SmartCRUTCH First Impressions – Addendum…

After a couple of days tinkering I’ve arrived at what I feel is the optimum setup. The leg length depends on the height of the user, of course, and so is outside the scope of this review.

The SmartCRUTCH website mentions, as an aside, that some positions of the cuff are less stable than others (guys, you really need to give us full information on this – which positions are most, and least, stable), and in use I found the 90-degree cuff position provided little support.

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SmartCRUTCH First Impressions…

I need new crutches and decided to buy SmartCRUTCHes because my conventional forearm crutches, despite having always used those with ergonomically-sound grips, have wrecked my right hand (nerve and/or tendon damage). I suspect the former but I cancelled nerve conduction tests as I have more than enough pain in my life, and I know from experience the tests can be acutely painful – I have an aversion to painful procedures that have no curative value.

Anyway, I figured a change was due before I completely lost the use of my right hand, and the USP of these things was that they were highly adjustable to provide any setup from conventional – which I already knew would be a problem – to gutter-style elbow crutches, albeit somewhat more sophisticated than normally-available models.

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Salvaging Dates…

I’ve just opened a kilo of dates, only to find they have been grossly over-dried and are utterly inedible. There are two ways to go – send them back with a letter of complaint, or salvage them. It will cost more than they’re worth to return them (but the letter will be going – well, email, anyway), and the salvaging process has been under way for about 15 minutes.

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To sleep, perchance to dream – Aye, chance would be a fine thing…

Just as one swallow doesn’t make a summer, one good night’s sleep doesn’t mark the end of a sleep-deprivation crisis that’s lasted for months – but it is significant.

When I was in hospital in August I was prescribed an ACE-inhibitor, Ramipril, to control my apparently high blood pressure. The problem is that I don’t suffer from the degree of hypertension that was shown in hospital – I suffer, increasingly as I get older, from White Coat Syndrome – a condition which generates false BP highs (in which the falseness lies in ascribing a pathological cause when the actual cause is environmentally-induced stress).

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Pulmonary Oedema Bafflement…

I’m baffled because I’ve discovered yet another food trigger** but the human Pulmonary Oedema (PO from here), literature makes no mention of such triggers, though the veterinary literature does – it’s apparently quite common in dogs, especially the chocolate trigger.

**I said in a previous post that I wasn’t sure food triggers were real. I am now.

Also baffling is whether I consume the trigger substance in my sole meal (I eat just once a day, anywhere between 18.00 and 20.00), or my bedtime snack (between midnight and 01.00), PO always strikes at the same time, 03.30, give or take 10 minutes.

As it did this morning.

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This is me, the guy who doesn’t have heart problems!

And my pulse oximeter.

The jagged line at the bottom of the screen is a very basic heart trace – all the peaks and troughs should be the same for a normal heart – mine, as you can see, isn’t normal. All 4 pics were taken in about 3 or 4 minutes – this is normal for me and, clearly, all is not well. And it feels much as it looks – as if I have a madly-flapping bird trapped in my chest!

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The Bean-counters Strike Again…

I’ve learned that the Community Nurse service is being subjected to severe budgetary cutbacks, and at a time when not only are costs escalating, but so are patient numbers. Not that this ever bothers the bean-counters because they don’t have to live with the consequences of their own cuts – they just impose them on others and walk away.

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Broccoli, White Beans, and Blue Cheese Soup Recipe…



The blue cheese, as I said in the previous post, being Sainsbury’s Basics Blue. It’s pretty good, too – I’ve had far worse labelled as Stilton, and from an allegedly reputable source.

This soup will be blended at the end, so do make sure you don’t add the beans before that (preheat them in a little stock  if you wish, and add both stock and beans to the pot). Hold back a few cooked broccoli florets, finely chopped, as a garnish.

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