Barry’s words – March

DR BARRY FATOVICH (MB BS, FRACGP)

At our weekly team meetings Barry will have a chat with us to get us thinking and to also help the stress levels through these strange and uncertain times, the Lockridge team and Barry thought it would be great to share this with our patients.

March 2020 – COPING WITH CORVID 2020

Everyone can see how serious this situation is and there is no way to sugarcoat this. Looking at what is happening in Spain and Italy we can see this is life and death serious. To say these are difficult times is an understatement and it will get worse before it will get better. This is a once in a hundred years event.  We will all be touched by this whether it’s because of people we know that get sick, or people who lose their jobs, or the suffering that people experience through the disruption to their lives.  One of my palliative care patients, someone who may be dead in days, her daughter who lives interstate has had to go home so she could get there before the borders closed.  Another patient who works in the city has had to lay off casual staff, people she knows and cares about.  She was absolutely shattered.

How do we persevere, and maintain our cool, and our sense of well-being with the world around us falling apart?  Remember,  that this too will pass.  There is no magic, but I do have some suggestions.  The sheet that Matt passed around has some really good suggestions and I will go through them, to remind us:

  • Take a break from repeatedly hearing and watching the news.
  • Practice deep mindful breathing, regularly.
  • Meditate or pray
  • Look after your body, by eating healthy, exercising and getting enough rest and maintaining the corvid precautions.
  • Avoid using alcohol and drugs to cope with stress.
  • Watch your favourite movie or TV show or read a book.
  • Practice gratitude daily to bring good to the front of your mind.
  • Reach out to your support network such as your family., friends, and colleagues and talk about your thought s and feelings, instead of bottling them up.  Remember, even if you can’t see them in person, you can still call, message or skype.

Another suggestion I want to add is to focus on the present moment, not to worry about yesterday or tomorrow, all we need to do is get through today.  Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not arrived, all we have is the present moment.  We all want certainty and to know what tomorrow will bring, we do not know, but all we have to do is get through today.  We have a great team of people here; we are all in the same boat.   Do not forget the importance of common decency as we work with those, we meet each day. 

Two things I have learned working in palliative care, if we focus on today, and we deal with each day’s problems as they happen, the strength comes in that moment to deal with it.  People can find that hard to comprehend, you may have to trust me on that.   The second thing I have learned is to make the most of every day, appreciate the people who are important to you.

The Practice has an important role to play in this community, they need us, and we need them.  It is going to be hard getting through this.  We must maintain order and function. We will get through this and life will go on.

Barry Fatovich

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