I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.  And I screw up electronics.

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I was born in the later ’70s, which means that I did most of my growing up in the ’80s and ’90s.

The technology of the time was bigger, bulkier, and more rudimentary.

I loved it.

I could make anything work.  I hooked up my Nintendo and VCR to separate channels on TV, which also had a cable connection, and I did it successfully.  I missed nothing, and it never messed up on me.

I had a desktop computer back then, too.  It ran MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1, until I could hunt down an install copy of Windows 3.11, which was marginally more sophisticated.  It ran reliably.  It never needed updating.  The only crashes and mishaps I experienced were of my own making, and the remedy was within the capacity of my own fixing.

It was awesome.  It was bliss.

Enter today’s technology.  Not so awesome.  Not so bliss.

Today’s technology is smaller, more compact, more delicate, more flaky, and less stable.

At least, for me.  When I look around, I don’t see other people having quite the number of problems I experience on a daily basis.  Sure, their computers crash and hang, but mine have Issues.  Mine need anti-psychotic medication.

I have a friend who, when she wears a wristwatch, it stops and begins to count time backwards.

I’m not that bad with mundane technology.  Or maybe it’s just that I don’t wear a wristwatch.  After all, I can’t screw something up if I’m not near it.

I do, however, use a smartphone, two desktops, and three laptops.  One of the laptops is newer and used only for specific functions, so it’s OK.

The others?  Are not OK.  Ever.  My oldest laptop is also the most stable, which I suspect is mostly an operating system thing; the Apple/Mac OS of six years ago is lightyears more rock solid than the versions that followed.

I experience significant delays with the newer ones.  One could chock it up to a mere OS issue, given the major managerial and philosophical changes occurring within Apple around the time during which the quality of the OS began to head south.

Indeed, one could surmise that it’s Apple’s desktop OS’s fault.

Except that I also crash my iPhone.  And my iPod.  (Anyone who has ridden with me knows that my iPod and truck stereo decide to butt heads about once a week.  We have reached the point where we can almost time it.)

OK, the devil’s advocate might say, but nice try; those are still Apple products.

True.

My cable system, however, has nothing to do with Apple.  And I crash that, too.

And before discovering Apple, I ran a newer-version Windows laptop, running Windows XP.  And I crashed that, too.

We had a lamp in our living room that would blow its light bulb every so often, when I would flip the switch to turn it on.

Did I also mention that I turn streetlights on and off, merely by walking or sitting near them?

Apple doesn’t have any hand in the cable box, Windows XP, in-home lamps, or outdoor streetlights.  Obvs, the problem has something to do with me.

I also crash individual apps, whether on desktop, laptop, or mobile devices.  My WordPress app crashes every morning; a morning is no longer complete without sending a WP app crash report.

And it seems like the newer, tinier, and more sophisticated the technology gets, the more my system and the technology go head to head.

And then, this last fall, I found out that I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (PDF), or EDS.

EDS is a autosomal dominant genetic disorder that causes errors in producing connective tissue in the body.  Connective tissue is everywhere in the body, so the symptoms can be varied and plentiful.  Currently, there are six known subtypes, ranging in prevalence and severity.

Luckily for me, I have the “mildest” type.  Meaning that it’s not going to kill me.  That’s a good thing.  But that doesn’t mean that it’s not going to affect my life, probably in many ways.

While reading up on EDS (which is a vast and fascinating topic, by the way!), I came across a connection between EDS and phenomena surrounding electronics, as reported by people who have EDS.

I thought to myself, really??  No shit!  So might not be “just me”, after all?  This is a Thing?  Whodathunk?

Other EDS peeps describe all kinds of electronic mishaps, ranging from draining batteries rapidly to crashing operating systems.  We seem to fry technology/electronics in one way or another.

That…would be me.  I can relate to their experiences.  Finally!  A possible answer to this mushrooming oddity that has become too invasive and too eerie to ignore.

Since I use electronics heavily, EDS has a noticeable effect on my daily life and the quality thereof.

In a single day, I have crashed:

  • My iPod
  • My iPhone
  • 2 desktop computers
  • 2 laptop computers
  • My cable system

…Each one of them requiring a restart or reboot.

Yes.  All of those.  On the same day.  I kid you not.

I have a theory about all this.  It came from reading a book on–don’t laugh–acupuncture, of all things.

Wait, don’t hit the “back” button on your browser just yet.  I’m an Aspie; therefore, I just might be on to something.  Here goes…

The book is written by a guy who knows his stuff, in terms of both western medicine and eastern traditions.  He knows his anatomy and physiology well, and he’s up on the most current research.

He said that connective tissue is piezoelectric, which, according to Nanomotion, is:

“the ability of certain materials to generate an electric charge in response to applied mechanical stress.”

And according to research, connective tissue is indeed piezoelectric.

And apparently there are cells within connective tissue that oscillate.

The entire body is wrapped in a thin-but-durable layer of something known as fascia (think Saran Wrap).  This fascia has been described as liquid crystal in nature, and has a huge piezoelectric effect.  The body resonates at a frequency of about 10 Hz.

The utility/power line frequency is either 50 or 60 Hz, depending on where you are in the world.  Perhaps the human body’s 10-Hz frequency fits/cycles comfortably within the 50-60-Hz electric frequency of the surrounding power system.

But what about EDS peeps? Maybe our frequency isn’t exactly 10 Hz.  And maybe that might begin to create a frequency dissonance with the surrounding electronics.

I’m not sure if any studies have been done on whether or not the resonant frequency of EDS-affected body tissues differs from that of people without EDS, but it stands to reason that if you’re not making collagen (the connective tissue impacted by the EDS-related genetics) properly, the collagen will lack stability and integrity (which for EDS people, it does), and I imagine that it won’t resonate at the same frequency.

I’m no physical/electronic scientist, but I think I remember something about all electronics emitting a resonant frequency.  Perhaps the resonant frequency of someone without EDS meshes well with that of electronic devices, whereas the frequency emitted by that of someone with EDS does not.

Additionally, the clash between the two frequencies may vary, depending on the person’s EDS subtype, the electronic technology used, the frequency with which the person uses it, and various factors pertaining to the person’s health; for example, although EDS is present for life, one can go through periods of flare-up and relative abatement or even symptom dormancy.

Personally, I have noticed a growing correlation between my emotions and technological issues.  The more amped up I am, the more the device malfunctions.  It doesn’t seem to matter if this amped-up disposition is positive (excited), neutral (mildly anxious or merely energetic, without necessarily feeling good or bad), or negative (more severely anxious/stressed, irritable, frustrated, or angry).

So what happens?  What does this look like?

I’ll give a few personal examples…

The computer will begin to “hang” (pause, like the hour-glass icon in Windows or the colored pinwheel on a Mac), crash or fail to respond for prolonged periods of time, or quit altogether.

My devices take longer to “wake up” or become active, fresh out of “sleep mode”.

My screens often freeze, going black, white, or some other color, or maybe the graphics will pixelate and become distorted.

Even phone calls will drop unexpectedly…but only those made with my mobile (despite being on the same mobile plan, my non-EDS partner does not seem to have this problem, so I’m guessing it’s just me).

The cable box runs incredibly slow.  Remote controls fail to respond, despite my giving the buttons sufficient pressure.

My batteries do seem to wear down a little faster, especially on my laptop and mobile phone.

Maybe our (EDS-affected) tissues resonate at 9.8 Hz, or maybe 10.1. And maybe this might create discord with the power system.

Why electronics and not necessarily other electric appliances?  And why today’s electronics as opposed to older electronics?  Probably because they have bigger parts, which may be resilient enough to tolerate micro-fluctuations in the interference of electromagnetic energy fields.  Electronic devices, especially those made in recent years, are smaller, more compact, more sophisticated.  They may leave less room for error, and lower tolerance for competing, discordant interference.  In short, today’s tiny devices may be more sensitive.  High maintenance little things.

There’s little information about this EDS-electronic fritzing connection via Google, although it seems to run rampant in EDS support forums, which I haven’t yet tried to find, as I’ve been living vicariously through a few friends who are members and/or have talked with and connected to far more people with EDS than I have.

So, I tell my story here, in hopes of adding to the supply of engine-searchable info.
There you have it.  Another EDS case of messing up today’s technology.

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11 thoughts on “I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.  And I screw up electronics.

  1. Funny thing… I also do the street light thing😮 I don’t crash electronics but that may be because I don’t have any except my phone (which Ben has most of the time for YouTube 😕) I don’t have EDS (as far as I know) but I do have Fibromyalgia which is also related to connective tissue. Hmmmmm…..Are we seeing at pattern?😏 Very interesting. I just figured I was magic when I did the street lamps😜 Whatever, I’m STILL magic💫💞💃

    1. Oh wow 💝. Yep there’s a huge connection between fibromyalgia and EDS; lots of fibro is misdiagnosed and is actually EDS instead (!). And there’s also a fairly strong incidence of EDS in autistic/Aspie peeps–both male and female, but especially female 💖. Yep I’m seeing a pattern! 😎🌺

      FunFact: a friend of mine from undergrad came to see me in student internship; he was a very tall and muscular dude, but his joints always moved very easily. Looking back, I had started to suspect that he was an Aspie too, and now I’m definitely also suspecting that he has EDS for sure. All of the signs were there 💞. And…he turned streetlights on and off, too! 😂🐉💪🏼💓

      1. Lol I hope soon! This planet is killer. Screwed up six ways from Sunday! We totally need to form a little bubble while we’re here until that mother ship comes to our rescue! 👽🐛🐉🍄🌎🌺🌛🌝🌜☀️😜

      2. Pinky swear!!😂 I follow a gal on the ol Twitter who has EDS if you wanna shoot some questions at her I can give you her @. She’s super cool. I had considered EDS when I heard about it because I am sooooper flexible. Like a pretzel. And my joints are full of rice crispies😕 My fibro was dx by a rheumatologist and I was positive on all 18 points. Yay 💯, oh wait, not good😕 At this point it doesn’t even matter. I’ve been doing the spoonie life for almost 20 years. Dang! 20 freakin years. Wow. Surgeries and different dx and so so many different meds…Now I’m a cyborg with my Intrathecal Pump and life is livable!
        So, yeah, seat saving, check. I hope they know how to fill my pump😂😂😂

      3. OMG thank you! 😘. Girl, I’m awed by your strength and your sunshine every day 😎. Even on your down days, you take time for you and come back with your chin up. I totally love that! Sure, I would love to have the @ for the EDS peep! That’d be awesome 😘❤️💖

      4. Whoever gets to the mother ship first, will save the other one a seat, OK? Pinky shake? 😍🤓🌷

  2. Ok, EDS gal is @MortuaryReport. Her motto/mantra is Stay Weird Be Kind or SWBK. That right there let’s you know she’s got a great outlook on life👍
    Thank you, thank you for your kind words & the warm fuzzies😍 I’m sending warm fuzzies right back to you💌💘💝 I try to stay positive. I’m like Uncle Albert in Mary Poppins, I love to laugh💞😂 All of the wrinkles in my face are from smiling ( ok maybe some from squinting -sooo nearsighted) and laughing. I’ve read it takes more muscles to frown than smile & I’m basically lazy 😂

    1. Omg thank you!! You’re too kind 😘😘. Oh!!–that made me think of something – there’s another Twitter peep with EDS – I think s/he is @OHTwist or something similar. Awesome information and a very nice person 💓. Runs a spectacular blog, too😎😉🌷🌺💖

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