I’ve never written a Haiku and now I know why. This is the equivalent to when someone at works says, “Meeghan, be creative,” like it is a button I can turn off and on. Not so easy. Here’s my crap Haiku!
I search for wisdom
This challenge bewilders me
Bring on day seven
Today I’m supposed to write about why I write about my health. Here’s the thing, I’m really rather a fraud when it comes to my own health. I actually don’t write about my health. I don’t take care of my health. I’m deathly afraid of going to the doctor. I’ve got the proverbial White Coat Syndrome, literally terrified to seek out medical care. My heart rate jumps, my blood pressure rises. I had Bells Palsy a few years ago, I thought I was having a stroke and still had to be talked into going to the emergency room.
I’m in a Master’s program in Health Communication’s at Boston University and pretty much decided to go into this field after having worked 18 years in a for profit organization. I took a look at the landscape of emerging fields and it was health care, tech and the environment that had the most job growth. Purely an analytical decision. I opted for the former and have certainly loved learning so much about our health care system, health disparities, epidemiology, health communications among many other topics. This big broad field has certainly captured my interest as a professional, but it has not yet pushed me to really take stock of myself and my own health issues. And, I know it’s time.
I’m hoping by actually taking this leap, sharing that I’ve taken my health for granted, that I’m among the worst patients you could ask for, just might give me the courage to own up to my fears and actually do something about it. I don’t want to be a fraud. I want to write about my health and share that I’m making improvements. If you knew me, you would know that of all the challenges in my life, this will be the hardest for me to overcome.
So here’s my pledge to myself – by July 1 I will identify a primary care physician and arrange for a full physical. Deep sigh, heart rate rising already.
Today’s challenge is to identify a quote that inspires you. My selection is one that my mother would often say to me…”You are exactly who and what and where you are supposed to be and you are lovely.”
As I reflect on this quote I’m reminded how important self image, self confidence and sense of self plays into our health and well being. There are lots of studies and research that talks about the power of a positive attitude, and yet there are messages everywhere, particularly targeted at women and young girls that tell us that we aren’t thin enough, pretty enough, funny enough, smart enough. I’m all for self improvement and being our best but when are we going to give ourselves a break and celebrate ourselves?
The endless quest that so many of us are on to meet this mythical an impossible standard can be so destructive. I’m so saddened to hear about young girls suffering from anorexia, or young girls who have committed suicide because they weren’t accepted in their social group. I long to arrive at a place where I can even say to myself, that I like myself just as I am.
One of the most recent campaigns to move us in that direction was Dove’s Real Campaign for Real Beauty – one of the most successful ever. Kudos to Dove for continuing this campaign and incorporating it as part of their social mission. http://www.dove.us/Social-Mission/campaign-for-real-beauty.aspx
Having created this blog months and months ago, I’ve struggled to make it a priority as I’ve been working full time and finishing up my master’s full time, in Health Communication, at Boston University. But with a recent full scholarship to attend TedMed12 in a few weeks and coming across the writer’s challenge, it just seemed the time to try and squeeze this in too! Sponsored by WEGO Health, each day there is a prompt to help writers like me with ideas. My hope is to use these prompts but also generate my own thoughts to share with you.
Today’s question is about a health time capsule that would be opened in 2112, what would be in it, and what would people think of it when opened? Given that we spent last week with our eyes on the Supreme Court and the issue of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, I would put a copy of the legislation in my time capsule and would hope in 2112 that it would come as a shock that there was a time when health care coverage, good quality care, was not available for all citizens. In 2112, not only are all American’s covered but medical education is free to those who want to be doctors and who qualify.
I’d also put the red ribbon of AIDS and the pink ribbon of breast cancer. AIDS and breast cancer will have been eradicated. The citizens opening the capsule would likely not understand how the world could allow generations of Africans to go without condoms, without pharmaceuticals to prevent this disease from nearly wiping out a continent. In 2112, all of Africa is thriving and instances of this disease are rare.
Lastly, I’d put a paper medical record! Imagine the surprise to learn that we used to keep track of our records with pen and paper and not electronically.
While this exercise has been fun, I truly believe these advances are possible and that in fact we are on our way of achieving these goals. At TedMed in two weeks, attendees will discuss Great Challenges. What amount of creativity, innovation, risk taking has to occur to solve the Great Challenges? A significant amount of a willingness to think differently and a laser light focus to overcome these medical & societal challenges. Let’s hope that the dialogue becomes a call to action.