Wednesday, June 29, 2005

NAFCON, Onne: Orthopaedic Life

Initially, I felt nothing, like one in a trance. Only my mind stirred. The rest of me was either in a bind or did not exist. Then the stiffness; unable to turn my head this way or that. What's going on? Gradually I became aware of my surroundings. I was lying down, somewhere. Faintly, I could hear voices; very distant. Then I drifted off.

Again the voices, this time a little closer. Again I stirred.
Did someone just try to call me?
O tete go, I heard someone say. He is awake.
In a minute I began to observe some faces. Joe, my uncle. Ugo, my brother. Amaka too. And others. Where was I then? And how long have I been here? I remembered PAMO Clinic. That was Port Harcourt. Then I remembered the trip in the NAFCON ambulance. Now where were the people that brought me to Enugu? Ugo leaned closer to me. He was like,
Nnaa we've been worried about you. We thought you'd never wake up. You've been here for three days!
'Three days!!'
They had to keep you here because there was no bed available in the Private Ward. But you'll be moving today. A patient got discharged yesterday and they've prepared the bed for you. We are just waiting for the ambulance.
'Private Ward?'
What did all that mean? Then I noticed that my right hand, my injured hand, was wrapped in heavy bandages and was hanging on a metal crossbar that formed part of my bed. A plastic tube led from my left hand to two plastic bags also hanging on the metal bar. Drip. Blood. Transfusion. I felt nothing; my body still did not exist. I also noticed that there were others like me, some were hung by their legs. Patients. Hmmm.
There're people outside waiting to see you, Ugo continued. The nurses are not allowing them inside. The news has travelled fast. We are all in shock!
That statement defined the state of my family at this hour.

It used to be known as Emperor Haile Selasie Medical Hospital...(continues)

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