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.
Any similarity with persons in the above story and any other person living, dead or in between is surely a coincidence.
The Hebrew Women Tale
By Ovundah Nyeche
One of the favourite parts of my health seminars in churches is ‘The Hebrew Women’ Table; in my slides I keep it last, because pepper soup should not be rushed, but taken slowly.
I start by going to the scripture, where this was lifted from…
The story starts, with a new king enthroned who did not know about Joseph, the Hebrew boy who became number 2 in Egypt and who was dead already, he was the reason the Israelites emigrated to Egypt and right now the new King was scared that with their number and might they could align with a foreign nation, mess them up and leave Egypt.
So the strategy was to make them slaves or 2nd class citizens and make life miserable for them by making them build cities, but ‘e be like say as the men went back home, small good morning’ and boom their wives were becoming pregnant and they were becoming more and more in number.
So the King devised another method, talk to the midwives who took care of their wives ‘Hebrew Women’ during delivery, and order them to kill all male children delivered, but spare the female children.
With less males there would be less Hebrew males, the population would be well controlled and the females would probably have been forced to marry amongst the Egyptians making it more difficult for them to leave Egypt.
A thing to note is that, Egypt was the peak of civilization at that period and for these women to deliver via midwives who had access to the most powerful king on earth should tell you a lot. Worthy of note is that these ‘Hebrew Women’ enjoyed specialized obstetric care at the best hands thousands of years ago.
The king’s order still stood, the 2 midwives had to kill all male children who were delivered, it was an order, “But Shiphrah and Puah had respect for God. They didn’t do what the king of Egypt had told them to do. They let the boys live. Then the king of Egypt sent for the women. He asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?” The women answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like the women of Egypt. They are strong. They have their babies before we get there.”
Anyone that knows the Bible for himself or herself, will know that the use of the term ‘Hebrew Women’ to mean women who don’t undergo Cesarean Section or women who don’t have difficult delivery is contextually wrong.
The midwives actually lied to the King to save their own Iives and to spare the male children/ male population.
Don’t kill yourself for nothing, trying to prove what does not exist. Listen to your doctor and be more concerned about having a safe delivery with you and your baby/ies intact. Your testimony will not spoil if you said you had a CS, even if it is nobody’s business.
Wisdom is profitable to direct, faith is not the same thing as stupidity…don’t kill yourself for nothing; your children and your husband need you.
I said I should let you know…
#HearWord #OvdSpeaks #HearWordSeries
By Ovundah Nyeche
So one day in a particular hospital, I was on call and was reviewing patients, when I got a call from someone to come to another part of the hospital immediately and leave anything I was doing.
To further indicate the seriousness there were people physically present to call me.
Rushed to the place and saw someone who just slumped…my mind was working like a pentium 4, what could this be…did all the preliminaries, did all I knew in the split second, but the hands were cold and the pupils were telling a story, a story which was saying a journey has started to eternity.
I broke the sad news and minutes later relatives showed up, they were also told the sad news, amidst cries, tears and prayers.
I observed the event closely…the family members seemed the most broken…to others the corpse was just a dead body, or perhaps a dead friend or colleague or perhaps just another dead person or even a firewood. But to the relatives it was a dead family member, a benefactor, a sibling, a parent, a caregiver etc.
In days if the deceased work in a facility that needs attention, a new worker would be employed to fill the gap and life will continue as if nothing happened, whilst family and close friends mourn their loss.
In this past few days, I have seen a lot of ailments many terminal and as always, I would advise you to please take care of yourself, REST (note to self), cancel appointments if necessary, go for check up, check your blood pressure, do a full workup, see a doctor (even if you are one), take a break from stressors (including social media), detoxify your mind, see a psychiatrist, see your pastor, unload, take a retreat, vacation, eat right, run from things that would damage your body, delegate, go on leave, take life je-je, spend quality and quantity time with family etc.
This life no get duplicate, and if anything happens na your family members go suffer am…as life moves on…even if you die in any office, it is very likely the office will not end and the sun will still rise and set.
It is sad seeing people carrying bombs as BP and carrying values of check that are either too high or too low.
Take care of yourself and pause where you need to pause…it pays
Everything is not about gathering, gathering, gathering. Struggling, struggling, struggling…
May this instruct you.
#HearWord #ovdspeaks #HearWordseries
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.
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