( 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)