Taking Care of You

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” — Dalai Lama

Lately, I have been talking to people about the need to take care of themselves.

I have two short stories to share with you.

A friend of mine is someone that works very hard. She would come back from her daily job to attend to household chores. One particular day, I was invited to her house and while we were seated for coffee she got up and started cleaning the house. I felt this was the height of it.  This friend never dedicated time to take care of herself, no vacations, no fun, just work, work and work.

Finally, she took a pension and went off work. I was happy for her. Unfortunately, she didn’t have time to enjoy it. Within a short while, she started having health issues and… boom!!!; the dreaded- tumor. Surgery came after surgery, till she was found to have metastases. Presently she is receiving palliative care.

The second story is about another friend that always insisted on taking care of herself and making a balance between work and pleasure. She worked very hard but never played with her vacations. She took good care of her looks and never joked with her health.

She had no formal education but she read so many books and was informed about her society. She read the dailies and listened to the news. This woman is more than seventy years old but she doesn’t look it. She doesn’t have challenging health issues and she has not changed her perception of life.

Let’s get a few useful tips:

Everyday is a gift

When you take a trip to a hospital ward and see people in critical condition, you will understand how lucky you are to be healthy. They didn’t plan to be there but the situation had its grip on them. I have worked in situations where patients woke up healthy and engaging in their normal household chores. While conversing they had seizures and were rushed to hospital for emergency treatment.

One of our patients was getting ready for her son’s wedding the following day. She went to the stylist, fixed her hair and nails, Unfortunately, she tripped and fell which resulted in internal bleeding in the brain. That incident left her in the hospital for almost one and half months.

Enjoy each day as if it’s your last.

Do what makes you happy

I believe everyone has a passion for something. It could be sport, business, teaching or simply the art of giving. Some people like good food or visiting friends and family. Make sure that no day passes without you smiling or making yourself happy. Happiness is one of the indices used in evaluating success. Oh yes, it’s not just about how much you make financially but how well you can guarantee financial satisfaction.

 “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”Albert Einstein

Be a ‘gift’

The Bible says “the gift of a man makes room for him”. If you want to take care of yourself you should also learn to dedicate time for others. This looks contradictory but helping out gives you an internal enrichment that you may not understand. The world is spherical and that kind gesture will come back to you in a way you never expected.

Take care of your health

Speaking to my mum of more than seventy years she told me she went for a medical check up to control her blood pressure, cholesterol level and blood sugar. She also ran some blood tests to ascertain that it is okay with her. She learned from people that have maintained good health in their old ages. Obviously, I was excited about her actions and perspective on life. My mum doesn’t take anything for granted.

In healthcare we always emphasize prevention rather than cure. You don’t have to wait to visit the doctor until you’re sick. As you launch into your forties you are liable to health risk factors. When you analyze your family history you could notice that there are pathologies that run in the family and so you have to start to check yourself early.

Opt for a health insurance

This is something that is ignored especially in third world countries. Oftentimes we hear “we lost him because of money” or “we couldn’t take care of him because there’s no money to take him to hospital”. Others opt for herbalists in the event of critical situations that they know need medical care. Yet others confide in prayers because it is the “cheaper option”.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a step”. It is very important to be safe for the future, even if you presently enjoy perfect health. Life is so unpredictable and full of surprises that when misfortune comes, your trusted ones may not be there to help you. That is where self-love steps in and that, you accomplish by having health insurance.

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” — Buddha

Finally…

Remember that once you’re gone, you’re forgotten; you become history.

An acquaintance once said “My wife is dead, I have cried enough, I will go bury her and life continues”. This woman needed her husband’s attention so much, in her dark moments, but he was never there. She ended up dying alone without care of her loved one.

Please take care of yourself while you’re still alive. (Life is short but it is beautiful).

Taking Care of You was written by Udoamaka Nwigwe. A professional Italian nurse and you can follow her on Social media

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