How to Get Well

Lucozade Tablets

Annabella’s in hospital. She was feeling very sorry for herself but she’s a bit better now, thank you very much. She had an operation that hadn’t hurt at the time, but was now making her head hurt like buggery. It’s terrible that things like that happen to people, but what can you do? Sends her good wishes? Ha – the only thing that’s going to help poor Annabella right now is a morphine drip and complete bed rest.

She fell down and hit her head on something very sharp, you see. By fell down I mean that she fell down the front of a building from second floor balcony. And by hit her head, I mean that the railing went into her cheek and out of her posterior fontenelle and on the way through it shoved aside some very important soft stuff. But look on the bright side, it didn’t rip her head right off her neck, and she doesn’t seem any worse off from the experience. Apart from having a nagging headache that even the morphine can’t touch. Oh, and she also feels like crying most of the time.

Pulling her off the railing would have been a tad dangerous, what with it going through her brain and all of that, so they didn’t do that. The medics shot her full of happy juice, strapped her to a cunningly slanted board that kept her stable while the firemen sawed off the piece of railing that had impaled her skull. They did a really good job of it actually.

Then, at the hospital, came the tricky bit. The best brain surgeon in the hospital – a nice old gentleman call Mr Walsh – came in on his day off and got the railing out. At the most prosaic level it involved pulling the thumb out of the pie without too much of the plum-filling coming out too. On a more eloquent level, it was a, rather delicate, fifteen hour operation that involved periods where Annabella had to be fully awake and chatting to the surgeon as they were sliding the metal shaft carefully out to make sure that the mechanics of it didn’t destroy more brain tissue than it already had.

Then there came the recovery. Annabella’s cool with it all actually. She’d always believed in insurance and so had got herself a really good health care policy that paid for the best treatment and rehabilitation money could buy. Plus, I sent her a super-nice card that said ‘Get Well Soon’ on the front in a pretty nice font. The flowers (on the card) were really nice too. Cost me a couple of quid that card did so I hope she appreciated it.

I hope she gets well soon. I’m missing her cooking. Beans on toast is fine but it loses its xxx after a while. Similarly jacket potatoes, no matter how much butter you put on them.

Right, got to go now, there’s a really good documentary on BBC Two that starts … now actua

How to Walk Well

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Listen, I know that this is probably discriminatory and all of that, but this blog post is not aimed at people that don’t generally walk with their legs. I know some fine people that use wheels to get around and others who use various combinations of sticks and frames and they (and you) are all wonderful people, but this is not your time to listen. Also not included as the potential audience for this post are things like rocks and plants that don’t get around in the same way that humans do. I mean, sure, rocks get around by getting kicked and plants get mobile by getting themselves put into pots and hanging baskets, but still – this post is not for you.

Happily though, pretty much everything and everyone else is included. Frogs get around in much the same way that humans do, and rockets and cars do pretty much the same.

So, now we’ve laid some ground rules – on with the show.

The first and only rule for How To Walk is to introduce some variety into it. By this I mean that sometimes you need to skip and other times you need to swagger. Sometimes you should consider walking backwards and at other times you can perhaps think on the benefits of walking like crabs do – sideways. Wait now – don’t go. This is not madness. This is absolute common sense. Think about it: stuff wears out, right? After you’ve walked across a grassy field a few dozen times, you’ll notice that you’ve laid down a track. The grass you walk on will get beat down the more often you walk on it. Then it’ll get more sparse. Then it’ll die. This is the wearing process. The same thing happens to joints, muscles, tendons and other stuff in your legs when you do the same things to them day after day. They get worn in certain patterns.

So what, I hear you ask, is the alternative?

Let’s go back to our field of grass. Think about what happens when, every time you go across it, you choose a different route. Here’s what happens – you don’t wear a track. This is because the grass at any particular point has a chance to recover from being trod on. By spreading your footfalls around the grass you bring benefit to the whole field and – bonus – you still get from one side to the other. It’s a true win-win situation.

Similarly, when you vary the way that you walk you give the various components of your legs a rest. You’ll have noticed, perhaps, that walking up hills uses different muscles to walking down them. Your legs ache in different ways according to what you’ve done. In the same way, walking backwards, sideways or forwards use different combinations of tendons, joints and muscles. The more variety you can bring into your gait the more benefit you will bring to yourself and your legs. Make variety in the way you walk a lifetime habit and, chances are, the longer your legs will last.

That’s all for now; I hope you enjoyed what I’ve shared and are able to tune in to future episodes of ‘How To’, but for now – happy walking!

2084

Twenty-eighty-four will he the year that I turn one-hundred-and-twenty. And I plan to live to see it. After that? Who knows. Maybe I’ll live and maybe I won’t. Let’s see.

The chances of you seeing what happens after twenty-eighty-four aren’t too bad. After all, you’re probably younger than me by a good, long chalk (whatever that means). Say you’re in your twenties (for example) now, then you’ll only be in your eighties when I have this birthday party that I’m so looking forward to (of course you’re invited!) and so, well, you’ll definitely be up and dancing to whatever music’ll be around then.

I plan to be good all the way through to my hundred-and-twentyth. I’ll be strong and fit and healthy and won’t have been in the hospital for any other reason than to see what they do there. They’ll probably invent loads of new-fangled medical stuff for us all to gawp at over the the next sixty years or so. Who wouldn’t want to have a neb?

So, yeah – probably I need to start sketching out the good stuff I’m going to do to fill all my tomorrows and so I’d best be off to make a start on that; but for now – have a lovely day; you deserve it.

The Price

In some places people have many things, and money enough to buy more. In other places, people have few things, and no money to buy more.

What is the price of more? How much does it cost to purchase more than is needed?

If you are someone who has little (which, to be honest, probably does not include you, because you have access to this post, which means that you have access to a device to read it on, and they ain’t cheap), then your price is money.

If you are someone who has lots of stuff, then the price you’ll pay for getting more than you need is more complicated.

Say that the thing you want more of; more than your body needs, is food. What is the price? In this example, it’s probably obesity, and the ill-health that accompanies it. The more you have, the more you pay. Ultimately, the price may be an early death.

This is just one example, but I’m sure you can think of more.

If they come out to be as costly as my example, then I suppose the question becomes this: if the costs of wealth are so high – is it worth pursuing?

Who’s for a simple life with health, happiness, and many years to enjoy it?

The Dark Side

 

My favourite chocolate is Marks & Spencer Swiss Chocolate – specifically Extra Fine Milk. chocolateHowever, I understand that Dark Chocolate has more health benefits than Milk. So when I went to M&S an hour ago I bought one of each: 125g each of Milk and Dark (as you do).

Seems to me that the main differences are in the fat, sugar and fibre contents:

  • Dark chocolate has 24% more fat than Milk
  • Milk chocolate has 86% more sugar than Dark
  • Dark chocolate has 367% more fibre than Milk – yeah, nearly four times as much!

So – do I go for the fat, fibrous bar that will make me poo better or the sugary bar that makes my mood fluctuate like crazy?

For now it’s going to be one light, one dark, one light, one dark … let’s see how I go on with that.

Look Around

If your back aches
And she is too busy to rub it.
If your neck pains
And she will not give time for you.
If your bowl
Is empty
And remains
Empty
Do not think that the world is thus.

Look around:
The cosmos is full of strong backs.
The universe thrums with sound necks.
Bowls are full in many, many places.

Make of this what you will.

Speedier Brain

Here are some make my brain work better. Who knows – they may work for you too:

  • Thinking less. Yes, I know that this sounds suspiciously unintuitive, but before you laugh and click on another link, you should try it. The technique I use is called meditation, which involves focusing on one thing to the exclusion of all others. It doesn’t really matter what you focus on – your breath, the sound of your feet in the pavement, a candle, the smell of your perfume, the taste of chocolate melting in your tongue – pretty much anything. What happens is pretty much akin to running an antivirus scan on your computer and then rebooting it. You’ll find that it shuts down all the unhelpful stuff running through your brain leaving you faster and more efficient.
  • Eating a cheese sandwich. I don’t know about you but there’s nothing quite like a plain old cheese sarnie to ground me nicely. If I’ve been eating too much chocolate and my brain is whirring far too quickly without getting anywhere then bread and cheese slows down the hamster on the wheel in my head enough to make my brain more capable of smiling and doing what I really want it to do.
  • Sleeping enough, but not too much. I know that this is a really obvious one, but it’s something that works for me so it goes on the list. Have you ever felt tempted to sleep for another hour in the morning, or even snooze the afternoon away? I know that I have. But I always seem to regret it. Unless I have seriously underslept prior to that and am catching up, sleeping extra in the morning (or afternoon) makes me feel tired and dull. If this happens to you though, don’t worry – all is not lost. All you have to do is …
  • Drink a glass of water. This is an amazing restorative for me. Dehydration tends to slow me down terribly and when that glass of water goes down, it’s like all the little cells in my brain about ‘yes!’ as they pump their little arms in the air.

And on that note, I’ll leave you to enjoy your day. If any of this works for you – let me know. And if not – what tricks do you have in your toolbox to make you feel fab?

Go To The Other Side

I know a great way to stop pain on one side of your body from bothering you. It also works really well for things like pins and needles.

Caution – do not try this if one of your fingers, hands or arms has been inadvertently severed. For that, you should seek a qualified medical practitioner – or, at the very least, someone who is good with a needle and thread – maybe your Aunty Mabel? And for God’s sake, put a basin under it – you’re getting blood all over the carpet!

So, here’s the trick – if you stub your toe, knock your hand against something hard, touch a nettle, or something similar, perform these simple steps (no, don’t worry – it’s not a dance):

  • locate the corresponding part on the opposite side of your body (yes, that means your big toe on the foot that was not involved in the toe stubbing incident)
  • check if it hurts (it will not (unless you’ve got an ingrowing toenail or something))
  • if it does not hurt, then smile.

The reason you can smile is that it’s now time for your pain to go away. Do this one thing and your discomfort will vanish from your consciousness like magic. Here’s the one thing:

Concentrate on the part of your body that is not hurting!

It might help you to focus if you stroke the non-hurting side of your body gently. Just don’t do that with the part of your body that hurts – that’s all.

The trick is, therefore, to divert your attention to the opposite part of your body in order to distract the brain. You see the thing is that, even though we only use a fraction of our brain power, the fraction that we do use only has the capacity to attend to and process a limited amount of incoming information. And it usually attends to the stuff that you are concentrating your attention on. So why not use this to your advantage!

There’s probably all sorts of scientific evidence to back this phenomenon up, but I’ve never read it. I just noticed how my own body and mind works. So, remember – you heard it here first.

Of course, if you do the experiments and publish your findings in a Scientific Journal and become famous from this – I wouldn’t mind a mention, but for now – go forth and enjoy your new, pain-free life!