The Horror Of Falling Sick When You’re A Nigerian Adult

October 17, 2019

You probably liked falling sick when you were young. Maybe not the “stay-in-bed-until-you-get-better-part”, but you liked all the attention that came with it. You got a pass on almost everything, and more importantly, you got everything you wanted from your parents. You were probably even amused with how agitated they got seeing you down.

You should have remained a kid. Now, you are grown, moved out, and living your life. When the earliest symptoms of whatever will knock you down start to materialise, you think it is one of those things. You are wrong.

We’ve all been there, and that’s why this article is here.

You don’t know how sick you are until it hits you

You are an adult. You are also Nigerian. You have more things to worry about than a common headache. You like to chalk everything down to stress and think one good night sleep (which you never get, by the way) will sort everything out. If push comes to shove, you will take paracetamol, and that will be all.

You start to hit the panic button

Strangely enough, the “just a headache” you think you have has decided to stick around. You can feel the first signs of panic streaking in. You know it’s a bad idea, but you search google for answers. Now, you see that the ordinary headache you have might be a brain tumour. Full-blown panic jumps in at this point.

You realise that you are on your own

You know you are not dealing with a brain tumour, but you just really wish there is a real adult around – someone who could just feel your forehead, tell you, with certainty, what you are dealing with, and nurse you back to health. Unfortunately, you lost that person the moment you moved out of their house. You finally get yourself to a hospital. Good news, nobody is cutting your head open. Bad news, what you are dealing with is not “just-a-headache”
The worst part about this is you have to do this all by yourself; show up for your appointments, take the pills, find what you eat, and so on.

Time doesn’t actually wait for you

You have a job to do. Sure, whoever you work for or work with might be considerate enough and grant you sick leave, but after two-three days, the feeling of dread starts eating you up. What if you get fired because you took too long? What if there are volumes of work waiting for you, and what happens if you don’t sort them out soon; will you get fired? You are not about to find out, so you drag your sick ass out to wherever you work.
You miss the days you could take a week off school and nobody would care now, don’t you?

You Almost Go Broke

As a kid, all you knew about getting sick was that your parents would worry themselves, ship you off to a hospital, put you on a schedule, and you would be fine. You knew they spent money too, but the magnitude of what they spent does not hit you until you have to pay your hospital bills yourself. Nothing makes you want to cry more than seeing money fly out of your account into the thin air, never to be seen again. And that happened because of a headache you didn’t pay enough attention too.

You promise yourself to be more careful, but nah

After you have survived the ordeal with your life intact but your pocket dried up, you promise yourself to be very intentional in making sure you remain the healthiest you can be. To your credit, you do that for a week or two. But after that, you feel there is nothing to worry about anymore, at least not until the next time you fall sick.

Toheeb Lanlehin

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