Tag Archives: sick

Par Orchids!!!


When it rains it pours. Isn’t that what they say? A few days ago I woke up with my orchids blooming. My high quality, incomparably beautiful orchids were blooming. What orchids you ask? Yeah, what orchids?

PAROTIDS! Those salivary glands at the angle of the jaw through which the facial nerve and it’s branches course. Remember TO ZINZIBA BY MOTOR CAR? Oh how I hated anatomy. Anyways, my parotids were swollen, I could barely open my mouth, and of course, the pain. Oh the pain, and in a flash, everything that could go wrong came to me. My parotids were inflamed, but why? Even more importantly, CAN A GIRL NOT HAVE A DAY OF PEACE??? AAARRRRGGGHHH!!!!

Typical of a medical student I went for the worst possible cause. Chronic liver disease. Chr…whaaat? “But of course” Ok typical medical student, once we are taught something,trust, we will diagnose it in someone, most likely ourselves first. I wonder how many people auscultated murmurs in themselves after we had lectures on them.There was a time pretty much all of us thought we had obsessive compulsive disease, yes, after the lecture. It’s just a thing.

So, back to the orchids, it could only be chronic liver disease. Then it hit me, guurllll, you are being ridiculous, what happened to mumps and all the other causes of acute parotitis, especially so, when you have been battling a sore throat all week. Chill. Ok, ok, get dressed go see a doctor. Someone to make an objective diagnosis because this is not helping.

Then I had my bath, but I did. Errrmmmm, shall we focus on the medicine and not my goat milk shower gel (wink*) or the fact that I was naked. Stop pretending, y’all shower naked too. Ok so since I was in the shower, why not undertake a full physical exam? Oh I went ninja mode stigmata of chronic liver disease.

Turns out I do not have palmar erythema or spider naevaei. No caput medussa , now that would have been a cool find, would have taken a selfie AFTER I GOT DRESSED to show my caput medussa. What else is there to find in chronic liver disease? Jaundice, naah. Gynaecomastea, well, ermmm, female, boobs! No clubbing ( oh not your regular clubbing) Ok so there was some abdominal pain in the hypochondrium. Oh wait, wrong side, left, that’s just my spleen, unless…? Naah

Ok, so it’s not chronic liver. Obviously! But who thought it was. Not me. (Looks away with innocent face*), I do have the enlarged parotids and easy bruising tho. Let’s see what my objective long trusted hematologist says. Am guessing a liver function test is not out of the question. Lord knows my liver and kidneys have been through a hell of lot. Really, all those meds? I hope it is not catching up with me. Damn I’m too young for this. 70 is a cool catch up age.

So I was at the sickle cell clinic. YipeeUUURRRGGGHHHH! My haematologist is the best. Eeerrmm, my labs were deranged, like that is any news. So this parotitis is either bacterial or viral. If viral, mumps, of course it will be the person with sickle cell to get it first, there is no history of contact tho. Talk about immunosupression, alternatively it could be last week’s sore throat gone haywire. Eitherways can’t I just be normal. So, it is not chronic liver disease, as was already established from my thorough THOROUGH clinical examination. (Wink*) So I came home with some antibiotics and analgesics and of course the advice to drink loads of water. For the viral component, you know, TLC! Applications are more than welcome. Specifications, I like dark chocolate. #okbye. From comments on my last post, a back rub never hurt 😉

So the labs, as I expected, a liver function test, clotting profile and blood film comment in addition to those I did at the clinic. I must have mentioned somewhere that this sickle cell thing is expensive! Plus, I missed ward rounds to go to the clinic. Oh I am not going to pretend to be sad about that. It adds up tho, all those missed days, it gets costly. I’m probably going to miss next week too considering the current state of affairs. I love my life! Not!

How am I now? Crappy with a cherry on top. The orchids are still blooming and expanding fast. Temperature is still high, it hurts to eat and I am weak. Lips are cracked because, well, there is only so much water a girl can drink. I am just hoping I don’t develop a VOC this weekend and end up in the ER. I can feel little aches and pains. I wish I could have an IV fluid going so I don’t have a crisis because that is what these infections do, but I can’t just walk into the ER with my pearly whites and request for that, someone will accuse me of being a drug seeker. “And ohh they gon have it, except, I can barely open my mouth and I am too weak for drama.” I am just going to wait this one out!

Do pray for me. Not in the mood for the ER anytime soon. Oh then there is the fact that I missed a gorgeous clothing line launch. This is how a person gets tagged as flakey. Spontaneous bouts of debilitating illness. Hmm. Oh well! This sickle life tho.

Live each day to the fullest guys, make it count. If you are out be safe. Do an extra whatever you are doing for me.


Spent the whole of yesterday detained at the sickle cell clinic trying to correct dehydration and lethargy from not eating anything in 24 hrs. Fortunately, while on pain meds I was able to eat some rice. Just woke and tried eating again. Ouchhh!!! Guess I may have to go in for for full admission to receive adequate mainten…

Then I was brought to the ER. Was feeling too weak last night, just had to get some glucose in, sips of juice all day certainly wasn’t helping. Working diagnosis now is SIALADENITIS / PAROTITIS.

In other news, some people are just so uncouth. Acting like they are in their own homes while in the hospital. Like seriously, I am trying to sleep here. Plugs ears, covers face, attempts to sleep!!!


BROKEN??? (Part 1)

Sickle Cell Disease is no excuse! I went to the university of Michigan for my electives! The head of the neurosurgery department is a woman who has never walked! She is in a wheel chair! She has spina bifida…


SURGERY! Important info on those pink sheets. BAJA textbook and of course, tea

Strong words from a colleague, one I respect a lot. She is helping me with preparations for my end of surgery rotation exams, which by the way, are just next week.  She couldn’t quite understand why I seemed so unconcerned about my upcoming exams. Considering, I’ve missed a lot of school due to ill health and I still am, due to ‘aggressive physiotherapy’ totally messing up my schedule.

I’m broken. The drive is lost. A lot has happened in the past, but nothing has ever gotten to me so much. I am even surprised at myself. Everyone says, let go of this already, but I just can’t. Sickle cell has never been, and is still not an excuse for me. I am the kind of person who goes all out. Gives a-hundred-and-ten-percent when  I am healthy, just so, if I happen to be unwell, I don’t bother about missing school and such. That’s me!

In recent times however, there has been a change. The genesis? End of medicine rotation exams. Yeah! That was one terrible time for me. Of the 12 week medicine rotation, you could say, I was only fully present for 4 weeks. My body started acting up. I knew I was unwell, just couldn’t put a finger on it. Frustrating, that’s what it was. Started seeing my doctors. Diagnosis? Relapse of pneumonia, right through exacerbation of bronchitis secondary to asthma to rib infarcts. Everything and anything.

Every diagnosis came with a new set of drugs. Went through the normal antimalarial, analgesics, antibiotics (from co-amoxiclav to levofloxacin), steroids( both prednisolone and symbicort pump and oh, I don’t even have asthma, did all the tests to prove that). Did xrays, lab tests, everything, I was still sick and in the end, my body just gave up. We had had enough.

One Friday, while doing what I usually do, stay on the wards after-hours to clerk patients, the ‘doctor’ became the patient. Excruciating back pain and there, I had my very own bed with my patients on my floor. Monday morning, my colleagues, consultants, literally my whole class knew I was on admission (I wasn’t amused). Was there for about a week in excruciating pain, and for the first time pethidine was not touching my pain.

Exams were approaching, and I needed to be out of there already. The pain meds were not working, my lab results looked good, there was no point keeping me there, so I was out. Exams in two weeks with an excruciating pain in my right shoulder (I am right handed), we resorted to an intra-articular steroid injection. Worked like magic. My joy was however short-lived.

Few days later, what do you know? Hip pain. Worst ever. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’ll say, we need a bigger scale.No kidding! Good thing, I did pharmacology, I know how to work my meds (no am not a drug addict, I take drugs because I need them). 100mg diclofenac was not touching my pain, and I wasn’t about to get re-admitted in under a week of discharge especially so, with exams staring me in the face.

So, I was limping around school. those were hard times. Now, we know it was the avascular necrosis of the femoral head. I did not know then. I would have probably ‘made reservations for a bed’ in the emergency room. Being the driven student that I am/was I went to the wards in my worst pain ever to examine patients and be the doctor. Though I more than anyone needed doctors at that time.

Then the day of the exam came…