Author Archives: Ramon.KGS

Rose Center Piece Flower Arrangement

A basket of roses and Peruvian lilies makes a beautiful gift — perhaps for a special birthday, anniversary or Mother’s Day. It would also add a lovely touch of colour and interest to a window sill, a fireplace or an otherwise dull corner that you feel needs cheering up. The basket, painted to tone with the flowers, would be ideal to use afterwards as a container for yarns, sewing materials or bath preparations.


1. Gather together your materials: a shallow basket with a handle, a waterproof liner such as a plastic box, a block of absorbent stem-holding foam (soaked beforehand),narrow florist’s adhesive tape, scissors, long-lasting foliage such as eucalyptus and flowering shrub, flowers such as roses and Peruvian lilies, florist’s scissors, secateurs(pruning shears), paper ribbon and a stub wire (floral pin). Prepare the basket to co-ordinate with the flowers that you are using, if you wish; the one shown here was painted in stripes of pink gloss paint, to add a touch of sparkle to the arrangement.

2. Put the liner in the basket and place the block of foam in it. Cut 2 strips of adhesive tape and crises-cross them over the foam and down on to the sides of the basket, to hold the foam firmly in place. Arrange the tallest stems of foliage to make a fan shape at the back of the basket. Cut progressively shorter stems for the centre and front, positioning them so that they droop and trail over the rim.

3. Arrange the roses to make a gently rounded shape in the basket, alternating the colours (pink and pale yellow were used here) so that each complements the other to create an attractive effect.

4. Add the Peruvian lilies, cutting some individual flowers on short stems and positioning them close against the foam. Fill in the gaps with short sprays of flowering shrub.

5. Unfurl the twisted paper ribbon by pulling it out gently from one end.

6. Cut the length of ribbon required and tie it into a bow. Gently ease the loop until it looks neat, and trim the ribbon ends by cutting them at a slant. Thread the stub wire through the hack of the loop, and twist and insert the 2 ends into the foam at the front of the basket. Spray the flowers with a fine mist of cool water, and keep the foam moist by adding a little water to it at least once a day.

How to Sew a Box Cushion

Circular bolster cushions look attractive on most types of furniture and make a good visual contrast against the more usual rectangular cushions. This shape of cushion works particularly well with striped, check and tartan cloth, especially when a contrasting tassel, ribbon how or pompom is used as a trim.

A box cushion adds comfort and style to a sofa. This cushion has been made by tie dyeing individual patches of contrasting fabric then sewing them together. A box cushion adds comfort and style to a sofa. This cushion has been made by tie dyeing individual patches of contrasting fabric then sewing them together.


  1. Cut out the fabric then cut the hack gussetin half lengthways and place together with the right sides facing. Pin and stitch the seam 12 min/1/2 in from the raw edges, leaving an opening for the zip (zipper).Press the scam open.
  2. Pin and tack (baste) the zip in position along the opening, as shown, allowing the fabric to meet centrally over the zip teeth. Stitch the zip in place using a zip foot on the machine.
  3. With the right sides facing, join the four gusset pieces together along the short ends, taking a 12 min/1/2 in seam allowance and leaving 12 mm/1/2 in unstitched at each end of the seams. Press the seams open.
  4. With the right sides facing, pin and stitch the top edge of one gusset section to one edge of the top cover piece, taking a12 mm/1/2 in seam allowance. At the gusset seam, leave the needle in the fabric, raise the machine foot and pivot the fabric so the next section of gusset aligns with the next side of the top cover piece. Continue pinning and stitching each section around the top in this way. Open the zip, then repeat the procedure to attach the bottom cover piece to the remaining side of the gusset. Trim away the surplus cloth at the corners and then turn the cover right side out.


  • Cut out the fabric then pin and stitch the length of the bolster cover with a French seam. Turn right side out and press. Turn under is double 12 mm/t/’ in hem at each end of the tube. Pin and tack (baste) the hem in place using a contrasting thread.
  • Stitch along the hems, keeping the stitching close to the inner folds. Remove the tacking (basting) stitches and press thoroughly.
  • Using double thread run a row of gathering stitches along each end of the tube, close to the outer fold of the hem, leaving a long thread end. Insert the holster pad in the tube, then tighten the gathering threads to close the cover. Secure the thread ends, then cover the small hole left at each end by attaching a furnishing tassel, ribbon how or a button.


There are a great variety of tassels available in shops to be attached to the corners of cushions or on the ends of a bolster. The colors, shapes, sizes and designs are infinitesimal, but if you want something a bit more tailor made, create your own.

Cut out two pieces of cardboard to the length of your finished tassel and 10 cm/ 4 in wide. Place them together. Put .30 cm /12 in of your yarn to one side and then wind as much of the rest around the card from top to bottom until there is sufficient for the type of tassel you are making. The more you wind on, the fuller will be the result.

Stitch along the hems, keeping the stitching close to the inner folds. Remove the tacking (basting) stitches and press thoroughly. Thread the set aside yam through a needle and then pass the needle through the top of the wound yarn and tie at the top. Repeat several times so that you are left with a strong loop at the top of the tassel, it will be attached later to the item you are dressing up. Holding the yarn firmly in one hand, cut through the yarn at the bottom between the two pieces of cardboard then release the cardboard and then bind the tassel as near as possible to the top to ensure that the head remains firm. To neaten, comb out the yarn using your fingertips and then give the whole tassel a good trim.


A French seam encloses the raw edges of fabric and prevents them from fraying. It is worked in two stages: first stitch with the wrong sides facing (top). Trim the raw edges close to the first row of stitching then stitch with the right sides facing (above).


Box cushion: Measure the length and width of the top of the pad and then add 12 mm/1/2 in all around for seam allowances, two pieces of fabric this size are needed, one for the top and one for the bottom of the cover. The gusset is made from four pieces of fabric joined together. Measure the depth and width of the pad and add12 mm/1/2 in all around for seam allowances. Cut out three pieces of fabric to this size. Add an extra 2.5 cm/1 in to the depth of the fourth piece for the zip (zipper) seam in the gusset.

Bolster cushion: Measure the bolster from the centre point of one end, along its length and around to the centre point of the opposite end, adding a total of 5 cm/2 in for hem allowances. To calculate the width, measure the circumference of the pad and add an extra 2.5 cm/1 in for seam allowances. Cut one large piece to fit these dimensions.


What is Pancreas?
The pancreas is another of the important digestive organs. It produces several chemicals. One is insulin, which is pumped directly into the bloodstream and helps to convert circulating blood glucose (the end point of starch or carbohydrate digestion) into glycogen, the form in which it is stored by the body until required. Other digestive juices are also produced in abundance. These contain chemicals (enzymes) that assist in the breakdown and digestion of the food in the bowel. Amylase, lipase, trypsin, chymotrypsin and carboxypeptidase are some of them. When food enters the duodenum it stimulates the entry of these enzymes into the bowel system.
The liver, gall bladder and pancreas may be the sites for disease processes. A large number of disorders may occur here. However, some are very common and can produce a great deal of discomfort and disability, such as gall-bladder disease and gallstones. Others are infectious and produce many disabling symptoms, such as hepatitis A and hepatitis B, the latter being the more serious. Because blood from the bowel and other parts of the body passes through the liver substance, it is a common site for secondary cancer invasion, or metastases. Often cancer of some distant organ will present with the rapid growth of metastases in the liver.
Alcohol readily finds its way to the liver soon after it has been ingested. Cirrhosis (destruction) of the liver, in many different degrees, is a common aftermath of alcoholic intake over a period of years. In many cases it can produce death far sooner than would have normally occurred, a salutary warning for moderate-to-heavy drinkers.
The pancreas is important, for disorders here are responsible for abnormal insulin production and the disease known as diabetes, in which glucose (sugar) storage is impaired. It is also the site of cancer. A very painful, but fortunately fairly uncommon condition called pancreatitis takes place here.
Commonsense living can make home treatment of some of these disorders straightforward. But others need the doctor’s advice.

Wallpapering Ceilings

Many people regard the papering of ceilings with horror. In reality they are easier to deal with than walls because they are flat, do not have any awkward angles (except in rooms with sloping ceilings and dormer windows), and have few obstacles attached to them apart from the occasional light fitting(fixture), which can in any case usually be removed quite easily.

The only thing that takes getting used to when papering ceilings is working on an upside-down surface. The basic technique is no different from working on walls. The wall covering is simply positioned, brushed into place and then trimmed where it meets adjoining surfaces.

The most important thing to plan carefully is access equipment that will safely allow a complete length to be hung across the room. Nothing is more dangerous than attempting to step off of the chair; proper access is a must. The best solution is to use scaffold boards or lengths of staging, supported by stepladders, trestles or home-made supports to create a flat, level walkway spanning the room from wall to wall at a height that allows the ceiling to be reached comfortably. It will take only a few seconds to reposition after hanging each length, ready for the next.
This is also a job where an additional pair of hands will be a big help, at least before gaining the knack of supporting a concertina of pasted wall covering with one hand while:.-rushing it into position with the other— this can be done only with practice.

The first length should he hung to a guideline on the ceiling. The best way of marking this is with a chalked line against the ceiling at both ends snapped against it.


1. Paste the wall covering in the usual way, but fold it up concertina-fashion with the starting end of the length folded over on itself. Lining (liner) paper has been used here.

2. Hang the first length to a chalked line just less than the width of the call covering from the side wall. Support the folds on a spare roll of wall covering from the side wall. Support the folds on a spare roll of wall covering.

3. Trim the overlaps at the ends and along the side wall. Then hang the second length in the same way, butted up against the edge of the first length.

4. On meeting a pendant light fitting (fixture) pierce the wall covering over its centre and make a series of radial cuts outwards front the pierced point.

5. With the power turned off at the unscrew the cover and trim the tongues off, flush with the base of the fitting. Replace the cover.

6 Where the ceiling runs into an alcove, CIA the wall covering in line with the sidewall of the recess and brush it into place.’


The shape of an arch makes it impossible to get a pattern match along the curved join. It is best to choose a wall covering with a small design motif and a random pattern, to use different but complementary designs for the face walls and the arch surface, or to use lining (liner) paper inside the arch and paint it a plain colour.

To paper an arched recess, cover the face and hack walls first turning cut tongues of wall covering onto the arched surface. Then cover the arch surface as described below.

To paper a through archway, hang the wall covering on the two face walls and trim out the waste to leave an overlap of about 25 mm in all around. Make cuts in the edge so that the tongues can be turned on to the arch surface. Then cut a strip of wall covering a traction narrower than the width of the arch surface and long enough to cover it in one piece, and brush this into place. Work from the bottom of one side upwards to the top of the arch, and then down the other side. Always use special overlap adhesive with washables and vinyls.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Sometimes in patients who have undergone removal of the stomach (most probably from severe peptic ulceration) a similar situation can occur. However, as the liver can store vitamin B12 with amounts that may last up to five years, it may be several years after surgery that the symptoms will commence. In other patients who have bowel disorders, there may be interference in folic acid absorption. A condition called Crohn’s disease may be present, or there may have been surgical removal of part of the bowel, coeliac disease, sprue and certain other disorders.

During pregnancy there is a large increase in the body’s need for folic acid. For this reason, folic acid is now given routinely together with iron to all women during pregnancy.

Some patients on drug medication for other conditions have their folic-acid supplies adversely affected. This ma y include drugs taken for epilepsy, and certain sulfa drugs, to name some of the more common ones implicated.

Apart from affecting the red cells. these deficiencies may also adversely affect the production of the white cells and platelets, both of which may be reduced in numbers. This in turn may produce serious symptoms and conditions attributed to this.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms

The symptoms will be a combination of the usual symptoms of anaemia, plus symptoms of the underlying cause. A glossitis (sore, red tongue) usually occurs as well. The blood picture shows abnormal cells, and there is a reduced number of white cells and platelets.

Inadequate vitamin B12 may also react adversely on the nervous system, producing a serious condition called subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord. This also produces symptoms that are described under the nervous system. It is essential that this condition be treated early, for damage to the cord may be rectified with prompt early treatment.

But if left, these changes may be permanent, much to the discomfort of the patient. Tests are available that directly measure the blood levels of folic acid and vitamin B12. (Refer to the section on vitamins for a list of foods rich in these substances.)

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Treatment

Therapy is very satisfactory, and the results relatively prompt. Once the diagnosis has been established, the doctor will most likely order folic acid in tablet form, commonly giving 5 mg three times a day.

Vitamin B12 is usually given in the form of an injection. Over the years the exact chemical formulation has changed. It used to be cyanocobalamin. often injected weekly by the doctor or district nurse. However. this has now changed to a related product called hydroxocobalamin 1000 (equals 1 000 micrograms/ ml) that is claimed to offer adequate protection if given once each three months by injection. This is now the routine in Australia and New Zealand for pernicious anaemia patients. Nevertheless, many older patients claimed they felt better on their monthly or bimonthly shots of B12 in the older form.

The injections may he necessary for the rest of the patient’s life. They are painless and adverse side effects are extremely uncommon. It is a small price to pay for a supplement that yields such dramatic and beneficial results.

For more information about vitamin b12 deficiency, please visit:
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms

Otitis Externa

More commonly known as “swimmer’s ear,” external otitis is common among school-age children, especially during the summer when swimming and water sports are in full swing. Bacteria invade the skin and soft tissue lining the ear canal, causing inflammation.
In mild cases a little irritation and itching may be noticed. But more commonly the child with external otitis will complain of nonstop pain—which can be severe—in and around the ear. Discomfort may be experienced when the child chews. Even the gentlest tug on the lobe will provoke pain. In some cases swelling in the ear canal can be severe enough to cause a temporary decrease in hearing as the infection progresses.
Water remaining in the ear canal after swimming can serve as a reservoir for bacterial growth as the skin surface is more vulnerable to bacterial invasion. Wax build up contributes to this process by block-the natural drainage of water from the canal. Another major cause is trauma to the canal from overzealous attempts to clean the ear using cotton swabs or other instruments. Occasionally, chronic drainage from a perforated eardrum will result in external otitis.

Otitis Externa Treatment

Even if your child’s history and complaints strongly suggest external otitis, a physician should conduct the diagnosis. The infection is usually treated with eardrops that contain antibiotics to kill bacteria and cortisone to reduce swelling. Doctors may carefully place a soft “wick” in the ear to prolong the contact of the drops within the surface. In severe cases oral antibiotics may be prescribed as well. Swimming should be avoided until the infection has cleared up.
Adequate pain control is important. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen and a warm compress placed over the ear provide temporary relief, but your child may also require stronger prescription pain medication.
If excessive wax build up is a recurrent problem (this often runs in families and is not a reflection of inadequate hygiene), your child’s physician may need to remove this material periodically. The doctor might also suggest wax-clearing measures—other than the use of cotton swabs—to try at home. In some instances, the use of soft molded earplugs when swimming is beneficial. Another approach is to instill a bacteria eating preparation into the ear canal after swimming.

Overweight to Obesity

Obesity is one of the most common self-inflicted diseases of the modern world. People figuratively dig their graves with their teeth. “The longer your belt line, the shorter your life line.” This saying has been around for a long time, and it is true.
The relationship between obesity and disease is well established. The weight increase usually comes in the form of excess carbohydrates and fats. Coronary heart disease is far more common in the overweight. Their blood pressure is usually much higher, and they arc more likely to become diabetic. In short, the overweight are more likely to develop the risk factors that will predispose to premature heart disease and a heart attack. The overweight usually have a marked increase of the blood-fat levels, both of cholesterol and triglycerides, when compared to normal. A reduction in weight invariably reduces the blood pressure, and the lipid levels generally fall significantly.
Many sophisticated nations have a high consumption of beer per capita. In Australia this is about 103 litres per person per year. This significantly raises the obesity level. for beer is high in kilojoules.
Doctors and scientific laboratories around the world now universally use Systente International (SI) when recording scientific figures. This replaces the older system, and will be the one used throughout these volumes.
Instead of mg (milligram), the term millimolle (mmol) will be used. Most figures are quoted as so many mmol in every 100 millilitres (ml) of fluid (eg blood). The currently used term is decilitre (dL), which is the same quantity as 100 ml. For example, for cholesterol, the level may have read 200 mg/ 1.00 ml, which in the new terminology would read 5.2 mmol/L. Similarly, with the energy unit, the caloric, this has been altered. and now the kilojoule (kJ) is used. 1 calorie equals 4.2 kJ. Therefore. a 3000-calorie per day diet would now read 12,600 kJ. It is simply a matter of getting used to the new terms and the new sets of figures.

What Are The Endocrine Glands?

Endocrinology is the study of a strange set of organs that produce important chemicals called hormones. These are pumped directly into the bloodstream, and rapidly circulate to all parts of the system. Most of the glands produce more than one chemical. Indeed, some, such as the pituitary gland, can produce a large number. Each hormone has a specific function. The remarkable thing is that the hormones seem to know exactly where to go and what to do.

There is usually a fine balance between the activities of the various chemicals. This is all aimed at keeping the body as near to normal as possible, and functioning with the minimum amount of discomfort. Indeed, considering the huge number of chemicals involved in the function of the system, it is amazing. The endocrine glands are all largely under the control of the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. These two areas form part of the brain. near its base, and together act as “captain of the ship.” They produce hormones that in turn govern the production and activity of other hormones produced in other regions of the body. They can have an overriding effect. They are close together, and actually the hypothalamus is the reins that check, activate and regulate the pituitary.

Although there is no direct conscious control over these glands by the individual, certain mental states, such as tensions and stresses and other psychological conditions, may indirectly influence the hypothalamus, so in a sense there is some indirect form of control.

In ordinary health the normally functioning glands pump out measured amounts of their hormones each 24 hours. Sometimes there is a so-called circadian distribution of production. This means it may vary during the 24-hour cycle of the day. In other areas it may be on a longer-term basis, such as in the ovaries of the female, where a 28-day cycle tends to occur.

In indifferent health, usually due tosome disease process, the endocrines will produce an altered amount of chemical. There may be either overactivity or underactivity of production. In turn, this will have dire repercussions on the total system. With some, it will dramatically alter the production rate of other hormones or affect general bodily function in startling ways. The most serious cause for these irregularities is when tumours (grave if these are cancerous) commence growing in the glands.

The next gland coming down from the hypothalamus and pituitary is the thyroid. This is situated in the neck at roughly the level of the Adam’s apple. It produces thyroid hormones that in turn exert powerful influences directly on the body. They also affect the other endocrine glands of the system.

Located behind the thyroid gland, and indeed deeply embedded in its back wall, are four small, rounded organs called the parathyroids. These are concerned with calcium and phosphorus metabolism. In this way they radically affect the bones, their rate of growth and general solidarity – a vital factor to normal living.

Sitting on top of the kidneys at the back of the abdominal cavity are the adrenal glands. Each consists of an outer part or cortex, and an inner part or medulla. These two sections produce important hormones. Cortisone comes from the cortex and is well-known for its vital effect on the system. It also produces hormones that affect blood pressure, and the medulla produces adrenaline, essential in giving the body its ability to cope with situations demanding “fight or flight.” The gonads are the major differentiating glands of the sexes, and are commonly called the sex glands. In females they govern the onset of the secondary sexual characteristics, and also control menstruation and the ability to become – and remain – pregnant.

In males, apart from ensuring pubertal development, the testes produce male hormone and the sperms, the male cells of reproduction.

Finally. the pancreas is located in the abdominal cavity, and its main claim to fame is in producing insulin. Deficient supplies produce a disease syndrome called diabetes mellitus, commonly known as sugar diabetes. Unless treated. many cases could quickly end fatally. But treatment can now maintain a person in near-normal health for a good long life. Generally speaking, the study of the endocrines is a very complex one.

Doctors who study this aspect of medicine usually do so in special clinics attached to major hospital units equipped with full facilities to investigate patients. Diagnosis is often difficult. Treatment is no simple matter in most cases. It usually has to be regulated very carefully. The doctors who do this are called endocrinologists. Diabetes too, although often patient-treated, must be under strict medical supervision. but it is one of the few disorders in which the patient is encouraged to take a close part in the actual administration of therapy, such as giving insulin if this is needed. The endocrines are a fascinating study and have attracted some of the best brains in medicine.

As more research is being carried out, more knowledge is being gained. Recent development of sensitive methods for detecting very small quantities of hormones in the blood have been developed. One such method is radioimmunoassay. This is opening vast new areas, for often until the doctors know more about chemical levels in the blood, diagnosis and treatment are delayed.

There are many practical repercussions from all this. For example. infertility (the inability to conceive) is an increasingly common problem in many women after they have taken the oral contraceptive pill for awhile; there are also other unknown reasons. To date treatment had been poor and relatively ineffective. But radioimmunoassay revealed that these women often have a higher-than-normal level of prolactin in their bloodstream. This is a hormone produced by the anterior lobe of the pituitary.

With this knowledge, the doctors have developed a drug called bromocriptine that effectively lowers plasma prolactin levels. The result is that many infertile women may now become pregnant – often within a few months of diagnosis – by taking bromocriptine. This is merely one indication of the value of increased knowledge in this exciting and rewarding field.

It is pointed out that many cases of endocrine disorder give rise to odd symptoms. If any of these are recognised, do not try to treat yourself. Get along to a doctor, who in turn may refer you to an endocrinologist if it appears to be warranted. Here correct diagnosis and treatment will be readily available. Home therapy, as a general rule. has no place in the treatment of endocrine disorders


What is Osteoarthritis?

This occurs in all joints to a greater or lesser extent, and is part of the general degeneration of the body that occurs with advancing years. It commences commonly in the third decade, and is be expected. However, it is when the condition is in excess of the degree of degeneration that would normally expected that it comes into clinical prominence. It is wrapped up with the intrinsic strength of the cartilage of the joint itself, and the way in which it withstands the various biochemical attacks wear and tear, that are made on it.
Some people have an inherited predisposition to the complaint and this is termed “primary ostcoarthrosis.” usually affects many joints, typically the small joints of the fingers. Much more common is “secondary osteoarthrosis,” which follows on from some former injury in life. An accident or injury is a common cause; particularly the fracture has involved the joint. Obesity, through constant excessive trauma to the joints (such as the knees) from excessive weight, can predispose persons to it. Certain congenital disorders can later usher the complaint, as well as endocrine disorders. Or, as one authority succinctly summarises it, “Any factor that cause excessive joint trauma [damage] may lead to secondary osteoarthrosis.” The cartilage lining of the joint tends to soften, fragment and ulcerate as the damage progresses. In an effort to overcome this, nature manufactures new bone around the joint margins. This may have the effect of weakening the mechanics of the joint, increasing the rate of damage and produce greater inefficiency. This may take in any of the affected joints, whether they be in the vertebral column, hands or feet.


Primary osteoarthrosis

This inherited familial disorder that occurs more frequently in women. The ends of the fingers are usually affected and more bony swelling is observed s new bone formation takes place. Cysts filled with thick jellylike may develop. Acute pain may occur when this is taking place, but eventually ceases, and apart from some thickening of the bones of the fingers, there may not be a great deal of discomfort. In some cases there is often considerable deformity, but motion is often not greatly affected.
This may produce local stiffness and discomfort, but if nerve roots are pressed on, neurological symptoms may also be produced. Pain, and altered sensation (tingling, numbness, burning etc) may occur in the areas supplied by the involved nerves.
In the neck (cervical) region, the shoulders and upper limbs may be affected with these altered sensations. In the lower part (lumbar), the roots of the sciatic nerve may be involved and produce sciatic symptoms. Backache is common. If there is a disorder or collapse of the disc located between the vertebrae, then this may aggravate the situation, and accentuate the nerve root pressures.

Secondary osteoarthrosis.

This is the most common form, and is secondary to some form of joint injury. It may involve one or more joints, and this will be dependent on the basic cause. If joints have been injured through fractures, accidents, or past attacks of rheumatoid arthritis (which may have settled down), then these joints will be susceptible to osteoarthrosis and symptoms of the disease.
Weight-bearing tends to produce pain in affected joints, and this may limit walking, disturb sleep and cause irritation during the day. There may be a reduced range of movement of the affected joints, and this may be very important with large joints such as the hip. Morning stiffness, so typical of rheumatoid arthritis, is usually absent, and blood changes are minimum. X-rays show a loss of the normal cartilage and new bone growth. The rheumatoid factor is absent. All these checks help the doctor in arriving at a diagnosis.

Osteoarthritis Treatment

In the overall pattern, treatment is symptomatic. It is essential that the patient understand the basic nature of the disorder, its relation to past incidents and also its relation to age and occupation, past and present. This will help in a sensible attitude, which is essential. The usual types of drugs in the analgesia-anti-inflammatory range as are given for rheumatoid arthritis are frequently tried, and can often reduce pain arid improve the lot of the patient.
In severe cases, particularly if there is considerable pain present, resting the joint in splints may assist. Lumbar corsets that give support are often used. Reduction of weight in the obese helps, although not as much as one would like to think.
Using a walking-stick on the opposite side can bring excellent relief to a hip, and is claimed by some to be the greatest single factor in alleviating discomfort. Surgery has its place, and indeed, a considerable number of very worthwhile operations are now available that can entirely change the picture for patients severely affected. The hip, knee and other joints may be totally replaced with artificial devices, and the relief this gives (particularly in the hip) may be extremely gratifying. Other orthopaedic operations are available, and each has its place. It is essential for the patient to be fully assessed in each case before a decision to operate is made. This is carried out by the orthopaedic surgeon.
A hip replacement in which the head of the thigh bone is replaced by an artificial one, restoring mobility to the patient are popular and the frequency of these operations is advancing each year, and it seems only a matter time before some appliance is available for practically every joint of the body. The outlook generally is often favourable. Weight-bearing joints tend to fare the worst, particularly the hip. Strangely the knee often escapes from excessive disability, which is remarkable, for it is a constant weight-bearer. Generally speaking, it seems that practically every joint is now amenable to some form beneficial therapy.

Water Accidents

In my opinion it should never occur, but unfortunately, each year, a significant number of drownings are reported. They are more common among younger children, more common during holidays, and more likely toward sunset. They may occur at beaches, but with the proliferation of backyard swimming pools in recent years, lots of backyard drownings are occurring. They are more common in private pools than better supervised public ones – this is worth bearing in mind.

Also, it is possible for a child to drown in a few centimetres of water. A fall, leading to temporary stunning with the face. nose and mouth submerged, has led to quite a few fatalities in recent times. Parents should be alerted to these possibilities.

Drowning is more common when the children at play are unsupervised. Stupidity and skylarking with older children has also led to unfortunate accidents. Ideally, an adult should be present when children are using pools, or at the surf. A major no-no are dams in rural places. Even in hot weather, while the upper few centimetres of water may be warm, underneath it is likely to be extremely cold, and this seems to increase the risk of cramps and drowning. Never swim in unknown waterways or where there are chances of hidden debris being just under the surface.

It’s possible for children to become good swimmers in the first year of life. Training must continue, for they often forget after a break. The sooner children learn how to swim and save themselves from a potentially dangerous situation, the better.

Ideally older children and parents should know the basics of artificial resuscitation. Knowing how to initiate breathing, and also how to start a heart beating once more after it has ceased is imperative if you wish to be of maximum help to a person who has suddenly “died” for any reason. Drownings probably head the list with children, but electrocution and other situations may also require this as an emergency measure.