Lets talk about the units we did not want to rotate through. Like, when the houseofficers, in their free time, start discussing their rotations, you hear things like, “eeyah, God is with you o. I am sure you will be fine”, whenever those units are mentioned as part of an individual’s rotation.
I won’t say I specifically prayed not to end up going to this particular unit (who am I?) I was not going to ask God to keep me longer in that other unit that had my first and only SR crush (Does God deal with crush related prayers?) . I was not going to be weak. But, dear God, you know how to take care of your own, right? You would not tempt me with more than I can bear, bah?
To God be the glory, I actually did find my way there ???. It was an example of those prayers that are actually not uttered but when they go unanswered, we still feel betrayed as if, God, didn’t you say you know our inmost desires? I sure did not inmostly desire to be in that unit. Urghhhh.
Why were we wary of this particular unit?
Long hours that did not exactly translate into actual work. You could be done with the day’s work but not able to go home and not because you were on call but because your consultant was still around and it would be suicidal to leave before him. (who born monkey pikin?)
So, your consultant might be in the consultants lodge sharing jokes with another consultant over a bowl of agbalumo but your tired ass had better just stay put till he sucks the juice off the last seed, rinses his hands and mouth and drives home.
Also, this unit had more cases to some extent. That meant more work, more topics to be percussed on and more investigations to be chased. Oh, did I mention that the unit was in fact, two in one?
I got to the unit and I told myself, you know what? You can do this.
Hehehehe. Talmbout aspire to perspire and acquire kind of motivational speeches I gave myself.
First day of resumption, I and my other HOs looked so somber, one would think we were being led to our execution. Our SRs sure saw the looks on our faces and maybe they even saw how we all had our hearts in our mouths. Being an Ibadan product, I was ready for the worst, I mean if Ibadan did not kill me, who are these ones?
First day, we did not leave the hospital till about 6pm. Game on! One week down and I realized, what in God’s name were people fretting about? Really? These people are not vampires and all they want is just that the work be done. And they are also very understanding especially when you’ve proven yourself to be genuinely hardworking and not just providing eye service.
Although, I really did not like the idea of staying back till dark before leaving. I remember one time I was returning home from work and I needed a cab to get home. This was around 8/9pm. The green cabs had these yellow horizzontal lines across their sides but are difficult to see until the cab is right in front of you. Also, recall that I am four-eyed and the reflections at night can make vision difficult. I had entered this ‘cab’ before it dawned on me that this particular green was lacking a yellow.
That’s how this ‘cab man’ started interviewing me, asking for my name, state of origin… I started begging this man to let me get down that I did not know his car was not a commercial vehicle. (You wee not be unfortunate ooo. Please ehn, I’m just Amaka from Jigawa state. I’m a medical student E joor.) Guy was like, “No, I will not. Give me your phone number.” (ẹ gba mi. Am I African Magic to you?)
At this point, we were almost at my junction and this guy was not slowing down o. You need to have counted my pulse rate at that time… it would have been something above 120beats per minute. I was already steeling my heart to open the door in motion and jump out, Fast and Furious things on point. Let’s just say i kept thanking and praising God as i fast-walked back to our compound when he finally dropped me off.
I thought, everyone thought, I was in trouble!
There was another day one of the unit regs had told us to go home and we did only to get to work the next day and be reprimanded terribly about not informing the SRs and obtaining permission from them. Which is why another day like that we were in the hospital, unable to reach the SRs, unable to go home. When we finally got through to one of them, the possibility of being forgotten at work dawned on us.
The unit is still a great one though. i think that part of not being allowed home was restructured later on. It was in this unit I found out something sweeter than credit alert. Let me tell you about it.
That morning, we were on an SR ward round. I was the only houseofficer then. My beautiful, I don’t give a hoot, jaasi, up and doing reg, asked for my phone. She said she wanted to check something. I unlocked the phone and pushing back all the thoughts of my chats with Bae popping up at that time, gave it to her. (At the introduction to the unit, I had said Single boldly, no batting of the eyelids and I was not ready for senrenren). Few minutes after she got the phone, she started shouting and jumping.
My dearies, trust me, my heart started beating fast. E gba mi o, what has this woman found on my phone? Forget that thing about you have no fear if there is no skeleton in your cupboard. If your village people find you, they will put the skeleton and as a finishing touch, they will add the weapon of murder there too, still dripping blood. Have I started getting nudes from people I dinnor know? Has someone sent me some millions and she thinks because she saw the alert first, I wee share with her? Warriz going on please?
My other reg and SRs were busy calculating like how much it is she had gotten but I looked at this woman’s face and I knew, as only a fellow female could know, that this joy was emanating from something stronger than money. This female reg is boxed up; just appraise her hair-do, her dresses and shoes and even the way her whole body is averse to suffering and you’ll realize that money is not her problem. So, this thing that was making her throw away almost all decorum right in the middle of the ward must be something else. She really had to excuse herself into an inner part of the ward, where, still seeing her, I could make out her face happily contorting into smiles and turning to laughter midway.
I, finally convinced it was nothing to do with me, took back my phone and still investigated a bit further, trying to see if I could also share in this joy. I later approached her and she confirmed it, it was not money. She had just passed PLAB II.
The way things have become in this country, to medical doctors, passing PLAB exams, either I or II, has become way much more joyful news than credit alerts. She shared drinks that day.
The reality in Nigerian health sector
The hustle to get out of this country has become more and more real for doctors and other health care professionals. People are writing IELTS left, right and center, PLAB I and II are being passed come rain, come shine, people are janding every day. There is the part where some of our older colleagues challenge us with the question that who will take care of our families, relatives and friends we leave behind? I don’t think I have ever given an appropriate response but I saw one on Twitter the other day that implied that the fact that that question is asked as an attempt to dissuade is even more reason for people to leave. I can’t say it any better.
It was also in that unit I first lost a patient!
A Little Note;
1. PLEASE SUBSCRIBE. PLEASE ☺️☺️??. JUST SCROLL DOWN AND PUT IN YOUR EMAIL.
2. We are back to the 200 views target. Let’s do this. Some people have asked what the ‘win’ is. I’ll share the real win at the end of this series. Remind me.