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I died 10 years ago, but the press didn’t get the story.

September 10, 2010

I read today a piece of research in Denmark in which they followed a group of folk who, previously healthy, started to takes NSAIDs like ibuprofen.  Seems that straight ibuprofen increases your risk of stroke by 30%, while diclofenac (voltarol) comes in at an 86% increase!  I used to chew these like sweeties and it seems I should have died some time ago. 

I really worry about:

1. The effects of the different medications and their interactions on folks’ health, particularly those children who are still in their developmental stage.

2. The wish of everybody to live in a total risk-free society; stuff like kids mustn’t go on school trips, they can’t use a lathe in schools.

.. but how to reconcile these two contradictory positions is the problem.

Frankly, I was subjected to some really high risk activities in my schooling, but I knew of nobody killed or even injured.

Is this just the effect of the media on peoples’perception of risk? One child in 10 million at school is killed and it’s all over the press. It’s a tragedy for the family and those who knew and loved the child, but the other 9,999,999 now cannot go on a skiing trip or a canoeing expedition. Cumulatively we are producing a generation who have not been stretched or given the chance of broadening experiences that all preceeding generations have had, what might be the effect of that?

I can recall many elderly folk  on my patch, when I worked, who lived in fear because somebody had broken into an old person’s flat. They had read it in the papers (Quote “We didn’t read this in the papers when I was younger” – which can be read two ways!) and were now frightened to answer the door. The incident having occurred 300 miles away did nothing to calm their fears. Was this incident an example of our society crumbling as a result of the rising lack of respect for elderly people, as seemed to be their interpretation, or was it that communication now is so fast and so omnipresent that this story made it to the dailies, when it wouldn’t have done 20 or 30 years ago – when it may be that the prevalence of this sort of crime was higher? I don’t know the answer, do you?

Yes, I want medications to be there when my granddaughter is ill. I want it to work wonders and to have no side effects. But I also want her to climb trees and take a  gap year working with the less privileged. But I know there would be risks both ways. Nothing is perfect. If I die on an operating table at some time in the future, I hope that my family will not institute a claim against the surgeon. I’m sure she will have done her best; and the fact that the knife found a blood vessel not normally where one would run and I died is no measure of negligence, it’s just “one of those things”.  Life is risky and folk are human and make mistakes. There is no point hounding that surgeon so that she declines to do that operation ever again and thus 2o people die when that operation could have saved them.

And I reckon a teacher who loses a child on a school trip feels bad enough anyway so doesn’t need pillorying and chasing out of a job. Keep him or her, I say! You’ll never have a better leader for groups after they have had that experience.

Well, I have ranted on enough. Any chance of an audition for Grumpy Old Men?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2010 1:07 am

    Ian, I loved that rant:) I agree with you…completely! In fact we are reducing the life in the lives of our children when we try to give them a risk-free life.

    When I was a kid, I used to walk 4 kilometers to my school and back. I used to collect berries and my friends and I would often take a short detour, and see new things…and then there were some elders we used to meet on our way home, who we’d talk to – and we learned how to interact with people.

    Now we are worried about how an 8 year old will reach a school that’s a kilometer away from home and so the school van picks him up. So the child grows up without interacting with the “normal” society (other than people from their schools or his/her family.)

    Without Risk, you can’t expect Returns. You are right – we are rearing a generation that hasn’t had the benefits that we had…and this might impact their ability to handle stress in their later years.

    Thanks for this thought-provoking post.

    Warm Regards,

  2. opoetoo permalink
    September 11, 2010 1:28 am

    Everything is blown out of proportion these days and everyone is a victim.

    great post!

  3. September 11, 2010 8:29 am

    I fell out of trees, walked on railway bridges and did all sorts of high risk things. To some degree, so did my daughter.
    But I also had 3 peers die in the space of 6 months when I was 16, which changed my perception of things a bit. I knew we weren’t immortal but it simply made life that bit sweeter.

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