Archive for the ‘health’ Category

Getting there – slowly

April 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Since my last post, the stitches have been removed from my shoulder – a far less painful operation than I had anticipated. There are still the dissolvable stitches poking out of the wounds and they catch on my shirt, but hey ho!

Repaired shoulderYesterday was my first day of physiotherapy. Now, I am no fan of physio as it has caused me no end of problems in the past, the worst giving me sciatica on two occasions within three weeks. I do not recommend sciatica.

But yesterday’s session was gentle. The exercises I have been instructed to do are gentle and quite easy to do, although after doing them, it feels like the muscles in my shoulder have been ripped apart.

Oh, they were.

I am still to keep my arm in a sling for the time being. Its own weight on the repaired muscle could cause damage. But at least I can use my hand now.

The only problem now is that I will have to go through all this again with my other shoulder.

Categories: health

Can’t Get Through the Snow!

December 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Due to an ongoing medical condition, my mother has to have an injection every day. As the procedure is quite complex, I am not allowed to do is so the community nurse calls round.

Yesterday, when the snow was quite thick on the roads, the nurse on duty managed to get someone with a 4×4 vehicle to take her around her calls, including us.

Today, when all main roads are clear (we live on a main road), the nurse telephoned to say that she could not get to us because of the weather, so could I take my mother to the local hospital to have the injection administered.

So, in other words, it is OK to put a frail old lady into my car (see previous posts) and take her the 6 miles to the hospital and back, but it is not alright for the community nurse to come to us – along the same roads.


Oh well, maybe it is a back-handed compliment to my ability to drive in adverse conditions, or it might have been if there had been any snow on the roads!

Categories: Cars, health, Weather Tags: , ,

Smoking, but not as you know it …

December 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Having sustained a compound fracture of the wrist which was not showing any signs of wanting to knit back together, my consultant decided that an operation, involving a bone graft and a screw was necessary.

However, as I am a smoker, he explained that taking in carbon monoxide was inhibiting the healing process and asked if I could give up. If I could, he would perform the operation within  the week.

I have been meaning to switch to electronic cigarettes for a while and this seemed like the right time.

I ordered a kit and stopped smoking “proper” cigarettes. The operation was performed and I wandered around the corridors puffing on my electronic cigarette – no one objected!

A few days later, my mother was rushed into hospital with a blood clot in her lung. Immediately, she was told to stop smoking, not easy for an 88-year-old who has smoked for most of her life.

When she was discharged, I gave her one of my electronic cigarettes.

Mum has not smoked a “proper” cigarette since.

I did smoke one, and found it rather nasty!

And we are saving a small fortune!

And I feel healthier!

Should I plug the brand I am using?

What the heck:

If you are a smoker who wants to give up, or is even thinking about it, or if you are a smoker who wants to save some money, take a look.

Malaria and Hearing Loss

October 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Being somewhat limited in how I can occupy myself as I still have an arm in plaster, I decided to see what I could find out about hearing loss caused by malaria, or maybe caused by the treatment of malaria.

Two things I found out quickly; quinine can cause hearing loss, but this seems partial and only in certain frequencies, and cerebral malaria can cause a change to the inner ear and/or the bit of the brain that deals with hearing.

I have read papers where mice were used in experiments, others citing drugs used to cure the disease and the general consensus seems to be that certain forms of malaria can cause hearing loss.

But, nowhere can I find anything relating to the reversal of the problem. I will carry on reading the papers I find on the Web, when I can find the will – some of them are rather dry and also use scientific terminology that I also have to look up, not being a scientist.

So, if anyone reading this has any information to offer that may help in answering this question, please let me know.

But why am I interested in this particular subject? We have a child at the Twiga Children’s Centre who has been deaf since contracting malaria at 5 months and I want to know if there is any possibility of reversing the hearing loss, other than with hearing aids.

Thanks in advance for any information given.

Categories: health Tags: , , , ,

Elf n’ Safety

For all its faults, the Kenyan Government cannot be accused of running a nanny state.

If the British Health and Safety police came over here, they would have a heart attack.

During my stay here, I have seen 10 year-old kids wielding machetes with a skill that can only be acquired through years of practice. The same kids use hoes to break up the ground, but could also sever a foot with no problem.

Five year olds coming home from school on the back of motorcycle taxis; their feet cannot reach the footrests, but no matter. As for crash helmets – well, what are they?

Most households cook over charcoal burners and kerosene rings that are either placed outside in the yard or in the porch, where toddlers play.

Here, in Kisii, especially during the rainy season, it doesn’t matter how clean kids start out in the morning, within five minutes, they are muddy up to the knees, they sit in the mud, play in the mud. Chickens use the same mud for foraging, and at night, the neighbourhood dogs scavenge. Other wild animals also pass through the yards.

Amazingly, apart from minor bumps and scratches, which are shrugged off, I have not seen any of the kids I know hurt or injured.

They climb trees, play on waste ground strewn with rubbish, walk alongside fast-flowing rivers, but they survive.

It just makes me wonder where we in the UK are going with our rules and regulations that wrap up the citizens in cotton-wool in case they get hurt.

I Don’t Get Sick …

March 6, 2009 Leave a comment

… very often. I cannot remember that last time I visited the medical centre other than to get anti-malaria pills etc.

But this week, I had to give in. Two or three weeks ago, I sneezed and promptly became deaf in one ear. I was not too concerned ~ it has happened before and cleared itself after a couple of days.

But this time, it hasn’t. And on Wednesday morning I woke up to find my face was swollen and resembling a misshapen pumpkin – nothing new there then I hear someone retort – cheek.

So I trotted down to see a doctor, who confirmed that I had an abscess in my jaw. Brilliant.

I am now on a course of antibiotics to clear the abscess and hopefully the infection I have probably got in my ear. Cost? £7.30.

And then, of course, I will have to line up a visit to the dreaded dentist.

Oh well, it could be worse. At least I am in the UK at the moment. Although I have complete faith in the Kenyan health service, it is a question of the comfort of surroundings I am familiar with.

Categories: abscess, doctor, health

Amazing … !

February 7, 2009 Leave a comment

I have not taken any drugs, pills or potions , nor have I used the inversion table, since before Christmas, and recently I have been getting definite pangs, one verging on sciatica.

As I stated in my previous posts, I have been trying to find out if the relief I got over and after Christmas was due to the table or a supplement I have been taking.

So, on Thursday, I dosed myself with the supplement – five small doses, spaced two hours apart.

And ? My back pain has gone again.

I am not drawing any conclusions yet, but watch this space.

Categories: health, tinkering Tags: ,