I have a few words for the public Healthcare system but today is not that day…. Or maybe it is.
You know that no one actually cares until it hits home, right?
I fell ill during the early rainy season and this was not regular cold or fever. It knocked me out pretty bad, took me to hell and back. I’m typing this from the back seat of a public sienna heading home from my second job almost out with sickness. So, if by any chance this post makes it to the blogosphere, then I survived.
So, this started out with cold that turned to fever and chills pretty quick. When it graduated to cough, I fished out the pack of anti-malaria tabs someone had gifted me.
If you find it weird that anti-malaria pills are some sort of gift, I’ll tell you why.
I live in the tropics and over the past few years, I would fall ill say,four to five times a year. I’m not a doctor, so I thought this was normal. mosquito dey bite everybody bah?
After the three day treatment, it didn’t dissipate, rather got worse. One minute, I’m fine, laughing and smiling, then next, I can barely hold myself up or walk, or sleep.
Believe me, I could be dying and if you’re not quite observant, you wouldn’t notice. I just do not like to bother people with my problems. My parents don’t know and they never will, they have enough on their plate as it is.
Anyway, I said to myself, this time you need to get tested and stop with the self medication. I remember late last year, I was down so bad I had cold sores on my gum and I was treating malaria at the interval of two months at most, sometimes once every month. Something def. Was up!
We have a medical centre in my school and there’s a government hospital somewhere in town, but the bureaucracy of going to the hospital by 8am and seeing a doctor by 1pm? Not today, Satan.
So, I headed to a private lab in town – at this juncture, I now understand that a car is a necessity, forget what society is saying. Wait till you’re nearly falling off a bike because you don’t have a car to take you to clinic, but I digress.
The lab attendant wrote out a list of tests they will have to run and it was nearing 10k, like ten thousand Naira!!! My eyes were popping out of the socket and he was even suggesting running a full std test on top of it all. Uncle, thank you. When I’m not an OBO or something.
Incase you saw any skinny chick with disheveled cornrows haggling prices in a medical lab, that was my broke ass. No way I was spending 10k on tests alone. Like, when you add drugs to it, how much would that be and how many kidneys will I have to sell?
So we came to a middle ground and they did just malaria, typhoid and FBC (full blood count). Then, sent me home to go and die while waiting for the results to come out.
Well, I found myself back at the school medical Centre – what is it they say about when the desirable becomes unavailable? Yeah, the one.
I don’t know if this time I saw a doctor quickly because I was with a priest but I know I was in a private ward and there was a doctor within minutes of my arrival.
Oh, and the lab test result was malaria plus and typhoid, which the doctor later diagnosed also, so money for test kinda just went down the drain like that. I’m so frugal that it still hurts till now but I’ll be alright.
So, all the while I had been popping malaria pills like a junkie, I had the grandma of malaria itself coupled with its senior cousin, typhoid and it’s funny how at that time, all the discussions I heard was how this person or that person died from the same sickness.
Let me talk about the public Healthcare system for a second. It’s crap! Absolutely and totally and at this moment, my heart goes out to every single Nigerian that has no other choice but to depend on them because the financial wherewithal is simply not there.
So, I don’t know how a patient brought to the clinic that can barely walk, can’t eat and looks right about to die, is not put on some drip. I’m not a doctor but I know that the one of the preliminaries is the drip where they put the pcm and Flagyl where necessary, then the drip with B–complex for strength, then the drugs to enable you eat.
I’m neither a nurse, so I don’t know if maybe shouting at a patient will make them eat before their injections, like if they had the appetite, they would not eat, or they decided they loved the feel of sickness and decided to wallow there a little more. I really don’t know how the medical ethics work, maybe all these are normal and I’m overreacting.
So I went home with a bunch of drugs and the suffering continued. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t walk, constantly dizzy and weak.
With every toss and turn, it felt like the end was already here. My life was flashing right before my eyes and all I could think about was how the devil had won – or not.
I have the best support system, a lot of people came to see me, some made it a point of duty to call morning and evenings to make sure I’m coping fine and I swear to God if I’m not grateful.
There’s one boy I used to like that did not call Sha, why I’m only mentioning this is because when he was sick, I ran the ends of the block to make sure he was attended to, ‘cos it was a Sunday and nobody has that time on a sabbath. He could view my status from the first day I fell ill to my pictures from the hospital bed but acted like he didn’t know. Now I think about it, I should have allowed him to die, then. you people should not get sanctimonious on me please, I dey write am as e dey do me.
Right now I’m going to let the good deeds people did for me in the trying times supercede. I had the best support system and that’s that..
I like to say that I survived but right now, I don’t know. I work two jobs asides being a student and while they would grant you a few days extension to recoup, the market would not wait forever, there’s always someone better to do the job, so you have to be up to the task.
So, from my sick bed, I was researching and drafting 4500 words for some work I had to submit and like I said earlier, still on drugs and I’m on the road from my second job and even as I say that “the things you stress yourself over will move on when you’re gone” I still practice the opposite of what I preach. I need the money and that’s that, I’m not thinking of if I faint on the way or if I barely make it through, I’m just thinking that a bad life would be when I don’t have a hustle, that to me right now is worse than dying. The jury is still out…
My country has failed me! So I’m trying to not fail myself and the people that depend on me.
I’m thinking that if we had proper, affordable and accessible Healthcare, people wouldn’t have to resort to self medication or feed their children goat milk to cure them.
I’m thinking about how I’m the strongest person I know. Like, I basically take on so many responsibilities a 20 year old in a sane clime would not be obliged to and how I manage to be sane after all? I wonder.
I’m hoping for a future where no one ever has to worry about money for the basics because the government will finally do their job.
I’m hoping for a future where the diagnosis for everything would not malaria.
I’m hoping for a future where all the pain and suffering in the world would end.
I’m hoping my way out of this post…