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It took Madam Comfort and Madam Jennifer (Not real names) about 5 years and 1 year respectively to get to a hospital.

You would think that they would have arrived the hospital earlier but like all things in Nigeria, nothing is as easy as it seems.

The fact that Madam Comfort's abdomen looked as if three grown men were hiding inside or that her legs looked like two Iroko trees standing side by side having a conversation wasn't enough to wake up any sense of urgency. Madam Jennifer's case was not so bad, her abdomen, though enlarged just made her look pregnant, for an elderly lady in her 70s I guess this wasn't anything to seriously worry about.

A doctor confronted with such cases might not know where to start after getting over the initial shock and bewilderment, I mean, don't these people have eyes? How can you sit at home and ignore such glaring symptoms?

There is also another quandary the doctor faces, do you take such cases as emergencies? For surely they can't be emergencies if they decided to take so long before presenting.

Let's say the doctor decides just to order for some tests to be done and sends them home, there are two possible Nigerian reactions; one is to humbly accept that the doctor is always right and the other is to ask the doctor, "Look at her, can she go home like this?"

Well, duh.

But we are skirting the main question here which is why did it take them so long to get to the hospital?

Nigeria is a unique place. Such cases happen everyday.

An elderly woman is left alone in the village while her children have gone to chase the golden fleece in Lagos, Abuja or other metropolitan areas. She notices something wrong with her body and she goes to her backyard, plucks some leaves, adds a few essentials and drinks. She expects to get better.

In a few weeks, a neighbour comes to visit and notices mama is not looking very right. "There is this specialist in roots I know, I can take you there," the neighbour offers. A date is set for the next week.

Mama is taken there and she returns home with her 'prescription'.

Another month passes and mama is not getting better. Some enlightened relatives come visiting.

"Mama, this looks like an attack, let's take you to a spiritualist," they offer.

Mama begins a 6 month spiritual therapy.

Finally mama is tired and decides to stay at home and accept her fate. Calls are made to her child/ children in the city. They respond that they will come to the village as soon as they can get time off work. They send money to mama.

It takes another 5 months before they get time. Finally they are home with mama. They look at the situation of things.

"Mama, let me return to the city and make preparations for you to come over."

These 'preparations' take another 4 months.

Mama is finally in Lagos or Abuja, but that is not the end of mama's woes.

There is no money to take mama to the hospital

Another period of hustling begins which can take several months, money is gradually collected from different relatives and well wishers.

Finally mama is brought to the hospital about 3 years after her initial symptoms.



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In response to my earlier article: Ladies - should you marry a Doctor?.

Are you considering proposing to that female doctor you can't get out of your head? Well, here are some reasons you may or may not want to:


1. She is older and wiser ( which might not always be a bad thing).

2. She is independent.

3. She will more than likely talk back at you.

4. Her career may mean more to her than your needs.

5. You will sleep alone at night a lot and she'd probably not be back before you leave for work in the morning.

6. You would more than likely need a maid.

7. It may be hard to convince her to take extended time off work to raise the family or even to put her career on hold.

8. She has no time for extended dating, you're either ready to marry or out the door.

9. I will stop here because I have been warned by the female doctors mafia to put more advantages than disadvantages.

So on to the pros.



Guest Post by Dr. Busuyi.

EDITORS NOTE: Due to a certain state government's recent "ban" on commercial motorcycles popularly call "okada" I felt I should once again bring up this post for you to air your views.

"I don't want to die!"

"I don't want to die, please help me!" "Please save my life!" He pleaded passionately.

He was brought by good Samaritans in the early hours of a calm day.

Looking at him he looked moribund. His life seeping away.

He was a young man in his early 20s; unkempt and in a lot of pain; dirty, with a foul stench emanating from his body.
Oh that smell!

He was also penniless.

He was in a pool of his own blood with multiple deep lacerations on the chest and the abdomen.

There was nothing left to the imagination,he was a living study in human anatomy - his stomach and intestines
were out of his body,
clearly exposed for all to see.

He was a local commercial motorcyclist who, as is common to many of them, was riding at break-nec…

DAY 6. TYPE 2 DIABETES DIET - Myths and Beliefs: Should I eat only Beans and Unripe Plantain?

Welcome to Health Check with Dr Gabby.

Today, we will be looking at some common myths and beliefs about diabetes.

One of such myths is that only old people can develop diabetes.

This is very untrue as young people are also prone to diabetes especially Type 1 diabetes.

Another myth is that a diabetic patient cannot eat or drink anything that tastes nice. Some believe a diabetic should only eat beans and unripe plantain and not rice, eba, bread etc which most Nigerians can't do without.

This also is not true as a diabetic can eat all foods but what is required is guidance and monitoring of blood sugar. What should matter here is quantity. Do you know beans contains 60% carbohydrates?

Special sweeteners are also allowed.

Another myth is that a diabetic patient cannot take fruits because they're sweet, this is also not true, they can take a portion of fruit per meal.

You can see that diabetes is not a death sentence.

Join me tomorrow as we look at complications of diabetes.