Doctor’s Tale by Uche Anyanwagu. Story 1 – She ate her child

Story, Story…

[Part 2 of 2]

“Yes…” answered Dr Yisa with a smile. I was shocked to see him smile.

“…It is this imbalance that makes women with PCOS to skip their menstrual periods and have difficulty in getting pregnant. Their inability to have regular periods also means they don’t ovulate regularly too or even at all…”

“Shuu, how person go know if em carry this kain disease nah…” asked Mama Mike as her eye balls rotated 180 degrees in their sockets.

Dr Yisa was obviously happy that the chicken has finally come to roost.

“Okay, they experience irregular periods or have none at all, and may have difficulty (even unable) in getting pregnant because of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate at all…They may have excessive hair growth like men (on the face, chest or back)…”

I was amused to notice that Mama Mike was actually picking the tiny grey strands of hair on her jaw.

Dr Yisa continued: “…They may have pimples, experience hair loss or gain excessive weight. Sadly, they run a risk of developing diabetes and high cholesterol in future…and run the risk of high BP, pre-eclampsia and diabetes in pregnancy”

I noticed the puzzled look on Mama’s face because we knew she lives with diabetes.

“Abeg, Oga big doctor, wetin fit cause this thing…” She asked with the innocence of a child.

“…Mama, the exact cause is unknown but PCOS can run in families. It is known to be associated with abnormal levels of hormones in the body, including insulin and testosterone…”

“What can we do now for my beautiful daughter” she asked as she placed her left arm across the back of Grace.

“Errrmm… Mama, treating PCOS needs some time and patience. This was why I was annoyed with you earlier at your pressure on your young son and his beautiful wife…

First, those with PCOS should aim to lose weight and eat healthy balanced diet…”

They all nodded. I turned the next page of my writing pad to continue jotting down “stuff” Dr Yisa was moving.

“…The good news is that most women with PCOS are able to get pregnant with treatment. While there are medication to treat symptoms as excessive hair growth, irregular periods and fertility issues; simple surgical procedures on ovary can help destroy the tissues producing androgens as testosterone…

…irregular or absent periods can treated using contraceptive pill. This also helps to protect them against the risk of cancer of the womb. Intrauterine devices can also be used…

…Mama, now, this infertility issue you are worried about can be treated with some hormonal tablets or even IVF…”

Dr Yisa was delighted to see how busy I had been taking notes of his teaching. He smiled and nudged me on. He went on to conclude thus:

“…Lest I forget, a particular blood-sugar tablet can also be used to lower the excess insulin produced and make the cells more sensitive too to insulin.

Mama, Alice never ate her babies nor used them for sacrifice. She wasn’t married to any spiritual husband but this physical Mike. She only has PCOS… Just like you! She is your beautiful daughter…”

Mama stood, adjusted her wrapper, and left the clinic…

Doctor’s Tale by Uche Anyanwagu. Story 1 – She ate her child

Story, Story…

[Part 1 of 2]

“…That lady did not eat any of her children…” the elderly doctor thundered in anger in response to the woman who had accompanied her son and daughter-in-law to see him for the umpteenth time.

“…Neither did she sacrifice her womb to the marine spirits. She is not an abiku (ogbanje) either…”

Dr Yisa stood from his swinging chair, forcefully dropped his stethoscope on the table and looked fiercely into Mama Mike’s preying eyes.

Mama Mike was visiting her son for a countless number of times in their 11-month old marriage. Her visits were typical of the African mothers/mothers-in-law.

She had long nagged them on phone until they all got tired and became measured in taking their calls or giving her the responses.

She has an over bearing attitude and a haughty spirit. Despite the rigid protests from Mike, she remained unbent, defiant and unyielding.

On almost every alternate day of this 11-month sojourn, she had called her son and daughter-in-law, stubbornly probing on to have an answer to her usual question on Alice’s pregnancy (or the lack thereof?)

She recently changed her tactics. She was always found on the next available bus to Lagos to trouble Mike and Alice sore. Since none yielded to the local herbs she always came with, she resorted to following them to the clinic.

On this day, her sweet quarrelsome being met Dr Yisa in the ‘right’ mood. Since he was no longer found this funny, he chose that day to end this madness once and for all.

So, his anger flowed with such precision that it hit the target fair and square.

I sat at one corner of the clinic in awe and made sure his anger did not miss its target. To be honest, I was terrified to see my very jovial consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist (nicknamed: the ladies’ muse) engulfed in such fury.

“…I am taking pain to explain these to you today so that your blind eyes can open to the reality and light that come with knowledge…

…So that you can allow this innocent poor lady and your self-confessed beloved son alone, to have their marriage in peace and work out solutions to their mutual interest…”

Mama Mike was shocked at Dr Yisa’s outburst. The puzzled look on her eyes betrayed it. She quickly untied her wrapper and tied it across her sagged breast which now sleep peacefully on her chest.

I could not say if that meant war, but one thing was certain: we all were in for a long thing.

“…Now, let me say this now. This lady here has a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This may not make sense to you but have you pondered why it took long to have Mike, your only child…”

She looked exasperated. She lowered her voice and naively asked: “ejoo, tell me more nah, big doctor…” I assumed I was the small doctor then. Lucky me!

“…It is a medical condition which affects a woman’s hormone levels making them to produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones….”

“Male hormones?” queried both ladies in the room as Mike tried hard to grasp what the whole fuss was all about.

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You too like gist sef. 😂

I am Uche Anyanwagu. Watch out for part 2

R.A.N.T.I.N.G. 101 – You know my name

There is piece I read up either here or on linked in last year. I was thrilled by the wonderful CV of someone, I guess, a lady, who to me seemed to have achieved quite a lot. 

On that CV, this wonderful lady had about 5 Masters and 6 PhD degrees in a short space of 4-5 years alongside a beautiful work career in best organisations globally. 

I had goose bumps and I took time, not only to read that CV but to explore how feasible it was to achieve such an enviable feat. 

It later dawned on me that this lady had kept a CV of all her failures in life, side-by-side that of her success.

It made me appreciate her journey and the gold she had become. It made me not only love the product but the process – the painful rigour of mining, extraction, purification and refining and moulding – albeit, very painful and rigorous.

As I compared both CVs, her degrees made more sense to me. I saw tenacity and a solid sense of purpose and direction. 

Today, I reflect on my own life. I regret not keeping a similar CV earlier in my life. 

I recall that the letter for my master degree scholarship abroad was preceded by 16 rejection letters. 

I also recall that wise saying I nicked from someone’s dp (in the yore days of blackberry which cast better to me thus: 

“You know my name, but not my story. You know what I am, but not what I’ve been through”