Finally, it was our turn to see the doctor. We were ushered into a small office where the doctor was waiting to attend to us. He was a small statured man who was popular among the people within our area. They loved him and could trust him with their lives.
“How are you doing today, madam, it’s been quite a long time we saw you, hope all is well?” the doctor said to mother as we stepped into his office.
“Thank you, doctor, it’s my daughter, Rosemary, she’s not feeling fine.” Mother said.
“What is wrong with her?” doctor asked.
“I think she has malaria,” mother answered.
“How can you be sure its malaria”, the man said as he turned to me. “Young lady, how exactly are you feeling?”
“It’s nothing really that serious, doctor….”
“Don’t mind her o, she’s not been okay for two days now and she says she’s fine,” mother interjected.
“Come over here, young lady,” the doctor said to me. I stood up and moved closer to him. He examined me and asked which drugs I’d taken. My mother told him.
“It’s okay,” he said to me. “Go and sit down.” He wrote some things on a piece of paper and then called the nurse to come in. “Please, take her to the lab for these tests.” He turned to me, “you can come back for the results tomorrow. And you don’t need to come with your mother, only you can come for the result, then we can decide the drugs to give you.” He said.
Mother thanked him and we left for the lab. After the tests were conducted, my urine taken as well, we left for home. That night, I could barely sleep. My mind was restless. I was scared of what could possibly be waiting for me at the hospital the following day….
It was the longest night I’d ever had. I could barely sleep. I tossed and turned all night. Several scary thoughts were running riots in my mind. I honestly didn’t know why, but something just kept telling me there was serious trouble waiting for me. I could feel it. I could sense it. The only problem was that I had no idea how it was going to hit me.
The following morning, I was starting to feel sleepy and drowsy. I didn’t sleep a wink all night but in the morning, I started to feel groggy in the head. It was a as a result of my lack of sufficient sleep. By the time mother came to wake me up, I was finally starting to doze off a little. But there was no time anymore for me to catch up on some sleep, it was time to do the house chores and head to the hospital to go get my test result.
By noon, when I was done cleaning the house, mother called me. I didn’t need a soothsayer to tell me what she wanted to tell me. I was actually hoping that, by some small chance, the old woman would forget. But I should’ve known better. My mother never joked with her children, especially when it came to the issue of their health.
“Rosemary, go and take your bath and go to the hospital,” she’d said to me. “Your father left some money on the table for you to get the medicines that they will prescribe for you. And if it’s not enough, when you come back I will give you money to add to it.”
I didn’t say anything. I could only nod in response. Mother noticed I was barely talking.
“Rosemary, are you alright? You’re sweating and you look tired,” she was touching my forehead.
“Em…I think it’s because I did not sleep very well, but I’m okay, mama, don’t worry,” I tried to reassure her, even though I knew it was a waste of time.
“You keep saying you’re okay when you’re definitely not okay,” the old woman quipped. “But don’t worry, you’ll be okay once they know the kind of fever that is troubling you.”
If only she knew the situation was not quite as straight forward as that. If only she knew I was in a bigger trouble than she could possible ever imagine.