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Do you think if I GROVEL to Ford?

My Dream Car

My Dream Car

Loved the song too. OK – we have all changed since 1964 when the Mustang was first released.

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A very short rant about sugar!

As you will of course know, I am using MyFitnessPal to track my food intake. Sugar is unavoidable! Every damn day I have exceeded the 5o-odd gram allowance. Sugar is in everything, it is unavoidable. I’ve not been near the sugar bowl today and STILL the computer says I have eaten too much sugar! Some of it of course is in fruit and I ate some grapes, a nectarine and a banana today.

The yoghurt I’m eating seems to have a tad too much. Weetbix is fine. OK, the Soft Eating Licorice contributed a bit as did the two tiny little Anzac biscuits, but I’m over the sugar battle!

I don’t drink soft drinks, I’ve no chocolate or ice-cream and still the number is RED – TOO MUCH SUGAR.

I think even if I ate raw food all day I’d still be over my allowance.



Rant over.


PS: I have absolutely nothing against CSR Sugar! Theirs is the best. There is just too much sugar EVERYWHERE!!


Exercising and activity tracking with VivoFit

Yes, I’ve joined the VivoFit crowd. I mentioned this the other day in passing. I don’t need some really expensive piece of equipment to keep track of my activity levels, but I did need something now that exercise is so important to keep my rheumatoid arthritis managed. In conjunction with the drugs, of course! My pedometers from the Global Corporate Challenge had finally died/been passed on. The clip broke on one from being attached to my bra, the other one I handed to the kids who had been pleading for months to be allowed to see how many steps they do in a day.

Costco had VivoFits at a reasonable price, so I grabbed one. AFTER I bought my VivoFit, I read a couple of reviews. One really should do this BEFORE purchasing, but I was in a daring mood.

My VivoFit

My VivoFit

It is all good – I like it! See the little + beside the word goal? That indicates I have exceeded my daily target!

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Learning to live with a chronic condition

Fair warning – this is just a dump of the thoughts and emotions one goes through. Everyone will be different, with different conditions, severity, prognosis and circumstances. We all go through a learning curve. If you are in this space in your life, drop by and say “Hi!”. If you have a friend or family member in this space right now, be gentle. I think we try to act tough, but it isn’t always good for us to do so. We have to learn our new limitations and we appreciate your support. If you usually run 10 kilometres a night, spare some time to just walk gently with your sick friend/sister/mother/son/wife. Even if we say no, we’ll be fine.

Today I am home for day three of being off work – again. For me this is perhaps the hardest part. This latest hiccough started on Saturday: I felt a little tired but otherwise OK after what had been a relatively good, stable week at work. Managed the Vic Market shopping, with the help of Mr O Jnr 1, with no problems, but at Costco I suddenly needed to spend time in the porcelain palace. Considerable time. Sunday I suddenly got a sore left calf and could hardly walk. Why? I have no idea. Monday I woke up feeling fatigued and lethargic and still had a sore calf. I went to the GP who wanted to give me three days off and I said, no, two will do (will I NEVER learn).  I called my rheumatologist who fitted me in on Tuesday.

Flowers from today’s walk

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We need politicians with vision

One of the things that bothers me about the current Australian government is lack of vision, lack of the ability to think outside the square or to challenge the status quo.

I’m going to illustrate with an example built around our health system (on which I have written voluminously lately), the horrific domestic violence record in this country, auto-immune conditions and food.

A little background to set the scene. As you may know I am learning the ropes of living with a chronic illness. Trust me, it isn’t as easy or simple as seeing a specialist who gives you a prescription and reviews you once a year. Partly as a result of my own personal experience, I got involved in the Medicare changes debate, while also following research about food and chronic illness. I watch as the Minister for Women remains silent on the continuing violence against women in this country and noticed the financial cost of family violence to the nation.

I see links between all of these, yet I don’t see our politicians acknowledging any connections at all, much less driving any investigations or research. They are much too busy restricting our freedoms, completely contradicting their pre-election stance on the question of individual freedoms.

As a starting point, let’s look at one of the findings from my Medicare analysis. Readers may remember this graph from an earlier article.


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The dose makes the poison – Paracelsus

The dose makes the poison. So said 16th century physician Paracelsus. I learnt this today reading an article in The Guardian titled Inside the food industry: the surprising truth about what you eat by Joanna Blythman. At this point in time I known very little about Blythman but I am going to make it a priority to find out more.

Restaurant Dessert Tray

Restaurant Dessert Tray

While some have accused Blythman of using potentially inflammatory language to make her case, I think she may very well be onto something.

Regular readers know I have at least one auto-immune (AI) condition and consequently have been doing some research. In summary, my learnings include:

  • Incidence of AI conditions is increasing and researchers don’t yet know why.
  • There are over eighty AI diseases.
  • 25% of AI patients have more than one AI condition.
  • Researchers are currently looking at the links between gut bacteria and rheumatoid arthritis (an AI condition).
  • Many AI conditions affect women more than men.
  • In Australia women aged between twenty-five and seventy-four are high users of medical care. I don’t know about other countries at this point, but Australian health seems to mirror that of other Western countries.

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Ernestine Johnson – for two special girls I love

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What the Dutch can teach us about private health insurance in general practice

Team Oyeniyi:

We need to start thinking outside the square – here is one such example we could look at in Australia. Maybe, maybe not – but unless we do more than allow knee-jerk reactions in Canberra, we will end up with a USA-style health system.

Originally posted on Doctor's bag:

What the Dutch can teach us about private health insurance Image: Pixabay.com

The Dutch healthcare system has received international praise. This year the Netherlands are again topping the chart of the Euro Health Consumer Index. What makes the system so good? To get some answers, I caught up with old friends from the Netherlands.

Dutch philosophy

The country’s philosophy is to cut costs and stimulate quality by introducing regulated competition. The Dutch have attempted to create a system that ensures universal health care, offers transparency and choice for consumers, and avoids risk selection. GPs play a key role coordinating care and preventing unnecessary use of hospitals.

‎Dr Pieter van den Hombergh, GP trainer and a former senior policy adviser at the Dutch Association of General Practitioners (LHV), is full of praise:

“In 2006, the country switched to a regulated market-oriented healthcare system: Insurers got purchasing power and the Government withdrew from healthcare, but set strict regulations for insurers and…

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Medicare is not the problem

This article continues from Sussan Ley updates the nation on Medicare.

I spent several hours last night looking at the Medicare statistics. I came to a conclusion which may send a few readers reaching for their smelling salts. I ask that after you’ve taken a whiff, you stick with me. My conclusion may seem radical a first, but I believe there is method in my madness.


Australia has to make a decision on a very simple question. Do the majority of Australians want universal health care? I believe the answer is yes, on the basis over 80% of Australians support Medicare. As we can see above, this country’s largest single expense line is Health. 17.8% of the taxes you and I pay is spent on Health. If we group all the Welfare lines together, Welfare accounts for 36.8%, more than  double Health.

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Sussan Ley updates the nation on Medicare

As any regular reader of this site is aware, I have been very vocal about the various changes to Medicare proposed by the LNP government. A list of past articles is provided at the end of this article should you have missed out. I also appeared on the ABC News supporting the RACGP in their “You’ve Been Targeted” campaign.

Earlier this week I wondered what was happening. Minister Ley had promised to consult with doctors before making any changes. I’d suggested Ley not forget about the most important demographic: the patients. I Googled and didn’t find much. I checked Ley’s Twitter feed and found the odd tweet about consulting with doctors.

Meeting with doctors and

more doctors.

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