My stay in the hospital which should not have taken more than three days took a downturn. I was not getting any better rather weaker and weaker. The Doctor kept insisting on his dehydration diagnosis. One would have thought that with all drips my body had been subjected too would have provided my system with the required fluid. Going into near cardiac arrest was what gave an indication that all was not well with me. I was grappling with more than just dehydration.
Wrong diagnosis. Andrew pleaded with his mum to take my case although she was not the doctor seeing me. After that, I was made to run series of tests using my blood and urine. All sorts of scans and prodding and poking of my body.
Did I think my family issue was the worst to happen to me? Being told I had diabetes type 2 was a more devastating news. What brought me to the hospital in the first place paled compared to the diagnosis. The doctor said that had it not been detected, my body system would have shot down due to the high glucose in my blood.
Anger and hurt are forgotten. I was fighting for my life. The first time I visited the hospital during Peju’s wedding was a giveaway symptom missed by the doctors. I have heard of how people died by the wrong diagnosis but never thought I would be a victim. For a very famous and well – recognised hospital who would have thought? How did the doctor miss it? No performing of a lab test was required just a physical examination and a concluded prognosis.
I overheard Uncle Segun ranting that if anything happened to me, he was going to sue the hospital and make sure the medical council revoked their license to operate. They were not fit to be called a hospital but a death centre.
It took the hospital Medical Director who was passing by at the time of his ranting to calm down. He insisted that I should be referred to another hospital or be handed over to a more competent doctor. The Medical Director assured him Andrew’s mum who is a clinical consultant had taken over my case.
Diabetes? Me? At my age. Diabetes was an old person disease. A terminal illness. How long did I have to leave? Would I have time to make peace with my parents and uncle before I die? Would I be able to work or would I be bedridden like my grandma and subjected to eating only protein and little or no carbohydrates with the drugs to take round the clock?
The thought of it would have killed me. Had not the Hospital brought in a counsellor to talk me through what diabetes is and is not and what I need to do and look out for to ensure I stayed alive and well? It was not a killer disease. I could manage it and live a normal life.
Isn’t it so funny how we hear about a disease so often but have our misconceptions? Yes, people do die from diabetes, but a whole more people learn to live with it and thrive without succumbing to it. How more wrong could my life go from here? I have become invalid and no more a whole person. Now I had to watch my diet and watch myself around the clock Death stared me in the face and I knew I did not want to die. I wanted to live. I wanted to come to terms with my heritage and achieve all my goals. I wanted to live, love and laugh and if possible do all in luxury and style and not with diabetes. I wanted to beat the disease.
Most days I was so exhausted that visitors’ hours were no more than thirty minutes. I could barely keep my eyes open with all the drugs injected into me.
Bode and Andrew still made for visiting hours. Sometimes as little as five minutes but they put in so much effort to see me smile. My voice was all raspy. It was tiring to talk. I would smile, nod or blink to let them know I was hanging in there while they did all the talking and joking like I was not ill.
Uncle Segun dropped in every day and my parents, but whenever I saw them, I feigned to be asleep. I had forgiven them in my way, so I thought but was not ready to face them or talk about it to them until I was much stronger.
Andrew’s mum who was now my Doctor became my friend and confidant. There are days she would stop by after her clinical rounds and just spend time with me talking and reassuring me. She seemed to read my fears and did her best to allay them.
She would tell me of her story as a young girl whose father was one of the British colonial masters and married a Nigerian. Growing up in Ikoyi then and how she left for England at age ten or how she met Andrew’s father while in the University in England and fell in love with him at first sight. She did not think twice when he asked her to marry him and follow him back to Nigeria. She has been in Nigeria since with no regrets.
She would talk about her career how difficult it was to be one of the few female doctors at the time. Sometimes it would be about her kids. The stunts Andrew pulled as a kid. It was hard to picture the same person I knew. When she talked about her daughter, she would go emotional on how she missed her. You could see the mother-daughter bond based on mutual friendship and respect.
I loved what I had with my mum but knowing she was not my birth mum made a mockery of what we shared. To think that I would argue with my elder sister then that I was mother’s favourite and was not even her daughter. I have to give her credit as an amazing woman. I never felt I was not her child. It was confusing, but I did not want to dwell on that. I needed to focus all my energy on getting better and leaving the hospital.