Joseph Severn's letters

The life of John Keats the man: his family, his friends, and his contemporaries.

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Re: Joseph Severn's letters

Postby Cybele » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:55 am

RE: Asthma, Fanny (and cats)
I've wondered about Fanny and asthma -- I can't remember which biography I read about it.

But I've wondered why, if Fanny had asthma when she was younger, John never mentioned it in any letters to her. Also, she had a cat.

Now, not all people with asthma are allergic to cats, but enough of them were/are allergic to kitties that a connection between cats and "wheezy asthma" (See "To Mrs. Reynolds's Cat") was known.

As a wheezer, myself, there's nothing else that can trigger an asthma attack as surely as an encounter with cat dander.
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Re: Joseph Severn's letters

Postby Raphael » Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:05 am

Cybele wrote:RE: Asthma, Fanny (and cats)
I've wondered about Fanny and asthma -- I can't remember which biography I read about it.

But I've wondered why, if Fanny had asthma when she was younger, John never mentioned it in any letters to her. Also, she had a cat.

Now, not all people with asthma are allergic to cats, but enough of them were/are allergic to kitties that a connection between cats and "wheezy asthma" (See "To Mrs. Reynolds's Cat") was known.

As a wheezer, myself, there's nothing else that can trigger an asthma attack as surely as an encounter with cat dander.



I'm really allergic to cats- but oddly not Siamese ones.
I'm not convinced Fanny Brawne had asthma- certainly not when she was younger- there are no indictions for this at all- John would have mentioned it in his letters to her and knowing how much he cared about his friend's health- and given how much he loved Fanny he would have ben concerned for her. Even when he was at his worst sufferings- he was still concerned for others rigth to his last breath.
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: Joseph Severn's letters

Postby Malia » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:42 pm

I have asthma as well--and crazy enough, even though my allergist says I'm "highly allergic" to them, I have two cats. I use an inhaled steroid, allergy shots, and an antihistamine in order to tolerate them. But I'm one of those people who'd do almost anything to keep my cats :) My worst asthma-inducing allergies are to horses and hay, though. Guess I'm not going to marry a rancher any time soon.
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Re: Joseph Severn's letters

Postby Raphael » Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:40 pm

Malia wrote:I have asthma as well--and crazy enough, even though my allergist says I'm "highly allergic" to them, I have two cats. I use an inhaled steroid, allergy shots, and an antihistamine in order to tolerate them. But I'm one of those people who'd do almost anything to keep my cats :) My worst asthma-inducing allergies are to horses and hay, though. Guess I'm not going to marry a rancher any time soon.


I know you love your cats Malia, but I'd rather not have animals I'm allergic to and have to take steriods. The meds won't be good for you in the long run.Even taking antihistimines I could not be around them- they not only make me sneeze, my eyes swell up but inflames my eczema to boiling point- dogs do the same. I don't like taking antihistimines- but I'm too itchy without them- I'm researching and researching a (natural) cure so I won't have to take them long term. The doctors tell me they are safe but I'm not so sure. I'm hoping the homeopathy will work- I'm waiting on the tablets. I cannot visit friends who have cats and dogs because of it, so I hardly see them now- I think they must be offended or something because they never come here. I cannot help being allergic can I? I don't think they realise how serious it is. I'm not a cat person but I love dogs so that makes me sad I cannot be around them and pet them.
I had no allergy to cats and dogs until my 20s.Coincided with getting eczema- has to be a link.I will tell the allergy tester this when I see her. It seems allergies are a bigger problem now than in the 1800s- probably due to all the chemicals we are exposed to now- putting our natural bodily systems out of synch.
I couldn't live on a farm either- I did once ( in a Camphill community) and on a riding trip I had such an allergic reaction to the horses- eyes blew up, wheezing and sneezing the doctor had to be called out to give me an antihistimine injection. And yes, I also love horses and wasn't allergic to them when younger.Luckily I'm not allergic to rabbits and rodents which I love- so if I visit anyone with them I can pet them to my heart's content!
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: Joseph Severn's letters

Postby Cybele » Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:47 pm

Alas, even tho' I very much like cats, I'm so allergic to them I can't sit next to a cat owner & can't visit homes where one lives for more than a few minutes. Let me tell ya', this has put a real cramp in my social life! :( And I have less trouble with Siamese cats, too. -- There must be something just a teeny-bit different in their saliva that makes it less problematic.

I must be content with "To Mrs Reynolds's Cat." IMO, it's a sweet piece of light verse.
(Besides the cat, I would have loved to meet the Reynolds family, too. :) )
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Re: Joseph Severn's letters

Postby Malia » Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:15 pm

Raphael wrote:I had no allergy to cats and dogs until my 20s.Coincided with getting eczema- has to be a link.I will tell the allergy tester this when I see her. It seems allergies are a bigger problem now than in the 1800s- probably due to all the chemicals we are exposed to now- putting our natural bodily systems out of synch.


One of the big theories about the increase in incidences of allergies is that our society is too clean. We never really develop defenses to everyday irritants like pet dander. This could also explain all the food allergies. Studies have shown that children who grow up on farms and other areas that aren't *ultra* clean, have fewer allergies.
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Re: Joseph Severn's letters

Postby Raphael » Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:14 pm

Cybele wrote:Alas, even tho' I very much like cats, I'm so allergic to them I can't sit next to a cat owner & can't visit homes where one lives for more than a few minutes. Let me tell ya', this has put a real cramp in my social life! :( And I have less trouble with Siamese cats, too. -- There must be something just a teeny-bit different in their saliva that makes it less problematic.

I must be content with "To Mrs Reynolds's Cat." IMO, it's a sweet piece of light verse.
(Besides the cat, I would have loved to meet the Reynolds family, too. :) )



I read it's the proteins in the animal fur that causes the allergy- maybe Siamese ones have a different kind of protein. I just know what when I've been to a male friend's house and his Siamese cats sit on my lap I don't sneeze nor to my eyes run.But his friend who stayed once was so allergic to them he had to take the cats to his girlfriend's flat.


One of the big theories about the increase in incidences of allergies is that our society is too clean. We never really develop defenses to everyday irritants like pet dander. This could also explain all the food allergies. Studies have shown that children who grow up on farms and other areas that aren't *ultra* clean, have fewer allergies.


It might yes...but I think all the chemicals in these cleaning products are the main problem- thney knock the body out of synch and toxify it. I only use eco washing up liquid and essential oils to clean with.
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: Joseph Severn's letters

Postby Malia » Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:48 am

Raphael, I'm with you on the cleaning supplies. I use water, non-chlorine bleach, baking soda and vinegar to clean. And I use a "green" dish liquid that is phosphate free.
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Re: Joseph Severn's letters

Postby Raphael » Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:32 pm

Malia wrote:Raphael, I'm with you on the cleaning supplies. I use water, non-chlorine bleach, baking soda and vinegar to clean. And I use a "green" dish liquid that is phosphate free.


The sorts of things Fanny and her family would have used. :D Essential oils are good too- some have antibacterial properties and they smell nice!
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: Joseph Severn's letters

Postby Cybele » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:44 pm

Raphael wrote:
Malia wrote:Raphael, I'm with you on the cleaning supplies. I use water, non-chlorine bleach, baking soda and vinegar to clean. And I use a "green" dish liquid that is phosphate free.


The sorts of things Fanny and her family would have used. :D Essential oils are good too- some have antibacterial properties and they smell nice!


Since I'm allergic to so many things I *have to* stick with natural cleaning supplies. -- They have a not often mentioned bonus: They're cheap! Vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil, even salt. (And I love the smell of vinegar.)

It's a protein not in the fur, but in a cat's saliva that is the potent allergen. Of course, that saliva goes on the fur which is guaranteed to stick to every article of clothing and piece of upholstered furniture you own. :lol:
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Re: Joseph Severn's letters

Postby Raphael » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:20 pm

Since I'm allergic to so many things I *have to* stick with natural cleaning supplies. -- They have a not often mentioned bonus: They're cheap! Vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil, even salt. (And I love the smell of vinegar.)


True- they are cheap! I too use tea Tree- it's £1.99 a bottle and lasts ages! Yet, many people think using "green" cleaning stuff is more expensive!


It's a protein not in the fur, but in a cat's saliva that is the potent allergen.


Oh, I thought it was the protein in the fur! Wel, that must also go for dogs- their big wet noses on my hands must stay off then!
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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