Lesson Learned

Mask, Coronavirus, Quarantine, Virus, Epidemic, Disease

Pixabay

I have followed the blog of an amazing young woman named Caralyn ever since I began blogging myself.   In her latest post she asked a simple but important question – “What has this quarantine taught you?

I have learned that in the end it is tolerance and compassion that makes us the true survivors. We are touched by people who we haven’t heard from in years who send messages to just check that we are okay. It is the 99 year old veteran that walks around his garden to raise money for the doctors and nurses. It is the pastors who delivers groceries or prescriptions to the weakest of their flocks. It is our own ability to love and understand our friends and colleagues when they try to make a health issue a political one (on either side). It is when we stay in to protect the vulnerable, and yet will pray for those who flout restrictions, or hoard supplies, or even deny there is an issue at all. It is about “loving our neighbours.”

Padre

Building a Kingdom

Tablet, Living Room, Dog, Woman, Girl

Pixabay

Jesus said upon the mount,

“Blessed are the poor”

But have you ever bothered –

To read but a few words more?

 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit” –

Those without big egos –

Or “me first” undue pride

 

So in these uncertain times

Put others first instead

Think of what they need and keep yourself inside.

 

Padre

 

 

 

 

 

Somnambulist

Roof, Sleep, Sleepwalkers, Figure, Tile

The COVID-19 pandemic is a worldwide crisis.  Ireland, Denmark, and other European states have closed schools and banned public gatherings.  Italy is in lock-down, and even Donald Trump has taken action.  But here in the UK, the government policy is to seek “herd immunity” by allowing the virus to spread.

Like a sleepwalker, or ostrich in the sand

Boris “follows the science,” no one understands

While his peers international – their people protect

The PM hopes to his infect

 

Padre

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #148 – Somnambulist in 78 words

 

 

 

 

 

A Sad Situation

Beauty In A White Coat, Brunette

Pixabay

Madelyn had always been a healthy and active individual.  She had played field hockey at school, and even was given a scholarship to play the sport at university.  On finishing her degree, she was thrilled to be recruited for a major financial firm near Canary Wharf in London.   All of her Californian friends were envious of the opportunities and experiences she would have.

Her arrival in the UK was in an exceptionally hot summer by British standards, but didn’t seen all that uncomfortable for the San Diego native.  Her flat was modern, yet un-air conditioned, so she spent much of her out of the office time exploring the landmarks or just chilling in Hyde Park.

As October, and then November crept around, Madelyn found the damp chill a little too much to deal with.  She began to spend more and more of her leisure time in the warmth of her amply heated flat.  Despite this she felt increasingly ill.  There were days when she felt so listless that she could barely pull herself from under the bed covers and go to work.

Eventually, with Christmas around the corner, and the fatigue rowing more intense, she scheduled an appointment with her doctor.  Some blood tests were made, and she was told that they would have the results in seven to ten days.  It proved an incredibly long week for Madelyn.  Not only was she constantly exhausted, but she had a nagging worry about the upcoming diagnosis.  Was it cancer? she would muse.  It was almost too much to bear.

Finally the day of the follow-up GP’s visit came.   She entered the doctor’s surgery with apprehension.

“Miss Warren, please take a set,” the doctor said.

“It’s bad isn’t it?” Madelyn blurted out.

“No.  It’s SAD actually,” the GP replied.

“Sad?” Madelyn queried.

“Yes, Seasonal Affective Disorder – that and some low vitamin levels.  It affects a lot of people in Britain.  The low levels of sun light in the Autumn and Winter have a physical impact on the body.  I am going to prescribe some Vitamin D capsules for you, and I recommend that you try a light box.  Many people find they help.

Later that evening, after a trip to Boots Chemists, Madelyn settled onto her bed and plugged in her new Lumie SAD Lamp.  “Well then,” Madelyn said, ” I guess You are my sunshine.”

 

Padre

 

Saturday Mix – Mad About Metaphor: You are my sunshine

 

A Cold Isn’t Worth It

 

Woman, Blow, Blowing, Nose, Hand Chief, Grey, Blond

Image by Mojca JJ from Pixabay

 

I found The Haunted Wordsmith’s prompt fascinating today.   “I want to rip my nose off.”  Life for those with hay fever and allergies must be awful.  Runny nose, watery eyes, and constant sneezing must be a pain (literally and figuratively).  I have to admit to not being a sufferer of these maladies.  I have, however, suffered colds and flu.  The rawness of my nose after several days of scratchy tissues does make “ripping one’s nose off” seem an attractive alternative.

Or does it?

When I was 22, I needed to lose a couple of pounds before reporting for duty.  My solution was to pick up on my running regime.  Just before one of these outings, my mother said she had a bad feeling about it.  She suggested that I go for a cycling trip with my wife instead.  It seemed a reasonable enough alternative.

We set off on a journey down a nearby cycle route which ran through tree lined parkland.  It was pleasant enough.

We came to a section of the bike trail which had a fairly steep decline.  As we descended my speed began to increase.  At first this didn’t seem an issue.  But my acceleration continued.

As I approached what must have been nearly 30 mph, a fairly tight curve appeared before me.  I started to apply the hand breaks.  But the screeching of the rubber pads was doing little to arrest my momentum.

What should I do?

I squeezed even tighter.  Then, I swear to this day, I heard an audible ping as the break cable snapped.

At the speed I was travelling, I could not negotiate the bend.  I ended up shooting into the tree line.  I did my best to maneuver through the woods, and managed to avoid head on collisions with the bigger trunks.  But alas there was a two inch thick dogwood.  It was positioned in such a way that it couldn’t be avoided.

My front tyre passed by it by inches, but the handle bar struck it firmly.  The bike jerked upwards and launched me somehow under the rising handlebar.  As I flew past, the break lever caught inside my right nostril.

I found myself in a sitting position a few yards in front of the crash-site.   I was covered in blood, having left my breathing apparatus behind.

Several hours in hospital and some very skilled reconstructive surgery was able to produce a fairly straight nose.  There is a scar line all around, and the right nostril is still a bit mis-shapen, but “it works.”

So when you next feel the signs of a cold coming on, or the ragweed is starting to make its nasty presence known, think twice about thinking,  “I want to rip my nose off.”  It’s not recommended.

Take it from one who “has the T-shirt.”

 

Padre

 

A TRUE STORY!

 

 

 

Travel Tip: The European Health Insurance Card

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It’s Travel Tuesday, and I am going to deviate a bit from my usual postings. Within Europe (European Union, European Economic Area, and Switzerland) travellers from one member nation can receive medical treatment in another member state for free or at a reduced cost (usually in line with the provision for members of the host nation). To obtain this, one needs a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

The card replaced the old E111 card, which did virtually the same, but provided a more streamlined service as it also replaced various other European schemes such those for students and hauliers).

The card is free, and issued by one’s own state of residence. It does not, however, remove the need for travel insurance, as it doesn’t cover the cost of repatriation or “up front” payments which are required by some countries (though these may later be reimbursed for card holders).

The card must be valid (they do have expiry dates), and must be presented at the time of treatment. For UK residents in the face of the uncertainty over Brexit, it seems that the card will remain valid (at least for a while). The UK and the EU have reached an “agreement in principle” for a transition period between 29 March 2019 and 31 December 2020. What will happen to British EHICs after that is still uncertain.

For now however, if travelling within Europe, eligible travellers should heed the words of the American credit card motto: “Don’t leave home without it.”

Padre

 

Coconut Fat Bombs (Fat Bomb 7)

Coconut.jpg

source: prajol.com

Cocoa and Coco seem to be natural companions.  As the fat bomb variations are fun to make, and provide useful keto snacks for my wife, I gave the combination a spin. It has has a bit of a Bounty/Mounds taste, and adds another flavour to the assortment.

Ingredients:

  • Grated or Desiccated Coconut 2 well rounded Tbs
  • Cocoa Powder (100%) 1 tsp rounded
  • Almonds (optional) 10
  • Nut Butter 1 heaped tsp
  • Stevia 1 Tbs
  • Coconut Oil 3 Tbs

Method:

Warm the coconut oil to a liquid. In a food processor blitz the sweetener, cocoa and almonds (if used) until well mixed. Add the coconut and nut butter and mix well. It can be made without the nut butter, but the texture seems to suffer a little. Pour in the coconut oil and mix again until even. Spoon the mixture into an ice tray and sprinkle the tops (which will become the bottoms when finished) with a small pinch of loose coconut.  Place the tray into the freezer for 10 minutes. When set, remove the bombs from the tray and place in a bowl.  Store in the fridge until needed.

Padre

 

Macadamia and Chocolate Fat Bomb (FB 5)

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While doing reading on the topic of keto foods, Macadamia nuts were spoken well of.  So as I continue to come up with variations I tried Macadamia and 80% chocolate.  It worked really well, and I think it is one of the tastiest so far.

Ingredients:

  • Macadamia Nuts 1/4 cup
  • 80% 5 + Chocolate 2 squares
  • Cocoa Powder (100%) 1 tsp rounded
  • Nut Butter 1 heaped Tbs
  • Stevia 2 tsp
  • Coconut Oil 2 1/2 Tbs

Method:

Warm the coconut oil to a liquid. In a food processor blitz the nuts and chocolate to a coarse flour texture. Add the cocoa, sweetener, and nut butter and mix well.  Pour in the coconut oil and mix again until even. Spoon the mixture into an ice tray and place in freezer for 10 minutes. When set, remove the bombs from the tray and place in a bowl.  Store in the fridge until needed.

Padre

Getting the Job Done vs. Compassion

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I have written on medical ethics, patient care, and general compassion before. I am one of the first to realise and acknowledge that most health care professionals are dedicated, and want positive outcomes for those under their care.  I am also aware that ALL health care workers are human beings, and have bad days, long shifts, and personal problems of their own.  That said, their is still an issue in patient care with compassion.

We have spent a lot of time in hospitals over the last few years. In that time the medical file has become replete with notices and warnings about anxiety issues, and fatigue from the process. Yet on our last two visits in the same department, both with appointments at the end of clinical days, we met with totally different treatment.

I had called in advance on Monday to make sure they were aware of issues, and to verify that measures which had been worked out in procedures over years of trial, error, and compromise would be okay on the day.  All was assured, and the appointment went wonderfully.  The CT technician seeing my wife’s stress (and understanding from her file that I had the authority) allowed me to answer the routine questions of in advance of the scan.  The place was busy, and appointments were running a little behind, but to make the process better, we were taken to a different area and seen sooner to not let the stress to build.  The tech was kind, smiled, and took the notes seriously (even if it did make her job a little more difficult).

On Friday, I rang ahead, was given the assurances, and we arrived on time. We filled in the forms, and she was called. She was after the fatigue of the Monday outing – stressed, but when I began to answer the routine monitoring questions, was cut off.  She had to answer for herself. The stress increased. She became frustrated with having to repeat herself. He leaves. Enter second MRI technician. Routine questions finished, we are then told that measures which had been made in the past will not be available today. In fact, he argued they are never available.  This despite they being used in the same department, same sub-clinic, and same procedure on the two previous visits. He wanted to get in, get it done, with no variation in the smooth running of his schedule.  Patient anxiety, fear, and physical limitations (beyond those of his immediate focus) were irrelevant.  The end result was the cancelling of the appointment, and now more anxiety of ever having to go to hospital again.

I know this is a bit of a rant, but is a smile, and a little patience especially with people clearly in distress too much to ask?

Padre

Dairy-Free Peanut Butter-Banana Kefir

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Here is another breakfast drink based on kefir.  As I noted in yesterday’s post, having the same drink everyday, can become a bit monotonous.  So here is yet a different flavour.  While many of the smoothies I make are berry or fruit based, this one has become one of my wife’s favourites.

Ingredients:

  • Water Kefir (cultured in coconut milk) 400 ml
  • Banana 1
  • Peanut Butter (no added sugar variety) 1 dessert spoon
  • Stevia 1 tsp
  • Vanilla Essence 2 or 3 drops

Method:

Take chilled kefir and shake well before pouring 400 ml into a blender. Add banana and peanut butter and mix for 1 minute on medium. Let settle and add sweetener and vanilla and mix again for 30 seconds to a minute (until completely smooth).  Serve in a large glass or mug.

This is a tasty drink which she enjoys even if not for the health benefits.  It is a regular feature in her breakfasts.

Padre