The Anonymous Widower

The Body: A Guide For Occupants

The title of this post, is the title of Bill Bryson‘s new book.

It sounded to me, that it could be a human equivalent of the invaluable Veterinary Notes For Horse Owners.

 

October 4, 2019 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Getting To The Bottom Of My INR Results

Since the start of the hot weather my INR results have not been troublesome but just a bit wayward.

To get a hold on it, I have been testing my INR every day from the 1st of July.

Normally, I take a dose of 4 mg of Warfarin every day and this keeps my INR at around 2.5.

But in the hot weather the INR was drifting towards 2.0, so I was using a dose of 5 mg every so often to nudge it upwards.

I was also drinking heavily in the hot weather, but nothing was stronger than 0.5% alcohol Adnams beer, which I know doesn’t affect my INR and to my body, it is gluten-free. Most of the other drinks were still lemonade, tea and water.

I came to the conclusion, that the water was being boiled out of my body by the heat.

At least, the INR only hit 2.0 a couple of times and never went below it.

On the 14th of September I had the decompensation stroke, I wrote about in I Had A Decompensation Stroke On Saturday.

This is my INR values and Warfarin dose since that day.

  • 14th September – 2.2 – 5
  • 15th September – 2.2 – 5
  • 16th September – 2.2 – 5
  • 17th September – 2.3 – 5
  • 18th September – 2.7 – 4
  • 19th September – 2.9 – 4
  • 20th September – 2.6 – 4
  • 21st September – 2.7 – 4
  • 22nd September – 2.7 – 4
  • 23rd September – 2.5 – 4
  • 24th September – 2.6 – 4
  • 25th September – 2.6 – 4
  • 26th September – 2.6 – 4
  • 27th September – 2.7 – 4
  • 28th September – 2.9 – 4
  • 29th September – 2.8 – 4
  • 30th September – 3.3 – 3
  • 1st October – 2.6 – 4

Note.

  1. I usually measure my INR, when I have a bath at eight in the morning.
  2. I usually take my Warfarin around three in the afternoon.

I do this so that I don’t test my INR too close to taking the drugs.

Note too how the INR rose on the 28th of September and stayed high or higher for two days.

I don’t think I ate anything that would cause the INR to rise and the weather was getting more humid. So was that the cause, or was it the fact that I had a hair-cut on Friday night?

Why should I blame the haircut? After I came out of hospital my hair looked like Einstein’s and it felt very dry.

So do I normally lose water from my body through my hair? Trying to find a connection on the Internet is a nightmare, as they assume I’m asking about hair loss.

I’m not worried about myself, but suppose you are having regular INR tests in hospital every few weeks.

Would a false reading mean that you ended up on the wrong dose?

Conclusion

I will continue to test my own INR, as I feel it is easier.

October 1, 2019 Posted by | Health | , | 2 Comments

New Rail Testing Scheme Launched For Small Businesses

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Businesses in the West Midlands are being offered subsidised access to test and trial facilities as a way to boost railway innovation.

The University of Birmingham has joined forces with Quinton Rail Technology Centre (QRTC) to offer access to the UK’s only privately owned and independent outdoor rail testing and trialling site.

There would appear to be one major condition, companies must be signed up to the DIGI-RAIL program at the Uiversity of Birmingham.

I think this concept is an excellent idea, as often finding a way to test a new product, is the most difficult part of the development process.

But why restrict the process to rail developments?

I have had friends in Cambridge, who have been involved in medical developments.

Finding a route to test their product, often means finding an overseas partner, as much of the NHS and its research partners almost have a policy to exclude, ideas that they didn’t think of.

As someone, who helped fund the successful development of a metered-dose inhaler for asthma drugs, I can honestly say, we would have been greatly helped by a far-sighted agency attached to a reputable University.

 

September 25, 2019 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , | 2 Comments

I Had A Decompensation Stroke On Saturday

On Saturday, I went to the first half of the Spurs Crystal Palace match at White Hart Lane, so at least I saw all the goals.

But at half-time, I wasn’t feeling well, with stroke like symptoms, I suffered before, like bad eyesight on the left side and bad control of my left hand.

So I contacted a steward and he walked me to the medical room, where I was checked out.

They thought, I could be having a stroke, although, they seemed surprised I was so lucid and could remember details like my son’s phone number.

An ambulance was called and I was taken to University College Hospital.

They did a CT scan and cleared me to go home and then return on the Sunday to have an MRI scan.

They also said that I could stay overnight, which is what I did.

The MRI scan on Sunday ,morning, showed that I hadn’t had another stroke and they told me that it was a decompensation stroke.

The hospital fully checked me out, including doing the same mental check the doctors gave to Donald Trump, which I passed.

I was home by two.

But what is a decompensation stroke? There’s precious little on the Internet.

If nothing else, my small incident proves that the systems at Tottenham Hotspur, the London Ambulance Service and University College Hospital worked as everyone expects.

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Health, Sport | , , | 2 Comments

Government Announces £25m Brexit High-Speed Medicines Train

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens to this proposal!

August 15, 2019 Posted by | Health, Transport, World | , | Leave a comment

Dialysis-At-Home Developer Quanta Raises £38m

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in today’s Sunday Times

Strangely, in my almost seventy-two years, I’ve never met anybody, who is undergoing dialysis, although one of my friends did give one of his kidneys to his brother.

But reading this article in The Sunday Times, I feel that for those undergoing dialysis, things may be improving.

  • The £38m will launch Quanta’s machine with the NHS.
  • More people will be able to have dialysis-at-home.
  • The company hopes the machine will be launched in the US this year.

It is very much a good news article.

To me though, it shows how technology is increasingly being developed to improve healthcare.

Surprisingly, the machine uses the same technology as that used to mix soft drinks in bars.

July 28, 2019 Posted by | Health | | Leave a comment

An Outing To Oxford

I do a bit of research for a Californian lawyer, who helps small and medium-sized high-tech and other ventures setup in the UK.

He likes my opinion on the plans of start-ups and established businesses with respect to their location in the UK.

A couple of days ago, I received this e-mail.

John and his friends are funding a new venture being setup in Oxford.

The proposed CEO is a recently-widowed sixty-one year-old Canadian, who will be moving to London, where her daughter and family currently live.

Can you tell me, what it would be like commuting out from London to Oxford perhaps three days a week?

I should also say that at the moment, she is in need of having hip replacement surgery and proposes to have that in London, where she will be near to her family, during her stay.

She wouldn’t be able to walk a long distance.

This was my reply.

I can’t see much of a problem, as knowing John, the business could probably afford a few taxis and Crossrail will hopefully start running within the next eighteen months, making the London end straightforward.

Today, I went to Oxford leaving on the 09:50 train from Paddington and returning on the 13:01. Partly, to see if there were any pitfalls in the plan and also to have coffee and a snack with an old friend in the City, who helped me very much with the algorithms for Artemis.

These are my thoughts on the journey.

Trains

I travelled out in a comfortable nine-car Class 802 train. I’m not sure, whether it was the same on return or a shorter five-car train.

The outward journey was busier than the return journey, as I suspect that quite a few people live in London and work in Reading or Oxford.

But I did get a table both ways, so I was able to lay my copy of The Times flat and read it properly.

Cost

Off Peak Day Return tickets with a Senior Railcard, are  £18.30 in Standard Class and £49.25 in First Class.

As I have a Freedom Pass, I bought a Standard Class Off Peak Day Return between the Zone 6 boundary and Oxford for just £13.05 with my Senior Railcard.

I consider my ticket to be good value for a pensioner’s day out!

Journey Times And Frequency

Both trains took about an hour.

There are also two fast trains per hour, many of which are nine-car trains, with the remainder being five-car trains.

,Coffee, Tea And Snacks

I was surprised to see a trolley on the train.

But I don’t think much business was being done.

Oxford Station And Oxford City Centre

There were plenty of taxis at Oxford station, but I walked the distance both ways in under twenty minutes.

A friend, who has had an NHS double hip replacement, reckons she could walk it easily.

The biggest problem would appear to be the traffic and the narrow pavements

Note, that there are a few maps and some decent cafes and restaurants.

Conclusion

Travelling from London to Oxford is a very feasible daily commute and there are many worse ways of spending an hour on a train.

July 18, 2019 Posted by | Health, Transport | , | 2 Comments

Rats Are More Intelligent Than We Think

I heard this story from a retired gamekeeper, who was very much a proper countryman, after I said I had had a stroke and was on Warfarin.

When you raise chickens, especially free-range ones outside, rats can be a problem, as there’s nothing they like better than a nice piece of chicken.

So Warfarin is put down to poison the rats.

Anybody like me, who is on the drug, knows you must ignore Vitamin K, which is found in leafy green vegetables. I do generally eat my five a day, but they are mainly fruit, tomatoes, beetroot, beans and potatoes.

Apparently, modern chicken feed contains high levels of itamin K, as there are probably a lot of green forage crops in its ingredients.

So as the rats are also looking for their vegetables to go with the chicken, they’re eating the chicken feed.

And the Vitamin K in the chicken feed, could be giving them protection against the rat Warfarin-based rat poinson.

I also suspect, there could be a bit of natural selection at work!

July 18, 2019 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts On eScooters!

Consider.

  • This article on the BBC is entitled Emily Hartridge: TV Presenter And YouTube Star Dies In Crash. It is an extremely sad tale and it has led to the inevitable call to ban electric scooters.
  • There is also this article on the BBC, which is entitled Iris Goldsmith: Teenage girl dies in ‘quad bike’ accident. This is another extremely sad tale and many are questioning, what a teenage girl was doing, riding a quadbike.
  • And then there’s this article on the BBC, Which is entitled Govia Thameslink Fined £1m Over Gatwick Express Window Death.

Young people and some older ones too, often do stupid things.

Many also crave danger and go mountaineering, riding on the tops of trains or jumping into rivers from a great height.

Doing things out of the ordinary is a natural reaction and is one of the reason, why humans are the most successful species on this planet.

I think the problem is the way we bring up children.

  • My parents let me do anything I wanted up to a point.
  • They also taught me lots of skills.
  • From about twelve, I used to cycle all over London.
  • I spent endless hours in my father’s print works doing things that would be frowned upon now, because they are too dangerous.

A couple of months ago, I was interviewed by a sixth-form girl student, in the volunteering I do at Barts Hospital in giving experience to prospective doctors.

She had lived in an over-protective environment and hardly left home on her own.

It was almost child abuse. She didn’t say, but I suspect she’d even been driven to and from school.

When it came to our own children, C and myself were fairly liberal and it was strange how, two became very street-wise and had the occasional scrapes, whereas the other was generally well-behaved.

Perhaps, we didn’t get everything right, but I like to think, we gave them a good appreciation of risk!

And that is one of the mot important things to learn in life, as often, those that ca’t assess risk, come to unfortunate ends.

I do feel my youngest son’s unhealthy lifestyle was a factor in his getting pancreatic cancer, especially if he was coeliac like me! But then he wouldn’t get tested!

His daughter though, seems to have a good appreciation of risk, but then if your father dies, you probably do!

To return to the eScooter, which is where this post started.

They Look Fun!

They certainly look fun and I constantly want to have a go on one.

Remember, I have crashed a twin-engined aeroplae and ridden horses in the Masai Mara.

At seventeen, I also sat on the back of a motorcycle, the wrong way round and went through the Mersey Tunnel.

Was I wearing a helmet? Of course not!

Are They Dangerous?

The risk depends on where they are used and how competent the rider is!

Ask any A & E doctor, what sport causes the most injuries and they’ll say something like rugby or horse-riding!

When A & E doctors start complaining about eScooters that will be the time for action.

Would Training Help?

Training isn’t the important thing.

However experience, especially that gained in a safe environment is important.

But to legislate that training should be mandatory will only have the reverse affect.

Conclusion

It’s a difficult problem, but we must teach everybody to appreciate risk.

When I joined ICI in 1969, I went on a formal Health and Safety course.

It has proven to be invaluable all my life an I haven’t worked on a chemical plant since 1970.

July 17, 2019 Posted by | Health, Transport, World | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

France Stops Funding Homeopathy

The title of this post is the same as an article on page 31 of Thursday’s copy of The Times.

This is the first paragraph.

French patients, who use more homeopathic remedies than almost anyone else, will no longer have them funded by the health service after scientists deemed them useless.

The French have shown a lot of sense here!

July 11, 2019 Posted by | Health | , | 1 Comment