Chronicles of the Heart – Don’t get locked out…

In the light of recent events, it seems an appropriate time to resurrect this chronicle because, despite what the idiot Denial Nurse says, the condition is worsening, and dangerously.

If, like me, you live in a secure building (supported in my case, but that’s a detail), and are prone to being unexpectedly hauled off to hospital, you might find yourself locked out of your own home if – and it’s very easily done – you leave without keys. It’s happened to me twice. Once I was unconscious,** the second time a couple of weeks ago, barely able to breathe, never mind think about what I needed.

**In which case it’s very easy to wind up in hospital without so much as a book to read, or your phone – I now keep a hospital bag pre-packed and ready to go – a subject I’ll return to in detail soon.

So I’ve taken steps to ensure there isn’t a third time (last time I was able to contact a friend who has a spare key, but she’s not always available).

Getting into the building is easy enough – via a key, or electronic fob (I have a spare of the latter which, for now, lives in my wallet, which is kept with my hospital bag – a temporary measure until I get some spare keys cut), or by asking a neighbour to buzz me in. It’s getting into my flat that’s the problem. If the building manager is on duty, problem solved, but I have never been discharged at a sensible time – it’s always been in the evening. So I needed a system that is independent of other people.

I need a second wallet, in which to keep emergency cash – enough for a taxi home at least** – and kept in my hospital kit, and that can also have a key to get me into the building and my flat, and maybe a duplicate debit card. I’m not sure why I’d need one right now, but better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

**Under normal circumstances the hospital provides transport, but it can be painfully slow so I want the option of arranging my own.

I’ve also fitted a key safe to my flat door with – naturally – a key to the door inside and as long as I don’t do anything dumb, like forget the unlocking code, that’s the problem solved. There’s also – if I do forget the code (I won’t under normal circumstances) – the possibility of phoning the building manager during her shift, and asking her to unlock my flat. True, there’s a risk attached to leaving it unlocked for a few hours, but it’s minimal.

And that’s it. The key safe cost £16.69 (Amazon). This one has no internal key hooks, so to stop the key falling on the floor when it’s opened, I’ve secured it with a blob of BluTack. I screwed the safe to the flat’s door thinking that, as a fire door, it would be robust. It’s not.

The wood is thin, the door hollow, and its fire-retarding properties unconvincing (in fact, if the flames reach that door, the flat and anyone in it is toast – literally and metaphorically). So in the next few days, and hopefully before being hauled off to hospital again – it was a close-run thing today – I can remove the screws, coat each with epoxy adhesive, and replace them. I can also smear the edges of the back of the safe with it, to prevent anything being slipped under it to pry it off.

A wallet cost £8, but as I so rarely use cash (only for taxis, for all else I use plastic), I really don’t need a wallet, just a card holder, but they’re pretty naff and a wallet also has space for my Addison’s emergency stuff.

I ordered this and as you can see it’s described thus:-

EBASE Mens (sic) Leather Bifold Wallet Id Cards Holder Coin Pocket Bag Button Slim Purse New.

So, OK, it’s a leather wallet, right? I looked at that description, looked at the pics (looks like hide), ordered it.

Except it’s not leather.

Just now spotted this:-

  • Matieral: (sic) PU Leather (a kind of man-made leather which is more environmental than genuine leather)

That term “more environmental” is utterly meaningless without a qualifier (as in “more environmentally friendly”). What matters is that it is being sold as leather when it is not any kind of leather by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a form of plastic.

And the words “leather wallet” are repeated a further three times in the description. A clear intent to misrepresent in my view.

I’m bloody sick and tired of Amazon pulling this shit, describing something as leather then, in the small print, saying, “Hey, it’s not, really!”**. They should have been nailed by Trading Standards years ago – why haven’t they been?

**And that’s when they admit it at all. The Kindle covers are PU too, but they don’t mention it. I took them to task when I bought my first Kindle, with its “leather” cover – no animal ever grew a hide with such a uniform grain! Never got a reply though. Eventually I cut one open – it’s fabric-backed plastic, probably PU.

Always remember – when buying “leather” from Amazon, be sure to check the full description, because odds are it won’t be leather at all.


4 thoughts on “Chronicles of the Heart – Don’t get locked out…

  1. I would like to talk to you about CFS because no one understands it. What is your email? Sorry I don’t mean to sound like a creep.

    • Sorry, I don’t publish my email address. You can talk to me here if you wish (just let me know if you want it kept private or for publication).

      I’m not sure how much help I can be, though, as I haven’t really been involved with ME for some years – there are other, more urgent, things trying to kill me and ME has taken a back seat. Still, if I can help, I will.

      One thing I believe in very strongly – unless you absolutely have no other choice, do not take to your bed. You will lose whatever degree of fitness you still have, and it will be very hard, if not impossible, to get it back. That, at least, was my experience.


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