Just how frail are you?

  • Here’s a REALLY good reason why you should do everything to strengthen your eyes
  • The swear word that could help your eyesight
  • Laughter really is the best medicine

My mother-in-law is 89 years old and a very independent and capable woman.

I tell you this because I need to make it clear that she is a fit and healthy woman who is coping extremely well with the lockdown and the changes to her routines.

On a Zoom call with her over the weekend (she’s also fully in to tech too!) she was explaining how angry she was about an article in her Daily Mail.

Apparently the medical records of everyone over the age of 65 have been interrogated by a computer and a rating of fit, mildly frail or severely frail has been added.

Having read this she was determined to approach her surgery and find out what category she was in.

Yesterday she found out that she was in the severely frail category… I think someone may regret this.

For once I am not in danger of suffering under her death stare…

…but the reason given for her being in this category was that she has mild asthma, a lifelong low blood pressure and a few years ago had a problem that required an operation.

I need to be careful with how I describe it and if you are of a nervous disposition, I suggest you turn away now…

Or at least scroll down to the next page.

Because what I’m about to tell you almost made me faint when I heard it.

Okay, maybe I’m NOT the world’s toughest man.

Even someone cracking their knuckles can make me feel a little queasy.

But this is 1000 times worse than that. And it involves my all time ‘notforthesqueamishfavourite’… the eye.

Here’s a REALLY good reason why you should do everything to strengthen your eyes

I’m someone who’s never worn contact lenses because the thought of sticking a finger in my eye to put them in leaves me cold.

But that’s nothing compared to what happened to my mother-in-law…

She had to undergo an operation to repair a tear at the back of her eye.

This tear had filled with fluid, so first off the doctor had to…

[WARNING: this is where it gets gruesome]

Okay, the doctor had to stick a needle in her eye WHILE SHE WAS STILL AWAKE and drain the fluid out.

Then her eye was operated on to mend the tear.

She had a 10 day recovery in hospital and came out with no loss to her vision and no ill effects from the procedure or aftercare.

But this fact was used in the determination of her health.

Apparently the NHS classes eye problems as a significant issue and perceives any ‘failure’ as a totem of frailty.

At her last eye check (albeit over a year ago in the pre-COVID world) her eyesight was perfectly OK for day to day living and she needs only mild prescription glasses for reading.

Maybe you should check what category the NHS has you in too.

Especially if you have ever had a problem with your eyesight.

The terrible eye stories continue

For some strange reason I seem to be followed by people who have had gruesome experiences with their eyes.

Did I ever tell you about my friend Sid who lost a contact lens down the back of his eye?) proved to me, yet again, that doing everything you can to look after and strengthen your eyes is one of the most important things you can do.

But rather than list the problems that make me squeamish I think I should offer some brilliant natural remedies to keep your eyes healthy:

The swear word that could help your eyesight

  • Rooibos – this herb can only be found naturally on the slopes of the Cedarberg mountains in the Western Cape of South Africa.

Rooibos has powerful anti-oxidant properties, mainly due to an ingredient called superoxide dismutase.

Or SOD for short. (Okay, it’s not really a swear word by today’s standards, but I was brought up in an age where a loose ‘blimey’ would get you a clip round the ear).

SOD is an enzyme in the body that has one sole purpose – to locate and snuff out unstable oxygen molecules (free radicals).

And free radicals are determined to damage every part of your body – including your eyes.

It’s like having The Terminator on your side, helping you track down and exterminate the enemy!

We have our own [high powered anti-oxidant in a tea] and you can now get it either loose leaf or in tea bags. https://www.thegoodlifeletter.co.uk/kosabei-tea/

  • Bilberry… ah yes, one of my old favourites gets another mention, but it’s well deserved.

Bilberry contains a certain flavonoid compound called anthocyanosides, which run around repairing cell damage caused by free radicals. But it doesn’t just patch things up after the event…

Bilberry has the power to build up the tiny blood vessels that run through the eye, which in turn helps get essential oxygen and nutrients into the area. This helps prevent diseases of the retina, eye haemorrhaging, cataracts and glaucoma – two very common eye disorders in older people.

Lastly, whenever I mention bilberries I often get emails asking if bilberries are blueberries. Unfortunately they are very different species despite looking similar.

Bilberries are a wild European species that are almost impossible to cultivate and have a red flesh – blueberries are a cultivated crop from America (in particular) with a green/yellow flesh.

  • Cancer Bush – this was originally used by the Khoi San and Nama peoples of South Africa as a treatment for cancers.

But recently it’s been found to help in the fight against other ailments including diabetes, thanks to three active ingredients – canavanine, pinitol, and the amino acid GABA. Farm workers in South Africa still use cancer bush (also known as Sutherlandia) to treat eye problems, by creating an eye wash using the plant.

And finally…

Laughter really is the best medicine

You know the best thing about visiting someone or at least seeing them over technology…

It’s the laughter.

Research shows that a good laugh can ease pain, boost your immune system, and even help treat serious illness such as cancer, by increasing a powerful immune cell called a natural killer cell, which directly attack tumours.

Best of all, you don’t have to do much to enjoy this natural medicine…

Just put on a favourite comedy DVD and enjoy it.

Or in my family’s case, tell me a story about eyes and needles and laugh as I faint headfirst into my dinner!