“Give her another shot of pentazocine”, Doctor Ralph called out to one of the nurses on duty. It’s been twelve long hours and nothing seemed to be working for the pain pangs!
The shot was meant to douse my ability to feel and allow me close in, then drift into an imperfect but sublime oblivion even if it was for a short while.
Rather it made me more aware. My bones were in severe agony and I hurt a lot. It just wasn’t working!
The medical team seemed totally hopeless and clueless. They knew nothing else to do to help me feel better. They’d done all they thought could help the pains but nothing was effective. The IV fluid was yellowish due to the infusion of the B complex, by one of the nurses. It flowed into my body through the thin vein Doctor Ralph had struggled to fix the catheter, for about twenty minutes or more, as all my veins had collapsed due to the terrible pain my body was going through.
It left me extremely fatigued and weak. I couldn’t think straight. My thoughts were muddled up. I seemed to be hallucinating from the effect of some of the opioid earlier administered. I just layed there, on the crisp, white sheets, writhing in pains.
I could only remember being whisked hurriedly into the emergency room by a tall, hefty and black man after a literature class. I could still feel the lightness of my slender body in his arms. I only knew I had begun to gasp for breathe by the time he got to me, and slowly my body was beginning to hurt as a result. It hurt so bad, like I was being cudgelled in my bones. I knew that feeling. It was the start of a crisis. “But what had I done wrong again?”, I muttered to myself.
The nurse called my parents the umpteenth time, “she’s not getting any better. All the treatments we’ve given her seem to be ineffective”.
Even in my hazy thoughts, I could imagine my father pacing the spacious, coffee centre-rugged sitting room and lifting his voice in prayer to the Mighty One who had all power in His hands. I could almost hear him saying, “Tola, you will not die. You will fufill your God-given purpose. Devil, get your hands off her in Jesus name!”.
I knew they wouldn’t get any rest just as much as I wasn’t getting any that night. They could only hope for the day to break. After all, it was the midnight hour. They weren’t there and could not be there at such an odd hour.
The wait for dawn must have been very terrible because by the time my mum came into the emergency room, I could hear her sound like somebody who’s been deprived of sleep for the past seven days and my dad’s eyes were waterlogged. I felt deeply sorry for them. “Must I be the only one to give them so much hassles? “, I thought. Even in my deep state of pain and tiredness, I could simply imagine what they had gone through in the last twelve hours.
It was really rough.
And just about the time they thought I was beginning to get stabilised, the pains wore on some more dangerous gravity. ” How much agony was I going to get through? “, I gasped.
Doctor Ralph did what he had been hesitating to do. It was for the best, he had reasoned. He wrote us the referral letter, since everything they had done wasn’t working. Maybe, just maybe, they’d be able to help me at a bigger hospital.
The emergency van was ready. I’d never been in one all of my life at that time. I reasoned that, only people near death were moved in an ambulance. And yes, I was right. I really was near death!
Death was laying it’s cold, icy hands on me. Once wheeled and laid to stretch in that van, Doctor Ralph tried to set me up on another round of hydration spree.
But my veins wouldn’t bulge!
They were all collapsed due to the pains.
Every single attempt led to bleeding without an headway.
I could see panic on everyone’s face and I just dreaded the way I looked at that instant. “Hold on, Doc”, my dad said. He said a brief prayer and asked the doctor to try again. This time, they got it. Everyone heaved a sigh of relief.
The sound from the ambulance made me feel even worse. Loads of questions arose in my heart. ” Was I going to die?”, “What if they can’t do anything for me at the next place we were headed?”, ” Would I ever get better?”. My thoughts were disorganised, such that I couldn’t answer all the questions I asked in my minds eye. I knew my parents were praying all the way, as we journeyed. My mother held my hands lovingly all the while.
I was crying from all the pains. Yes, I cried. And I cried so hard.
Just then, mum took me back to the scriptures, ” I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
I then remembered, He made me. He had a purpose in mind when He made me, He knew my frail. He knew all that I was and all that I was made to be. I wasn’t going to die. I hadn’t finished up. I wasn’t through just yet.
As the van alighted at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), and I got wheeled into the triage, I knew I was going to be out. It was only a phase. And God was right there with me through thick and thin, in the valley of the shadow of death.
Yeah! and I came out. I did! Just four days after being admitted. True to His words, He carried me. Yes, He did, and rescued me with his ever loving arms. His promises are indeed yea and amen.
Today, I really don’t know what you’re going through, avascular necrosis, dactylitis, arthritis, pneumonia, pain episodes, acute chest syndrome, cancer, emotional turmoil, unrest or whatever name it’s been tagged. There’s a higher name than all those names, and that name is JESUS. Yes, it might seem unreasonable to stay in faith when our body rocks with so much pain and we hit bottom. But, I tell you, it brings huge comfort just knowing that Christ is in the vessel with you regardless of the storm. The anchor always holds when He’s there, stirring the course of the vessel.
I came out victorious over the midnight hour simply because I believed in him and I rested on that promise He gave, even at a very unpleasant moment of my life. When it was so difficult to trust or hold on.
This doesn’t mean, our results will always come that fast when we trust in God. Sometimes, it’s going to demand from us loads of patience, endurance and steadfastness. Scripture says, this will help us come forth truly mature . Brother James puts it this way; “consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way”.
Don’t give up, your faith in God would surely overcome and bring you complete victory. He’ll make all things beautiful for you in His perfect time, just like he did in my midnight hour.
Don’t lose hope.
Keep Living Strong.
With Lots of Love,