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    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | November 13th, 2016


    I went to bed by 9:00 pm on Tuesday night. When I woke up Wednesday, I found out that my president elect was Mr. Donald Trump. I have to admit initially I was numb. I began to think of what it all meant. What did it mean for me?  What did it mean for my family? What did it mean for my sisters? What did it mean for my nation? And then I remembered what President Obama said,  regardless of what happened or what will happen, “the sun will rise in the morning”.

    How I wish that the emotions expressed in the aftermath of the election were expressed when you hear that Americans live shorter lives and experience more injuries and illnesses than people in other high-income countries. Why are we among the wealthiest countries in the world and we spend the most money per capita for health care but our citizens overall have poor health? Why are we not angry to hear that we have more women dying in childbirth in this country than other industrialized countries? Why are we not angry about the health inequities that exist in this country?  Why are we not angry when we hear that there is a 20 year difference in life expectancy depending on the color of your skin and where you live in the United States?  Why are we not angry when we hear that a woman who comes to the emergency room with complaints of chest pain is not always given the life saving treatments as a man with the same complaints?  Why are we not angry when we hear that we would rather spend more money  building jails than building mental health facilities and providing counseling?

    It is time to be proactive rather than reactive. Take advantage of the opportunities that are in front of you. Do not be left behind. Empower yourself to be the best that you can be and then help the next person.

    While we still have the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as law, sign up for insurance if you have not. Get your well woman exam. All your screening tests are free whether you have commercial insurance through your job or the government insurance – pap smears, mammograms, colonoscopies, bone density scans. Get your vaccines. They are free through ACA. If your children are under 26 years old, remind them to get their physicals. They should not wait until they are sick to see their physician. Like you, they should be screened for diabetes and high blood pressure. Contraception is free. Unplanned pregnancies can be costly.

    Be an active partner in managing your chronic diseases. Be mindful of what you are eating. Exercise regularly. Get enough sleep. Encourage education.

    The election is over, but as you can see, there is so much we can do.





    1. Ernestine says:

      Thank you for your message. It may also be time to talk about the distraction to our being when we experience fear and anger. How do we manage our emotions in the aftermath of the just ended election cycle and the period just in front of us. I hope the “beast” that has been unleashed does not get out of control by either those who feel they have been given permission or those who are likely to create assumptions based on what they think they see or hear. There has never been a better time to think and act positive and with respect and love.

    2. Chinwe says:

      Thank you for your action-oriented message.

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