I did the test and immediately the results came in, my GP, Dr Jones called me and told me I had to go have a blood transfusion as a matter of urgency. And so, it was that I went to the hospital. They were amazed that I was still walking around. The man in the next room had the same iron level as I had and he was almost comatose. But I was walking around. Faint and weary and weak, yes, but still, I was walking around with so little iron in my blood. I was given a blood transfusion and put on iron tablets later. The problem with iron tablets is this – it makes me constipated and also nauseous. I hate taking them and researched into other means of topping up my iron levels. Fresh Ugwu is good but I don’t have it readily available. Liver is very good, especially chicken liver. Which reminds me, I always wonder how come chickens have so much iron in their liver. They eat rubbish ke. Once, I brought out some chicken livers from the freezer and put it in the fridge to thaw it. I forgot about it for a few days. When I remembered and opened it, PHEW! The smell of iron literally hit me. And almost metaphorically too. How do chickens get to have so much iron? I still wonder.
After the blood transfusion, I knew that having the fibroid removed was no longer an option. It was now a necessity. A few months earlier, I had had to go to the hospital for something that was not even about my female bits. The consultant took one look at my tummy and demanded that I had to have surgery to remove the fibroid and he would recommended that to my GP in his report. I told him in a polite manner to ‘sogba e’ – mind your business but still, he went on to recommend the removal of the fibroid. And he is not even an Obstetrician o. But I still refused to have the surgery. But with the development of the blood transfusion, it was no longer an option. I had to have the surgery or continue being anaemic.
I researched alternatives to the surgery. When I saw the consultant at Darenth Valley Hospital, he kept insisting that the fibroid was too big to be shrunk. He said it was the size of a 6-month gestation. No wonder my planks and sit ups were not working anymore. My tummy is big. I have backaches – the type I had when I was pregnant with Tobi. I can no longer wear nice clothes, can no longer s:uck my tummy in, have to wear elasticated skirts and trousers. At night, I have to wake up every 90 minutes to change. I’m constantly tired, short of breath. I knew I could not continue like that. But I kept remembering May Ellen Ezekiel, Mofe Damijo’s wife. She had died from complications of the fibroid surgery. The consultant said that I would need to have a hysterectomy, that was how big the fibroid was. I said I don’t care, but I was not going under general anaesthesia. I just had a fear that my enemy (not me. I am Yoruba. Bad things don’t happen to us. It always happens to our enemies) would not wake up. The consultant and his registrar told me the figures. It was a tiny number that die from the surgery. Thank you. These small number were human beings no? I told them that I had read up on new ways of non-invasive methods but they kept pushing the invasive methods on me. At last after two or three appointments and of them telling me to go back and think about it and me coming back with the same mindset, they finally realised that I was serious.
Darenth Valley does not do the new non-invasive methods and I would have to be referred to another hospital – Guys and St Thomas’s. And so, on to another round of tests… scans… MRI scans, blood tests…and finally, I was given a date of December 19 for the procedure. The hospital sent me a confirmation letter along with some literature. I did not read the literature sent to me. I went to the hospital at the appointed time. But first, stopped at the Macdonald’s directly opposite the hospital and had a sausage and egg Mcmuffin meal with Tropicana orange juice. I always order a meal but don’t eat the harsh brown – my way of reducing my calorie intake. And then, went to the hospital. And was prepared for the operation. And was asked when I ate last. And I told them around 8am. And was asked if I did not read the literature sent to me. And I said I did not get any literature. And was told that they could not do the surgery as I constituted a choking hazard with the food in my tummy. Damn!
So, I was rescheduled for today. But yesterday, they called to say that they can’t do it today anymore as they have emergencies to deal with. I am going to have to carry my big tummy around for a bit more. Big sigh!