To pee or not to pee – should that even be a question?

By Coleen Hensey

I was recently advised by my GP to keep an eye on my blood pressure as we worked together to find the causes of some health issues that had arisen.

After attending a specialist appointment one lovely, warm day, I took myself for a rainforest walk and then walked my gorgeous labradoodle to the local dog park. We were both thirsty from our walks so I shared my water with my dog, who was most appreciative. I was feeling lovely – connected with nature and purposeful in having started to attend to these matters of personal health.

I felt so good that I decided to pop into the local pharmacy before going home and have my blood pressure measured, so that I would have a reference for ‘feeling lovely.’

My friendly pharmacist welcomed me warmly, as always, and we attached the sleeve to my arm to measure my current blood pressure. As the sleeve deflated and the reading appeared on the screen, I observed how the pharmacist had started to mask a sense of alarm: the diastolic reading (the bottom number) was registering a reading of hypertensive crisis – 124. (1) My usual reading is around 75-80. The systolic pressure was also higher than usual for me, but not alarmingly so.
Continue reading “To pee or not to pee – should that even be a question?”

Healing my Separation to Humanity through Illness

By Susan Evans, Student, Mullumbimby NSW

A year ago I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Initially I was very shocked, as over the last 5 years I have made many lifestyle changes and have been living in a much more healthy way and was beginning to nurture and care for myself on a much deeper level.

Over time, I came to a deep acceptance and understanding that this was a culmination of the poor choices I had made, as a result of holding on to and not dealing with my hurts for the past 54 years of my life. It was not easy at first to let go of the habits and choices I had become accustomed to, but little by little, my connection to my body deepened and I began making more loving choices. I realised that this diagnosis was going to be an opportunity for me to clear all that was no longer a part of me.

The prognosis was positive as the cancer was caught early, but I was advised it would involve major surgery to remove one third of my lung. Continue reading “Healing my Separation to Humanity through Illness”

The Power of Physiotherapy and Universal Medicine in Palliative Care

by Gill Randall, Physiotherapist, Grad Dip Phys, Banbury, UK

I work as a physiotherapist in palliative care. Now, physiotherapy and palliative care are not always words that we might put together. I have often received perplexed looks when telling people where I work initially, and the response often comes with ‘how sad and dreary that must be’, but no, on the contrary, that is not true. However, I do understand their confusion. Physiotherapy is associated with healing, recovering, getting better, or rehabilitation. Palliative care can imply coming towards the end of life, giving up or giving in at the end of the journey. But I consider that we all have the opportunity to learn or to feel a difference in life, right until our last breath, and in the hospice environment, we aim to keep people as well as possible, even in the last days of life.

Life is the journey that we are all on to learn and to evolve. This isn’t a ladder going upwards, it’s often a reflection back for us to observe. Continue reading “The Power of Physiotherapy and Universal Medicine in Palliative Care”