Tag Archives: health
13 Nov

london 5.09pm 7C cloudy dark wednesday 2019 victoria library

i have been to the followup appointment for my prostate in chelsea hospital, to find out the result of the psa from the blood sample i gave about 2wks ago. it was about 5.9, a considerable drop from last time, 13, and before that 30. so the doctor says it looks like it is going down, to normal which is about 4 for me.

he suggests another test about 6months from now, but to let my GP do the blood test instead of the hospital. i am glad it, the psa, has gone down. i feel fine as far as the lower plumbing is concerned. by that i mean my pissing, no problems there anymore since i am taking tamsolusin. 

so i am glad that i am getting back to normal.

earlier this morning, i found out that giraffe, a chain of cafes, was giving away free takeaway coffee, because today is world friendship day. so i went there to get a cappuccino. its nice to be able to get free coffee, though if there isn’t any, i am ok with it too. this is because i like the weak instant coffee and prefers it , so this means i can always make my own and dont have to buy it from coffeeshops. in fact, none of them make coffee from instant anyway. haha.

sometimes when i happen to pass these coffee shops i would stop briefly to look at their menu, just to see what they sell to eat. i had a look online at the giraffe menu,  and though sometimes it does seem quite tempting, i know i can easily go back and make my own, or simon will be cooking something up and i can eat what he cooks. and it is delicious too. and i am always glad to go back to eat esp when i see the prices they are charging. £12 for the main dish nowadays.

i was reading a newspaper article about the menu del dia, in spain. they were saying it may be dying out, as many of the old hands who do it die off and their children dont want to follow in their footsteps. it seems long ago when people take long lunch breaks and cannot go back home, they rely on these cheap menu del dia ,3 courses, started off at 6euros, but now going up to 8euros during the time i holiday there (torrevieja), and now 13-14 euros. when i was there, in the mid 2000s, it includes wine too, but i wonder if they still include it now. i remember it includes the tips and vat. so very good value for money actually, esp for those who drink. my friends drank my share. the wine is for 2 bottles for 3people. if u like to drink wine, spain is just wonderful for getting your fill of it quite cheaply.

in london, i was looking at the menu of a place just outside the chelsea hosp, when i was coming back, and i see they have a 2course for £12, 3course for £14. so comparatively very similar to the spanish menu del dia, though it does not include wine nor tips. 

added. i found a 2020 calendar, not that i need it as i have been using my own home made calendar for ages now. but the pictures of food are very nice to look at.

the space for each date is not big enough to write things on it. so i shall continue to use my own homemade one i think. and just hang this up for the pictures of food.

i was browsing the magazine section in the sainsburys, and saw this this calendar came with a food magazine called good food. the cover costs says £8. but u can subscribe cheaper. i thought £8 is a lot , but of course most people will subscribe, then it is £5 for 5 issues then £21 (about) for the next 6. and you get a free bottle of wine as well. or you can go to the library to see if they get it, and then u can read it free. haha. 



gut bacteria

28 Apr

london 8.58pm 8.9C saturday 2018 high 10.9C

i met up with my friend ian, yesterday. we meet regularly once a month. what he told me about the yoghurt he is taking , which has cleared up his rash. he takes yakult, which has lactobacilli casei. which seems to be in fermented foods like sauerkraut and yoghurt. it made me go and buy live yoghurt just now. i bought oaken set yoghurt 500mg for £1 in tesco. i am thinking simon might also benefit from it as well as myself.  recently there was a tv program about obesity, saying the gut bacteria has a big influence on weight loss or keeping slim. they found twins with big difference in weight have the overweight twin having fewer number and range of gut bacteria.


13 Dec

london 6.33pm 6.1C wednesday 2017

such a mild day today. this is the lowest temperature today… can you believe it? we have hit a warm spell, due to a plume of warm air coming up from the south right over south england. scotland is still cold though. that is why u still read of snow and what not there. but it is mild down here. that is why so many travellers flying with BA in heathrow are a bit angry and puzzled why BA has cancelled so many flights. i think BA has been having the same problems as ryanair, where the pilots all take leave over this period to use up their holidays, and so there is a shortage of pilots. ryanair have to cancel flights, and that makes for very bad public relations. i think BA is using this excuse of snow to cancel flights that they would have to do due to pilot shortage, but under the pretense of this snowmagedon they can fob it off and let the weather take the blame. ha.

i got an email from tfl, the london transport people asking me for my views for the pedestrianisation of oxford st. and giving me the plans for how it will look like after they have done it. the buses will be diverted to the streets running north of oxford st, wigmore st.  it will be more inconvenient for us bus travellers, because where we can take one bus , like the 23 that takes me from the paddington library straight to the virgin lounge near soho; after they are done , i will have to change to another bus. so rather inconvenient and lengthen the journey times.

i think they must be thinking of the potential for a terrorist attack using a truck or car to mow down pedestrians along oxford st , and pedestrianising it will remove that danger. so i guess it will be best to close it to traffic. 

i have been to the circuit training, this afternoon, and find it is giving me a way to strengthen my muscles. recently there has been an article in the papers of a 80yr old celebrity saying she is addicted to pumping iron. she goes to the gym to lift weights, and saying everyone who is old should do it . i totally agree with her. without realising it, i find i could not do press ups as much as i used to do. i cannot do even 10 now. such a shock really to find out how weak i have become when i first did the circuit training. now i am gradually getting the upper arm strength back.

and just now an old friend of mine called to arrange to meet and he was talking about how he is worried all the time now. afraid to fall, he said. i told him of the old ladies and weights and urge him to take up some weight training, join a gym or even tai chi… he told me an old lady friend of his has joined a tai chi class. and i hope that might encourage him to join her. he says he worries a lot now , unlike when he was younger. all kinds of things make him worry. i know health deteriorating can make people worried. he is diabetic and cannot control his suger intake, nor change his lifestyle. so he knows he has to change, but cannot do it, and so another thing for him to worry about. rather sad really. i dont really know how to help him. 

oh, i got another freebie today. a free souvlaki, given by a new branch set up in victoria near the coach station by this restaurant chain called the athenian. it was very nice, the bread is very soft and like pitta bread, except softer , and folded in it is a stick of minced meat, (chicken, or pork, or lamb,beef,  and salad and folded up and wrapped so it is easy to eat. i forgot to see the menu and see how much they normally sell it for. about £5or£6 i should think, that is the normal price. you have to fill up a form in a tablet , giving them your email address, before u can get your free food. i got there after the circuit training about 5pm, when no one else was in the queue, and when i got my food, a long queue began to form. so i am glad i managed to avoid that. there are quite a lot of freebies giving out, there is another one tomorrow and the next day. and free doughnuts too at another place.

but even the supermarkets are selling cheap food. this morning i was on the bus going to asda to buy their beef, when i read in the metro newspaper on the bus , that tesco is selling beef joints for £5 /kg. same price as asda. and tesco is nearer to me too. so i got off the bus and took the connecting bus to the tesco and saw they were selling lots of veg, potatoes 2.5kg, carrots, parsnips, cauliflower for 29p each. they did not advertise that , i wonder why… it would certainly make me go to tesco even without the beef half price offer.  so here is where advertising has made me alter my plans and shop at tesco instead of at asda as i originally intended.

now i got the beef, 1.6kg, of it, simon suggested i roast half and do a curry on the other half. i had intended to do all of it in a curry… but the meat looks so good, all trussed up and ready to roast , that i was tempted to roast it instead. i am not sure about roasting beef…simon like it rare, i like it medium rare… so how to get that then…might have to take it out and cut out a portion and return the rest to cook somemore… quite a bother really. 

actually he is right now cooking something in the oven. using the veg i bought but instead of the beef, he is reheating 2 tins of steak and kidney pie. they are rather nice, but very salty. but convenient to cook, you just put them in the oven to warm up and that is it. and if u do it like he is doing now, roasting veg along with it, it makes for a nice roast dinner. if u think about it, if u have to make it yourself it would take a lot of time and effort. here it  really suits its name of convenience food. 




salt is good for you, it seems

28 May

london 6.28pm rain 20.8C sunday 2017.

we all know of u turns when it comes to health advise, and it seems the latest one is salt. it seems it is good for you. suger is now the culprit.

most of us must have wondered, if we ever did question it, when we see nature programs where animals actively go looking for salt licks. it is a familiar nature program that shows animals gathering or travel miles just to access a place where they can lick salt. it does makes u ask why do we get advise telling us salt is bad for us. we know salt is necessary… we know we get cramps if we exercise a lot and sweat a lot, and then drink lots of water without salt… sodium is necessary for life. and yet we get bombarded with health advise telling us we eat too much salt and that makes us have high blood pressure, with all the attendant bad things that happen when we have high blood pressure.

except now they tell us salt is not the cause of raised blood pressure. it just goes to show that we humans think we know everything about science, it explains everything we think, but actually we dont really know much. haha.

the new culprit is suger, they say suger is not necessary for life…in one sense that is true in that we dont have to eat suger… it is because the body can produce glucose from carbohydrates… starchy foods… though eating potatoes is not as much fun as eating chocolates. haha.

from our track record of getting things wrong, and having to backtrack or make uturns with our health advise, i would take that condemnation of suger with a pinch of salt too. even though it does make a bit of sense, in that our bodies can make glucose so there is no need to eat the stuff. but if u go on the logic that if the body breaks carbohydrates into glucose, so it makes it,  it must be necessary… the only difference from sodium is that the body can make it out of other foodstuffs, so in that sense it does not need us to eat it. like vit D, it can make it so no need really to eat vit D, or foods rich in it… though foods in its complex form has lots of other things, like trace elements, minerals etc. eating the pure form may not be that useful. 

the question really is how much is too much… and that must vary with the individual’s circumstances… it seems to me that blanket advise is not helpful. dont eat this dont eat that, or eating more than x gm is not good, or the opposite advise, eating more than x gms is good.

i think the most useful advise is dont let your weight balloon more than x amount for your age and height. that might be the most useful advise for everyone and the exception to my saying blanket advise is not needed for everyone. i would say that is the most useful advise for everyone. carrying a lot of weight is a huge strain on every organ and system in the body. i would say your weight is a sign of how healthy you are. try to be as slim as possible without going the other extreme and be anorexic. and how to stay within the weight range? just dont eat so much…

maybe a good rule of thumb is eat everything, and as much as u like but within meal times, and keep it to just one dish…no starters, nor desserts. (and cut it down to two meals a day if u cannot control yourself ). and dont snack between meals. perhaps have fruits in between if u cannot help yourself  and want something in the mouth.

for myself , i eat porridge for breakfast, and then whenever i am hungry. so no set meal times. porridge is so filling, i dont feel hungry till 4pm, when i can eat a big one dish meal, and then nothing till next day. or some days another lighter meal at about 8pm. and that is it. i dont think of eating again. today i had porridge at about 8am, and now i just ate 2 scrambled eggs when i woke up and it is about 7pm… i think i might eat a one dish meal (veg and pork over rice)again later tonight and that would be it. 

how to change your duvet cover

2 Nov

london 3.05pm 11C sunny wednesday 2016

this method seems very easy to do and takes the hassle out of changing your duvet cover. she rolls the duvet bolster -like and then evert the duvet and roll it out right side out. 

though i have my own method which i have been using all these years and it is quite a quick method , much quicker than this one , it does require some dexterity and a bit of strength, esp as my duvet is a king size double duvet, two duvets in one, and is thus quite bulky. it is bulky but quite light, being made of down and feathers. 

i turn the duvet cover inside out, and then reach inside right to the other end to the two corners, and then through the two corners grip each corner of the duvet and then flip the duvet cover over the duvet and let it roll over and down the whole duvet. and that is it, all left to do is to button up and flap the duvet so that everything settles inside the cover. it is very quick unlike this folding of the duvet into a bolster… 

day of the dead celebration at the chelsea school of arts, which is near the tate britain. i happen to pass by on my way to the tesco, and on the way back saw a bit of this projection on the facade.

this morning i went to see the nurse in my gp practise for a checkup. they offer this checkup to any one of their patients who are 40-75yrs old. i have been getting quite a lot of phelgm and a chronic cough for some time, the phelgm getting more noticeable but did not feel i want to bother the doctor about it.  it seems rather trivial.

so i was rather glad that they have this checkup to give us. the nurse seem to think it serious, she told me i should see the doctor, and also to get a resting blood test. luckily the receptionist told me i can see the doctor now, as there has been a cancellation. so i am glad i dont have to wait. the doctor sent me upstairs to get an xray. this branch seem to have quite a lot of departments for testing. which is great as it saves me having to make another appointment with the hospital to get the chest xray. and the nurse told me to give a sample of phlegm which i try to cough up and drop it off at the box for them to test it.  so i am rather glad that i am being seen to and so quickly too. the xray will take a week for the result to come back. 

well, i felt quite unsettled after the appointment, not so much for myself but thinking about how health and bad health can really make a person feel very sad. esp as after the checkup i read a post by garfield hugs talking about the pain she is having. she seldom talks about the pain, so this one must be real bad for her to mention it.  i know how sad it makes me if i have loved ones feel pain or suffer bad health because there is nothing we can do about it to relieve that pain. i wish i got a magic wand that i can wave and make pain disappear. though i do am aware that pain is a good indicator of something going wrong, and so can be an early warning. but long term chronic pain is something else entirely. 

anyway, i remembered i have the john lewis free voucher for a cake and coffee  and it expires soon, so i decided i shall cheer myself up and go to their sloane square branch where they have cheese cake. their other branch in oxford st dont have cheese cake and i fancy cheese cake for some reason. so here i am sitting in the top floor cafe, under the skylight which is bright with the setting sun, and a grand view overlooking london and on the other side looking down the air well, with their christmas hangings. 

in a way it is just as well i dont get a lot of these free vouchers for free cake and coffee. they are just full of suger and not very healthy. but the few times i get them is just right, enough to make me enjoy them butnot that often that i get unhealthy amount of suger in me.

the store is putting out its christmas decorations for sale. amazing how every year they do this and there are still customers who buy them. i would have thought people would have built up a huge amount of these decorations and can reuse them every year so that there is never any need to buy any more. but it does not work that way. maybe just as well there are so many willing to buy them every year and keep the profits coming and make businesses still stay open instead of closing. 

screening for health

11 Aug

london 20.7C 1.40pm thursday 2016

went to chinatown to buy black soya sauce, and there i see reduced price dry indo instant mee, 50p for 5packs, (from £2). so i bought it, as it is only 10p a pack. cant get that price nowadays for plain instant noodles. and these include sachets of seasoning, oil, etc. and 80gms too. when i got back , i tried one. and it is really very good. so much so that i am tempted to go back and buy some more. they are real convenient for when u are hungry and just want something to eat in a hurry. 

i decided to go to the pimlico library and there saw a desk with some volunteers offering to find your blood pressure readings…. so i got my blood pressure taken, the first reading came to 135/92, which was rather high i thought. well, it is on the border of getting into the borderline shaded area.

the 2nd reading came to 121/82…well within the normal area.  big difference. it seems it always happen like that… they blame the subject for being a bit excited at first, before calming down. but such a big difference? hmm, i sometimes wonder how exact this so called science of reading the blood pressure. a machine read it, on this occasion. if it can flunctuate so much how accurate is it then… and also can one mindfully control the blood pressure . i mean by mind alone? didn’t someone say meditation alone can reduce blood pressure? i actually tried it when the second reading was taken, but not sure if my mindfulness lowered my blood pressure. 

they ask me to sign a petition to ask the govt not to reduce funding for stroke care. which i was glad to sign actually. he said there is less funds for care of stroke patients. i can see it will be a problem, finding carers for them, not to mention dementia patients as well.

 i asked about prevention of stroke,because i always like prevention rather than wait to get it and deal with the consequences of it;  but it seems they dont really know what is best… only suggesting general ideas like exercise, being active, and diet i suppose. but no one seem to know really how to prevent it. why some people get it and others dont… as i understand it strokes are caused when something blocks small blood vessels in the brain… and that area of the brain dies from lack of blood. i heard that aspirins can be taken as a preventive measure for those who suffer their first stroke, to prevent another. also anticoagulants… esp after an operation. but no one seem to be talking of aspirins nowadays. so maybe gastric bleeding as a side effect of it may have dampen their enthusiasm for it. as usual u take one medication to prevent something, and it will cause a lot of other problems. i mean they are having doubts about statins now… 

chatting to them reminds me that i should really get back to swimming regularly… i have stopped doing that for about a year. must get into that habit again i think.

this afternoon i shall be going to another check up .the good thing about living in central london is that everything is near me, and this place holding the screening is a short walk from where i live.

 the nhs contacted me for it. it is abdominal aortic aneurysm screening. it is the weakening of the wall of the aorta, which is the blood vessel that takes blood from the heart and send it all over the body. if weakened, the wall can balloon out. it looks like they screen everyone over 65yrs old. i wonder what caused that weakening of the wall. ah well, if all this make me start exercising more, it can only be a good thing.

added 4.12pm got my screening, and everything is fine. he used a ultra scan to see into my abdomen and look for the widening of the abdominal aorta. but it seems even if they find something, there is not a lot they can do. they can only slow the decline, and even then the advise is to stop smoking, reduce weight… so really nothing that we dont know about. when he said to stop smoking, i thought it is like a knee jerk reaction. you got this,whatever it is, stop smoking… so what is the point of this screening  other than to worry someone out of their minds by letting them know they got a slowly widening walls of their aorta that can kill them? i would have thought in this case where nothing can be done anyway, ignorance may be bliss. unless it is just an exercise to get more funding for the GP haha. 

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

can u guess where this is taken? bet u cannot haha. looks a bit like the lower end of the star wars imperial war machines. it is really vauxhall bus station

enjoying life

10 Aug

london 15.2C cloudy wednesday 2016 10.36am

london 18.6C clear , sunset.

i am sitting up in bed, looking out of the window, it has a low sill, so i get a good view out of it. there is a sunset glow in the sky above the buildings so block out the horizon. it is quite difficult to get a clear view of the horizon to view the sun as it sets. buildings get in the way . that’s london for you. or any city as a matter of fact.

quite a cloudless blue sky still… even though sunset is 8.31pm. in fact it must be going on now, as it is 8.30pm now. it is not a spectacular sunset, dark clouds on the horizon masking it. the highest today is only 19C, but it is really very pleasant in spite of this low temperature.

i was out by bus to clapham junction, south london, to the lidl and asda there…( to buy asda basic ketchup which at 34p for 550ml is very good value. it got a nice thick consistency and a good red colour.) and really enjoyed the weather. it is nice to be able to just hop on the bus and go anywhere i like and at no cost at all to me. i think it is one of the best things about my living in london.

this morning the papers were reporting the sudden death of the duke of westminster. and he is the same age as me, or rather slightly younger. it always gives me a turn to read someone who is close to my age dying suddenly like that. and of course that person is bound to be rather famous , or their death would not be reported so widely in the papers. for all their wealth they die , relatively young i am thinking;  as i am the same age. my idea of old seem to get thrown further and further into the  years as i go older myself. haha. now i think 90 is old.

it does remind me of my mortality.

health , good health is really priceless and if the poorest of us have it, they are rich indeed. 



more thoughts of the day

14 Sep

london 5.38pm rainy 14.8C monday 2015

i noticed it is so easy to read of news happening all over the world and also in our own city. all these bad news come into our laptops piling up one way or another …  it makes u think a lot of nasty things are happening all the time, and seeing videos of people doing nasty things to each other must make u think it is dangerous and horrible world out there.

but i look at my life and see it is quite ordinary and safe and nothing happens to me. so how come so much bad things are happening to others? and then i come to realise it is not really happening to the majority of us. most of us lead very ordinary unhappening lives, it is just that the news coming at us all the time makes us think the whole world is full of danger and everyone is going to get robbed, or killed, or whatever.

it might be a good time to pause and get things in perspective.

planes will crash, people will drown, lots of others will get killed, but as far as your own life is concerned, it wont happen to you.

i am seeing a film on tv now, showing people with swords killing each other, it is a old fashioned swashbuckling film called saraband, a ealing studios film made in the 50’s, but so much violence and even though we all know it is make believe but it does give the impression violence is commonplace and is everywhere.

it is about sophie dorothea, wife of king george I and mother of george II. 

it has got really nice well made costumes though… which looked so clean and unwrinkled.

but i guess it is easy to get caught up, so that after being bombarded with all these depiction of violence it is easy to  think violence is everywhere and feel unsafe. but remember it is all make believe and  dont you believe it.

most of our lives are really very ordinary and non violent and hence safe. if anything, it is bad health that is more common with us all, rather than being killed or knifed or shot.

bad health is what we should all be afraid of. but no one is. we just dont notice it, until we get struck down with bad health. and if we are lucky to get well again , we soon forget that bad health and carry on doing all those unhealthy habits. 

A call for a 50:50 quota for male and female medical students in Pakistan | Justice for Men & Boys

28 Aug

Source: A call for a 50:50 quota for male and female medical students in Pakistan | Justice for Men & Boys

this is an increasingly common problem , not only in pakistan. it is also happening in uk. people might say pakistan has socially unique situations, being a muslim country and family comes first , but in uk, the female doctors are also leaving the profession to get married or wishing to do parttime.

it is not a problem due to culture but a problem innate in the women. they just dont like to work all their lives ( actually who would, haha. i think i would also give up work if i can find a husband who can earn enough for both of us; it is quite a logical wish, who wants to work all their lives when the husband can earn enough. and most of them do marry well, being doctors gives a huge boost to a woman’s marriage prospect.

if they can get married and have kids they prefer to stop work or do parttime.

it seems to me, women have the option to stop work and so no need to work for life;

unlike men, who are more career oriented because they have to be, no rich woman to pay for them.

here in uk there is not that muslim culture where women are expected to give up work to look after husband and children. (and from what i hear and read, the women in pakistan themselves dont mind and prefer it, rather than continue working. ) and yet it happens the same way in uk.

in uk none of that applies, but yet we are getting shortages of doctors because of women volunteering to leave the profession once they got married and have children.

for the university to ask that there is a 50;50 intake of medical students shows how desperate they feel the situation has become. so much money spent on the women doctors and they dont stick to it for life.

seems a lot of wasted money. not to mention the severe shortage of doctors even after all that money spent training them.

the uk laments that there is so many immigrants and foreigners (8million it seems) come to work here. but without them the country would not be able to function. in fact, one can argue that the uk is stealing all the trained people from other countries that need them , developing countries that can ill afford to have their trained people leaving the country to work abroad.

Big Win For E-Cigarettes: Nicotine No Worse Than Coffee | The Daily Caller

16 Aug

Big Win For E-Cigarettes: Nicotine No Worse Than Coffee | The Daily Caller.

this is good news. it is strange that the english newspapers have not shout this out, none of them publish this finding. this article i found is in a foreign news site. i have never heard of the daily caller. i got it via google news.

i think this finding sounds logical too, the cancerous effect of smoking, the emphysema ,etc,  is due to the other ingredients , the tar and all that, nicotine is like caffeine, in itself not dangerous; so the e-cigarettes must be the answer to cigarettes.

for me who dont smoke, it makes for a pleasant atmosphere, no smell that is why. so none of it on the hair, or clothes or furnishing. i think they should allow e cigarette smoking everywhere from now on. all the reasons for banning it is gone now.

simon is taking to it, so it is working for smokers,it is a good substitute for tobacco smoking when even a smoker is using it in lieu of their usual tobacco.