Don’t Argue With Doctors

Somebody told me I should argue with doctors. Some of our doctors in beloved Bongo, you would not just want to argue with them but fight them too. Yaani wee acha tu!

Basi bwana, I have been dropping like a fly of late. Even this huge ATM has not been able to hold me up. Or maybe it’s the weight that has been dragging me down. I will have to look into that.

Anyway, so the other night I was with good old shoga Sia, as usual we had been clubs hopping – when we party, we party hard. So we get to Arabella’s and suddenly yours truly sight gets blurry.

“You haven’t been drinking Gongo, have you?” one of the little people in my head asked.

Jamani, haven’t we been together all this while? When did I take Gongo, I wondered? And when did I start going so el-cheapo and el-dangerouso?!

“Ooh, kalogwa!” Another one chirped in.

“Food poisoning! Yule waitress alikuwa anamuangalia vibaya! I tell you it’s her!”

While the clan of Einstens were trying to figure out what was causing my sudden fainting spells, I started sweating buckets! Though I was seated I started swaying. Schitt was scaring, but since I had been drinking, I didn’t want to look like a drunk so I tried to put on a brave face. But the feeling was so intense I had to lay me head on the table.

The next day I went to the hospital. Shoga Sia and I thought it was food poisoning, after being convinced my Little Person No. 3.

Told the doctor my case, he listened and just dismissed me with, “maybe you had had one too many.”

“No, I didn’t!” I argued. “How can one get drunk on wine?”

The doctor looked at me as if I was a raving lunatic. I’m pretty sure he was convinced that I was still drunk from whatever lethal portion that had me swaying like a tattered flag and had me believing me the waitress had spiked my drink, ati because the potential buzi – to her – on the next table was eyeing me. So I left the hospital with no satisfactory answer. Life went on.

A few weeks later, a friend’s daughter had a birthday party. Whether it’s a kid’s birthday or what, there is always a good excuse for the grown ups to get together and drink. Drinks were flowing. There was no SoCo for yours truly, but her second favourite Absolut Vodka was there. Mmmh, the drink was smooth. Yaani wee acha tu! The friend, I call her, dada Julie, out of respect as she is a few years older than me, has a lovely garden. Sasa imagine that evening cool breeze, happy giggles of content children around you, the love and laughter of good friends around you.

That happy mood didn’t last though. Suddenly my eye sight was blurry. Everything just went dark. For a minute, I thought the little people in my head were playing a nasty trick on me – as usual – and had switched of the spot lights in my head. Yeah, I have spot lights. With no dimmer switches even. Then I started sweating profusely! It was a cool evening and there was a breeze. Dada Julie, who is a doctor was a bit concerned.

The kids thought it funny tough. I am sure they even made up a song for it. I’m pretty sure it went like this …

Aunt Sandra and Absolut
Sitting under a tree
K-I-S-S-I-N-G
First comes slurness
Then comes blurriness

Don’t you dare start!

The next day dada Julie urged me to go see a doctor. I went to my GP. Yap, the one who was convinced the other day that I was a raving lunatic. I was tested for malaria, which came out negative and that was it. Again I left not satisfied. I wanted more tests, but he didn’t know what to test for.

A few days later, while at work, the same symptoms appeared. I was rushed to the hospital, as this time it was worse than the first two times. I hadn’t been drinking, so I wondered what the doctor was going to say now. After yet another malaria test, I was tested for blood sugar. Boy, was it low! Immediately I was put on a drip. And another one.

A few times, this happened. My blood sugar would drop out of nowhere. I went back to the doctor and demanded they did a serious check up. I mean there must be something that triggers it, right?

“Mimi nadhani ni …”

“Aah,” I lifted my right hand dismissing him, “I don’t want nadhani. I don’t want guessing games. This is my health we are talking about! I want to know for sure what it is that is causing this!”

Then I was prescribed a few more tests. Yes, after demanding for them! Most of the tests came back sparkling clean! One test – ECG – showed that my left ventricule – of my heart – was enlarged. I was pumped so much medication, I reeked it! I was so happy to finish my dosage as I hate medication. I don’t hate it for its bitterness, I hate it for its after effects – a few years down the line.

So I was more than shocked when again, I almost fainted again at work. I thought the blood sugar was under control now. I mean, it’s not like I was diabetic – thanks God – I have a low blood sugar problem that can be controlled and treated. I had to but the little blood sugar testing gadget, and when I tested, the level was okay. Okay, this was not on! When I was strong enough, I matched to the hospital.

“It must be the heart then!” The doctor was quick to answer. He was with another doctor.

“What should we do now?”

Did I just hear that? These guys are kidding me, right?

“What are you writing?” I asked my GP as he started writing something on the prescription sheet.

“Erm, I’m prescribing something for you to take,” he replied as he gave me the are-you-blonde look.

“What for?”

“Your state.” Duuh!

“And what state might that be?”

He then looked at his partner.

“What are you treating now?”

“We think, it might be …”

“I don’t want we think! I want to know for sure!”

“But you know … you have to take this medication over a period of time … to treat the heart of problem.”

“You never told me that!”

“Well, I must have forgotten!”

Oh dear sweet God, help me I don’t start kicking some asses right here and now.

“I want to see a specialist,” I demanded. “Please refer me to one.” Because by God, I didn’t want to face these two again!

“So who should we refer her to?” Beaver and Butthead were at it again! Groan, I couldn’t believe it! Holy Christ on a stolen donkey, they are doctors! Surely they will know of specialists!

“Erm, how about Professor Matuja?” Beaver suggested.

“I thought he was a neurologist?” I asked.

“Yes, but he is a professor.”

I raised my right eyebrow. “So?”

“Well, he had to study everything before becoming a professor. He will know about the heart.”

I wanted to scream. I wanted to scream and then bang their heads together.

“Doctor,” I spoke very slowly. Now I knew why wazungu speak slowly when speaking English to non-English speaker. “I said I wanted a specialist. A S-P-E-C-I-A-L-I-S-T! I don’t want someone who wrote about the heart as part of his thesis!”

No disrespect intended to the great Professor Matuja – who really is excellent – but I was pissed, sick and tired. Beaver and Butthead put their heads together again. Tick-tock-one-two-tick-tock-three-four. Time was just ticking and there was no answer. I got my phone and called dada Julie and then a colleague who has a heart problem. Both suggested I should see a Dr. Masau at the Tanzania Heart Institute. I left, leaving Beaver and Butthead still trying to figure out why Prof. Matuja is not good enough as a heart specialist.

I got an appointment to see Dr. Masau the next day. To make the long story short, he asked me to do all the tests again. Mi Mchagga bwana, so naturally I cursed when I thought of the ka-ching ka-ching I would have to part with. So there I was half naked infront of an Iranian cardiologist who thought I was “kubwa but nice” doing an ECG and ECHO test. The kubwa but nice statement was not the shocker. The shocker was when he said my heart was okay! Infact as strong as a bull’s!

“It can’t be! I have the x-ray’s and reports here!”

“Bring. I see,” he replied. “Computer no lie. I take from here. See, Okay! You normal. Average.”

After I had dressed and as he was writing down his findings I rushed to Dr. Masau’s office to get the reports I had come with.

“This radiologist. He know nothing about heart. Radiologist test you!” he chuckled.

Okay, so atleast this comes as a joke to someone.

“Yes, fine he is a radiologist. But how about the findings?”

“See here? 47 normal. Is average,” he was now showing me a chart.

Have we become so greedy that we only think of selling and don’t care about the next person’s life? Imagine the effects all those strong medications are going to have to me in the long run? Or is it carelessness? I was so shocked when I heard that some doctors overdosed and killed their colleague! Kwahiyo siyo sisi tu wananchi kumbe. I once asked if there was a body somewhere where such malpractice can be reported – and I was replied, or rather I was asked “can a mad person find fault in another mad person?”

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~ by saharasoulfood on December 9, 2006.

4 Responses to “Don’t Argue With Doctors”

  1. What a ride! Mmmh. Worth a thought that. This ATM business needs a bit of extra-curricular activity though methinks. A pair of sneakers, tracksuit bottoms and several laps round a track ought to do it. Better yet, how about finding a pair of 8 ounce gloves and having a go at a heavy bag. Just put a doctor’s face on the bag.

  2. Those symptoms surely sounnd like low blood levels, walk around with candy bars or something…
    Beaver and butthead?that’s a good one! they must be young chaps, si you know practice maketh perfect, they are in the process of gaining experience. In the mean time, someone has to be their guinea pig :-), myt help you in 20 yr’s time when your blood vessels start to get clogged up

  3. I’m quite happy with my ATM, Sulubu. Very proud of it, as a matter of fact. Infact I believe I wouldn’t be me without my ATM. Like Michael Jackson without his glove. Or Don King without his big hairdo.
    … adds character and damn does it add character!

  4. Thanks for sharing this information. Really is pack with new knowledge. Keep them coming.

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