TALES FROM NIGERIA
So, I'm a 5th year Med Student in Nigeria and honestly, it's not been easy just learning to care for people in a country that apparently doesn't care about me.
Most times I complain, people just tell me to endure because it's almost over and I apparently have iust one year left. They say:
When you finish med school, leave the country.
If you're broke, borrow money and leave the country.
If there's no one to borrow money from, sell some of your property and leave the country.
If you have no property, steal property, sell it and leave the country.
Whatever happens, just leave the country!!!
I'm faced with a serious dilemma here, really.
Nigeria is a promising country, just with terrible leaders.
I love my country but does my country love me back?
To keep still and watch things not working or move on to a better place?
WHY AM I SO PAINED TODAY?
Oh, I thought you'd never ask.
So, being me, I have a slight emotional attachment to all my paediatric patients. I know all their names. One of them was named... well, I'm not sure if it's ethically right to put up his name but... I'll call him Dee.
Dee was hands down one of my favourite paediatric patients. He was a 16 year old who was witty, funny, optimistic, smart and promising. He suffered from Burkitts Lymphoma
You can read it up from the link above but if you'd want me to make a post on it, let me know in the comment section.
Source: Typical presentation of Burkitt's Lymphoma
As is the case in teaching hospitals, tests were run, other units were invited to review. My unit (haemato-oncology) was also invited. We decide to run some more tests.
Mother of the boy got cranky, complained about how we were wasting time. Eventually, four days later, we started him on chemotherapy. I remembered clearly the relief on the face of his parents the Friday we started the chemotherapy. His father was overjoyed to know that chemo was all he needed.
After the weekend, we resumed school on Monday and Dee was significantly better. He was stronger and happier. He could communicate better. All swellings were shrinking.
If you must have a cancer, choose Burkitt's Lymphoma
On Tuesday during rounds, he was remarkably better. His once bitter and salty mother was so sweet and thankful but we saw he was slightly anemic. Yeah chemo does that. We decided he needed transfusion to raise his hemoglobin and allow his chemo continue.
On Wednesday, I got to the ward early and decided to do my normal ritual of seeing all the patients before rounds. Dee's space was empty, his bed had been taken out. I asked if he had surgery and I was hit with the news of Dee's death.
Dee, who had battled cancer had died of a transfusion reaction while a nurse transfused him by 2am.
A girl was shook.
In honour of Dee, I'll be doing a series of post on my frustrations with Nigeria and proceeds from the posts will be given to patients in distress