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Breast Health is Wealth

Defined by the World Health Organization as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” health is the word used to describe how one’s body, mind, and spirit feel. Health involves knowing our limits and making informed decisions when it comes to food, exercise, medication, hygiene and other lifestyle choices in order to commit to a better life. Health is a basic human right that entails physical capabilities and social welfare; it is determined by different factors, it changes regularly, and it is subjective since individuals experience it in their own way.
Mental and physical health are interdependent; when individuals are both mentally and physically healthy, their bodies are capable of responding to diseases and restoring their systems to attain homeostasis or balance, and their mind functions the way it is supposed to while they’re free of any kind of illness. When individuals are healthy, they’re also more capable of responding effectively and performing well in every aspect of life, so health is one of life’s blessings that people sometimes take for granted until they lose it. 

Although there are many different health topics, today I’m focusing on the importance of breast health. Last week my mom was performed an emergency surgical intervention because she had a protuberance in one of her breast to which she hadn’t paid too much attention. It got to the point where it got infected; it had been growing for a couple of weeks and she decided to go for a self treatment until she realized her breast wasn’t getting any better and if anything, it was getting worse, so after a few days wishing it would go away, she had to go to the doctor because she couldn’t stand the pain.

She went through emergency last Saturday October 20th, and they told her that she had to be immediately intervened. They didn’t have any readily available surgeons, so she was supposed to remain intern and under treatment until further notice. She refused to be confined to a hospital bed on a weekend, so they prescribed some antibiotics and she went back to the hospital on Monday. At that point she still didn’t know what she had, and it wasn’t until later when they told her she had an infection that they couldn’t easily remove and because of it, she had to be “immediately” intervened, so they didn’t let her go.

It was the first time in our lives that one of us in my family is hospitalized, so the news was pretty shocking for me and everyone. Her condition wasn’t too serious, but I was still scared shitless. On Monday the 22nd I went to the hospital after I got out from work and stopped by the house to pick up some stuff she needed. I realized then that the “immediate” wasn’t so immediate. She was sharing rooms with a couple of elderly ladies who seemed to have pretty bad conditions, which also made me realized how healthy my grandma is. he’s almost 80 and she’s energetic and healthy; these other two ladies are younger than she is and still couldn’t take care of themselves.

We stayed at the hospital until the visitors time was over and then I got home exhausted. We still didn’t know when she was going to have the surgery performed, and it wasn’t so until Wednesday October 24th, so my dad, my siblings and I kept coming back to the hospital to keep her company. We’re not too fond of hospitals and also aren’t used to visiting them, so the feeling of being there was kind of scary. As far as my family concerns, we tend to take health very lightly maybe because of the way we’ve been raised, but at the hospital I saw lots of sick people with a whole bunch of different illness, so it made me aware of how essential health is and how our entire life depends on it and yet we don’t always pay to it the importance it has.

The week was pretty catastrophic for me, but the surgery went well and my mom was okay, so it was all good. During the surgery and apart from the infections she had, the doctor also removed a couple of cysts in her breast. Those she had had examined in the past, but different doctors had told her they were benign, so she didn’t have them removed before, not only due to doctors’ advice but also the fact that we didn’t have access to health care resources in the U.S.

After the surgery my mom was relieved although in a bit of pain, and it wasn’t until Thursday midday when she got discharged from the hospital. She’s still under treatment and taking some antibiotics and other medication; we got her flowers on Wednesday and are taking good care of her, but everything she went through could have definitely been avoided if she had only gone to the doctor as soon as she noticed there was something wrong with her breast. It only seems a coincidence that this is the breast cancer awareness month, so although what she had has nothing to do with cancer, I still thought l would write this post and share this information.

Even though small lumps, size changes or pain in the breast area might seem insignificant to some women, they may actually be early signs of breast cancer or other breast diseases, so all women need to be breast aware and pay attention to the breast changes that are not cyclical in their bodies or due to women’s regular hormone shifts. Apart from performing self examinations, scheduling regular clinical breast checks and mammogram screenings is a good step in addressing and helping the early detection and treatment of breast infections, especially for women over 40 and those who have family history of breast cancer since the risk of breast diseases increases with these two factors.

Individuals’ most valuable possession is health, and even though being healthy might be difficult nowadays due to people’s lifestyles, emotional state and even genetic composition, being healthy is a key element in our lives, which depends in part on us, so we need to be active in making the right decisions and forgoing some of our favorite foods, habits or activities to improve our lives and achieve balance. There are obviously many things that we can’t prevent, but even then, asking for help and expert advice when needed is an advantage in weathering the difficult times and treating a potential disease on time. Treasure yourself and remember that if you don’t make time for health, you’ll certainly have to make time for illness.

Image by John Knill @ GettyImages

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Posted by on October 27, 2007 in ojo pelao


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