The Butterfly effect…

Posted on June 14, 2014. Filed under: Apply topically, Journal from behind the desk... | Tags: , , |

For reasons not fully understood by a mushroom like me…(I’m kept in the dark and fed on poo!!) it seems the world at large is a little crazy.  (Perhaps I should finish the post there!!)  On some occasions though you can see the logic – and it may be blatant logic or more of a butterfly effect.  Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Bognor Regis set off a tornado in London – or is it just all the hot air coming out of the Houses of Parliament?
Can you smell the guff Rik?
Let me explain….
Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of working in an Emergency department is more than a little aware of the effect of environmental factors that impact on a days work…. Some of these are obvious and some are considered by the generally public to be urban myths, but we know the truth (not so kept in the dark and fed on poo after all!!)
The obvious environmental impacts:
It’s an icy day – cars impact with cars…. busy health services.
it’s a windy day  – little old ladies’ hips impact with pavements…busy health services.
Sometimes it’s more complicated:
It’s a windy and icy day – consequently emergency department staff are going out for a stiff drink when they eventually get off duty and when they come back for the early shift, they will be hung over and knackered and will be more prone to slapping the hyperventilating teenager who says she had to come in as she has overdosed on three paracetamol as her boyfriend of three days has left her.
Sometimes these environmental factors are simple but considered an Urban myth unless…. you’ve had the pleasure of working a night shift when it’s a full moon….yes they ARE called lunatics for a reason.
You can see it in their eyes!!
The point is that a full moon on a windy and icy night can increase the pressure on the health service, (not to mention make it treacherous if you a werewolf):  the opposite is true if it’s a nice sunny day.  Suddenly I find myself sat peacefully in the world of primary care – having been mad busy for months on end, and today NOTHING is happening.
Now the winter has long since dried up, so we can’t blame that for us being busier yesterday when it was overcast, any more than we can the fact that it may be overcast tomorrow and busy again, but one day of brilliant sunshine seems to almost guarantee that no one is quite bored enough to hassle me with their acute or chronic symptoms.
One sunny day dries up everyone’s depression, anxiety, sexually transmitted diseases, rashes and wee infections.  Frankly what I normally get told is a horrendous symptom and needs to be dealt with today, can wait until tomorrow if the sun is shining.
Look the sun is shining – I can’t possibly bother Max with my cold!!
So I find myself free to actually catch up on all the stuff I ought to do from time to time….including a bit of reading.
I find a study on alcohol use in Britain, that states:
“Among adults who had drunk alcohol in the week, 55 per cent of men and 53 per cent of women drank more than the recommended daily amounts, including 31 per cent of men and 24 per cent of women who drank more than twice the recommended amounts in 2012”
It also says that people are spending more on alcohol at home and less down the pub….I’m not surprised after I bought my wife and I a glass of wine for the same price as two bottle of the same wine I get in the supermarket.
£12 for 2 glasses of wine….Do I look mad to you!?!?!?!
The report also said men are more likely to end up in the Emergency department drunk than women…. (I don’t think that included the nursing staff after a windy, icy night when there is a full moon!!)  Concerning though the opposite is true in the teenage population.
Then I read about anti-depressant prescribing which identified:
“That between 1998 and 2012, the amount of antidepressants dispensed in the community each year rose by 25 million – from 15 million items in 1998, to 40 million in 2012. Almost half of that increase occurred in the four years between the 2008 financial crisis and 2012, the last year for which data are available”.
Half the patients I prescribe anti-depressants for are members of the overworked mental health team. Obviously they are nurses, as there are no consultant psychiatrists!! Some butterfly in Bognor Regis flapped it’s wings and subsequently some hot air came out of the House of Parliament leading to the decision to blow the whole mental health budget on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, (which I am not adverse to), and dementia management (also important), but left no money to pay a consultant.
One day, you’ll look
To see I’ve gone
But tomorrow may rain, so
I’ll follow the sun
 I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
Good bye Rik.

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