Health Care or Lack Thereof: Listening to your body

Health Care or Lack Thereof: Listening to your body

Do you ever think about the worst case scenario? I think of it more often than I should. If it does not end up being the worst case scenario that does provide some relief. It is the worrier inside of me, which is not necessarily a good thing. For a period of time, I did not have health insurance. I would tell you a secret, but I do not want it to come back and haunt me. Having no insurance means I have formed a bad habit and that is not listening to my body when it is trying to tell me what’s up.

I just came from the dentist and I finally explained everything that I was worried about instead of going for my routine cleaning and bouncing. I let them know I have been dealing with some pain in my jaw for awhile. When it first manifested the pain was so excruciating that I couldn’t do anything let alone want to and would lay there with a heating pad against my neck. Because I felt the pain so intensely in my neck I assumed it was just my neck and started going to physical therapy. By this time I was on Medicaid because I would not even think about going to physical therapy having no insurance. I wouldn’t have been at the doctor’s office, to be frank.

Moving along two bottles of muscle relaxers later and a tube of something I cannot remember or pronounce I am sure and I am here. The pain subsided and it still shows up every day, but not as intense. Eventually, the pain came back full force shortly after I moved to Maryville. I decided to go to the doctors and made sure to think about everything I was going to say and not leave until I got an answer that made sense.

Rewind, before I decided to drop in and go I asked around first. I am in a small town, majority white people, and doctors are known for not treating their underrepresented patients fairly (some I should say). I ended up getting an answer that made more sense than what the previous doctor had told me and now I needed to find a dentist. Afraid to be treated unfairly I prolonged getting treatment (serious problem). Fast forward to today I went and got my answers.

Long story short its stress. It made sense considering when it first manifested I was depressed and trying to crawl towards the Miami University in Oxford, Ohio SAHE finish line. At one point getting out of bed was an accomplishment for me.

The lesson is to listen to your body when you can. The problem is that too many of us are not able to afford the proper health care when stress manifests itself in our bodies so intensely. On top of the money, I have to spend because I am grinding/clenching my teeth way too much I am also seeing a therapist/acupuncturist. Now I know that someone does not have to see an acupuncturist, but I am thankful I am getting sort of a 2 for 1 deal.

Another issue is that the medical industry needs to pay more attention to who they hire as nurses, doctors, etcetera and talk about how they can be more inclusive. I will add that we need to advocate for more underrepresented students that want to go into this field instead of bringing them down. It is not easy and we can do better at providing resources and supporting them. I know the conversation is happening somewhere, but more conversations and action need to take place. We have to pay the most for healthcare in the United States yet we have the shitiest healthcare (excuse my language).

In all of this just listen to your body when it is talking to you. Take the day off if you are able, go to bed earlier, workout, read, write, take yourself out (I do this all the time #IDATEMYSELF).

Love your body and be kind to it too.

P.S. my worst case scenario was that I would have to get braces as an adult and braces are expensive or that they were going to have to do something crazy to my jaw. Nope, just stress and a much less expensive but still expensive dentist bill.

**I do not have any rights to the picture used for this post.

It’s Lit: Professionalism microscope with a dash of sin

I do not know about you, but I like to have 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 drinks, before I know it I could be drinking a whole bottle of wine or tequila *wink. I am only kidding on the bottle of tequila, but whatever floats your boat as long as you are safe and within your limit.

I am 25 going on 26 and I am currently walking on a thin tightrope. Tightropes seem to be thin anyway, but I will leave the “thin” just for your wondrous imagination. I have moved into the full-time professional world and if you ask me, what is professionalism anyway? In many aspects, it tries to put you in a box and as you walk towards the box you hear a faint voice in the distance saying “assimilation… conformity” Who wants that? not to mention the classism among other things that come into play when talking about professionalism.

Moving into the professional world as someone who is young you may feel the watchful eye behind your back. Yes, we should all be great examples and we all want to live too and or just have a drink when we want to have a drink. Just because people do not see everything I do that does not mean I am better than the next person. I can be described as someone who has “no chill” and yes I am very much an introvert and rule follower. What is life without breaking some rules? just a life without breaking rules and therefore you do not get the opportunity to see how much they bend.

Breaking rules do not necessarily mean breaking the law or doing anything that could potentially get you arrested. That last sentence alone could have me go on a rant about the justice system, but not the time or place. Sometimes you have to break the rules to get to where you want to be or break your own rules so you can live beyond your comfort zone.

By saying I occasionally get drunk, have been high before, not a virgin, known to curse up a storm or whatever else you feel may be “unholy” or “taboo” is letting you know that I have indulged in things that some see as sin or unprofessional.

But again, what is professionalism anyway…

Radiantly Gold

Sun-kissed Skin
Radiant as a sunflower
Nothing comes close to the way her melanin glows
Her Steez
Uncomparable
Her walk
Her talk
Her smile
She is gold♦♦

 

Follow me on twitter and Instagram: @TheeKWard

Letting Go: The end is knowing

Letting Go: The end is knowing

#Haiku “Letting Go”
No questions let go
Your worth will shine and capture
By then you will know

Slowly I have been letting things go and taking a step back from thoughts that have kept my mind from being free. I have declared 2017 as the year I will say yes to more experiences, let go of things that I have held onto for too long, let go of pain while being honest about my wounds, and letting go of anything toxic. I owe all of this to myself. If I was to give this year a theme it would be “The Year of Healing.”

Through this process, I am actively taking steps to recognize when I need to take a step back. I am reflective in this way. I enjoy being able to reflect and process my experiences, different situations, emotions, etc… and love it when I have the ability to talk about it among my friends. Reflection is such a powerful tool. At times I tend to overthink and I know how to pull myself back in.

Communication is so important to me and sometimes I struggle with it. One thing I mentioned awhile back is that I will say what I need to even if I hesitate and cry to get whatever it is out. Those may not be the exact words, but I hope you catch my drift.

I want to make this year the year that I invest more in myself and what I like to do. Part of that for me is letting go and knowing how to be kinder to myself. Be kind to yourself because society steps on your back enough. We all have our reasons why we are hard on yourself. I have good reasons and I know it is okay to give myself a break.

Throughout our life we will not always get the answers we seek when we seek them, sometimes they come to us at a later time down our path. You may feel that you need to let something go, but not know why. Listen to your intuition. Have the hard conversation, let the grudge go, let the skeletons out of the closet, change, grow, invest in yourself, heal, experience…

Most importantly, DO YOU!

**I did not take the featured image and have no rights to the photo.

“Still I Rise”

“Still I Rise”

So here it goes, I will be that “angry Black womxn” you speak of and continue to hold my chin up *Kanye Shrug.

Recently, I have found myself trying to repair the feelings of my privileged counterparts. I have been confronted by white fragility & white guilt, which they are currently winning. I owe you nothing and deserve space to express how I feel.

As I continue to follow those who inspire me I am reminded that I am here and I matter.

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I sorta kinda censored my twitter more than usual and that says something. However, mental exhaustion is real and I needed to unplug.

First and foremost, if you do not like what I have to say that is okay. I believe in the power of dialogue and have experience having multiple conversations surrounding equity issues with diverse others and white people. I am here to share my knowledge, thoughts, and work through the toxicity of whiteness. You may feel uncomfortable and there are so many factors I consciously and unconsciously consider when taking a step out of the door as a Black womxn.  You have the ability to just walk outside. **I am in no way comparing my experience to my LGBTQ+ family as I recognize the effort in “coming out” every day and dealing with heterosexism.

On a daily basis, I and many others are striving to rise above messages that try to tell us that we are less than. As I continue to figure out what it means to be a Black womxn and the ways I can be ME authentically I am going to continue to disrupt and fight for the space underrepresented populations deserve.

For this reason, I will continue to cause trouble.

“Sometimes we have to take the risk of fulfilling the fantasies other people have of us” Sarah Ahmed

Please feel free to comment and engage with me =)

You can find me on twitter and Instagram as well @TheeKWard

Flight #1564

Flight #1564

This post is about a week late but hey, here it goes anyway…

Outside of the fact that I get anxiety at the thought of something going wrong while I go through TSA, I like airports. Well maybe not necessarily airports but hopefully you can catch my drift as you continue reading. I am an introvert and tend not to branch out but usually people talk to me. Either, I want people to avoid me or I will engage a little bit.

I met a couple today who are retired and getting their travel on! I was happy to get a window seat, yay me! As they asked me where I was from the husband and I were able to make a connection. He recently retired from the place I work at now. He still teaches online. Do you ever think about sitting on the back porch having a conversation with an older couple that you have known all of 2 seconds? Just me? Okay. 

We have so much to gain from those we pass in the airport down to those who pick up the toilet paper you decided to leave on the ground while in the restroom stall. 

Now on my second fight I am in the middle of two people currently and for the first time chose to sit in the middle, what???? The person to my left is drinking a Bloody Mary while reading a book. The person to my right is slowly drinking an alcoholic drink that someone bought them. I am guessing it is one of their buddies. I just got done drinking some Chardonnay, my first alcoholic drink on a flight I might add, and I have flown at least over 20 times by now. Wow, that I can be thankful for.

All this reflection and taking the energies of the people around me reminds me of my experience when I was on my way to South Korea. 

I was on my way to my gate when a couple sparked up a conversation with me. I told them that I am headed to study abroad and it is the first time I am leaving the country. The wife proceeded to ask me how old I was. After, she started to cry. If you know how emotional I am I almost cried too. She mentioned that she had a child the same age as me. Her husband did his best to calm her down and assure her that I was going to make it to South Korea safely. It touched my heart and still does to this day. I wish I grabbed onto the opportunity to stay in contact with them. 

Whatever your journey in life you come across some great people. In a world so cruel that is one thing I know I can appreciate at the end of the day. We always have something to learn whether good, bad, sad, joyful etcetera from the people we pass. The people we sit next to, the people we become friends with, the people who annoy us, the people we slowly eye from across the way because they look scrumptious… forgive me for I have sinned? *rubs chin…According to this pastor I recently heard preach I have sinned.

Anyway, I sit here with so many thoughts running through my head and I cannot wait to land

#CaliforniaBound