Hello beautiful people!!!…
I hope you guys are doing great. It’s late at night and I’m in a good mood. I have the longest gist in the history of mankind so I decided to drop it on you guys in the middle of the night while most of you are asleep. I wasn’t going to say anything at first because of two people who I am sure will laugh at my misfortune. However, I’m feeling much better about the situation and whether or not they laugh at me is the very least of my problems.
Anyway, the last time we spoke, I told you guys that I wasn’t feeling well yeah? I had gone to a clinic and gotten treatment for malaria. Ok, remember the part where I said I flung my Ghana-must-go-bag full of medicine to one corner of my house? Well, I wasn’t lying. I only took out the pain meds and dumped the rest, including the dodgy looking malaria tablets. It was an anti-malarial with a very long funny name. And guess what?! There was no picture of a mosquito on the packet! What self-respecting anti-malarial drug company doesn’t put a picture/drawing of a mosquito on the packet??
A few days later, I started feeling very off again. I was slow at work and the most routine tasks felt like hard physical labour. I was so darn tired all the time. So, I started with the anti-malarial, took them for the three days, complete dose and all, and yet there was no improvement. I went for a close friend’s wedding on Saturday but I couldn’t turn up like I’d been planning to. My lovely dress, nice hair and make up were all wasted because I just sat through the wedding like a zombie… I didn’t even get to wear my stripper heels.
I got home tired and it was my brother who first noticed my feet. They had swollen to almost twice their size, which was odd because I didn’t wear heels.
On Monday, I went back to the clinic. I saw a doctor, different from the one I saw on my first trip. This one looked like a kid, and was probably still a student. I could tell because he did everything by the book. He took his time to thoroughly examine me. He listened to my breathing, felt my organs for any enlargement, checked my eyes, my throat, my nipple pointillism rate… dude checked everything. Then he put me down for some tests.
The nurses weren’t happy about it though…
“I don’t understand this kain doctor sef”
“See essay wey im write”
“Im tink say e still de school”
“Na student na… the work e dey shack am”
“Abeg make she see MD. All this plenty story ontop fever”
I got the world-peace injection again, slept a while then woke up when the MD arrived. He prescribed some more painkillers and something called Lasix, to make me pee all the fluid in my ankles out. His biggest concern, he said, was my low blood level. He asked me to come back on Friday to check the swelling (in my ankles and neck) and check my PCV again.
I couldn’t go to work on Tuesday and HR started calling. I had already missed two days of work the previous week. She was saying, “If you don’t think you’re getting adequate care there, I suggest you go somewhere else.”
On Thursday, I saw our company’s medical consultant. He examined me briefly and sent me to another hospital with a note to the owner. I got there Friday morning in a very bad state… weak, dizzy and as usual, out of breath. My feet resembled elephant’s feet and I could feel the liquid move whenever I took a step. I didn’t have the note our consultant gave me, but I had my medical card so I was allowed to see the doctor.
I knew the routine… all I had to do was explain how it was doing me and after seeing three other doctors, I had become a pro at listing out the issues. I even knew my blood test results from Monday by heart and I rattled them off. He got me to lie on my back, and being the expert that I am, as soon as I saw him take out his stethoscope, I unbuttoned my blouse and turned my head to the left so he could listen to my lungs and heart. Then he examined the swelling in my ankles.
Shit became real when he took my BP. He took it the first time, waited a few minutes and then took it again. I started to sense there was a problem when he asked the nurse to get him another BP-measuring thing. He asked her to take it and she did. They were both eyeing each other above my head. No one said anything for a while and I didn’t want to ask questions.
Finally, the doctor sat on the edge of his table in front of me and with a grim look, he asked, “Is there a history of High blood pressure in your family? On your dad’s side or mum’s side?”
I laughed because I wasn’t sure how to answer… I know there was a time my dad was on meds for his BP. And growing up, my mum used to yell, “Ngozi you wee not kee me in this house! You will not give me hypertension!!” I don’t know for sure if I ever succeeded in actually raising her BP. I told him yes, there’s a history.
He nodded like it was the answer he was expecting… then there was a barrage of questions;
What do you do?
What’s your job like?
Who is your biggest client?
Are you in a relationship?
When did your last relationship end?
How long were you together?
Does it bother you that you’re not in a relationship?
Is there anything on your mind?
I was tired and some of the questions were beginning to feel very personal. I finally asked if there was a problem and he said, “It seems you are severely hypertensive. Your BP is 165/102.”
I haven’t opened a Biochemistry text book in a long while so I couldn’t remember the normal BP range. I thought of asking my friend Google, but I didn’t want to whip out my phone with the both of them watching me. Whatever the range, he had said severely, not mildly… severely wasn’t good. Behind me, the nurse kept asking, “What are you thinking of?”
The doctor told me that he would have to keep me in the hospital for observation, then he did some sort of hand signal and the nurse left. Whatever sign he did, it must’ve meant, prepare a room for her immediately cos that’s exactly what she did. From then on, everything happened very fast. He set up an IV line and right then and there in his office, they started pushing God-knows-what into my veins.
“Does this mean I’m being admitted?”
“Can I please go home and come back in the evening?”
The look he gave me told me that I had asked a very stupid question.
My room looked like a hotel room with a hospital bed. Immediately I entered, I started to think of the bills… I knew I was covered by my HMO but I wasn’t sure what I was entitled to. I didn’t know if I was covered for all the tests they were going to take, I didn’t know if I should even be in that hospital… it looked like a hospital for my ogas. Lastly, I didn’t know if I was entitled to the Sheraton hotel-like room. A senior doctor, a much older man, was called in to see me. I realized later that he was the one I was supposed to give the note to.
“Just relax dear, we’re going to get your BP back down ok? But you need to relax.”
Brethren, I was laying still, not moving a muscle and nigga kept telling me to relax. How? The nurse gave me a tiny white pill… said it would work like magic. I swallowed it, forgetting to ask what form of magic magic it was supposed to perform. She woke me up some time later and took my BPagain and saw that it had crashed to 130/85. That was the magic.
“This means I can go home right?” I had a shopping list folded in my novel. The plan for Friday had been to see the doctor, get whatever treatment I needed and then go to the market to get stuff for Afang soup. The next day was election and, unlike last time, I wanted to be well prepared. I wanted to do my apocalyptic end-of-the-world shopping early enough. I checked the time… it was almost 1:00pm. If I leave now, mama Obinna should still have periwinkle by the time I get to the market.
The nurse said I couldn’t go, I should lie down and just relax. Relaaaax. The doctor came up and kept me company for a long while. He listened to my breathing occasionally and checked my pulse. Did I mention how ridiculously hot this young man is? And he was so easy to talk to… he said I strike him as a quiet and reserved person (LOOOOOOOOOOOLLLL!!!!!). We talked about school, about medicine and we did the thing where you meet someone and because you’ve both been to the same places, you try and find out who they know. You’ll be desperately looking for someone or something in common with the person…
We didn’t find a person, but we found a place in common. I schooled in Okada, he served in Edo state… and the NYSC camp is in Okada. So we talked about Okada. He schooled in UI so I racked my brains for anyone I know who schooled in UI… or did IT in UI… or visited UI. I came up with nothing.
By evening, I accepted that I wasn’t going anywhere… not with the IV line still in my arm so I relaaaaxed. My brother brought some stuff over for me and my parents started bombarding me with phone calls. Y’all know how African parents can be… as a child, you can fall and hurt yourself and your mum would spank you for scaring the shit out of her.
I knew it was going to be like that so I ignored their calls. My mum would ask me why I want to give her hypertension by becoming hypertensive… my dad would tell me everything I did wrong since primary 5 and how it led to my present condition. My sister had to talk to both of them… more like tutor them on things they can and cannot say when speaking to me. When she was sure they were ready, she told me I could call them back.
My mum scored higher than my dad… she just kept saying, “We thank God” and “God bless you” throughout the conversation. My dad’s convo was funny because I couldn’t really hear what he was saying. I think he must’ve taped his mouth with duct tape so that he wouldn’t say anything stupid. Overall, they both tried.
Saturday was election day and everywhere was quiet. The nurse (who happens to be the sweetest nurse on this planet) came in every couple of hours to check on me and check my BP, but I was so unhappy. I was tired of being cooped up in my Sheraton-like room. The hot doctor came in the evening to say hi, but even that didn’t excite me. My BP had gone back up to 160/100 despite all the nameless tablets I was being given. The crankiness in me started to show… I even insinuated that the BP reading thing was bad and they just wanted to keep me here.
So sexy doctor used the machine to measure his own BP. Then, to be doubly sure, he did for the sweetest nurse as well. There was nothing wrong with the machine. I thought Fuck you and your 110s and 120s BPs… fuck. You!
I took a sleeping pill and just stared out the window till I fell asleep. And boy did I sleep! The sweetest nurse woke me up some time in the middle of the night to check my BP but I deliberately didn’t ask her for the numbers. I just went back to sleep after she left.
I woke up today feeling much better. The swelling in my ankles has reduced and I was allowed to take a stroll to the Pharmacy downstairs. I walked past the Pharmacy, out of the hospital compound and onto the main street. I walked for quite a while, almost to the end of the street. On Friday, I couldn’t walk up the stairs without feeling like I had run a mile, but today, I walked. When I was tired, I turned back. The return journey was much harder because it was then I realized just how far I had walked, but I felt fine. I was tired, but not panting like a retarded hyena.
The senior doc, they call him Prof, came to see me and told me all the tests I’m going to have to do tomorrow and the new drugs he’s putting me on. Then he talked about changes I’m going to have to make… how I can’t do rigorous exercise anymore, how I have to eat healthy from now on, how I have to avoid salt, blah blah blah, no ice-cream, blah blah blah, no amala etc.
I scoffed at the ‘no ice-cream’ part… say wetin happun na?
So my brethren, that’s where we are now 🙁 I am tired and I have to sleep now. We’ll carry on tomorrow.
Have a blessed week!
ps: Yes, I had time to take selfies yesterday ( ._.)