By Uchenna Ezenwa Akujobi
Nurse: “Doctor you, guess what?”
Then we both chorused – She’s awake!!!
If you see race.
I jumped off my bed and ran to the door.
Oh no! I came back to the sitting room and on my knees for like five minutes all I could say was “Thank you Jesus. Thank you so much Lord… Thank you.”
I dashed out again.
It was 6 pm, two hrs. to my shift. I ran like a mad man to the casualty unit and there she was sitting up on her bed, leaning on Mama who was sitting on the bed with her.
I looked at them from the corridor where I stood, smiled and walked away to the nursing station, picked up her case note and everything looked good, her vital signs were stable. She was good.
The next day she and I had our usual long chat but this time it was different.
She told me about the man who got her pregnant.
They call him ‘Doctor’. He runs a drug store (chemist) in their neighbourhood. From her description, he was way older than her, but they had been dating for months.
Virginia: “He told me to remove it but I told him I couldn’t. I told him I’d talk to you about it but he said I shouldn’t… Sir, you know I wasn’t feeling well that time na so he said I might have malaria and he gave me some antimalarial medications that can be taken in pregnancy.
“He said I Should take four tablets in the night and four the next morning. After I took the first four, the bleeding started and I started having severe abdominal pains. I called him to tell him I was coming to the hospital but he said I should not worry that it was the malaria…I continued bleeding and I went to him…then… then.” (Sobbing)
Me: “Then what Virginia?”
Virginia: “Then he said I should not disturb him again. That he doesn’t want to see me in his shop again, that he is sure he is not even responsible for the pregnancy… Doc, I felt like killing myself. I just wanted to die, he is the only one I.” (She was crying again).
Me: “Don’t worry my dear. Life is like that sometimes. You have the rest of the pills he gave you shebi?”
She: “Yes sir.”
Me: “I’d love to see them.”
She: “I’d ask my younger brother to bring it from my bag later today.”
Me: “No wahala… Get some rest. We’d talk more before you leave OK?”
She: “OK Doctor.”
Some hours later…
I was told she wanted to see me.
She was now walking and much stronger… I asked them to ask her to come to the Consulting room. I was busy with other things. When I eventually saw her, she handed the tablets over to me.
Virginia: “Doc here are the remaining four tablets of the antimalarial drug he gave me.”
Me: “OK, good.”
I looked at d medications and just as I expected “misoprostol”- an abortifacient
I no fit vex.
Me: “Have you told your mom about all this?”
She: “No, no, no Sir, please don’t tell her, she’d kill me.”
Me: “I never said I’d tell her. But you will. You see. You’re 17. You’re old enough to get pregnant, do an abortion, and come back from a coma… You’re definitely old enough to tell your mom about your boyfriend and to take responsibility for your actions.
Virginia: “Where do I start from?”
Me: The beginning is always the perfect place to start… I would be here if you need me…But trust me. Mama loves you so much, she wouldn’t kill you OK? You should’ve seen how worried she was when you were asleep.”
Virginia was quiet, very quiet and reflective.
Virginia: “When do I tell her?”
Me: “We could do it right away.”
I picked up d phone and called the front desk; asked them to get me Virginia’s mom.
In no time, mama was with us in d office.
Mama: “Doc what’s the problem?”
I was silent.
Mama: “Doc talk to me nau. Is my daughter okay? What happened?”
Me: “Mama she is OK.”(Virginia interrupted)
Virginia: “Mama, I’m fine. I’m the one who asked him to call you… I want to tell you something.”
The atmosphere was so tense I wished I didn’t have to sit through this conversation. But Virginia needed a mediator… so here I was.
Uchenna Ezenwa Akujobi studied Medicine and Surgery in the University of Port Harcourt. He is a stock trader, a practicing doctor; and writing happens to be one of many things he is very fond of. He is passionate about sharing authentic and useful health information with the public in forms that are very interesting, easy to read and relate to. When not relating with humans he spends time grooming and raising his dogs.