would make her feel so ill so she asked her partner Rod to do the research for her.
Slowly, as Sarah began to read various newsletters, she began to believe she was suffering from electrosensitivity.
Now Sarah lives her life to avoid the electromagnetic radiation she believes makes her ill.
When going out, she wears a repellent silver net over her head and clothes.
"I’ve chucked the mobiles, cordless phones, and microwave oven. The computer screen I have is a flat one and I can only use it for two hours a day."
One of the worst latest technological developments for electrosensitive people turns out to be wireless broadband. Sarah says she can feel the electromagnetic radiation pulsing through every cell in her body.
"Galleries, train stations and airports are all wifi hubs. Even petrol stations in city centres have hidden masts and wifi connections," Sarah says.
"My fun has been taken to rural areas. People say I must be agoraphobic, but I can go out into the country and walk my dogs for hours, so that can’t be true.
"At home, I have foil-lined wallpaper upstairs and for the windows I have a silver fabric. So I work and sleep upstairs. "
As the illness has yet to be recognised by the medical profession, Sarah said she has had a tough time explaining it to friends.
"People assume I’ve made it up. Friends have said it must be psychosomatic - in my mind. But the studies which say that don’t bear scrutiny," she says.
Now Sarah is faced with moving away from London in a bid to avoid the radiation.
"I’m selling my house because I haven’t earned in two years and I can’t afford my executive designer home," she says.
"I’ve lived in London all my life and now I can’t live in my own city. I am going to move outside my area of comfort. It has to be rural, almost within woodland."
Until that happens Sarah says she plans to continue campaigning to get electrosensitivity recognised.
"I feel that with so many children at risk, it’s my gift to the children. I can’t bear to think of families undergoing what I went through not knowing what’s wrong with one of them and no doctors to tell them," she says.
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