After 3 terribly hectic calls in 9 days that started last week Friday, (terribly so courtesy of the doctors in the government hospital being on a nationwide strike for the past 3 weeks and I don't blame them at all. Afterall every worker is worthy of his/her wages and theirs is been toyed with). And my last call on Sunday spent physically exerting myself in resuscitating an alcohol intoxicated youth during the first part of the night and then trying to pull back the protruding part of a fractured femur into the body of the second alcoholic during the second part of the night into the wee hours of the morning, my body decided unilaterally I might add to scream ENOUGH!!!...
I got home on Monday evening feeling tired and spent after's the day's work and decided I better take some analgesics and rest. I believed I'd wake up a few hours later feeling revived but that was not to be. I should have realized as I drove home on Monday that I was extraordinarily slow (I pride myself in been a very fast driver you see) so when other cars couldn't wait to overtake me and I just shrugged them off as an impatient lot, I should have guessed even then that all was not well. My sister even mentioned once during our discussion in the car that I often drove like the so called "impatient lot". So I woke up that night with severe body pains and a cold even a slight fever. It seemed the whole stress finally wormed its way into my defences and broke down my immunity, consequently giving way to malaria. Hence my absence these past few days.
I didn't feel like eating or drinking anything against my better judgement. My stomach churned in protest at the site or smell of food. I was nauseous again, so I guess it wasn't just the combined pungent smell of alcohol and blood that triggered the episode during my last call. Maybe the malaria was just getting ready to set in. To make matters worse I developed diarrhoea. I couldn't go to work except to collect treatment. It was terrible indeed. There are 2 very popular notions though that surround doctors and been ill and they are
- People believe that health workers especially doctors and nurses are demigods. They don't believe we can fall sick. I heard this particular comment from a lot of people within these few days and still I wonder. They often "Doctor too dey sick?" meaning does a doctor fall sick too? It's almost like the thief nailed to the left hand side of Jesus Christ asking him to save himself and them since he is the Christ. Sometimes, we the doctors also think we are immune to the illness we face each day in other. We are not, only being spared by God.
- Secondly, we don't take our own advice. Have you heard the phrase "doctors are the worst patients"? It is very true in most cases. We don't like to swallow the pills we dish out on our prescriptions or endure the needle pricks of investigations we order. It's simply amazing when the tables are turned, don't you think. I guess I didn't my own advice on the benefits of sleep earlier this week as I didn't sleep much in the days preceding my ailment.
Hope to get better and bounce back with vitality. Take good care of yourself meanwhile because I learnt that if I dropped dead during this ailment, I may be missed but the work would go on, life would go on and I may get only "1 minute silence".