By Ovundah Nyeche.
Oliver is a fifth year medical student, and he has been so anxious since the timetable for the fifth year medical exams was released. He knew he had so much to cover, but twenty four hours seemed so small these days. Every night when he went to the library to read, he discovered that he slept more often than the times he struggled to stay awake.
Usually when he woke up to go to his room in the morning, he felt so frustrated and unhappy, in fact it would have been better sleeping all night, than sleeping in the library while many of his friends thought he was reading. The time for the D-day was approaching and there was no longer time in his hands.
He had tried energy drinks and coffee to keep him awake, but it was not working and so he summoned up courage to ask one of his classmate named “Prof”, how he did it. Prof was famed for being able to read for hours nonstop and he usually saw a can of Bullet energy drink on Prof’s table whenever they were in the library together. Whenever he entered the library, Prof was there, awake and alert, whenever he woke up from his sleep “Prof” was awake and alert reading and “Prof’s” memory was superb.
He wanted to be like “Prof” at all cost, especially now the exams were approaching and when he asked “Prof” how he did it, Prof told him he laced his energy drink with 100mg of tramadol. Getting the drug was not a problem, all he needed to do was to fill the prescription and go to the hospital pharmacy and “O boy” Prof was right, the first day he took it his eyes were sharp like the eagles and he had unusual strength to go all through night.
In four days’ time, he was no longer on 100mg, he had graduated to 200mg and he was becoming more excited and though initially reserved he was becoming more talkative and was sweating a lot. At the end of the third week, he was hitting 300mg and was now more talkative and aggressive. His roommates noticed a lot of things were changing about him. And it was obvious, something was wrong when he was knocking loudly at a female classmate’s room late at night when they had no appointment whatsoever.
The next morning his concerned roommates talked with him and tricked him to the hospital on the guise of an impromptu class and then bundled him to see the psychiatrists and after evaluation, he was handled as a case of tramadol abuse and admitted in the psychiatry ward.
Gulliver was not as lucky as Oliver, he started taking tramadol about two months ago. He heard from friends that taking tramadol will make him last longer on bed and true to their words, the first time he took the drug he lasted longer in bed when Tracy his girlfriend came to visit him. He also felt a feeling of wellbeing whenever he took the drug and tramadol became a part and parcel of him. It was also very easy to get as he could always buy it from a kiosk not so far from him.
He was becoming addicted to it and the last time he tried to stop he felt so depressed, confused and was hearing voices in his head. But like magic Stephanie came to visit him that day and he popped 100mg of tramadol into his mouth so he could last long with her on bed and immediately the feeling of gloom disappeared. From that day tramadol became part and parcel of him and the dosage kept increasing, even if there was no food, he just had to take tramadol, he was also spending to ensure his store of tramadol never went dry.
However two days ago, while in a club having fun, Belinda a lady he had been wooing decided to follow him home and as usual he popped in three capsules of 100mg strength into his mouth and this time he started feeling funny; he had a strong urge to vomit, and could no longer see clearly, his breathing was becoming shallow and he felt his heart slowing down. He tried calling Belinda his catch for help, but she was on the bed and seemed not to know what was happening. Gulliver had convulsions in his bathroom where he had gone to vomit. When Belinda waited and waited for Gulliver to show up and did not see him, she decided to leave the bed and see what he was up to, as she opened the bathroom his lifeless body made her scream and her scream attracted Gulliver’s neigbours who rushed him to the hospital, he was declared dead on arrival.
Silver had always loved politics but she was so shy. She was a very sound lady and did very well during her tenure as the acting hall chairman of her hostel in school. She was interested in the position of the Vice President of the Students Union Government of her university. Her friends had picked the form for her, but her shyness was an issue for her; once during a talk to sell her candidature, she was frozen on stage and her campaign manager advised her to take tramadol.
The first day she took it, she felt so good and the feedback from the crowd she spoke to was so good. She wondered why no one told her of this wonder drug ever since. She had a pack in her purse and anytime she felt moody or wanted to give a talk, she popped some capsules into her mouth and the dose kept increasing. And the results were there for all to see, she seemed no longer shy and unreserved.
And so as the days went by she and her tramadol were five and six; after a grueling meeting in the heat of the campaign, she came to her room and realized her hands were shaking and her supply of tramadol was finished. She decided to go look for tramadol that night. She went to the shop where she usually got it, but it was closed, and she went to another shop, and another shop, and another shop, and they did not have it. She then went to a pharmacy to get the drug and when she entered the pharmacy, the pharmacist noticed she was bare footed and scantily dressed; he recognized her because of her posters which were almost everywhere on campus. The pharmacy was about closing for the day as it was late at night and she requested to buy tramadol and sounded so desperate; the pharmacist asked her to show him her prescription paper but there was none, he knew what he was dealing with and put a call across to a friend of his who knew her very well.In no distant time, he was there and they took her to the hospital to see the psychiatrist.
It is no news that a lot of young people are already hooked on drugs, it is not news that a lot of young people are already dependent on tramadol and many times take more than the daily maximum dose for purposes not related for the main purpose the drug was made for.
Each day we are accosted, by bright futures dimmed because of wrong choices, you don’t need to take drugs to feel important or feel high. You don’t need drugs to have a healthy estimation of yourself. Don’t ruin your future. If you are tempted to pop drugs in, read this story again. You may not have the opportunity to be rescued like Oliver and Silver.
If you are already hooked and you have tried your best to stop, but you are finding it difficult to stop, or you feel so annoyed any time someone points this to you, or you know that drugs are messing up your relationships, taking a toll on your family and finances and indeed your life, then you need to talk to someone about it and see a psychiatrist.
A psychiatrist is not just for those that are “Mad”, as many people think. Psychiatrists are mental health experts and can help you win the battle over addiction.
And while we are still at this, give your life to Jesus Christ, He will set you free.
You can ask questions, or recommendations, stay safe, and avoid drugs.
Any similarity between any person in the above story and any other person living, dead or in between is surely a coincidence.
Dealing with stress in the face of a pandemic.
A few days ago, during a Zoom meeting, I mentioned that; ‘we are not just dealing with a pandemic, but also an infodemic’, which is an excessive amount of information concerning a problem such that the solution is made more difficult. Little was known about COVID-19, 5 months ago, but right now it is in the lips, ears and minds of a lot of people worldwide. Considering the amount of updates, especially fake news, with the level of uncertainty, with the level of loss of control, with dwindling fortunes in many quarters… Fear and anxiety is at an all-time high.
This is the period when having a cough, fever, catarrh or difficulty in breathing can increase the worry hormones. This is also a period where a lot of people are worried about their own health and the health of their loved ones especially those that are more vulnerable to COVID-19.
And to keep up to speed with the news, a lot of people are having issues with their sleep and having changes in their eating patterns. Many are having issues with concentrating, as bad news hits left, right and center. Worsening chronic health problems stare us at the face. There is also worsening of mental health conditions and increased use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs this period, as people find ways to deal with stress and fear.
So how do you cope with stress…
*Get news only from verified sources, trust me ‘e get why’. That ‘salt and pepper’ that brings out the dopamine in you, may not be good for your health. Professionals report having your health in mind, while many sources report with sensationalism and the overwhelming need to get more clicks at the back of their mind. Also it is important you get the right information, so that you may be properly equiped.
* Take breaks from watching reading or listening to news stories, including social media, it will do you a great good.
* Take care of your body needs by eating healthy; a nutritious diet will do you a whole lot of good. You will also need to exercise regularly; you can tailor-make the exercises you do, so as not to break the physical distancing rule. Get adequate sleep; sleeping well does not in any way connote laziness, a good refreshed sleep is very important. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and drugs this period.
* This is also a time to meditate, pray, listen to wholesome/soul lifting messages, it will do you a whole lot of good.
* Learn something new this period, the fact that it looks as though things are on hold, does not in any way mean your life should be on hold. You can learn something new, but come on, it doesn’t have to be a competition.
* Give back to society in your own capacity, you may think your effort will be considered too small, but you can be a voice for someone or something this period, you can be a reason someone says thank you and wishes to live one more day.
* Do something you enjoy this period, of course something that would not put your health at risk or expose others to harm.
* Connect with others. As you know Physical distancing does not mean you should cut off from people, call your parents, call friends on phone, ask people how they are doing, care about others, and be willing to respond to other people’s need, it will also not be a sacrilege to receive help from other people. No one is a superman or superwoman. Find out how others are doing, and do not be embarrassed if people ask you how you are doing.
* Play your part to stop the spread of fake news, be careful what you share, if you are not sure and it is malicious, you may as well not share even if it sounds so sweet. Never allow fake news and rumors spread in your hands.
* We should also play our part to reduce stigma and stigmatization of people during this period.
Do have a great day ahead, we will overcome this. Let’s play our part to flatten the curve, it is in our hands.
Separating Myths from Facts #1 #COVID19
By Ovundah Nyeche
Bleach is a very effective fluid for cleaning surfaces and it can kill germs, including coronavirus on surfaces.
Alcohol can also kill coronavirus on surfaces and alcohol based sanitizers (at least 60 percent) are useful for cleaning your hands.
This does not mean you should bathe with alcohol, bleach, rub it on your body or gargle with alcohol and or bleach.
Alcohol or bleach will not kill germs in your body and can cause you harm.
Say you use water and detergent wash motor well well, no mean say you go pour am inside your fuel tank.
Say engine oil good for motor, no mean say you go pour am for motor body or fuel tank.
Please get information from the right channels like @WHO @Fmohnigeria @NCDCgov @LSMOH…
Credits: WHO, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/coronavirus-myths-explored
#hearword #OvdSpeaks #hearwordseries
World Suicide Prevention Day 2019.
Every 10th of September the World Health Organization in collaboration with the International Association of Suicide Prevention celebrates the World Suicide Prevention Day.
This year just like last year the theme is ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide’.
Every year about 800,000 lose their lives by suicide and this amounts to a death by suicide every 40 seconds.
25 more people attempt suicides and many more have suicidal ideations.
Of those aged 15 – 29 years, suicide accounts for the second leading cause death, topped only by Road traffic accidents.
Suicide is a public health concern and any one can be affected, and it is very preventable.
Unfortunately suicide does not end the pain but passes it to family members, friends, colleagues and others.
Last Saturday, RivEthics an initiative of the first lady of Rivers State Justice Mrs Suzzette Eberechi Nyesom-Wike, did a suicide awareness/ prevention campaign on radio and yours truly was the guest.
You can listen or download the broadcast which is in English Language and Pidgin English via the link below.
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