December 29, 2012

Reflecting On 2012: Health First

Several of my upcoming posts will be reflections on the past since we are nearing the beginning of a new year. I do not really hold to New Year’s Resolution, but I do believe in the importance of reflection, regular reflection. And what time is better than at the change of a year for all of us.

I tend to focus my personal reflecting around my birthday, but I think that as members of our communities we should reflect collectively.

My first post of reflection will deal with one of my favorite topical areas to write about: health. I truly believe we need to focus on and act upon having good health. I love to write about health because it is something that I am very passionate about for several reasons, but the most important is that I want people to be healthy. When we do not eat right nor exercise regularly, the rest of our world suffers as well, specifically our stress levels and our abilities to feel good.

This year in health has seen several ups and downs. I think I will just focus on a few of the ups of the year.

The first good news bit about health this year is the new female condom developed by a University of Washington team. I wrote about it here just in case you didn’t read it. This condom is special because it has the capabilities to protect against unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV. That’s right…HIV! This new condom does not protect 100% against these, but it is just as effective—and in some cases more so—than traditional contraceptives.

I believe in the necessity for contraceptives and contraceptive education. People are having sex. Promoting that abstinence is the best policy just does not work. That’s a bummer, true, but real sex ed in today’s world demands discussion about sex responsibility and protection. The fact that there is now a condom that protects against pregnancy, STDs, HIV, and ultimately AIDS means that people can be better prepared and responsible. Furthermore, because this is a female condom, that means that women can better control their sexual destiny. All of this is good.

My second favorite bit of health news happened in late September when several news sites and sources reported about the Swedish doctors who performed two uterus transplants. Click here to see my blog on it, and click here for the news story. What I think is most incredible about these uterus transplants is that two women who could not have children before now have the opportunity to fulfill their motherhood dreams. What could be better than that? Simply nothing.

Of course, I also really loved learning about the treadmill desks to promote a healthy work environment, too. As a writer and a college professor, I am constantly aware of the fact that I often sit for a long time. I have had to consciously make myself get out from behind my desks and walk around. I love the idea that some day many, many people could have treadmill desks to help them with this. These could only lead to happier, healthier work environments.

Finally, I really enjoyed all the cancer awareness activities and research. From Saving Boobies to Diabetes Awareness to Movember, I can’t think of a better way to make people not only aware but also active in helping others with something as serious and scary as cancer.

All in all, I’d say this was one good year for health. Let’s hope that continues on and more people become healthier in their lives. I know that I’ll keep writing about health in order to help us all.

Image Credit: nito / Shutterstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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