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                                                         Dr RICHARD's Desk - Nov 2009
Reviewed   10  August  2021      
       S T R E S S
   I think I'll Buy a Fish & Chips Shop . . .

Ever thought of chucking your job in and buying a Fish and Chip Shop?   Most people have! Before you do just that consider a few other things first.

Look around your office. Can you recognize this person? About 35 - 45 years, mid level job. Probably has multiple Fish & chips shopdegrees. Ambitious and hard working. Normally very likeable, fairly quiet, sociable, good to have around the office or at home. A valued employee.

Recently has noticeably changed. Now is irritable and occasionally aggressive. Keyed up or on edge most of the time. Snaps at colleagues. Always tired. Can't concentrate. "Takes me twice as long to do half as much." Concerned about work performance. Reacts badly to criticism or rejection.

Complains of sleep disturbances . . . . the wheels keep going round and round . . Has muscle tension and probably headaches. Often feels dizzy or light headed. Chest pain "I think I might see a doctor about my heart"

Admits to feeling rather hopeless and worthless. Now tends to withdraw from social events. Loss of interest in sex, food, exercise. May increase Risk Taking Behaviour. Driving too fast , excess alcohol, inappropriate relationships.

Only feels good if gets praise from others. Losing interest in current job "There must be a better job than this" Wonders about giving it all away for a less pressure job . . . "I think I'll buy a Fish & Chip Shop"
Fish & Chips
Recognise anybody you know ? . . . look around your office . . . or at yourself ! Sound familiar? . . . Yes?    Then you are well on the way to successfully treating your Stress Related problem.

Research confirms changing professions in mid career is generally not successful and is often disastrous - buying a Fish and Chip Shop is usually not a good move ! The thought of major life or work changes may well reflect a stressed mind acting less rationally than usual. Making life - altering or any major decisions when ill is never a good idea. The strong suggestion is to treat the medical condition before making any major life decisions especially career changes.

The end of a tough 2009 and approaching holidays also make for poor decisions. Take a break then rethink!

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    Act   F-A-S-T   ! ! !
A severe Stroke is devastating. Everybody has seen the physical effects of a stroke and perhaps increasingly obvious in the streets in Jakarta as high blood pressure and diabetes take hold in the Indonesian community.Hugh Hefner stroke victim

In Australia, Stroke kills more women than breast cancer. Surprisingly 20% of Stroke victims are under 55 years and 33% die within a year of having a stroke. Gloomy and very distressing.

What is a Stroke? Firstly it is not a heart attack. A Stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly interrupted either by some blockage to a brain artery or bleeding into brain tissue after an artery ruptures. Insufficient oxygen to that affected area of the brain follows with the typical Stroke effects such as paralysis to one side of the body. A Stroke can be rapidly fatal.F-A-S-T

Recognise a Stroke F-A-S-T: Easy to remember: F is for Face, A is for Arms, S is for Speech, T is for Time.

The Stroke victim's Face may drop on one side. Ask them to frown and you will instantly see the affected side. They may be unable to raise their affected Arm and their Speech may be slurred. Time is of the essence. If there is a blood clot in the brain then treatment needs to be started within 3 hours of onset of symptoms. Stroke symptoms can improve dramatically in 24 hours but are frequently permanent.

Stroke symptoms are usually restricted to one side of the body as the injury to the brain is mostly on one side only. By contrast "Punch Drunk" boxers have bleeding in the whole brain caused by head punches so their symptoms although basically the same as a stroke are more generalised.

Reduce your likelihood of a Stroke by controlling High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol levels, Diabetes, and Stop Smoking.

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     What are my chances of getting Breast Cancer ?
Breast cancer is an awful, much feared disease with a long difficult treatment program. Everyone knows someone with breast cancer, so a frequently asked question is "How likely am I to develop breast cancer?"

This question is partly because of a commonly stated statistic " Women have a one in 14 chance of developing breast cancer". A very scary number. Like many statistics it is not as simple as that. To have a one in 14 life time chance a woman needs to live to 75 years. Breast cancer risk does increase with age.
woman examining her breast
   Breast Cancer Risk by Age in Australian Women
  <30 years   1 in 2,446 risk
  30 - 39 years   1 in 246
  40 - 49 years   1 in 73
  60 - 69 years   1 in 43
  70 - 79 years   1 in 38

Early detection of breast cancer improves treatment outcomes. About 90% of women with a small cancer that has not spread beyond the breast will be alive after five years. If the cancer has spread beyond the breast then 70% of women will be alive after five years.

Breast cancer survival rates have improved significantly in Australia largely due to the Breast Screening Program offered to women over 50 years. The value of breast screening mammography for women under 50 years is less certain.

     Is there any hope for humanity ?
A patient came in with an ear wax problem. The wax was like concrete so he was advised to put a few drops of oil into his ear and then return for syringing. The patient duly returned, but said he had forgotten what oil was suggested. The WD-40 he used had done a great job! True story !

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I think I'll buy a Fish & Chips Shop

Act   F-A-S-T

What are my chances of getting Breast Cancer ?

Is there any hope for humanity ?