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    The Act of Sharing

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | February 14th, 2021

    The Act of Sharing

    I wanted to share some updates:

    • I got my second dose of Moderna. I chose not to take any medication like Tylenol or Ibuprofen. I got the shot in my non-dominant arm. Twelve hours later, I felt exhausted and had generalized body aches. I worked that evening. The following day, I still felt exhausted but was able to go to work.  When I got home, I took my shower and went to bed.  I got at least 9 hours of sleep each night. I got my vaccine on a Monday and by Thursday, I was back to my normal self.  Majority of people who get the vaccine will have none or mild symptoms. I still believe that getting the vaccine is safer that getting the disease. We are now learning that there are those that will suffer from long term symptoms after getting COVID and testing negative. They are called “long haulers”. We cannot predict how one will respond to getting COVID. If you still have questions regarding the COVID vaccine, please feel free to reach out to me by email – Click here for information on how I felt with the initial shot.
    • I saw my primary care physician this past week. I got all my numbers – weight, body mass index, blood pressure, hemoglobin A1C, and lipid profile. I even got my first of two doses of the shingles vaccine. Believe it or not, I am not a big fan of medication unless it is necessary. If I can manage my ailments with diet, I will do that first. I had been doing a great job in keeping my cholesterol where it needed to be, however over the past two years, my cholesterol numbers have been moving towards the wrong direction. Finally genetics won – I had to start a statin – a cholesterol lowering medication.  My LDL, the ‘bad cholesterol’ was just too high. We want to reduce the bad cholesterol to help prevent heart disease. The reason that knowing your numbers is so important is because you cannot look at someone and predict their numbers. There are many people walking around with undiagnosed diseases. If we are able to make the diagnosis earlier, we can make a difference. If you have not scheduled your annual visit with your provider, let this be a reminder. Also, your numbers can change especially as one gets older. I will still continue with my healthy lifestyle (avoiding processed foods, no soda, lots of oatmeal, lots of fruits and vegetables, exercise and sleep).  I wanted to take this opportunity to mention that taking medicine for whatever chronic disease is not a failure. Take the medication if it can cure or manage the disease.
    • I registered to take a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Short Course. I have read a lot about mindfulness but had not taken a formal course.  The sit down meditation that I blogged about in 2015 is based on mindfulness. What has truly resonated with me is the act of being present. Often times we think about the past and what could have been or we think of the future, how thing s will or should be.  My hope is that we would take at least 10 minutes each day to be present.  Mindfulness is about focusing on NOW. Focus on the fact that we have the ability to breathe. We are here and we are breathing. For 10 minutes, it does not matter what has happened in the past. At this moment, we cannot change the past and we cannot truly predict the future.  The future will happen. Right now WE ARE PRESENT. I have enjoyed the exercise of being present. I feel free and I hope that you will have the same experience.

    Why share this information? I believe when we share our stories, we give of ourselves. Keeping my sisters alive and healthy is about sharing.  We can learn from each other. I shared the above so that you can take your COVID vaccine with confidence. I shared the above so that you know that sometimes medication is necessary despite your efforts to avoid it.  I shared the above so that you can give yourself the gift of being present and enjoy the experience.

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    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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    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.

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