The Anonymous Widower

It’s All Dropping Into Place

If I look at my father, he had breathing problems and I suspect so did his father as he suffered from asthma and died of pneumonia and other complications in his forties.  Both were pretty heavy smokers and my grandfather was a heavy drinker too. My father used to tell stories of picking his father up late at night from various clubs in a very bad state and that’s probably why my father was a sensible drinker and why he brought me up to be the same.  I never for instance ever saw my father drunk. My father’s only addiction other than his pipe, was  industrial strength menthol catarrh tablets, which he consumed virtually all day, to try to get his throat clear.

As a child, I suffered similarly with my breathing and throat at times, but then we lived in a cold house, heated by electric fires, which must have made the air exceptionally dry. From about the age of eight, I had a south-facing room with big picture windows, which was very warm at times. I regularly, lost a term, usually the spring one, in my schooling. My doctor had no idea, about what was the problem, so they took my tonsils out, which was an all-purpose remedy in those days.

Things improved when I got to about twelve or so, and my parents just felt, I’d grown out of it. It could be that we were spending increasing time at Felixstowe, where my parents had bought a house to retire to, or it could be that I spent more and more time at my father’s print works in Wood Green.  Who knows why? I don’t even have any medical records from that period, as my medical records restarted some time about 1969.  So you can see why I’m all in favour of computerised medical records, which the patient can access when and where they want through the Internet!

I can remember my late teens very well and can’t ever remember going to the doctor or feeling unwell, especially at University in Liverpool, whilst working at Enfield Rolling Mills or in The Merryhills, or generally riding about on my bicycle.

I certainly didn’t feel ill, either in the early years of my marriage to C, either in Liverpool or in Melbourn near Cambridge. The first entry on my medical record, is a visit to the doctor in Melbourn about excessive diarrhoea, which looks like a classic glutening.

However things got a lot worse, when we moved to Shannon Place in St. John’s Wood. The flat was damp and cold and I can remember going to the doctor with lots of knee and arm pains.  He recommended knee surgery, which I didn’t accept.

But then when we moved to the eleventh floor in Cromwell Tower, everything got better and in the three or four years we lived there, I never saw the doctor on my own behalf. But the flat was comfortably warm and the air was very fresh.

We then lived in Suffolk for forty years and only at odd occasions did my breathing problems come back.

That is until Celia died and I think in certain ways I reverted to my childhood habits; like wrapping myself in the bedclothes, keeping the house as warm as I could and avoiding going out. I started getting what looked like hay fever soon after C died in 2007.

Since my stroke and also since moving to London it has got a lot worse, but I’m now in a particularly airless house with little ventilation.

It might need to have heat recovery ventilation.   Wikipedia says these are the benefits.

As building efficiency is improved with insulation and weather stripping, buildings are intentionally made more airtight, and consequently less well ventilated. Since all buildings require a source of fresh air, the need for HRVs has become obvious. While opening a window does provide ventilation, the building’s heat and humidity will then be lost in the winter and gained in the summer, both of which are undesirable for the indoor climate and for energy efficiency, since the building’s HVAC systems must compensate. HRV introduces fresh air to a building and improves climate control, whilst promoting efficient energy use.

Certainly, a proper system will be better than I’ve got now.

August 29, 2013 - Posted by | Health, World | , ,

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