Monday, January 19, 2015

"I can hardly work anymore, I'm so exhausted from lack of sleep."

This is the testimony Leslie Panzica-Glapa submitted to the Michigan Public Service Commission in 2012.  She discusses how the smart meter has affected her health in very severe ways: sleep, memory, work, etc. Her son's story is in another blogpost.

Q.           When was a smart meter installed on your home?
A.           July 18, 2012.
Q.           Did you know it had been installed on your home?
A.           No, I didn’t. Later, when I couldn’t sleep, I called DTE, and they told me the date it had been installed.
Q.           Something led you to call DTE. What was that?
A.           Never in my life have I had a problem sleeping.   “When my head hits the pillow,” as the saying goes, “I'm out like a light.” But now I was lying awake for hours without falling asleep, night after night. 12 am, 2 am, 4 am, I'm still awake! I wondered, “What's going on?”  

[Click the Read More below to read the rest of this story.]

I talked to a friend,  telling him my dilemma,  and he told me that the smart meters could alter your sleep. “What are smart meters?” I asked. I had never heard of them.
Q.           So prior to your conversation with your friend, you knew nothing about smart meters?
A.           No.
q.           So you weren’t anxious about smart meters and thus experiencing insomnia?
A.           No. Like I said, I had never heard of them before. Like I said, my entire life, I have slept like a rock—that is, until a smart meters was installed on my home.
Q.           Prior to talking to your friend, did  you know that a smart meter had been installed on your home?
A.           No. I was never contacted or asked if this meter could go on my home. After I talked to my friend, I went to look to see if a smart meter had been installed on my home. It had been. I contacted DTE immediately, this was some time in August, asking them to take this meter off my house. They said I was the first person to call and complain about the smart meter causing any problems. The representative said she was sure I must have had problems sleeping before.
Q.           What did DTE tell you they would do?
A.           They said they could not take the meter off my house and at this time there was no opt-out program but they were working on it.
Q.           What did you do next?
A.           I continued to call and call and call them and said, “Please take this meter off my house. I can’t sleep, I can’t work.” I called at 3 a.m. one night when I couldn’t sleep. Like the first representative, this  representative said he’d never heard of such a problem.  I finally set up a tent in my backyard, after weeks of not sleeping. I slept really well, not quite as well as when I was sleeping in my own bed in my own home before I had a smart meter, but no one sleeps quite as well in a tent as in their own bed.  It has been very stormy and windy this last month, and about three weeks ago the tent blew over on me at about 3 a.m. It covered me so thoroughly, and was so heavy, I thought I was going to suffocate!
Q.           Did you continue to sleep in the tent?
A.           I moved back into my house because every time I set the tent up, it blew back down the winds were so high.  My nights are now sleepless.
Q.           Do you experience any other health problems or symptoms from the smart meter?
A.           At night,  I lie there feeling a vibration going through all of my body and my ears ring loudly. Landscaping is really hard work, and I wonder some days how I am going to make it. The sleep deprivation makes me extremely fatigued and worn out. Day after day after day of exhaustion has made me feel suicidal at times. I just don’t know how I can keep going on! I have felt such a fatigue and depression. This is totally affecting my personality and thus my friendships and other  relationships. This is affecting my productivity at work – I am so tired! My memory has been affected – I will be talking to a person and totally go blank and can't finish my sentence. I have pain in my body I haven't had before—I feel an achiness around my joints. This has been progressive. In the last two days, I have begun feeling an achiness around the vertebrae in my back. 
I feel a physical agitation in my body. I work outside all day. I come home, and within a couple hours, I feel so agitated in my body. When I was able to sleep in my tent, I would look so forward to going outside. People would say, “Leslie, you can’t sleep out there, it’s so cold.” And I would be so happy because I didn’t feel that agitation outside and I could sleep.
I experience ringing in my ears whenever I am in any building with a smart meter. At one client’s house, the ringing in my ears was so loud I couldn’t believe it. Buildings with fluorescent lights are particularly bad.
Q.           How do you know it is smart meters that are  affecting your health?
A.           I know because I never had a problem before smart meters.
Q.           Did you have any health problems prior to the installation of smart meters? If so, what were they and when did they begin?
A.           Hypothyroidism. This was diagnosed about twelve years ago.
Q.           Does this cause fatigue?
A.           No, because I take medication for it.
Q.           So could this be what is causing you to have trouble sleeping at night?
A.           No, because I never have had trouble sleeping, that is, not until the smart meters were installed. The fatigue was caused by the hypothyroidism, not by lack of sleep.
 Q.           Have you had sensitivity to any other electrical or wireless devices other than smart meters?

A.           Yes. I am extremely affected by my cell phone. I feel agitated when I am using it, and I have ever since I got it five years ago. I have started to use the speaker phone rather than hold the phone against my ear. That helps slightly. 
Q.           You said you have contemplated suicide after experiencing day after day of unending fatigue since smart meter installation. Have you every contemplated suicide prior to this?

A.           Never. Definitively never. But after I was so exhausted after not sleeping for days, I was going to work one day, completely exhausted. I thought, “How can anyone go on day after day like this without sleeping?”  I thought, “Now I know why people think about suicide. People that don’t sleep, how do they keep on going?”

Q.           Have the health effects you experience as a result of smart meters affected your ability to work and earn a living? If the answer is yes, describe how.

A.           I have been late for work because I have needed to try to rest—I guess I can’t really call it sleep anymore. I’ve never actually missed work, but I have been late for work. My productivity is less. I’ve never been late for work in the past.

Q.           Have the health effects you experience as a result of smart meters affected your ability to interact socially with others? If the answer is yes, describe how.

A.           Yes. When you are so tired,  you don’t even want to socialize with anyone. I  feel angry, so fatigued. All I think about is sleeping.It’s negatively affected my most intimate relationship in the last few months. It’s had a huge impact. The lack of sleep has made me so fatigued and angry, and it’s hard to love someone when you feel that way.

Q.           Have the health effects you experience as a result of smart meters affected your ability to access public services, such as the public library, government offices? If the answer is yes, describe how.
A.           Yes, because going into any building with a smart meter, I feel agitated.

Q.           Have the health effects you experience as a result of smart meters affected your ability to perform one or more major life activities not already mentioned? If the answer is yes, describe what activities and how the effects have affected your performance of these activities.
A.           Interacting with others. Reading, because I get so agitated in my body and I can’t concentrated. I used to love to read, and I kept wondering, “Why can’t I read now.” Inability to think, concentrate, comprehend. Sleeping, obviously. Performing manual tasks because being in the house is so hard—how can I clean my house, wash my dishes, etc when I just need to get out of my house.
As far as physical labor goes, I am more tired, it’s harder to be productive.
My memory is a lot worse. I have to write everything down now. My son keeps telling me, “Mom, I told you that yesterday.”
Leslie Panzica-Glapa
Dexter, Washtenaw County, Michigan 
DTE Customer

health problems, concerns, effects, radiation, dirty electricity, electromagnetic interference, EMFs, sick, ill, chronic health conditions, concerns 

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