Is it a power or a curse? Imagine for a moment that you had the profoundly sensitive ability to pick up whenever there was electricity in the air. And imagine in this highly technological era that you suddenly found yourself with this power only to learn shortly afterward that the tradeoff was not being able to enjoy the presence of any number of electronic devices. This is precisely the case with Janice Tunnicliffe, who is ultra-sensitive to electromagnetic radiation. Tunnicliffe is so sensitive that she actually has had every electronic device around her completely shut out of her life. Any electricity at all in her presence makes her profoundly ill.
Imagine a life without electricity for a moment. not losing electricity due to disaster or even choice, but all electricity to the point of not even being able to use it in the presence of a neighbor or even have it be around you without getting sick. This is the strange world Tunnicliffe lives in where electrical things are nothing short of disabling for her. It’s obvious an affliction as strange as this would have a long term effect, but just how serious it is can only be appreciated by looking at how she spends her afternoons.
She noticed the illness coming on shortly after she underwent chemotherapy. After that point she started getting progressively more and more ill until she found it near unbearable. And just then when she thought things couldn’t possibly be getting any worse, she suddenly found herself in the midst of a major blackout. The result was staggering. Immediately she felt better – more at ease and feeling as though perhaps she had been in perfect health all along. This was of course not the case. In fact, Tunnicliffe was only finally finding a respite from the strange illness that had affected her life and made her feel so ill. And not only that, she finally had an idea of what the strange illness’ source may have been – electricity. After shutting herself away from electricity she would finally begin to see that the illness was not coming from within her, but was rather linked to her environment. Much to her amazement, and the amazement of her doctors, as she escaped the ravages of her home – which was filled with electricity once again after the power came back on, But when the illness seemed to have returned purely by coincidence, she was recommended to go into the country for a rest. As she entered into the country and away from her electricity filled home she once again began to feel better. Finally she was diagnosed with an extremely rare disorder – electrosensitivity. Electromagnetic fields, such as those generated from cell phones and the Internet affect her in a very strong and profound way.
But what could have caused her mysterious affliction? How does one walk away from chemotherapy with such a strange aversion to everything electric? Even the human body has current running through it at all times. As scientists continue to scratch their heads over this strange case, Tunnicliffe covers her windows in a sheet of film designed to reflect electrical interference.