I am just finishing up a week of on call Orthopaedic Surgery commitments here in Northern Tasmania. The Christmas – New Year run can be a ‘fascinating’ time. It was clearly a devastating time for some patients and their families, a busy time for ourselves and as my training registrar said, “an interesting collection of conditions. It’s never quiet when you are on call Mr Fettke.”
Most of the problems we faced through the on call period were lifestyle related. Unpredicted, predictable and or ‘dangerous idiot’ related.
We had the normal run of people breaking bones because they were out doing stuff and getting on with life and recreation – no problem with that. They are unpredictable moments and the occasional poor judgement. I have done that to myself often enough.
The predictable ones were the devastating complications of Diabetes and obesity. Poorly controlled diabetes, health and weight WILL lead to complications and several patients felt the brunt of their background conditions this week. Without going into details, the surgery that was carried out is enough for me to put pen to paper or at least finger to keyboard.
There is no question that the economic cost of our diabetes and obesity is stripping the coffers bare. It is completely unsustainable in the long term and we need to discuss it openly and NOW.
Public and private health systems are struggling with that financial situation now. The costs are transferred to the public either in increased dollar costs for services or longer waiting times for management. The waiting time to see me in the public hospital outpatients clinic is about 12 months. Then you need to be put on a waiting list for surgery. Add another 1 to 2 years for your turn to come up. Those times are blowing out.
Those ‘predictable’ lifestyle related conditions can be addressed with people taking back control of their health. That is where this page, our websites and our Diabetes and Health Research Centre are trying to make a difference.
Along comes this bit of news reported on the weekend which fits in with my ‘dangerous idiot’ related lifestyle conditions.
We have had a recent ‘run’ of patients presenting with major injuries related to illicit drugs and driving. Not only have they sustained massive injuries themselves (and you the taxpayer are paying for that) but the passengers and the people they run into are then dragged into their ‘disaster zone’.
The Examiner newspaper reported this weekend that nearly 50% of the drivers on the road in Tasmania tested recently were positive for illicit drugs!!! And this does not include alcohol.
Followers of this page are probably interested in our health. Here I am just driving along minding my own business and trying to get from A to B in one piece – and along the way trying to raise the profile of Nutrition for Life to help those ‘predictable’ lifestyle outcomes.
Now I find out that nearly half of the drivers out there that are targeted by Police are ‘stoned’ or on the way to it. Is that just a little concerning?
How come half of the population have a total disregard for themselves and the rest of us?
Is our culture ‘so broken’ that we don’t care?
So please be careful on the roads every time. Watch out, be wary and remember to make every day a special one. This holiday period has not been that festive for too many families – once again.