Friday, 25 April 2008

Spectacular worry!

It’s not an easy world to live in.” – Jo Coudert

I have just read the 'Hypochondriac’s Handbook' by John Naish. Just because I’m a hypochondriac doesn’t mean I’m not ill! (Sorry about the triple negative...) I don’t actually worry about my health in the true sense of worrying. I just let it flow over me and go ‘Ouch’ – or something a lot stronger. But if I was a worrier this would be the last book I should read – perhaps even literally as the fretting would probably induce a heart attack and kill me.

Fortunately I relax a lot. Burn candles and generally chill out. Unfortunately, candles can create clouds of dangerous chemicals. Research on candles from twelve different American stores showed a third had metal in to stiffen them. “Every time you burn one of these lead containing candles you release significant amounts of neurotoxic lead into the atmosphere”. A further study in Scientific Total Environment warned that burning more than one candle in a room can push the airborne lead levels above US safety limits. There goes the chilling out and the romantic dinner party...

I do the washing up in our house. A UK study by the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene says 84 per cent of dish-cloths are contaminated with food-poisoning bacteria. You can get up to 1 million bacteria on your hands just by wringing out an infected cloth or sponge. There goes the washing up...

And if you are an anti-smoker be afraid. Cigarette smoke and candles not the only things around the house that release toxic chemicals – computers, carpets, paints and plastic all pollute our indoor air as well. I’d go outside only the sun might give me skin cancer. On the other hand, avoiding the sun can cause my body to lose its Vitamin D and reduce my resistance to other cancers...

Still, I’ve got all my tablets to help me through the day and I don’t read the instruction leaflets. You might think that’s silly but apparently reading about possible side-effects increases the number of patients who suffer them.

Last, but by no means least, I’m short-sighted. No its not the fact that I’m likely to walk into a door or something that is the problem – I never even get out of bed without my glasses on. And that is the problem – I wear them all the time thereby increasing my chances of night-blindness or eye cancer since the frames act as focussing antennae for electro-magnetic impulses from computers, micro-waves, security alarms, electric toothbrushes, vacuum cleaners and toasters – in fact, anything with a plug on the end.

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