T’was sometime in the first quarter of this year, I felt flu like symptoms coming on, quite understandable considering we’ve been experiencing extreme weather in the country. They were recurrent. Eventually, I opted for a quick visit to my favorite clinic for checkup, I would only take medication if the doctor insisted. This would be a basic visit and I should be done in 2 hours tops or so I thought!

I woke up feeling fairly normal that morning and was at the clinic on time, I was the first patient, just how I liked it, no queuing! I went in to see the doctor, she recommended the usual basic tests and we were both certain nothing would come out of them, we suspected viral flu which would go away on its own. Anyway, I had to come back for results after a few days,

I went home, forgot about my symptoms and the few days went by very fast. It was time to go back for my test results and checkup again. I reached the clinic on time, did triage and after waiting for a few minutes it was my turn to see the doctor. I was looking and feeling better but rules are rules the results have to be given.

She goes to the lab for them herself while I wait in the consultation room. She is back in a short while, seats at her desk staring at the results and asks, “Nina, are you sure you’re feeling well, is there something you’re not telling me?” I am stunned! First of all, she was as chirpy as a bird a few minutes ago. Second, she knows I am very keen on my health. Her serious looks and questioning didn’t add up!

I am like, “Yes! I feel better than the last time I was here. Actually, most of the symptoms are gone. If it wasn’t for the results I wouldn’t be here today.” She replies, “Well, I agree that you look better and your vitals are fine as per triage. But the results state otherwise!” I smile and go like, “What?! Why?” She explains, “The results say there’s an elevation in certain organ hormones and salts. That normally happens when there’s an inflammation or obstruction”.

I talk to myself, “I feel fine. I don’t get it. I am dying painlessly! My goodness!” She notices that I am alarmed and quickly adds, “Let’s redo the tests. Let’s see the outcome today. Okay?” Of course I agree. This is either crazy or how people die without warning! The clinic visit that was meant to take an hour turns out to be a whole day affair. I didn’t mind though, it was better getting results the same day than coming back again after a few days, the mental torture would be unbearable.

Late in the afternoon I am called into the doctor’s office for a second time since morning. I’ve been hanging out at their cafeteria. I walk in and get seated for the verdict. The doctor says, “I am afraid the levels are even higher than the first results. But you look fine and you don’t have visible symptoms. I’ll need a second opinion on this. I’ll send you for additional tests tomorrow at a different facility. Okay?” In disbelief I ask, “Suppose the tests are right, what does it mean? ” She replies, “It means you need admission and urgent surgery. Don’t get alarmed. You ought to be in severe pain by now and you are not. That’s why I need additional tests.” After a bit of counseling, I get my test prescription from her to use in the alternative laboratory the next day and I walk out of the clinic.

I head to the parking lot amid tears. I get into the car and drive off wailing. I am so overwhelmed at the thought of hospital admission and surgery. I can’t stop crying! I am moving at the speed of light to reach home because I am in no emotional state to be on the road alone. When I reach an intersection with traffic on red lights, I call my friend because now I am hysterical, I can’t think straight. After talking for a while I am able to calm down and finish my drive home. I never eat or sleep that night.

By 6:00 a.m the next morning I am back on the road to the “second opinion” across town. I have been praying and crying the whole night. I am exhausted and confused by the time I reach the facility. My samples are taken for testing. To my dismay I am notified that the results take 3 hours to process but I wait patiently. When they call me from the waiting area to receive my results, I am trembling. I receive my envelope and walk out to the car where I view the contents.

I read through them and to the best of my knowledge, they are different from yesterday’s?! I decide not to get too excited, maybe I didn’t catch the doctor right the first time. So I forward the printed results to the doctor via media. Before I reach my destination she calls and confirms with her usual chirpy voice that I am fine?!