2009.12.23 The odd smell of cigarettes

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

We have the leg cramp situation covered pretty well: toe pointing, nose pinching and Ivory soap.

I asked for assistance with the annoying little splits in the skin on fingers, and I received a few calls on that one, too.

So far I’ve done well to control them this winter. One on the index finger healed with the old Vaseline under a bandage technique. I thought the one on the thumb was on its way out, too, until I was cleaning some stuff out of my nails with a little brush and the bristles ran right into that wound. A painful awakening.

That one is in good shape, too, for now. Sometimes they reopen rather quickly.

After mentioning the problem last week, I first heard from Pete who told me to use ChapStick. Pete works outdoors a lot and he knew what I was talking about. Just rub some ChapStick on the wound and use it to lubricate the ends of your fingers every so often.

I have used ChapStick in the past and it’s probably helped. When I’m away from a Band-Aid, I’ve rubbed a little on the split, but it never lasts long in my job. I soon see the stuff spread across the keyboard. My splits always seem to conflict with typing.

I think an anonymous visitor was next. She said my problems would be over with New Skin. I thought she might have meant Nu Skin and got derailed for a while looking at anti-aging formulas, wrinkle-smoothing products and lotions to make every inch of me feel divine, day and night.

I decided she must be referring to New Skin Liquid Bandage, the product that forms a “tough protective cover that is antiseptic, flexible, waterproof, and lets your skin breathe.” She said you can’t even feel the painful split once it’s covered with this stuff. Something new? No, it’s been around for more than a century.

That sounds good, but then she added this interesting fact: “My daughter just uses Super Glue and that probably works better.”

Super Glue in an open wound? More on that later.

Dee from Fayette told me to get some Watkins Salve. Her mother always used it and it has a long history of success.

But things have changed in the J.R. Watkins line of products. I doubt if J.R. was selling Aloe and Green Tea or Mango flavored salve back in 1868.

It sounds like good stuff, except that I always have trouble pronouncing the word “salve.” I always want to put the “l” in it. Why not just spell it “sav”?

Jean sent an e-mail recommending O’Keeffe’s Working Hands. I like the double letters. This product has been around only about 25 years, a “kitchen-table project” that made it big. 

Sounds like good stuff. Like Watkins, it stays away from the greasy Vaseline or Bag Balm approach.

Then came one more phone call. Mike from Lyons said I need Super Glue. 

“It’s instant relief,” he said. “If doctors use it, it’s got to be safe.”

I’ve been reading a little about this and the reviews are very mixed. Some people say it’s OK. Others point out that doctors use a medically-approved, anti-bacterial version called Dermabond.

Some say it’s all the same; others say Super Glue can cause some irritation and shouldn’t be used on deep wounds. It’s great on a liver where stitches can’t be used and it can avoid the traumatic experience of stitches when your youngster cuts his face.

So what am I going to do? I think I’ll work a little harder on avoiding the need for Super Glue. I’ll keep those digits lubricated better and hope the splits are fewer. I’ll keep an eye open for some O’Keeffe’s and, if necessary, I might invest in some New Skin.

The thing I want to ask about now is the cigarette smoke that I smell now and then. There are no cigarette smokers around here, but every now and then I smell it. Often at home, sometimes at work.

And I’m not the only one. There are several on-line discussion groups about this topic. Never a definite cause or solution, but dozens of statements such as, “I’m so glad I found this site. I thought I was going crazy.”

Super Glue would effectively close off the nostrils, but maybe someone has a better approach.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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