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I was fit as a fiddle, but now I can’t walk…It must be an attack.

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By Ovundah Nyeche.

Mama was very sound and went to the village for the usual “August meeting”, she was apparently as fit as a fiddle when she left. She was speaking at the village meeting when she slumped and started having seizures.

Mama was not a known epileptic, mama had high blood pressure but was not regular with her drugs in fact she argued with anyone who ever told her she was hypertensive, mama believed she was healed, mama also had diabetes.

Mama was immediately taken to a “Prayer house” as her relatives believed she was attacked by diabolical means. They had to send this strange “Evil sickness” back to sender, they also had to cast it away. While she was in the “Prayer house” they then sent a message to her children in the city who were educated but who believed deep in their heart this was not normal and in fact this “Strange sickness” was projected via voodoo.

After three days in the “Prayer house” it was obvious mama was not making any improvement and so she was sent back to the city and brought to the hospital, after examination by the doctor, it was found out that mama had a stroke.

Aunty had a very terrible headache, throbbing and banging, she had a packet of paracetamol and other analgesics she procured from the chemist close to her house, she had been taking them all to no avail.

Aunty stood up to go and do her chores and as she was ironing she feel down to the ground and called for help, she was helped on her feet but it was noticed she could no longer stand or make use of one side of her body, her relatives simply left her at home.

Hours later she was noticed to be having frequent seizures, the screams from her daughter attracted her neighbours, who poured all manner of things on her, beat her repeatedly so the seizures would stop and put garri turner, spoon and a metal in her mouth, to stop her from clenching her teeth and biting her tongue.

They would inflict so much injury on her mouth, knock off some teeth and dislocate her jaw. Moments later, Aunty slipped into unconscious and boom they remembered that there was something called the hospital, she was brought in unconscious and she was still having seizures; with her relatives hoping she wakes up immediately.

In these two scenarios, the risk factors were obvious.

They were blacks: being black connotes a higher risk of having a stroke ( I hear a God forbid).

They were hypertensives: Hypertension is one of the major reasons people have strokes, it is not something to toy with. These days many young people have high blood pressure. Hey, when last did you check your blood pressure? What is your number? It may shock you.

Mama was diabetic : Diabetes increases the risk of having strokes. Diabetes affect small and large blood vessels, affects nerves and can cause deposition of fats on the blood vessels.

Both were postmenopausal: Before menopause, the hormone mix in ladies protect them to a large extent against stroke, but after that the risk increases.

Sedentary lifestyle: Both Mama and Aunty stay mostly indoors. These days people hardly exercise, and many regular jobs make you seat for a long time without exercise.

Poor drug adherence: In Nigeria almost everyone is a doctor so many times patients determine what they want to take and how they want to take their drugs. I have heard my patients tell me they take their anti hypertensive drugs only when they feel somehow, in fact one opened up to me that he takes his drugs only when he wants to come to the hospital so his blood pressure would be close to normal, so the doctor will not admit him. Also many do not take their anti-diabetic medications. Another group cannot afford their medications, they therefore have to damn the consequences.

Listed above are some of the risk factors for a stroke, which as you can see are highly unspiritual. One cannot help being black or being a woman and a post menopausal one at that, but you can modify your lifestyle by being deliberate in exercising, eating healthy and complying with anti-hypertensive or anti-diabetic medications which on the overall reduce your risks of a stroke. Also young people need to deliberately cut down on the quantity of alcohol they consume and stop smoking either actively or by always staying where people smoke.

I would love to get a feedback from you, or questions if you have any.

Stay safe, stay healthy.

DISCLAIMER

Any similarity with persons in the above story and any other person living, dead or in between is surely a coincidence.

#HearWord #HearWordSeries

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Dionakovie Ikenna Obuh

    September 2, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Good one. Very informative. More grace Ovd.

    • Avatar

      Ovundah

      September 8, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Thank you so much Ma

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Healthy Living

Living Test Tubes…

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By Ovundah Nyeche.

And so one day I was seated with a patient, who came for a particular complaint…

And boom the  discussion turned to fibroids…

And boom I hear…

I am taking a herbal remedy for my fibroids…

And here was I sweating…

Madam, do you know what the herbal remedy you are taking contains? Nooooooooooo!

Madam, can you explain to me what fibroids are? The look changed to “if I had the chance, I will beat”… You can you explain to me what strength of material is? or explain to me the theory of relativity?…

Okay Madam, please do not be annoyed, “na play I dey play”…

Okay, jokes apart,  how does this herbal remedy work? Erm how am I supposed to know?

Madam, you know you are on other drugs, does this herbal remedy interact with other drugs you are taking?  And there was this “come young man you better behave yourself”… Well you know that look…

Erm Madam lest I forget, what are the side effects of this herbal remedy? “Haba” Doctor… These drugs are organic and have no side effect whatsoever…

Madam is beans you eat not organic? Shebi it has side effects… Which can range from firing, rumbling, peppering to praaaaaaaaa…

You say your medicine does not have any side effects at all? Yes oh…

Ironically, if a real doctor tells this patient anything, the patient will likely Google it… But when a wannabe is playing with the patient’s  life…They will likely look the other way…

Don’t kill yourself for nothing…

#hearword #OvdSpeaks #hearwordseries

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Features

Apologies My Dear Melanin Umbrella.

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By Belema Omuso Abbey.
I need to say I am sorry dear melanin. Can you ever forgive me? Can I ever undo this wrong? Is there a way I can make this better? How come I was never told I despised you with my actions. I was unknowingly telling you to get lost, literally!!! How come my brain never actually registered the counselling and all the caution I heard? Repeatedly heard.
A deep groan escaped Fabby’s lips as she clutched at her head, sobbing quietly. Then, she pressed send, delivering her message. She got up from the toilet seat and stood in front of the bathroom mirror. She looked at her once “glowing, very fair” skin, scattered in patches of red, black and yellow discoloration. Her skin was shriveled, she could see very tiny and large blue-green veins literally making a map all over her skin. It is a map indeed.
Her doctor says it shows the way the superficial blood vessels course through her body. Her left arm had a long scar, a lasting memory of the surgery she had 4 weeks earlier. The wound took 4 weeks to heal. Dr Regina said it was because her skin has lost all its protective, healing and regenerative functions. Fabby listened as her husband opened the door for the team comprising of doctors and nurses. Her husband called out to her, she is needed he said.
You see, she begins chemotherapy today for melanoma, a skin cancer. That was the outcome of the surgery on her left arm. Melanin stood rigidly against Dr Tan’s consulting room walls. Fabby’s message overwhelmed him as her words echoed all around him. He remembered reading Dr Regina’s notes a few months ago. “Mrs Fabby Dema, a 38 year old female, manager at a bank, who presented with an ulcer on the left arm. She was said to have previously developed an itchy black spot (before the ulcer started) that bled occasionally. She had been using over the counter whitening creams and soaps for 10 years, including a whitening cream following which she would pluck and pull out her skin after a few hours, revealing supposedly new skin. She is married, has just gotten to the peak of her career, her 3 kids are in secondary school. She does not smoke nor take alcohol.”
An angry loud thump drew melanin’s attention back to Dr Tan’s consulting room. It was the angry female patient. She is quite furious because Dr Tan is insisting that she has developed an addiction to steroid creams as she refused to stop applying them 5 months ago. He had prescribed it for an acute flare of her eczema but was surprised to see her much lighter in complexion during the clinic visit. She explained that the steroid cream made her skin fairer and more beautiful. She stomped out of the consulting room as the young dermatologist refused to prescribe some more for her. Melanin pitied Dr Tan. He had particularly had a bad day at the dermatology clinic.
He reminisced about his previous patients. He wondered whether he was complicit in 45 year old Mrs Owuna’s addiction to hydroquinone. He had prepped her skin for a chemical peel with 2% hydroquinone after counselling her on the benefits of the controlled procedure. Following sessions of chemical peels with glycolic acid, he withdrew hydroquinone, placing her on sunscreen.
Despite pre procedure counselling, Mrs A has refused to go off hydroquinone. Today, she informed Dr Tan that her 23 year old daughter’s skin is doing very well with a hydroquinone cream. Dr Tan felt some warmth on his shoulders as Melanin wrapped his arm around him. “No” Melanin said, the patient chose to continue the use of hydroquinone, you did not. He thought of Ms A. Ms A’s ebony skinned friend had accompanied her to her follow up clinic visit today. She needed to consult Dr Tan for a cream that could get her fair. Her group of friends had all started using naturally mixed soap and cream that made their skin luminous. She was rightly worried about the contents of those products, so she came to consult Dr Tan for safer options.
Melanin then screamed through the doctor. “Do not be tempted madam”. Do you know what the different shades of “black” you see on different skin do for us? It protects us from the damaging effects of the ultraviolet rays of the sun. It actually forms an umbrella shield around our skin’s DNA preventing damage and leading to skin cancer. It helps us not to photo age as fast as the white race. Ever heard of the phrase “black don’t crack”?
Bleaching agents with toxic contents like mercury and hydroquinone can give you kidney failure, steroids can cause growth retardation in children and cause a disease called Cushing’s disease. In the long run, when compared to your peers, your skin will look older, is prone to rashes, prone to skin infections, looks more wrinkled, does not heal properly and looks transparent. “I am Melanin, I live in your skin, I protect you, please do not hurt me” the doctor heard himself plead loudly. Those words sliced through Fabby as she dropped the cup of cream. 

 

You see, she is now in remission, her skin cancer treatment had resulted in a very good prognosis. Fabby was about applying whitening/bleaching cream because she noticed her ankles and knuckles look really dark she needed to even up the complexion one more time. Just one more week of use she thought, then I am done with toning my skin forever. So she planned, until melanin replied her long forgotten message.

Belema Omuso Abbey is a consultant dermatologist and physician of the West African College of Physicians. She trained at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and The University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu state. She is presently into private practise. She loves to dance, read and allow her imaginations run wild.
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Healthy Living

Ticktock says the breast…

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By Ovundah Nyeche.

In medicine, time is everything…

And many times the difference between life and death is time…and not necessarily money…

Husbands please do a lot of night watch and EFCC on your wife’s breasts…

Ladies be vigilant about your breasts…

Don’t dismiss casually…

Breast pain…

Nipple deviation…

Sunken Nipple…

Dimple on the breast…

Skin changes on the breast…

Swelling on the breast…

Wound on the breasts… ( leave village people, bluetooth and staphylococcus alone)…

Strange Nipple discharge…

Swelling under your armpits…

Please see a doctor urgently… As in immediately with all alacrity…

TIME is EVERYTHING…

And breast cancer is beatable many times, if fought on time…

Many times when caught late… Even your money… may mean nothing…

Do not just play with your breast… Watch and take care of it…

Do not just flaunt it… Inspect it…

And present to a doctor once you notice any foul play…

You are needed…

Your life matter…

Ladies your life matter…

#hearword #OvdSpeaks #hearwordseries #Ovdiasis

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