Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A RoundAbout Approach

I got to thinking the other day about a particular buzzword that was bandied about with such frequency during my student nurse days, that it began to lose it's meaning.
(Try repeating the words redlorryyellowlorry ten times to see what I mean.)
Buzzwords were very big in the early nineties, and may have been a hangover from the Decade That Taste Forgot (the hallucinogenic eighties)...when people regularly touched base and said things like don't even go there! while wearing stonewashed jeans and giant hair.
And the glasses that I wore that could have been doubled up as satellite dishes are best forgotten.  Perhaps as we speak they are being used to guide top secret military aircraft through war-zones.

Anyway, this particular buzzword was biopsychosocial (phew! I can still spell it) which is a model of nursing practice based on viewing the patient as a whole person instead of a collection of symptoms.
Nice idea, but not terribly practical when you have a 30 bedded ward being goose-stepped by prima donna consultants.
So the word became a rather cynical tool to curry extra points  in essays, by pasting it in as frequently as possible, instead of a usable method of nursing.

But I discovered that philosophy doesn't make the beds.

That said,  I liked the whole idea behind the biopsychosocial approach.
It made sense...if you have a pain in your big toe, it makes you grumpy and then you have no friends.
So a problem in one aspect of your being can have a ripple effect into other parts of your life and, conversely, improving one thing can have benefits elsewhere.

Shamefully, the whole lovely notion got diluted in the rivers of student life, shift work and the seriously nasty Bulgarian wine (£2 per bottle) we used to forget our troubles.

So this little kernel of wisdom survived the almost 20 (yikes!) intervening years only to pop to the surface the other day.

A few weeks ago I was on a bit of a downer, and I lay plastered across the couch...my big wobbly depression resting dolefully on my increasingly bigger, wobblier butt.
I didn't mind the curves, but I hated that I felt as physically flaccid as mentally.
So I've decided to (finally) make practical use of this model and I've joined the gym to improve my mental health (of course I didn't tell the instructor that....I don't want them to think that I'm mad).  I just told them that I wanted to look like Elle McPherson as soon as possible.

I was pretty nervous when I did what is laughingly referred to as a Fitness Test...but I was pleasantly relieved to notice that the gym was not populated by size 8, lycra clad gym bunnies.  The clientèle seemed surprisingly human, and wore baggy tee shirts and shiny, red faces with badly behaved hairstyles.
I felt right at home.

So that's the bio and the psycho addressed.  The social?...well, two out of three ain't bad.


  1. I like that buzzword :D Its a good way to step back and assess because I have a tendency to forget there is more to life than autism (and I know you remind all of us often so I do try!). Two out of three is a great start, I hope you enjoy the gym and social might just come out of it. You are such a sweetheart you are bound to get chatting to people and have some fun too :) Jen

  2. PS, I had massive glasses too, like dinnerplates. I cringe when I see photos of them now lol.

  3. Red lorry yellow lorry were a great band :) And I had big PINK specs in the 80s, sometimes matched with pink hair 8-} Gym sounds like a great plan, fun and sociable and time for yourself, enjoy xx

  4. @ Jen, it was very practical to carry dishes around on your face....you just never knew when you'd need a dinner plate XXX

  5. Oh Jean you have brought back memories of dinner plate glasses and a dodgy perm for me lol!! Glad to hear you are taking care of the bio and the physio and we are going to have to work on the social bit:) xx

  6. Fair play, missus! I've been threatening to join a gym for ages now, but my big fat butt won't move from the couch! Thanks to my fb buddies I seem to have the social side of things sorted - not an easy task for me, so I'm ridiculously proud of myself for that! Baby steps...

  7. Glad you are taking holistic approach to your wellbeing Jean (how about this for a buzzword!) Being lazybones myself, I can only manage occasional yoga classes, but it lifts my mood big time. A little aside in defense of Bulgarian wines - we make some lovely wines as well but they are way more than £2 and they hardly ever get exported...

  8. @ Blue Sky...pink specs sound seriously dodgy lol!
    They're lovely in the gym...friendly and not at all intimidating
    @ Andra, I'm probably better at the social bit than I think!
    @ Taz, glad you recognise the steps you've made...baby steps in gorgeous shoes
    @ Truf, I was thinking about you when I mentioned the Bulgarian wine lol...I haven't thought about it in years! I like yoga too but to my eternal shame I fell asleep in a class

  9. LOL.... I used to have big Deirdre Barlow pink specs that had a graduated tint... oh the shame hahaha.... I too have decided to surgically remove the kitchen chair from my ever expanding butt and am walking every day now and definitely feeling the better for it :) You'll have to make it out to some of our nights out soon missus xxx

  10. @ Petunia I've seen the photo lol! XXX

  11. Ah, but the 80s are 'cool' now, allegedly!....I'm thinking about joining a gym (or sweat-shed as my OH keeps muttering!)...need a bit of glamour in my life..X

  12. @ Rachel...don't know if you'll find any glamour in a sweat shed lol XXX

  13. Was going to out Petunia - She says Diedre Barlow, I say Dustin Hoffman in "Tootsie" but she has done it herself.
    Aside from a spiral perm and a Jenny Kee Cardigan I was a wanna be "mod" for most of the 80's, it helps to have Gay Friends with Good Taste when growing up.

    Jeannie - glad you came to the idea of exercise yourself. I hope it is a pleasure and a release for you. And, if you are working out alone, be prepared for all those racing thoughts as you compose your next blog post while on the stairmaster. You might want to bring a note book in your sportsbag.

    Social will come when you are ready! xx

  14. nothing like a punch bag to kick the stress away and tone all over

    does wonders hun and cheaper than gym

    fair play xx