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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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The Parable of the Forgotten Shoes

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By Benjamin Dike

So this was how I was dressed in church today!

Forgot my shoes? No. My wife did. Before you think my wife practically slaves for me, she doesn’t. She is actually the boss; I live in her house. So here is what happened.

We had got set for church and I was carrying things to the car. As I stooped to pick my shoes (I don’t like driving with my shoes on if I can help it), she offered to help me bring the shoes to the car.


I pulled out the car and we drive to church. Then I asked her for my shoes. Now you already know the response. She had forgotten the shoes at home. First, I ‘froze’. This was quite serious. I can’t go home to get the shoes. Home is on the Island; Church is on the mainland. Then I was about saying, But I wanted to pick the shoes and you … (Yeah, at least I should blame her). But one look at her stopped me in my tracks. She looked so subdued and beaten like a little child.

This woman is one of the most meticulous persons I know. I can keep something somewhere in her absence and will later forget where I kept it. My only hope is my wife or the Holy Spirit (when she is not available). I will just tell her that I am looking for so and so and she will either tell me where it is or she will go find it. So, one look at Madam Meticulous, I felt enormous pity (or was it compassion) well up inside me. She obviously had no bad intentions. Things just happen sometimes.


I chuckled and told her not to worry. My mood shifted immediately. It was now a sense of excitement to dress up in my nice suit – with a slipper on! I will look different, I told myself. And I will leave people guessing – that is if they even notice! (Often we forget that people are busy focusing on themselves that they may not even notice the shoes you are wearing).

I started looking forward to it. Then I asked myself, what has my dressing got to do with my worship after all? Wow! It felt so liberating. It was a powerful deliverance from human expectations and convention. It was a refocusing on what really matters. Perhaps, it’s really my heart that matters, my heart that God cares about, not merely the outer trappings. Don’t get me wrong, proper dressing is proper – when you can help it! But now, I couldn’t help it. And I wasn’t about to ruin my day and my worship on the altar of a ‘forgotten shoes’.

Meanwhile, my wife was still deeply beaten and looking for how to fix the ‘mess’. She got one of my young men to go home and get me his shoes. But I flatly refused. I was just fine. Sometimes a little bit of mischief can spice up life. And I was loving the mischief of a suit with some marching slippers!

So here are 4 quick lessons that came to mind


1) How you live your day is a choice – joy or ruin.


2) Sometimes, people don’t wrong you because they are bad. It’s just because they are people – they can fail.


3) What if we were to judge people by their true intentions and not their actions. Maybe we will have better relationships. The reality is that we often judge people by their actions while we judge ourselves by our intentions.


4) What you see as a problem is what becomes a problem. A messy situation is really a matter of interpretation.

My friends, trust me, I had a very beautiful time in church today – shoes or no shoes. So, focus on what’s important and free yourself from the needless clutter than ruin your fun in life.

Choose to enjoy your life, mbok!



Benjamin C. Dike, PhD

Benjamin is the executive Chairman of Joshua Leadership Project. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom and a Doctorate degree in Credit Management from the  International University of Panama. Benjamin is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and a Fellow of both the Institute of Credit Administration and the Chartered Institute of Finance and Control of Nigeria. A prolific and insightful writer, he has several published works, including God of My Right Hand and EveryDay Leadership.

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Hearts Without Thorns…

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It’s expedient for us to understand that not everyone who is a Christian is actually one. You know Judas was a follower of Jesus for 3yrs yet the scriptures recorded that he loved money so much, which was the legal premise by which the devil found expression in him to betray JESUS.

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Features

Is rape preventable?

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Rape is a violent crime, and a very sensitive subject, that creates all kinds of emotions when talked about. Recently I wanted to do a talk on rape and needed a lawyer’s input, I wanted the lawyer to be part of the discussion, but her response was in the negative. In her words “I may be too emotional because I have had three near-rape incidents.”

Rape is caused by the rapist/s, but how do we protect our boys, girls, and ourselves from rape? I asked this question on my Facebook account and got some responses, which I would love to share here and I would also wish you can respond as well, as we learn and play our part to have a rape free society.

Ichechi Wokeh Esq; ‘Give the girl child good martial arts training to afford her a fighting chance in case of any eventuality... Truth is: rape, like many other vices, cannot be totally wiped off the face of the earth. We just have to find ways to avoid being victims. We can’t just sit back and wait it out. They should also be taught not to be with the wrong people at the wrong places, about the possibility of being drugged, about opening up, etc. Rape is a capital offence. They should beat the shame, report, and save the next girl from that particular rapist. Rape suspects hardly meet their bail conditions given the nature of the crime. I just can’t comprehend it when I hear people shy away from reporting rape cases. It’s not the shaming, but the resources to follow up your complaint. If you try that one with a family having the resources, that suspect is dead meat. It’s just the money to pursue case. Na money matter. Who born rapist??? If you see their physical condition in court, you’ll even forgive them.’

Dr. Charles Okpani; ‘Ovundah Nyeche we have to start instituting Christian family upbringing again. The men who rape were raised in homes, bro it will continue. Christian school education with well thought out sex education for every age group. Churches need to start organizing parenting classes for couples to learn.’

Dr. Comfort Ogidi; ‘There is no easy way to protect our children, God’s protection is all. I have heard of people who have ‘followed all protocols’ to prevent situations that can lead to rape and still got raped. Rape can happen anywhere, not mainly males but also females, friends, family, fathers, robbers, strangers are all culprits. Homes, boyfriends houses, streets, alleyways, buses, clubs and now churches have all been implicated. So I cannot tell my child don’t dress indecently( so you don’t get raped. I might have other reasons to tell them so but not that. Also a place you think is secluded today might be the only passageway tomorrow, and a regular route today might be secluded tomorrow. So basically, I would only ask parents to teach their children consent, and also ask our government to make rape punishment stiffer, and the culture of victim blaming reduced. Finally, having weapons such as pepper spray and such might not be a bad idea. Although one prays our children never meet a situation where they would have to use it.‘ When quizzed further about a comment she made about dressing, she added ‘I will tell them this…dress the way you want to be addressed….In this part of the world (Nigeria) if you dress with too much skin exposed, you would be seen as fickle, someone who has nothing much to bring to the conversation and that’s why you are calling attention to your body unnecessarily. In fact, to simpletons you are a slut. So dress the way you want to be seen as. Dress smart, dress to the occasion, dress to the place. Be smart, be emotionally intelligent. I don’t use the word ‘indecent dressing’ at all, as decency of dressing is relative to the place.What is seen as a decent dressing in Port Harcourt is indecent in Borno, and what is seen as decent in Essex is indecent in Lagos.

Emmanuel Nwakanma a Sociologist; ‘Dr. There may be no direct way of stopping or protecting people from rape, however putting some things in place can discourage it to a large extent. For instance:1. Perfecting forensic investigation. When people know that if they commit a crime, no matter how perfect, the justice system will always catch them, less crimes will be committed.2. Improve on our security system. We don’t really take security serious in Nigeria. No CCTVs on our streets alleys. Even on main roads, you can drive for hours and you won’t see one security personnel on the road. 3. Ensure perpetrators are dealt with in order to discourage others from such behaviour. 4. Teaching boys and girls self defence. 5. Improving on rapid response to SOS. Do we have a ‘911’? What’s the response rate? 6. Street lights, regular electricity. 7. Regularly educating boys and girls on risk factors, triggers and dynamics of rape. They look like irrelevant things but they can go a long way.

Dr. Boma Nyananyo; ‘Tell the boys… rape is wrong… teach them how to take no for an answer…Also protect the boys, many have been molested by women when they were younger.If all fails,don’t cover up.. don’t blame a girl who was raped… it hurts.’

Pst. Judah Olorunmaiye; ‘My thoughts are very scattered, please pardon me. I’ll also like to emphasize a few other things that may not have been echoed previously. Sir, Sex has been redefined by modern society. The first step is to be loud on the sacredness of sex. When we speak of Chastity, people believe it’s just another sexual orientation of someone who is low on libido, but as long as sex is just a body gift that can be received casually or stolen(Rape) we cannot even deal with the fundamental issues.It’s honestly difficult to give counsel on protecting yourself from rape because I’ve never been close to such situations, but I believe I can give general suggestions that may help us. Let’s start with the value of every human. While this may seem like an inconsequential point, it determines a lot in terms of how others are treated. Sexual, emotional and physical abuse, ranging from police brutality to domestic violence is founded on the premise of a lack of value for another human being’s emotions and feelings. There has been a systematic erasing of our conscience on the last decade, so much so that the hurts and pains of others doesn’t seem to bother us again. Our minds are constantly being trained to see pain and brutality as the norm among humans, we watch it in our favorite movies and hear of constant blood shed from activities of terrorism and kidnappers, and so slowly and surely we’ve added the trauma, pain and cruelty of rape as part of human society that can be endured and tolerated. There are already numerous counsels written here about how toxic the media can be to the young generation but let me buttress that point again. Our generation has been sexually pumped up. This is primarily because the average celebrity is a loose cannon who engages in all kind of pervert pleasure and gives an impression that this is how to live successfully. From Politicians buying sex toys to Religious leaders accused severally of sexual misconduct, we have deceived the next generation, that sexual pleasure inevitably comes with being at the Top.While we can acknowledge that some of these people have succeeded know their personal endeavors, we must refuse the temptation to paint them as heroes just because they are rich and famous.We are quick to label them as role models irrespective of their pervert views on sacred subjects and so our children may imitate their drive and tenacity towards success but they will also imbibe their values and reflect their principles.I also believe we have given too much respect to “Elders and Erring Leaders”The average rape case often involves a young lady and an older man, This older man believes his sins will be pardoned because he has grey hairs. No one will report him because they will respect his age and respect the tradition that protects an erring leader. I am a firm believer in honouring the aged, but it’s more priority to punish evil than to respect age and tradition. If the western world are more decisive with dealing with rape crimes, this is where they differ from Africa.The Pastor must know that he won’t be spared if his church finds out his evil, the political leaders must know they won’t be re elected if their constituency is told of their sex crimes. Finally, let’s scrap to a large degree the facilitators of a massive loss of self control. Our society preached about condoms and abortion pills in the name of safe sex but sold a message captioned.. “We must have sex, we can’t control our bodies, but just make it safe”, We should be preaching self control and not safe sex. Alcohol abstinence is now being mocked as being religious, meanwhile the consumption of that substance makes people lose their senses and think ugly thoughts.Everything that encourages the weakening of self control should be deemphasized no matter how logical they sound. If we can control our hormones and preach to others that it is not hard at all, we can save the next generation from the beast of sexual misconduct.’

Pst. Austine Oviawe; ‘We live in a very sexualized society, whose constant exposure homosexual innuendos and overtures is unparalleled. Sex is glamourized on every hand, entertainment, social media, arts, sports and even religion has become sexualized. Feminists have ignored the sexual gravity of men towards the woman’s nakedness, and defend every woman right to dress half naked, one has seen all sorts as women now dress sexy, not to cover nakedness. A naked woman does something to any sexually active male. Every man will respond sexually to a naked woman!As society is plunging into a sexual abyss, there is little or no knowledge to the young teens on handling and dealing with the sexual pressure that barrages them daily. Society through the internet is breeding all sorts of sexual perverts. The musical videos on even government television channels are for the most part x-rated. Little children as young as 2 years old can twerk and dance seductively like crazed adult whores. Sadly, most parent work, thus leaving an entire generation to school systems, the street, and TV programs after school, and these children are seeded with perverse sights and sounds.Kids have been caught kissing passionately in school toilets, and anywhere they have privacy, even our kids church are not spared, we spend more time monitoring interactions between kids who seem to have only had a week of innocence as babies. I don’t allow my kids attend other kids birthday parties anymore, what goes on in kids birthday party is worrisome. We need to declare an emergency in our schools, churches, homes, and society at large to tackle the sex lies, pressure, and perversion that seeks to overthrow an entire generation of young people. The need is for healthy and holistic sex education for teens and pre-teens, legislation to protect our young from defiling entertainment and creating boundaries where these have become trampled, and training both sexes how to possess their vessels in honour and sanctification. We must become proactive, and not reactive only when young girls are violated. We must do better that trend hashtags and take responsibility to raise youths who are sexually informed, and responsible. Parents must do their jobs and not delegate the responsibility of raising their kids to schools and churches. The entertainment outlets available to the kids must be properly vetted and controlled. It high time we have books for 3 and 4 year old on sexual exploitation and how to prevent and resist such. Exposing abuse at such early age of innocence by encouraging them to speak up and expose any one and everyone that violates their body. Parents must pay attention to kids mood and limit who and what their kids is exposed to, including kids their age too.

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