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[Bloodlust] A Discovery : 3

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By Mabogunje   |   Watch
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Published: December 3, 2012
Despite his many years of medical training, Sola could never be a light sleeper. It took more than a phone ringing or an alarm clock to get him out of bed. That's why he had three. For some reason though, be it a sixth sense or what have you, he would always wake up when it was an emergency. So when he woke up to his phone ringing at 5AM in the morning, he knew something must be wrong; and when he saw Toki's name on the caller I.D, he had a pretty good idea what.

There was no panic in his mother's voice as she related the situation to the person on the other end of the phone. Akin figured it must be uncle Sola. Occasionally, she would ask him to describe the pain. Where exactly it was, how it felt, and so on. She would then repeat this on the phone. They had done this many times before and Akin knew to describe everything he was feeling, and everywhere he was feeling it. What he did not know, was whether the increasingly growing thirst was a symptom, or simply being thirsty. Nevertheless, he had already told his mother about it so he would leave the decision up to her. But maybe he ought to remind her about...

Akin didn't hear the question that his mother asked next. Nor did he hear the one after that. He didn't feel her hands when she then started shaking him, or hear her frantic cries to Seun, as she urged him to speed up. On the other end of the phone Sola didn't get to hear any of that either. The line had cut just after his last question and he wasn't sure what to make of what he had heard. The majority of the symptoms seemed to indicate a regular sickle-cell crisis, but the burning sensation in the throat spoke more of gastric issues. The thirst sounded like dehydration, but he had never heard of dehydration proceeding at such an accelerated rate, and while the dehydration could explain the crisis, neither of them could explain the burning throat. In any case, he would know more when they arrived at his clinic. Speaking of which, he had to start preparing to receive them next door.

He was just finishing when Seun's black Mercedez-Benz pulled into the driveway. Sola had already given instructions to the meguard to let them in when they arrived. Also to help them with whatever they needed. While he waited for them to get to his office, he setup some I.V fluids and just in case, he also setup the equipment necessary for a blood transfusion. When Seun and Toki walked in followed by the meguard pushing Akin in one of the clinic's 3 wheelchairs, the worry on their faces was palpable.

I take it this is not a normal crisis.

To which Toki's inner panic finally came loose.
He fainted in the car! No matter how bad it's been, he has never fainted before. Not even once! Something is wrong, something is wrong!

Fainted!? The Akin he saw in the wheelchair, looked very much like he was sleeping. If he had indeed fainted, then they must make haste.

We're going to have to do a blood transfusion. There's no time to waste. I already have the equipment setup. Musa, put Akin on this bed.

The meguard did as he was told and Sola soon had the blood going. It would take about 2 hours before it was over and in the meantime he wanted to find out more about what had happened from Toki. She had regained her composure by now - it always amazed him how she was able to do that. Questioning her proved fruitful. He now knew that in addition to the symptoms she had described over the phone, Akin had also exhibited other symptoms. Palpitations of the heart, shortness of breadth, light-headedness, extreme fatigue... All of which were consistent with a case of acute anaemia. All but the burning throat which had caused Akin to drink several ounces of water already.

While this worried him considerably, it relieved Sola to know that the blood transfusion was definitely the right way to go. Knowing this however did little to solve the mystery of how Akin went from being chronically to acutely anaemic over the course of one night. Especially a night during which he was asleep. And a day which according to Toki, was spent with the family mostly lounging around and doing nothing.

Toki and Seun were both highly successful, self-employed, entrepreneurs. Which afforded them the luxury of a weekday spent lazing at home every once in a while. The day before had been one of those rare days during which they could both afford to do so. As such they had decided to spend it on a day out with their son. It seemed Akin had however, declined going out and just wanted to spend some time indoors. He was even the one who suggested resting all day; A good way for sickle-cell patients to prevent getting stressed. By taking a day of rest occasionally, Akin had managed to keep his disease fairly manageable so far. Of course, he still fell ill more often than most and there had been the two big complications of a stroke and an organ failure... But for a chronic sickle-cell patient living in a third world country, it wasn't half bad.

Presently, the transfusion was over. Now Sola is to spend the next few hours monitoring Akin's condition. His temperature and blood sugar must be kept level and most importantly, there must be no reaction to the blood he just received. This should undoubtedly always be the case when transfusing from family but because sickle-cell patients get transfused so often, one never knows if they may have developed a new problematic antibody.

This is why there are blood banks. This is why there is such a thing as cross-matching. This is why, if possible, every sickler should have their own reserve personal bank of blood. This is why, I should have started a practice in the UK where I went to school. Why did I come back to this country?

Sola had asked himself this question many times. In fact he had asked it every time he had a serious case since he started practicing medicine. The answer was always the same.

There is a need here. The people I love and care about are here. This is where I can make a difference.

All this true, but even a highly trained doctor can only do so much without the necessary tools.

Now if I could get some sponsorship, I could get the tools I need, but all the money right now is going to research and development. It's as if since they cured Leukaemia, they think all the health problems will wait until they can develop new cures. What about those suffering now?

These were the kinds of thoughts that ran through Sola's mind as he tended to Akin's care. These were the kinds of thoughts that ran through the minds of every doctor in Nigeria. Even those who did not have the best training had those thoughts, because skilled or not, a lack of tools hampers your ability to do the best you can. These thoughts, as common and widespread as they are, were not however the kinds of thoughts Sade was having. And based on the current predicament she found herself in, were not the kinds of thoughts she would be having for a long... long time.

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© 2012 - 2019 Mabogunje
Novel: Bloodlust | Chapter: A Discovery | Page: 3

Damn! The suspense is killing me.
What has Sade found out now?
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