Ever heard of the word “Man proposes and God disposes”? That is my story.
It was that Monday Oct 23 and i was fully prepared for my coming birthday to the last detail. From my hair to my finger and feet nails. Perfectly done. I wasn’t even bothered about the cake, i was damn sure it will come.
So, i went to Court. Magistrate Court 2 Isolo, that fateful morning to prosecute some criminals (classified information) i was dazzling. Even Your Honour Knew something was sparkling about me. I wore that black gown. To crown it all, i wore that unbeatable black shoe to mark my air of confidence.
So, i sat and my matters were called. Four bail applications came up and for the first time in my life, even though i had prepared my speech, i responded “No objection, Your Honour”. At the third Application, even Your Honour had to ask, “Miss. **, are you sure you are ok? I like to hear you speak, not that i am pre-empting you” and i responded, “i am grateful your Honour for being mindful of me. I am perfectly ok.
And who says God does not exists?
My programmed body, was giving way and it wanted me to be out of my work’s way, so i will never be termed weak. I left Isolo for High Court Ikeja, i wanted to eat, but that devil inside me won, i got the driver food for taking me round and i skipped my meals. At Ikeja, i spent three hours conducting my office business and my body was still strong to make me look perfect. At 3pm i got to the office, went in for a brief meeting and after that, in my cheerful mischievous way, i forcefully hugged a very senior colleague, kissed another and decided to torment one of my favourite senior colleague by telling her someone called her fat. I immediately dashed into the elevator to avoid a slap.
Immediately i got to the ground floor, i stepped out of the elevator, saw a friend. i got very dizzy, i made it to my friends office with the help of another friend who i am sure will still be wondering why i held his hand so tightly and leaned on his shoulders. I sat on the couch in my friend’s office and said, Babe, i feel funny. She said. Toyosi stop messing around. I responded am not joking. She didn’t take me seriously. Until i pulled my blazer and my shoes and said, am going to throw up. She flew from her seat, supported me to the toilet, became my pillar of support. Then, all hell let loose.
I was hot. I was throwing up (nothing came out coz i remember for two days straight i had eaten almost nothing) then my limbs melted. I could not stand. Before people started to ask questions, i was being rushed to the staff clinic. I saw the confusion on my senior colleagues face who i had taunted with all my heart. She was dead sure to slap me, then i saw the confusion in her eyes. Toyosi in great pains? What is wrong with Toyosi? I just saw her take the elevator smiling.
Fast forward, i was practically carried to the hospital. All i could say within the mad pain i felt was “Jesus be with me”. I couldn’t even talk. My friends spoke for me. The doctors tried to determine the pain, he kept pressing my already inflamed stomach and i had to shout “Every part of my tummy is Paining me”. I heard in between “madam do u have ulcer and i said no”.
Needles everywhere, both my butts was not spared. Then drips. I had some bread my friends had got me. I felt better in a way. Another senior colleague took me home and handed me over to my mum. At 11pm the pain was unimaginable. I was rushed to Nigerian Navy Hospital, my mother like a mad woman amidst those bloody Lagos tankers. I almost lay lifeless.
Then i got some beatings on my hands to wake up those nerves. I almost slapped the military man. Who i remember saying lawyer, don’t teach me my work.
And my birthday came. Oct 24, my mum knelt beside me praying. (what a gift) then the hug and the kiss.
The pain won’t go, but i laughed to pretend i was fine. It is my birthday i don’t want to be here. I was asked to go do a complete abdominal scan. Like the drugs i was given added pepper to my boiling stomach. At the ultra scan, the Indian man said, too much gas in her stomach. My mum said why is it moving like that. My daughter is in pains. Liver ok, kidney ok, womb ok. At every ok, my mum sighed. In fact the sigh at the womb ok, i looked at my mum and i started laughing. African mothers are jokers. I was asked to lay on my belly for the organs at the back side to be examined. I almost died.
The man insisted i take an ulcer test. I cried at the sight of the needle. Result negative. In the midst of my pain, i was concerned most about the debit to my account. Lastly, he said do a stool test. I said NO WAY. Am not the stooling type except i have anxiety. My mum pleaded. Weeing was so painful because it felt like my intestines were squeezing themselves, how dare u ask me to pooh. I reluctantly went to the toilet. If i was with my father, i will win. With my mother, we are not leaving Afriglobal until they check my brain if necessary. So the faster i cooperated, the better for me. I and my mother knew that i won’t pooh. But i went anyway. Disobeying was not an option . A miracle happened. I poohed. Like magic. And then, they said madam u have full blown ulcer. The scientist said…..very bad.
I begged my mum that let us go home tomorrow, we will go to the hospital. Another miracle. My mother gave in. Worse decision of my life. I couldn’t sleep, i couldn’t cry because my mum slept close to me. The count down to dawn was slow. I dashed my mum my phone. She became my PA. So many sang happy birthday song to my mothers ears. Its good to know and laugh.
My younger sister bathed for me
The trip to the hospital took for ever.
I saw my favorite doctor. And the consultation was over with a lot of don’t eat this, that and u shall take this drug for thirty days. Let us see where we get with this. Bla bla bla
The pain began to drop with geometric speed. I that i couldn’t stand up straight, i can at least lie on my back without thinking of going breathless.
Oct 26 4:00am
Who says there is no God?
I could have broken down in court – who would take care of me there?
I could have broken down in Ikeja – they will take me to LASUTH and abandon me there till my people come. I may have been dead from the pain.
I could have broken down at work, but i did all that there was to do
I really could have died from the pain, but God said NO ( i never knew ulcer can make one feel so much pain. I always never thought of it. Now, it has added to the list of my worries.)
I could have had useless friends – but God always put in my path the finest of them all.
And to that special friend that sent me money – God bless you immeasurably. You are a diamond in the sky and blessed are those who know you.
I could have had the best birthday ever as a slay queen – but, who knows what angry eyes God has kept me from. I kept on telling my mum what a complete waste before i slept, she has not stopped laughing. I know she will taunt me when i go back to troublesome me.
Now, am tired, who knows what today has in store for me? Let me commit it to the hands of God. I am a survivor of worse situations and it always and will continue to be like a pinch of salt.
If you made it to this last line, then you make me smile more. Because you now know what a birthday i had and i am grateful to God for life and i know i will always win in the end.
Toyosi is a certified Project Manager, a Lawyer, dispute resolver, International Development Strategist, she practices in Lagos, Nigeria