These days when I come into office between 5 & 6pm, I come in with ear phones plugged in tightly, phone firmly clutched and after I drop my bag, I go outside, to the front of the hospital entrance and like a Landlord (or security officer if you like), I sit down and with utmost concentration…I listen to my favorite radio sports program! (I bet you didn’t expect that did ya! Lool)
Today, I was so engrossed in the program that I didn’t take note of when one of my patients came in (one of the earliest patients I saw when I just started work at the hospital, the known hypertensive woman). She must have even greeted but I didn’t notice. I came in to pick something from my office and she greeted again, this time I noticed. We exchanged pleasantries, ‘Ma, what did you come in for today?’ I asked. ‘I came in to collect my test results, check my BP and see you regarding my constant headache’ she replied, I was a little surprised, she didn’t look like she was ill so I asked, ‘ma, are you ill? Whats the test about?’ ‘No ooo, I just came to run urine culture tests’ as she said so, she handed me the results, I looked at them, ‘Come to my office when you are done’ I said and walked to the office.
She came in some minutes later. ‘So what was your BP?’, She told me, it was somewhat better than the last time I saw her, still high but lower than the last time. I asked about her compliance to the instructions I gave her the last time (exercise, diet, rest and the likes) and she gave me ‘a status update’. I proceeded to telling her about the need for her to take a step back and rest. With excitement on her face, she told me about her planned vacation coming in some weeks and how she couldn’t wait to get out of the work mode. She also went ahead to tell me how people have being suggesting various natural therapies for her BP and sincerely some of them sounded ridiculous. I gave her my ‘professional’ advice. I always enjoy ‘gisting’ with this woman (yes, that’s what it turned into, GIST!) but you know the thing about talking with ‘enlightened people’, their ‘over sabi’ nature can cause problems for any doctor. Thankfully, I was able to keep my patient knowledge base in line, dishing out ‘stuff’ like the doctor that I am*winks. We were talking about weight loss and sleep and I realized that we were drifting another territory but as a ‘sure guy’ that I am, I had to play along. She started by telling me that the reason why she doesn’t use all them contraceptive options is cos of the side effect of weight gain. ‘That’s true’ I responded after which she said that anytime her husband wants to ‘ghen ghen’, she insists on him using a condom and if he insists, she ‘pops a pill’ after the ‘exercise’. I smiled and added ‘ajasa’ while she was talking but in my mind, I was feeling awkward, a woman in her 50s talking to a man in his 20s about ‘ghen-ghen’, it felt somehow to me but then we’re doctors and we will hear all sorts (that’s the power we have yea *winks). I went on inputting her test results into the system and then the big one came! ‘Doctor, how can I sleep well at night when my husband will not let me sleep?’ I pretended I didn’t understand what she was saying, I raised my head , smiled and asked ‘how ma?’ she continued, ‘my husband and I do not stay together cos of work, so he’s rarely around, whenever he comes back for vacation, i’m still working meaning that I come back tired while he has the luxury of sleeping all day. Now that’s not even the problem, the problem now is, I will come back from work, this man will be watching DSTV, I will settle down, eat and even come and relax with him on the couch, he will not make any move, I will go inside the room, he will not follow me in, it is when I have gone to bed, in the middle of the night, that this man will start rubbing my body’, I couldn’t help but laugh…haaaarrrd! ‘Once I wake up like that, I am annoyed, ghen ghen can never be sweet and on top of that, I can’t go back to sleep! It just messes up my day. I have warned him so many times but he no dey hear word, as old as he is, is he not tired of ghen ghen?’ I burst into laughter again. I went ahead to empathise with her and explain to her that women wind down faster and earlier than men giving her examples of old men who are still firing on all cylinders so she shouldn’t blame the man but try to make him understand the situation of things. Sadly, she would be going for the vacation alone as Baba would still be working then but she assured me that the next vacation would be a joint one.
I explained her lab results to her, telling her about the findings and the possible issues that could arise. I think ‘counselling’ is my favourite part of the medical consultation. It gives me the chance to use my talking gift to impact lives. She complained of how the lab scientist refused to explain the results to her and I took my time to break everything down for her, she asked questions and I answered. ‘Doctor, I always enjoy sessions with you, I leave you feeling better and knowing more about my health than when I came in’ she said. I could bet that I was ‘flying without wings’…in my mind but ‘with all sense of humility’ I took the kind words in and used my usual line ‘We thank God’ loool. I prescribed drugs for her and pleaded with her to comply with them. Before she left, she got my number and assured me she would do her assignments (I had given her things to read about). She thanked me and left.
‘Wow! It’s almost 10!’ I said as a I packed up. She was the only person I saw today, but I left the hospital with a huge smile on my face. ‘Work well done!’