Understanding the Triggers

The last time that I thought of killing myself I was 22.   I chambered a single hollow point round in my pistol and clicked off the safety.  Over the next hour or so I made a pro’s and con’s list of why or why not be here anymore.  This was not the first time I thought of killing myself, nor even the first time I had a plan to end it or even took steps towards that plan.  It was though, probably the closest I came and the last time I thought about killing myself.

By this time, I had been on the fence for a while on whether or not to be here and decided that I can’t keep doing what I am doing.  Either I was going to end it, or I was just going to go on and deal with things.  I was in a bad place in many aspects of my life and it had finally come to a head.  In the end, it was not the pro and cons list I created in my head, or any of the aftermath that might come of my death that kept me here.  I realized through it all that I needed a reason to keep going.  I simply needed a reason to be here.  Something I could turn to and hang on to and use as my mantra when I needed it.  I found that reason and it has gotten me through a lot.  If you are in a spot like that, find a reason to hang on to, a reason to keep going.  Stopping will not make anything better, keep fighting.  After figuring out a reason I was in a better spot.  Depressed, but in a safer spot.  Since that afternoon ending my life has not crossed my mind.  I knew that at some point I should go and see someone.  I would a little more than 2 years later, I finally went to go get some help with my depression.

I was medicated at that point and the MD told me that yes, I was depressed.  After being on medication for a while I found that the side effects from the medication were worse than the depression for me, so I stopped my medication and figured I would just deal with it.  Depression was not new to me and so I figured I would just deal with it the best I could.  I have not gone back to the doctor for depression; I have managed it on my own since.  I try and deal with the issues that make me depressed, which is much harder because there are numerous issues.  I take one at a time.  Over the course of the next decade plus there were times the depression was worse, sometimes it was better, but it was always there.

Then Kyanna got cancer.

Then Kyanna died.

Death and depression go hand and hand.  Each can be cited as the cause of the other.  Neither are things that ever go away.  They are simply things you carry.  Sometimes the load is light and others days it can feel like it is crushing you.  There are many aspects of depression people don’t recognize or don’t acknowledge, however the depression that can come with the death of a child is not one of them.   When your child dies there is depression among a host of other emotions that will follow.  For me depression was not new just harder, for my wife it was new and hard.  There are days everything is going fine and then suddenly something happens that reminds you of your child and what you lost, things you won’t do, things you miss, a sadness you can’t explain.  Sometimes you can pull yourself out, some days you can’t.   For anyone that has lost someone they love they understand that these feelings are ongoing, they never end.  There has not or do I think there will be a day or hour that I don’t think about Kyanna.   She is the closest thing to me that I can’t see, I can only feel.  That can be hard to deal with.  Over time that weight can be unbearable.  I understand death and depression because I stood at that precipice many years before.  I understand why some choose to go over the edge.   After Kyanna died, Jeni and I talked and I told her of the last time I thought about ending my life and up until that point I don’t think I ever told anyone about it.  I think I hinted, but I never told anyone that story.  I told her and I told her that I would be here no matter how bad it got, I was staying here.  After all I had a reason to be here and it was as good now as it was then.  I told her why I was staying and hoped that she would stay here with me and she has.

After Kyanna died I started researching why.  How does a 7-year-old get brain cancer?  What I found was uncomfortable but at the same time explained a lot for me and my depression as well as how Kyanna got cancer.  EMF’s were not the sole responsibility of my depression; there are and remain to be many factors that go into that.  EMF’s can alter biological processes.    There are many studies that deal with EMF’s and depression.  Suicide rates rose with the electrification of the US as read here.  Suicide rates are higher in urban area’s than rural, which of course have higher exposures rates.  EMF’s have been shown to lower melatonin levels as can be read here which can lead to depression.   There  are other papers that cite that EMF’s can cause depression like this one.  These are just some samples of the studies that link EMF’s to depression know there are more.  As I tried to find answers to explain what happened to Kyanna, I found an answer to explain things in my life. The times that I was the most depressed correlated with being in areas of high EMF’s.  That has been consistent throughout my life.

By addressing the EMF’s in my life, I have been able to get a better handle on my depression.  Do I still have issues with depression?  Yes, but it is much better than it was.  My mood swings are less, I am not as tired all the time, I am less angry, I sleep better, and most importantly I feel.  I am not numb.  Depression is something that will always be there and so you do the best to limit it as much as you can and learn constructive ways to deal with it.  With EMF’s I am aware of them and take steps to deal with them, because of all the issues that make my depression worse this is the easiest to deal with.  I act and for someone with depression that can be very hard to do.

If you are wondering how EMF’s are affecting you try these simple three things:

  1. Turn off your phone. Only use it if you must, otherwise keep it in airplane mode with the WiFi and Bluetooth shut off.  If you need to use the internet do it from a computer with a wired connection
  2. Shut off your WiFi when you are not using it. This is especially true at night.  Unplug it or put it on a timer.  This also goes for all of your electronic devices.
  3. Shut off the breaker to your bedroom at night to reduce exposure to dirty electricity. Install filters in areas that you need to be when you are awake and things are turned on.

If you have noticed, these are the three things I tell everyone, because for most people these are their biggest exposures.  In the short term, you can fix these things with a little effort.  In the long term, you will need to make more sustainable choices.  When you get to that point, let me know and I will help.   Life is too short to feel terrible or to not feel at all.  Joy is out there, hopefully you have a reason to find it.


LED Bulbs


Recently I found myself needing to buy some LED bulbs. All of the bulbs, around my light bulb, were bought at Menards.  You should be able to find these at really any home improvement store.  These are the only ones that I kept. When I was testing to find the ‘good’ LED know that I ended up returning about 2 times the amount of bulbs that I kept.  If you are going to get any of these bulbs double check to make sure they are good.  Also make sure they are EXACTLY the same bulb as the one in the picture.

Like I have said before you will need to test LED bulbs to see if they produce dirty electricity.  The easiest way to do this is with a Microsurge meter, which can be bought here and instructions can be found here.

Camping and Inverters

With the weather getting nicer, camping season is just right around the corner for many of us.  For some this means pulling a camper behind you to your favorite destination or packing a tent to get away and relax.  This also means trying to figure out a way to power everything.  This was exactly my thought recently as I tried to purchase a couple different forms of power to take with us.  To my disappointment, I ended up returning both items.  Here is why.

Many people that go camping want power.  If you can’t plug into an outlet then you will want to bring the power with you.  This means getting a generator.   Regular AC generators can be rather loud and really take away peace and quiet that you want when you are camping.  This was my thought and so like many I looked to an inverter generator, which is much quieter.   After much research I choose a 2000W Inverter Generator made my WEN.  I choose this because it claimed the lowest THD which was at .3% at no load and 1.2% at max load.  Everything was fine until I fired this up and plugged in the Mircosurge Meter to take a reading.  The reading was over 2000 G/S units.  By plugging in two Stetzerizer Filters the G/S reading was still 500, which is a far cry from the 30 G/S units I was hoping for.  What does 2000 G/S unit look like?  Just take a look at the red in the picture below.   The area between the cursors represents a frequency of 20 kHz.

Inverter generator

The blue wave shown above is 60 Hz power, the same that runs in our homes.  The high red waveform is the high frequency that is riding on the 60 Hz cycle (blue wave).

Another item that I tried was a battery inverter.  In this case it was a Suaoki 220 Wh/20,000 mAh Portable Generator Power Source Power Supply.  When I plugged in my Microsurge Meter to test this, it gave readings of 1700 G/S and after adding two filters the reading only came down to once again 500 G/S units.  The waveform is shown below.   The area between the cursor is 33 kHz.

Battery Inverter

The problems shown for these two items are very common.  I was hoping to find an exception to the rule but I did not.  Since both of these items created very large amounts of dirty electricity I ended up returning both of these items.  It seems that when we camp now we will be doing so with less electricity, and possibly the way that we should have been doing it all along.

If you are wondering about your inverter generator,  or even testing your camper (since most campers have an inverter in them) all you would need to test this is a Microsurge Meter.    Simply plug in the meter and read the number.  The higher the number the worse it is.  To lower the number just add a filter in the plug in.  Test all the plug ins and add filters anywhere the reading drops more than 20%.  In our camper we have 5 filters plugged in.  You can purchase meters and filters by clicking this link.


Recently in my local newspaper there was an article about CFL light bulbs.  This can be read here.  If you have read this or have CFL’s in your home please take time to read this.

Using the argument that ‘because we have always done it so it must safe’ should never be made.  There is a reason we have done away with mercury filled thermometers.  Mercury is toxic at any level.  Even more toxic for pregnant women and children.  However, besides the mercury issue there are many more factors that make CFL’s toxic.  The mercury in them is just one.

All fluorescent lighting will give off a radio frequency because this is part of the process for them to make light.  If a person is standing near this type of lighting it will generate current within a person’s body the closer that you stand next to it.  The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences recognizes that at 18 microamps biological processes relevant to cancer take place.  This is almost 1/1000 of what a regular outlet is rated for.  If you were to stand near a CFL you will be over this.  If you have one in a lamp by your bed or on your desk, chances are you are over this.  This can be easily measured with a voltmeter (FLUKE 187,189 or 287 can all do this) or you can even capture the waveform with an oscilloscope.  This is not the only radio frequency that fluorescents will generate.

Almost all fluorescent light bulbs and CFL’s will add a radio frequency back onto your building’s wires.  These are harmonics which can be called high frequency voltage transients, or easier referred to as dirty electricity.  This too is easily measured with either an oscilloscope or a Mircosurge Meter.   There are numerous research papers that talk of the health implications of being around areas that have high levels of dirty electricity.  Cancer once again is one, but there are many more.

In order, to achieve energy efficiency, we have gone from linear loads (primary used in the 70’s) to non-linear loads today.  The ubiquitous use of non-linear loads (all our electronics are non-linear) has also created issues for the utility companies.  The byproduct of achieving energy efficient products are harmonics which are normally left unaccounted for, mainly because of the belief that since it is a small amount it is ok.  These small amounts add up and what you are left with thus is ground current, (since neutral and ground are bonded).  In many places the primary neutral return is too small to carry the load.   The harmonics generated from all these devices are in the frequency of radio waves and it is possible then to pick these up with an AM radio, either one that is hand held or even in your car radio.  The buzzing sound that you hear in your AM radio or the reason that your AM station cuts when driving by power lines is due to our use of non-linear loads and ‘green’ energy.

If you are looking for energy efficient light bulbs look to LED instead.   Be careful though as many LED’s will also create dirty electricity.  You must test them to find out which ones don’t.

Making your cell phone safe

Today one of the biggest exposures to EMF in your daily life comes from the very thing that most people can’t stand to live without, their phone.  Ironically, there are a lot of people that realize that their phone might be doing something harmful to them.  In order to combat this there are numerous companies that have sprung up and claim that adding this or that to your phone will make your phone safe.  The real question is how do you make your phone safe to use?  This is where the paradox starts, because the truth is if your phone works, it is not safe.

EMF’s simply put are toxins.  Toxins at any level aren’t ‘safe‘.  EMF’s can damage DNA as Dr. Henry Lai found as far back as the mid 1990’s.   A  comprehensive paper written on the toxic effects of EMF exposure written by Dr. Neil Cherry can be read here.  The latest cell phone study done by the National Toxicology Program reports increased DNA damage as well.  The paper is expected by December of this year.

How can you tell if the little device that is stuck to your phone is doing anything?  Well it is pretty simple. Does the phone still work?  Can you call it?  If the answer is yes to either one of these, then sadly you have wasted your money.  If you are currently shopping for a sticker for your phone and in the marketing says ‘that will not alter the function of your phone’ then it would be best to keep on walking.  It would be very comparable to smoking a non filtered cigarette versus a filtered cigarette.  Yes with a filtered cigarette you are getting less tar and all of the other harmful things that are found in cigarettes, but the fact remains that you are still smoking.  Smoking is toxic just like EMF’s are toxic.

What can you do?  The best option is to give up your phone.  That is what I did, however this is something almost everyone is not willing to do.  The next best option is to use airplane mode on your phone or device as much as possible.  THIS IS FREE and built into the phone.   If you are unwilling to use airplane mode then the option becomes even more cumbersome and less effective.   Other options include wrapping your phone in aluminum foil.  This will of course drain your battery faster than normal.  The last option would be buying a metal Faraday Cage for your phone, and makes using your phone much harder.

If you have fallen for some device that you wear or have on your phone, you are not alone.  I fell for this too because like everyone that buys these items I wanted to make my phone safe.  Buying something and putting it on my phone made me feel safe.  That was an illusion.  The reality is that my phone still worked ,and I under the illusion that I was safe, used my phone and devices as much if not more instead of less.  The reality, I was making myself feel worse not better.  On top of that I was around my little girl that had stage 4 cancer, which certainly didn’t help and only made matters worse for Kyanna (Puzzle Series).




When it comes to mitigating EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies) you may come across the slogan “Low EMF”.  If you are wondering what that means, well your guess will be as good as mine. “Low EMF” is just a vague statement especially when no reference is given.  In reality, something that is labeled as “Low EMF” should be taken as lightly as the terminology or usage of the word “natural” in relation to quality of food.  The question then is what do you look for?  Here are some tips to help and some ways to test.

Low EMF can relate to many different fields or frequencies.  Knowing what is lower is the first key.  The second point to make here is that if it is lower then there should be a measurement to show testing before and after.  There are devices to measure all of the fields and frequencies, so you should be able to see these measurements.  If this is not stated, shown, or explained, then just keep shopping.

There are many items that are marketed as low EMF.  The common assumption is that this will make an item safe.  Please know that this is often not the case.  If you are wearing a pendent to block EMFs, or have something on your phone or tablet, know that these don’t make them safe, and in many cases it is questionable if they are doing anything at all.  Many people buy these items thinking they have made their device ‘safe’.  They have not.  The worst part is that in thinking they are now ‘safe’ they use the item even more, which is even more dangerous.

The easiest way to test the quality of a pendent or something you put on your phone is to simply try and use it.  If your phone still works then the item doesn’t work as well as it should and in my opinion you shouldn’t buy it.  What does work then?  Airplane mode works and is build into most all devices and it is free. It works.  Wrapping your phone in aluminum foil 3-4 times works.  Try that and then call the phone, it should go straight to voice mail.  If it doesn’t wrap it a couple more times.  Putting a device in an all metal container will also work as well as any type of Faraday Cage.   The best way to lower exposure is to not have a cell phone, but if you need one, please do one of the things mentioned above.

The sauna industry is a great example of an industry that recognized the harm of magnetic fields and took a proactive response to reduce them.  Infrared Saunas are used to help promote a healthy lifestyle and have many health benefits.  What is not a benefit is being exposed to high magnetic fields.  It is because of this that you will see some marketed as ‘Low EMF’.  What should low mean?  If the sales person or site that is selling the sauna doesn’t state what the magnetic fields are then just keep shopping.  When you do find this you are looking for fields that are less than 1 milligauss or .1 microtesla. Ideally these measurements should be taken in close proximity to the heating elements.  The ambient field within the sauna should be under 1 mG. This magnetic field level recommendation comes from the BioInitiative Report.

If you come across something that you have questions on, please just ask by sending an email to darnell@flutterbusters.com.   I can point out the things that you should be looking for in the item so you can make a more informed choice.

The Importance of a Symbol

In Owen-Withee there is a garden with my daughter’s name, Kyanna, on it.  On the surface it is easy to recall a 7 year old girl that died of brain cancer, simply because it has her name.  To a point a you would be right in thinking that.  It is a remembrance in a way, but it also a symbol of so much more that you don’t see and is lost.

It is not hard to find the bad in life.  It would seem that by looking at a news feed or even your Facebook feeds that there is bad all over.  Horrible things happening what seems like all the time.   There seems to be an endless supply of this news that we are fed and at least for me after so many years of it, you can get lost in that.   You can start to become more cynical and start to close yourself and may even start to believe all that you read or see in the news, because after all if there was good in the world we would surely hear about it, right?  The good is often overlooked or forgotten.  Finding a symbol of good things is even harder.

For anyone that has received an unfathomable amount of help, it changes you.  It changed me.   When you see people that have no idea who you are and are trying to help for no better reason than that they believe it is right thing to do, that leaves a lasting impression.   You are awed,  humbled, grateful, and can even be meant to feel unworthy of all that has been given to you.  Asking for help is just as hard as receiving it.

When I look at the garden in Owen-Withee I remember my daughter, however more importantly I remember all those that made that possible.  I remember people coming together to make something better, because they felt that a situation was wrong.  I see a symbol of people that care and are trying to make the world a better place.  I see people helping someone else in a time of need.  I see the good in people when I see that garden, and I remember there were many people that made that possible, they are the stars in our night sky.  Simply put, the garden reminds me of the goodness in humanity.  For me, it is a symbol and an embodiment of all things that are good in this world.  I hope when you look upon the garden you will see that as well.


Flutter Buster Snowshoe Race


Proceeds from this race will go towards the garden that is in front of the Owen-Withee Schools as well as the Kyanna Joy Darnell Flutter Buster Fund through Eau Claire Community Foundation.  If you are interested in going please fill out and return the form below.  If you are unable to make it for the race you can still make a tax deductible donation to the fund.  To donate click here.




Simplistic Rules for Shopping

January is the time when many will spend a lot of money on things they perceive as healthy.  They will join gyms, buy equipment, and set lofty goals to do a 30, 60, or 90 day challenge; then once done will revert back to before and be back to where they started.   Ironically many do this year after year.  Health is not complicated; it is simple, you just have do it.  The thing that you have the most control over is what you eat and what you feed your family.  The following is what we do.  Really there are only two rules that I follow when I do the grocery shopping.

Rule #1: If it has sugar added to it, don’t buy it.  

Like every parent today, there has never been a time when I was worried that my children were getting enough sugar.  Manufacturers put sugar in almost everything, doubt me? Go and read the labels on the food in your home.  For as simple as this rule sounds, as you start to read labels, you will see how hard this is to follow.  Know that this also includes anything that is a sweetener which would include things like high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, honey, maple syrup, and all of the other natural and artificial sweeteners.  Why do this you ask?  This ties back to the Warburg Effect talked about in the last post.

Rule #2: If you can’t read it or don’t know what it is then don’t buy it.

Since you are already reading the label to see if it has sugar and you come across an ingredient that looks like it should be given in the national spelling bee, then chances are it is not all that good for you.  If you don’t know what the ingredients are then don’t buy it.  For me, if the list of ingredients is really long I don’t even bother to read them, I just put the item back.  The simpler the better.  The litmus test is being able to read the ingredients, however as you go along you will find many things are renamed or called something that is readable.   Be wary of descriptions that are vague–like natural favors, spices, or caramel coloring.   If need be take your phone out of airplane mode and search for the ingredient listed.

If you are trying to apply these rules at all times, then the places that you can eat out at and also the items that you can eat from there just became very, very small.  Traveling was and is the hardest thing to do because of the way we eat.   However, with a little forethought you can avoid having a hungry, angry family.



Otto Warburg

In the early part of the last century Otto Warburg made an important discovery.  One that was the basis for the way that we treated Kyanna’s cancer, and really how we live our lives now.  Know as “the Warburg effect”, Otto Warburg noticed that cancers cells, even in the presence of oxygen would ferment glucose.  Explained in the most basic of terms, cancer cells use sugar as their fuel.

Your body’s cells have two ways that they can produce energy.  One is through aerobic respiration (with oxygen), the other is anaerobic respiration (without oxygen, ferments sugar).  Under normal circumstances your cells will use aerobic respiration, however in times when you need more energy, your cells will use anaerobic respiration, which is much less efficient but can give you the energy you need in times of need.  Times this is important could be things like running for your life from something, exercising hard, or just under constant stress.  Normally your body will shift between these two modes, but with cancer it seems that it will get stuck in the anaerobic respiration as Warburg found.  The question then becomes how do you get the cells back into aerobic respiration?

With any living organism, if you take away its food source it will have two options, one is die and the other is adapt and eat something else.  For a cell this would mean going back to aerobic respiration.  How do you starve a cancer cell?  In this case you stop eating sugar, anything that will turn into sugar (carbs), and things that are naturally high in sugar (fruits).   Besides cancer cells, your body also needs sugar.  Namely, your brain needs sugar to operate.  However referring back earlier in the paragraph, in the absence of sugar your body will adapt and will produce what are called ketones.  Ketones then act as the sugar that your body needs, and the beauty is that cancer cells are not able to use ketones.  This is the reasoning behind why our family did the Ketogenic Diet, and to some extent continues to do so.  Not only can this diet be helpful for cancer, but also epilepsy and weight loss (since your body is converting fat you eat as well as the fat you have stored into fuel).   You can easily find if you are in ketosis with a simple monitor that will analyze your blood with strips, much like a diabetic strips.  This is something that we monitored with Kyanna every couple of days.

Electromagnetic fields and frequencies (EMFs) in the most simplistic explanation can cause stress on the body.  The stress it causes will range per individual, because everyone reacts to stress differently.  Electromagnetic fields and frequencies are everywhere.  They are inundated in our lives and can be a constant form of stress for people.  It is then best if you can mitigate your exposure as much as possible.   Please refer to previous posts regarding how to mitigate EMFs.  Since there is more than one way to deal with a problem, I am going to address many of the other things that we did with Kyanna and by and large still do.  Many of these are simple things with the hardest part being that you actually have to do them.  This will include such things as diet, therapies, and detoxing that we did and still do.  These are are things we did after we found out Kyanna had cancer.  I wish we had done all these things before Kyanna got sick.  Then if she still would have gotten brain cancer we would know we controlled what we could have controlled.  In my opinion, the best way to prevent cancer would be to act like you already have it.  Make the changes now because these are all things that you can control.  Do not wait until there already is a problem.

For much more information on Warburg’s theory, how it corresponds to current theories, and newer research efforts in cancer research because of it, I would suggest reading Tripping Over The Truth by Travis Christofferson.