Five Steps: How To Diagnose Your Ailment Without A Doctor.

Nobody likes being ill. Hundreds hate the sting of a needle. The odor of drugs & hospitals even make more people sicker. What most people don’t know about medical diagnosis is that the doctor aggregate your symptoms to discover or reveal your diagnosis. Medical diagnosis is simply the identification of a disease from its symptoms and you can do it too.

How then does someone diagnose his ailment without a doctor?
In october 2011, I began having abdominal pain. It was horrible. Being my inquisitive self, I took to the net and sought information about my symptoms. The search was quite revealing. The information I stumbled upon proved helpful during my visit to the doctor. I was able to help in the prescription process and it sure helped me get better.

In this post I wrote about why You Should Never Leave Your Health Decisions To Your Doctor and the importance of knowing what’s wrong with you, before visiting a doctor. You can read the post here.

Today I’m writing about how to diagnose your ailment without a doctor in five steps. Going through this five steps will help you and the doctor get to the root of your ailment.

Let’s Begin.

1. Jot all the symptoms you are having on a sheet of paper. The slightest feelings would be needed.
For example if you have joint pains in your ankle. Dizziness? Jot it. Tired? Jot it. Note all symptoms because it will be needed.

2. Type one or two of these symptoms into google. Its going to give you series of results and you can pick the one that suits you.

3. Simply type mayo clinic symptom checker into google. Once the results load, click on the link and follow instructions, ( input your symptoms). Clicking check symptoms loads a page with possible causes to whatever ailments you have. The causes are listed in order of possibilities/accuracy.

4. Simply click on the causes and learn more about why you are having joint pains in your ankle.

5. Visit your doctor armed with this information. Let him run his course of diagnoses. After that you can now begin to ask him questions on why you are having these health challenges and how you can overcome it (possible treatment options).
Don’t hesitate to ask additional questions during your appointment.

Voila! There you are, more knowledgeable about possible causes of your ailments.

However, you must know that this is just to help you have more information about you and not an attempt at self treatment.

In what ways has the internet helped in diagnosing your ailment? You can share your testimonies in the comment box. Thanks.

You Should Never Leave Your Health Decisions To Your Doctor.


Health they say is wealth; a man without his health is surely losing his wealth in trickles. For if he has no health, how does he pursue his wealth. With the abundance of information on the internet today, it is disheartening to realize that people are dying in their scores from ailments that could be salvaged if they made conscious efforts to seek knowledge about their illnesses. The past few weeks have been medically challenging for yours truly. I have been tested and re-tested, diagnosed and re-diagnosed, treated and re-treated. Being prodded with tens of injections, until my butt got sore (just a little above 20).
One thing that has helped me so far is the volume of knowledge I had garnered during this period. I was able to learn more about my ailment. My medical appointments are usually like colleagues chatting over a cup of coffee. (Na lie, I was in pains.:( ) As the doctor offers his thoughts, I add a few of mine. If he prescribes a drug, I talk about the contra-indications and adverse reactions. I may be perceived as inquisitive or showboating, rather I’m just someone who badly needs relief and will go to any length to get it. There’s always a glint in the doctors eyes when we discuss ME. With the way I use the few medical terms I know and call drugs by their “active ingredients”, they know I’ve made an attempt. All these has been possible through the help of the internet and medical sites like,, etc. mayoclinic remains my favorite, because of the ease of use. Their symptom checker seems the most efficient of all I’ve used. Before I even had my first appointment, I already had an idea of what the doctor would say. And when he says something I’m not familiar with, I ask questions on why it should be his thoughts. So while the doctor is using his medical lingo, I can relate with him at least a little. I will not gape and panic when he says a big medical term. Because I have an idea with respect to his diagnoses.
The internet has made information easier and accessible. Typing your symptoms into google would give you more than enough information. This would provide you with at least a lay man’s understanding of your ailment. If some terms are vague to you, further search on such terms would help. You could also note the terms and give to your doctor for explanation.

How I developed this interest is a story that needs to be told. I once saw a movie couple of years ago titled “Lorenzo’s Oil ”. It is about Lorenzo* a boy boy who was diagnosed as having adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), (which is usually fatal within two years) and the efforts of his parents** at finding a cure.

This movie has had a terrific impact in my life. It has made me to realize that “He who wears the shoe, knows where it pinches most.” Therefore, it is your prerogative to know as much as possible about your ailment if you can. It will surely help in your diagnosis, treatment and of course prognosis. While I do not support that you self diagnose and treat yourself, I do believe doctors are humans and there must be a reason why they call their profession a “practice”. More so, the dynamic nature of knowledge indicates that relying on old information is worse than having no knowledge at all.
I may come off as being forward and all, but experience has taught me to know about what’s wrong with me before seeing a doctor so I won’t just be in the dark. You may be seen as pesky too, but both the patient and the doctor should be able to work it out. I’m not trying to take over your job. Its about me getting healed.
In my next post, I will be discussing how to use the net for your medical research and what to do before your next doctor’s appointment.

Would you rather leave your health decisions to your doctor? Kindly use the comment box to air your views.


*The course of research for this article revealed thatLorenzo Odone , died on may 30 2008 at age 30, 26 years after his first diagnosis of ALD. May his soul rest in peace.

BBC world also reports Loreznzo’z father Augusto is late.

“@BBCWorld: Augusto Odone, who created an oil to save life of son Lorenzo, has died” #RipAugustoOdone

Does it really take 10,000 hours to be good at something?

You might have heard about the 10,000 hour rule. It’s the result of a research by Prof K Anders Ericsson who decided to discover what it takes to be an expert in any field of endeavor. What he did was to observe world best in certain fields, professional athletes, world class musicians, chess grand masters etc. His discovery was astonishing. He discovered each one of these experts had invested nothing less than 10,000 hours of practice into their profession which ultimately makes them better. This rule was made popular by my favorite author, Malcolm Gladwell in his book outliers. I must confess how grossly inadequate I felt after reading about this in that book. I was shocked. I thought “where do I get 10,000 hours from?” “Why didn’t I know about this rule before now?” I would have made arrangements to start doing things early, instead of waiting and chanting the “when I grow older, I will…..” mantra that we all are guilty of. While it is no lie that you may need at least 10,000 hours to be an expert at anything. It has crippled so many people into thinking they don’t have the time to achieve their goals.

However I think what Malcolm and Prof Anders, were actually trying to say is that practice makes perfection. The more you practice, the better you become.

So how long does it take to learn something new and be good with it?

This is the question Josh Kauffman sought to provide answers to in his insightful TED Talk video.The first 20 hours: How to learn anything.

According to josh, the 10,000 hour rule came out of studies for expert level performance and not learning new skills. You would be shocked at his [josh] findings.


20 HOURS!!!!

Scratch. Are you kidding me? You mean I can learn anything new and be good in just 20 hours?

Yes. You can go from knowing nothing about anything at all, to being reasonably good at it. If you put 20 focused, deliberate practice hours into any skill, you’d be astounded by your results. That’s about 45 minutes every day for about a month.

And here’s the method josh proposes:

    1. De-construct the skill- decide what you actually want to be able to do when you are done. Then look into the skill and break it down the basic important things. Practice those important things first.
    2. Learn enough to self-correct- get your hands on resources you can to learn about the skill you desire to acquire. But don’t use that as a way to procrastinate. You don’t have to wait till you read all the resources before you begin practice. All you need to know is enough that you can practice and self-correct.
    3. Remove practice barriers- get rid of everything that hinders your practice. Television, internet, gossips.
    4. Practice for at least 20 hours. Just go ahead to practice at least 20 hours.

My high points in that video were:

a) When josh pulls out a ukulele (A small four-stringed guitar of Hawaiian origin) and plays an “axis of awesome” medley. Josh later confesses playing the medley completes his 20th hour of practice on the ukulele. Isn’t that amazing?

b) When josh says “the major barrier to learning something new is not intellectual… it’s emotional. We are scared of feeling stupid.

However, “feeling stupid doesn’t feel good at the beginning of learning something new if we are really stupid.

So is there anything you want to learn? Give it 20 hours. You may not become an expert, but you will surely be good at it and be proud of yourself.

You should see that video yourself.

If you find this post interesting, don’t hesitate to share your comments below. Thanks.

LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP by Biodun Owojaiye

LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP by Biodun Owojaiye.

These days, academic excellence and achievement is the subject of much derision and venomous assault. From far and wide, across the cyber space, media outlets and in the midst of idle gist, there is a surfeit of individuals who are unrelenting in pushing academics to the background. Tertiary education, compared to the primary and secondary, has been the most hit with not a few alluding to its perceived ‘uselessness’. There are many reasons put forward by those who belong to this school of thought. One of such is the seemingly numerous ultra-successful individuals who didn’t attend a university or at best were drop-outs, opting to pursue other ‘valuable’ ventures instead of ’wasting’ time in the University. Since, dropping out halfway didn’t impede the progress of these ones in life; many argue that university education is perhaps overrated. This group of individuals often measure achievement, success, progress in terms of wealth alone, which though acceptable is not always sufficient.
What they see.
It is a fact that Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College after just one semester, co founded Apple Inc. became one of the icons of modern technology and died a billionaire, as The Walt Disney Company’s single largest shareholder. It is also a fact that Bill Gates, co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation , a Harvard University drop-out who never went back to complete his studies, today is the primus inter pares of billionaires and the most consistent one of the last two decades. That Mark Zuckerberg, also a Harvard University drop-out and cofounder and chairman of Facebook is one of the world’s youngest billionaires is true. Larry Ellison of Oracle dropped out of both the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Chicago and yet sits atop a multibillionaire dollar fortune today. Paul Allen, the man with whom Bill Gates cofounded Microsoft also dropped out of the University of Washington and is at present a billionaire.
What they ignore.
In the same vein, It is also true that the Oracle of Omaha who has a fortune of about 53.5 billion US Dollars (2013 estimates), Warren Buffett, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Berkshire Hathaway holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska Lincoln and a Master of Science degree in Economics from Columbia University while Indian business magnate estimated to be worth 27.5 billion United States Dollars (2013), Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries holds a Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Mumbai. It is also real that Carlos Slim (73 billion dollars, 2013), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Telmex, America Movil, Samsung Mexico and Grupo Carso studied Civil Engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico as George Soros (20 billion United States Dollars, 2012) of Soros Fund Management received a PhD in Philosophy from the London School of Economics many years ago. Brothers, David and Charles Koch of Koch Industries with separate fortunes of 34 billion United States Dollars each both obtained Masters Degrees in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after completing their Bachelors. Bernard Arnault (29 billion United States Dollars, 2013), business magnate and art collector, chairman of LVMH and owner of several other luxury brands is an Engineering graduate from the Ecole Polytechnique just as Lakshmi Mittal (16.5 United States Dollars, 2013), Chief Executive Officer of ArcelorMittal, the World’s largest steelmaking company graduated from St Xavier’s College, Calcutta with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Business and Accounting. For every ‘drop-out’ billionaire, it is accurate to say one can name a ‘graduate’ billionaire. And these degrees are not honorary, neither were they obtained in the twilight of their lives, they were earned as young men.
What they don’t see.
Observing the drop-out billionaires, it is apparent most of them had considerable talent or a competitive edge which conferred advantage in one area or the other. Bill Gates attended a private school where he was early exposed to computers at a time when computers weren’t so popular. It is on record that he scored a verifiable 1590 out of a possible 1600 in his SAT (it used to be 1600, not 2400); this makes it all the more plain that he did not opt out because he was a lazy student. Moreover, with Paul Allen, he had developed a version of the BASIC programming language for the Altair 8800, the first personal computer while still a student at Harvard. He left Harvard so he could devote more time to Microsoft. Larry Ellison had encountered computer design before dropping out of the University of Chicago; hence he had a straw to cling to. Steve Jobs had received lectures at Hewlett-Packard Co. in Palo Alto after school while still in high school, so he wasn’t entirely without skill when he dumped College. Mark Zuckerberg left Harvard University so he could dedicate more time to Facebook. Paul Allen had a perfect SAT score of 1600, and dropped out so more time could be spent on building Microsoft. These men didn’t drop out because they couldn’t cope or because they felt that University was useless, they were smart and had things to hold on to. It would have been folly on their part if they had left school with no worthy alternative.
A number have claimed that the university stymied their intellectual development, but this folks forget that a university education confers more than just ‘book knowledge’, even though there is nothing wrong with ‘book knowledge’. It provides an arena for socialization which is one of its latent functions. A ready-made example of this is noticeable in the story of billionaire Google cofounders, Larry Page (23 billion United States Dollars, 2013) and Sergey Brin (22.8 billion United States Dollars, 2013) who met in Stanford University as PhD students. Also, the structured way of doing things in a university help imprint timeless values such as purpose, time management, character, punctuality, perseverance, tenacity, determination, diligence and many more. These values are sine qua non to achieving success in any field, the act and art of making billions inclusive. It is evident that many billionaires possess these which should naturally be by-products of attending a tertiary institution (though not everyone acquires it). The billionaires who dropped-out have had to acquire these traits on their own. It goes without saying then, that receiving formal education up to the tertiary level can and should quicken one’s steps to wealth, if wealth is the objective. Quick to highlight that Orville and Wilbur Wright never completed high school, little mention is made of their perseverance and the many hours of diligence and hard work they invested in their work. Mention is rarely made of the volumes of Mathematics and Engineering these brothers consumed independently. And so it is with billionaires, people only see the billions; they don’t see the values that helped acquire them.
Some more examples
The Canadian, David Thomson, studied History at the University of Cambridge while Masayoshi Son, a Korean National, graduated with a degree in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley. Michael Bloomberg, current mayor of New York City, studied at Johns Hopkins University where he majored in Electrical Engineering, while Jorge Paulo Lemann, a Brazilian, earned a degree in Economics from Harvard University. Alisher Usmanov, a Russian, attended Moscow State Institute of International Relations where he obtained a degree in International Law even as his compatriot Suleyman Kerimov obtained a degree in financial accounting and economics at the Dagestan State University. The Americans, Carl Icahn and Jeff Bezos, studied Philosophy and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science respectively at Princeton University. The aforementioned men have one thing in common, they are all billionaires, and none has a fortune less than five billion United States Dollars (as at 2013-08-19)
Bringing it home
A brief reconnaissance of the Nigerian billionaire landscape reveals realities that are not in any way new. Jim Ovia (Southern Louisiana University, University of Louisiana), the founder of Zenith Bank Group, West Africa’s second largest financial services provider by market capitalization and asset base is not a drop-out. Otunba Mike Adenuga (North Western Oklahoma State University, Pace University) chairman of the first indigenous telecoms company in Nigeria Globacom, Equatorial Trust Bank and Conoil completed university as did Michael Ade Ojo (University of Nigeria, Nsukka) of Toyota Nigeria Limited and Elizade Nigeria Limited. Jimoh Ibrahim (Obafemi Awolowo University, Harvard University) of Global Fleet group and the NICON group is no drop-out just as Otunba Subomi Balogun (London School of Economics) of FCMB and Mr Oba Otudeko (Leeds College of Commerce) chairman of Honeywell group and Bharti Airtel Nigeria isn’t. Pascal Dozie (London School of Economics, City University London.) chairman of Diamond Bank and MTN Nigeria and Hakeem Belo-Osagie (Cambridge University, Oxford University, Harvard Business School) chairman of Etisalat Nigeria also completed their university studies. Fola Adeola, founder of Guaranty Trust Bank, a boardroom guru and business maverick attended Yaba College of Technology. Successful drop-outs who stand out are not the rule; rather, I daresay, they are the exceptions.
Entrepreneurship is the Way
While it is clear that founding an enterprise, establishing a business is the way to go if amassing billions is the aim, it is also clear that if these enterprises become big enough (and they have to be big, if one is to be a billionaire) then the founders will need those with the know-how and technical wherewithal to help them run it. Asides the big conglomerates where the founder also serves as the CEO, other companies have men who have attended tertiary institutions at the helms of affairs. The Fortune 500 companies for example, have executives that earn millions upon millions in dollars as compensation annually, and a few of these men are billionaires. An example is Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google. It is shallow thinking to say a company will only pay you to be comfortable and that no company will pay you to be rich. The truth is that if you have great value to add, and the company is big enough, you will be paid enough to be rich and wealthy. And smart CEOs don’t depend on salary alone; they also receive bonuses, stock options and restricted stock grants. However, one must admit it is better and nicer to do the paying and there is no law that says just because one attended a university, one cannot start a business. If anything, business outfits owned by graduates should be better managed.

Receiving a university education is not a measure of one’s life success and it obviously doesn’t mean without it one cannot ‘make it’, however if one gets the chance, one should grab it with both hands and make the most of it. It becomes even doubly important, when one has no obvious ‘outstanding’ or special talent, emphasis on the word obvious. The absence of a special talent that can elevate one above one’s peers and a lack of clear cut opportunity which if pursued wholeheartedly can project one to wealth makes receiving a thorough and qualitative education more important. ‘Book knowledge’ alone may not guarantee stupendous wealth as can be seen in the case of many University professors but there are numerous examples to prove that it also does not hinder its legitimate accumulation. The fact that the drop-out billionaires have sent, and are still sending their offspring to tertiary institutions is proof enough of its importance. It is also appropriate to echo this; a university degree is not absolute. One must also be aggressive in acquiring skills and knowledge along the way, which is the only true way to become and remain immensely valuable.
Not all drop-outs are billionaires, one must look before leaping.
Thank you for your time!

“Steven Jobs.”. Microsoft® Encarta® 2009 Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation 2008
“Bill Gates.”. Microsoft® Encarta® 2009 Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2008.

Book Review: What The Blind Girl Saw by Tosin Afolayan

Title: What The Blind Girl Saw

Author: O’Tosin Afolayan

Imprint: Eclectic House Publishing (2011)

Pages: 269

Reviewer: Fawibe Obafemi

“beliefs are what makes the difference between a lifetime of joyous contribution and one of misery and devastation. It is what makes someone a hero and  another live in desperation.”

         What The Blind Girl Saw is one of its kind in the Personal development genre. It  talks about the power of beliefs in our lives. Using  great analogies the author opens with the story of a blind girl (Ivy) who in a bid to save her Love, had to sojourn an evil forest filled with ferocious beasts. How Ivy a blind girl navigates the forest is a mystery that connote She must have seen what no one else has ever seen and uses her vision to overcome challenges even when common knowledge dictates otherwise. The author skillfully weaves in the impacts of beliefs in our lives.He writes “beliefs are what makes the difference between a lifetime of joyous contribution and one of misery and devastation. It is what makes someone a hero and  another live in desperation.”




The book asks questions that pierces the core of the human soul, like;

  • Is the devil black or white or red?
  • Is God holy because we represent him with the color white?
  • Many look, but how many really see?
  • Many breathe, but how many really live?

“Rather than accept life as it has been handed down to you, it is in your power to get in the driver seat of  your life and take charge. “

It  also touches the concept of conformity as  the singular reason why men and women never really achieve anything
worthwhile in life.The author climaxes with  steps to help readers break free from limiting beliefs and traditions in the society.
Besides very few typos, What The Blind Girl Saw is a good read that will empower you to challenge the norms and traditions limiting you, to live truly and truly live a life that’s yours. “Rather than accept life as it has been handed
down to you, it is in your power to get in the driver seat of  your life and take charge. ”

Tosin Afolayan the author is the Creative Director, The Otosin Organisation, a Speaker and Youth Trainer .

You can read his blog here..

What The Blind Girl Saw is available in bookstores near you. For orders please call 08181069990, 08064430916.