The story continues. If you missed reading Part 1, please click here.
THE BATTLE FIELD
I have spent days in hospitals but never once in Yaoundé. So this hospital trip was going to be the first in Yaoundé. I had no idea how this battle field would look like. All I knew when my sister came was that I was being rushed to my battle field and favourite rest house. Not being able to get to my Dr, I was rushed to the nearest hospital. Hyper infusion was started and more injections given which didn’t help with the pains. My nurse friend was with us and she explained what injection I had received, pointing out the need to give me something stronger. Trabar was prescribed and administered which calmed down the pains and I slept. By the morning I felt better and thus was sent home to continue with my regular drugs.
I left the hospital feeling ok but by 10 pm, my friends with me were crying. Pains shot up again as if absolutely nothing had been done all these while. Medicines were not helping and there was nothing to do but cry! My friends had to call my sister again since I was at my place. I could see the worry and fear she was trying hard to hide when she came.
I was rushed back to the hospital. More drips ( Hyper infusion), more injections which were administered almost everywhere… my thighs, my buttocks, my hands through the drip vein over the next 5 days as altogether, I came to spend 6 days at the hospital, the longest days I can remember ever spending at a hospital. A Dr saw me the next day and asked for a new test to be done. The test showed I had malaria and my blood count dropped a bit. I was like I sleep under mosquito nets religiously, how come I had malaria? Malaria treatment was started and my sisters bless them, launched ‘operation raise that blood up’ natural blood builders were made for me to drink. I had those blood builders and water to drink, while drips were going into my body one after the other. I don’t even know how many I received but it was quite a number!
Meanwhile, the plant kingdom was probably mourning the passing of their illustrious daughter.
Also, many were tagging me on face book on the Paris attacks. Each time I tried to log on to face book on my phone to distract myself, someone had tagged me on the Paris attack. I almost posted a screaming update for people to STOP tagging me on that Paris attack. I mean, I see it on the news and I was quietly battling my own pain demons. I didn’t need that too.
THE SUPPORT TEAM
Every seasoned fighter, no matter how often they go into battle, always need a support team; someone to have their back as they go about the fighting business. Similarly, warriors, no matter how often they pass through this particular battle field, can never pass through alone without the support of family and loved ones and so, I had my support team handy.
My family especially my sisters were the numero uno on this support team. Those days were practically work – hospital- hospital – house – work – hospital kind of routine. There was very little sleep especially for my eldest sister cum mama number 2 who was with me at the hospital. Sleep was next to impossible for me because of the pains and so everyone around me got very little sleep. Yet, they silently pushed me to keep fighting with their love and encouraging words and smiles, even as they tried hard to hide their worries.
My Christian Community came in their numbers. Unbeknownst to me, many volunteered to spend time with me while my sisters were at work, making sure I was never alone. Many volunteered to sleep with me after I left the hospital until I was again on my feet. Their love and support was so overwhelming, giving me more reasons why I love my Christian community.
My Friends worldwide as soon as they heard I was down, encouraging and positive messages flooded my phone and face book inbox, WhatsApp, in fact, I could feel the positive energy all the way from the screen which these messages conveyed. I was so touched by all these show of support and love. Those who could visit came calling and it was so heartwarming to have them all around. My visitors never stopped streaming in to the point that the hospital staff was overwhelmed.
Ah be turn celebrity oh.
The Drs and nurses, they gave in their best for which I will always be grateful. I hope I don’t go to a hospital for a looong time, but not likely to go back to this particular one.
Thank you is not enough for the support and love I received. Only God will bless my support team.
PSEUDO- CONVALESCENCE PHRASE.
Usually, after every hospital stay, I return home feeling strong. Not this time around. The pains remain persistent. It was like a pendulum. I get a reprieve of a few hours each time I take a pain killer, only for the pains to shoot up again as if nothing was being done. I moved in with my eldest sister for the time being. As can be imagined, it was done grudgingly. I have become accustomed to staying on my own and as such, wanted to be at my place. Ms INDEPENDENT!! Of course, I knew I needed help and so many of my dear Christian sisters were more than willing to offer their time and keep me company 24 hours. My sister couldn’t hear of it and off I went. I must admit, I needed the break, needed someone to make all the decisions etc. So after a while, I forgot about independence and just let myself be pampered, something I received 100%.
Tuesday saw me back in a different hospital. This time, there were familiar faces around. When one of the nurses saw me, she said she has never seen me like this and so, she called the Dr. The Dr came and just one look, told the nurses to start another round of hyper infusions ASAP while she requested an urgent test be carried out. I said ‘no I want to go home’. I was tired of white coats and hospital smells. They said ‘you will go but you need this’. I was put on a bed. The first drip went up. Nothing was inside just plain glucose. More than four nurses and a Dr were hovering around me. One nurse gave me a shot of Morphine (the first time I can remember receiving it). While the others were busy with the drips and a lab technician was just around waiting to draw some blood for more tests.
Within 3 hours, I received four packets of glucose. The lab results arrived and it showed I had an infection. My white blood cells were 7.5 times higher than the average rate. Nobody could pinpoint where the infection came from. The only conclusion was that, it was probably as a result of a faux pas from the other hospital, as it was discovered by going through my hospital book that they started a treatment they didn’t complete. A round of antibiotics was started ASAP with it another round of hospital trips. I was going daily for the injections and by the time I received the last dose, along with the new set of painkillers prescribed, I was feeling better with the pains gradually receding. My nephew who is a Dr was constantly at home to make sure all was going well.
Thank God for efficient doctors!
REAL CONVALESCENCE PERIOD
With the pains receding, things started falling back in place gradually. Everyone could breathe a sigh of relief and sleep! I could enjoy uninterrupted sleep after a spell. Thus, I could now rest and mend.
One way I have been able to face all this is my ability to make light, to maintain my sense of humour even in the middle of the most severe of pains. It provides some temporal relief and distraction always and in a way helps me keep my sanity.
This time around, seeing the gifts all the caring souls brought for me, the presence of so many family and friends and the moral and financial support of friends and family far and wide was so overwhelming and I jokingly said to everyone ‘I am enjoying, sick fine oh’. Like say ah be di chop the chop them sef. Those who got the joke could laugh along with me. On another occasion, a good friend saw my hospital book and I jokingly said that is a book filled with classroom notes, you could read and pass an exam. Another time when, with the help of my other sister, I finished eating my food after much effort, I told her and my friends present to clap for me! Of course they clapped and we all had some laughs.
This is a raw unedited account of what I went through the past few weeks, I mean what my pain fogged brain could remember. One thing I know is that it was not easy. I not only felt unbearable pains, it seemed I could practically reach out and touch it. The pain was a wa oh! The most severe I can remember experiencing in my adult life. It was three weeks of nonstop pains!
Every day activities like walking, eating, standing up and sleeping, in fact every mundane thing we all take for granted became a chore. I could barely walk or stand without support and chewing was a task in itself. I would turn all round the bed, double mattresses; double pillows on top of a mattress, all in a bid to find a comfortable position yet, sleep continued to elude me.
Loving hands were there doing everything they could to relieve the pains. Gentle massages, hot water therapies, everything.
Prayers went up from every corner of the world and God did answer those prayers, reason why I am here today recounting this. The pains brought me low, raised the worry temperatures of my family and friends, but God lifted me high again.
Despite the agonizing pains, the sleepless nights, the injections and all that was done, I still smile and I am forever thankful to my God because it is only by his grace. His grace saved me from possible side effects of pain killers. There is no doubt on more than several occasions, I took overdoses in a bid to stop the pains. His grace is what enables me to keep fighting, to keep the smile because no matter what, I have come to appreciate the fact that, surrounded by thoughtful and loving people, life is still worthwhile and I hope to keep fighting for as long as possible, hoping the next fight will be a long time coming and I pray by his grace, I will continue to be victorious like this mother in this inspiring story I read.
Shout out to my sisters and other family members who have been with me from day one offering love, strength and support. I couldn’t have made it this far without them.
Shout out to other warriors and all the care givers. It is not an easy job or fight, but courage as you keep fighting and caring.
Shout out to all those friends who continue to support and empathize.
Sick no fine oh!
This kind of pain is not something one could wish even on an enemy, but through it all, we can always find something to smile and keep fighting. There are talks of breakthroughs and possible cures. Until they reach me though, I keep fighting with what I have…love, painkillers, Drs and my God.
Gratitude for divine grace and special thanks to competent doctors and their crew.
Still mending slowly but still kicking and smiling.
Life like I love to say, goes on.
Your comments inspire me. Please read, share and drop a line.
ARREY E. AGBOR-NDAKAW.