Superglue for your health?

Dr Antje Theilhaber

By Dr Antje Theilhaber

My glasses broke and won’t stay on my head. Now I can’t read, can’t look through patient files, can’t do anything, really. But it’s Lockdown II, stage 4 and you can only go out for essential groceries and emergencies. Not really an emergency, is it? So here I am, fixing my glasses with super glue. No biggie. But I start wondering whether some of my patients might be taking a similar approach with their health. Superglue for your health? A truly frightening thought.

We have been worried about this for a while. My colleagues and I have all heard about cases where patients found a lump, or  a new mole, had chest pain or suffered from severe anxiety but decided to delay making an appointment with their doctor. Their fear about potentially exposing themselves to a higher risk of COVID-19, it appears, pushed aside all valid concerns about the real health emergency they may be facing – and should be addressing.

Can I suggest something? Call your GP and arrange a Telehealth appointment. Then we can identify the health issue and plan the next required steps together to tackle your medical issue. This may mostly be manageable via Telehealth. For some issues that may include us recommending to see you in person to make sure we can avoid your health issue deteriorating. We will only advise this if truly necessary but rest assured Eleanor Clinic has highly diligent COVID precautions in place. This includes full PPE for all staff, diligent hand hygiene and full room sanitisation after each patient.

True: Telehealth is not the same as face-to-face consultations. We do miss seeing you in person.
We love sitting down with you in our room, listening to you and being able to examining you properly. We miss cuddling babies, clowning around with toddlers and showing them they can trust us so they let us examine them. Walking with our seniors slowly into our room, watching how they carefully make one step after another.
So yes: Telehealth doesn’t offer it all. But it allows us to get to the core of issues and address them for many of our patients. We can take a good history, assess rashes using photos you send us, write referral letters, organise blood tests, x-rays and ultrasounds. Eleanor Clinic also supports electronic prescribing of your medicines where you simply present a bar-code to your chemist that we sent you electronically. And for those chemists that don’t yet support this we can fax your script.
If I made my optician’s skills sound like a success story, I’m afraid I spoke too soon. My glasses kept falling apart besides my super glue hack. So, I have actually made an appointment to get them fixed by a professional today. Turns out this is still allowed if you rely on your glasses.
So, take it from me: it’s worth having a professional help with the important things in life. So: please book an appointment with your GP to look after yourself. And I’ll be off having my glasses fixed professionally – promise!

Eleanor Clinic’s drive-through vaccinations are here.

After a lockdown-related hiatus we are bringing back childhood vaccinations to Eleanor Clinic – with a twist!

Eleanor Clinic is joining the Royal Children’s Hospital call to get all kids up to date with their vaccinations before the lockdown is over.

As COVID case numbers have come down due to the lockdown, it is now important to make sure that everyone’s vaccinations are up to date. When kinder and schools open again kids will do lots of mingling with their friends. This is what children do – interact with each other and being active! But close contact increases the risk for outbreaks of whooping cough, measles and chicken pox if vaccination rates aren’t high. Australia is one of the leading countries in the world regarding excellent vaccination rates – let’s make sure we remain in the safe zone!

How it works:

1Book an immunisation appointment with our nurse online.

2At your given appointment time call Eleanor Clinic reception on arrival in the car park: 9318 4666. Please remain in your car.

3Our nurse and doctor will come to your car. We will be wearing PPE and will say hello. We will check your child’s temperature and have time to answer any questions.

4You are welcome to have your child sitting on your lap during the vaccination for cuddling and reassurance. Feel free to bring a little surprise for your little one as a distraction and reward for after the vaccination.

5After a 5 min observation period you are able to drive back home.

Let’s make sure that all our kids are protected by having them fully vaccinated. Together we can do it!

Go, Western Health!

As you know, Eleanor Clinic is located directly opposite the power house that is The Western Hospital, with the entrance to Eleanor clinic facing the Western Hospital’s Emergency Department. Over the last few weeks we have witnessed the increasing amount of ambulances arriving to the hospital.

We are so thankful to our colleagues at the Western Hospital who are taking care of our community and families, when any of us are getting very sick. Quite a few Western Health staff have also been seconded to lend their skills and expertise to help with the crisis in the aged care system.

Eleanor Clinic’s Dr. Felicity wanted to support our colleagues and made this fantastic banner: “Go Western Health”, to show our support and gratitude. Everyone talks about nurses and doctors, but hospitals need many other unsung heroes to function: cleaners, cooks, orderlies, ward clarks, nurse unit managers, security guards, administrative staff, and so many more.
So from the bottom of our heart: Thank you to everyone at Western Health for looking after all of us here in the West!

#RUOK?

There are many things we can all do to support our wellbeing at this time – seeking professional help is only one of these.

Try to go for regular walks, eat nutritious meals, limit alcohol intake and keep in regular contact over the phone with your friends and loved ones. And please remember: it is always a sign of strength to reach out for support and help when you need it. .

R U OK?

It’s ok not to be ok

Frankly, it is ok not to be ok. After all: we are all living in the middle of a pandemic. But being in a pandemic doesn’t mean we have to do this alone. There is help and support available and, as GPs, helping our patients to find the right support for them can be one of the most rewarding parts of our job. Our Health minister, Greg Hunt hit the nail on the head when he observed: “Many will be feeling anxious, some will be feeling depressed, many will have mental health challenges that are being exacerbated. Can I start by saying, that’s normal, that’s OK. These times are unprecedented. Each person will deal with it in their own way.”

Being in a pandemic doesn’t mean we have to do this alone

The Better Access Mental Health Care Plan scheme remains available to offset the cost of accessing sessions with a psychologist. For those with an existing Mental Health Care Plan who have experienced further mental health difficulties with the second lockdown, there has been new funding for another 10 sessions. Yes, that’s on top of the sessions you might have previously used. And Telehealth makes it very easy for you to access this service: just book in for a mental health appointment with your regular GP.

The photo is part of a campaign that checks in on our Premier’s wellbeing from a large networking group of GPs. Politics aside, he has the unenviable task of working every day to try to guide us through this pandemic and we can only imagine the amount of pressure he is under. A reminder that everyone – even the Premier – needs some help once in a while.