That day, 31st of March, I was to start acting on my ‘contract’ With Sope Bob Soile but instead, I was home in Lagos adjusting to the reality of approaching surgery. I found out that the day my mum called me and I broke the news to her, she had just gone through and come out of some personal trauma of her own. So it was like going from one thing to the next for her.
The next day, Thursday April 1st was basically a day for ‘hospital shopping’ and ‘placing cash on the table’.
My dad suggested the Military hospital for the surgery. My Mum did not seem comfortable with this, instead she wanted a hospital where I would be attended to as soon as possible. I saw in her face that day the effort to be strong for me. Her eyes seemed like skies holding back rain.
The atmosphere was heavy.
While the three of us were seated together,
She mentioned my Father,his brother’s contribution to the surgery and how she had already told my dad about it.
For me this was extremely awkward.
I had always thought the only time both parties would meet or discuss or place money on a collective table, as it was, would be on my wedding or something.
Later that day, my mum and I went to Havana specialist Hospital Located in surulere, Lagos.
Seeing as nearly everyone from my mum’s side of the family had either had a baby or done a few medical check ups in the hospital, it was easy to get attended to.
The Doctor in charge , Doctor Okeke , ensured we were properly attended to.
Part of being attended to obviously included being examined. At this point in time I was very tired. I honestly admitted to my mum later on that part of the reason I did not speak up earlier was my fear of the excessive examinations.
I felt like I literally had no control of covering my body anymore because I always needed to undress at some point. This would be the fourth examination I was undergoing and I all I had to hold unto was the fact that ‘it was for my own good’.
I had to hold unto this despite the fact that my privacy was involved.
It was a young and friendly doctor who examined me. He first of all mixed my file up for another person whose title was ‘Mrs’. We laughed over the fact that I looked like a married woman to him. He even joked that I looked like his mum.
It still did not distract my mind from the fact that I had to undress in front of him.
After the analysis, Doctor Okeke came in and said the surgery could be done right away! that I should pick a date for the surgery.
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At that point in time, yet again, I felt I was watching someone else’s life play out.
I did not want a surgery!
What ever happened to praying this ‘thing’ away?
Being asked to choose a date like it was a mere manicure or something,
I did not want to have surgery.
The scene in the movie ‘why I wore red lipstick to my mysectomy’ where the Lady had a day dream that she ran out of the hospital,away from the surgery…the scene would have been so appropriate to act out at that point in time.
* * *
I told them the next day was fine by me.
The next day was Easter friday. My mates back in school would have been studying and at the same time getting in the mood for a lovely Easter Sunday celebration.
It was at this point that I first heard the scary name used to term the surgery I was then billed to undergo.
It was called a ‘lumpectomy’.
I was told not to eat anything the next day and to come early.
That night my mum took my younger sister , ona , and I out to watch a movie.
Knowing my mum, it was her attempt to lessen the thickness of the atmosphere in our minds and in the house.
After we bought our tickets, I called my house parent before going into the cinema room.
I asked to speak to Lola who now happened to be back in school after I had gone home and Edak my old time friend. Breaking the news to Edak was not hard but Lola on the other hand was convinced it was an April fool’s prank I was pulling on her!
Convincing her that I was not joking was actually very good for my spirit. I was amused. She urged me to allow her tell the rest of the members in the bible study group so the could join their faith with mine and pray along with me. I finally agreed after we joked about how awkward it would be for me to catch anyones eyes ‘inspecting’ me when I return.
At this point in time my mum called me in saying it was time for the movie to start and so I had to tell her good bye.
As we got into the Cinema room , we discovered we were the first and only people inside.
That was when the song ‘just two of us’ started playing from the speakers.
My mum and Ona decided to test their dancing skills. I was ‘lost in laughter’ I started video them but
then a call from my elder sister came in. My elder sister and I are pretty close and I end up telling her things I’m going through.
When I picked her call, we exchanged pleasantries then I asked if she had heard the current situation of things.
She told me she had and encouraged me because she has done the same surgery a while back and its was a “minor surgery”…
If I have not mentioned it before I’d do so right now…
That term “minor surgery” had started to anger me. The term had been used around me ever since the first external visit to the hospital back in Ibadan.
It ‘angered’ me because to me there is and was nothing minor about a surgery.. There is nothing minor about being knocked out cut up and sewn back…nothing minor… Absolutely nothing!
I understood she was just trying to encourage me and so I accepted her warm words as I tried to recover from the fact that it now seemed like a ‘small’ matter.
That night before we slept my mum prayed with me.
She prayed and mentioned all the dramatic episodes God had brought me out of, right from the day of my birth till date!
I was moved to tears though they did not fall.
She mentioned how I had a problem taking in food the day I was born.
I was to be operated on but somehow what ever it was that was blocking my system freed up and I could eat.
She spoke about how I was a premature, I had jaundice and I had to be blindfolded for a while…
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Join me again tomorrow…