Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tragedy + Time = Comedy

Hola peeps. Odio ser enfermo.

As I type this I am scared to fart ‘cos been having runs like crazy. I know, I know I go on about doodling all the time but this time it is accompanied with intense headaches. Yup, symptoms of typhoid fever….and to top it off I have malaria as well. It’s weird but what I am mostly sad about is I am taking my first sick day since ever. I agree it’s better to rest than stress oneself at the office, but I’d rather rest on my own terms.

It all began about an hour before I left for the airport on Wednesday, when I suddenly developed massive headache and a fever. No one knows my body more than me and I knew stuff was awry but chose to play it off. Got to Lagos and for the first time in ages I headed to my mom’s room and slumped on her bed. She was obviously shocked that I’d wanna hang with her and asked what was wrong. Told her about my health and she heated up some pepper soup and got me some cold syrup. Slept like a baby and woke up Thursday morning feeling so fresh so clean. Her calls for me to visit the clinic fell on deaf ears ‘cos was feeling so fresh so clean.

Got macked up in a killer grey suit and black shirt combo and headed to the wedding of my school father from FGC Warri days. The guy got in touch about a month ago via Facebook - wherever else? – and told me he’d be arriving Nigeria – he’s based in the States – for his wedding. Now I haven’t seen the dude in about 11 years but the bond of boarding school ensured I’d do my utmost to make the wedding. The church ceremony was ace and had to introduce myself ‘cos dude couldn’t recognise me; guess some facial hair would do that. Then it was off to the reception and man, that place was packed! On a Thursday for goodness sake. The place sat at least 500 people but by the time I got to the venue there were no seats left. Not a problem, I stayed for an hour or so, said my goodbyes and headed to catch a movie. Actually plan was to gorge on movies every day of time in Lagos but as y’all will soon find out best laid plans of mice and Tunde…..aw, u know what I mean.

Caught HANCOCK and movie was aiight, nada spectacular just aiight. Afterwards relaxed at a bar until the Island traffic dissipated then drove home. Uh oh, headaches came back, but ignored them. Hoped they’d pass like the Nigerian government’s repeated claims to be doing something about the Niger Delta crisis or state of security or the power situation.

Lemme digress for a bit here. President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua u and ur advisers suck….big time. Come on dude, come on. No one forced u to take the job. If u ain’t sure what to do get help. I swear if I hear/read one more time about plans to resolve the power issue I’ll explode. Stop talking and act. This is disgraceful. There’s no power supply anywhere in the country and the dude’s taking forever just to remove the head of the planned Niger Delta summit that the Niger Deltans rejected. Is this dude clicked on at all? Woosah woosah.

So where was I? Yes, so I had a headache, but decided to sleep on it. Slept uncomfortably and woke up feeling even worse. Moved morning appointment, slept in for a while and made some calls about activities for later in the evening. Then about 11am my body temperature went through the roof, I started shivering like crazy. I knew this was a sign of malaria, but instead of going to the clinic I decided to tuck under the duvet and hope it’d pass. U can’t blame me peeps, apart from the normal stomach upset associated with my extra, extra sensitive stomach I haven’t been ill since forever. That’s what happens when u have abs this great, u feel invincible.

So fever’s up, head’s throbbing and nausea is setting in. Plus I start getting the runs. Good thang mom’s bathroom has a bidet and toilet bowl ’cos while anal orifice was planted on one my mouth was stretched over the other. At this point was hoping I’d develop elastic powers or something, but alas no dice. I didn’t know what to do, I balled up in a foetal position on the bathroom floor and prayed for death to come. Serious. The nausea was the worst of it. Eventually I forced myself to my knees and hoped, nah prayed, to throw up. Then it came. The retching, the jerky motions. Man, I thought my intestines were coming out. Observed regurgitated rice I had had at the wedding, popcorn from the cinema, oh and some blood for good measure. It continued on and off for a few hours ‘til I could take it no more and did what any responsible grown man would do: called mom. While talking to her I start throwing up again, and between fits of puking I asked her to send the driver to take me to the clinic.

An hour later driver showed up. Couldn’t move for the life of me. Was rushed to the closest clinic where good ol’ mom had informed them to expect an august patient. Told nurses my symptoms, was hooked up to an IV, and then slept off. Woke up to find mom by my side with the drip pack almost empty. Thank God, I was alive. Most of all the nausea was gone. Had some blood work done and was informed I’d get the results the next day. Was instructed to return early on Saturday for another IV and more injections. Damn, guess no trips to the cinema then.

Got home in a daze and nodded off. The next morning I felt much better and was eager to get the injections and drip so I’d catch a movie. Plan was to make up for day before by catching two movies. U know what I said about best laid plans? Glad u remembered. Anyways got to clinic and was informed blood work confirmed I have malaria and typhoid fever. What?! A perfect specimen like me? Malaria, maybe, but typhoid? Isn’t that supposed to be caused by drinking unclean water? I have only drunk bottled water since I moved to Warri. No problemo, let’s get the drip and injections in me so I can catch at least one movie.

Treatment took longer than expected but that wasn’t lowlight of the day. About 7pm just when I was gonna sneak outta the house body started itching like crazy. A sure sign that I had been given chloroquin or some form of quinine to treat my malaria. In my daze I remember telling the doctor that I react unfavourably to choloroquin and dude said he’d add some drug to prevent itching. Well, it didn’t work. In fact I swear it musta exacerbated the itching ‘cos this was worse than I remember as a kid. Tried to watch TV to take my mind off the itching but generator had to be turned off at 10pm ‘cos available diesel had been used up – see rant against Nigeria’s unperturbed president above.

I have stayed up all night before reading or watching TV but this is first time I haven’t shut an eyelid due to illness. I scratched and scratched but there was no relief. I had all night to think of my life and all the sins I had forgotten about. Prayed to God that I’d never mess up again and got a new found respect for Job. In fact I think I am gonna name my first kid Job (or Jobess?) to remind me of this experience.

Man, I scratched every part of my body but the worst itching was around the crutch area. Good thang I had trimmed fingernails few days before ‘cos I woulda been sore down there for days. I dabbed my body with talcum powder but that didn’t relieve nada. The itching was so bad and the night was so long I kept repeating Tragedy + Time = Comedy over and over again. I even thought of jokes I would tell about how Michael Jackson musta discovered that crotch grabbing move of his from accidentally downing a quinine derivative. Didn’t help.

Only God knows how I survived the night, but was at the clinic at the crack of dawn Sunday morning complaining about the itching. The nurse gave me some injection that would mollify the itching but didn’t work. (Even now two days after that jab my crotch itch is playing slight tricks on me.) Itching was so bad that day at the clinic that they had to move the IV five times ‘cos of veins swelling caused by my moving around. After I left the clinic I made up mind to return to Warri as was originally planned. Never thunk u’d see the day when I would rush from Lagos to Warri, but this was it. Main reason was to get pressure off my back for taking tablets. Let’s not even go into that. For some reason I never quite learned the act of swallowing tablets in my 31 years on this great planet.

Got to Lagos airport and couldn’t scratch down there in public so purchased a newspaper and tried to tacitly execute some scratch move, but then some attractive girl chose to take a seat beside me. Got on plane and moved to the back hoping for some privacy to do u know what, but of all the empty seats available some grandma chose a seat beside the guy with fever blister, unkempt facial hair, and nervous tic where he squeezes his thighs together every other minute. Man, it was torture.

Disembarked from plane and drove straight to the club clinic where I handed over my stash of drugs and narrated my tale of woe from Friday until present. Confessed to doctor my phobia for swallowing meds and asked if he would gimme some injection for the itching. He said only thang available was some steroid and that would be like “killing an ant with a hammer”. Didn’t care. I pleaded, grovelled that he’d put me outta my itching misery. Then I knew how Whitney Houston must feel everyday. No way am I gonna diss that junkie diva again.

Doctor acquiesced to request and handed me a form for some new blood work to be carried out the next day. But wait, there’s more. While driving to penthouse on one bum cheek it started pouring down like crazy so there I was pulling out luggage from car trunk, scratching crotch and trying to avoid getting wet. And they say men cannot multitask. Tsk.

Rushed up six flights of stairs, opened door and slumped on bed. Itching continued through the night and into next day. It’s only now, on Tuesday, that it’s subsided a li’l. ‘Cos of the itching I had to skip a day of performing at the club. Felt bad to let my clients down but didn’t wanna send the wrong message to those bored housewives by scratching crotch through out the performance. Besides, maybe if……..stop the press. Doctor just called with results of blood test. Apparently there’s no evidence of malaria or typhoid. Huh? How do u explain the nausea, the headaches, the puking? I can only think of three things: (a) I have become allergic to Lagos, (b) my suspicions about being on my own Truman Show are being proved true, or (c) I am a mutant, the forgotten member of the X-Men whose special power is being the first man to experience symptoms of pregnancy. Either way I am mad as heck and not gonna take this anymore. Before I rack my brain on nefarious schemes to get even with u viewers of my reality show – yes, I think I am going with option (b) – I am gonna take clothes off and pour talcum powder on, ahem, certain regions of my anatomy. Y’all viewers might wanna send ur kids to do their homework now……not u Nigerian viewers, seeing as ur teachers are on strike and ur government is doing its useless best not to care.

Tot ziens and God bless.

Comments-[ comments.]