Journey to Wellness: Two

So like any other Ghanaian before this period I was not a fun of hospitals. The long queues, the unique detergent smell, the faces of nurses and doctors intimidating you, the whole thing looking like an interview, the lab man with the needle who is not smiling and taking my blood, the pharmacist who is just showing me the drugs and saying one morning one evening after meals etc etc, the long waits….. I just did not want to be there. I hope it makes you feel okay now after all those questions earlier on. But let me tell you how all that changed. Well am a nurse now and I love my job and all others involved because it’s a team work so the tables turned. That’s is no joke though I know you laughed over that but more seriously I got to understand certain things and how to love the hospital visit in order to just have a few trips a year there. So let’s look at it this way if you stayed good to the law did what you were supposed to do and stayed out of trouble you wouldn’t or ever be behind bars whether as a detainee or prisoner. Well if your dream is to be a prison officer that’s another quest. In the same way if you checked with the authorities of your body which is you at the top then the doctors for regular check ups then did all the other things like eating well, exercising, de-stress and all you would not be detained or admitted in a hospital. To counter that there are a few things that also defeat natural laws of wellness like getting involved in a accident, having growth that you cannot manage even with all the right things you are doing, congenital anomalies that one was born with, autoimmune conditions that you never heard about and mental illnesses and other issues just to mention a few. Life just sometimes happens and we need to deal with it, face it and conquer.
If you take good care of yourself your body would take good care of you.
But how would you know you are taking good care of yourself?
One day I had a chance to be involved in a conversation with 3 strong gentlemen. They were laborers at a nearby work site and we found ourselves at the same table of a food joint # chopbar. I was shy and had to slow down my blows of banku and okro soup (a special delicacy in Ghana usually said to originate from the ewes of Volta region). As these men ate the same food as me but from one big bowl one complained of how he feels the job is having a toll on his health and how he feels sick. The other exclaimed “as for me I am very strong, I don’t even remember the last time I went to the hospital or took any medication. I can say it’s been almost 8 years now. Be like me” then the other says to him but it’s good to check with the doctors from time to time to be sure” rudely interrupted by the other one claiming sound health “Oh but if I don’t feel sick should I go and see a doctor. I then lifted my head to look at them and got caught spot on so I was asked jovially by one of the 3 if I were to choose any of them as a boyfriend who would it be? Now the one who boasted of wellness was well built and had a good stature and the others looked smaller in size so I guess he felt his looks could sell him. I laughed and encouraged all three of them to get a check up once in a while not because the don’t feel good but just because of the kind of job they do. Why did I associate it with their job? They cared more about filling their pockets than their health anyway and the laborer job at a construction site even the dust and smoke lifting and carrying without any proper working equipment or protective garments could harm you real quick.
So in “Mr wellness” mind he was fit because he didn’t feel sick. But by whose criteria and which evidence base?
Another experience is told to me by my dad of a man who took his friend to see a doctor because he was so unwell. Let’s call the sick friend Mr unwell. So Mr unwell was driven and sent to the hospital by his friend who got him a good spot to sit and did all the running around to get him to see a doctor. At the nurses desk Mr unwell had to take his vital signs ( temperature, pulse, respiration, blood pressure) and have it documented. When he was done Mr unwell’s friend ask to have his blood pressure also checked since he does not remember the last time he visited a hospital. They checked for him and his blood pressure read 200/150mmhg. Just for a little education sake average normal range should be between 100/60-130/70 with average median 120/80hg. Borderline for hypertension could be 140/80mmhg. Don’t get alarmed, let should be constantly high and with associated symptoms but how would you even know if you are have not taken the time out to check?
He got admitted for weeks and Mr unwell was not even detained. He was not just hypertensive he had a serious medical condition and that one hospital visit accompanying a friend saved his life. That is what can happen when you use your own mental criteria to judge your level of wellness…..

To be continued