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    Do Not Ignore Your Health

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | March 22nd, 2020

    Do Not Ignore Your Health

    Recently, a colleague asked me, “Aren’t you worried? You are on the front-line and you are so calm.” I told her, “I pray, meditate, exercise and sleep when I am not working and that has made all the difference”. Panicking, yelling, worrying will not prevent the coronavirus.

    Since last week, many states have instituted “Shelter in Place” or “Stay Home” policies. This is extremely important to lessen the people who will contract COVID-19 or the coronavirus. This means that you should only come out of your house if it is necessary. The best defense against the coronavirus is not to get it.  WE MUST STAY HOME unless we are considered essential workers in this crisis.

    Although almost all office visits have been cancelled, you still have access to your health care provider by the patient portal or by telephone. “Shelter in Place” or “Stay Home” does not mean that you ignore your health. Most health care providers are using telehealth technology to care for their patients. For some practices, you will have to give them permission and your insurance company will be charged. In this crisis, if the problem can be taken care of virtually, it is better. For those of you that need refills on your medication, you can still get them. If the pharmacy has the option of dropping off your prescription to your home, take advantage of the service.

    If you are going take advantage of your virtual visit, be clear about your symptoms. Know your first day of your last menstrual cycle.  Know your pharmacy number in case a prescription needs to be sent. Review your prescriptions and be prepared to request all your refills especially if you are using birth control pills or any medication for your chronic disease. If you own a blood pressure cuff, take your blood pressure before the virtual visit. If you are a diabetic, be prepared to tell them your last finger-stick sugar test result.

    We are all in this together.  No one is getting their hair done. No one is getting their nails done. No one is shopping in the mall. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on what is dear to you. Just because you are home, you do not have to be alone – catch up with friends and family by phone.  One thing you know, they will be home. Learn something new, like a new language. Read a book – if you do not have any in your house, your local library probably has an app where you can download e-books or audiobooks. Go on a virtual trip – choose a country that you would like to visit and learn about the country online – you can be the expert.

    There is a lot of fake news when it comes to COVID-19. As of today, there is no treatment and no vaccine. For the most accurate information, use the CDC website. Remember, if you think that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop fever and symptoms such as cough, difficulty breathing generalized malaise, loose stools, call your health care provider immediately.

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    Secure Your Copy of Sincerely, Your Gynecologist by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.

    With her trademark wit and straightforward communication, Dr. Osuagwu continues to dole out valuable medical advice using the letter form and addressing women’s health conditions and issues in a method that was praised for its innovative approach in her earlier award-winning book, Letters to My Sisters: Plain Truths and Straightforward Advice from a Gynecologist. In this book, each letter is paired with reference sources and statistics about the condition that is the subject of the letter.

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    Secure Your Copy of Letters to My Sisters by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.

    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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