Sentimental…

I have always been very emotional.

I would get hurt at the slightest thing, cry so hard whenever something unfavourable happened to me. I made decisions based mostly on my emotions. This got me really burnt when I almost ended up marrying the wrong person.

Somehow through my emotional ‘ups and downs’ way of life, God saw me through most of my decisions and ensured I got on the right path, mostly. The major ‘life-determining’ decisions I have had to make so far have always been so tough. I usually do not realize until I get out, how hard it really was. Most times, I just go into an automated mode and live through that period like I’m watching from outside my body while everything falls into place. Grace.

Sentiments never gets anyone anywhere. An online dictionary describes a sentimental person as a person who relies on emotions more than reason. Making life decisions emotionally never ends well because your emotions are temporary and will change while you have gone ahead to make a decision that will influence your life possibly forever. Someone once told me that e.m.o.t.i.o.n.s means E – emotions in motion. This means it isn’t constant, emotions vary depending on circumstances and our responses to it.

Therefore if emotions are fleeting, we are encouraged to set aside sentiments when making decisions that will influence our lives forever.

Recently, I have chosen to be less sentimental as this hasn’t paid me (if anything, I have been burnt more) and make more rational choices. This doesn’t mean that one should lose all sense of sensitivity in dealing with others, God knows how sensitive I am lol but indeed there is a need for a balance.

So please pray for me as I begin this journey (better late than never)!

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My Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger

I was just about considering taking a break from writing when I got a mail saying I have been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award!

My heart raced as I read through Oma’s mail. The humour was finding out it wasn’t a real award but an internal ‘gig’ for bloggers!

So nonetheless, here’s me celebrating, for being a part of this.

Before I proceed, here are the rules:

  1. You have to thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog;
  2. You have to write a post to show your award;
  3. Give a brief story of how you started your blog;
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers;
  5. Select 15 bloggers you want to give this award to; and
  6. Comment on the blogs of these 15 bloggers and let them know that you have nominated them, providing a link to the post you created.

So here goes:

  1. I was nominated by Ihuoma – my blogger colleague who amazingly remembered me. I am a silent reader of her blog (which is pretty amazing), find her here: https://omasserendipity.wordpress.com/
  2. On-going
  3. Growing up, I always had a nudge to pen down my thoughts/feelings. Being a strong critic, I never really saw myself going through with it. I was availed the opportunity when I got married and was faced with a brand new chapter of my life. The feeling was so overwhelming, all I could think of was writing and so I wrote…. I started off writing down some of my weirdest thoughts ever then graduated to publishing on Blogspot, WordPress, now here.
  4. My advice to new bloggers is: ensure you write from your heart. Many times, you might face opposition but as long as you are happy and not hurting anyone, DO YOU! Oh and also, do not be afraid to explore. I know I have been faced with fear countless times but I really do try to break free.
  5. So I am going to break this rule a bit…. I am nominating four and not fifteen bloggers I’d like to give this award to – just because I can! A. https://munachiii.wordpress.com/                                          B. https://achalugowrites.com/                                    C. https://chichirp.wordpress.com/             D. https://fruitandvineblog.wordpress.com/

I am hoping someone is inspired today, Lord knows I need some extra inspiration this period!

Wishing you all an amazing week!

Seven ‘Great’ years ago…

I have been in deep retrospect these past couple of days. A lot has happened recently that has got me digging deep.

So in the spirit of retrospection, I celebrate today!

Today marks a very significant day in my life. My first day of work…ever! 12/4/2010.

I was not privy to internships while in school so having gotten a ‘proper’ job for NYSC, made me really really nervous.

On this day, seven years ago; I got up early, dressed up and was driven to the office. With so many emotions flooding my mind, I stepped into something I didn’t realize at the time was great.

I am so thankful for that day.

The past seven years have been an array of events that shaped my life and made me the person I am today. I have been awarded the opportunity of working with talented people, multinational brands, exploring my potentials and learning far beyond my imagination. On the job, I have witnessed personally the hand of God guiding me – I had to learn to commit all to Him and watch Him do wonders even in the littlest projects.

While I was in Secondary school, I never imagined I’d be this serious in life. I struggled so hard to keep up, reading was a major chore. With the way I was going, I would have ended up with a career – wife of a rich man, or worse.

The turning point came when I failed my Diploma exam in Uni and thought I wasn’t going to get accepted. The way God came through for me, I made a decision to change.

This was the beginning of the better days of my life.

Some were born ‘serious’ while some of us had to learn to be serious. Some of my friends hardly read but passed regardless while people like me had to read and read to pass.

The fact is that no two of us are the same. We all must learn to accept our strengths and weaknesses. The hope we do have is that in our weaknesses, God has promised that His strength is available. Therefore I do not have to fear situations that may expose my weaknesses but embrace them knowing the power of Christ in me.

Grace Saw me through school, Grace has seen me through seven years of gainful employment, it is Grace that will take me to the places I want to get to.

Looking forward to the next seven years! Hopefully, I would have gotten myself to write a book by then!

 

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So this was me, seven great years ago! In the parking lot of Motorways, just before walking into my work life.

Photo Credit: Mr. Awe, the greatest!

All that mattered, Still matters.

7th April 2014…. three years ago, I pushed myself to publish my first post.

I was at a point in my life where I really needed to express myself. I found my voice in writing my thoughts, experiences and dreams. My husband and I had just moved in together and I was learning to be a wife and more.

Writing is my mirror, showing me what lay beneath the strong, independent woman I pose to be. In three years I have written over ninety posts and I must commend myself for my persistence even when I had opposition with some of my content and months long writer’s block.

I really hope with the way I am going, I will end up writing a book and more!

Many thanks to everyone who has encouraged me to keep writing through my rants, flaws and all!

Below is the link to my first ever post on blogspot!

All that matters…

You might want to read and judge how far I have come. I can say for sure, the journey has not been easy but it has been worth it.

Have a great weekend!

Burden of Care in Mental Health Conditions

This time two years ago, I was in the hospital.

I had just suffered a mental breakdown and was on admission. I had been separated from my child and my husband had to shuttle between the hospital and the house daily. I recall he slept at the hospital every night for the three weeks+ I was on admission for.

During this period, I hallucinated, was violent, cursed and basically acted out. I recall being out of touch with reality, being so afraid and alone. I totally forgot that I had a daughter and part of what began my healing process was when my family agreed to bring her in every night to see me.

I am indeed thankful for my care-givers especially my husband. Everyone made sure I was okay always. There was a period I was addicted to playing the Game Ludo – all the nurses had to take turns to play with me during the day as I was always bored and restless!

It indeed isn’t easy being a patient neither is it easy being a care-giver. It takes a lot of commitment and love to keep at it.

Below is a write up by a Medical Officer at Happy Family Hospital, I hope it encourages you today.

***

Ifeanyi is a 31 year old male who has been visiting our hospital for the past 4 years. He was only 27 years old when he first visited. Before then, he was an Economics student in one of the tertiary institutions and he combined this with a part-time job to earn some income.

It all started when on a particular day he suddenly became agitated.

He ran out of his home singing at the top of his voice. It was impossible for him to be calmed down. He claimed he had been talking to Jesus and had a very important message to pass to his school’s management.

He was eventually admitted to the hospital and went home after 6 weeks of being on admission. A working diagnosis of acute psychotic illness was made on his first visit. He returned to the hospital 8 months later with a similar episode. After then his diagnosis was upgraded to bipolar affective disorder.

He has had many episodes of relapses and remissions since then.

All illness generally exerts a devastating effect on both the sick person and his immediate support system of care-givers. We cannot prevent falling ill sometimes. Still, nobody ever wishes to fall ill at any particular point in time. Also, nobody can accurately predict when he or she will be ill or otherwise. So it is something absolutely left to chance. When illness does happen, it is always expected that it resolves in a definite period of time. This enables the sick person to go back to his former role in the family or society.

Different illness conditions have different expected periods of resolution.

For instance, when someone is down with malaria, it is expected that after a few days of medical treatment, he should be up and doing. Let us look at other illnesses that can take quite a longer period of time to resolve – say, a fracture of the thigh bone. In such a case, the patient is restricted to the sick bed for say a period of weeks to months. But the good news is that after this period, he eventually gets up and gets about. He can be adjudged to have recovered.

Now let us look at other health conditions which unlike as in the two examples cited above, do not resolve in definite time frames.

Medically, these conditions are described as chronic health conditions. Let us take for example, two popularly known health conditions – diabetes and hypertension. In these conditions, the patient does not get to go free from the illness, but can only manage symptoms and hope that complications do not arise

Most mental health conditions also fall into these category of chronic health conditions. Schizophrenia for instance is not a condition that can be said to have resolved after any defined period of treatment.

The aim of management is to keep patient symptoms free and functional for greater part of his days as much as is possible. Same applies to bipolar disorders and personality disorders. In both situations, the sickness more or less remains with the patient for life. There may or may not be intervals of stable state after which the patient gets ill again.

Caring for people with chronic health conditions especially mental illness places enormous stress on the patient and the care-givers. This stress is both physical, psychological and financial. The care-givers for the purpose of this discourse is broadened to include both the patient relatives and members of the health care team seeing the patient.

The patient after long periods of multiple hospital admissions gets tired of going in and out of hospitals. Such patients easily fall prey to quacks and charlatans who promise them easy solutions to their problems that are not attainable. Some other times, they are also tempted to turn to religious bodies for solution to their problems since it seems to them that orthodox medicine has not been able to resolve their problem. Again, such patients are the ones that are most likely to stop taking prescribed drugs as they feel that the ones they have taken so far has not been helpful. Besides, prolonged periods of taking most drugs usually predisposes to unpalatable side effects.

The patient relatives also get demoralized and frustrated after prolonged periods of providing care, most times without any obvious dramatic results. At such times, care-giver apathy may surface. They tend to rationalize that having done their best for the ill person, maybe it is just best to leave him or her to her fate. Remember also, that the illness also always is a major drain on the finances of the patient relatives who in most cases are the ones footing the medical bills.

The medical personnels who are also part of the care-giving team are not immune to this process of care-giver apathy. The psychological burden of seeing a patient repeatedly and knowing that you have probably offered the best that you can for his condition with little or no changes in the status quo cannot be described in words. Patient and patient’s relatives drop the burden of the illness and their frustrations with it on your shoulders at every clinic visit. They justifiably expect you to wave a magic wand and make their problems disappear. From a doctor’s perspective, it is frustrating that we do not have all the answers yet, and sometimes the very best we can do for our patients is only but very little.

In summary, it is important that both the patient and the care-givers understand the prolonged nature of chronic health conditions right from the outset when treatment is commenced. There are always some psychological and financial burdens attached to chronic illnesses, and the aim of treatment is not always with intention to achieve cure, but rather to keep patient stable and functional. Understanding this will enable all units in the team to work towards a common goal and to encourage each other when the need arises. A chronic mental health condition does not warrant a total write off or abandonment of the ill individual.

Contributed by

Dr Anyim Nnamdi

Medical Officer (at Happy Family Hospital Ltd) with interest in Mental Health

www.happyfamilyhospital.com.ng