TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTH

Last week Saturday my phone rang in the morning. Usually I receive calls from Nigeria on this day at this time. This call however was different. It was my long-time friend. He told me that his uncle of 60 years just had his left body paralyzed. They were in the hospital.

“The doctor said he has Stroke,” My friend exclaimed. “They said that it cannot be operated and that is why I called you to give me a second opinion.”

“What kind of Stroke does he have?” I asked.

He quickly asked the doctor and replied, “Isquemic Stroke.”

I then explained to him, “This type of stroke is caused by a blockage in an artery that supplies blood to the brain. This reduces oxygen to the brain leading to damage and later death of brain cells. If treatment is not given quickly, brain damage can be permanent.”

Then I went to the kitchen and drank a cup of water before I continued, “Right now he needs treatment to unblock the artery. There is nothing to operate in Isquemic Strokes. Unless in very special cases which your dad does not fall into. It is very important to control his blood pressure, blood sugar and then do physiotherapy. Of course you should put everything in the hands of God like always.

“Ok I will get back you,” he said, “Thank you very much for your assistance my good friend.”

Hours later he sent me the uncle’s medical history. He has been having high blood pressure for some decades. Being a busy uncle, he has never seen the doctor for health check-up. I called him and we had a good conversation. Below is excerpt of the call.

My friend you know life is very delicate. We should be health conscious. I will give you 3 rules that will guide you to taking care of your health. With this information you will be better than more than 90 percent of the people you see every day.

Rule #1 Take your health very seriously

A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses. Hippocrates

 

People say that they do not have time, they don’t even think about it or they do not have money to run medical tests. These are some of the many excuses I get.

In Europe and most developed countries people pay for health insurance they might never use and continue to go for tests even if they come out negative. This is because they understand the importance of health.  

In Nigeria some of the hospitals are in bad shape, sanitary systems are not okay and there are lots of diseases roaming about the streets. We are the people that really need health awareness. The day you have stroke or any disease you are the one that will be handicapped. You will are the main person that will bear the suffering including psychological set-backs.

Prevention is better and cheaper than cure. The cost of hospital care is huge. Think about your family. You will automatically become a burden. It will be worse if you die of a preventable disease. There is no need waiting for the government to take care of you. You must make the decision to take care of your health now.

Rule #2 Get credible information

 Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. Kofi Annan

 

The next thing after decision is to get information. Thanks to internet there is abundance of information. Therefore choose the best one. I recommend getting professional help.  

Find a the best doctor. The best doctor is not the most intelligent one but the one you trust. Make him your long term friend. (S)he should not be your family member. The doctor should be the best you can find. You do not necessarily need to pay him for advice. It is important to be genuinely interested in your doctor.

If you are a doctor’s good friend he will help you. Even if he doesn’t know the answer to your questions, he can find credible information. Remember they have contacts.

Next find feed yourself daily with health information. You can get them on TVs and Radios. There are lots of Podcasts and YouTube videos on health. The best I recommend is to read health articles. Get your phone or tablet and find them on the Internet. There are lots of them.

Here are very good ones. Choose one and stick to it. They are free too.

National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the largest source of medical research funding in the world and to complement its operations it boasts one of the internet’s most popular healthcare websites. MedlinePlus is part of NIH and it has a lot of good information for you.

WedMD (www.webmd.com)

Another hugely popular pair of websites, WebMD is estimated to receive over 19 million unique visitors each month.

NHS Direct (www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk)

The NHS website (www.nhs.uk) is the UK’s biggest health website, with more than 50 million visits every month.

MayoClinic (www.mayoclinic.com)

MayoClinic is one of the largest not-for-profit medical centres in the world. As well as offering first-class patient care, the organization’s fully comprehensive website enjoys approximately seven million visits a month.

Men’s Health (www.menshealth.com)

Men’s Health is the largest magazine brand in the world, boasting 44 different editions. Its content includes articles on features on all aspects of men’s wellbeing, from health, fitness and nutrition to sex, grooming and fashion.

Take action: Stop reading now and subscribe to the weekly newsletters of these websites. What are you waiting for? A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken action. No action means you haven’t truly decided.

Rule #3: Take action now!

You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. Zig Ziglar

 

There are many things to do after making this decision. You will take appropriate these steps to keep yourself healthy:

  1. Stop smoking, drug abuse and drinking too much alcohol. This needs no explanation. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV.
  1. Eat Healthy: Doctors will tell you that eating healthy helps prevent, delay, and manage heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Read Rule #1 again to find relevant information on healthy foods.
  1. Exercise: Target at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Day to day activities is a very good opportunity to be active. If you really want to avoid chronic diseases find the time for some regular, vigorous exercise for extra health and fitness benefits. Sedentary lifestyle should be your enemy. Also with exercise comes sleep. Adults should get at least 6 hours of sleep daily.
  1. Schedule Doctor visits for health check-up. They should do look at your body and run screening tests. Screenings are tests that look for diseases before you have symptoms. 

Recommended Health screenings for men

Check your BLOOD PRESSURE (BP) at least once every year for men between 40 – 64 years and every 2 years if you fall into 18 – 39 years.

Your CHOLESTEROL should be checked every 5 years for men between 40 – 64 years (2 years for 18 – 39 years).  If you are age 45 or older, you should be screened every 3 years for DIABETES.

Consult your doctor is you have high Body Mass Index (ask Google how to calculate Body Mass Index), High BP or any other risk factors for diabetes.  

Are you are between ages 50 to 75? If yes then you should be screened for COLORECTAL CANCER.  

For those above 49 years you should discuss screening for PROSTATE related diseases with their doctor.  

Have an EYE EXAM  every 2 to 4 years if you fall between ages 40 to 54 and every 1 to 3 years ages 55 to 64.

Your doctor friend will tell you if you need to do more of these screening tests like Dental check-up, Osteoporosis etc. Osteoporosis is a disease whereby bones become weak and more likely to break.  

Document the results and your personal medical information. Create a Family Health History of the illnesses your family has suffered. Do that with your PC using MS Word. Keep it simple and neat. Also you can us your phone with Notes app or a notebook.

When you finish upload the files on your Google personal account or Drobox for easy access. Update regularly and write down any important information you get from Rule #2. Do not trust your memory. It will fail you one day. 

Finally…

 

Always be thankful to God for what you have. Reduce the complaints and unnecessary stress in your life. You are very lucky to be alive today and you can make your life better.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you – Ephesians 4:32 (ESV).  

Like I said before this information you are better than 90 percent of people you see every day. Only if you start taking action now. Help yourself first before helping others. Engage your family to have a healthy lifestyle together.

I will finish with this.

If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are far better than 815 million people who are suffering from chronic undernourishment. 

If you have money in your bank, your wallet, and some spare change, you are among the world’s wealthy. Today 795 million people in the world live in extreme poverty. 

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the more than 150 thousand people who will not survive today.

If you have access to bottled water or tap water, you are luckier than 2 billion people that use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces.

If you can read this message, you are more fortunate than 774 million people in the world who cannot read at all.

Thank you very much for your time.

 

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