Tag Archives: Health

The Ick Factor

Sky High

By

Susan O’Brien

A NetGalley Review

C Difficile where the ‘ick’ factor is the latest cure is a major theme of this book.

CDiff is a very difficult virus to remove from anyone’s system – worse than Norovirus. It is known as a killer in those who are in hospital – a prime place to catch it, and those with compromised immune systems.

Now I am learning about Norovirus from personal experience as it has been with me now for nearly 3 months and is improving but prone to ‘flash backs’. [much longer than the medical tests say it can last but with a compromised system ,like my own..]. So I certainly would not want CDiff but one of the central characters in this story about the Sky Investigative Agency and its owner, does have this disease and the story features much discussion of how it can be cured.

So just what is this ‘ick’ factor? Well it is a poo transplant – yes, you got it, faecal matter is injected into the body from a healthy person.

Our NHS says: This involves a sample of faeces being taken from a healthy donor and placed into the colon of someone with a C. difficile infection using a catheter. Alternatively, it may be placed using a thin tube through the nose into the small bowel below the stomach.

The donated sample restores the normal balance of bacteria inside your digestive system with that from the healthy donor.

While this may sound unpleasant, the treatment does have very good results, with a success rate of more than 90%, and is probably the best treatment currently available.

 

Personally, I’ve been treating my norovirus with acidophilus and it does seem to have a similar effect.

Apart from the nicely accurate medical condition which provides a nice background story, I liked the whole book.

It was gentle, it had fun bits and I just loved ‘Super Teddy’ and the photos of him and could just imagine that happening  for a fretful child. I also had not heard of a Norwich Terrier, though looking them up I had seen them about and coveted them – such friendly lively dogs.A_Norwich_Terrier

I also empathised with the narrator as a vegetarian in the US. Being one myself, I have had some interesting experiences – 1. Where a waiter empathised with me, exclaiming, ‘I so agree! Isn’t chicken wonderful and so much better for you!’; and also 2. at a conference where at the formal dinner I was offered a plate of fruit as my main dish.. I got hungry quite quickly afterwards.

And finally, I am waiting for my gym to offer pole dancing lessons just to see who turns up! And what they wear!

So was the storyline good? I enjoyed it – I liked the style and it kept moving along with some nice twists and turns. It is not a complicated and deep, dark  PI story, but one to feel cosy with and to empathise with the narrator as she manages her life as a single mum with 2 kids and a business to run.

 

 

Cake and Canals: a divine mix

The Cake Shop in the Garden

by Carole Matthews

A  Netgalley Review

A feel-good story here of the spinster looking after her mother – a very demanding and nasty tempered old woman – although it turns out not so old… who took her bed as they used to do in Victorian times when upset. The latest research says that middle age lasts until 74 at least for women – 15 years before you are due to die according to the insurance actuaries.  So at 70 she was still very much in her middle age.

In fact the main character was an enabler here and psychologists would be very unhappy with her behaviour. Whilst it is difficult to change habits as one grows older – don’t I know it – this kind of behaviour needs to be changed. Pandering to her mother enabled her mother to continue to bully her and to continue to undermine her own health.

So the story is set alongside one of our lovely British canals, a cake shop in the garden of a house that backs onto the canal. Tea and cake, as regular readers of my posts will know, is quite a feature of our days out and something we British all look forward to, especially good home-made cake, and thus this cake shop is ideally situated.

Walking the canal-sides is also a regular feature of our time out and most canals have excellent paths alongside them used regularly by both walkers and cyclists.

Also, many have houseboats permanently moored as well as those who wander the canal by-ways. Canals of course were designed for horse drawn boats and often near bridges as the tow-path narrowed horses might slip off into the canal. Thus, if you look carefully, you will find some steps under the water for horses to climb back out. Additionally, you might wonder just how did horses get under some of the very low bridges? The answer is simple, they didn’t. What happened was that were taken off their harnesses and walked around and over the bridge, and the boat was taken under the bridge by men ‘walking’ the surface underneath. An interesting experience no doubt.

And of course there are a number of wildlife that make their living along British canals. Swans and other water birds including herons and cormorants.

Father Thames kindly permits some people to live on boats....

Father Thames kindly permits some people to live on boats….

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Knit yourself Sane and Well: Stress and Illness

Knitting benefits an individual’s emotional and physical health.

Knitting can reduce stress in an individual who is trying to manage the severity of their chronic illness.

It can also help reduce stress in individuals who lead very hectic lifestyles.

Bette Davis and Her Stand-In Sally Sage

Gary Scholar: American Hospital Association

  1. The Harvard Medical School has found that when an individual knits their heart rate can drop 11 beats per minute and their blood pressure also drops.
  2. Knitting for charity gives ‘Helper’s High’
  3. Knitting can conquer addiction – it occupies the mind and hands.
  4. Knitting activates the pre-frontal cortex of the brain – thus strengthening hand-eye coordination as well as keeping the brain active.
  5. Knitting teaches patience.
  6. knitting teaches anger management, goal setting, and pride.
  7. Knitting teaches concentration.
  8. Knitting helps those who are chronically bored to have something to do – always- you can take it anywhere .

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