Everybody falls sick at one moment in a lifetime. By virtue of living in the tropics, we stand high chances of getting sick. Being sick can be so depressing that some people would even think of committing suicide, and annoying so much that others would want to see others sick too. Sometimes so bothersome that a sense of comfort is only during some moments of the day, especially whenever friends come around.
At night it can be hell. Take a case of a toothache, acute malaria or influenza. One could for instance imagine that if malaria is that a terrible feeling, what would it feel for one with AIDS condition?
This does not mean to demean those with HIV/AIDS. It is just for the purposes of us all lamenting our experiences with some notorious illnesses. Although management is possible, AIDS pain can be so annihilating for a life time. They are challenges we all need to overcome and only reminds us of a duty to listen to our bodies, understand them and take appropriate actions towards normalcy. For those who still enjoy divine grace -without terrible infections, it becomes primary obligations for them to toil away from them. It would mean using one’s highest intelligence and determination to stay safe.
The gravest times could be when besieged by a terrible infection whilst poor -unable to transport oneself to a health center or eat food of one’s choice as sometimes sickness may dictate. Remember some people might not want to be bothered with having to give a hand, which adds an insult to an injury.
As part of one’s responsibility, it would be important taking records of occurrences or attacks of infections, the immediate interventions, how interventions worked and possible improvements in such interventions. It is also important to write oneself a report indicating among other things lessons learnt, action plan behavioral or lifestyle changes. Resilience happens to be key during the tormenting times of an illness -while confident that with the little steps towards recovery or improvement are done, sanity would prevail.
It could entail finding and being involved in numerous distractions -off the mental focus on pain, seeking medical care, and assuming the position of masterly over one’s illness. Part of the lifestyle changes too must be having good dietary choices, stress management and being vigilant at preventing new infections to one’s body.
For continued self-mastery and hardening of the self it would be interesting and fun to do. Advocacy, reading related or helping literature, attending supportive training, remaining positive about the future, ensuring calm and patience -especially during the worst moments of the illness can be so rewarding.
Interventions too expire with time. This, thus, makes it important for one to find more information or updates about treatment illness suffered through consultations and reading a lot of extended literature the subject of interest.
It is also better to set one’s standard scale of healthy living. When suffering from an infection, it should not be that fatality on one person could be the same as for another. Most important to note is that the state of the mind or psychological resilience amidst support received externally as medical, counseling, friendliness and other rewards from a healthy social relationships.
It should not be that if someone has died of a similar illness or underwent the usually deforming surgeries, in the same way others with similar trouble will. Instead, one could assume a position felt as being above that and understand the fact that little choices and actions will determine nature of outcomes.
Family members and friends could come with their own feeling about what to do or advice to take against the illness -much of which can be contradicting, pressurizing and misleading at the same time.
It is very important to think through all advices given and analyze them as they get tested against reality, personal safety and general wellness. It is important however to appreciate them of their kind information, politely. And upon analyzing information given, points could be ranked and important decisions for health improvement taken.
At times employers and at-work team-members may not empathize with one in his or her debilitating illness. They may see it as cheating, laziness or excuses to have personal holidays.
It is pertinent that one humbly and politely explains clearly his or her health condition for necessary advice or help from his or her work-mates or bosses. In the same breath ask for permission to seek medical attention or to get back home till recovery. This is so because sometimes field station can be so hostile that recovery is made slow or not at at all.
In the 1990’s there was a case in Busoga College Mwiri (Jinja, Uganda) -where a child suspected to be home-sick, lazy was held long in school as his malaria fever worsened. The boy died in spite of his father back home being a medical assistant, who ably could administer drugs at home and have him recover. So this is how far social pressure could drive someone to.
Being knowledgeable about available health systems and part of it or being its beneficiary is very important for well-being-sustainability. While in touch with available health-system, personal discipline in line with responsibilities towards proper health behaviors must be observed.
During one’s social roles as advocacy person, information acquired must be proof-read before dissemination. It would be one way of building a reputable self-image central to promoting one’s ministry or work.
One of the objectives of this advocacy would be to break social resistance, reduce social discrimination, shape society to be hospitable and acceptable to marginalized groups or people infected and affected by certain illnesses. More so, the long-term ones. Social support system that include family members, friends, community health practitioners local leadership should be solicited for and tasked to help out when needed.
As a biggest sign that one loved himself or had positive regard for himself or herself, ought to find opportunities to train and acquire more skills in drug administration and best ways to help others in the same bracket – those with long term illnesses and the marginalized on the basis of their appearance or defect.
There is an instance of a man who experienced a terrible toothache for over two years. He was motivated to step up action planning to deal with it. He could no longer bare toothache , gum-blisters and bleeding, cost on work, and diminished social interactions.
After spending several thousands of Uganda shillings from his small savings, he realized how impoverishing a toothache could be. He, for example, could not feed well, fail to pay rent on time and forced to withdraw from social interactions.
Firstly of what he did was to revise the history of the toothache and realized he had been a fan of sweets, his brushing frequency was low -and even when he brushed he missed out on the crucial parts of his mouth. He wrote his findings down and began taking immediate action.
In fact in one of the actions taken which was to see intern dental students for advice. According to them, the only option, was to remove four molar teeth -including those that were not aching at all. This, too, was supported by their supervisor -with intimidating statements that the patient was keeping a time-bomb (of a worse toothache), which will in near future necessitate similar recommendation as theirs -regardless of where the patient visited for help. What an ambition decision by them!
Indeed, some of the medical decisions turnout to be full of errors. Upon resorting to bacteria and pain fights in a new relationship with drug-shops alongside effective brushing, the patient recovered until today.
Upon doing so, he began to regain his positive-self along side a feeling of a hard-gained relief. Several actions led to a lot more innovations like learning that an old tooth brush adopted after losing a new one could lead to re-infection that was much worse on him than the previous one.
And that instead of following the manufacturers usage of a tooth brush: said to be a period of only up to three months, he chose a week of usage to keep away several bacteria accumulating on the tooth brush, and because a period of stipulated three months only applied to normal teeth or gum.
For those who live several miles from the health facility or in areas where money comes in by accident, it is pretty intelligent to buy oneself a first aid box in which drugs are stocked and re-stocked. With it in place, the care-taker should ensure that at all times, he or she possesses drugs to treat even the most common ailments.