Coming to terms with heart failure…

I was planning to write about heart failure as I have about COPD (much of the COPD content here is derived from personal experience). However, I seem – not surprisingly – to be a little too close to the problem to generalise, so this is what I’ve managed to find out as it applies to me. Some of it will, hopefully, prove useful to others.

In the absence of any proper medical advice at all, I’ve been doing some research into heart failure (hf from here on in), and how it might affect me, especially my life expectancy. The British Heart Foundation has some excellent information on the subject of hf, which can be found on this page.

So, have I found out anything useful? Well, yes, I have discovered that it takes about three weeks to be able to consider, and write about, the subject unemotionally (ish!), at least in my case, and I’m pretty much  past the “Oh shit, I’m gonna die!” phase (though it can still sneak up on me late at night), it does seem that my hf is as bad as Continue reading

Making bread using a stand mixer…

As there’s not a lot of advice on using stand mixers for mixing bread dough, I though I’d share my experiences with you. I’ve covered the basics in this post – this is the detail.

Because of worsening health, even before my recent crisis, and spreading arthritis, some months ago I started using a stand mixer, a Kenwood Chef Classic (avoid the Kenwood Prospero, it’s cheap and nasty, and the dough hook is a piece of junk).

Kitchen Aid mixers, which in some ways I would have preferred, are gorgeous, particularly the special edition Candy Apple Red version, but they’re overpriced and underpowered – see footnote.

My first attempt at using the mixer was disappointing and very Continue reading

More dodgy ME/CFS research…

In the Telegraph:-

“The biggest study yet into possible ways to reduce the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – the little-understood condition that affects 250,000 people in Britain – claims…   …that Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), in which patients discuss their fear and avoidance of physical activity, combined with Graded Exercise Therapy (GET), which helps sufferers gradually increase the amount of activity such as walking they can manage, is more effective and less harmful than previously thought.”


Or, quite possibly, not. And am I alone in feeling Continue reading

The dangers of generic drugs…

“Patches Rhode believes her son, Brandon, died in agony from a lethal injection in a Georgia prison because the UK-sourced anaesthetic, sodium thiopental, appeared not to have been effective,” says today’s Guardian.

The Guardian – other papers too, for all I know – has been getting its knickers in a twist about low-grade sodium thiopental for some time now, while overlooking one major, and far more important fact Continue reading

Sleeping better – just in the wrong place…

There is one positive thing to come out of my recent medical problems – I’m sleeping better.

All my life, my respiratory problems (I’ve had the precursors of my COPD, asthma and bronchiectasis, since age two, when almost simultaneous measles and whooping cough trashed my lungs), have meant that sleeping was problematic. The change of posture would often trigger a coughing fit, and invariably, lying down made breathing difficult and caused my lungs to fill up with toxic crap overnight. Now, though, that doesn’t happen.

The reason is that I haven’t been to bed since Continue reading

Centralised GP booking is closer to reality…

Pulse Today says:-

Exclusive: NHS Direct call-centre staff are to start handling all GP appointments for tens of thousands of patients within months, as part of proposals for the organisation to run booking services for practices across the country.

Really? And how will that be any better than the previous proposal for farming out the service to a call centre in India?

My GP is ten minutes away – why should I Continue reading

Discriminating against the disabled in the supported housing sector…

As some of you will know, I’ve lived in sheltered (which we now have to call supported!), accommodation since my early fifties. During that time I have had a series of powerchairs and scooters, which I have used perfectly safely, and without gouging lumps out of the building.

Now, though, some genius at Riverside ECHG (housing association), has decided that all scooters must be insured. This, somewhat modified, is my response to their request for feedback (yes, I know it’s a lazy way of generating a blog post – I’m still pretty sick).

As I pointed out – at considerable length – when Continue reading