Brenda was a braved 27 years old woman who decided to open up about her health issues. I was sitting in my office setting up for a disease education program that I concerted time and energy, wondering if there were health conscious parents out there, keen to enroll their children in this magnificent infectious and chronic disease program I created. As I reviewed the responses of parents from a previous survey conducted a week prior, a youthful looking woman walked up to me with a pale smile and yawning blue eye; her hair running down her shoulders had drenched curly waves as if she had just gotten off the shower. She was wearing greasy looking jeans and a black t-shirt. She was holding something in her hand similar to a little ball. I directed my eyes toward her hand and she followed the path of my stare.
She made a timid smile and told me it was a stress ball. “I always cling to it in stressful situations” I asked her: “Are you in a stressful situation right now?” she nodded. I then asked her why she thought that way. She explained, she sought to share her story so I could include it in the program upcoming newsletter. Furthermore, she wanted to see her son join the program. I opened my eyes wide; surprised to see she was the first parent to believe a disease education program was necessary in shaping healthy behaviors. She can see that I was shocked and filled with gratitude. Brenda explained to me that by age 2, she started to show unsettling behaviors and bad temper. Her mother considered here petulance normal behavior from a needy and difficult child. She continued to explain that by age 7, she tried to kill herself and wrote her first suicide letter.
Fortunately her sister found it in time and saved her. She told me, back then in the 80s, there were no health education pamphlets or brochures straightforward to aid her mother understand what was happening to her. The type of technology that we now have was absent back then. Nonetheless, she was admitted into therapy; Brenda months and years were spend in and out of therapy as she continued to demonstrate odd behaviors. At 12 years old she got a prescription drug for depression which gave her an allergic reaction. In the meantime, she attempted many unsuccessful suicides. Brenda lost hope of ever getting better and to living a customary life. She dropped out of high school and sheltered herself in the house. She attempted jumping out of a building in an effort to call for help. She sought after someone to understand why she was always ill-tempered. Doctors were clueless and could not provide any accurate answer.
She was confined in an isolated room free from anything that she could use to harm herself. She was interrogated, analyzed, tested and put on different types of medications. She was a wreck and did not know why she was who she was and why she had to go through what she was going through. She did not wish for her mother to constantly spend money for her health. She wanted to depart from this world to provide her mother with a stress free life. She was prescribed medications to manage her mood swing and to control her temper. Her mother had to find a new doctor and get a different health perspective — Brenda, her mother and sister moved out of state to find a better cure. They met with another doctor who diagnosed Brenda with Bi-polar disorder. She had to be on a daily regimen to keep her mood swing at bait so she can have a normal life. Brenda finally went back to school and started to reintegrate society. Brenda got married and birth a child whom she named Derrick. Derrick was 7 years old and Brenda was worn out that Derrick was diagnosed with autism due to immunization. Brenda was scared she wasn’t up for the challenge attributable to her own personal issues but in addition she did not understand the illness her son was experiencing. Sitting amongst the guest throughout my survey session, she was bound to talk with me and command me for the work I was doing in the community. She wanted children to learn about diseases to forge health conscious adults. She thought, if a child could learn about diseases and carry that knowledge into adulthood then he would be more equipped and educated to deal with health challenges when they arise.
As a result of her own experiences, years of suffering and in quest of answers to the many questions she had, Brenda was able to be acquainted with symptoms of her own illness and what set them off. She found that stress, nervousness, diet among others were damaging to her well-being. She wanted me to know about her story as she felt other people would learn from it. She hopes her story will convey parents to grow to be diligent with health matters and to persuade children to join health programs that teach them about diseases. Parents should speak up about health education, to fight illnesses sooner and so provide a better health opinions and behaviors to our children. You and I hold the keys for children’s health and well-being. We may choose to keep them sick or choose to treat them. I say this because good health, healthy behaviors and healthy opinions are all acquired during childhood. If we want our children to avoid the mistakes we made growing up, it is then necessary to educate them to adopt good health habits as soon as possible.