Joy Comes In The Morning: How My Recent Health Scare Changed My Perspective

  Are you happy?

Last week, I caught up with an old friend I haven’t talked to in a while. Each time we talk, the conversation always turns to my health. But this time was slightly different. After I briefly told him how I was doing as far as my health is concerned, he came back with an interesting follow up question.

“Are you happy?” he asked.

It seems like I get asked that particular question all of the time. My knee-jerk reaction was to say, “Of course,” and that’s exactly what I did. But I never took the time to think about if I was really happy, until two weeks ago.

Mother’s Day weekend last year marked a pivotal moment in my very short life – my health scare. A few months before, I started taking hormone therapy as a solution to treat my uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts. It was even used as a diagnostic tool for suspected endometriosis which I address in my previous blog post: Joy Comes in the Morning: My Battle with Fibroids, Ovarian Cysts and Endometriosis.

I thought hormone therapy would be easy in comparison to the emergency room visits, biopsies and a ruptured cyst. In the beginning, I had a few side effects which included hot flashes, night sweats, memory loss and headaches, but within a week, the side effects became progressively worse. The headaches turned into debilitating migraines and the pain was so magnificent, it’s literally indescribable.

It was not until my mom found me in my room unresponsive is when we learned the side effects from the hormone therapy started to affect my brain function. I underwent a spinal tap procedure. Soon after, I began to leak spinal fluid. I soon lost my vision; my balance and I developed a spinal headache, which surpassed the pain of any migraine in the world. All I remember is my mother rushing me to the hospital and everything went black.

I thought about that question my friend asked as I replayed that weekend over and over again in my head. It became hard for me to accept what happened, especially when there was no solution in sight. I was literally healthy at one point and all of a sudden life changed for me in a second. I could accept if my situation was preventable or if it was something I did, because that meant I could have some level of control. But God quickly showed me the true meaning of trust. The one thing I do know is my health scare changed me for the better.

There is unspeakable joy I get when I think about how I felt when I thought joy was unattainable. I felt like Oprah having one of her infamous full circle moments. From the furniture arrangements to the blankets I slept with on the floor, everything remained the same when I had my health scare last year. And it just so happened to be Mother’s Day weekend. Time was repeating itself.

The only thing noticeably different was me. Then I realized somehow I was granted a second chance. God took me to the end of the earth and brought me back wiser and stronger than ever. Without even noticing, I developed a new zest for life. A certain part of me died during my health scare and now there is something in me being reborn. I went from traveling through a tunnel that kept getting darker and darker not knowing if the end was near. The further I traveled, the more alone I became, and when no one could find a solution, I saw God walking with me.

There is truly a blessing within the blows of adversity. It’s an opportunity to show what you’re truly made of. It’s an opportunity to pull yourself up by your boot straps and conquer the fear of starting over. It’s really a wonder to feel like my old self again, but I know I will never be the same.

What about you? What types of adversity did you overcome? Did it change you for the better? Was it a blessing? Click on the post and comment below! Be candid in your response!

 

 

Is Social Media Enough To Bring Our Nigerian Girls Home?

#Bringbackourgirls-3

Two weeks ago, militants abducted over 200 Nigerian girls from their boarding school in the town of Chibok. It is now being reported that the girls are being sold into mass marriages for $12. Out of the 200 missing, 14 girls escaped, but large portions of them are still missing.

Parents and relatives of the missing children are not satisfied at the way the Nigerian government is handling the situation. They feel the safe return of the girls are not the government’s nor Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s first priority. Protests and rallies occurred in the wake of this devastating ordeal and sparked international outrage. But not in the way you would think.

I’ve been following this story for the past week and it gets more and more heartbreaking. Part of the reason why I started Candid Commentary was to write about difficult topics not consistently covered in the media, and unfortunately, this story is one of them. Every time I tune in to any type of mainstream media outlet, it seems as though this story is slipping under the radar. I keep hearing about the recent job report and even about Malaysian Flight 370, but no one can take the time to analyze or even report on the missing girls. The only way I could get updates was through the Internet.

The safety and protection of these young girls just trying to get an education is a REAL issue and should be covered 24/7 like everything else. It’s sad to say, but this story is just evidence of how society views black women. Much interest in this story appeared on social media and it has now sparked a full campaign. According to the BBC News, the hash tag #Bringbackourgirls generated over 360,000 tweets and retweets since it’s creation on April 23. Many celebrities and Nigerian residents joined the cause expressing their frustration with the Nigerian government and are demanding answers.

One cannot deny the power of social media. It’s known to bring missing girls home in the U.S., and can generate enough interest to increase change when it comes to activism. Even Black Twitter is known to have tremendous power in amplifying issues to initiate change. But is it enough? Will our concurrent likes, retweets and posts really make a difference in trying to find our girls? When the government fails, can we rely on social media to advocate for more media attention and involvement from international organizations? That’s why it’s so important for us to continue to follow new developments and to continue to tweet, post and talk about this story until each girl is rescued.

A petition on Change.org was created by Ify Euleze to support all efforts in rescuing the missing girls. The petition urges that all children deserve to be safe and protected especially in educational environments.

What do you think? Can social media be the driving force to help #bringbackourgirls? Click on the post and comment below! Be candid in your response!