“Are we at the hospital yet? I need help!” This pain was not backing down at all. I could tell that it was getting “comfortable”. The problem is, the longer it takes for me to get help, the pain gets worse and in most cases, the longer it takes for me to get better. Finally, we arrived! Thank God the staff at the hospital knew exactly what to do. The hospital was a little packed because of all the commotion from the previous day (walkway accident). However, I got a bed and was put on an IV (drip) immediately. That was my first point of relief!
Getting an IV is very important during a severe crisis because, a drop in body fluids, promotes and sustains the sickling process, therefore, with an IV, it increases the body’s fluids which slow or completely stop the sickling process and reduces the severity and duration of the pain. This was exactly what was happening to me. Anytime the IV run out, the pain would just come back. I needed to constantly be on an IV. In a day, I could run through a minimum of six IVs.
As I was going through treatment, and going in and out of pain, I slept. When I woke up the next morning, my parents were at my bedside (Yaaaay!). You have no idea the joy I had just knowing that they were there. They are my rock! Immediately, my parents took over my recovery process. My mother is my unofficial doctor. Sometimes, she knows what to get for me, and most often, even better than what some of the doctors prescribe. Two days later, my father had to go back home, to take care of my little brother. Mummy stayed with and was by my side the whole day. There were days she slept by my side at the hospital. She made friends with the other patients in my ward as well as one particular nurse who was on night duty.
Even though I was receiving all the IVs and some pain medication, the pain was still there. When the IV got finished, it took some time for the nurses to replace it (rolls eyes), and that brought back the pain and I had to start all over again. The pain medication was also not working effectively. Nothing was working! I had been there for about four days but I was still not getting better. Then one day, the night nurse said to my mother, “Madam, I know a stronger pain killer that can help her. It has not been prescribed by the doctor, but I think that would be better.”
Let me just say this, sometimes, God puts people in our path and we don’t understand why they are there. YOU could be that person and may not know why you are in a particular position, but God does. You may be asking God, “why am I even here? I shouldn’t be here,” but know this, He may be using you to help someone. During that episode, that person who needed help, was me!
The pain killer the night nurse got for me WORKED! My pain did not go away immediately but I began to feel better. She would sneak in and administer the medication and I would take it secretly (I knew it was very dangerous to do this, but at that point, anything that would work, I would do!) I was in the hospital for about a week, before I began to feel better and walk normally again.
I guess you are wondering what happened to my exam, right? Well, let me tell you briefly about another angel I met.
There was this girl who was also on admission in the same ward. During the day, she would complain to the doctors and nurses saying, “I am not sick, why am I here?” However, at night, she would get so sick. So, she had to stay. We began to have simple conversations and that was when we found out that we were both studying English. Who would have thought?! She spoke about how she knew all the English professors and had a good relationship with them. Before I knew it, she called one of them, explained my situation to whoever it was and guess what? They agreed to let me write both of my papers in the hospital! I NEVER imagined this would happen. It is not the most ideal situation, but at that point, I would take that over missing those exams!
A few days before the exam, a couple of my friends and my cousin came to visit and my friend Darley (we were in the same class) came along with our textbook. She sat by me and she went over some concepts with me. Thank you Darley! (To my fellow students…hehehe…don’t wait till the last minute before you start studying for an exam. Don’t be like me….hehehehe).
On the day of the exam, with my IV running through my veins, I sat and wrote my first paper. After that I was given about an hour to eat, take my medication and rest for a while before taking my second paper. I am VERY VERY grateful to that woman who arranged this for me. I don’t remember her name, and I don’t know anything about her. All I know is that she helped me out when I couldn’t find a way out. She knew me from nowhere but decided to help me, even though she was sick herself. I can never forget her!
So, a few days after my exam, I began to feel better (thanks to my secret new medication), and I was discharged. I was not a 100% fit, but I was at least 90% better. At least I could walk again and I could do things on my own. I got more pills to hold on to, just in case any pain came back. I was on the way to total recovery.
I am thankful for the people who come my way to help me, especially during my crisis episodes, especially my family. They take care of me with no complaints and I am so blessed to have them. I hope my story gave you another perspective about having a sickle cell crisis. In my future posts, I will talk about what you can do to help anyone going through a crisis. As I end this particular life experience, all I can say is,GOD IS GOOD! He ALWAYS comes through!!