I was supposed to wake up very early for an 8 o’clock appointment this morning, but I hadn’t been myself all week, because of the stress of back to back, work and travel, as well as social engagements of the past few weeks that saw me doing eight day, twenty-five hour a day, periods of jostling all of work, social activity and pleasure together. With all the bad eating habits, and bacchanality associated with such dangerous living, l knew that these last few days will come, unfortunately it started just before I rounded up the last of my busy schedules for the while, which was the hosting of my townspeople by my village people in Lagos, which wasn’t much of a big deal, because though I coordinated it, I didn’t do any of the hands-on beside just making myself available to attend on Sunday afternoon, after a long and exasperatingly interesting Sabbath, the day before. My body finally broke down just hours before the Sunday event, but with the help of “Madam”, we trudged on.
Once I secured for myself, the furthest seat at the meeting hall, I allowed my “body” walk to the car park, where members of the “socials department” of my “v’rej mitim” left the items for refreshments, for us to convey up the stairs to the hall. I further encouraged my body to take a part of the items meant for the women to their hall below the men’s, before returning to my seat. It wasn’t a meeting to be missed because of the contentious nature of the agenda of the day, and I bet you, it was so heated, that those involved in the arguments that ensued at some points, almost came to punches, but for the cooler heads that prevailed upon them, there could’ve been an escalation. I couldn’t be a part of the deliberations even though I personally witnessed the contentious issue play out when I travelled as part of the town’s delegation to a deceased members’ burial and funeral, back in the homeland, about a fortnight ago. I didn’t even have an appetite, so when others at the back with me complained that they were shortchanged, in terms of refreshment handouts, I wasn’t in the mood to join, but the extra strength that the small bottle of stout afforded me, was strong enough to brave me through the rigours of Lagos roads, encouraged by my wife, till we got home to a full house of holidaying kids burning my fuel to power the generating set in order to watch “Jenifa"
Once I collapsed on one of the two-seaters in the living room, the TV remote miraculously found its way to my hands, and I watched the last episode of “Crossbones” on my hard drive connected to my TV, before my wife safely tucked me under the duvet, in my bedroom where I cocooned myself in the foetal position, after numbing out the unwholesomeness in me with five hundred milligrams of paracetamol, with instructions to insist I don’t “touch” her, even if I lied to her that my life depended on it, because in this state, the only way up for me, was down.
Monday to Wednesday, I lived and worked like a zombie. People who offended me thought that I’d been taken over by a benevolent being, I lost my emotions, l couldn’t be happy or sad, l could only eat fruits (cucumbers became so very tasty and delicious, alluva sudden), cooked food tasted like malaria medicine. I knew the feeling will pass, but I hadn’t envisaged that the tribulation will last beyond a day, but l considered that I’d played hard for weeks on end, and shutting down could also be extended, and of course because of age, shut down days was sure to be longer, especially as I didn’t have the leisure of work free days seeing as this is peak season, and when I look at what’s there to be done, and what’s to be made to solve them, I opted to do the needful, even though I’m an advocate and firm believer in not coming to “go and kii (bastardized form for ‘kill’, in local lingo) myself“. It was in the midst of all this that I checked my Blood Pressure yesterday, and found myself to be hypotensive, for someone that had been living recklessly till just about a few days back, bailing on medication, enough to earn Dr. Kale’s rebuke. After repeated checks, and changing the battery of the blood pressure monitor, I put it to the shut down my body was experiencing, and carried on with life.
Wednesday was better than Tuesday, and that than Monday. The days better than the night, like it used to be with me when I come down with a bout of malaria, the only difference been that this time I didn’t have the love for the outdoors, or crave sunlight, and it’s accompanying heat; though my siestas returned, more like power naps of a few minutes, in between appointments. Still low power, manageable energy, reduced appetite subsisted, with same output (to the best of my knowledge). I knew I wasn’t ill in the sense of needing hospitalization, it was just time to sleep/burn away the negative presence within me, and then bounce back to normal, that I was finding difficult to squeeze out of my schedule, as the outstanding work waited to be completed. While I was still at it, the next weekend started setting itself up, starting with a Friday night gig, which for someone like me is important for networking, Saturday was booked already, save for Sunday which for now remains open. Thinking about it, already was setting me on edge, sometimes I wonder if there was a way Sunday could be stretched by another hour or two, yea a twenty-five or -six hour day. I feel it will go a long way in reducing the pressures of Monday, and reduce the allure many people like me feel for retirement, when we think about it, supposing we live long enough to meet it.
One of the pleasures of times like this, is that I’m able to sleep all through the night, sometimes doing more than the recommended eight hours, from the norm that’s my curse of insomnia which starts at about 2am in the morning. So, when I woke up in the wee hours of today’s morning, l felt it was a sign that I was gradually coming back to me, and after binging on a few episodes of the “Family Reunion”, attempted to iron my clothes only to find I couldn’t go beyond two shirts (with haaard labour) which included the one for the Friday night gig, before I spent what was left of my Adenosine Triphosphate, ATP for a round of husbandly duty (the first in four days), once madam was done communing with the angels, to which she responded with a disappointingly bewildered stare at me for coming up too short, but by then I was already on my way to Jericho, and then quickly too far down the path enough not to notice and in the least, apologize for my shortcoming.
I woke up into my old apartment, went into the room my younger brother shared with my brother in-law to collect the pressing iron (apparently to continue from where I stopped), but ended up perishing the thought because the electrical extension box there had all the outlets occupied by cords to one electrical gadget or the other belonging to those boys sleeping away the time of their lives. The next thing I saw myself doing was breaking eggs, and pouring the content into a hollow porcelain cup, which I handed to the Asian Chef in my kitchen, who then smeared the gelatinous content onto a small but long wooden bench, and began playing his fingers around with before using a brushlike material to apply same on his hair before turning it over to my younger brother, who went on to appear to fry it. Yes, exactly what you just read is what I wrote, because even I do not understand it. All this was happening right in the presence of a man whose appearance was like my late fathers’, and at that point I began to feel that this must be a dream, until the Asian chef brought out the latest of his condiments, a lizard-like reptile, and I’d simply had enough and left the kitchen, to wake up to this part of our world. I jumped out of bed, said my “Shema”, “pumped iron” and bolted into the adjoining bathroom ensuite, had my bath and proceeded to work to meet my early morning appointment.
Growing up, I was very sickly, it’s a wonder that I outgrew it, and you can imagine my shock when at my first genotype screening which I conducted myself, during Biochemistry practical in first year med school, I wasn’t a sickler. However, back in the day when malaria was my thing, and the quinines where the drugs of choice, one of the signs of recovery for me was crazy dreams and nightmares. Sometimes, several over the course of a day or night. I easily understood the pharmacology lectures on quinine back in med school, because I could relate with the side effects of hallucinations, in much the same way I could have understood the pharmacology of antihypertensive had I been hypertensive then. I still regret not knowing that course the way I knew other courses, sometimes I blame myself for passing it at first seating, following the greatest cramming exercise of my life. I left the exam hall with nothing left of pharmacology in my brain for future use, save for the ones I encounter in the course of living, and work, which is so very narrow compared to the great work that is that life-saving course. The good thing is, when I’m indisposed due to illness of any kind and nature, and it progresses to the point where I begin to have ’em dreams and nightmares, then I know relief is around the corner, and within hours or days I’m rid of the illness or it just burns out. It is therefore a thing of joy that this has happened now, because I’ve to be in tip top shape ahead of tomorrow evening’s soirée, because truly “I can’t come and go and kii myself“.
Published by m'khail madukovich