Letters & Opinion, Sounding Off

Check For Yourself!

Let’s talk about health, baby. Let’s talk about you and me!
Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be…

Kudos to those who sang the opening lines and to those who don’t know it. Aw, you’re so young!
Anyway, like those lines suggest, let’s talk about health. Over the past week, I’ve had a good thing going with two topics about health issues that are painfully under-reported and grey: I’m talking about thyroid disease and depression.

I would like to start out by once again saying a massive thank-you to JuelleCadette and Janeka Simon for opening up to me and to the world about their health issues. I truly believe that those testimonies have the power to save lives in so many different ways and I hope that the messages these ladies shared continue to reach far and wide.

I want to speak on the importance of minding your health. I know it shouldn’t be a case where people are begged to look after their own health. But being realistic, even I am constantly being told off by my loved ones to look after myself, so it is only fair to share the care and concern.

Being a working mother of two, I know exactly what it is like to feel like everything else is a priority and that as long as you are standing and you’re not in pain, you can press on for that much longer without having to go visit the doctor.

I know exactly what it is like to pen the appointment date onto a calendar and promise yourself that you will definitely go, but then two days before your appointment, one of your children falls ill and they need to go to the doctor. Then, of course, you have the truckload of expensive medication to purchase, so your doctor’s visit gets pushed back to next month.

As a working mother who has shared household responsibilities with the other half, I know what comes first: children, utilities, school expenses and food. But at the back of my mind, every now and then, reality strikes and then I realise the true number one: ME!

People, it’s time that we stop looking at “Me First” as selfish and start looking after ourselves. Tell me, with all your priorities that don’t involve you, what good are you to them if you are dead or dying?

It is time for people to become more friendly or acquainted with their doctors or local health centres.

Like I mentioned earlier, a lot of the time we are standing and feeling strong, simply because we have no pain pricking at us and having us to question our health. But we never know if there is a silent but violent storm brewing inside of us that is just waiting to do its damage.

I was raised with the words “Precaution is better than cure” sang in my ears more times than I care to remember and while this mindset can be restricting, in the case of healthcare, it is spot-on.

With the exception of a few dollars (should you decide to see a private doctor), what do you have to lose if you take some time to visit a medical practitioner to find out your medical status?

Wouldn’t you rather hear: “You have a clean bill of health!” instead of waiting until you feel ill and then you’re being told: “It is terminal and I’m sorry to say that you only have three more months to live”?

It is also important that you don’t allow employment guilt to kill you. You know what I’m talking about: where you’re too scared to go see a doctor even though you feel ill because you’re scared of getting penalised or even side-eyed by your employers because you are costing them a day of business.

Just look at the facts in this situation. Should you ignore your body because you are scared for your job? Ask yourself whether or not you will be replaced in a matter of weeks or days even if you collapsed and died today.

In some cases, you will not even be mourned by your employers because you never really even mattered to them over the money you were making for their business.

Again, I say, what good are you to your priorities if you are dead or dying?

Now don’t think that when it comes to checking on your health, you must only check on your physical being! Just look at the case of Janeka Simon: her issue is mental and, in many cases, while mental health issues bare no physical scars (although it can lead to them), it is equally as (if not more) important to get it cared for.

It is times like these where having a support system is important. It is important to know that one must never give up on their loved ones where health, both mental and physical, is concerned.

There are so many stigmas and fears flying around in both sufferers and onlookers that it is understandable why people might be hesitant to go get checked out. But at the same time, I will “three-peat”, what good are you if you are dead or dying? Forget what people have to say! At the same time, if you are the one who has to nag a loved one to go get help, don’t give up, but just be mindful of your approach.

I am no healthcare practitioner, so I could not have possibly gone into detail in this week’s piece. But I had one goal and that was to drive home the message of tending to your health and putting you first.

The list of ailments is seemingly never-ending and if you happen to know your status, kudos to you and keep looking after your number one, yourself. But if you don’t know your status, the list is long, so get cracking: go get yourself checked out so that you don’t end up being a walking time bomb just waiting to explode in to full-blown illness.

Rochelle entered the Media fraternity in May 2011 as a fresh-faced young woman with a passion for the English language, a thirst for worldly knowledge and a longing to inform the world of what was happening around them, whether it was good or bad.

She began as part of a small news team at Choice Television, which falls under the MediaZone umbrella. She was hired as one of the original members of the newly created Choice News Now team...Read full bio...


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