Yesterday, I went to Moorfields Eye Hospital for an eye test.
Not your average eye test, but one that was part of a study to test new diagnosis methods, rather more than my eyes. The eyes incidentally, seemed to be much the same as ever.
What I found interesting was how far the new equipment is moving down a patient-friendly route and the more things they could tell you.
As an example, with my eyes, I hate the standard ‘puff of air’ test, that checks the fluid pressure inside your eye. If you want to read more on what is called ocular tonometry, it’s here on Wikipedia. I had a test from a new instrument, that was much kinder to my sensitive eyes. So that one instrument, seems a big improvement.
I also had a visual field test on the state of the art perimeter. There’s more on perimetry here. This was to compare with the results found on some of the new methods they tried in another test.
I had the same test in Cambridge in 2010, soon after I had the stroke. Unfortunately, they didn’t send me the results. Surely, it’s about time, that we all had an NHS account, where we could access all of our notes, X-rays and tests. I shall be trying to get those field vision results from Addenbrooke’s, as it would be nice to know, if my eyes have got worse.
Even a chain of opticians like Vision Express can’t access results of tests performed in one shop from another. That is apparently down to the Data protection Act. How stupid is that?
This is the second University research project, in which I’ve collaborated. The other was respect to widowhood at Liverpool University.
I would like to get involved in more, as research is something, I feel will be the saviour of this world.
Perhaps we need a web site, where people could register, to say they would be prepared to take part in research, that universities could tap into for volunteers.
Both the research projects I’ve been involved in, have been non-invasive and the worst danger I’ve faced is probably crossing the road to get to Moorfields. I suspect too, that much of the medical research in the next few years, will be of this non-invasive nature. I recently had a request from Liverpool University, looking for gay men, who had suffered bereavement, for a study. This is the sort of project for which a national database of possible participants would be a great help.
It was interesting to see how yesterday, one instrument was virtually a laptop in a frame. The boundaries between specialist professions like doctors, vets and dentists, and those like engineers and computer scientists, are getting very porous.
This story from California, is an interesting way to stop smoking. Here’s the first paragraph.
Think you’ve heard of every way possible to quit smoking? Etta Mae Lopez came up with a new one: slap a cop and go to jail, where smoking isn’t allowed.
Perhaps, we should take a leaf out of California’s book and ban smoking in prison.
Yesterday, I met someone, who has divorced after a fairly long marriage. I’m not sure how long ago it was, but they did move house in the last year.
I first noticed their nails and they appeared to be short and brittle just like mine below. They also had similar bumps to those I have on my index finger.
On questioning, they revealed that they lived in a south-facing flat, although it doesn’t have under-floor central heating, like my house.
So are they living in a hot, dry atmosphere, like I have for a lot of the time, since I moved into this house? There is only one way to find out and that is buy one of these.
I got mine from Maplin. Click here for details.
Since the begining of January, I’ve kept the temperature most of the time in the range of 19-21 °C, with the humidity as high as possible. Admittedly, it’s a bit hotter this morning, but then the sun is on and both the heating and air-conditioning are off.
The consequences for my gut have been dramatic. Ever since my stroke in 2010, my gut has been lively, which an expert neurologist said was strange, as if stroke sufferers have a problem it’s usually constipation. For a long time, I thought I’d been glutened in hospital.
Now I was married for forty years and my lunch companion had probably been married for a long time, although they had got divorced. So the nails and the hands got me thinking.
Could it be, that when you are living with someone, you get into habits and a pattern of living? C and myself, were a couple, who did things together, but she was very definite in what she wanted. She always slept on the same side of the bed, kept the temperature of her car at a precise 22.5 °C and always liked to eat at particular times. She also was the first to complain, if the inside of a house or hotel room was too hot, and I would be told to do something about it.
I was happy to live at her temperature, but she always complained that my office or car was too hot.
After she died, I decided to warm the house up. I changed radiators and also switched from blankets to duvets in a quest for more warmth.
Unfortunately, I didn’t do any before and after measurements, but it was about this time that my rhinitis or as I thought at the time, hay fever, started.
This rhinitis got very much worse after the stroke in Hong Kong. My hospital room, had a big picture window and the sun streamed through. Could it have been very hot and dry?
When I moved to this house, it was very hot and I started to feel unwell and even thought the house was trying to kill me.
I have now got air-conditioning and control the temperature and humidity as tight as I can. But all of this does illustrate the chain of events from C’s tragic death, that ruined my health.
There may also be other factors, that come in on either bereavement or divorce, or even just moving house.
I hate gas cookers with a passion, as I don’t like naked flames anywhere, but others won’t cook on anything else. C and I, were both very happy with an AGA.
I don’t like draughts either and generally keep the windows shut and go for a walk if I want fresh air. After a bereavement or divorce, you may have a tedency to shut yourself away, so perhaps acquiring a dog that needs to be walked is maybe a good idea. I haven’t gone for the dog, but I do walk quite a bit.
How many women after a divorce, go from a comfortable air-conditioned car to an affordable hatchback, as the settlement is not in their favour?
There are obviously other factors, and if anybody has any ideas, I’d be pleased to hear them.
But I always remember a story of a couple, who moved a mile or so from their new sealed house, with fitted carpets in the town centre, to a country cottage with stone floors and ill-fitting windows. Their son’s asthma disappeared after the move.
So are there any scientific papers on the effects of temperature and humidity on health.
I found this paper from Harvard, entitled Hospital admissions for heart disease: the effects of temperature and humidity. Read the summary. It seems to indicate, that in their specific study, temperature was important, but humidity wasn’t.
My only advice would be to get yourself, one of Maplin’s meters, so that you know your preferred temperature and humidity.
I was wondering today, if my lifestyle choices have been my problem all along.
As a child I spent endless hours in my bedroom playing with my Meccano, and in most of my working life I was programming alone in my office, often watching the television at the same time. Even today, living alone in East London, I spend a lot of time on my computer, with either the television or the radio in the background.
The difference now, is that I try to get some sun and even today, I’ve had an hour or so in the sun walking around the local area.
But I don’t eat much salt and I’ve never liked it. So could I be that rare person, who doesn’t get enough salt?
Paradoxically, although I’m not a sun lover, I do hate the cold and C used to complain that my office and car was too hot. This winter though, I’ve felt a bit better by deliberately keeping the temperature down to 20 °C or less inside most of the time. My gut, which is usually troublesome, has been perfect all the time.
I am trying to drink more water, but only in the form of tea, lemonade, milk or beer. But all I seem to want to do is pee it down the toilet!
So can I get decent health, by controlling my avoidances?
One conclusion, I’m coming to, is that when I was living with C, she used to drag me out for walks and probably curbed some of my excess.
So does that explain, why my health was better for all those years I was married?
I don’t know, but I’ve read this article about research at Edinburgh University with a great deal of interest.
I am very pale skinned and used to burn easily in the sun, so I kept out of it for long periods of my life. Since being diagnosed as a coeliac, and going gluten-free, strangely, I’ve tended to burn less easily.
I had a very bad winter in 2010-2011 and again this one in 2012-2013. This year our lack of sun in London has been very marked. I’ve just looked atb the pictures, I took on this blog in 2011-2012 and there seems a lot more sun than this past winter. I know, it’s not very scientific.
In the last few years of her life, C and I always went away for a few weeks in January and I felt better. She would also drag me out for a walk on any day that the sun might come out.
Soon, after she died, my GP at the time, thought I might be suffering from SAD, so one of the actions I took, was to wear a thick coat and drive my Lotus with the top down. The extra sun seemed to help!
Let’s hope the sun kicks me back to life!
At Dalston Junction station, I was approached by a man, who asked if I had a lighter.
I said I was sorry, but I didn’t smoke.
He then said thanks and said that I was probably a lot healthier than him.
Little did he know!
i hope the conversation pushes him to give up!
In a hard hitting opinion in The Times today, he effectively blames journalists for stoking up the MMR fiasco. Here’s the final paragraph.
The MMR scare was the fault of journalists of all stripes. With honourable exceptions, notably Brian Deer, hacks combined to mislead the public, and now those same journalists want to deny responsibility for it. They shouldn’t be allowed to. Forget phone hacking and paparazzi, MMR is the Hillsborough of my profession.
We need quality journalism in the UK, not scare and celebrity stories that sell papers to the gullible.
According to the Times today, there is a big black hole in UKIP’s plans based on their 2010 manifesto. They postulate a figure of £120 billion, which probably has a margin of error.
It shows that those out of power can promise the earth, even if they won’t ever be able to deliver.
But I hadn’t realised until now, that Farage and UKIP want to bring back smoking in pubs. I think now, that would probably be a big vote loser, as we’ve all got used to cleaner air in bars and restaurants.
A supermarket is in trouble for not saying a packet of monkey nuts contains nuts. It’s here in the Guardian.
This product got a plug on Have I Got News For You, tonight.
I thought it was a spoof, but if it is, the web site is a masterpiece of misleading information.
It is actually a gluten-free breakfast cereal. The product page is here and I only have one problem with it and that is that it contains cranberries, which are a no-no if you are on Warfarin.
My other problem might be putting on a lumberjack shirt and high heels to eat it.