On a bright sunny afternoon, which happened to be a Sunday, I was doing my normal house chores when my left lung got hooked. It was a painful experience and it happened suddenly. Firstly, I left what I was doing, sat on the floor for a couple of minutes, then gradually crawled away from the hot-pressing iron lying on the floor. I stood up straight, my lungs were hitting the ribs each time I breathed in and the pain was excruciating. I knew something was definitely wrong with my system.
The hours that followed were troubling. Firstly, the pain and secondly, the psychological thoughts of how seriously I might be in trouble. To be honest, for a few minutes, my faith vanished and serious worries set in. I managed to get through the rest of the day breathing half-way; at night, I could not find the right position to sleep, so I stayed up till about 3am.
As a person who is apprehensive about going to the hospital, I decided to manage the situation for a few days, hoping and praying that the pain would go away. No, it did not. So, after three days of managing the situation, I decided to visit a university teaching hospital in the European city where I was living.
I got to the hospital reception and told the lady behind the desk that I would love to see a doctor. I explained my situation and she referred me to the “Emergency” center. Oyinbos (White people) don’t joke with breathing problems as it might have something to do with your Heart. Shortly, I arrived at the emergency center, went through the protocols and got to the ward where two nurses took me to a room. Then, the drama started.
All I wanted was to see a doctor, who will use his stethoscope to examine my Heart and Lungs, prescribe some drugs and I should be on my way. Firstly, these two nurses asked me to take off my clothes, allowing only the underwear (thank goodness), then they started their procedures. The whole medical gadgets in the ward felt like I was acting a “Hollywood movie”. I wore the kind of garment you wear while in surgery, the ECG procedure started immediately with many attachments to my chest, the machine that checks the pulse, heart beat and blood pressure was connected to my body; sounding “ton…ton…ton…”.
The two nurses were making the whole thing happen concurrently as if I was to be wheeled in for surgery. At the same time, my wrist was being prepared for the intravenous needle to collect some blood. Even in my confused state, I counted about five sample bottles filled with my blood. All of these because of my “small” breathing problem.
Then, the doctor came and examined me. She explained the reason for the procedures and told me to be rest assured that they would get to the bottom of the issues. She told me that I would have to lay down quietly for about two hours until the results are out. Those “two hours” were the longest of my “whole entire life” till date.
I laid quietly on the bed; both of my hands fitted with gadgets were properly placed on my belly; my chest was bare, fitted with wires from the ECG machine. No phones, nobody to talk to as the nurses and doctors had gone to attend to other patients. Unfortunately for me, the door was slightly open so that I could see the wall clock across the corridor. “Every second counted for something”. My mind raced faster than Usain Bolt. The question was: why will these people go through these kinds of trouble if the issue was not serious? I tried to sleep so I could waste away some time but sleep deserted my eyes. I would be looking at the “seconds” arm of the clock and would fall asleep, only to wake up to realize I had only slept for few seconds.
Finally, the two hours expired and the doctor came back and gave me good news. I was okay, nothing serious but some frayed nerves. She asked me to dress and go. After saying “Thank You Jesus” in my mind, I asked the nurse that accompanied her to get my phone from my trousers and take a picture of me while still on those gadgets. I need to always remember those moments and to also write this tribute to the Sick and everyone in the “Care” business. The doctor could not help but laugh; apparently, the whole episode was just “another usual day” for her but for me, it was a life changing experience.
To everyone who is sick, my prayers are with you. Be strong; I pray for strength and health for you in your trying times. To everyone whose loved one is sick, my love and prayers are with you too. To all the medical practitioners, grace and peace from God.