Three nights at UCH..part 2
It was at the Accident and Emergency unit. While she was still in the car, mom’s friend ran out to inform the nurses to give us a stretcher or wheelchair or something to move her in. They said they were coming. After waiting for an eternity, I went in to meet them as well. They now told me they had enough patients already and there was no one to attend to her, no stretcher was even available, no bed to admit her on.
Then, I remembered God and I began to pray frantically to him under my breathe. I pled with the nurse, “please do something, give her something for the pain”. They said they would attend to her in the car.
After an hour of endless pain, someone came to the car, examined her and said she would be admitted. Yet, no bed. We waited for another hour or so, before she was moved in. They requested for money first of all, to open a file for her. We paid, then, I indicated that she had NHIS. They werent interested in that. I wasn’t bothered too. We needed prompt assistance.
I tried not to look around to avoid seeing the blood on the floor, or the ear of a young man dripping with blood, a driver who had just been shot by an irate policeman in the city. I pretended not to hear when a woman claimed the leg of her new born baby broke while she was bathing him. All these hard to believe horror stories filled my ears by force, much as I tried not to hear.
It was already around midnight and my uncle had arrived from lagos by this time. The nurses gave me a long list of what to buy-cottonwool, plaster, bandage, syringe, injection etc
Buying things at the pharmacy was another round of woe. You had to go verify with someone who marked the ones available, gave you an invoice and you went to join another queue for payment. Then you come back again to queue for drug collection. Ha! It was a stressful experience
You had a sense of urgency because the nurses/doctors were waiting for it. After bringing it, you had to go look for them again. Then it takes another eternity for them to arrive. After doing all the essentials and she was stabilised, everyone left but me.
In the middle of the night, at the nurses worktable, they began gisting. They were there to take patient history/details. They did this in between pep talks. They asked a question, then went on with their colleague saying something else. After laughing and getting over that one, she turns to you again and ask the next question while you are seated there like a mumu.
They asked the guy next to me if he was the direct child of the aged woman he stayed with. He said he was a grandchild. They asked why his parents were not there. What concerns them? He said he lives with her and she’s his responsibility. They like aproko, carefully delving into family histories which they use as gist the following night.
They had asked another old woman who had almost strangled herself with marks on her neck” why she didn’t cut off her neck completely from her head’. To which she replied that ‘she was waiting for her only son, she wanted to talk to him before dying’. They all laughed hysterically before moving to the next bed…..
To be continued