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Dreams to Reality

hands-157947_640The January 20th Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday should be a day of giving, working, educating the young on exactly who Martin Luther King Jr. was and what he stood for.  This day was not put in place to just take another day off from work or school.  It was not established to just sit around and do nothing.   Former President Ronald Reagan signed legislation for this holiday back in 1983. This particular day was fought for many, many years back to create a better equality for ALL.  Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke into existence the dreams that he had, the word God had given to him for past, present and future generations.

Let us take this day and dare to be different.  Feed someone today a healthy meal, give someone nourishment to their physical body and to their soul. Give someone a coat, hat, gloves, share a hug, a smile.  Those of you who own restaurants, coffee shops and salons – give someone a free meal, a free hair cut, fresh clothes.  An individual in these establishments can begin to pay for the  person’s meal, coffee, etc. behind you, creating a a domino effect as the start of making a difference!

I remember years ago, a friend I’ve known for over 20 years – she and I shared a common bond – being single parents, we met, lived and ‘survived’ coming from a homeless shelter.  We moved on from there, got ourselves together and went our separate ways, but continue to remain friends to this day.  As she and I continued to remain in touch and share our life experiences, we also began to attend the same church and decided to take it upon ourselves to randomly go to a homeless shelter here in Atlanta to pick up 6-8 men from that shelter in our own personal van(s).  We then brought them to our church and later fed them.  I’ll never forget when a couple of the men, while sitting there eating quietly began crying.  My friend and I thought something happened that we missed or we did something wrong, so we asked them why they were crying.  The one gentleman responded, “I’m just so happy today.  No one has ever done this for me.”

This is what this holiday is about – feeding someone’s body, spirit and mind and doing the work and making dreams become a reality!

I don’t understand

woman-241329_640Having transcribed thousands upon thousands of patient medical records since 1991 for various different hospitals and transcription services, for the life of me – I do not understand something.  Why is it that people voluntarily go to the ER or have a frightening symptom and call 911, yet turn around, get admitted to the ER or to the hospital but want to leave AMA (Against Medical Advice).  These are people that are coherent, not intoxicated or influenced by drugs – these are very sober people!

I also don’t understand why people who are already at risk for strokes, heart attacks, etc. – either from obesity or a risky lifestyle they’re living – why they have symptoms for months and months but do nothing about it?  Recently saw a TV show (that had nothing to do with health) whereas the person said, “I’ve had this burning sensation in my arm for quite some time now – I don’t know what it is”……..and the next DAY that person had a stroke!  Also encountered a situation where a person under 40 years old known to have diabetes – but has had an ulcer on their leg for months on in, foul-smelling – but does nothing about it??  Was told that the spouse of that person is contemplating leaving as they are tired of their loved one not caring more for themselves and not seeking medical attention to this problem.  A possible leg amputation could arise from that individual’s self-neglect – before they reach 40 years of age!

Feel free to answer this, discuss this with me and maybe we together can SOMEHOW get people the help they need before causing a very preventative permanent disability or untimely death.

How can WE do better

handshake-158683_640First off, I want to say that I welcome the challenge and the discussions that may result from my following blog.  This is why I’m here so that we can engage, learn, share, read and discuss how we can help each other:

WE – as people of color, MUST start doing better, becoming smarter when it comes to our health. I am by no means perfect – there IS no perfect person out there, but I’m certainly making every effort and being proactive to become a better me!

I’ve been evaluating other blogs related to personal medical issues/medical diseases, etc., among the African-American community .  Outside of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and healthy life coaches, I have not come across many African-Americans that are consistently blogging better health. Kudos to those that ARE blogging about losing weight and better eating habits!  Unfortunately though, it’s taken a near tragedy or extreme trauma in our past to even bring us to this point of engaging in better health.  This INCLUDES ME!!  We can certainly talk about Hollywood gossip, neighborhood gossip, relationship issues, sex, sports, etc. – and that’s okay to do – if that’s what you like.  In order for us to become better, healthier, we must have a new mindset about ourselves and learn to prioritize what’s important in our lives.

I believe that some African-Americans – especially in the disadvantaged communities – feel a ‘disconnect’ when it comes to their doctors,  nurse practitioners and other health professionals – feeling that they’re not easily accessible, they ‘don’t have time for me’ or they’re too expensive.  This is so far from the truth! 

We ALL have some family member, neighbor, co-worker, friend we know who continues to  avoid their ongoing illnesses instead of facing the problem head on.  With a little encouragement, and learning to come together, we can accomplish this and be a healthier community!

Take the time to learn about your community healthcare providers.  If you do find a physician who you feel is not satisfying your needs and questions, then by all means search for a second opinion.  It’s okay to write down questions before going to your doctor and posing those questions to your physician.   And remember, no question is silly or stupid to a healthcare professional.  When you begin to care and educate yourself about your health, those physicians will go above and beyond their calling to help you become a healthier you!