Thursday, 8 December 2016

Flooding and stress

There has been so much on the television etc, about the floods which hit many parts of the UK last year

I confess that as someone who was hit by the floods of June 2012, I can understand the distress caused.

But it's not just the fact that you lose so many possessions, and belongings, it's the after care or lack of it in many cases

We had 90 cms of water coming  into the house with 20 minutes, so fast that there was little we could do about it.

We lost so much good furniture etc during this,  that it was very upsetting

It did not come from the obvious place, which is a  burn near to the house,  but from all of the blocked drains in the town centre.

At first the insurance assessors were brilliant and sorted out all of our costs for the lost belongings and possessions within the week, including our car which was a right off.

Then things went wrong because they brought in their own builders and clerk of works, who in my own mind, were not fit to do the job to my own standards.

I say that because the tradesmen could not even use hand tools, something which shocked me.

It was obvious from the start that because I was going to push to get the work done, that they were going to drag it out, and take as long as they wanted.

It took us a long time to get the house dried out properly, and then the builders did not come back for around 6 weeks, by which stage the house was becoming damp all over again.

After blasting they clerk if works, about the standard of work,  I was told that I expected too much, and my standards were far too high. That's something I was shocked to hear.
If you are trained to do a good job, you expect the same from others

Thankfully I don't remember a lot about this period, but my wife said the other day that I told the clerk of works, that I would not hire these builders to build a dog kennel

While the house was drying out, we had both set too, to clear the silt and rubbish out from under the floor joists, after which they tried to have us banned from entering the house again.

The trouble was that the floor was covered with 50mm of this wet silt, and until it was removed the concrete was not going to dry out.

The insurance companies always say that they will reinstate the house to its former condition, but I think that was a statement that was never going to be true.

Even though we moved back in again in the January 6 months after the flood, we were in for a rough ride, when the plaster and paint started to fall off and crack.

They had used adhesive to stick the skirting boards onto the walls,  which may be fine when the walls are dry, but when they are damp,  the adhesive fails to work, and the skirting boards simply fell off.

After several arguments I told the builders to  get out, and said that I would put things right myself

So these days when I see people complaining on television, about the state of their homes after flooding,  and the treatment they have received from builders etc, I can honestly say that I agree with them all if the way.

It really is time that insurance companies started to treat people with respect and use quality builders to do this work.

It's time that they respected other people's homes and possessions.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Drinking plenty of water

These days no matter what illness or multiple illnesses you have there are always lots of experts telling you how to remain active or keep fit.

But in all reality there are no two people the same, and therefore, it's not the trained expert who knows best,  but the person actually living with the illness.

No matter what illness you may have, there is always a charity or website explaining symptoms etc, along with possible symptoms

However many specialists are keen to point out, every person is a  individual and have to be treated as such, because no matter which way you look at it, one size does not fit everyone

Many of these experts tell patients that they need to keep fit, but they never look at other symptoms which may restrict some types of exercises.

One thing I find amazing these days is that those people with chronic chest problems, are all told to drink lots of fluids.

But when we are weighed at the doctors etc, we are then told that we are Overweight?

I always get weighed in the morning straight after my shower, so I know what weight I am before getting dressed and having breakfast

However,  as I was told by a nurse recently, that simply does not matter, it's the weight you are when you are at the hospital, not first thing in the morning.?

So how can this work in reality, if you have been in bed all night, you are not nessessariy getting up to have a drink. If like me and many others like  us,  you get hot during the night through chest problems, you may sweat any moisture out of the body, and then the rest is drained off when  you go to the toilet first thing on a morning.

That to me gives me the correct weight, not fully dressed fed and watered much later.


Yet the article below in the Independent Newspaper seems to raise interesting  issues with drinking water, which are not discussed by the medical profession   



Drinking too much water can be deadly, doctors warn 

Report comes after 59-year-old woman admitted to hospital with 'water intoxication' 
Indy Lifestyle Online 
  
Doctors are questioning whether there is a safe amount of water to drink Rex Features  
Healthcare professionals have warned of the dangers of telling people to “drink plenty of fluids” after a woman was admitted to hospital with water intoxication.  
After developing symptoms of a urinary tract infection, the 59-year-old increased her water intake, drinking more than half a pint every 30 minutes, which she hoped would “flush out her system.”  
  
However, she quickly fell seriously ill and was admitted to King’s College hospital with dangerously low levels of salt in her blood, a potentially fatal condition if left untreated.  
Now, doctors are questioning whether there is a "safe" amount of water to drink, and called for greater evidence to know how much water is too much. 
In the British Medical Journal case report, doctors Laura Christine Lee and Maryann Noronha asked: “We frequently advise our patients to ‘drink plenty of fluids’ and ‘keep well hydrated’ when they are unwell. But, what do we mean by that? Are there potential risks of this apparently harmless advice?” 
The report describes how their patient’s condition continued to worsen after she was admitted to hospital.  
“During her visit to the emergency department, she became progressively shaky and muddled. She vomited several times, was tremulous and exhibited significant speech difficulties,” they wrote. 
“Throughout the day she had consumed several litres of water based on medical advice she recalled from previous similar episodes.” 
  
Water intoxication is a well-documented symptom of some endurance sports and the use of certain drugs, including MDMA, which can cause excessive thirst.  
However, the condition can be deadly with symptoms including nausea, vomiting and headaches and in serious cases, brain swelling, confusion, seizures, coma and death. 
Patients with abnormally low salt levels, as a result of hyponatremia or water intoxication, have a death rate of almost 30 per cent 
“I have patchy recollections of being asked questions I understood but seemed unable to articulate answers for and found this distressing. I remember seeing my partner looking grave and forlorn, which was more frightening than what was happening as I did not know or understand what was happening,” the patient, writing of her own experience in the same journal, said.  
“I remember seeing my hand in front of me shaking rather violently and I wondered why I could not stop it, then realised that my whole body was shaking.” 
Dr Imran Rafi, chairman of clinical innovation and research at the Royal College of GPs, said it was important to stay hydrated but there was no steadfast recommendation as to how much water people should drink.  
“'Drinking enough water is important in keeping healthy, both physically and mentally, and patients should keep their fluids up when unwell, particularly in conditions that can cause dehydration,” he said.  
“We would encourage patients to drink more if they have symptoms of dehydration, such as feeling thirsty – including in hot weather or when exercising – or passing dark-coloured urine.  
“There is no steadfast recommendation as to how much water people should drink in order to stay healthy, but the key thing is to keep hydrated – and passing clear urine is a good indication of this. 
“This case report highlights that excessive water intake can have important consequences for patients, and this is something that healthcare professionals, and patients, should be mindful of.” 
Public Health England recommend drinking between six and eight glasses of fluid a day, while current NHS England guidelines suggest drinking “plenty of water”.  
The Independent had contacted NHS England for comment. 

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Sensory problems getting worse

I have noticed sensory problems over the years,  but things seem to be getting worse these days

A few years ago I lost my sense of smell, and as my wife has said on many occasions,  I could end up in serious trouble one of  these days, because there are times when i cannot even smell things like gas, and that's not a good thing.

There are times, however  when I smell things which are not there, and that is weird.

Occasionally I smell something burning, but never find anything, and it drives my poor wife mad looking.

Not so long ago my tastes in food changed dramatically, something that no one can explain to me.

Before we were married, and indeed afterwards, if we went out for a meal, I would only have a steak, or an English meal, I would never go for curry or anything else.

I guess I  was what was called conservative in everything I ate.

These days however I can eat curries all day given the chance, and what is more, the hotter and spicier the better.

There must be a reason for this, but just don't know what it is, but it's got to be something in the brain.

These days I struggle with my eyesight on a night, and see things which are not there, and this drives me nuts.

We went through a period where I would see spider's on the floor,  but I was never sure if they were real or not.

I now have problems with things like doorframes, and usually bump into one side or the other and end up bruised or bleeding as my skin is now a lot thinner than it used to be

I know that my eyesight is rubbish these days, because I get a lot of double vision, which I gather is all down to my brain not picking up things properly.

The best thing I ever did was to stop driving these days

Memory and Keeping fit

Its been in the press quite a lot recently about keeping fit, when you have a brain problem like dementia, but this is not as easy as it sounds, because there are not enough trained staff in the country to cope with these illnesses

I have often wondered how you are supposed to keep fit, when you have dementia, memory,  or any other neurological illnesses, because your brain does not work as fast as other people brains, therefore your reactions are much slower
 .
I was once told by one doctor at home that I was overweight, and should do something about it.

So after a few weeks of wondering what to do, I was referred to the local gym.

However this was to be short lived, as the instructors knew very little about their roles, let alone dementia and neurological problems.

I went for my induction, and was told to be careful, in following all of the given advice, but had this young lady really been listening when my wife explained that I had a form of dementia, obviously not.

The next day I turned up, and was going to speak to the instructors, who were there that day, but guess what, there was no one available.

So I carefully checked the scribbled notes I had written, and got started.

Eventually I came to the tread mill, and looked at it carefully. The problem being that people with dementia or neurological illnesses, don't always see the obvious.

I pressed the button on the machine, and had to run extremely fast, but eventually fell off the back of the machine. I stopped the machine, got back on and the same thing happened again.

Suddenly from nowhere an instructor appeared and gave me a rocket for mucking around. I tried to explain my problem but she simply walked away and ignored my comments.

I felt to shocked at this that I walked out and never went back, although I did complain to the local council who owned the gym, but never got a reply.

My answer to this was and is that Durham County Council was never,  and will never be Dementia a Friendly when they have this attitude.

So how can anyone use these facilities when they have dementia and the staff, really do not care?

Previously to this I used to swim, but now my coordination, has gone completely, because when I am swimming and move my arms, and now my mouth opens at the wrong time, so hey presto, I swallow more water than enough.

In the end I started walking, because in enjoy it and can do this at my own speed.

I remember when I used to cycle and through my son we did the Coast to Coast cycle ride of around 140 miles, this was extremely hard work, but these days as I have hip and knee, problems along with Bronchiectasis, so I would never get onto a bike, let alone cycle any distance on it.

When doctors refer you to these places, I do wonder if they have any real idea what will happen.

Looking back some of this is funny to me now, but it certainly was not at the time.

But I do think that the media should think carefully before writing articles about people with these illnesses and keeping fit

Recently they have been saying that weight lifting helps the memory, I dread to think how that works with a brain like mine these days.