FEATURE ARTICLE

Ozioma Evangeline EzeSaturday, March 4, 2017
hmezefom@gmail.com


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Forwarded by: Prof. Herbert Eze

MY EXPERIENCE WITH APPENDICITIS (1)

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mong the important questions I raised in my article entitled: Evaluation and Nigeria Education published in one of our national dailies and also in the Nigeria World some years past is whether our educational institutions are concerned about what our graduates are doing after we graduate them.

I am delighted to send in this article for publication written by our graduate both in Evangel Academy, Mubi and Truelight Academy, Nnewi. Miss Ozioma Eze schooled in both schools owned by the same organization. During her senior secondary school days at Truelight Academy, Nnewi, she participated in a field trip to the Anambra State Museum at Igbo-Ukwu and contributed in the research that led to my publication of an article entitled: A Trip to the Anambra State Museum, Igbo-Ukwu published by the Nigeria World and also by the Anambra State news website.

She later read Mass Communication at the Federal Polytechnic, Oko. Recently she has been employed to serve at the Lisbon University College, Mbaitoli, Owerri as a Media Assistant. We can happily answer about this graduate what she is doing especially as it is in line with her academic preparation.

Ozioma sent in the article you are about to read on her experience sometime in school concerning appendicitis. She narrates that initially whenever I complained to my mum that I am having pains in my stomach (right-side), she would tell me to drink water and as I drank water it stopped. She said it's because I don't take water (enough water).

This continued for a long time until during school period it became very severe that I had to go and meet my mom in her office, and she said that we would go for a medical test. When the test was done, the doctor said that I won't survive in the next 24 hours except an operation is carried out as he identified my case as appendicitis ripe for operation. I started crying not understanding what he meant.

He listed out the things my mother needed to get immediately in preparation. I was ordered to take my bath. After that, the next thing I remembered was that I was given an injection. When next I opened my eyes, I was in pains and everywhere was dark as there was no light. I tried to get up but could not. I cried out and a nearby patient woke up and told me that I had operation and for a few days had been on drip without food. They later brought me pap without sugar, and I was pissed off. I needed rice and stew with meat, but they brought me only white rice without stew. It was said that I wasn't ready yet for every food item.

I was just not happy. One day an aunty of mine brought my mum well prepared rice with chicken. As my mum was gone to see her off, I opened the food flask and as I was about to start eating the food, someone screamed, moved fast and took away the flask from me. I continued in this state of sadness until the day the doctor said I was free to eat anything as before. After a week, they removed my plasters, having treated my wound enough, I was discharged.

When I returned home, I started struggling to stand erect with the help of my mum and relations. My friends and peers sang for me as they saw me walking bent sometimes with stick as an old woman.

Guess what? I started eating a lot of things, like agidi and fish, milk and egg, pepper soup, chicken ,name them. I was really treated with great care then. My friends and school mates came visiting me with a lot of items. I wish such fun and great care could be endless but not with the appendicitis and what I went through during the treatment.

Fortunately with time, the treatment of appendicitis has drastically changed unlike in my own experience discussed above. I see this as among the innovations and progress by the medical science in recent times. Let me cite an example from the experience of my younger sister who was later treated of appendicitis. Since my mum already knows the symptoms of appendicitis, she did not hesitate to act quick in this new case.

One fateful day, my sister started having severe pain in her belly (right side). My mum took her to the hospital and the test proved she has appendicitis, The doctor did not talk of the type of operation known to us but instructed that my sister should go and eat. Having eaten as requested, she was laid on her back upon a bed and many needles were inserted on her stomach. With the help of their machine, her appendix was taken out. She was discharged immediately and that was all.

Comparing my sister's case with mine, obviously a number of differences stand out. Some people reason that the former type of operation is preferable to them than inserting needles and using a machine to remove the appendix which is not shown to the patient as in the former case. Showing the patients the removed appendix provides an evidence that the cause of their pain is gone. It could be taken home and shown to people who are usually anxious to know what an appendix looks like.

But, that of my sister was not seen; she only came back with those needles. Not minding that the cost of my sisters treatment was quite cheap and the treatment fast, some still prefer the old treatment of appendicitis than the new approach because of visible evidence of cutting off the appendix for the patient to see.

However, the fact that the pangs of appendicitis are gone after treatment in the new approach, seems to suggest that we rest the case about not seeing the removed appendix. The cost of the old approach in terms of hospital bill for admission and treatment, prolonged pains, initial starving and waiting long for the operation wound to heal is almost a total wipe out in comparison with the new approach. What then remains to be argued if not that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I wish my treatment of appendicitis was under this new dispensation.

Prof. H. Eze can be reached at hmezefom@gmail.com

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