Nobody else understands your issues

ONYEMAUWAM?

Ozodi Osuji

     Onyemauwam is an Igbo word, often given to a child as a name, meaning who understands my life, who understands my problems? This is a beautiful Igbo name.

     Igbo names are used to express what the parents of a child are feeling when a child is born. For example, my name, Ozodiobi was given to me because prior to my birth, an earlier child, a daughter had died, hence my parents are saying that another child is in their obi, that is, their mind, another child has come to them (Ozo means another, Obi means mind or heart).

     You see, you can blame other people all you want for your issues, but the fact is that nobody else really understands your issues. No one is a mind reader and reads what is in other people’s minds or has prescience and can understand what other people are undergoing.

   Indeed, people do not understand other people’s bodies and the problems those bodies cause them, nor do most people really understand their own bodies and or develop insight to the problems their bodies cause them psychologically!

     For example, I have chronic    muscle compartment syndrome (in Igbo this is called Ngbawa- ugwu, pain in the legs…my mother also has it, so it is inherited in us).

      Merely walking around on my feet puts a lot of tension and stress, pain, into my legs (if I use my arms to do work, into my arms and my entire body).

    One cannot entirely avoid physical activities, so I tolerate some of them but in the evenings, I lie on my bed and release the tension energy from my legs; I feel the tension ooze out of my legs and thereafter feel relaxed.

  That tension in my legs, obviously, affected my behavior. When I was a kid, I used to be in a hurry to finish whatever physical activities I was doing because my body could not tolerate them, I felt like my body, especially my legs and arms were on fire. I could not participate in team sports, such as soccer, for in them my entire body felt on fire.

     When I do sustained writing, my arms feel burning sensation so I write fast so as to complete the writing task and get off and go relax my hands; at elementary school we used to do what they called dictation; the teacher would read a passage from a book and the pupils wrote it down; I would literally complete the writing before the teacher is done dictating whatever he is dictating; I write very fast, when I learned to type, I type very fast and make loads of mistakes; this doing things very fast are in an effort to get it done and go relax my legs, hands and body. No one else can read my handwriting, it is so bad that not even I can read it, I call it my personal shorthand!

      At college I did some part time jobs, such as work in a students’ bookstore as a cashier, and they required me to stand on my feet for hours or work at a bank as a teller where I had to stand on my feet; at each job, my legs felt on fire, and I had to quit them and go seek jobs where I can sit down, and those paid less than the ones I had to stand on my legs. What a bummer, but you do what your body allows you to do.

     My body was on fire, felt burning sensation, inflamed, most of the time and I sought ways to reduce the tension. If my body could tolerate alcohol, I would have used it to relax my body, but a beer and other forms of alcohol made me uncomfortable, so I gave up on alcohol; I smoked a couple of cigarettes and marijuana a couple of times and they made me dizzy, so I gave them up; I have never tried illicit drugs.

   Overeating and Sex are sometimes used to relax one’s body; I tried those until I decided that sex is an unnecessary chore, an expensive one at that, so I only indulged in it only when I had to do so, especially for procreation.

     Some people use sex to relax their bodies; such persons often become sex addicts; some people use overeating to feel good and become food addicts.

     Overeating food, indulging in alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography are addictions people engage in to relax their tensed-up bodies. But you would not know this fact by looking at them from afar.

     You see what people are doing and judge it as bad. Well, your judgment is shallow and superficial for you are not in their bodies and cannot understand why they are doing what they are doing.

    One should not judge other people’s behaviors, as good or bad, but simply understand them as folks doing what their nature calls on them to do to obtain some pleasure from their checkered existence in ego and body.

EVERY PERSON IS DOING THE BEST HE KNOWS HOW AT ANY POINT IN TIME

      Every person you see in the world is doing his best, as he understands it to be, at any moment in his life. Even when a person is pretending, he is doing his best.

     As a kid I used to feel inferior and pretend to be superior to other kids; that superiority complex, what Alfred Adler called a neurosis, was the best I knew how to do as a kid; of course, in time, I learned that we are all the same and equal and gave up the delusion of superiority.

      Other people do not know better what one should be doing, for they are not in one’s body; thus, judgment and flippant recommendations as to what folks should be doing, without being in their shoes, is foolish.

ADDICTIONS STIMULATE THE HUMAN BODY AND MAKE PEOPLE FEEL LIKE THEY ARE BODIES AND IF THEY ARE BODIES THEN THEIR EGOS THAT ADAPT TO THEIR BODIES ARE REAL; THUS, ADDICTIONS ARE USED TO AVOID KNOWLEDGE THAT WE ARE SPIRITS; ADDICTIONS ARE DEFENSE MECHANISMS MAKING OUR EGOS AND BODIES SEEM REAL WHEN THEY ARE NOT REAL; WHAT IS REAL IS OUR SPIRITS

      Pay attention to addicts, and since every person is, up to a point, addicted to something, pay attention to your own addiction. Ask yourself why you and people are addicted to mood altering substances, such as:

Food,

Alcohol

Smoking

Drugs

Sex

Pornography

   Each of those activities stimulate or under-arouse the human body. When you are engaged in them you are making your body real in your awareness.

    If your body is real then you are what the body protects, the false, separated ego self. Addictions are body and ego defense mechanisms; they are used to make our separated ego selves seem real in our awareness.

     The ego separated self is the opposite of our real self. Our real self is the unified spirit self. We, in spirit, share one unified spirit self and share one unified mind. For lack of a better word, that unified spirit can be called the self of God and the mind of God.

      We sought to separate from that one self and one mind and began the physical universe and created matter and used matter to fashion bodies for us and now seem to live in bodies and walk  around in space and time; body, space and time make our sense of separated ego selves seem real in our awareness, but they are false selves; what is real is our unified spirit self and unified mind. (These ideas are built on Helen Schucman’s book, A course in miracles.)

WITHOUT ADDICTIONS YOU FORGET THAT YOU ARE AN EGO SEPARATED SELF IN BODY

      If you have no addictions to substances that make you feel like you are a body you would not have a sense of being a body hence would not feel like you are a separated ego self and would regain awareness of your real self, unified spirit self, aka son of God, who is one with God.

     If you are perceptive, you would have noticed that addicts tend to be closer to the awareness of their spirit selves, but their egos fight that awareness by making them to use addiction to emphasize their bodies hence separated ego selves.

   To heal addictions, it is often necessary to regain awareness of one’s higher self as spirit; this is the crux of the AA treatment program. The ego separated self is the opposite of the spirit unified self.

WE USE OTHER MECHANISMS TO MAKE OUR BODIES AND EGOS SEEM REAL TO US

     We also use other mechanisms to make us feel like we are bodies hence ego separated selves; some of these are:

Weather

Cold

Hot

Smell

Poverty

Wealth

Suffering

Sickness

Death

      We employ these and others as means of making our bodies and egos seem real to us and thus shut out the awareness of our true self, unified spirit self.

     When the weather is hot or cold you feel it in your body and seek protection of your body from inclement weather hence make your body real in your awareness.

    If you are over-sensitive to smell and fragrances, as I am, you use it to make your body seem real in your awareness hence forget your spirit self.

    If you are poor and can hardly obtain good meals, you think of your starving body; you think of your suffering body; if you are rich, you may over-indulge your body with food and other pleasures, and this makes you feel like you are body hence are defenses against awareness that you are really spirit.

    All of us do get sick, age and die. Sickness, body weakness and death, make our bodies real in our awareness and we struggle to protect our bodies hence affirm our body hence ego self.

     All these behaviors are psychological efforts to deny our true self, unified spirit and affirm our false self, separated egos in bodies.

    As is easily observable, these issues are existential and phenomenological; they are part of what it means to be a human being; all we can do is study and understand them and not have the illusion that we can easily overcome them.

     If you completely overcome your identification with your ego and body, you would exit from the physical universe and return to the awareness of living in the spiritual universe, our real home. We are aliens on earth.

     If you are on earth and live in body, you must protect your body but while doing so try to remember that you came from unified spirit and remain spirit while sleeping and dreaming that you are separated ego in body.

OUR REAL SELF, OUR REALITY IS UNIFIED SPIRIT SELF BUT WE WANT TO FORGET THAT AWARENESS

     What we are is spirit in one unified spirit self; on earth, we do all that we can to make us forget the awareness that we are spirits.

     We invented the entire physical universe to enable us to feel that we are ego separated selves in bodies.

    If for some reason, for a second, you forget that you are body and ego separated self, you would notice the physical universe disappear from your awareness and you return to the awareness of who you are in truth.

    Your real self is part of unified spirit self; the experience of oneself as unified spirit is what folks call enlightenment to our real self, illumination of our true self; East Asians call it Samadhi, Nirvana and Satori; Christian mystics call it the mystical union of the son and his father as one shared self with one shared mind (see Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism).

NOTE:

      Now, watch as ego intellectuals rip apart what I said in this paper and plant doubt in your mind. The ego must make us doubt our real self.

     Knowledge of our spirit self ends the reign of the ego in our lives, so those invested in the ego must defend it and proclaim their shabby science as the truth; science studies our bodies and the physical universe,  the superficial aspect of us, the parts of us invented to enable us feel that we are separated self in bodies hence forget our true selves as spirit selves.

    I am not discouraging any one from studying science and technology; if we live in body and are on earth, we ought to study science and do technology.

    I keep up with physics and chemistry. All that one needs say, is that while studying science one also ought to pay attention to meta-science, study our spirit self.

Ozodi Osuji

January 6, 2022

From Mayo Clinic:

Compartment Syndrome

Compartment syndrome is a painful condition, with muscle pressure reaching dangerous levels. Acute compartment syndrome is a medical emergency, usually caused by trauma, like a car accident or broken bone. Chronic (or exertional) compartment syndrome is caused by intense, repetitive exercise and usually stops with rest or changes in routine.

OVERVIEW

What is compartment syndrome?

Compartment syndrome occurs when pressure rises in and around muscles. The pressure is painful and can be dangerous. Compartment syndrome can limit the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients to muscles and nerves. It can cause severe damage and death.

Compartment syndrome occurs most often in the lower leg. But it can also impact other parts of the leg, as well as the feet, arms, hands, abdomen (belly) and buttocks.

Are there diverse types of compartment syndrome?

There are two kinds of compartment syndrome:

  • Acute compartment syndrome is usually caused by a bad injury and is a medical emergency. Without treatment, acute compartment syndrome can permanently damage muscles. It can also lead to disability, paralysis or even death.
  • Chronic compartment syndrome usually is not an emergency. It is often caused by physical exertion, such as intense exercise. Healthcare providers sometimes call it exertional compartment syndrome for that reason.

SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES

What is a compartment?

A compartment is a group of muscles, nerves and blood vessels. A thin but firm membrane (covering) called a fascia lies over each compartment. It keeps the muscles in place. But the fascia is not meant to stretch or expand much.

What causes compartment syndrome?

A severe injury or too much physical exertion can cause swelling or bleeding in a compartment. The fascia will not expand to make room, so the swelling or bleeding puts pressure on the nerves and muscles. Healthcare providers call this compartmental pressure.

If the pressure gets too high, the tissues cannot get enough blood, which contains oxygen and nutrients. The tissues can die, leading to permanent damage to the area. These complications can also threaten your life.

What types of injuries can cause compartment syndrome?

Examples of injuries that can cause compartment syndrome include:

  • Badly bruised muscle.
  • Car accident.
  • Crush injury, such as when something falls on you.
  • Fracture (broken bone).
  • Sudden return of blood flow after something blocks circulation, such as surgery or loss of consciousness.

Anabolic steroids can also cause compartment syndrome by increasing muscle size too quickly. Other causes include casts or large bandages that are too tight and worn for a while.

What types of activities can cause exertional compartment syndrome?

Chronic compartment syndrome can happen when a person overtrains (exercises too much). Sports with very repetitive movements pose a particular risk. Examples include:

  • Biking.
  • Running.
  • Swimming.

What are the symptoms of compartment syndrome?

The symptoms of compartment syndrome can include:

  • Bulging or visible swelling of the muscle.
  • Feeling like the muscle is fuller, swollen or somehow larger than normal.
  • Numbness.
  • Muscle pain that is stronger than you would expect from the injury.
  • Severe pain when you stretch the muscle.
  • Tightness in the muscle.
  • Tingling or burning sensation in or under your skin, called paresthesias.

DIAGNOSIS AND TESTS

How is compartment syndrome diagnosed?

If you think you have acute compartment syndrome, go to an emergency room right away. It is a medical emergency that needs treatment. If you think you have exertional compartment syndrome, call your healthcare provider.

A healthcare provider will do a few things to diagnose compartment syndrome:

  • Physical exam: The healthcare provider will look for signs you might have something else. For example, the provider will check your tendons for tendinitis and your shins for shin splints.
  • X-ray: The healthcare provider may ask for an X-ray to see if you have a fracture.
  • Compartment pressure measurement test: If the provider suspects compartment syndrome, you will need a test to measure the pressure. The provider will insert a needle into the muscle. A machine attached to the needle will give the pressure reading. The healthcare provider may insert the needle in several unusual places.
  • Repeat pressure test: For exertional compartment syndrome, the test gets repeated after you exercise. The healthcare provider will compare before and after results.

MANAGEMENT AND TREATMENT

How do you treat acute compartment syndrome?

Acute compartment syndrome must get immediate treatment. A surgeon will perform an operation called a fasciotomy. To relieve pressure, the surgeon makes an incision (cut) through the skin and the fascia (compartment cover).

After the swelling and pressure go away, the surgeon will close the incision. Sometimes that cannot happen right away. The surgeon may do a skin graft, taking skin from another area of your body to put over the incision.

How do you treat exertional compartment syndrome?

Exertional compartment syndrome usually goes away if you stop exercising. But you should still discuss it with your healthcare provider. Your provider may recommend:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Cross-training (mixing up exercise types, instead of doing the same thing over and over).
  • Low-impact exercise.
  • Orthotics (inserts for your shoes).
  • Physical therapy.
  • Softer surfaces for workouts (running on tracks instead of concrete, for example).

If those options do not work, fasciotomy may be an option.

PREVENTION

Can you prevent acute compartment syndrome?

You cannot prevent acute compartment syndrome caused by an accident or injury. But you can seek early diagnosis and treatment to prevent complications.

If you have a splint or cast that feels too tight, tell your healthcare provider. Pay particular attention if you have taken pain medication and that part of your body still hurts or swells. The cast or splint should get adjusted to prevent compartment syndrome.

Can you prevent chronic compartment syndrome?

You can prevent exertional compartment syndrome by:

  • Building exercise endurance gradually, instead of doing too much too soon.
  • Changing your body positions when you exercise (for example, mixing up your gait when you run).
  • Improving flexibility.
  • Not overtraining your muscles.
  • Wearing proper shoes.
  • Working out on softer surfaces that are easier on your body.

OUTLOOK / PROGNOSIS

What happens if you do not treat acute compartment syndrome?

Acute compartment syndrome needs immediate treatment. If the pressure is not relieved quickly, the condition can lead to:

  • Muscle contracture (rigidity and deformity).
  • Permanent damage to muscles and nerves, within 24 hours.
  • Permanent disability.
  • Amputation.
  • Death.

Does compartment syndrome come back?

Acute compartment treated with fasciotomy usually does not come back. But chronic compartment syndrome can return if you start intense or repetitive exercise again.

LIVING WITH

How can you manage chronic compartment syndrome?

Rest and changes to your exercise routine may help relieve exertional compartment syndrome. But symptoms may come back, especially if you return to intense or repetitive activity.

Call your healthcare provider if pain gets worse over time or does not feel better with rest.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

If you think you have acute compartment syndrome after an injury, seek medical care immediately. Also talk to a healthcare provider if you have unusual pain, swelling or weakness in your muscles that keeps coming back. It may turn out to be tendinitis or shin splints, but you should check to make sure. It could be chronic compartment syndrome. A healthcare provider can suggest strategies to help you feel better and prevent damage to your nerves and muscles.

From Mayo Clinic

January 6, 2022

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