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Low Span Count Part I

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By Uchenna Ezenwa Akujobi

 

Me: Hello Mr. Ken…

Mr. Ken: Doc what’s up?

Me: I’m good sir, how’re you?

Mr. Ken: My brother… I’m ok.

Me: Tell that to someone who doesn’t know you, you’re not ok. What’s the problem? Why you keep face like this?

Mr. Ken managed a smile but it was weird because simultaneously I could see tears running down his cheeks. He is one of my favourite patients. Very very patient and a nice guy. He’d always quietly wait his turn & spoke politely to everyone. He’d become a friend I really care about. He has been married to his lovely wife for seven years. Still waiting for the fruit of the womb. By my assessment they seemed to love each other very much. Together they decided to wait until God blesses them with a child despite the fact that I counselled them severally to see a fertility specialist.

Mrs. Ken is your quintessential nice – ever smiling lady. I have a theory – it’s easy to know a woman who is enjoying her marriage. She is usually always happy, smiling and very nice & pleasant, even to strangers. You see all those your horrible bosses; all those mean, despicable people at work, always rude and angry, if you look well, their problem na from house.

In the past months, Mrs. Ken dey bone face like smoked Bonga fish. I knew something was wrong. You see I really blame myself for pushing them to see the fertility specialist because since their last visit three months ago, a lot has changed in their relationship. The chemistry with which they step into the hospital had vanished. They no longer held hands and played like children in the consulting room.  Ken would occasionally call his wife “Bighead” especially whenever she was being naughty & unlike most women she’d smile and say “Doc I thank God my head is not bigger than my father-in-law’s head” and we’d all laugh. I admired the sweetness they oozed but lately Madam would come to the hospital alone, pick up some meds and lab results and leave. It was unusual because they always came together no matter their individual schedules.

I remember calling Ken once to ask why he hadn’t come for his routine checkup and he said “My brother, madam has been so busy lately, I can’t come until she’s free”. A lot had changed in the past three months… It burdened me. If I didn’t know Ken well I’d have thought he might have hurt madam by being unfaithful… She seemed to be very angry. The last time I bumped into her in the Hospital. She had come to visit a neighbour who was on admission, I asked her “Madam how far now? Where’s my guy?”

She: (frowning) he’s at home.

Me: He didn’t join you? I thought you two are always together.

She: Doc. them no bury our placenta for the same place ooo. He’s not a child. He’s at home.

Haba… confusion grip me. This is the same woman who once referred to Ken as her “small purse”…

On that day I was like “Oga can you wait outside I wanna see madam alone… We were going to discuss some of her lab results”. And just as Ken froze at the door, madam who had already entered the consulting room said ” Doc. abeg ooo, woman no dey go anywhere without her “small purse”… then Mr Ken, walking in triumphantly… and taking a seat said “Bighead, who is your small purse?”

She: You now!!!

Him: You no dey fear person abi? You don’t know I’m too big to be a “small purse”?

She: Oya Oga sorry – Mr. “Big purse”. Abi na handbag you be?

And we all laughed… They both had a cute sense of humour. I deeply felt they must’ve been so lucky to have found one another… The last time before today, I saw my friend; Ken, he told me how everything had changed since we discussed their lab results.

You see Mrs. Ken had bilateral tubal blockage which would mean she could not conceive without some medical assistance. Mr. Ken’s semen analysis on the other hand was good. All the parameters were normal but he had come in a day earlier to ask a favour of me.

Him: Doc, the HSG you asked my wife to do, we’ve done it. I went to pick the result and the radiologist told me everything. I believe it’s a product of an infection she had in her university days. She told me about it. She had had a funny discharge and so much abdominal pain for a very long time while in school. She tried several means, mostly herbal concoctions but the symptoms persisted for months. She failed to see a gynecologist sha.

The symptoms eventually resolved spontaneously. I know her tubes are blocked but I know my wife. She’d be devastated and broken if she found out she was the cause of our issues. Please  Doc, tell her it’s me. Tell her I have Low sperm count or something.

Me: (completely bewildered) Mr. Ken. Do you know what you’re asking me to do?  I think our friendship has made you forget I’m a medical doctor and I have some ethical boundaries I cannot cross. I can’t lie to my patient. Even if I decide to help you; can’t we just tell her both results are ok? Why put ‘Low sperm count’ out in the universe like that?

Him: Doc. you don’t know my wife. She believes something is wrong and I know she wouldn’t rest until she finds out what it is.

Me: I won’t do it, you must find another way.

Ken: I’m not asking you to do this as my Doc. I’m asking you to please do me this favour as a friend.

Me: OK and why do you think madam wouldn’t be just as broken knowing that she can’t be pregnant by you as she’d be knowing her tubes are blocked?

Him: Doc. don’t worry… It won’t be the same. Madam can forgive me for anything and she can barely stay mad at me for long. If she thinks I’m d issue, we’d quickly get over it and move on but if na she, she’d be sad and depressed and that’d break my heart.

After so much pressure from my friend; Ken, I decided to do what he’d asked of me. It was a terrible decision but what can I say, I have few regrets in my life.

He came in with his wife three months ago; a few days after our talk and just as we planned I told her that all her results were good but her husband sperm had some issues. All seemed to have gone well but Mr. Ken would always say “Doc that was the day everything changed. That was the day I lost my baby girl.”

You see since she found that she couldn’t conceive by her husband, she gradually started to “dislike” him… from small small arguments to way bigger altercations and pointless fights.

Mr. Ken: Doc, I’m tired. She’s changed. The worst is I suspect she’s being unfaithful. Always holding on to her phone and changing her Lock code every second. For seven years her phone password has been my birthday but recently she uses these touchscreen lock patterns. Her own be like this illuminati hexagon Abi na “Da vinci code”.

If you touch her phone, she fit bite you. She never used to be like this… what is she hiding? Even from me; her husband and lately she’s always on social media. She used to hate social media but now instead of gisting with me as usual, na either BBM, Whatsapp, Instagram or Facebook.

Me: My brother you sure say you never make madam vex?

Him: Doc I dan knee down beg this woman say wetyn I do her? She is the type that loves to talk about and trash issues before they get out of hand. If I offended her, she for tell me. I know this. But each time I ask “Baby what is it?”… She gets angry and tells me it’s nothing. And if I push it, we’d fight. Doc. everything started the day we told her that “low sperm count” thing. I’m so sure. Just as I’m sure my name is Ken.

Me: hmm. I don’t agree with you sha but I would not claim to know madam better than you do.

I’ve seen my guy cry severally because his wife was treating him poorly at home. One time he called and said he wanted to see me.

Me: my guy are you okay.

Him: Doc, you need to admit me.

Me: Haba you know that’s not how we operate. Tell me what d problem is and I’d decide if you need admission. All his vitals were good.

Him: Doc you know I won’t lie to you, I need a few days away from home.

Me: why?

Him: my house has become a war zone. I just need two days to clear my head.

After plenty beg beg, he started feigning medical symptoms to deceive me into admitting him. When I saw his desperation; I felt so much pity for my friend. I admitted him. He was on bed rest for two days and the most remarkable thing is that in that time, his wife never showed up. Not even to peep if her Oga was fine.

So today, with tears in his eyes and a fake smile in his face, Ken looked up to me and said “Doc, your friend has left me.”

Me – What??? What do you mean my friend has…

Him: madam is gone ooo. She said is no longer happy in our home. She just packed her bags and left.

Me: did u try to…

Him: don’t you even dare ask if I didn’t beg her. I’ve been begging for weeks. There was nothing I didn’t do to try to stop her. I even threatened to kill myself if she leaves, but obviously that woman doesn’t love me anymore… Doctor I think I’m going to die.

My friend was crying so loudly with no shame whatsoever. I didn’t know what to do or say… I should have held my grounds, I felt I had broken their lovely marriage. Chie God! I moved my chair closer to him, placed my hand on his shoulder and said; “My friend, don’t cry. I believe this is happening for a reason”.

I’d finish this later. I’m trying to make stew. Make I Check am before I roast my entire kitchen.

DISCLAIMER

Any similarity with persons in the above story and any other person living, dead or in between is surely a coincidence.

#HearWord #HearWordSeries

 

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.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Lois

    September 4, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Is this fiction or real @ Uche, OVD?

  2. Avatar

    IfyGod

    September 21, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Nice write-up. Waiting for the next episode.

    • Avatar

      Ovundah

      September 22, 2017 at 5:14 am

      Thank you so much Sir for your feedback, the next episode would be out soonest.

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Family Circle

How Expensive are Expensive Weddings?

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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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Features

Opinions Today, Pinions Tomorrow

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By Perez Tigidam

Nigeria is full of drama and the growing internet penetration and social media usage amplifies this daily. Individuals and even corporations are constantly being sucked into this pool of daily drama.

My thought is simple, if you must be an active and opinionated participant in every raging conversation on the internet, ensure you do so from the place of thought and principles and not an emotional rush, no matter how logical it might sound at the moment.

The internet archives, it never forgets.

Perez Tigidam

If you stand for a wrong today and months after try to go against that wrong because this time, you’re emotional towards one party involved, it means that you lack principle in the first place. Because the internet never forgets, people will call your bluff while referring to precedence.

It is very easy to glide into contradiction and inconsistency when you always have to offer opinion or hard stance not backed by principles.

Before you tweet, think. Before you post, pause to ponder.

perez tigidam

I have a particular friend who knows me so well that, in my absence, he can literally tell you what my position will be on any given issue even without hearing from me. Same for him. This is because -not to sound saintly- we’ve been consistent in our thought pattern over a long period of time. Our positions on things are always not popular but there’s been a pattern and we’ve been consistent.

One last thing,

In a low trust society like Nigeria, it’s important that you’re consistent in character and in principles. It helps when those with less knowledge of you bring up disparaging commentary of your person.

Last year, I had a fall out with a client and someone asked me, “What if this client decides to give a negative feedback on referrals?” My response was simple, my disagreement is not out of bad character but out of principle that binds a contractual relationship. Of every one client relationship that goes wrong, there are 9 others that will stand vehemently for me, because of character and precedence.

You can say I am not cheap when it comes to billing for my services and I’d agree, but I do not know that I am a cheat or dubious in character, for this I am grateful for my upbringing and can raise my shoulder anywhere to this.

If I disagree vehemently with a friend or a client, it’s mostly not out of bad character but out of principle. I rarely do shift from my position, either I just want to let you have your way and move on or I’m deeply convinced that my position is wrong, which doesn’t happen instantaneously either. I have to slowly be convinced on facts and principles that support that position, it’s the reason people say I’m stubborn.

But I am not.

Perez Tigidam is a brand management consultant and media entrepreneur based in Nigeria. He runs one of Nigeria’s foremost brand consultancy and design firms Arden & Newton Ltd and doubles up as the user experience and content strategy team lead at TheNerve Africa.

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Features

Going back to the basics.

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By Nimi Stephanie Ekere.

Last year, we were woken up to the news of a student who tried to poison his colleague because she was doing better than him, academically. This was to say the

least, frightening. That for me, set my mind wondering what the home environment of the said student was. If a child in Secondary school could think of something so terrible, it clearly showed that his family, which is the smallest unit of the society was in a wrong state. The reason is that the family forms most of a person’s values, at least at that tender age.

 

Recently, the suicide rate in the country has become so alarmingly high and particularly scary amongst young people. Young people take their lives for the flimsiest reasons. It’s either you hear that they took their lives because they were heartbroken in their relationship, they failed an exam or someone spoke to them badly.

 

In the past, we were known for our resilience and ability to adapt to even the most unfriendly situations, so what suddenly changed?

 

I would like us to look into the family setting and review our parenting styles and strategies. A lot has changed. Yes, I think a lot has changed so much; and this does not mean that our parents were perfect in the past. They made their mistakes but to a very large extent, they did a lot of things right.

 

Many modern day parents are so concerned about pleasing their children that a lot of areas are left unattended to. There seems to be no standards and values which are the bedrock of effective parenting.

 

The twenty first century parent is caught up in the web of an extremely busy schedule in the pursuit of money and when they make it, throw it at the child and fail to invest quality time with their children and lose the opportunity to discover their children and what they are growing up to become.

 

For many of these children, integrity means little or nothing, and the child having nothing to emulate, seeks help from his peers and the television.

 

Nannies have taken over the place of mothers in the lives of these children. And because parents are not always visible, and even if they are visible, they are unavailable, there lies a wide communication breakdown. And if a child cannot talk

or discuss everything with his parents, there usually are deadly alternatives for them.

 

Parents try to compensate for these deficiencies with wonderful vacations, gifts, expensive clothes and shoes and other luxuries. While these are wonderful, they do not take the place of deliberate, intentional and effective parenting.

 

Also, a lot of children are suffering from low self-esteem because of the unrealistic expectations and pressures from their parents. ‘Have you seen Linda’s results?’

Why can’t you come first place like Jonathan?’ This is all the child hears and gradually, his self-esteem completely gets eroded and he starts seeking for validation from external sources. He begins to have envy, hatred and unhealthy competitions as part of his everyday life.

 

This begins to manifest in his behaviour towards others. An example is the case of the seventeen year old boy that was left to drown by his friends because they were jealous of him. There are multiples of examples to buttress the fact that we must go back to the basics.

Parenting must be done right if we want to see this generation of children do better than us. There is a vacuum that must be filled. We must listen to these young ones. We must try to create time for them. Our values must not be thrown out, they must be instilled in our children. We can love our children without necessarily giving them everything they want. There should be discipline

in parenting. Sometimes, giving them all they want is not to their advantage. We must learn to know when to draw the line.

 

Their strengths should be celebrated while their weaknesses worked on. Unhealthy competitions are really unhealthy for them. We must know that every child is unique and is created differently with a special gift to change her world.

 

Prayer is an inevitable tool in effective parenting. Every word of prayer said on our children’s behalf is a seed that will germinate and yield fruits, good fruits. This said, prayers must go hand in hand with hard work as even the Bible admonishes us to intentionally, train up our children in a way that they should go and when they are old, they would not depart from it.

 

Thank you for reading this, I hope to get your feedback.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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