Hardly 24 hours after I published my last week’s article dubbed Of Tummies And The Struggle which I had disclosed of my ailing right foot, I found myself seated in waiting area of this hospital with white, leather sofas, staring at the humongous TV, preoccupied with lost thoughts. So much was going through my mind at this time as I hate visiting hospitals. Kageshi can attest to this. I only visit hospitals as the last resort when all the home remedies fail to work. The room was dead silent apart from the TV on low volume. My face was in pensive mood, sympathising with my leg and regretting why I ever did the exercises in the first place. Minutes before I checked in, I had a lengthy conversation with my mum who assured me everything will be okay. I would tell were it not for the distance, she badly desired to accompany me as I visited my doc. This happens so many times. My mum has never accepted I’m a grown up who has developed thick skin along the way in my close to three decades of breathing life. Talk of African Mums.
I had just walked to the receptionist who by the way was a guy. Very unusual. He pulled an artificial smile and asked my name and other personal details. Immediately my Boy-Child activism checked in considering receptionists are in most cases petite ladies. I was glad some employers are now employing people based on their capability and not gender. 10 minutes after, a brown young lady with pronounced chick bones and big round eyes and a WEAVE emerged from the Consultation Room donning the symbolic white coat. She looked 28. Don’t ask how I guessed her age. My heart skipped. I didn’t recall the last time I was treated by a female doc. Actually it had not happened before!
Back to my ailing leg. Kageshi came to mind. I smiled shyly when I rolled back thoughts about how for like 5 days before I gave in to visit the doc, she unrelentingly massaged my feet with a warm (read hot) towel to ease the pain daily. At times I would let out a deep sigh when she pressed my right foot so hard as a way of ‘curing the pain’ with the hot towel. She was like; “This is not the time to be gentle, I need to see you walking again, Love?” I felt like a 7 year old boy being nursed his feet by the mum. And by the way, the whole experience turned out to be very romantic.
So, I was called in to the Consultation Room. Dr.Stacey warmly referred me with my first name, Andrew. I was quite impressed. I get very excited when people call me by first name looking straight to my eyes. Does it happen to you too? I narrated to her my troubled story while she made notes with her sleek pen. She directed me to a high table across the wall where I had to remove my shoes. She assessed my foot, asking a million and one questions. She then asked about my profession! I told her I’m an Accountant which I promptly regretted saying so. I wish I told her I was a Writer who has a passion for telling serious stories with a humour-like touch. And she’d be like; “A Writer? Wow! That’s nice. So it pays your bills and supports your family?” And I’d be like; “Not exactly. I blend it with ‘small’ hustles here and there. I do preambles for websites and other stuff.” Her face would reserve any more questions hehe. She twirled my foot with her tender hands which had well trimmed finger nails and at some point I noticed her huge watch which commanded attention. (From men circles; ladies who don huge watches are taken more seriously because of their seeming boldness).
I wished I asked the million dollar question Biko poses to the swimming pool guys from Malindi to Kigali or the chap who pushes him in a wheel chair when he gets diagnosed with a blood clot. About their most interesting clients. I’m not sure how Dr.Stacey could have responded to such a question. Probably I could have got her off guard or maybe she would have complained of the patient becoming very intrusive. While she attended me, I ransacked her ‘office’ with my eyes from her table which had several medical journals stashed nicely, a medical dictionary, two novels next to her snazzy phone and a lip balm. There was a newspaper too. (And that’s how you judge a lady’s age). Her huge handbag was placed at the corner of the table and car keys resting beside the bag. Anyway, after the assessment of my leg she let out the bombshell. That my leg would be immobilised for two weeks. A shocked me was like, “really?” And she pitched an affirmative YES. She went ahead to wipe my feet, applied a creamy stuff and massaged my foot for 3 minutes. She then firmly tied a bandage on my ailing leg and let me off the hook wishing me quick recovery and requesting I go for follow up checkup in a week’s time. (Which is tomorrow).
What Dr.Stacey didn’t warn me about was that, the first two nights would be the longest nights I ever endured. Dealing with a heavy and uncomfortable leg was a nightmare in itself. I wasn’t able to even stretch my right foot. (Thank God for sound health). I thought of so many things during these nights. I came to a point of appreciating more, breastfeeding mothers. Waking a dozen times in the night to lull a stubborn baby and still manage to wake up early to prepare for jobo. Wow! Respect to this kind of women! Their sleep is always interrupted. That was me and my leg waking at 2:01 am to soothe it to ‘sleep’. The situation was so bad on the first day that I didn’t realise it was a Friday, a night to watch a programme I fondly like, The Trend. I slept before 9.
Dealing with kids in the neighborhood who’ve been telling me Pole (sorry) with sympathetic faces has become a norm. Not to mention tussling with a thousand questions from all the souls I meet. It has been worse when they expect me to take time in narrating a detailed account of what happened. This is so draining. Gai! When I dashed for my weekly shave, Shemas my barber laughed for a whole 10 minutes after I explained what transpired. That I was jogging in my digs and twisted my leg in the process. He couldn’t understand how one can jog inside a house. My boss was also visibly shocked. When I walked to the office last Monday morning in open-shoes with a bandage tethered in one of my legs, he looked lost until I explained. He was like; “Andrew you are too young to start messing with your legs.” My brief response was; “It happens” punctuated with a fake smile.
I salute the two incredible women; Kageshi and Dr.Stacey who came in handy when I needed a lot of reassurance. One thing I have learnt is that it’s never the same when you can’t walk normally. You get tired easily and naturally can’t do some tasks the same way again. It’s also not easier when one leg is rendered inactive. Appreciate and give thanks for good health and while at it take extra caution while exercising. It might save you a fortune.