Monday, 27th May, 2013
It had been a really busy day and I was grateful it was all over. My weekend had been very short and stressful. ‘Bridesmaiding’ for my friend, Tee on Saturday had drained all the life out of me. Sunday didn’t bring rest either. I had reluctantly woken up this morning and dragged myself to work and had a crazy day too. By the time I left the office, I had a splitting headache. With the traffic even crazier, I just leaned back in the bus and silently prayed to make it home in one piece.
Finally after about two hours, I had reached my bus stop. With no ‘keke’ in sight, I made the painful decision to walk home. Even if one came, there was no way under heaven I could push through the two hundred or so people already standing there. Hungry and totally fagged out, I slowly made my way home. Thirty minutes later, after trying unsuccessfully to eat, I swallowed two tablets of Panadol and hit the sack.
Tuesday, 28th May 2013
It was 6.30 am. I already dressed up and had my bath. It had been a very turbulent night and in all, I couldn’t confidently say I had slept for up to two hours. I planned to go and see Dr E, and have him run every possible test on me. I felt like my head would just fall off my neck.
I called my boss and informed him and he graciously allowed me to take the day off. That being sorted out, I headed for the hospital.
At Dr E’s office, he took my blood sample and filled a form asking that all kinds of checks be done. He also brought out some small device onto which he dropped my blood, to check the sugar level. Just as I was about to jump up and get started, he asked me :
‘When last did you test for HIV?’
Ehn ? HIV ke ? How is it doing this man ? Abeg abeg abeg ooooo. Ah ! Abeg Sir.
Dr E remained silent and stone-faced. Apparently he wasn’t going to hand me my form without an answer. So to lie or to tell the truth ? Ermmmmmmmm ……I decided to lie. Let him give me the form and let me gerrout jor. I just tested last month, I meant to say.
‘Never’ I blurted out.
Choiii. What is my problem ehn ?
Ignoring my horrid facial expression, Dr E went on to give me a lecture, Still angry at myself for running my mouth, I did not listen. But then I got the gist – I would be tested for HIV. I snatched my form and took it to the lab. A while later, I was given drugs and told I would be placed on injections for three days starting tomorrow Wednesday. I took my drugs and left without saying goodbye to Dr E.
At home, unable to sleep, I picked my phone and started to chat with ‘le boo’ about my experience.
‘Dont worry, you’ll be fine’, he reassured me. ‘When last did you get tested ?’
Ah !, you too ? Please don’t add to my troubles abeg. I changed the subject sharply, knowing where the convo was headed.
Wednesday, 29th May 2013.
Democracy day. So, thankfully, no work. I went early to the hospital ‘to get started early on my injections’.
(Yimu). I said it without looking into the Nurse’s eyes. Even I didn’t believe myself. Who looks forward to injections ? Even when you know you are ill. Anyways the injection took less than a minute. Painful oh but I had other things in mind.
While I sat down at the reception waiting for my turn to see Dr E, millions of thoughts swirled around in my head.
What if I am positive ? What would I do ? Who would I tell first ? Dr E would probably call my parents. And my mom would scream and everyone else in the house at the time would know. But that would be it. I would never tell ‘Le boo’. Never !. Heheeheee. Can you blame me ?
Dr E’s voice jolted me back to reality. I dragged my foot into his office and wore the saddest facial expression ever.
‘How are you feeling ?’ he asked me
‘Better’ ,I muttered.
‘Already ? That’s good !’
Please get to the point sir, I thought nervously as I sat down quickly in front of him. He then, as if deliberately, went on to extend my torture by explaining how I had a combination of malaria and typhoid but my blood levels and ………………………..
At this point I didn’t hear nothing again. Eventually, he showed me my file :
‘There is your HIV status …… Negative. Congratulations’
I smiled. A wide one. I jumped up and thanked him, then whistled ‘The storm is over’ as I stepped out. I didn’t even remember to ask the next person in. I stepped out into the early morning sun, now singing instead of whistling.
My brother picked me up. Ordinarily I would have complained about the loud music with my headache and all, but with the news I just received, a party isn’t out of place na.
I picked my phone again and whatsapped ‘Le boo’ and gave him the news. Then I leaned back in the car enjoying the Air Conditioning, thinking of how I would have the bottle of wine I had left in the freezer last week, to further celebrate this happy ending. Afterall, the storm was now over.
Or so I thought …………………..