Chronic Disease Management

At Atticus Health Carrum, we are one of the lucky few clinics to have a permanent on-site Chronic Disease Nurse. Most clinics either do not provide this service or their nurse is not permanent. At Atticus Health, it is important to us to be able to provide our patients with vital health care services, to ensure we are a comprehensive health care facility.

Chronic diseases do not discriminate.  They can affect anyone, therefore it is essential to prevent chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, with a prevention strategy, through education and understanding. Unfortunately chronic disease is one of the things many people think “Oh but, it will never happen to me”. Therefore we tend not to take important measures to prevent ourselves from developing a chronic disease. chronic diseases do not discriminate, it can happen to absolutely anyone, therefore it is essential that we educate ourselves to understand what we can do ourselves to prevent the possibility of us and our loved ones developing these diseases.

More than 1 in 3 of potentially preventable hospitalisations in 2013-14 were due to chronic disease.

What is Chronic Disease?

A chronic medical condition is one that has been (or is likely to be) present for six months or longer, for example, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions and stroke.

Chronic diseases are long lasting conditions with persistent effects. Their social and economic consequences can impact on people’s quality of life. Chronic diseases are becoming increasingly common and are a priority for action in the health sector. AIHW commonly reports on 8 major groups: arthritisasthmaback paincancercardiovascular diseasechronic obstructive pulmonary diseasediabetes and mental health conditions.

What our Chronic Disease Nurse does:

Our warm, welcoming and highly experienced nurse, Beatrice, works on management and care plans going forward once a chronic disease has been diagnosed. As well as assisting in educating patients to prevent chronic disease before it develops, and anticipating those who may be more susceptible to developing a chronic disease, she can also initiate a management care plan. Beatrice works with 40-49 year olds, as well as those over 75.

Ensure you give yourself, and your loved ones, the best chance to prevent and manage chronic disease, by coming to see Beatrice in our Carrum GP clinics.

 

Find some helpful links below for further information

Diabetes, heart disease and stroke organisations

Healthy eating information

Walking

Other useful sites

Environmental Health

At Atticus Health we are focused on providing all of our patients with a full and comprehensive health care, which includes environmental health.

What is Environmental Health?

Environmental health involves those aspects of public health influenced by the factors, circumstances, and conditions in the environment or surroundings of humans that can exert an influence on health and well-being. Environmental health provides the basis of public health

Environmental health addresses all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related factors that can potentially affect health. It is targeted towards preventing disease and creating health-supportive environments. This definition excludes behaviour not related to environment, as well as behaviour related to the social and cultural environment, and genetics.

Smog/Pollution Levels in air

A classic example of how the environment impacts our health is smog/ pollution levels in the air.  Luckily for the most part, Australia remains a pretty clean place.  But, if we don’t care – it will change.  We don’t need to be fearful, however it is important that we all do our part, and put in place strategies that are in our control to assist in improving our environmental health.These changes need to be put into effect now rather than in 50 years.  In some countries, you can get extremely sick if you don’t use a mask over your nose & mouth outside.  Not to mention, that you can’t even see very far at all because of the smog.  So, you don’t have to be a tree hugger to see that the problem is REAL.

The website linked below can assist you in tracking the level of air pollution around the world.

https://waqi.info/

Tree Planting

A beautiful and simple way of improving air quality, is planting trees.

For millions of years trees have been critical in maintaining safe levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide on our planet. Trees are the world’s single largest source of breathable oxygen and play a vital role in addressing climate change. They filter air and provide oxygen, conserve soil and water, prevent desertification and protect and stabilise ground cover.

Native trees also assist our agricultural areas to be more sustainable, prevent salinity and soil erosion, provide shade, shelter, food and habitat to native animals. They provide sources of timber for fuel, wood, food, fodder, essential oils, gums, resins and latex, medicines and shade. In other words, the importance of trees can’t be understated.

At our Hastings clinic we were very aware of the need to support environmental health factors from conception. We planted native trees throughout the flowerbeds that surround the clinic. Some of Floyd’s favourite trees planted there are Eucalyptus gungurru, Eucalyptus woodwardii, Eucalyptus sideroxylon (ironbark), Eucalyptus ficifolia (flowering gum), Brachychiton (Illawarra flame tree), Banksia Integrifolia (coastal banksia)

 

As well as this Atticus Health actively avoids the use of paper, where possible in our clinics and gravitate towards a paperless system.

How can you improve your environmental health?

Everyone’s lifestyle is different and complex, so you need to establish what steps work for you. Based on your needs, consumption, free-time and capabilities. The same solution isn’t always going to be applicable for everyone, however. Below are some common suggestions that people feel are relatively easy swaps and changes to make. Figure out which ones suit you and go from there, baby steps. To help improve environmental health, “we don’t need a handful of people doing it perfectly, we need the whole world doing it imperfectly”.

You can assist in improving your own environmental health by selecting products with minimal waste, picking up waste you see when out in nature and recycling/disposing of it appropriately, bulk buying, getting involved with environmental charities by donating or volunteering, choosing locally produced produce, even purchasing products from companies that care about the what the materials are in your products, where they come from and how to dispose of them – https://www.biome.com.au/ is a website from which you can make more environmentally everyday purchases to assist in improving overall environmental health. Here are a few more things you can read about improving your environmental health.

You can purchase a bracelet from 4Ocean, a charity that pulls a pound of plastic from the ocean for every purchase, read more about it here.

You can also plant trees in your own home, or if you don’t have a garden there are several charities you can donate money to, to plant trees to improve Australia’s air quality. Here is a link to a charity you can donate money to plant trees to help improve environmental health.

Is There a Magic Energy Pill, Doc?

Is There a Magic Energy Pill Doc?

Not too long ago I was asked by a nurse, “I’m feeling tired all the time Floyd, is there a pill I can take that’ll help me?” I pondered this.

There are many medical causes of “fatigue”.  Yet, often times no medical cause is found.  The conclusions I discuss below are relevant to that scenario.  If you’re excessively tired, then it may well be worthwhile seeing your Doctor to check if there’s something medical at play, or whether it’s a symptom of mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.  However, if nothing comes up, then consider these contributions to boost your energy.

 

The first thing I’m going to say is that most of these things are to do with your mind.  A well geared mind does increase energy – that’s my finding.  So these are a few tips to increase your mental energy, which generally flows on to increased physical energy.

 

  1. Let go of being defensive. This can be tough.  Being defensive comes naturally as a response at times.  But, it can really eat people up during the day.  Being defensive at work, on the road, with family.  Man, that’s tiring.  Observe what people say or do, and see if you can look beyond being defensive to look at the facts, and simply choose an appropriate response, without the emotional storm of “defensiveness” coming into play.  Move on.  Change if you have to.  Or, assert your case (which is different to an emotional backlash).  Don’t let your heart rate get too fast, or teeth start to clench.  Relax, judge things on their merits and keep moving.

 

  1. Treat people around you as your equal. There is a rise of tribalism out there. I’ve read about it, I’ve heard about it, I’ve seen it.  The question is – who is your tribe?  Your family, your sports team? Your state, your country, your religion, your ethnicity, rich people, poor people, well dressed people, humbly dressed people?  When you look at people around you – on the street, on a bus, have fun with the notion of tribe, for sure.  But don’t take it too seriously.  If you can walk around during your day and see yourself in the eyes of another, on the bus, at that café, and it brings a smile to your face, which you share – a genuine moment – that exchange will in itself increase your energy, as your very being reminds you that that’s true – your real tribe is humanity and to go further – life itself.  That’s reality.  Promoting equality then, although at first an idea that may sound requiring of effort, is natural for your soul, and the practice of it – finding similarities in everyone around you, and seeing yourself in the eyes of another – will not only make your day degrees more enjoyable, it WILL increase your energy.  Likely, if we all do this, it will raise the collective energy level of our society.

 

  1. Perhaps a more obvious thing to say.  If you have a purpose, you’ll generally have more energy.  Connect with the things which you’re doing in the present, be it your job or family or any other pursuit.  That true connection and alignment with your having and being, will give you a drive you wouldn’t exist otherwise.  Think about what’s important to you and spend your time doing that thing.  Find purpose.

 

  1. Realise your fears and work to minimise them. A long time ago I read Napolean Hill’s famous book (or at least listened to the audiobook) – Think, and Grow Rich.  The title’s a bit harsh or greedy sounding, but the basic lesson is valid.  Your ultimate success or fate, hinges on your ability to carry through your belief and will.  Along the way, the book implores the reader to recognise their own fears, face them, and resolve to minimise them.  These fears are:
    • The fear of death
    • The fear of ill health
    • The fear of criticism
    • The fear of poverty
    • Fear of old age
    • Fear of loss of love

Now it’s rather tough for me to comment on all of them, even the importance of them.  But I think one thing is true.  Fear does sap energy.  Fear and worry.  Worry leading to procrastination and mental baggage of all sorts, reflecting indecision in the minds of people.  If you can keep deciding things during your day to “clear your head”, rather than leave things on a to do pile, and indeed, avoid basing your decisions on any particular fear – you’ll have more energy at the end of the day – for sure.

So there you have it.  I hope I haven’t sounded condescending or flippant.  And again, if you’re unduly tired, it may well be worthwhile seeing your doctor, to be sure.  However, the fact remains there – often your state of mind either increases your energy level, or robs it.  May this little article help your personal energy level rise!

CPR Training

Recently a lot of our Atticus team took part in a CPR course in order to advance the corporate health, all of whom found the knowledge extremely beneficial. This training is crucial for our environment, however we encourage everyone and anyone to take the time to participate in a CPR or first-aid course.
Here is a link to Australian courses https://resus.org.au/courses/

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a first-aid technique that can be used if someone is not breathing properly or if their heart has stopped.

CPR involves chest compression’s and rescue breaths that help circulate blood and oxygen in the body. This can help keep the brain and vital organs alive.

If someone is not responding to you after an accident, injury, collapse, envenomation (bites and stings) or poisoning, and is not breathing normally (gasping is not normal breathing) then:

  • Ensure you are not in danger then call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.
  • If calling triple zero (000) does not work on your mobile then try calling 112. This number is only for mobile phones.
  • Airway – check airway is clear. Remove any obvious obstruction to the mouth or nose such as vomit, blood, food or loose teeth, and gently tilt head back and lift chin (except babies).
  • Breathing – check if the person is breathing normally or not at all. If the person is breathing normally place them in the recovery position and wait for help. The recovery position helps to keep the unconscious person’s airway clear. By positioning the person on their side, with their arms and upper leg at a right angle to their body and the head gently tilted back and the chin lifted up, any saliva or vomit can drain out of their mouth and will help to ensure that the airway is open. If they are not breathing normally then start CPR.
  • CPR – If the person is not breathing normally, start CPR. Put the heel of one hand in the centre of the chest, then put the heel of your other hand directly on top of the first hand. Keeping your arms straight, push down hard and fast 30 times (almost two compression’s per second). You need to push down one third of the chest depth. When you have pushed down 30 times, take a deep breath, block the person’s nose and seal your lips around their mouth. Blow into the patient’s mouth until you see their chest rise. Repeat this twice, then start another 30 chest compression’s and repeat.Even if you do not breathe into the person’s mouth, continue the chest compression’s. Giving compression’s only is better than doing nothing at all. Do not give up until help arrives.

If you have not been trained in CPR or are worried about giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a stranger, you can do chest compression-only (or hands-only) CPR.

Chest compression’s are the most important part of CPR. Start chest compression’s as soon as possible after calling for help.

To carry out chest compression’s on an adult:

  1. Place the heel of your hand on the breastbone at the centre of the person’s chest. Place your other hand on top of your first hand and interlock your fingers.
  2. Using your body weight (not just your arms), press straight down on their chest, by one-third of the chest depth.
  3. Repeat this until help arrives or the person recovers.

Try to give 100 to 120 chest compression’s per minute.

Chest compression’s with rescue breaths

If you are on your own, then do 30 chest compression’s (almost two compression’s per second) followed by two rescue breaths and repeat.

To give a rescue breath:

  1. Open the airway by tilting the head and lifting the chin.
  2. Pinch the soft part of the nose closed with your index finger and thumb, or seal the nose with your cheek.
  3. Open the patient’s mouth.
  4. Take a breath and place your lips over the patient’s mouth, ensuring a good seal.
  5. Blow steadily for about 1 second, watching for the chest to rise. Then listen and feel for signs that air is being expelled.
  6. Take another breath and repeat.

 

Information retrieved from the following sources:
https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/cpr

The ARC Guidelines


https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/how-to-perform-cpr

The information above provides guidance only, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice. We recommend you attend a first-aid or CPR training course. It pays to have first aid skills because they can’t be learned in an emergency situation.

The River’s Mouth – No Strings Attached

No strings attached

I’m no good at meditation.  Every time someone has ever told me to focus on my breathing, I feel like I’m about to suffocate.  But, I very much value stillness and corresponding silence.  Here’s why.

As I’ve experienced life so far, it would appear that most of what’s happened to me has been conditional.  If I do this, that happens, if I’m “good” this happens, if I’m “bad” this happens.  And therefore, I’m “valid” provided I do these things.  That I’m deemed a success by a social mirror.  However, what would happen if I lost everything? What would happen if I became homeless, went “mad”.  Am I as “valid”?  And this seems to be the conundrum – that my view and acceptance of myself is conditional on my external ‘success’ as the world would have it.  I think social media and perhaps the media in general has a role to play, to bolster this.  I walk on eggshells every day.

But really?

In an ideal world we would all feel equally “validated”.  And, in sitting still, in silence, perhaps attuned to nature, we might get a glimpse of this.  Scary at first, peaceful if attained.  And that peace is a feeling that comes from something unconditional. After all, you sit there, in the present, doing nothing – yet feeling “valid”, that is – unconditionally loved.  Waves don’t care whether you’ve been good or bad, cool or uncool.  They simple keep splashing.

I think that life being conditional, though practical at times I admit and accept, does put lots of pressure on many of us.  We walk around feeling stressed in groups without that drink, we feel stressed at work.  Why?  Because we know that we’re being judged.  And basically – we hold that fear of the consequence of “stuffing up”.  I must say, if we put less conditions on each other, if we were all just that little bit less judgemental in effect, I wonder if that would help decrease a collective anxiety and indeed, increase a collective sense of unconditional love.  Far fetched – perhaps.  Yet able to be practised in little ways – for sure.

Now I’ll throw a curve ball out here and say that there is a famous school of psychology – logotherapy, pioneered by Dr Viktor Frankl.  The basis of this theory is that we all feel a sense of anxiety and or depression if we fail to capture an individual “goal” to our life, and by corollary that our internal tension, if channelled to a worthy meaningful goal, ultimately leads to our happiness.  I think this does hold true for many people who find a cause to motivate them.  Yet still, if that all falls apart for some reason, and indeed if you never pursue something “grand” – that’s fine, if you ask me.  I believe that each one of us should be free to sense that peace and calmness which comes from sitting still in silence as we reconnect with the truth that we are in fact all valid and unconditionally loved for simply existing and being a part of life.

The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival – Jindivick

The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

The most recent Melbourne Wine & Food Festival was held in Jindivick recently. At Atticus GP clinics we believe that diet and exercise are the mainstays of good health, having more home cooked food than takeaways, ensuring you are eating enough nutrients and getting enough exercise for your physical and mental health. This is why we were very proud to host a significant portion of this event on the future site of our new Jindivick clinic! We were so delighted to attend and get to meet some of the wonderful people in the local community. Floyd even got to meet Matt Moran! Matt Moran is an Australian celebrity chef and restaurateur. Some of our amazing team that attended this event was Floyd, Clare and Toria!

The Village Feast

Funds raised by this event was donated to the Gippsland Emergence Relief Fund. It was the perfect day of fun, located an hour outside of Melbourne in the lovely and tiny town of Jindivick. It was a great day for families and groups to attend and make a day of it.

Multiple local pop-up stalls lined the streets offering exceptional food, drink and produce for purchase. All of which was complemented by entertainment! Including a town fair for kids, competitions and live music.

The stalls in attendance were as follows:

The Café – Matt Moran x Jindi Caf collaboration
The Green Grocer – Shannon Martinez, Smith & Daughters and Smith & Deli
George Calombaris on the Main Stage – judging the CWA competitions at 3pm
The Chinese Restaurant – Victor Liong, Lee Ho Fook
The Butcher – Troy Wheeler, Meatsmith
The Pub – The Lincoln and Sailors Grave Brewing
The Deli and Smokehouse– Trevor Perkins, Hogget Kitchen
The Dispensary – Loch Brewery & Distillery and Bad Frankie
The Bottle Shop and Wine Bar – Blackhearts & Sparrows
The Weekly Times Milk Bar – Gippsland Jersey
The Lolly Shop – Jacican
The Bakery – Tamsin’s Table Cake Shop
Pat and Bill’s Bar – Patrick Sullivan, William Downie and David Moyle (Longsong)
Produce Market – stallholders from across Gippsland
The Town Fair – fairground fun, competitions and stalls for the kids
The Barber – The Movember Foundation
The Book Store – String & Salt
The Florist – Allambee Flower Farm
Health Hub – “Time to Test” program by E.J. Whitten Foundation
Live music and entertainment including James Ellis and the Jealous Guys

We were delighted to be able to assist in supporting the E.J Whitten Foundation “Time to Test” program – read our blog about it to learn more!

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Supporting the EJ Whitten Foundation

We were so delighted to attend the Melbourne Wine & Food Festival – The Village Feast held in Jindivick last week – click here to read our blog about it!

EJ Whitten Foundation – Time to Test

While in attendance we proudly got to support the EJ Whitten Foundation in their “Time To Test” Program. Atticus Health representatives, Floyd, Clare and Toria assisted in taking the blood pressure of some of the local attendees and stall holders.

AFL Victoria is encouraging all Victorian men to get a health check this season with the E.J Whitten Foundation’s “It’s Time to Test” program.

Established in the memory of AFL great and 321-game Footscray legend, Ted Whitten Senior, the EJ Whitten Foundation (EJWF) is spreading the message of men’s health through the launch of a new awareness program run through community football clubs.

Supported by the Department of Health & Human Services, the “It’s Time to Test” program aims to improve men’s health knowledge and behaviours and start the conversation about the importance of being proactive with their health.

With one in nine Australian men developing prostate cancer in their lifetime, AFL Victoria is encouraging all community football clubs to get involved in the program through a number of different initiatives.

Objectives:

Increase awareness of Prostate Cancer.
Promote Early Detection.
Raise Funds for research in to the Disease.

Prostate Cancer:

Prostate Cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, excluding some types of skin cancer. Testing for Prostate Cancer is now simple.

Men’s Health:

We’re committed to raising awareness on the Health benefits of regular Physical Activity. There are a lot of ways to get the physical activity you need!

E J Whitten Foundation

Active April

If you’re looking for something to spice up your fitness routine, now is the perfect time! Take advantage of the Premier’s Active April initiative. Active April is a program that is run every year, by the Victorian Government to promote healthy and active lifestyles.

Welcome to Premier’s Active April

You can register online, or download the app to your mobile phone. Once you have registered, the program will list all the participating local facilities and events. Participants receive passes to local fitness centres, exclusive invitations to fitness-related events, and a large variety of discounts for entrance to participating businesses, ranging from Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium to Otway Fly Treetop Adventures

If you are a Hastings local, Somerville Health and Fitness Studio is offering a free 10 day Recreation Pass to all Active April participants. This includes swims, group fitness classes and use of the gym. So even if you’re already a visitor to our gym here at the Hastings clinic, you could still take advantage of this deal to diversify your fitness interests. So far, I have used my participation in Active April to add lap swimming back into my fitness regime.

Using the website or app, you can record your activities to monitor your progress – and help achieve that 30 minutes of exercise a day! You can also form teams with your friends and family, if you want to add a competitive edge.

Another perk that has been added this year is the Get Active Workout Program, which provides various instructional videos for home-based workouts, which don’t require any equipment.

So what are you waiting for? Register now for your most active April yet!

Saana