Of being an addict – Late 2021
Before the end of October 2021, I was already anemic but of course, I didn’t know that was what I was. Just that out of nowhere, I developed a thing for chewing ice. There’s this woman who sells drinks adjacent my compound who I went to every day and paid in advance for at least 5 iced pure water sachets. Some days, we did up to seven or eight. I became her regular ice customer that if I didn’t go there early enough, she and her children would keep a few for me because according to her, she didn’t like how sad I got whenever I was told there was no ice again.
This one time, the light in my area spoilt and I remember always flying bike to the major bus stop before my house to buy ice from those traffic vendors. They never failed. I’d buy iced bottle water, cut the bottle with a scissor and happily chew away.
Whenever I visited a club, bar or restaurants, I would offer the waiter an extra tip to keep supplying me with ice cubes. You needed to have seen me with ice. Good Lord! My face would light up, my grin wider and I would become even bubblier than anyone could have imagined humanly possible. Picture me humming and bumping my head like a little child who has just been given a pack of her favourite candy or told she’s going to Disneyland. That’s it!
The absence of ice meant I couldn’t concentrate on anything. On set, my Production Assistants knew to always buy ice for me whenever they ran errands. Peeps thought it was just cruise. Heck, I thought so too!
Soon enough, ice alone wasn’t cutting it. I needed more. Needed to find something stronger for the weird cravings. This was when I remembered the strong Ijebu garri my aunty gave me the last time I was home. A pinch of that garri in your mouth would slap your brain. No jokes. That was exactly what I needed. Chewing garri became my new thing, in addition to ice. I would carry the garri container under my armpit around my apartment, mostly naked, either eating it with my favourite red plastic spoon or bare hands. Whenever I went on set, I carried some with me.
When that stash finished, I thought my world would end because, for the life of me, I couldn’t find such good garri in Lagos. I was flat-out miserable.
Left with little choice, I turned to those extremely dry cream crackers in yellow nylon. Not much help there –far from the
dopamine in my original garri (it’s actually called hydrocyanic acid but dopamine has a better ring to it 😂) and the chills from ice. At times, just putting a stainless steel spoon in my mouth helped.
Then came January 2022 when I first noticed my appetency for dry sand/dust. I’m talking dry, brown, dusty sand. There was something about the dustiness of any brown sand I laid my eyes upon that promised pure bliss. Knowing I couldn’t eat sand, I settled for removing my shoes and digging my feet into any pile of dry sand I saw and staying in it until the rush passed.
Yo, I’m not even making these things up, guys! I was an addict!
What he said that made me cry – February 2022
Now, I never thought for once that this addiction could be in anyway related to my issue of blood, which meant I did not mention it to my doctor. However, as I said in the previous post, I lost my cool after the doctor suggested placing me on contraceptives. This was already four months into the continuous bleeding, and I decided enough was enough; time to sought another opinion, and this time, I took the public hospital route.
Let me state here that other than the fact that it was cheaper and I was correctly diagnosed within a week, my experience with the public healthcare system in Nigeria was quite distasteful. Not to worry, I’ll spare you the dirty details but one. This one is a must share.
The physician I met with at the general hospital prescribed a couple of blood and urine tests, and an ultrasound. At the ultrasound, the radiographer asked if I was a virgin. That question threw me off balance because eeerm… what are we selling here, right?
“Do you need that information for the scan?” I asked in genuine wonder.
“Not exactly but the last time you had sex will help me interpret this scan better”. Maybe that somehow makes sense, I thought.
“I’ve never been sexually active”.
“So you want me to believe that as sexy as you are you have never had sex?”
There was something about the way he said the word ‘sexy’ and looked at me that was very unprofessional and made me uncomfortable.
Here’s a picture of what that moment looked like…
I was lying down on the table/bed with my dress was rolled up high to my bust line, while my pant was pulled down enough to reveal a good part of my freshly shaved pubic region. There was that cold gel (ecovue) on my body and he was working the transducer up and about me when he asked that. Yeah, exactly!
I felt seen. Exposed. Naked.
Because how the heck was he asking me with such question, in that tone, and with that kind of look in a moment as that? Him don kuku see me finish, abi?
“If you keep lying to me about being a virgin then I’m afraid I may not be able to help you”. That 30-plus he-goat! “I don’t have sex, Sir”. The Yoruba girl in me was still trying to be polite. Sometimes sef I can act like mumu because what the friggin’ hell was that sir for, ehn? Mtcheew!
Clearly he wasn’t done prodding because he further asked, “So where is your fiancé and why are you guys not married yet?”
“Boyfriend; I have a boyfriend not fiancé, and he’s not in the country”.
See what I mean? Swears, I’m beginning to believe I must have fallen on my head as a child. Because tell me, why was I answering him gan gan? I feel like giving myself a hard pinch right now because whaaaatttt?! 🤦🏼♀️
“Am I waiting to collect the result?” “Yes, you will collect it and take it back to the doctor”. He scribbled away on the form.
“So how come your boyfriend travelled out without proposing or even doing small wedding so you can go and join him? Abi you’re one of those girl that do plenty shakara? At your age and with what I’m seeing on this scan, you should not be doing shakara o. I know if you have done normal now, he would have just married and gotten you pregnant before he left”.
Okay, that’s it, Miss Flowery! 🙄 How much more rubbish can you possibly stomach, girl? Walahi, this is why I’m a good Cast Chaperone. I have the thick skin to take people’s BS. You literally have to poke my eyes first before I bite you because… what’s all these??? 😩😩 How come I never punched his ugly face? HOW?!
Instead… I was waiting for him to finish so I could bolt out of there, but mercy said no. “You don’t want to answer abi? I’ll just advice you to tell him to come back and marry you or get you pregnant because you’re no longer a child and you shouldn’t be doing shakara with men with this thing you’re going through here”.
The hairs at the back of my neck stood at attention instantly.
“Well, you’re supposed to wait for the doctor to give you a proper diagnosis but from what I’m seeing here, you have plenty fibroids and I think it might be hard for you to get pregnant especially if you don’t do it fast, like within the next six months. This is why we tell young ladies, especially fine ones like…” I blanked out. Don’t know for how long but I came to when I felt this annoying man holding me in a tight hug.
Huh? Why is this goat hugging me?
I pushed him away and only then did I realize I’d been crying.
“You can take a minute before going outside so that people don’t ask you what’s wrong”. He offered.
Right. Something was wrong with me.
I mean, it wasn’t exactly news as I’ve had my suspicions (and hello there, Blood Girl, right?) but something about the words he said stung. This one time, the late-marriage shaming struck a nerve and it hurt so bad that I cried in front of a goat.
February 11, 2022
This was the day I was officially diagnosed with multiple uterine leiomyorous.
In the doctor’s words, “Ah, fibroid o po”. (Meaning you have multiple fibroids). This she said clicking her tongue with a pitiful shake of her head.
In the concluding part of this bittersweet story of mine, I’ll tell you how I died during surgery.