Looking back at 2014 and forward to a healthy and happy New Year

Dr Frank Dunn
Dr Frank Dunn

This has been a remarkable year in so many ways for Scotland.

The Commonwealth Games and the Referendum were two high points.

The Commonwealth Games, without doubt, displayed Glasgow at its very best.

The athletes energised us, but it was the welcome from our citizens which provided a lasting memory for the visitors who flocked in.

I attended the athletics on two occasions and everything ran like clockwork with volunteers at every turn providing advice as needed, and a kind word.

The Royal College has a legacy project ongoing with our local Health Board, in patients with type 2 Diabetes.

We hope the exercise programme and motivational talks, will produce a lasting benefit to their health.

We also hope that they will spread the word of the benefits to others with similar health challenges.

The referendum debate energised the whole nation with a unique voting level of 85 per cent.

Once again, our National Health Service was a dominant factor in the debate, and it illustrates how much this means to the population and to the politicians.

My hope now is that the country will move on reunited and benefit from the additional powers awarded by the Smith Commission.

The recent tragic events at George Square have affected the whole city of Glasgow and indeed the country.

Just about everyone knows someone who was involved in some way.

It is hoped that the outpouring of support and sympathy will provide some solace to the families of those bereaved.

As well as the ups and downs on the bigger stage, each of us has happy and sad memories of 2014.

Personally, I have had the joy of my first grandchild, and the recent award which the family and many others who supported me shared in.

I lost my father-in-law, whom I was very fond of, and Professor Stewart Hillis who had been both a close friend and colleague for over 40 years.

So what of 2015?

My own resolutions include improving my memory so that I can more accurately add up my weekly units of alcohol.

Can memory be improved when you reach the dizzy heights of your late 60s?

I believe deterioration in memory can be compensated by improved organisation – “ a place for everything and everything in its place.”

I can certainly improve in that area.

I am sure I have items of clothing in many golf changing rooms around the country.

Names continue to be a challenge, even when the face is oh so familiar.

A friend had the idea of asking “How do you spell your first name?” This worked well till one acquaintance replied B-O-B!

I plan to actively practice what I preach in terms of physical activity.

This is emerging as of at least equal importance in preserving our future health as weight, smoking and alcohol intake.

The advice of 30 mins five times per week is an excellent starting point. I am also informed that it improves your memory.

I am now well into my 45th year as a member of the medical profession.

My longevity was recently highlighted when running a clinic with a trainee doctor. The patient was asked by a nurse which Doctor they had seen. The reply came back “The old man with the grey hair.” This puzzled me since I was not aware we had an old man working in the clinic that day. I then looked in the mirror!

A Happy New Year to all.