Experience of patient undergoing laparoscopy in OAUTHC


MY STORY

Mr Chris

The saying that health is wealth was never lost on me right from the word go. So, when on that fateful day, I started feeling discomforting pain in my stomach, I went to a nearby chemist shop and complained to him. After listening to me, he gave me some drugs-------- cimetidine, paracetamol and mist mag. On further enquiry from the chemist on what could be responsible for this pain, he said it is ulcer. Pronto, I commenced the two weeks treatment and behold, the pain disappeared as early as on the second day, but still I completed the two weeks treatment.


The pain never reoccurs again until after several days, and whenever it reoccurs, I will just take a tablet of 400mg of cimetidine and I’ll be relieved. This continued in this way and I then noticed it has formed a pattern which perhaps I was oblivion of. I became allergic to certain food at certain period of the day, for instance, if I take tea in the morning or I take my breakfast very late, it’s certain that the pain will come and it can take as much as 6-7 hours to go. Likewise, if I take beans, tea, or any fried food in the evening or night.


I continued to manage the situation until I became very worried and concerned at the frequency of the pain.


JOURNEY TO INTERNATIONAL CLINIC, KANO

Sometimes in the month of February, 2003, I went to International clinic, Kano to see a doctor about this reoccurring stomach/abdomen pain. When I was ushered into the consulting room the, doctor- a middle age man with a soft mien and beards, slightly built and fair in complexion sat expectantly on his seat as I narrate my problem to him. After listening to me, he asked whether I have eaten any food item, at which I answered in the negative. He then asked me to lie on the dressing table as he poured a chill aqueous substance on my abdomen region. He then proceeded to roll on my abdomen region, a round shaped hand held machine while at the same time looking at a screen from what I later understood to be an ultrasound scan test. After the exercise which lasted for about 5mins, he printed out a result sheet from the machine which shows as he explained to me that I have peptic ulcer and a gall bladder stone of a size of 0.03g.


A one-month drug treatment was prescribed for me –omaprasol and gestide suspension. Pronto, I purchase the drugs, if only this could be the end of this nightmarish pain. I took the drugs diligently and even bought more when I completed the prescribed dose. My happiness knew no bound as the pained disappeared. So I can enjoy my normal life once again. No more being picky or selective on what to eat and when to eat it. I can feel the pain no more as I sip a cup of tea with bread that morning while carefully paying attention for any sign of the pain. There was none, so it seems for the next three months until the pain started reoccurring whenever I eat such foods that aggravate the problem.


This problem is beyond being ulcer, I concluded, since from my little research and interviews I conducted on ulcer patients, their description of the symptoms and telltale signs of ulcer is completely different from mine. Gradually, I started going back to cimetidine – being the only drug that always gives me relief whenever the pain reoccurs. But since my symptom is different from ulcer--- what could possibly be the name of the ailment?


The quest to know the name of this sickness remain a driving force as I have started to believe that I have been treating the wrong sickness, since a correct diagnose will lead to the application of the right treatment.


MY JOURNEY TO EBONYI STATE TEACHING HOSPITAL, ABAKILIKI
(NOW FEDERAL TEACHING HOSPITAL, ABAKILIKI.)

In 2005, I undertook a journey from kano to Ebonyi state to look for solution to this ailment. Like as I always console myself ----let’s try another hospital and probable another consultant whether something different will be found or ascribe to this ailment.


On that fateful morning as I was ushered in to see a doctor, sitting with routine of other doctors (about 8 student doctors I suppose) was a middle age woman, slightly graying in the right places. Armed with the ultrasound scan result I had done the previous day, I started narrating my problem to her. After I had finished, I was made to lie on the observation table as one of the doctors came forward while others watch with keen interest as he presses different sections of my abdomen asking whether I felt any pain at which I replied in the negative. The consultant who has been looking at the result in her hand told me that from the result in her hand that I am suffering from ulcer and gall stone disease.


She then prescribed some drugs and admonishes me to be taking large quantity of water as it has shown that with regular consumption of water, the stone could be flushed out. Armed with the prescription and instruction, I started taking the drugs and water for the three-week dosage. After spending about 2 months in Ebonyi, I returned back to kano. The relief was short-lived, as the pain resurfaced barely 4 months I finished the treatment. I have to revert back to the only drug which I know that always relief of the pain whenever it occurs--- cimetidine. So I continue to manage the situation by abstaining as much as possible from any foods or drinks that always aggravate the situation.


MY JOURNEY TO MODULAR CLINIC, KANO.

Sometime in the month of September, 2006 I went to modular clinic, kano to carry out scan test and perhaps to know the new size of the gall stone. At the reception desk, I was issued a card and booked to see the doctor immediately. When I was called in to see the doctor, I stepped in with optimistic relief that the right solution will be found. After pouring my heart out to him, the doctor took me to another room where he carried out an ultrasound scan test on me. Explaining the result to me, he says I am suffering from peptic ulcer and gall bladder stone of about 0.06g. He proceeded to tell me that I should continue with the ulcer treatment but for the gall stone, it is not yet a problem.


Unsatisfied and downcast, I left the clinic. At home I keep on pondering on the number of tests I have done and the doctor’s statements. Something in me keeps telling me that the right words have not been found for the problem and so the right treatment will keep on eluding me.


MY JOURNEY TO AMINU KANO TEACHING HOSPITAL, KANO

When there is life, there is hope so says a popular adage. I was determined to find a solution to this ailment since I still breathe and walk……..at least before it becomes an emergency.


And so by 5:30am on that fateful Friday 25th June 2008, because of the large number of patients that always come from different local government and neighboring states (after all kano state has 44 local governments) so the chances of seeing a doctor before 12pm is always brighten if you could secure front row in the queue.


By some minutes past 11am, I was sitting in Dr. Abdul’s consulting room. As I narrate my problem to him, he was nodding his head and at the same time jotting some only God knows what in my folder. After I was done, he asked me some relevant questions and proceeded to give me a paper containing some drugs prescriptions. In the prescription lists are Zentac, Gestide and one other drug I cannot recall now. I was given 4 weeks to come back for check up. I did not show up after the 4 weeks because as I felt then and rightly so, my problem was not addressed by the prescription. I continued to manage the problem by either taking cimetidine whenever the pain reoccurs or by abstaining as much as possible from foods and drinks that aggravate the problem.


The way this whole diagnostic results and drugs continue to be same; it is like this very ailment has defied every known medical solution. I was beginning to lose hope and as I continue to despair so was I equally begin to consider the earlier statement made by some of my relations that this ailment could have been poison or sickness inflicted by our enemies. This ailment continues to persist and cause me so much feverish that whenever I suffer the pain, I drastically lose weight. Yet, if I manage it very well I’ll look very healthy like any other healthy person around.


MY SECOND JOURNEY TO AMINU KANO TEACHING HOSPITAL KANO (AKTH)

I doubt if this second visit could have taken place if the chance discussion I had with Dr. Edwina Onyenekwe, my amiable youth corp friend cum medical doctor at Dutse, jigawa state in 2008 during my national youth service program did not take place.


I had come around at her quarters and we got discussing on different topics and when I discussed my health challenge to her, she was unequivocal that I should go to a teaching hospital and see a qualified consultant.


On November 2008, I was at Aminu kano teaching hospital to see a Doctor, this time it was Dr. Chima who attended to me. As I narrate my problem to him, he listens with apt attention. After I had finished, he gave ultrasound scan sheet he has filled to take to the Lab. At the ultrasound scan lab, I gave the paper to one of the lab personnel who after going through the sheet consulted the patient’s register book. He booked me on Wednesday 28th Jan. 2009. When I protested that the date is too far –almost 3 months. He calmly told me that all days are filled by patients who have been booked for same ultrasound scan and so there is nothing he could do, moreover, mine case is not yet an emergency.


I couldn’t wait for the day to reach. I was counting months, from months to weeks, weeks to days and finally 28th Jan. 2009. By 9:00am, I was seated at the waiting room which was already brimming with people. By 11:30am or so, the place was filled up. I was asking within myself whether all these people are here for same scan as I am and if so why can’t the management /government provide additional machines to cater for these large numbers. Some minutes past 1pm, my name was called. After the scan test, a result was printed and inserted in my folder but, my inquisitive mind wouldn’t allow me be. So I pleaded with them to allow me go through the result which they obliged. After going through the result—two words ringed bell in my ears ----cholelithiasis a new word I was hearing for the first time and the other one was that I noticed the size has slightly increased.


When the result was taken to the doctor, I was immediately referred to the specialty outpatient clinic. My next appointment was on 30th march 2009. Not quiet long I arrived in the waiting room, my folder was called. As I walked into the consulting room, so many thoughts were going through my mind----hope this ritual will bring forth drugs that will heal this ailment.


As I turn the handle of the door and step into the room, I quickly did a mental reconnaissance of the room, the consultant doctor who looks too young to my liking, probably in his mid 30’s was sitting with retinue of intern medical doctors of about 8 in numbers swarming around him. As I made my way to the only vacant chair, I offered my greetings which he answered and proceeded to ask----you are Chris at which I answered in the affirmative. Can you recall when this problem started, 7years ago I answered, 2001 to be precise.


You are suffering from cholelithiasis, a gall bladder related diseases which causes you pain especially when you eat fatty or oily foods and alcoholic drinks and bla….bla as he continue to describe accurately as possible the causative factors and symptoms of the disease. He then went ahead to tell me that there are two possible ways of treating the problem—open surgery and laparoscopic surgery ---a process whereby machine aided surgery is carried out. After considering the pro and con of each method, I chose the laparoscopic method, at which the doctor immediately filled a lab test form.


After two months, I was at the clinic again with the doctor and on his table was my folder with the lab result. From your lab result, you don’t have much challenge so; the surgery can proceed when you are ready. When I enquired about the financial requirement, the doctor gave a summary of the financial requirement that laparoscopic method will cost about N105,000 while open surgery is about N55,000.


Armed with this information, I took my leave from the room. Immediately I got home, I put a call to my parents intimating them of the recent development, and how a breakthrough has been found about this ailment. In earnest we started making arrangement towards getting the required sum of money for the surgery and equally, on how one of them will come to kano to be with me during the surgery.


On Friday, July 9th, 2010, I returned back to the hospital to fix the surgery date with the doctor. The date was fixed on Monday, 18th August 2010.


On the set date I arrived, the hospital with my mother who has come from the East on the previous day. As we sat expectantly in the waiting room discussing, not quiet long my name was called to see the consultant doctor. In high spirit, I walked into the room. Quietly and without any attachment of emotion the doctor informed me that, the surgery will not take place again as scheduled that one of the tools required for the surgery called endoscopic pin is not functional and, so until Coscharis company supply the equipment, there is nothing they could do. I left the room dejected, so many thoughts crossing my mind……..just when I thought the solution to this ailment has finally come. Well, God knows why things have to be this way as we console ourselves from the disappointment.


I continue to check back at the hospital. The last visit I had with the doctor was on Monday, 18th July 2011, and still the endoscopic pin remains unavailable one year after.


I relocated to the southeast in Jan. 2012 and continue in my quest for solution. Spurred by the knowledge that this my ailment now has a name and possible solutions, I started searching online on any hospital in Nigeria that performs laparoscopic surgery. In the course of my search, I came upon OAUTHC, I read through their rich site and their exploit on different fields of medical treatments.


Armed with the e-mail address I copied from the site, on 17th July, 2012, I sent them a mail detailing my health challenge and my intention to come over to OAUTHC if it actually performs surgery. So that is how their vibrant ICT department started exchanging mails which culminated in the CMD calling me on my phone line to assure me of the hospital capability in handling my case.


All through the period of 2012, I continue to exchange correspondence with the ICT department of OAUTHC either by mail or through phone calls, trying to fix a date that will be convenient for me and the consultant. This could not happen as incidence of strike by either health workers or Resident doctors keep on making us to reschedule the date.


But of remarkable importance was the interest the hospital showed to my case, as one of the ICT unit personnel in the hospital by the name Mr. Jike took it upon himself to see that my complaints are taken to the appropriate quarters.


Unknown to me that as I have been communicating with Mr. Jike through phone calls and e-mails as I described it in my mails I have been sending to them is being passed across to the consultant doctor in that field.


On Monday, 13th May 2013, I arrived the hospital with my cousin in preparatory for the surgery after undergoing a journey of about 8-9hours (from Afikpo, Ebonyi State to OAUTHC Ile Ife). Mr. Jike was on ground to receive us, with our bags still strapped at our back, he took us to the doctors’ common room to see the consultant doctor whom I am going to entrust my life with. As he ushered us into the room and made a brief introduction with one of the doctors in the room. As I look around the common room, all I could see were well fed men with phone ipad on their palms tapping and scrolling with causal attention. He motioned me towards the doctor who was probably in his mid or late thirties at most. As we exchange greetings, he reeled out challenges they are presently facing and his disappointment that the surgery will not hold---- that the hospital power generating plant has just packed up and the substation from public power supply got blown up some few weeks back. With these words he reschedules our meeting to the next day since clinic has closed.


On Tuesday 14th, May 2013 as early as 7:00am, I left my hotel room and by 7:30am, I was at the clinic in the hospital and watch with keen interest as the workers run up and down cleaning and setting up the offices for the commencement of the day job. What I witnessed for the period I stayed before I was called to see the doctor impressed me so much……I saw a remarkable clear departure from what is obtainable on how government workers perform their duty.


At the clinic with the doctor, the same doctor I met the previous day, I was taken aback because I felt that his age bracket may not be commensurate with the experience needed to handle my case. Nonetheless, I sat down and started in earnest to narrate the history of the sickness to him, after all a popular adage says that anyone who is ill and at the point of death does not care again which healing home or person that will make him well again.


When Dr. Adisa, as he introduced his name, opened his mouth to talk, what came out of his mouth shows a doctor with full grasp of the nature of the ailment. He continues to narrate in details the causative factors and the symptoms of the sickness. For the second time after my experience with the doctor at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, I felt at ease and relieved that I am at the right place with the right doctor. Due to the aforementioned problems yesterday with the power supply the hospital was presently passing through, we now had an understanding that before my next appointment, he has to certify it to ensure everything is functional. With that statement, we exchange phone numbers and depart back to East.


All through the year 2013, no date or day was feasible for me to come because it’s either the Resident doctors are on strike or the health workers down tools. In some cases the doctor would out of Nigeria for other engagement.


MY SECOND JOURNEY TO OAUTHC

On March, 2014, an agreed date was achieved for the surgery. So on Thursday 6th march 2014, I arrived OAUTHC with my junior brother for the surgery. Upon my arrival, I registered my presence with Dr. Adisa who immediately swung into action by issuing me all the test forms I’ll need to perform. To make my job easier, he always mark on top of the form VERY URGENT.


Mr Jike was very helpful, he took it upon himself to help me locate all the Labs I’ll be undergoing the tests. By 5:30pm, 7th March 2014, I had virtually undergone all the tests ranging from blood test, cardiology test, and urinalysis, abdominal scan, radiology, hematology etc. after completing all the tests and paying all the fees including Admin fee, I was given a bed at Male surgical ward.


All through the period I stepped into the hospital on that fateful Thursday 6th march 2014, a very remarkable impression was being registered in my mind in every section of the hospital units. All the staff I met in the course of undergoing one test or the other showed high level of professionalism and good conduct. They were very readily to assist provided it does not conflict with their work ethics. I never encountered any ethnic profiling or discrimination or preferential treatment from any unit, even in situation where they had an emergency case at hand, they will politely plead for your understanding for the patient to be attended before you.


The male surgical ward was the most interesting ward perhaps after the mother’s inn. Either I made it interesting to myself or they made it for me by the activities and actions of the nurses. At the ward, the matron reeled out to me the dos and the don’ts. I listened with confused attention. Chris Enya she called, you will remain in the ward till your surgery date on Monday 10th march. Everything you want will be brought to you by your brother or the nurse present will direct as appropriate. All your food will be brought to you at your bed. You’ll be shown the restroom and bathroom, and, if you are bathing warm water, it shall be provided. The Anesthesia, the psychologist, the doctor will be coming intermittently to check on you.


I retired to my bed after I have been served my supper. Everything was going on fine, as the nurses were always coming around to check my pulse, body temperature and heartbeat, and likewise the doctors until some minutes past 3pm on Saturday, 8th march. Being a football addict of the English Premiership, I was already restless on my bed and I knew taking permission from the matron won’t be granted, so I devised a means of fooling the nurses by pretending I want to ease myself at the restroom. After spending about two minutes at the restroom which seems like eternity, I sneaked out of the ward to the nearest football viewing centre. I returned back to the ward at about 8:30pm to meet angry look on the faces of the nurses on duty. Their anger was understandable since they had no knowledge of my whereabouts and therefore couldn’t account of my location despite being entrusted under their care.


As 10th March 2014, the d-day for the surgery draws near, I was becoming sober and reflective; what if I decide to go, after all I have not felt any pain or discomfort since I arrived the hospital and moreover, I looked more healthy and fit than most people including some of the caregivers. By 10pm on 9th march, I was given instruction not to take any food or fluid substance again as any breach will lead to the postponement of the surgery as the surgeons will need my abdomen to be empty and free from undigested food.


THE D-DAY, 10TH MARCH 2014

By 5:30am, I was woken up by one of the nurses accompanied with two other personnel who could be anything in the medical or paramedical profession. Your surgery will be taking place this morning, hope you are aware……..one of the nurses asked at which I answered in the affirmative.


The nurses with the nurse aids returned back again at 8:00am with a wheel stretcher, which I was made to lie on after changing my wears to the theater robe I was given. Immediately I was wheeled to the surgical waiting room, adjacent to it were doctor’s changing space. The doctors were now trickling in one after the other and in no distance time, the place was swarming with doctors. After sometime, I started hearing some muttering, I stood up from my bed and move about three steps so that I could hear clearly what the augments was. I am telling you that the quantity of diesel in the generator tank as reported by the engineer will be sufficient for the duration of the surgery which is about 4hours and more so, there is a well charged inverter on standby in the theater, I heard Dr. Adisa telling one of the persons there whom I guess was the physiotherapist. But the physiotherapist did not budge on his stand that he requires a minimum of 8 hours of uninterrupted power supply for post surgery recovering of the patient and, so, therefore, 4hours of light is grossly inadequate. As each argues their points, one of the doctors advised that the surgery should be delayed until sufficient diesel is made available.


With that statement, my consultant doctor, Dr. Adisa came to where I was to inform me about the delay, however, he reassure me that the surgery will definitely take place today once sufficient diesel is provided. After some minutes, the nurses came and wheeled me back to the ward. I was left there in the ward with no communication or information on the next line of action until 12noon when they came and took me back to the theater.


As I was being transferred to the surgical bed, I took a quick glance of the room. Hanging on the shelf like table beside my bed was a 15’’ television with other electronic accessories, a projecting lamp hung on the ceiling over my body, UPS system and surgical materials etc., immediately I sighted the inverter, I recalled the augments the doctors were having on the sufficiency of the diesel, after all the validity of science is predicated on the extent of its anticipation of the worst case scenario. For the fact that airplane have more than one engine is a component of the anticipation of the worst case scenario in its design and engineering.


Just as the doctors were getting ready, the anesthesiologist stepped in……..what did you say is your name, he asked; Chris Enya I replied; Chris he repeated and I guess he was trying to memorize the simpler of the two names. Chris, I am the anesthesiologist, I am going to give you an injection that will make you sleep…..you will feel some peppering sensation but never bother because it’s harmless. Do you take alcohol, sparingly I replied, where did you come from, Afikpo Ebonyi State I replied. I believed that’s the last word I uttered as I felt some pepperish sensation envelope my brain through my veins as I relapse into unconsciousness.


ROAD TO RECOVERY (LIFE AFTER DEATH

Chris.. Chris … Chris….. I was hearing my name from a distance yet I couldn’t utter a word.


Chris , chris can you hear me, can you hear us……oh yes I can hear you loud and clear, yet I found it extremely difficult to answer to their hearing. I was even hearing as the doctors where debating among themselves……… he should be awake by now one of them said. When I heard that statement, I summoned all the strength I could muster to either answer them or even move my body but all to no avail.


I try to cry so that tears can come out of my eyes all to show that I am still alive…….nothing. Panic gripped me, Oh God, I wailed within, please touch these people not to mistake me to have died and wheel me to the mortuary. Of course I don’t know whether there were an indication to show that I am still alive in the physical realm, but, all I knew is that from my sub consciousness I am alive and I was struggling with all my strength to talk or move any part of my body. Suffix to say that the level of effort I applied to indicate am alive, if it could be quantified is enough to push a parked car rolling.


Suddenly, I felt something vibrating my fingers and another was vibrating my mouth; I followed the rhythm of the vibrations. As the machine continue to vibrate my fingers and mouth, so, also was my strength returning to my body, and in no distance time, I heard my name being called…….Chris…….chris open your mouth…….can you hear us….. open your eyes……say something. I was still struggling to muster enough strength to say something, as I struggle so, also was my strength coming back. Chris ….chris…..yes I answered and so faint was my reply that I could barely hear myself but gradually my voice was becoming audible. As I opened my eyes, Dr. Adisa drew closer to me and asked whether am feeling any discomfort at which I complained to him that I am feeling some pain at my abdomen; he just smiled and assured me that it will soon go away. After some few minutes later, I was wheeled back to the ward at about 5pm or thereabout. I was very weak, the effect of the anesthesia, I guess has really taken a big toll on my body.


On Tuesday, 11th march, as early as 8:00am, Dr. Adisa came around, after exchanging greetings, how do you feel now, he asked; fine Doctor I replied. You will be discharged today and……No sir, I interrupted him, am too weak, I doubt I can undergo a journey of about 8hours I quipped. ….well if that’s the case you can leave on Wednesday, with that statement; I heaved a sign of relief. By 7:00am on Wednesday, I exchanged my last greetings for day with the nurses and people around as I depart the vicinity of the hospital to Ebonyi state. I could barely stand and walk upright because of the pain but to God be the glory, the journey back home was eventful.


APPRECIATION

The degree of love and care showered on you in your hours of need goes a long way to speedy your recovery processes. These I can testify because at OAUTHC, the staff were very professional as caregivers irrespective of the nature of the job details.


My sincere appreciation to MOTHERS’ INN for their tolerance despite our diversity. I enjoyed the bickering and the loud noises, it always have a way of jolting one’s consciousness that despite our diversity, we are still Nigerians.


The nurses were exceptionally good, pardon my inability to give their names but, I give it to them; their dedication to duty is unrivalled. They gave me reasons to do better in my workplace.


If only we can surrender our life and freedom totally to God the way we surrender to doctors when we are sick, this world would have been a paradise. This was said by one of my colleagues when they came to pay me post-successful surgery visit after I had narrated to them the scary moment I passed through at the recovery room. Intuitively, Dr. Adisa comes to my mind. The consultant surgeon, who brought his wealth of experience to the fore with accurate diagnoses of the problem. When I remember great men and women, who succumbed to the cold hand of death due to misdiagnosis, great people like Prof. Dora Akunyili, Chief Gani Fawehini, and so many others. He was exceptionally good and confident, even in making decision. I remained ever thankful to you Dr. Adisa for the way God used to treat me.

Dr. Aladesu, Dr. Jimoh and a host of others, thank you for the care and attention.


Mr. Jike…… oh my own Mr. Jike of the ICT department. You took off from the first correspondence and followed it up till the surgery and even post surgery. You crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s. Your humane and caring attitude is unparalleled. I lacked the appropriate words to qualify my sincere gratitude to you. Thanks so much.


On my bended knees, I exalt your holy name and declare your supremacy over all beings. You gave me the opportunity to live again and the chance to tell my storey. Thank you my GOD and my MAKER.