I REMEMBER some time ago when I was on internship in a clinic, they had rushed in a man who was almost lifeless to the emergency room.
We feared he was dead as almost all the doctors did yielded no result, until we discovered his insulin level was very high. Another time, while carrying out series of tests for a patient, we discovered he was diabetic but surprisingly, he was oblivious of it.
Likewise, during one of the routine BP checks in the plant, we came across an employee whose value was so high that we asked if he was hypertensive and on drugs, he said yes but could not take it regularly, as the drugs were expensive; more expensive than his life I guess.
I can keep going on and on. How many have lost their lives or complicated their health conditions due to negligence or carelessness? How long do we keep overlooking these little things that really matter?
When was the last time you walked into a hospital and asked to do routine checks? How many know their BP, Sugar, Cholesterol, PCV (Packed Cell Volume) and other vital values.
This is because in a traditional African Nigerian community, it is unusual to see people go for routine check-ups unless they become critically ill.
Most have become self-acclaimed doctors. It is disheartening to know that these little things we feel are inconsequential are what we need to be wary of to stay healthy.
It is no longer out of place to hear people slumping, dying, having heart failures and more when such people were presumed to be healthy before the incident.
It is high time we stop relating most of these happenings to the ‘so called village people’ and start paying close attention to the aforementioned. Absence of obvious symptoms does not connote 100% healthiness. I used to think I had so much blood even to donate but my PCV result proved me wrong.
So was the time I stopped taking much sugar because I thought my body was accumulating much until I saw my sugar test result and I had to increase my sugar intake. It is okay to presume some of these things, but we also need to start ascertaining them through routine medical check-ups.
In as much as going for check-ups is very important, it should not stop there. It transcends to other things like having proper rest to relieve stress. I am emphasizing on this because with the pandemonium and hullabaloo we experience always most especially in Nigeria today,
it will not be out of place to say most people are stressed out trying to make things work. I do not have a problem with the later but I do have serious issues with people overworking themselves to a breaking point. What if you exceed your ‘elastic limit’ and break out in the process,
what would you have achieved in the end? The formula should be; do your work, take a break, get some rest and continue.
Other pertinent issues like drug abuse, self-medication, healthy diet, exercise cannot be left out. I will not be writing much on them but there are so many wrong preconceived notions already associated with them we need to get right.
Like the idea of exercising basically to lose weight, self-interpreting symptoms, purchasing drugs in shops manned by untrained persons without prescription and more. I encourage all to start imbibing the culture of visiting the hospital for routine checks rather than wait until we have no choice.
You may appear very healthy on the outside but will be dying inside without knowing.
What if I don’t have the money for these checks? Many will ask. What if you lose your life while trying to save that money I would retort? Like the popular saying, ‘health is wealth’, only a person who is ‘medically certified’ to be healthy will be fit to run around. Your health is paramount.
Stop ignoring these little things that matter. Walk into the nearest health centre today, carry out these tests and know the values such that when it deviates from the norm, you can easily tell. Do all you can within your limits to stay healthy.