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.

News in the age of Social Media: #MissingDCGirls

News in the age of Social Media: #MissingDCGirls

Recently, there was a young woman who posted a concerning Snapchat, which caused the picture to go viral. Thankfully, the young woman was found (shoutout to #BlackTwitter) but I looked on the internet to find the young woman’s name and did not find any news coverage. You should be skeptical about this. Different news outlets continue to dictate who is a priority while controlling societies psyche to believe “alternative facts” LIES! about underrepresented populations. Thus, forcing us to be our own media outlet.

Here we are a week later with the hashtag, #MissingDCGirls. There are multiple young Black girls/women going missing with no care from those sworn to protect them. The recent showing of “Get Out” Jordan Peele highlights the unsettling feeling of being unwanted. Likewise, the appropriation of Black culture and being wanted too much, hence the scene of the auction. Have you heard of the saying, “wanting to be Black before it is time to be black”? Below is a prime example. Rachel Dolezal

Social media has provided a platform to help those across the nation raise awareness of the injustice happening around us. Unfortunately, social media is needing to be used time and time again while groups like #BlackLivesMatter strive for justice. Whether you are near what is happening or miles away it affects you. We cannot deny social media’s usefulness. Because of facebook and Twitter, thousands are able to get the word out about the girls/women missing in DC and across the United States and push for action to be taken.

The inattention to Black and Brown bodies going missing brings to light the overwhelming focus on White girls/women to be found. Where are the amber alerts for them? and why are we still talking about JonBenet Ramsey?

At the end of the day, we need TS Mothaf***$@ A

**This photo is not intended to make light of what is happening and we should all have a deep concern for what is going on. Will #AllLivesMatter and those who attended the Women’s March show up?


Twitter: @Theekward


PWI and Racial America

I was interviewing a student for the program that I work for and I was not expecting to pause and have a conversation about this student’s experience. We talk about building rapport, getting to know a student, and allowing them to open up on their terms.

Having just met, asking the following question was on their terms. How do you cope? the student asked. I thought “How do I cope with being Black in America, with being Black in a predominantly white office, with Being a Black Woman…”

Before I thought in depth about their question I said, “I rant to my friends.” I may have ranted to Snapchat a couple times too. Providing more clarity I told the student that I am at a point where I try to speak up when I experience microaggressions, I reach out to those who are close to me who understand my experiences, and I do not get comfortable. Although, this is my first year in this position I try not to hold back.”Sometimes you experience something and think, am I trippin’? am I being too sensitive? and that is one of the issues with microaggressions.” I told the student that what they deal with unfortunately does not change if they were in my position or in a position higher than mine. I said, “I am not saying this to discourage you and I want to keep it 100.”

I struggled as I told them to create their experience and if they decide to transfer then I support that decision as well. I struggled because “you are not going to destroy the imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy by creating your own version of it” (bell hooks). So what do you do?

Those who are privileged do not understand the preparation it takes to take a step outside of wherever you live (maybe even inside your “home”) and face society. Especially given our current political climate. Before I move passed this do you understand that people are afraid to step out of their homes? that people’s families are being torn a part? and that people are getting killed and the criminal is serving  zero time? Yes, the police. They, the privileged, do not understand that it takes strength to figure out how to face each day without using a colorful choice of words to refrain from being labeled.

I cannot speak from a lense outside of PWI’s but they are notorious as you know (or may not know because you are the epitome of privilege) for not supporting their students with underrepresented identities. Yes, there are specific offices (are you following me here) that do great work across the United States to support underrepresented populations and Universities as a whole (still following me?) need to do better. “Add and stir” is a method multiple Universities keep investing in without changing the hegemonic systems that create inequity.

I ask if you are following me because often there is not University buy in. I am talking about buy in beyond mentioning it in the mission and pointing everyone’s brother, sister, aunties girlfriends’ cousin to that one office. You know, the one called “Office of Diversity Affairs” or “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” Catch my drift?

As faculty and staff (including all the “higher ups”) have a responsibility to the campus climate. No, I cannot sit in an office working with underrepresented students and not seek out opportunities to learn more about them, what identities they hold, and their experiences on and off campus.

This effort starts with the person you look at in the mirror and do not get comfortable.

#Disrupt #NoAssimilation

“Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity. Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, reveling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community” (bell hooks).