Skype and enquiries
I am retired, so my availability is unpredictable: you cannot, and should not, rely on me for any kind of urgent advice or response. I do not make ‘appointments’ — it is a case of ‘catch me when you can’. Good times are 7 am-10 am, and 4 pm to 7 pm (I am UTC +10, or AEST), including weekends.
For those who struggle to understand the rest of the globe (especially Americans, yes, take that on the chin, it is true), here is an example of a website that does the time-zone mathematics for you (if you try to ring me in the middle of the night you will be blocked!):
VoIP is the only medium I engage in, principally Skype, but Facetime and zoom are possible. If you do not understand how to use these platforms do not write to me about it, get some help somehow. It may be best to do a test call with somebody else first, so you do not waste the time I am able to give you.
Here is a starters guide (there are many others — Dr Google will help …)
The signature on my emails contains my contact details, and Heidi has even inserted a Skype icon that you can just click on to get me, like this (if you click on it that should send me a skype notification):
Etiquette: make sure you are in a quiet room with minimal background noise and do not talk to me whilst walking around with a mobile device; if you are going to use the camera, place it securely at face height, I do not want to be looking up your nose, or getting sea-sick as you wave it around. Make sure that there is not a bright light directly behind you.
Try to ensure that your question has not already been answered in material that is on my website, use the search facility to search for particular words, text strings, et cetera.
If you would like to send an email: email me here, it is best to send background information via email, properly identified with your name — emails get seen, Skype text messages may be missed (unless they are sent during a call).
Make sure your emails have a name and signature, so I know who’s who, and who is where (time zone) and which Skype name corresponds to which email address. I may decline to respond to messages from individuals who do not adequately identify themselves.
Skype helps me avoid typing, long emails are a problem for me.
If you do not want sound or vision you can use Skype just like texting — but it allows me to talk and explain things that are sometimes complex.
Those suffering with depression may be disinclined to interact. So, do remember that the voice part can be one way (me), you can just type, like messaging.
I do not charge for information, but most people offer a donation of around $100 dollars to help with Heidi’s wages and the not insignificant costs associated with hardware and software that drives the website.
Note: if I am busy, which I sometimes am, it is only fair that I give preference to people who have donated.
Skype allows instant transfer of files and links; it may be useful before you call to make sure you understand how to receive files etc. Dr Google will help.
If searching for drug names use the proper chemical name of the drug, not the trade name, because I do not usually use or mention trade names when writing about pharmacology.
Depending on the level of your background knowledge you may have difficulty understanding or interpreting some of the material, which is sometimes complex, so be careful not to make unjustified assumptions. You can ‘right-click’ on something and learn more about it, whether that is the definition of a word or term, or explanation in some source such as Wikipedia. Explanations and elaborations are usually only a click away, so do not complain I use big words you can’t understand.
I do not keep notes and records of conversations, therefore if you contact me subsequently it may be useful for you to keep a record of any previous discussion.
Obviously, I cannot undertake to be available at short notice, you should always have a healthcare provider locally to whom you can refer to for emergencies or urgent advice.