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.
Living with Adenomyosis, my story.
By Anwuri Grend.
Some days ago I got to read about the Nollywood actress that had hysterectomy for Adenomyosis.
To say I was shocked is an understatement, as a medical doctor, especially an African that would have loved to have that hope of having her own child, I wouldn’t have advised her to take that mode of treatment.
More so as someone living with Adenomyosis, I would not have advised her to tread that path!
But then again, our pain thresholds are all different and Adenomyosis symptoms may differ in individuals, perhaps she was bleeding non stop and then her menstrual cramps and pain unbearable.
I also don’t know if she discussed her case with any other doctor for a second opinion, perhaps she would have been told there are several other people living with the condition.
The only problem though is that we Nigerians are still so secretive about these things, maybe because many times we feel “someone” is responsible for it! If there were groups like those living with endometriosis (which is a sister to Adenomyosis, just that instead of the uterine lining being in the uterine muscle like Adenomyosis, it’s outside eg in the ovary), perhaps hearing stories of how others are coping would have given a solid support system.
Before I was diagnosed of Adenomyosis all I knew about my periods were that I had “chunks of meat” as my regular flow, and if I start my menstrual flow on a Tuesday, the next time I won’t need any pad would be the next Tuesday. I seriously didn’t think of it as heavy flow and I always said I didn’t have pains.
So after marriage when I waited to conceive and didn’t, I went for a scan (yes, I never had one prior to marriage, there was no need). The Transvaginal scan showed the Adenomyosis and in addition, there was endometrial polyps and endometrial hyperplasia. I had a procedure (hysteroscopy) to remove the polyps and hyperplasia and then decided to keep trying to conceive with the Adenomyosis. And yes for me it worked, but what it did to me was multiple miscarriages.
A colleague once told me I was lucky, the typical presentation is pure infertility, mine allowed me take in but caused several miscarriages.
I didn’t have to move a muscle to miscarry, it was usually so bad that anytime I was pregnant and see the tiniest of blood, there’s absolutely nothing that can be done about …. Because the uterus(womb) will keep contracting until the baby was out.
I could miscarry at anytime, was commonly first trimester (5, 6 & 7 weeks) but I had one at 21 weeks(5months). One particular miscarriage I bled for 14 days non stop, clots etc! (PS: it was actually not smart of me, should have done a Manual Vacuum Aspiration but I decided to take advantage of the powerful contractions to evacuate my uterus).
After the 21weeks miscarriage(I had an MVA because I was on admission when it occurred), I decided I was going to get prophylactic cervical cerclage whenever I crossed the first trimester and thankfully (to God be the glory), it worked.
So prior to second trimester there was nothing that worked ie, bed rest oh, not moving a muscle oh, inserting cyclogest( as a matter of fact the pregnancies that stayed, I didn’t need to insert cyclogest!). So yes, I would say it was a miracle.
So when I hear things like I had to take my uterus out because the doctors told me there was no chance of me having a baby with Adenomyosis and endometriosis I get really upset.
These things are all probabilities so going ahead to have hysterectomy is making it final.
But again, I reemphasize that maybe her symptoms were simply unbearable and hence when advised for that mode of management, she opted for it.
There are times when I have felt “why me” but I quickly removed such backward thought from my head. I mean, all these things I was diagnosed of had names, meaning I wasn’t the first person to have them so what makes me so special that I shouldn’t be the one having it? And as a Christian I believed (and still do) that if God allowed me to have it, it’s because He has already made a way of escape for me, so I am more than capable of handling it. And yes He helped me.
Do I still have Adenomyosis today, yes! Do I still feel my womb when I palpate my abdomen, yes, even when I am not pregnant! I still have no plans of taking out my uterus now ‘jor’, when menopause comes it should sort itself out.
I however am tired of having miscarriages, so I will soon hang my boots…you don’t understand? Haaaa, my obstetric career will soon come to an end! I have tried. Or let me put it like apostle Paul(once I am done), I have finished the race, I have fought the good fight, waiting for me is a crown of Glory…
This piece is meant to be an encouragement for those coming after me. There’s nothing special about me, God can do it for you too if only you believe. If you are living with Adenomyosis, you are not alone. Cheer up, it’s not your village people(lol)!!!
Present at a good hospital and first get diagnosis made and ask for available options.
Nothing is bad if you want to do hysterectomy and subsequently adopt, yes it’s also an option.
I wish you all the best in this journey, I bow out honourably,lol.
P.S.: I now have two children and can’t be grateful to God enough.
Dr Anwuri Grend is a Family physician whose passion is creating and increasing health awareness for common conditions especially those affecting women.
She’s a Christian, married with two children and an advocate for the empowerment of the girl child and improvement of opportunities for women in all spheres of life.
Favouritism in Parenting
By Dr Nimi Stephanie Ekere
Favouritism in parenting simply means preferring one child over another or the rest of the children.
Studies have shown that a large population of parents display consistent favouritism towards one child over another.
In a recent study done titled ‘The sibling effect’, the author affirms that 70% of fathers showed favouritism to a child while 65% of mothers displayed favouritism to one child. Another study has it that fathers preferred their female children while yet another study in Nigeria showed that male children were shown some form of preference over their female counterparts.
The reasons for favouritism include:
*Birth order– First and last borns are seen to be shown favouritism over their siblings.
*Gender : Some people show preference to a particular sex or gender especially if that gender was so desired.
*Children with special needs or ailments are understandably given a lot of attention which may not necessarily mean favouritism.
*Children who are affectionate would naturally attract same kind of emotions from their parents; talking about the law of reciprocity.
* Circumstances surrounding the birth: This includes, a child who was waited patiently for,a child born in old age e.g. Jacob loved Joseph because he was a child born at his old age and his mother, Rachel was his actually preferred wife until he was deceived to marry her sister.
Positive effects on the other siblings:
It confers some form of independence to the unfavoured children because they are almost indirectly taught independence while the favoured child cannot stand on her own without her parents and so cannot face the challenges life brings.
Negative effects on the other siblings:
*Conflict and disunity in the family.
*Hatred for the favoured child and even the parents.
*Low self esteem.
*Poor communication between parents and children.
*Depression in adulthood.
*Suicide in extreme cases.
The negative effect on the favoured child is that sometimes,he expects same gestures from outsiders and if their unrealistic expectations are not met, it leaves them depressed.
They are poorly behaved because they get away with a lot of things.
*Spend time with each child individually.
*Affirm and reaffirm their talents,strengths and interests.
*Celebrate achievements and milestones.
*Avoid unhealthy competition in your family.
In summary, favouritism in parenting dates back to the bible days as seen in the case of Rebekah who preferred Jacob to Esau and Isaac,on the other hand, preferred Esau to Jacob.
The consequences were deleterious and sadly outlived them.
Favouritism is human nature, it is sometimes inevitable but how parents and wards handle it is what matters.
While I do not encourage this act, I know that it might be an exercise in futility to tell a parent to drop the favouritism mantra. If you choose to have a favourite, please handle it with a great deal of wisdom and utmost maturity.
Know the love language of your child and profusely shower him with affection,so that you don’t end up creating unnecessary rivalry,bitterness and strife between your children.
Remember that you may also not be spared as they might eventually hate or resent you for loving them less than they deserved.
Dr Nimi Stephanie Ekere is a wife, mother and Family Physician. She enjoys writing, reading and attending to her patients. She is a life coach and teacher, who is passionate about children and young people walking in the right course and path to achieve their full potential.
Her Foundation, Ekom Charity Foundation mentors young people and also cares for the less privileged.
How Expensive are Expensive Weddings?
By Edisemi Okpokiti
The cost for marriages is another reason for low marriages and also early broken marriages…it brings too much pressure to the equation.
Too much expectations, too much injuries in the process to accomplish, too much division already between new families who ought to be uniting, too much attention of the supposed spouse on an event than on the marriage.
Too much false hood expressed that has to be sustained, but with no basis for maintenance. Too much bad blood between supposed couples before they even start their home.
Many marriages ended on the night or morning after the wedding ceremony.
People regret night after their traditional wedding, and ask if it was worth all the tension, pressure and troubles or are visibly sad all through the wedding realising they have short changed themselves.
Love is stifled by fleshy lust of men and women for rights,privileges and inordinate desires to feel among. Many work for years to blow it one week 😭😭
Once the cost of the price to marry is reduced, the attention will be shifted to what my choice person thinks or feels and not what people think or feel; and that’s how relationships are built.
Preparation for marriage ought to be a good opportunity for people to know and get more acquainted with themselves but the pressure makes them distant from themselves, cursing, fighting and bitter at each other for their difference in priority and the family effect on them.
Father in-laws, mother in-laws , Siblings already become vouched enemies even before they know themselves.
It’s pathetic that poor families are the most expensive ones to marry from, it’s like these marriages is their visa out of poverty.
Elders have become children in their conduct and character just because of a young child’s money collected with the deceit of a priceless adventure.
Churches should adopt like the Orthodox churches now do for burials, giving specific date you must bury after death, thereby forcing hands to bury with what they have and not what they think they want.
Weddings in churches should be encouraged to be done even in midweeks and without receptions.
Young people also should stop talking of dream marriages. The women especially would shout “It is not in my turn, I’ll fall my hands”, but can’t you all see ,the men are not proposing because they are afraid and do not have what your entire village will demand? Ladies have to start discussing with their fathers and uncles and defend their husband to be.
Money spent on Marriages in this country, especially by the middle class and poor if invested could make those couples financially stable.
The steam most times is off before the team comes to field.
Many have lost even before the game starts.
Well for those who are really really well to do and I mean both not that the man is. Those whose families have more than enough to spare, then you are not stopped from your ecstasy.
If you are in relationship, and it’s not taking the next step this is a major cause. Seat with yourselves, seat with your parents and pastors and achieve your desire without destroying your desire. SELAH!
If you are a sibling or parent , please assist and clear all barriers and ensure your children and siblings don’t have this as a barrier preventing their marriage.
The age of unmarried is increasing daily to an average of 30…if this menace is not addressed …we will soon hit 35 yrs as average age of unmarried girls.
Let the wise hear, but the foolish rant…Life is a choice.
A counsel is not forced on anyone.
Edisemi Okpokiti is the Lead Faculty, The Pulpit and Lead Consultant of Rhabonni Consult Limited (A Human Capital Development Consultancy Firm). He is a trained Information Management Consultant and passionate preacher of the gospel.
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