For my Personal Project I’m creating an awareness about the “silent killer diseases”, to inform and educate people on these diseases. Seeing people very close to me go through the painful tragedy and the heart-breaking effect it had on me inspired me to take on this project. A friend’s father passed away from meningitis; I know someone who is living with diabetes and another person who is living with high blood pressure. They go through challenges, have to take numerous medications just to be able to keep the diseases under control and to buy some more time to spend with the loved ones. They are fighters and would never give up for anything.
People might think, is Meningitis a silent killer? The “devils’ disease” as my friend’s mother calls it. I think it could be, because it could mimic the flu or malaria. You could be taking the wrong medicine for the wrong disease, thinking you’ll get better, but the disease is “silently” killing you inside, until it’s too late. My friend’s father thought he had malaria, the hospital diagnosed it as malaria. He was prescribed malaria medicine and went home. Everyone knows how malaria can make you feel weak but you’ll think it will all go away by the end of the malaria dose. But unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
He didn’t get better. He got worse. After a few days in the hospital, the doctors finally diagnosed it as bacterial meningitis, the deadliest type of Meningitis. After a couple of hours, he could no longer blink or move his eyes. He laid there like a vegetable, no movement. The doctors tried giving him antibiotics, but it was too late. The disease had already taken over his brain. Nobody should ever have to go through such a tragedy.
Blood pressure, can easily be missed and can kill you silently without you knowing if not frequently checked by the doctor or a medical practitioner. High blood pressure normally begins with headaches and people mostly just take pain killers and continue with their everyday life. Sometimes, when the headache is serious, they think they are probably very tired and sleep it off. Living with high blood pressure can be stressful at times, especially when the pressure goes high, they start to get serious headaches, dizziness and nausea. But if you take your medications as prescribed, you’ll be able to live a normal life.
Diabetes can kill silently if not diagnosed early, especially with Type 2 diabetes which doesn’t normally show symptoms at first. The symptoms could be minor or not show at all but when the blood sugar exceeds 250-300Mg/dl, a person might feel fatigue, excessive thirst, weight loss, persistent urination and persistent hunger. You must pay attention to these symptoms because these symptoms could mean the person has Type 2 diabetes and someone might have it for years without knowing. People are diagnosed with diabetes every day and have to pay attention to measures to help control the disease and live a normal life. Stay tuned for next weeks’ article about Meningitis, we’ll go deeper into the disease, the types, effects, causes, medications and many more.
By Janelle Owusu – MYP 5