Under Our Skin » Archive

When the world gets inside. (Diary of a canary)

You’ve heard the term “canary in the coal mine” Coal miners would send live canaries into the mine as a way to detect if the mine was safe for them to work. If the canaries stopped singing or died, they knew the mine was too toxic for humans. These days “canaries” is a term used for extraordinarily sensitive people. We are the first warning sign for a toxic planet.

I have always been a very sensitive, porous being… however, the extreme environmental sensitivity comes from 20 years of neurological Lyme/ chronic infections, mold illness, Hypothyroidism, EBV, MCS, ME, CIRS, EHS and CPTSD. The irony is that these illnesses have made me sensitive to the environment, but the exposure to toxic environments is what took down my immune system in the first place. (More on that later).

Understanding more about the Canaries in the Coal mine.. the sensitive ones…

Daily life is like being a live wire.

Symptoms are extreme, especially in the apartment I've been living in.

The pain can be unreal at times— burning searing scalp pain, burning, aching joints hands and feet. I experience extreme ADD and brain fog, tachycardia, heart arrhythmias, respiratory issues, hypoxia, muscle weakness, chronic sinusitis, tinnitus, chronic lymphedema, POTS, Bruits, Seizures, migraines, asthma, sleep apnea, insomnia, gut problems, intense prickly itching, endometriosis, hives, rashes, shingles, debilitating fatigue, eye pain, blurred vision, vision loss, demineralization including tooth infections, lost teeth, structural connective tissue decline (can’t hold myself up!), adrenal exhaustion, kidney/bladder problems. And that isn't all of it.

I am no stranger to pain. It’s been two decades trying to uncover this but the stress of the environment doesn’t help.

The world can be unbearable at times. When you are photosensitive and have hyperacusis (hearing sensitivity)... a paper bag can be overwhelming... it’s called leaky sensory gating or misophonia.

In public, bright light can trigger a fight or flight response... Fluorescent lights for too long will cause horrific migraines. The sound of shopping carts in the parking lot or a big trucks backing upset me off... dryer sheets can ruin me for hours. Wifi makes me burn and dizzy. Dirty electricity makes my insides buzz. It's not easy out there haha. But you would never know it... I am not one to dramatize my symptoms. I smile through the pain and run to my car to rest!

I love the world and being in it. But it can overwhelm me. This isn't something I would choose. Remember... I used to be in the music business and go to concerts weekly. I toured with U2. Now I deal with photosensitivity, and (hearing sensitivity) — I would have a seizure at a concert! Yikes!

For me, my toxic apartment, lack of care and stress accumulated over time that has me in the position.

I have been diagnosed with much more than mentioned above.. but diagnoses are pointless. I know what I need—sanctuary and care. My plan is to get away to a pristine environment for a time and heal my immune and nervous systems. Otherwise, It’s like trying to run a marathon on injured legs – hobbling along and causing more damage. I need to heal first then get back in the race.

What I know for sure in my 20 years experience is that Lyme disorder is an environmental illness When your body is toxic from the environment— your immune system tanks and the infections take off. Every time I have gone away to a pristine environment I’ve started to heal. It’s simple math really, chronic infections like Lyme and Epstein Barr, mold,et al, create their own bio-toxins inside the body— they are living organisms so they poop out their waste into the human host, which overwhelms the elimination organs. This plus the metabolic waste from undigested foods wreaks havoc and weakens the person. So, basically a Lyme or chronically ill person starts out saturated with endogenous (internally generated) toxins. When you Introduce that person, (me) into an environment with mold, chemicals and wifi we are done for…we reach a tipping point.

Conversely, when a sick person goes to a natural, pristine environment healing happens. Why? When your body isn’t fighting the environment the immune system and nervous system has a chance to catch up and recover. I have always known environment is first. Now I know for certain.

This past Fall I spent 29 days in rural Canada in a home without wifi, chemicals or mold away from the modern world and I was dramatically healing. Now home and I sinking fast. I have had several seizures this year and the neurologist said I have diminished brain function in my left cerebellum. I am not surprised.

What's wrong with my apt? Really, what is right with it… it’s a lovely place with a beautiful view. Other than that, it’s extremely toxic. Electromagnetic Radiation is in the extreme concern range for healthy individuals. There are 50 cell towers and 250 antennas where I have been living. Both microwaves and dirty electricity are in toxic ranges.. I can hear it! Plus, the pipes are old and leaking. There are gas leaks, water stains on the ceiling and mold— a beautiful nightmare. I am also positioned between the prison, the fire station, the processing plant and the hospital. There is a chemical plant 7 miles away.

When I’m not in my car on the street or camping, I sleep on the floor in the lowest EMF zone in the apt. Right now I am staying on a friend's couch.

I have spent this last year looking for a place to live and living in my car. Moving is incredibly expensive and it is very difficult to find a healthy low wifi, mold-free place to live—especially in the Bay Area. So my solution has been to have a safe mobile HOME!

Now that I don’t have my car, I don't have a safe zone. (CanaryVan GoFundMe)

How did I get here?

For me, the infections have tanked my defenses. And unbelievable stress the last 4 years has taken down my nervous system. This stacked on top of a lifetime of illness and exposures.

Early exposures and illness:

It was rough from the start. I was an emergency c-section birth. My mother had Hong Kong flu and pneumonia when she had me.. it was touch and go for both of us. I was never breastfed. I had chronic strep, mono as a kid, walking pneumonia, and regularly on antibiotics--I had major intestinal issues.. They were putting cameras in my colon at age 18!

Exposures: At 19, I worked as a dental assistant for 5 years and was too cool to wear a mask even when working with amalgams (read: mercury). Ugh. In my 20’s I worked on a heavily sprayed golf course for many Summers. I also worked on a luxury train and had to be treated for brake dust exposure. At 29 my body collapsed with what later was discovered to be Lyme disease and co-infections. In my 30's I lived under Sutro tower a 900ft broadcasting tower in San Francisco for 6 years. Can you say fried? I also spent 5 years in a moldy house.

All of these things stacked up and caused the collapse.

But here’s the thing…I firmly believe that every bit of this can be managed and reversed! Consistency, Care, Support and Rest are what is required. None of which I have had being in survival mode financially and with a family crisis for 4 years.

You see...(this is very personal but important) the past 4 years, I have worked tirelessly to keep my autistic brother off the streets and out of a broken system. I have been his sole/soul health advocate and support. The stress and exposure this has caused would be too much for a healthy person. Couple that with my toxic home and ailing body… it's been impossible to recover. Now he is more stable it’s time for me to repair the damage to my body.

You might ask… Isn’t some of this in your head? Can you just stop focusing on it? YES! It is in your head, in fact, having exposure and illness like this for so long causes a type of brain damage called-- Limbic impairment.

Dr. Klinghardt calls it an energetic immune system. Once you’ve been exposed to toxins at a high level, your body will have a very sensitive warning system-- sort of a PTSD. But here's the thing,.. doesn't mean it's not real.

Example.. I often smell natural gas in the apt. Once, I waited 7 days to do anything because I thought I was just being "hypersensitive"--like everyone likes to call me. Finally, I got PG and E to come out. The technician said his meter wasn't picking up anything. I said, "well, sorry to hear that but there is gas leaking". One hour later he came back and said both of the outdoor bbq's were left on high... and the meter registered that it started 7 days before! There was no wind so the gas was filling the apartment corridor. He said "good thing you are sensitive" Ummm. Yeah.

Another time I was sat in a weekend seminar for 12 hour days so ill with burning in my joints, sinus pain, hard to breathe... I told the instructor that I thought there was mold in the room... She said, "not possible because the place was recently remodeled and perhaps it's a story I am telling myself" It was a spiritual retreat haha. I believed her. A few weeks later I returned to the place for a follow-up event... The woman came up to me and apologized... "I am so sorry, Dana... you were right! We found mold in all the air conditioning vents throughout the entire building." Mold was blowing on us all day for 3 days!

See what I mean... superpowers!

My point here is that yes, the brain/nervous system is hypersensitive in Canaries, AND it's real. The goal now is to get my nervous system and immune system so strong and healed that I can still detect things but don't get ill from these environments. And that requires me to be in a safe clear environment for a period of time. Once I do that I can begin the brain retraining to settle the reactions.

The top doctors in the chronic illness/environmental illness recovery agree that you can retrain your brain/nervous system to be less reactive ONCE you are out of a toxic environment for a while. You can't learn to swim while you are drowning.

I am grateful for the gift of being sensitive. I am sensitive to the things that aren't in alignment with the human body and soul. Cue:

Wireless Sickness aka Electrohypersensitivity (EHS) aka WiFried and EMF'd!

The greatest threat to human health is the thing we love the most.

I love my cell phone too. And it makes me incredibly ill.

Important info: Cell phones and Wireless computers.. emit harmful Electromagnetic frequencies called EMFs. EMF's also come from the Sun, the Earth and humans. There are good and harmful EMFs. Cell phones require the use of microwaves.

When we are exposed to EMR from cell phone use, cell towers, wireless routers our body's calcium voltage channels open and flood our cells with calcium.. one, causing too much calcium in the system and two, diminishing the calcium supply in your body. The response is a protective one but your body has to pull the extra calcium from hair, skin, teeth and bones.. and over time this causes chronic problems. Likewise, an enormous amount of very toxic free radicals are produced at a rapid rate while under wifi. Remember why you take antioxidants? To combat free radicals... even 10 blueberry smoothies a day can't combat this. Also, EMR from wireless causes mold to proliferate and produce up to 600x more bio-toxins. That means if you have mold or fungus (ie. candida) in your system when you get around wireless the infection gets worse and as you become more toxic. And, if there is mold or fungus in your home… it will become virulent. (But probably the most upsetting... is that non-native, man-made frequencies from wireless etc, not only corrupt the water in our bodies (making us chronically dehydrated), but also,at a fundamental level..EMR literally throw us off our natural spin and disconnect us from the Earth). More info: youmatrix.com

I have been told I don't respect my illness and I am not vocal or dramatic enough.. for me, fear only makes things worse. I won’t come from a place of fear but I want you to know my situation is serious.

Finding the elusive “perfect” environment is almost impossible. And it's getting more difficult to get in a no EMF zone especially with 5G rolling out. But what I will say, is it’s important to be mobile and get away from concentrated areas. Density is what kills.

Earth is the answer. Sun, Water, Trees and pristine air are the most important medicine. I need to do treatments for Lyme and treat some neurological damage, and a jaw infection, but it doesn’t make sense to do that while living in an environment that continues to make me ill. Getting away from electrosmog, chemicals, toxic mold levels.. and getting into Nature isn’t just a pleasant experience it is a deeply healing treatment. When we connect back into Earth energies we shift into the parasympathetic mode of our nervous system where healing can happen.

These days our bodies are now entrained to the artificial frequencies. It’s imperative to get away and remember what true connection feels like and let the body receive the life-generating signals from the Earth and atmosphere.

People often comment that I look so good. I’m grateful but that part comes from clean living, organic food, a quiet and simple life.

Our minds are extremely powerful. I use mine to stay calm and present. And still, it can be exhausting spending precious creative time trying to negotiate and harmonize the environment around me just to stay alive.

When I get to a non-toxic place all of my creative flow comes back. I feel connected.

My hope is that my story and so many others will wake people up and demand for themselves and our planet safer more responsible technology. More responsible conveniences. By simply turning your wifi router off at night you will.. save yourself, your family and your neighbor.

I find myself in the catch 22 that many people do. I need to get well so I can create things that will produce income to support myself, but I need money to get well.

I don’t like talking about symptoms, I want to be the good news, the positive force in the world, but the truth is my body needs help and sanctuary.

I am the wounded healer and I am here to help.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

You can help me help...

Donate here and receive access to LLLM Winter Sessions. Open now.

Looking back at my time on tour with U2, filming Under Our Skin, and getting in with Dr Klinghardt for treatment, I never let Lyme stop me.  In 2005, a year after FINALLY being properly diagnosed...  Lyme wasn't going away, but my dreams were.  I set out to change that.

July 27, 2005:

After almost a year to the date of being unemployed, I decide to take the job on tour with U2.  Here's my answer to the email asking about my availability...  (click on the letter to zoom in)

Dana Walsh U2 Lyme Tour Email 1 (Win It - Pic) Under Our Skin

September 13, 2005:

Four days on the road with U2 and feeling the shock... we're not in Kansas anymore!

Oh how truly "unglamorous" touring can be...  (click on the letter to zoom in)

Dana Walsh U2 Email 2 P1 (Out Here) JPG Under Our Skin
Dana Walsh U2 Lyme Tour Email 2 P2 (Out Here) Under Our Skin

November 2, 2005:

Mid-way through the U2 tour and the pain is as loud as the music!!!

Reaching out to my ONE Lyme friend, Shelley...  (click on the letter to zoom in)

Dana Walsh U2 Lyme Tour Email 3 (East Coast Beyond) Under Our Skin

November 22, 2005:

Email to Andy Abrahams Wilson after our first interview for UNDER OUR SKIN.

(and the band's priest prays for me)...

Dana Walsh U2 Lyme Tour Email 4 (Andy) Under Our Skin

November 30, 2005:

My plea to get into see Dr. Klinghardt so I can go around the world with U2.  Yes, I dream big.
(click on the letter to zoom in)

Dana U2 Lyme Tour Email 5 (DK) Under Our Skin

January 1, 2006:

Happy New Year's!

Coming home from U2... now what?

Dana Walsh U2 Lyme Tour Email 6 (New Years) Under Our Skin

July 18, 2006:

8 months after my request, I finally get an appointment to see Dr. Klinghardt!
Dana Walsh Dr Klinghardt Email 7 (DK Clinic) Under Our Skin
Years of recovery.

June 15, 2013:

7 years later, I spend a week at a meditation retreat praying for my partners
and allies for my next adventure.

Upon my return home, I am introduced to Brent Martin (through email),
and Lyme Less Live More is born!

Dana Walsh Brent Martin Email 8 (BnD) Lyme Less Live More Email

The Road happened, The Film happened, Klinghardt happened, and so many more amazing surprises, and NOW a Lyme Less Live More community is HAPPENING!

Dana Walsh Lyme Less Live More Interview Screen Cap JPGI share more of these events in my talk "The Fight vs Deep Surrender" on Lyme Less Live More and ways I learned that the present moment is our key to health and life.

Do not miss a day in your life... despite the suffering.

My life looks nothing like I imagined it, but somehow it's more fulfilling
than I could have ever dreamed.

Thank you for being with me.


Dana Walsh