Dear Santa - we are concerned about you....

Dear Santa

We at Winchester GP so appreciate all of your hard efforts over the Christmas season. But, dearest Santa, isn’t it time you started thinking about yourself for a change? We can’t help but notice there are a few ‘lifestyle issues’ inherent in your line of work, and we just want to make sure you are keeping on top of things. As you are a tricky man to get hold of, we have drawn up a list of concerns that, given the opportunity, we would like to explore with you…

1)    Lack of Vitamin D
When was the last time you got the recommended daily 10-15 minutes of UV exposure on your skin? This is the main way our bodies produce vitamin D, a deficiency of which can lead to bone deformities. If stripping off is not a tempting prospect (Greenland being, by all accounts, a bit nippy) please ask your eskimo neighbours for fishing tips as oily fish are also a good source, along with meat and eggs.

2)   How are you sleeping?
Shift work such as yours can play havoc with circadian rhythms (otherwise known as your body clock) and we imagine you could be under an almost permanent state of jet-lag. More seriously still, shift work has been associated with higher rates of type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and cancer. So there is every reason for you to take steps to normalise your sleep patterns as quickly as possible after 25th December. Before resorting to pills, please see your doctor (or give Winchester GP a call) – long term, relaxation techniques and good ‘sleep hygiene’ (no caffeine, no screens at bedtime, time your eating so that you don’t go to bed too hungry or stuffed full) should form the pillars of your night time routine.

3)   Lyme disease
We don’t wish to offend dear Rudolph, but he and his reindeer family are like magnets to the ticks that spread Lyme disease.  Lyme disease is a bacterial infection. The most common sign of infection is an expanding area of redness, that begins at the site of a tick bite about a week after it has occurred. The rash is typically neither itchy nor painful. About 25% of people do not develop a rash. Other early symptoms may include fever, headache, and feeling tired. It’s treatable with antibiotics, if caught early, but if untreated, symptoms may include loss of the ability to move one or both sides of the face, joint pains, severe headaches with neck stiffness, or heart palpitations, among others. We recommend checking your body regularly for ticks, keeping covered with those red overalls of yours, and do please give us a call if you think you might be at risk.

4)   Health and Safety First!  
When was the last time you risk assessed your planned route? Or had an annual winter safety check for the sleigh? And while we do love your wooly hat, surely a helmet is the only safe option for an open vehicle such as yours, plus a seat belt! As for the elves, they should be suitably restrained using a height/weight appropriate booster seat, and no distracting the driver whilst the vehicle is in motion.

5)   Manual handling
Dearest Santa, even magical beings can get bad backs if they lift things the wrong way. Please don’t over fill those sacks, and ensure you are using proper lifting technique – do not bend your torso to lift- rather squat down over the load by bending at the hips and knees. Keep the load close to your body and straighten your legs to lift. Never lift a heavy object above shoulder level and please avoid turning or twisting your body while lifting or holding a heavy object.

6)   The Chimney
Frankly, having got stuck up the chimney every year for, well, we don’t know how long, we would have thought you would have learned your lesson. And that’s only the half of it. Inhaling coal dust is bad news (please google coal workers’ pneumoconiosis) and you are at risk of having an allergic reaction. And what about the birds nests? (google pigeon fancier’s lung). Lastly, if it’s a very long chimney, there’s the added risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Conclusion: may we suggest magically opening the front or back door instead?

7)   Weight management
We love you just the way you are, but we do worry that your suit has been getting tighter of late? Some weight loss advice (long term positive changes, not the quick fix crazy diet kind) would seem to be in order. And cholesterol and diabetes checks. And we were wondering, how are your knees are holding up? A glass of sherry and a mince pie at every single house is, dearest Santa, excessive. We suggest you swap with Rudolph for the carrot, at least some times. He is the one doing all the exercise, after all.

8)  Ditch the judgments
Spending the entire year being judgmental about who’s naughty and nice is not conducive to a happy, outgoing, positive state of mind. May we suggest some mindfulness training and positive thinking?

Much love

Winchester GP


p.s. stockings will be placed expectantly by the front door of BMI Sarum Road, Winchester, SO22 5BH

p.p.s. Just to give you fair warning...we have sent a copy of this to Mrs Santa Claus as well, as multiple research shows that men are significantly less likely to take their health concerns to the doctor. xoxoxo

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