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Incidents and Accidents in the Home and Outside

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It seems to me that the possibility of an accident is always present, waiting sometimes literally to trip you up. The home, ideally a place of comfort and relaxation is a minefield of traps for the unwary and where most accidents happen.

The danger of standing on a low stool is one that should not be underestimated. Not much can happen to you standing a few feet off the ground, right? In fact, overreaching and overconfidence can be your undoing, leading to a twisted ankle or worse. Best to invest in a reliable non slip stool and watch your step!


The stairs of course are a potential pitfall. Losing your balance at the top can have disastrous results. I have managed to fall upstairs rather than down! Feeling unsteady, I projected myself forwards, hitting my head on the wall, resulting in an impressive black eye.

It was difficult to explain the circumstances, to those kind or curious enough to ask. I had made a split-second decision that it was better to fall forwards rather than backwards. Fortunately, no lasting harm was done to my vision from this experience.

Scalding is a serious matter, as I discovered as a child when I tipped boiling water from the stove, onto my toes. Years later, pouring boiling water into the sink, I failed to remove a soaked t shirt from my skin, quickly enough to prevent scalding.  The result was blisters again, the treatment of which, I was this time responsible. Foolishly I rubbed them, resulting not surprisingly, in several bleeding wounds on my stomach.

Feeling the need for outside assistance, I displayed these injuries to a pharmacist and inadvertently to some customers in a queue, to whom I apologised and accepted sympathy. The pharmacist did her best to look for suitable products for treatment, but in the end, I gave up and went to the Minor Injuries Unit.

A measurement was taken of the worst area, which although not huge, qualified as a serious scald, and required precautionary antibiotics, due to the location.  Happily, after several trips to the Unit for dressings, all was well and in time the scars faded.

The common factor in these incidents was that I was in a hurry. I would suggest that Hurry is a prerequisite for many accidents, inside and outside the home. The speed of life is such that we have little time to stand and stare, or even to take care.
 
Outside of the home, I managed to fall and break my arm, by tripping over a kerb, while speeding across the road. With both arms outstretched, clutching two carrier bags, I was briefly flying over the pavement, knowing that this was not going to end well. I was not surprised that I couldn’t stand up unaided. I was helped to my feet by two cab drivers, outside of whose office I had been hurrying. I was then kindly given a free ride to Accident and Emergency, by the cab company.
 
It turned out that the treatment for this type of fracture was not to set the arm in plaster, but to let it hang loosely secured, but freely by the side and on no account to rest it on a chair arm or table, or anything!  I opted for the conservative treatment of physiotherapy, rather than surgery, and in due course, this restored my arm to more or less its previous state, if somewhat weaker.
 
I share these experiences in the hope that readers will take their time while going about their daily business. Please do not hurry, watch out for other people who are in a hurry riding on the roads or footpaths, take care and above all Stay Safe!

In the nineteen sixties I worked in London stores. Worked as an Insurance Clerk in the City of London during the nineteen seventies. Divorced in the nineteen nineties. Now I am a retired Civil Servant, managing home and garden and escaping onto social media whenever possible.

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Health

The problem of Loneliness

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Loneliness is universally recognised as being part of the human condition. The emotion of sadness at being alone, can be felt, even when in the company of others.
People may spend hours brooding  about things that make them feel sad, angry or worried. Everyone feels lonely at times, but when transient loneliness becomes chronic, it is a problem  that may be damaging to health, leading to depression  and physical decline.
Since the start of the Pandemic, Society has experienced lockdowns, restricting freedom of movement and people have been unable to visit each other’s homes, unless in a “bubble”, a known contact deemed to be safe. This has led to social loneliness, which people with access to social media have sought to remedy with Zoom meetings,face time and Skype calls.
 
Dependent on the whims of electronic devices, people may comfort themselves with the knowledge, that their isolation will have an ending, while those experiencing emotional loneliness, may not have this, with which to look forward. They may be experiencing existential loneliness, confronting what philosophers such as Jean Paul Sartre see, as the absurdity of our existence in a meaningless world. Not surprisingly, this will lead to a great deal of anxiety.
While not feeling cosmic isolation, immigrants may miss their own countries and feel themselves to be outsiders, living in a foreign culture, leading to their cultural loneliness.
Faced with so much misery, what can be done? Self care and sharing the emotional load is the advice given on websites dealing with physical and mental health. Paul McCartney in 1966 brought loneliness to public attention with his song “Eleanor Rigby” about a woman who hid her distress from others by wearing ” a face that she keeps in a jar by the door”.  In later songs, McCartney offers words of encouragement to John Lennon’s son Julian in “Hey Jude” and he remembers the advice his mother Mary gave to him, in times of trouble, to “Let It Be”.
 
In 1988, Neil Diamond expressed his existential loneliness in the song “I Am I Said”, protesting the worth of his existence in an empty and uncaring universe. While we may be less eloquent than Paul McCartney and Neil Diamond, surely sharing our negative emotions is the way forward, to bring us out of Loneliness?

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Health

Other People’s Fears – how hard is it to have empathy?

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Often the fears of others, may seem irrational and disproportionate. I once had a young work colleague, who was so fearful of needles, that he fainted, if he caught sight
of an injection, being shown on a television programme. He had no bad health experiences, as far as I know, that would trigger this reaction.
 
Fear of needles is a serious handicap if it keeps people away from having medical procedures, including going to the dentist! In the pandemic, people who are not afraid of the vaccine itself, may be deterred from receiving it, due to fear of the needle used for the injection.
 
One of the most common fears is that of spiders. Are you a Miss Muffet? Although the nursery rhyme identifies a female, who is put off her curds and whey, the fear is not confined to girls! It probably stems from the days we lived in caves, when we feared intruders, like spiders and snakes.
 
 My daughter, when she lived in a top floor flat in Hong Kong, encountered a large tree spider. Obviously it lived in the tree and decided to explore the nearby building. She disturbed it lurking at the bottom of her wardrobe!
 
 Removing it was not the job of a glass with which to cover it, as the creature was close to a large crab in size. Help from friends was summoned by using her mobile, and somehow or other, the spider was captured in a bag and set free.
 
I myself am wary of dogs I meet, when our walking. I tend not to give them the benefit of the doubt and give them a wide berth. If only dogs could be more like cats, with whom it is possible to have a few nice words and move on. Chances are that the cat will have run away first!
 
Luckily I am not scared of squirrels, or I would be in real trouble! It is impossible to go out from my house, without soon running into them, coming out of the woods and running along the footpaths and fences.
 
If you have trouble having empathy with the fears of others, such as leaving the house itself, imagine that whatever it is that you fear, is waiting for you outside the front door – Would you open it?

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Health

Allergy to cats: what is it exactly?

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Allergy to cats: what is it exactly? thumbnail

Many people claim to be allergic to cats, but the condition is a lot more complicated than that. Let’s look into it. 

 From a hypersensitivity of our immune system to an allergen, in the case of cats likely to be  fel d1 ), produced by the sebaceous glands of the cat and therefore present on skin, hair and dandruff,  in the saliva and the pee. As cats clean themselves by licking their coat, many will be found on the hair. The allergen has the particularity of being extremely persistent. In practical terms, it means it can remain in the environment for a long time and induce allergic symptoms even in the absence of close contact with the animal. 


In general, there is a genetic predisposition to become allergic. In practice, at a certain point in life, predisposed subjects,  the first time they come in contact with the allergen, will tolerate it or develop a reaction in the event of subsequent contact.  We know that those who live with cats from birth are usually more likely to maintain a good tolerance to their allergen.  

Who is allergic to cats is allergic to all cats (regardless of breed or length of hair) or just advertisement some?

Some habits can increase or decrease the spread of allergens in the environment and thus change the tolerance level. For example, keeping the rooms ventilated where a cat lives helps reduce the allergen presence while brushing the animal often contributes to increasing it because a brushed cat will often lick its coat.

It is not even possible to predict the duration or the intensity of the symptoms. It could even turn out to be a temporary or intermittent allergy and therefore occurs in certain periods and disappears in others. It all depends on the situation of the individual subjects and on the possible changes that could occur in life. In fact, there are factors capable of breaking the immunological tolerance towards an allergen.

 

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