Posts by Heather from Auckland

  • Hard News: Getting to the bottom of…, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Interesting piece. Bits I liked:

    about 230,000 of whom produce products for Apple, the others assembling for Dell, HP, just about every electronics company in fact

    Exactly. If you’re gonna do a boycott you might as well do it properly and give up all your gadgets. Back to pen and paper and licking the back of stamps.

    As I understand it, Apple is signficantly worse than Dell, HP etc. I base that on this report [pdf] by Chinese NGO the Institute of Public and Environmental affairs.

    They looked at both the openness of these Western IT companies to investigation and their responsiveness to reports of environmental violations by their suppliers. Their investigation found that Apple was the most secretive and had the worst records on both environmental violations and worker safety of all the companies examined.

    Incidentally, in this context, “environmental” violations can be just as harmful to human health as their worker safety violations – it’s just that in that case they are causing the injury and even death of people who don’t even have the kind of good jobs you can get at Foxconn. It’s too long for a comment here, but I put a story from their report up at my own blog a while back. It’s about a group of peasant farmers who were pleading with the researchers to help them as their people are dying from drinking poisoned water.

    I’m excited that Apple has published a list of their suppliers, as it’ll make it easier for such Chinese (and foreign) NGOs to hold Apple to account. I feel like change is finally in the wind, and that hopefully soon there will be better options available to these people.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Something Chronic,

    Rosie, I don't know where in NZ you are, but three GPs in Auckland who are sympathetic to CFS and familiar with WINZ are:

    Dr. Siobhan Latham
    Avondale Health Centre
    39 Layard Street
    (cnr St Jude St)
    Avondale
    PO Box 19-109
    Auckland
    Phone:
    (09) 828 2066

    Dr. Roger Parr
    Mt. Wellington Medical Centre
    Phone (09) 579 6953
    350 Ellerslie Panmure Highway
    Mt Wellington
    Auckland 1060

    Dr. Ros Vallings
    Howick Health and Medical Centre
    108 Ridge Rd
    Howick.
    Ph 534 3978
    Fax 5373672

    I have seen each of these doctors at diffent times in the last seven years when I've lived in different parts of the city.

    Also, if you want to contact Women's Refuge, they have a thing on their website where it makes it that no one can see that you've been there when they check your computer's browsing history.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Something Chronic,

    @ Cecelia

    I'm sure you'd want to, but the price would almost certainly be starvation (as in, dying), for you and your whole family if you did.

    I'm not being melodramatic. Due to my CFS, I spend many hours every day flat on my back listening to the BBC world service radio. I keep a wee tally of 'if I lived there I'd be dead', and it's a rather long list.

    Just a few weeks ago I was crying (literally) over the story of an Indian woman who died before the interview with her went to air, simply because she had had no sons. She died at the age of 50-something, because she no longer had the strength to grow her own food. Her husband was already dead (can't remember what of, but I think it may of been starvation), and her only other family were two adult married daughters. They had done what they could for her, but they each lived half a day's walk away (as in, a visit home to mum meant giving up an entire day's productivity, when they were on the edge of subsistence), and anyway, their primary responsibility was to care for their respective parents-in-law, who were also now too old to manage in the fields. Should they have shirked that responsibility, all it would change is which set of parents got to live beyond their productive years and which didn't. In that subsistence economy, he (or she) who doesn't (or can't) work, doesn't eat. That's why they have so many children in developing countries, and why there is such a strong preference for sons in the highly patriachal ones.

    If I was one of that woman's daughters then:

    a. my mother couldn't feed me - heck, she couldn't even feed herself;
    b. if my husband and children tried to feed me, wash me, toilet me etc. then they would be losing a worker for quite a few hours every day, and in return getting another hungry mouth. Soon those who were working would become less productive due to malnourishment, making them more malnourished, making them less productive etc. The only way out of that would be for me to voluntarily starve myself, for them to find some aid workers or missionaries or something to abandon me to in the hope they would take me in, or for us all to die. I have heard stories of all three scenarios on the BBC world service radio, happening today in other countries. The one that breaks my heart the worst is the middle one - people who abandon and disown family members as an act of great love for those family members and for the remaining members of the family.

    It's a harsh world out there...

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Something Chronic,

    This is super-late, but I just came across Peter's comments about CFS being a recent disease, and therefore as a result of recent lifestyle changes (as in sedentary-ness).

    I think it's as a result of quite a different lifestyle change: wealth.

    Once upon a time we didn't have diseases of aging, like Alzheimers, as no one got to live to be old.

    Once upon a time people like myself wouldn't even have been born: my mum had polio in childhood, and then my older brother was a forceps delivery. Even today, in much of the world, she would have died of each of those (I know you can't die twice...).

    And, in most of the world even today, I wouldn't have had CFS for 7 1/2 years, because I would have died years ago.

    To stay *alive* I *need* someone else to procure and cook almost all my food or I will starve. I *need* someone to shower me and take me to the toilet (or provide various pieces of equipment to enable me to do these myself) or I will die of the diseases that go with poor sanitation. Pre-industrial revolution in the West, you would have had to be aristocracy to have the kind of wealth to purchase that level of service. And today in much of the majority world that's still the case.

    Yuppie flu? Only in that you have to practically be a yuppy not to die of it.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Something Chronic,

    Anyone with CFS who'd like some sound info and support might like to get in touch with the national support society, ANZMES. Ros Vallings, who several here have mentioned finding helpful, is heavily involved with them. I wrote a thing about the ways I've found them helpful here. I've had CFS for 7.5 years now, and a friend has recently put together an archive of my writings to date on the topic here. Sorry to link to my own stuff, but I'm too knackered to say any of it again right now!

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 5 posts Report Reply