The craving took a serous turn when I started wanting it to be dryer. So, I would re-roast it in a dry pan on the fire. Oh the bliss of hot dry garri! Sometimes, I would be in too much of a hurry and I would just bang it in the microwave to dry it. Sometimes, I would be in too much of a hurry to let it cool down and would quickly scoff it only for it to scald my tongue. That happened a few times. Did I mention Lagos? Yes. Before I went to Lagos, I’d heard that traditional methods could shrink fibroids. So, when I got to Lagos, I asked around for the ‘elewe omo’ – Yoruba traditional midwives. Considering that we were not brought up on ‘agbo’ – herbal drinks, (my mum was too oyinbo oyinbo for that), it was a big leap for me to want to use elewe omo’s herbs. I don’t knock our traditional herbs. Quinine was first gotten from the bark of one of the ingredents for agbo iba. The elewe omo gave me the most revolting tasting drinks which I was supposed to drink twice a day for about three months or so. It consisted of lime and gutter water (or something which tasted and looked very much like gutter water sha) and camphor and other things that I can’t remember now. I did not finish the course. It was revolting. I cannot say that it worked. If I had finished the course, it might have worked but it was too disgusting to be finished. The interesting thing is this though – the exact position that the elewe omo put her hand on as the site of the fibroid was the same spot that the various consultants had told me it was. I also notice that when I lie on my tummy, that part of my tummy feels hard. So, there is something to say about the knowledge of the elewe omo. It was just not for me. I hate bitter tastes and more than bitter tastes, I hate gutter-water taste.
My periods became increasingly heavy and longer. Every month, Tobi tells me that he is glad that he is not created a woman. Every month, for 8 days, I want to touch the helm of Jesus garment. Every month, for 8 days, I feel faint and weak. Initially, I did not know that I was getting anaemic. I could not walk long distances anymore. A walk to the station which used to take no more than 12 minutes took around 19 minutes. No matter how hard I tried, I just could not walk fast. I used to love walking but could no longer do it. I would have to stop for a few minutes to catch my breath. But I did not link this to the Fibroid. I went to see my GP. I told him of my symptoms and he said I had exercise induced Asthma. I was prescribed inhalers. But they did not work. And all these while, my garri craving was getting worse and worse. My tummy was distended and I was constantly constipated. I now always had to have a bowl of garri by my side at home. First thing in the morning, last thing at night and various times in between, I had to have my garri. It took me all my strength to not take garri to school but all day in school, during lectures, while listening to the law of contracts, or to human rights or to any other course, all I could think about was getting home and eating my garri.
And so it was that one cold day in the middle of winter, after lectures on my way home, I suddenly remembered that I had run out of garri. The thought of getting home and not being able to eat garri gripped my heart like a cold vice. I started panicking and I knew what to do. Crazy as it may seem, I knew I had to go to the market to get my fix. So, at Limehouse, instead of getting the C2C home, I took the docklands back to Greenwich, took the surface train to Deptford, got my garri, then took the surface train back to Greenwich from Deptford, then the Docklands light rail again back to Limehouse, took the C2C to Barking and another C2C train home. This added an extra hour at least to my journey. In the bitter cold of winter! And that, was when I knew the craving was now an addiction. I jokingly mentioned this incident on a Facebook group called Babes Refined and the members who were in the medical field told me to go and check my iron levels. They were so concerned for me that they sent me private messages to make sure that I did go for a test. I had to go and do a blood test! Those babes did not let me rest! Y’all know yourselves. I thank you all.
To be cont