Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Sunday program featuring Sir Bob Parker


There was an extremely powerful piece on this weeks Sundays program featuring Sir Bob Parker, former Christchurch mayor, who oversaw the City during  those horrific earthquakes. 


Unfortunately Sir Bob has been of ill health of late, having suffered a nasty stroke in October 2020 - its an incredibly powerful article and  I would encourage everyone to watch it :



This particularly struck a chord with myself, as my Father suffered a stroke, and then multiple ‘little turns’ or Transient Ischemic Attacks after his stroke. More recently another family member of the team suffered a stroke.  Its nasty, and can be extremely impactful.


Family history, sex  and age make us more susceptible to strokes  - these are not things we can change - but there are a few other variables that we CAN control and here’s 5 ways we can start to reduce our risks of having a stroke:


  1. Blood pressure A huge factor - an uncontrolled blood pressure can quadruple the risk of having a stroke.  It’s important to know where we are at with your blood pressure, and if its elevated there are medicines we can take to get it down.  (To use myself as an example - I’m Male (risk factor) Over the age of 40 (risk factor) with a family history of stroke (risk factor) AND i have a high blood pressure (risk factor) While i cant do much about some of those risk factors - i take a blood pressure pill daily - this gets it back to acceptable levels.  If you are not sure where you are at with your Blood Pressure - we can take it for you at the Pharmacy - it’s FREE, simple and easy.  If theres one thing you can action after watching the Bob Parker piece - do this.  
  2. Weight Being obese is a risk factor for having a stroke.  How do you know if your overweight or obese? - from a ‘science-y’ point of you its about getting your BMI (Body Mass Index) figure, and getting it down to a number 25 or less.  We can help you get this number at the Pharmacy.  One of our team members Alex,   is a Nutritionist, who can help draw up a plan for you to get this figure down.
  3. Stop smoking.  Nag, nag.   Yadda, yadda.  You get it - I get it.  But we can help! - Nicotine replacement therapies are now available fully funded (only $5 for 2 months supply!) via our Pharmacy - come in - we can help (PLUS save some cash! them cigarettes are EXPENSIVE)
  4. Exercise more - while exercise helps you to lose weight, it also acts  independently as a stroke reducer - try to have  30 minutes of moderate intensity activity 5 times a week.  What do i mean by moderate activity? - breathing hard, but can still talk.  Ill see you around Ross Creek - an awesome spot for a brisk walk, or maybe St Clair - grab a coffee and a  beach walk.
  5. Check if you have Atrial Fibrillation - What is atrial fibrillation?  - its a form of irregular heartbeat, this irregular heartbeat can cause clots to form in the heart, these clots travel directly to your brain - causing a stroke.  Untreated Atrial Fibrillation increases your risk of having a stroke by almost 5 times!  This can be diagnosed by having an ECG with your Dr.  Some of the more recent Apple Watches also can run a quick ECG - but note this does not replace a proper ECG but could pick up an irregularity. Some symptoms of AF are heart palpitations or shortness of breath.


PLEASE: Take a moment this week to think about where you are at in terms of risk factors for stroke.  It’s a highly traumatic event and we can help reduce the overall risk of having a Stroke.  If you are not sure, please be in touch - we can help.