The Anonymous Widower

Are There Indirect Consequences Of Bereavement Or Divorce?

Yesterday, I met someone, who has divorced after a fairly long marriage.  I’m not sure how long ago it was, but they did move house  in the last year.

I first noticed their nails and they appeared to be short and brittle just like mine below. They also had similar bumps to those I have on my index finger.

My Left Hand

My Left Hand

On questioning, they revealed that they lived in a south-facing flat, although it doesn’t have under-floor central heating, like my house.

So are they living in a hot, dry atmosphere, like I have for a lot of the time, since I moved into this house? There is only one way to find out and that is buy one of these.

Maplin Hygro-Thermometer

Maplin Hygro-Thermometer

I got mine from Maplin. Click here for details.

Since the begining of January, I’ve kept the temperature most of the time in the range of 19-21 °C, with the humidity as high as possible. Admittedly, it’s a bit hotter this morning, but then the sun is on and both the heating and air-conditioning are off.

The consequences for my gut have been dramatic. Ever since my stroke in 2010, my gut has been lively, which an expert neurologist said was strange, as if stroke sufferers have a problem it’s usually constipation. For a long time, I thought I’d been glutened in hospital.

Now I was married for forty years and my lunch companion had probably been married for a long time, although they had got divorced.  So the nails and the hands got me thinking.

Could it be, that when you are living with someone, you get into habits and a pattern of living? C and myself, were a couple, who did things together, but she was very definite in what she wanted. She always slept on the same side of the bed, kept the temperature of her car at a precise 22.5 °C and always liked to eat at particular times. She also was the first to complain, if the inside of a house or hotel room was too hot, and I would be told to do something about it.

I was happy to live at her temperature, but she always complained that my office or car was too hot.

After she died, I decided to warm the house up.  I changed radiators and also switched from blankets to duvets in a quest for more warmth.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do any before and after measurements, but it was about this time that my rhinitis or as I thought at the time, hay fever, started.

This rhinitis got very much worse after the stroke in Hong Kong.  My hospital room, had a big picture window and the sun streamed through.  Could it have been very hot and dry?

When I moved to this house, it was very hot and I started to feel unwell and even thought the house was trying to kill me.

I have now got air-conditioning and control the temperature and humidity as tight as I can. But all of this does illustrate the chain of events from C’s tragic death, that ruined my health.

There may also be other factors, that come in on either bereavement or divorce, or even just moving house.

I hate gas cookers with a passion, as I don’t like naked flames anywhere, but others won’t cook on anything else. C and I, were both very happy with an AGA.

I don’t like draughts either and generally keep the windows shut and go for a walk if I want fresh air. After a bereavement or divorce, you may have a tedency to shut yourself away, so perhaps acquiring a dog that needs to be walked is maybe a good idea. I haven’t gone for the dog, but I do walk quite a bit.

How many women after a divorce, go from a comfortable air-conditioned car to an affordable hatchback, as the settlement is not in their favour?

There are obviously other factors, and if anybody has any ideas, I’d be pleased to hear them.

But I always remember a story of a couple, who moved a mile or so from their new sealed house, with fitted carpets in the town centre, to a country cottage with stone floors and ill-fitting windows.  Their son’s asthma disappeared after the move.

So are there any scientific papers on the effects of temperature and humidity on health.

I found this paper from Harvard, entitled Hospital admissions for heart disease: the effects of temperature and humidity. Read the summary. It seems to indicate, that in their specific study, temperature was important, but humidity wasn’t.

My only advice would be to get yourself, one of Maplin’s meters, so that you know your preferred temperature and humidity.

May 12, 2013 - Posted by | Health, World | , , ,


  1. There has to be a reason for the big increase in rhinitis, hay fever, and asthma that has occurred in the last 50 years. I am sure that temperature is a potential culprit as we all live at much higher temperatures than we used to. I also wonder if washing machines and driers are also potential culprits. Modern washing powders that tend to break up the fibres in cloth and leave the clothes with no natural oils, driers fluff up the fibres. It is quite frightening to see the filter on a drier with all the fine fibres trapped; but what about the ones that are still in the cloth waiting to come out and be breathed in by the wearer. Perhaps we could persuade some scientist to investigate things like this that affect our everyday lives; but I wouldn’t want to interrupt the search for fairy dust!

    Comment by John Wright | May 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Asthma is a strange one. I’ve seen some really odd research. I also knew a teacher, who taught primary kids. She said in some classes, nearly every child had an inhaler and in others there were none. She blamed peer pressure. New Zealand has some of the cleanest air in the world, but high levels of asthma inhalers. The doctor, who told me this, said doctors are better paid by drug companies in NZ.

      Comment by AnonW | May 12, 2013 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: