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    Breaking the Habit

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | March 10th, 2019

    Breaking the Habit

    I grew up in a Christian household, but once I left home, I had to make a decision about what I wanted to do. I no longer had my mother forcing me to go to church. I decided that if I was disciplined to go to work, I should be disciplined to go to church. A study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior followed 3,617 people for seven and half years and found that those who attended religious services at least once a month reduced their risk of death by about a third. As a group, they had a longer life expectancy.1 It did not matter if they were Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or Hindu.

    In today’s sermon, my priest read the following poem by Portia Nelson who is an American popular singer, songwriter, actress, and author. It is from her book, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery:

    Autobiography in 5 Short Chapters

    Chapter 1

    I walk down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
    I fall in.
    I am lost … I am helpless.
    It isn’t my fault.
    It takes me forever to find a way out.

    Chapter 2

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I pretend I don’t see it.
    I fall in again.
    I can’t believe I am in the same place
    but, it isn’t my fault.
    It still takes a long time to get out.

    Chapter 3

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I see it is there.
    I still fall in … it’s a habit.
    my eyes are open
    I know where I am.
    It is my fault.
    I get out immediately.

    Chapter 4

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I walk around it.

    Chapter 5

    I walk down another street.

    Maybe it is time to break the habit. Try something different if what you have been doing has not been working. Falling in the hole again and again or going around the hole just cannot continue and it is not sustainable. It is probably time to take a different path.  Think about this for the change you have been considering.

    1Buettner, Dan, The Blue Zones, 9 Lessons for Living Longer.

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.

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