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Real Talk: Make Your Health Your Priority

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Last Friday, I was doing a last-minute Twitter check before I boarded a five-hour flight from LAX back to the East Coast. That’s when I discovered (because my entire timeline was talking about it) rapper Rick Ross had suffered a seizure aboard a plane headed to Memphis, where he had a scheduled appearance.

Just after my plane touched down at JFK, I checked Twitter again, only to discover that Ross had tried to carry on after his scare, even tweeting, “Memphis here I come," and posting a short video. But on his second attempt to fly just hours later, Ross had yet another seizure aboard a private jet.

And still, the rapper’s handlers called North Carolina A&T to confirm that Ross, who had, yes, two seizures in one day, would still appear on Saturday to perform at their homecoming event. (The performance was later canceled an hour before showtime.)

Ross’ team has not released a statement about this. But it doesn’t take a medical professional to deduce that two seizures in a day, a week, or even a month, speak volumes that it’s time to literally sit down and be under the medical care of someone qualified (um, that means, not you Dr. Conrad Murray).

Sitting down is something I don’t do well. Like Ross, who has a fifth album, "God Forgives, I Don't," coming in December, I’m in promo-mode for a new project, and also chasing those hefty checks for appearance fees. But like Ross -- and maybe you too -- I need to get my priorities in order.

Ross’ medical emergency comes as a wake-up call to me. Last week, super sick and playing Super Woman, I boarded a plane to the West Coast for a week of back-to-back meetings, the first three days, I was drugged up on three different medications and stuffing Vicks sticks up my nostrils just to have a chance at breathing through my nose.

My father and boyfriend suggested I cancel my appointments, but I was all, “I got this!”  and kept (barely) chugging along. By day five, my lower back begin to ache; I took extra-strength aspirin and kept it moving. Day six I flew back to New York; day seven I boarded a plane for a quick turnaround speaking engagement in Boston, even put on heels to show up “Belle-style.” Yes, despite my back.

On day eight, my body shut down, since I wouldn’t listen to its cry to “slow down!” I spent the entire day in bed as I can barely move due to my aching back. (Except for writing this column, I am resting. Promise.)

I tell you all that not to solicit your pity (I’m fine, seriously). I say it to remind you that your health -- not work, not dream-chasing, not expectation-meeting -- is your only real priority. Listen to your body. And take care of it. You only get one.

Consider this my wake-up call to you.
 
Demetria L. Lucas is the author of "A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter at @abelleinbk



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