Chapter 3: Starting self-management

Chapter 3: Starting self-management


I’ve had breathing problems
for around about fifty years and it’s only in the last four or five years
that my breathing has got really bad. And, I’ve been to specialists
and they’ve come up with that I have COPD which is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. …Mandy and Righty.
But you won’t remember that will you? No I won’t.
[laughs] It’s taken a lot of adjusting, because
well I used to do I had a fairly big garden down the back
I worked a lot out in the garden and now, if I do any activity at all,
ten minutes, and it’s a half hour sit down before I’m ready to do anything again. The day you’re diagnosed
with a chronic medical condition is often very challenging and confronting
and it’s important to understand what’s happening develop knowledge and skills,
and be able to move on from there. We’re going to set some goals for what we
need to be achieving in terms of exercise… It’s important to write a care plan with
your GP and other health care providers in order to maintain good control
of your medical condition and allow you to have the tools to
manage your chronic condition in a positive way. So things like blood tests, exercise, diet and the inputs of various health care providers
scheduling for follow-up with appropriate health care practitioners, and your GP.
It also helps you participate in your care in an active way
because you know what’s in the care plan and you can discuss that with your GP. Your GP and your health care team
may seek advice of a specialist to coordinate and to help manage
the more complex aspects of your condition. So I think shared care plans
are really important for rural people, as much of the care can be done
by the GP locally under the supervision of the specialist.
It reduces the amount of times that the person has to come to Perth.

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