Every minute, medical personnel throng along the ever busy sparkling clean floors of the hospital going about their individual responsibilities all aimed at the common goal of patient care. At the UCH Ibadan for example, the physician clings on to his stethoscope which is more or less similar in function to my Apple iPod earphones; Nurse Titi seriously goes about her duties which include ensuring that the prepubescent teenager in the Children’s Ward takes his drugs and injections as scheduled, and that the 64 year old granddad in the Male Ward is well prepped for his long overdue prostatectomy despite the embarrassing fact that his occasional penile erections during the torso shaving process seem quite disturbing for the married Registered Nurse attending Mountain of Fire and Miracles (MFM) Ministries.
In the hematology laboratory, Mrs. Cole and Dr. Anwo silently, astutely and interchangeably, like Will Smith’s iRobots, count thousands of blood cells with the aid of a Leica® electronic microscope while the only sound heard is the humming and beeping of the RT – 7600 Hematology Analyzer that is worth several millions of Naira. The radiographers, armed with pocket dosimeters measuring their exposure to radio waves, take X-rays of various organs, orifices and body parts to determine if a blockage would require the magical hands of expert surgeons like Mr. Shittu who has been in surgery for the past 14 hours, or thereabout.
His patient didn’t make it through the elaborate surgery and after being pronounced dead, the remains was conveyed with the aid of a special gurney to the mortuary where alfa—a mortified mortician—locates the femoral artery for perfusion with several liters of a teary concentration of formaldehyde solution.
The hospital at any time of the day is a beehive of activities and each second counts knowing that a patient’s life could hang on the promptness of the health officer hence all you can do as a medical personnel is to run, run and run!
I can vividly remember June 2002 when I was admitted, not as a patient, but as a fresh student of medical laboratory science, to the University College Hospital, Ibadan. I got enthralled by the enormously inundating life saving procedures that entail adequate detailed concentration and any silly distraction arising from ridiculous day dreaming (you know what I mean) and childish infatuations at work could cost the patient his or her life. There and then I made a vow that although my mind belongs entirely to the clinical laboratory, my heart should not. The reason is simple – I don’t want to mix love with work . . . “it just won’t work out” I thought. All around me however, it seemed as if I was the only one thinking in that line as both intra- and inter- professional colleagues were throwing all cautions into the thin air and were madly falling in love with fellow white-apparel-adorning-professionals at a rate that surpassed mere coincidence or what is known in Christianity as the will of God.
Even in my fellowship – the UCH Christian Fellowship (UCHCF), among the student doctor worshippers, I noticed a familiar trend was going on in relationship preference—doctor/doctor (about 52%), doctor/nurse (about 44%), doctor/scientist (<4%). The trend was similar among other professionals as medical laboratory scientists, for instance, preferentially dated medical colleagues more than other members of the society in what is similar in medical terms to inbreeding – an aberration to the Mendel’s 1st and 2nd laws of inheritance, and an interfering factor that eliminates the equilibristic and random nature of Weinberg-Heidelberg’s equation in population genetics. I subsequently asked myself these questions – why are these people not thinking outside the box? Why am I the only one campaigning that teachers, bankers, lawyers and other professionals should also be considered when determining who to take to the alter? Thank God for Grey’s Anatomy—the series, I got the real picture!
Grey’s Anatomy offers a dramatized exposé on the lives of doctors and other medical professionals at Seattle Grace Hospital with special emphasis on the Surgery Department. With 36 hours of shift, enuresis (involuntary urination) seems to be the only tenable excuse that residents could give for disappearing from duty posts. As medical workers, we are with the same set of people for the better part of the day and according to my proposed law of love, the degree of proximity is directly proportional to the extent of intimacy i.e. the closer you are, the more intimate you tend to be. I know there are some exceptions, but this Paul’s law of love holds sway in most cases. My training also made me to realize the priceless advantage of having a medico as spouse.
Unlike the banker whose job schedule is all about pay-in-and-pay-out and ensuring that records of banking transactions, using the deposited pink forms, balance at the end of the day’s work no matter how long it takes, medical thought processes are quite cumbersome and an extra head could do the magic sometimes. Let me give an instance.
On a particular day during my undergraduate parasitology postings, a bizarre organism was isolated from the stool sample of a patient at the Medical Microbiology and Parasitology Department of the University College Hospital, Ibadan. As expected during literally abnormal situations like this, heads would come together like Siamese conjoined twins. The chief medical laboratory scientist brought out all atlases in the department; I also dashed to the ultramodern E. Latunde Odeku Medical Library for more parasitology atlases.
Despite the conglomeration or constellation of medical heads and array of intimidating medical books, no one was able to conclusively identify the parasite. We took pictures of the organism with the intention of sending them across to contemporaries in other institutions in and outside the country via the internet. At night however, I got a MTN Extra Cool call from a colleague that a doctor/scientist couple successfully identified the organism over dinner. ‘Impossible’ was my outburst.
At work the following day, the scientist (husband) told us how he gave the wife (doctor) the microscopic features that were inconclusive and how she presented the probable and subsequently validated clinical features that were also inconclusive on their own but when put together with the provisional lab diagnosis, they decoded the mystery that an entire department couldn’t resolve. The advantage the couple had over us was a home cooked meal, and possibly several hugs and whatever he left out while telling the tale. This incidence compelled me to rescind on my decision at the outset to stir clear of the health sector when looking for a wife.
Via my interaction with teachers, I’ve come to realize that except God leads me otherwise, I can’t have a teacher as a wife. Firstly, governments rarely pay their salaries on time – a situation which makes them understandably angry and aggressive. I won’t love to come home after a tiring, exacerbating, and energy sapping day at the clinic to an angry woman, and worse, having my children being severely punished for the wrong doings of the education ministry that failed to pay my wife on time. I’ve also realized that teachers buy a lot of things like cloths on credit, and parties a lot which makes one wonder where they are getting all the money from when Akala et al had not paid April salary?
Bankers would have made a good choice as spouses, but their professional duties also entail bringing extra workloads to the home. I can’t imagine a scenario when I’m trying to sleep and my wife is soliloquizing about an unbalanced bank account. Furthermore, the current wave of events in the banking sector where female staffs are sent in search of rich customers who would open
fat bank accounts at any expense is also a danger sign that should scare non banking lovers like me away. Oga Sanusi, I’m sorry I just can’t entrust my wife in the hands of you, your customers and banking executives. They can elope like Erastus Akingbola!
The last scion that informed my new decision to go for a fellow medico as wife is the wave of purported illicit affairs going on in our clinics where doctors, as they say, sleep with nurses on duty.
Medically speaking, it’s a scientifically proven fact that we individually have sex hormone surges daily. It is therefore well understood if two people who had been together all day decide to get more intimate during such moments of hormonal surges. I’ve witnessed and heard rumors of such moments of inguinal explorations in lifts, isolated attending rooms, tea and seminar rooms, library shelves, stores, toilets, surgical theaters, medical laboratories, even mortuaries! I’ve come to the conclusion that since I’m saddled with the humbling task of satisfying my spouse in every capability, I should be there if my wife craves for such moments in the clinic. Who knows, I might me the only one on call! I hope this doesn’t get to my CMD!