August 3, 2020

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Don't treat your car better than you

Your body serves you well. Treat it better than a car

My first Health Talk was in 2011. A good friend reached out to me that a company wanted a Doctor to plan something for a day in their Health & Safety week.

They left all the details to me so I decided to do a health talk and a kidney screening (it consisted of a BP check, dipstick for protein, BMI). The screening was earlier in the day and I talked with each person that was screened to explain the results and address any concerns.

The talk was after Lunch. It was titled “Treat your body better than your car!”. I really like to keep everything simple. Most Nigerians can relate to having a car. You either have one or you are aspiring to have one and you all understand what it takes to keep it on the roads.

You know how it feels when it gets into a pothole. “Aargh!” You feel it in your bones.

Do not treat your car better!

You know what it means when it has to go to the mechanics. Usually 4 digit bills, sometime 5. You pay up.

You know when a strange light comes up on your dashboard, your mechanic get a call in the next minute.

What of strange noises that weren’t there yesterday? You will literally explain it to the last decibel.

You usually treat your cars better than yourself. You would literally have to breakdown and be unable to get up from bed to take all the signs your body has been given you seriously?

Your body deserves better

An ache in your lower legs that is steadily getting worse? It’s nothing. I’ll massage it tonight.

What of that abdominal pain that worsens on easting? Hmmm, my grandmother said women in my town usually have it.

And that persistent headache? I have been stressed at work. I just need to rest.

You don’t heed the symptoms or the signs. And when you do go to a Doctor? You leave out a few details on purpose because you are testing him or her (that is truly a thing).

Nearly everyone aspires to own a car

So when it comes to a great analogy for me to explain why your good health matters, cars are my go-to and I talked about it in different ways since that first time. I am a prevention is better than cure kind of gal. Always have been.

My last health talk was with @newccrossep and the topic was “Don’t Treat Your Car Better Than You”. A rewording but the substance is always the same but this time I came at it with a first aid perspective because I was there as both a Doctor and a First Aid Trainer. A first aid class should be practical so talks on it alone are not ideal.

When one talks on diseases, no matter how common it is, e.g. hypertension, diabetes, most people will not relate or pay attention because they are not going through it. “Not my portion”, they say. And once you start going into risk factors and things they need to do to prevent them getting those diseases, their eyes glaze over and they mutter to themselves. “I cannot coman kill myself. Na something go kill person!”. So I leave it to others to tread that path.

I love what I do!

I try to keep it simple. I try to make you understand that you that a car that is inanimate, has replaceable parts, reduces in value year after year cannot mean more to you than your amazing body that fights for you to achieve your dreams. You can have the car of your dreams, it just should not mean more to you than your body.

So after an MB;BS, an MBA, an MSc in Public Health and a L3AET in Education and Training, my simple words to you are “Do Not Treat Your Car Better Than You!”.

First Aid by Levande is a service offered by Levande Healthcare Ltd. Contact us to for first aid trainings and first aid kits and boxes.

About the author 

Dr Tosin Osikoya

Committed to saving lives. One person at a time.

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