The Anonymous Widower

Am I Finally Solving My Childhood Health Problems?

I wasn’t the healthiest of children. We lived in a very cold part of London a few hundred metres from Oakwood station and to say our house was cold would be an understatement.

I seemed to spend at least one term of each school year off sick with a problem that my doctor had no idea about.  I’m not particularly sure which term I had off, but I do know in my first year at Minchenden it was the Spring term, as no-one could understand why after a good first term, I deteriorated in the next.

Other memories of the time, are saucepans of cotton handkerchiefs boiling on the gas stove. As after all there weren’t any tissues in those days.

I can also remember panicking at times and having fights with my mother as she struggled to clean my ears out, as they were rather full of wax.

But it all seemed to disappear, when I was thirteen or so, and I can’t remember any problems after my first year at Minchenden. Perhaps that was after, my grandmother died and I got to have the big sunny room at the back of the house, which was much warmer. This death may be more significant than I think, as it finally gave my father control of the business and finances in the family were much better and we started to have longer and more holidays. Soon after we bought the house in Felixstowe, where of course the air was fresher and it wasn’t quite as cold.

Going to Liverpool was probably a good move, as it faces to the west and for a city in the 1960s, the air was probably pretty good.

I met C in 1966  and really since then I didn’t have too many health problems until after she died in 2007. When I was diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2003, i thought that would be the explanation of my my childhood health problems.

I should also say that I’ve always said that I liked being at altitude and seemed to feel better in places like Denver.  I also flew light aircraft a lot and loved going up high.

But it wasn’t as after C died, the runny nose started to return and I put it down to hay fever. But tests have shown it is nothing of the case, but just rhinitis and a very runny nose.

So are there any other factors that might come into it.

My grandfather died of asthma and pneumonia in his forties and I suspect he carried the coeliac gene, like my father probably did. I have no proof of that except that none of the women in that line of my family have ever given birth and undiagnosed coeliac disease is a cause of failing to conceive. My father definitely had breathing problems and suffered badly from catarrh   He was always taking menthol tablets and he used to give them to me, but they made little difference to my problems.  So perhaps, what my father and I had were different, but the older I get, the more I think our problems were similar. But of course, he was never diagnosed with coeliac disease and he smoked a pipe.

When I met C I was just 19, so for forty years of my life I lived with her and it was if she warded off the rhinitis. That is really a silly idea to even think it.  But last week my GP suggested I get a Sinus Rinse to wash the muck out of my nose.

It got me thinking. C was a great lover of deep hot baths and usually had one every day.  To save hot water, she’d always leave it for me afterwards and I would get in and often wash my hair.  Now she laid back into the water to wash hers, but I knelt and put my head forward under the water. Afer she dued one of my first actions was to put a proper shower into the bedroom.

So did this daily bath to keep my sinuses clear? And did the shower make it all worse?

I don’t know, but I have certainly felt a bit better since I’ve had a morning bath.

The bath seems to have helped another of my childhood problems that has returned.  As a child I used to suffer badly from cramp, when I was asleep.  I used to get out of bed and put my foot on the cold lino. This symptom started again, when I moved here.

This post is very much a ramble, but underneath everything there seems to be a pattern emerging.

But at least nothing seems to be life-threatening.  And of course I grew out of it once.

February 17, 2013 - Posted by | Health, World | , ,


  1. Try this old Bushman’s Cure {from an Old Aboriginal Cure] . . .
    Get a basin . . . put in a few drops of Eucalyptus Oil, and pour Hot Water into the basin . . . Place a Towel over your head & lean over Basin breathing in the Eucalyptus fumes . . .

    Over 120 Aboriginal Medicines & Treaments were tested, and about 112 were found to contain the Exact Drugs & Compounds used today from Drug Comapnies, for the same complaints.

    Comment by Steam Lover | February 18, 2013 | Reply

    • My mother used to use Friar’s Balsam and that worked for me. She also used to use a mixture of butter and sugar to soothe my throat. Strangely, it got a lot better last night using gluten-free fruit bread toast and Benecol. At least that won’t bugger my cholesterol.

      Comment by AnonW | February 18, 2013 | Reply

  2. I too think eucalyptus oil in hot water is an effective remedy. You could also try Olbas oil. Another remedy that we use in Greece is to drink lemon juice diluted in hot water.

    Comment by Janice Mermikli | February 18, 2013 | Reply

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