HIV: The Care and The Caregiver (Cont)

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( I’m a bit ill- been ill since Monday or so. Nothing major, hopefully; the tests show malaria. The drugs I have been given are not helping matters though; Coartem. They tend to make me woozy and weak. Added to that I am not eating well. I have no appetite so that makes it worse with the medication. I am actually trying to explain why this will be a short post and why I will cut to the chase.)

Bear in mind that my primary purpose of going to that public hospital (BTW it is called Lagos Island Maternity Hospital) was to get an affordable Caesarean Section. Like I said earlier, I still believed that it was necessary for me to undergo the surgery, and there was a part of me that was terrified of natural delivery.
I made my request for CS known to my new doctor along with a scan result which showed I had a fibroid. He was all in favour of doing whatever I wanted- I still believe he was smitten by me- but he had to speak with the consultant. The Consultant then explained a ew things to him which he relayed to me:
1. Being HIV+ is not a mandate to have a CS. 
2. Having a CS does not drastically reduce the risk of mother-child transmission of the virus as the CS has only a 6% advantage over a natural delivery
3. A CS is a major operation with high risks and in some cases severe reactions (to drugs and other things) 
He then asked me if I was sure that was still what I wanted to do. I answered in the affirmative. he went in to see the consultant and then came out to tell me that I had to check my CD4 count and my viral load. He pointed me in the direction of the general hospital, a few blocks away, across the street. He wasn’t sure but he thought I should check there.
Then, I had never done any HIV-related test other than the main test for the virus so I thought it might be another short blood scan. Unfortunately, the hospital I was sent to didn’t carry out the test there but at a much farther branch, it took 2 weeks to get the result, and it cost about 14000 naira ( about $93 then). I had neither the money nor the time, because I was very past my due date according to the scheduled CS, and well within  ‘term’. When I  went back and told the doctor he told me to come back that Sunday and be booked for surgery against Monday.

(To Be Continued)

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11 responses »

  1. hi joiedevivre,i'm sorry you're sick. it must be hard to feel woozy, weak, and care for a toddler. i am reading all your blog posts. every word. just wanted you to know.

  2. Hey Asha,Thanks for the comment, it means a lot to me. Yes, it is difficult to look after my child and be ill at the same time, and I admit I have been quite impatient with her. But thank God I have my mum. she helped me out when the illness was at its worst. Thanks a lot

  3. My blog is hibernating for now. Will put it back on after d semester is over or after my board exam in June. Too much of a distraction right now. I still can't help myself as I am still reading blogs but just a few and not often so its not as bad.

  4. Hi. I just finished reading all your posts and I am perplexed by your story. You have emerged from what appeared to be the most catastrophic of circumstances standing on your feet. What I find to be even more intriguing is the fact that you are still fighting, still believing and still hoping for a better day. You are truly a soldier's soldier and a symbol of genuine strength. What you have been through has broken the toughest of human beings. The fact that you still live and hope for a better day is a testament to the fact that humans can rise above any challenge, no matter how tragic. I salute you and I say well done.

  5. Wow! Owi, your comment gave me goosebumps and made me cry at the same time. I know I have been through a lot but I am 'standing' only because I was built to stand.Like I said earlier, I believe everything happens that SHOULD happen to us. And I realise that I am here to help other people go through anything similar, or avoid making my mistakes. And if I have helped even one person, then there has been a brighter day.Thank you so much for your words. I know I will read and reread them because they fire me up.

  6. Hello OwiNo, I have not got a permanent job yet as of today. That's the dark cloud in my horizon. And it's not for lack of trying. Also the freelance gigs have been few and far between – very far between. I believe my relocation is quite the hindrance. It's one thing that really makes me feel bad because one of the most difficult things for someone like me is going from fierce independence to dependence on charity. But who knows, tomorrow the song is likely to be different. I have begun to get positive feedback on 2 job openings so fingers crossed. Thanks for asking.Hi Jemima,I am feeling much better, thanks for asking. Great to know you're around.

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