Mum’s sickness couldn’t hold on to the comfort of the home anymore due to her critical condition. As a family , we intentional packed up so she could be admitted into the hospital for her health to be examined.
This plan actually made me to have a deep taught of how to spend the night in the health center. This occurred Because the night would make up my second time after 20 years. I don’t really hold a memory of when I last spent my night in the health center but I know I was of a young age.
Arriving the hospital opened up a scene that was strange and bizzaire at the same time. It felt I was scuffling with life itself. Mum was admitted into one of the wards and the scene became more real. At first, I realized that while we party and have a good time outskirts , there are so many individuals in different wards of the hospital pleading with God to just have a glimpse of the next day.
Spending days in the ward made me have access to the life situations of these patients and the effect of their health on their loved ones. The ward harboured about 17 patients and each bed side had a chair for caretakers.
Entering the female ward, My first sight captured a lady in Coma, she was supported with an oxygen and had her loved ones surrounding her. She looked lifeless although one could hear her heavy grasp for breath. Day in Day out and sometimes throughout the night, the Lady is prayed upon by her pastors, siblings and children for God’s intervention.
After spending five days in the hospital, she actually gave up the ghost despite the fervent mid night prayers her sister did for her to survive . Tears of her loved ones was heart wrenching, we all folded our arms as we watched the nurse dressed the deceased and eventually rolling her out to the morgue.
Another scenerio was a particular lady who had her body all pail and lean. Her skeleton bones had an affair with the reality and her speech was impeded due to stroke on her osophagus organ. Her two children were in pool of tears because their mom’s situation looked hopeless. After planning to take their mom to a native doctor the next day, she gave up the ghost at midnight. All hell was let loose, they summon up courage to pack Mama’s belongings to deposit her body at the morgue.
A voice of another lady distracted me, she has been crippled for weeks by a severe typhoid sickness. According to her Sister, the patient just came back from a major surgery and the traumatizing situation has contributed immensely to her current predicament and this started a day before Christmas and the New Year celebration met them at the corner of the ward.
She is so hyperactive due to her ability to vocalize her pains in such a way that caused nuisance in the ward. This includes heap of insults on the siblings which had a way of causing a torn on their fleshes. Regardless of her uncontrollable parrotic trait, the siblings especially the first and last siblings stayed with her. It was not an easy smooth road for these two guardian angels but they sacrificed their businesses and family to be with their sister.
Another patient has her husband spending the nights with her and just making sure she is okay with her tube attached to her bedside. Early in the morning, he is seen watching the plates, discarding the wastes in the urine pack, bathing and feeding her. Some afternoons, he takes her outside to create an intimate moment. They are seen sitting next to each other as a couple who just got married. But they are either in their 50s or 60s.
A Teenager was also caught in this web scene, her mother, an AIDS patient was in excruciating pains and her skin had become reptile in nature , so rough and fragmented. She is all skinny and her young self had become an aged woman in her 80s. Ruth didn’t only have her son as her caretaker, even her mother sacrificed her time to clean her up eventhough most times she still left unkempt due to her son’s inability to keep her clean.
Even a child at the age of 11, was caught up in this life situation too. Wakes up every morning to clean a woman whose body weight is a thousand of hers. She was entrusted with a lady who had her legs all swollen up, her chubbiness must have given the child a lesson of a lifetime. Amidst this, the girl child managed to cope with the situation.
Grace is another patient who also has her urine pack attached to her bedside due to her critical health condition. She has a son, a final year student who relied on his friends to give him update in school. He said he now attends lectures online through his classmates. He revealed that in two months he has witnessed ten persons take a troll to their early graves and the feeling scotches his heart.
Grace’s son is so kind to sacrificed his studies to clean her mum up all day and night, wakes up at night to shield her from the gruesome cold . Makes effort to discard her wastes every morning and evenings, refreshes her body too to keep her hygien intact. He has been through her mom’s health Journey for months, including the Christmas and New Year but in all, his smile is still intact.
Another teenager had to let go of her school to assist her mom in the ward. Mary, an SSS 1 student became the mum’s everything, her eyes, legs, strength, energy and overall supporting system. Carefully, she makes sure the mom eats, have her bath and other relevant activities were made easy because Mary was just there as a Pillar, not only to her mom but also to other patients who needed an assistant.
A beautiful girl who had hearing impairment was also seen in the scene feeding the grand mother. Communicating with others was difficult but somehow she coped with the life situation she found herself. Guess what! She was my friend…Most times she communicated with me, I had no idea what she was saying…I just saw myself responding sheepishly with a smile.
Unfortunately, there was a loner patient in the building, she didn’t really have anyone visiting her, she was dependent on other patients’ caretakers. She couldn’t walk properly because she suffered stroke and her body were covered with rashes and her head was so diseased. But regardless of her situation, Mama tried every morning to go to the rest room by herself, little by little, do her daily chores eventhough her knees were aching.
One female with an endowed black skin was just uttering sounds. Her case was similar to others…Their pain of agony was a clear definition that health is indeed, wealth.
Several others were just sickly attached to their beds with strips of drips and cartoon of drugs decorating their bed sides. Besides these patients, were husbands, daughters, sons, and perhaps brothers , sisters and a family member to serve as their bone marrow.
I also had an encounter with a sales boy whose mother was a security guard. The boy who sold eggs actually was so nice and served as a guardian angel to places I needed to be. He had a broken fracture on his arm but this didn’t deter his smiles that were like rays of the sun. He just glowed my day amidst the unfortunate scenario, all he needed was money to complete his treatment which I graciously gave out.
A girl also confided in me on how she was maltreated in a home where she is serving as a house help. Although her guardian is an aunt, she decried or bemoaned how she was vocally and economically abused. Her tear droplets .
There were some corner of the wards that family members listened to messages from men of God. They prayed intensely seeking for God’s intervention.
Amidst these , there was a glimpse of happy moment when a lady who declared herself as a political leader just illuminated our hearts with her funny gestures. Her mind was no longer in the hospital, her priority was how she can participate in the forthcoming general elections. She was the most healthy among the patients. This Madam was so hyperactive and adorable.
she was encountered many scenes , some emotional while other plots just played the reflection of jolly good fellow of humanity.
Spending nights in the hospital actually broadened my mind on what people go through on daily basis. There are moments when life makes your journey full of grace but there are darker days where the road is filled with thornes and they delightfully tore off your fairy tale dreams and plans. These patients especially the caretakers had their reflection of the ups and downs of life.
As a caretaker to my mum, I really related to the life experiences of other caretakers who had their loved ones caged by sickness. We all came together to form a Community where we supported one another. We petted the shoulders of those who lost their loved ones and sympathize with others who had their loved ones in a critical condition. We became one happy family.
There are some nights in the hospital , we had to stay awake to protect our family members on the sick bed. There are most nights we have to look for where to sleep because the hospital only make provision for only the patients. We always pray that a patient should be discharged so at least we have a bed to lie on…some times our prayers are answered but some days, our prayers seemed to encounter a huge mountain.
I got to know as a caretaker, that there are prices caretakers pay to be in a hospital to take care of a sick person. Not only letting go of the important aspects of your life, the phase can also be traumatizing too because you get to watch people suffer from their illness as well as watch people die in your very eyes.
In all, we thank God for good health
© Mercy Obot