Finding hope in the unlikeliest places.

Today, october 24th, will go down in history as my most astonishing experience in medical school. Today, i finally answered a question that had been lingering in my mind for quite a while. Despite it being a busy week; i want this week-this very day to go down in my history of my journey to becoming a doctor as my most cherished moment.

My week started off a bit hectic. Right from the weekend, i had spent the weekend in Wudil, KUT; i went to visit a female friend. We had quite a wonderful experience. Got back on sunday. Went out again on monday, to (hopefully) a medical teaching hospital i’l reside in, in months. Yesterday, i went to the bank. All in all it has just been a hectic week.

There was(was; purposely used) a reason why i kept going back and forth. From one place to another; it was solely because i had lacked the motivation to study. I sought to find it in all these places.

So each place i went to, i’ll tell myself, maybe when you come back from this you will get motivation to study. I come back and i still feel unmotivated. Okay. I think of the next thing on my mind. Okay, let’s get it over and done with, let’s declutter our mind. Mind you, i have an exams coming up in less than 2weeks.

I had taken measures to focus; like deleting my whatsapp account. Uninstalling my twitter. Amidst all else. But all proved to be futile.

It was on sunday, after i had gotten back from my wudil trip; whilst gisting with my friend. She told me about an outreach organised by resident doctors.

I really had no idea about it, i have heard of it a couple of times. But never really been to one. I thought it’d be interesting and besides, i needed to while away time.

So basically, from what i understood; an outreach is simply an avenue where doctors treat patients from a remote local government surgically; with no levy attached.

So today, in the morning; i did not sleep early the night before; presumably, woke up late(before 8am). And the outreach was set for 8am. I thought of a thousand and one ways in which i could debunk this outing. But i managed to get myself off the bed. At exactly 7am, i stood up and decided to start getting ready(the best decision i had made in a really long time).

Long story short, we were on the bus on our way to Bunkura local Govt., i, the least informed individual out of 27 of my coursemates that went there. I ended up sleeping through out the journey. At first, i wanted to while away time by watching “the maze-runner-2018” well. That did not work out. I dozed off.

Fast forward, to us getting off the bus. Before we got off the bus, we saw a rough image of the mass of people waiting for us to get down( all needing medical assistance) unknown to us that was just the icing on the cake. I jittered a bit; still kept my calm tho-you know hard girl and all. But I mean a 300L MBBS student? What could she possibly know??? I’m not even sure i know how to measure a blood pressure.

We got off the bus, and all eyes were on us like we were some celebrities. At this point, i did not understand why we were looked at with such high demeanour.

I got even more scared. I prompted, “i’m going to write names”, because hello, that is the only thing i thought i could do.

Fast forward, who watched the movie starring Brad Pitt as the leading actor; a horror movie to be precise-World War Z. If any of you did, then you would understand this better.

It’s a horror movie that features a “zombie” apocalypse. The humans were being outnumbered by the zombies. Okay. So why i’m i telling you about a zombie apocalypse?

Okay. So in the movie, they got to realise that the zombies do not attack those infested with a disease. Okay? So these zombie-like creatures that barely have brains eating every human or trying to convert every human into what they are-did not attack those already infested with a disease like malaria or HIV.

You could literally walk in between them, without them hurting you, just paving ways for you while they keep looking at you.

Back to our topic. So just like how these people infested with diseases could walk past the zombies without being hurt; that was exactly how it felt like. at this stage a mssaive number of people. all wanting medical attention. The place all cramped up. But then what was our disease that made us untouchable? What made them to give us way when we wanted to pass??? What made them trust us? What made them understand that we were for them and not against them?

It was obvious; took me a while to understand. But it was our labcoat, it gave them hope, moreso than it gave us immunity. The white piece of cloth we so much detested on a normal day was what gave us an upper hand in this said village.

The moment they saw us, you could see it in their eyes. It was as if we already had the cure to whatever ailment they suffered from. Unknown to them, i was more confused than they-at the begining.

Fast forward, we moved from about to take blood pressures, to almost helping out in the pharmacy to boom-there we were with two of my friends in the theatre room about to prep for surgery. Okay. Let me tell y’all a secret. I legit could not believe what was happening until the surgery actually started. I thought it was some sort of a joke. Or a prank. Or a TV show. Or a dummy surgery. Anything. I had never been in a surgery theatre before. well unless ofcus watching medical shows counts as being in one. Cus each time i got goosebumps while watching.

But here i was, in a surgery theatre-all suited up; by that i mean, with a surgical gown and everything. about to prep for surgery amidst doctors. Not just doctors. Resident? Consultants? Yo i was heating up. But you know your girl aint a weakling. I could not afford to show how jittered i was. did not even break a sweat cus c’mon girl-i’m a hard girl. Hard girl don’t show fear.

Okay, fast forward. I somehow got detached from my other two friends and there i was the only FEMALE not only female, the only female 300L MBBS student in a room with doctors.

Okay. 2 doctors. One nice, the other not too nice; or better yet, the kind of people that tend to scare you. Your girl is smart, i did not let him get to me.

The weird thing i could not wrap my head around was how much the other doctor(the nice one) insisted that i assist him. If you guys watch medical shows then you know how huge that is. Let me paint the picture for y’all. A female medical student, that has only seen blood only being pricked in physiology practicals. A female that up until today never knew there were types of suture equipment. A student that had no idea on a number of things. That a surgical blade was not meant to be touched with bare hands. Syringes. And don’t let me get started on the main operating kit. that was a dead zone. Like military zone. But there he wanted me to assist him.

Why? I could never understand. Fast forward, we are almost done with our first surgery; inguinal hernia(will be explained in another post). Nice doc. Gives me the prescription paper of patient. And he goes “let’s prescribe drugs for our patient”. At this point your girl was internally jaw dropped. Yo. Doc. Don’t you think we are overdoing things a bit-i thought to myself.

He listed out a number of drugs; antibiotics,painkillers,vit. C. And we were done with our first surgery. And there i was. I was not scared. Not one bit. apparently, i was suppose to get dizzy when i first saw the blood. But i wasn’t, i wanted to see more. The blood wasn’t even gushing as much as i imagined it to be-vampire. whatever.

Fast forward, to why i am writing this and how i found my answers in this very day. well, it was in how much help i could render despite knowing so little. It was in what i could learn in years to come and how better i could be.

And most importantly, i was drawn back to the very point of why i chose to study medicine-to help people and also because of its high calibre.

The look on people’s faces made me realised that. A lot has changed about me today-things i had clarity about, not so sure about them now. All i am sure of at this very moment is that; i just want to be at the clinical side come march 2019, by God’s grace and that i am going to be a doctor-almost as good as the “nice” doc that believed so much in me.

With this i end, today, i have only one regret-that i couldn’t get to tell the nice doc how grateful i was, for him believing in a 300L MBBS student-who could not even believe in herself. It meant so much.

P.s i made so many mistakes in this post. I was really tired when i wrote it. Nontheless, Enjoy.