Monday, July 21, 2014

EBOLA COMES TO TOWN!



Dr Ebuka was tired, it wasn't even 12 midnight yet and he had seen 15 patients already; he wasn't ready for another one.
He thought longingly about his bed at home, he had bought it just before housejob, it had served him well. He looked at the sorry excuse for a bed at a corner of the doctor's call room and wondered why he chose such a profession that was only dignified in name in this part of the world. He lifted the threadbare mattress as a cockroach jumped off, moving it directly under the fan. He turned on the switch as the familiar wrrrrring sound from the blades started, dropping some specks of dust on his white coat. He sighed.

He placed his white coat on the mattress, it would make a suitable bedsheet. The government had stopped supplying the doctors new sheets as the doctors, in their opinion had become too comfortable going as far as even daring the government by going on strike! Dr Ebuka sighed again as he slowly drifted to sleep.

He heard the footsteps but hoped they were not coming towards him.

kpo! kpo! kpo! came the repeated knocks on the call room door, Dr Ebuka struggled to open his eyes, he walked as if in a trance to open the door.

The ward maid was standing there, her tribal marks glistening under the corridor bulb as if she had specifically rubbed olive oil on the marks. She looked at him with disdain.

'Doctor - Patient'. With that, her message delivered, she turned to leave.

Dr Ebuka sighed again, that was what medicine had turned to; nobody had regard for the doctor anymore.

Dr Ebuka hurried to see the patient that had been brought in, he checked his vital signs which had been done by the nurse on duty, she had since retired to a corner of the corridor to continue her sleep, her job having been done.

Dr Ebuka longed for the days he could order the nurse to be by his side when seeing a patient, but those days were long gone, if he tried it now, he would get a good telling off by the nurse. Nurses held all the power these days.

His attention returned to the patient, he wasn't too bad, he just had a little fever, sorethroat and headache. Common things occur commonly, Dr Ebuka wrote out a prescription for malaria and placed the patient on observation. There was no point trying to do any lab test at this time of the night as he knew the same excuse the lab scientist would give. It was better to watch the patient and hope for the best. The patient coughed and Dr Ebuka looked at him with pity and added something to his prescription.

He shook the patient's hand as all good doctors do, took his notes to the sleepy eyed nurse and returned to the call room.



It all happened suddenly, the ward maid came running into the room, ' Doctor, doctor, patient vomit everywhere, blood everywhere!'

' What?' Dr Ebuka barely understood what she was saying.

' I say blood, blood everywhere.' With that she ran back to the ward.

Dr Ebuka rushed out again, only to meet the patient vomiting blood.

Dr Ebuka watched as if confused, he finally regained his composure and checked for gloves.

There was no glove available, he had to write a prescription to get gloves from the pharmacy! Dr Ebuka cursed the government once again for not providing the basic minimum.

That was when he noticed a leaflet among the things by the patient's bed.

It was on Ebola.

Dr Ebuka looked back at the patient, it was then he noticed the rashes on the patient's skin.

He suddenly remembered the handshake, he had not worn any gloves.

He had not worn a facemask.

His white-coat was still covering the mattress.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

FLASH FICTION: THE CAMERA DOESN'T LIE.



They all looked at each other and wondered why they had each been called to the meeting.

The invitation had been simple enough; they were to speak to the audience about a topic from their individual specialties. They had been carefully selected: A physician, a psychiatrist, a surgeon, a child specialist and a gynaecologist.

The hall was located in a school annex and they were to give the science students a talk about their individual specialties. They had all never been to the school before.
They all arrived early as requested in their invitation cards.
Maybe too early.

They hadn't seen their hosts yet.

There were no students around.

There was no audience.

The hall was empty except for five of them.

The physician Dr Bello, who was short tempered was becoming annoyed.

'What sort of arrangement is this?' He bellowed, asking no one in particular.

Dr Grace, the psychiatrist just looked up at him and continued back at her notes.

The surgeon, Dr Phemi stood up and started pacing, after a few minutes, he walked determinedly to the doors in a bid to open them
and leave.

The doors didn't budge.

'Hello, that's strange', he muttered under his breath.

Dr Aki, the child specialist noticed what was going on and hurried to help him out. The doors held.

By now all the doctors had hurried to the doors.

Suddenly all the lights in the room went off.

Dr Grace screamed..

Everyone was in a panic, no one knew what was going on.

The voice came out clear from the speakers.

'Dear Doctors, kindly return to your seats, you can only get out if I allow you to.'

'Who are you?' Dr Parker, the gynaecologist, spoke for the first time, in a barely audible whimper.

'Please sit down if you want to leave this place alive,' the voice commanded.

They all grabbed the nearest seats.

The voice continued, in a slow even measured tone.

'Jan 5, 2005, Dr Bello, you gave a patient 1 in 100,000 units of adrenaline instead of 1 in 10,000. The patient died and you wrote 1 in 10,000 in your notes.'

'July 4, 2007, Dr Grace, a patient was brought to you with suicidal tendencies, you subtly suggested to the patient that he was being a burden to his parents, he took his life the next day.'

'September 12, 2007, Dr Phemi, after a 12 hour surgery, you remembered you may have left a little gauze in a patient's abdomen after allowing your assistant to close up while you took a phone call. You didn't think to check, the young man died after a week.

'February 14 2009, Dr Aki, because you were on a valentine date, you refused to pick up the call from your emergency nurse. The child brought in that night died.'


'March 10, 2010, Dr Parker, you chose to perform a caesarean section for a woman without any blood being available, she died from post operative bleeding.'


By now there was total silence in the hall, all the accused doctors looked at each other.The voice continued.

'Is there any reason why I should allow any of you leave this hall alive today?'

They heard a sound behind them and turned around in horror.









image: howstuffworks.com

Saturday, April 26, 2014

FLASH FICTION: SILENT WITNESS






There was something eerie about the hospital ward that night, but Lola, the night duty nurse was hell bent on carrying out her plan. She had waited faithfully for this day and couldn’t put off her plan any longer. This was the night her dreams would be realised.

She checked the ward to see if the patient was still there; if the patient had been moved, it would make her plan much harder to achieve – but not impossible.

Thankfully, the patient was still there, attached to the life support machine.
Nurse Lola recalled the day the patient was rushed into the hospital, in a flurry of activity, her case was really bad, she was gasping for breath and holding on to her chest - but that was not what caught Nurse Lola’s attention. There was a convoy of cars outside the Emergency Department, attesting to the importance of this particular patient; but that still, was not what caught Nurse Lola’s attention.

Was she the only one that noticed it? It was so glaring but everyone else seemed to carry on with their work seemingly oblivious of it, but not Nurse Lola.

Now, a plan that had taken her a week to hatch was going to come to fruition.

Nurse Lola quickly broke herself from her reverie and focused on the task at hand, she stepped silently to the patient’s side and lifted the sheet covering her lower body and arms – then she saw it, in all its sparkling glory; the most amazing and expensive (she had checked) diamond ring, almost blinding her eyes. Lola quickly twisted the ring off the unconscious patient’s finger and slipped it in her pocket. Lola turned to exit and noticed the second unconscious patient in the ward. his eyes were open.

They had not been open when she had entered the ward.
Was he now conscious?
What had he seen?

His eyes held hers in a fixed and glazed look, Lola contemplated what to do.

Just then a team of doctors entered the room closing the door behind them.


image source gomerblog. Com


Monday, September 16, 2013

FLASH FICTION :THE EMPEROR



His Majesty,the Emperor was not happy, he couldn't understand why his subjects were beginning to rebel against him. They hadn't done anything yet, but he smelled a revolution in the air.

The Emperor was smart, it would take more than a revolution to get him off his throne. But he didn't know who he could trust, he pondered this for a while and decided to call his chief security adviser.

Bismarck had been with the emperor for a long time, ever since he got on the throne of Banzila, so the emperor felt he could be trusted.

"What do you think I should do, the people seem to be getting more agitated by the day," he confided in Bismarck.

Bismarck took his time, he was never one to rush, he stroked his long white beard, his hawk like eyes encased in very thick rimmed frames, he squinted as if the light in the palace was too bright for him, but in reality there was only a dim bulb on.

After what seemed like ages, the trusted Bismarck finally spoke, "wipe out the traitors!"
That was all he said, but the import of his words was not lost on the emperor, the emperor shifted in his seat, adjusting his regalia.

Emperor Javid was an imposing figure, his six foot frame and wide angled shoulders adding to his air of royalty, his long and luxuriant black hair unmistakeable in a crowd. He did not speak for a while carefully considering Bismarck's remark.

"Set the process in motion," he finally told Bismarck.
He knew Bismarck would handle it with the greatest of discretion.

"Who do you think we should start with?" he asked his trusted adviser.

Bismarck appeared to pick an insect from his thick beard; he considered the unlucky creature as he rolled it between his thumb and fore finger, when he was finally satisfied he flicked the dead insect across the room.

"Rasheed," came the long awaited reply, Emperor Javid nodded his head.

Rasheed had become unbearing lately, ever since he had been admitted into the inner council of elders, there had been unconfirmed reports he had been inciting the people against the emperor, Bismarck as usual, was right. The emperor was satisfied.

The emperor had had a long day, but he was now satisfied, he could go to sleep.

The night was a still one, the trees stood stiffly without a breeze to move their branches, a smell of death hung in the air. A lone figure stole across the night, leaving no shadow behind, suddenly hands seized him before he could protest, a hand across his mouth and - silence. The body was left there, still as the night.

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Dr Rasheed was not one to miss his ward rounds, but when he wasn't seen that morning, a maid was sent to call him from his quarters.

The sight she met on the bush path to the Doctors' quarters made her wish she hadn't come to work.

That day was a sad one in Banzila hospital; every one was sad, every one that is, except the two oldest patients in the psychiatry ward; Javid and Bismarck.



IMAGE: villains.wikia.com

Thursday, September 12, 2013

IN HER INTEREST.



"I will kill my husband," she said to me in a matter of fact voice as I carefully took her blood pressure measurement. It came as no surprise to me as I am used to hearing all sorts of babble from my very ill patients. I took no further notice as I packed my equipment and went into the Doctor's Call room.

I told my colleagues what she had said and we all laughed over it. "She is probably going into encephalopathy, that's why she is talking irrationally," Dr Donald, the neurology registrar had said. We all agreed.

The patient had been brought in as a case of severe malaria which had proved unresponsive to all drugs; we were beginning to doubt our diagnosis as her condition was fast deteriorating. Even with the extent of her illness, you could still see how beautiful she was, devastatingly beautiful, if I must add - a sharp contrast to the anxious man who brought her in, we were later to learn he was her husband. What tragedy of fate had brought these two together?

Her words haunted me, were they words of a sick woman who wasn't thinking clearly, or were they words from a heart that had been treated unfairly by the husband she had married? Somehow, I tended to believe the latter.

I did a few things, returned to see my patient,(she was fairly stable), packed my things and went home.

I returned to the hospital the next morning and met a strange scene; Doctors and nurses were in groups talking. I hurried to them to ask what was going on.

"We lost the patient." Dr Donald said with a sad face.

My heart skipped a beat.

"Which patient?" I asked, my voice shaky.

"Sorry, I meant the Patient's husband."

"But how?" I asked incredulous.

"The night shift nurse just met him gasping beside his wife; the wife herself, unconscious." Dr Donald explained.

It was a tragedy. Apparently the husband of my patient had died while caring for her. Suddenly Dr Donald looked at me, "she said she would kill him, didn't she?" I stared at him. "Yes, she did." We both looked at each other.

But how had she done it?

We scheduled the dead man for an autopsy and promptly returned to work.

The autopsy was done a few days later and nothing was found. I know this for certain because I was there.

The patient promptly recovered and denied any foul play. With no evidence against her, she was discharged.

That was 6 months ago, many miles away.

As I stare into my lover's eyes we both laugh and she asks me again how I did it.

"Don't you know a doctor can get away with almost anything?" I reply my devastating beauty.


image credit: beckinshort

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

LOVE COMES AS THE END



As the car tumbled down the cliff, he remembered the ring in his glove compartment. Would they find it? Would she ever know how he felt?

It was ironical, he was thinking about her while plunging towards certain death. She had that kind of effect on him.

As the final impact approached, he said a quick prayer for her and then for himself.

They had met by pure coincidence in college, she had bumped into him while trying to run away from a gang, he had helped her hide while they looked for her. That was many years ago.

She never did give him a chance with her, she was a medical student and didn't want to start dating as she didn't want to fail her exams. It had taken him this long to catch her interest, but that didn't bother him.

She always attracted the wrong kind (except him); a similar situation had led him to this accident.

He tried to recall the events of the past two days, how he had planned to propose to her and how he had bought this expensive ring, diamond studded, he was told, he had to return twice to the shop before he got all the money to pay. Diamonds are said to be hard and almost indestructible, surely the ring would survive the crash.

He had planned a surprise presentation for her, he planned to pick her up at the hospital where she worked and take her to a serene restaurant, where he'd already planned with the management to set the right atmosphere for the proposal. The jazz band was even going to play her favourite ballad while he looked into her eyes and popped the question.

That was now a world away, as shattered glass, leaves and all manner of debris colluded to take the life away from him. His 1999 Toyota Corolla was hardly able to withstand this assault and pummelling; it seemed like the car had been tumbling forever but he knew it was just a few seconds... and in a few more seconds it would all be over.

Fate had indeed dealt him a terrible hand, just when his life was about to get some sort of structure, all had crumbled, and here he was, some seconds to his death thinking about the only girl he'd loved in all his life and who it would seem, didn't love him.

He recalled how he stood outside her office, just about to place a knock on her door, his heart racing with excitement at his anticipated proposal, then he heard it. What he heard brought his world to a standstill. It was as if he had been shot with a poisoned arrow, in a confused daze he hurried out of the hospital complex into his car, deciding to take a long ride to clear his mind. He saw no need to fasten his seatbelt as he drove towards the city limits.

"What a fool I am, what a fool I've been," he kept saying to himself as the tears streamed down his face. He sobbed so much the tears blurred his vision. He failed to see the truck coming his way.

It was already too late when his vision cleared, he swung sharply to avoid the collision.

The road was too narrow to accommodate such antics. His car somersaulted.



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Dr Isabella was very happy, she'd just been off the phone with her brother, who'd announced he would sponsor her and Mark, her boyfriend to Las Vegas if he finally proposed. "Oh I love you! I really do love you!" she had said to her brother in excitement.

She knew Mark, her boyfriend, was soon going to propose, she saw it in his eyes and the way he talked to her. It was just a matter of time, she was very sure.

She'd really given Mark a tough time, all through college, right from the time he'd saved her from that brutal gang till now. She liked him then but claimed she needed to read her books.

But where was he now? he'd promised to come pick her from work and it was getting really late. Where was he?




image courtesy wikipedia.org

Sunday, August 25, 2013

SHORT STORY: SAVE ME

Something flashed in her imagination as she looked across at the pale whimpering old man in front of her.

"Doctor, please save me, I don't want to die." He sobbed.

Dr Shola snapped out of her reverie and concentrated on the patient in front of her. He was a man in his late 50s; obviously life had not treated him well, he looked unkempt and smelled, but that was not the problem. From what she could see, the man was very sick and if nothing was done, would be alive for just a couple of hours more.

The patient was pale, very pale, and his blood pressure was very low. He was slipping away. If he didn't receive a blood transfusion in the next few minutes he would surely die.

Dr Shola hated seeing patients like this; they come with all sorts of problems and when they are treated, bring up so many excuses why they can't pay.

Well, she was not having this today, she had struggled to build up her practice from scratch, an orphan who had struggled to get scholarships and work all through college and medical school while accruing so many loans, she wasn't about to do any charity work.

Her parents had died when she was very young, not from natural causes but a horrible and horrendous manner which was to haunt her for life.

Her mind wandered again to that fateful day.

It was her eighth birthday, she'd had a wonderful celebration with her friends who had all left. She'd had dinner with her parents and proceeded to open the last of her presents when there was a knock on their living room door.

"I wonder who that is now," her mother had said, "Shola, go up to your room, I will come and tuck you in."

Shola gladly picked up her presents and went up the stairs to her bedroom, hoping the visitor would leave early so her mother could come and admire her cool gifts before she slept.

Shola was soon engrossed with her gifts, suddenly she heard her room door open slightly.

Shola jumped from her bed to welcome her mother, her arms flung wide open.

She crashed into a tall, sturdily built figure.

Shola screamed.

"Sshhhh," the figure warned.

It was a man she'd never met before, a dirty handkerchief covering his face, with only his eyes, blue and scary under bushy eyebrows revealed. He dragged her downstairs. What she saw horrified her. Her mother and father were lying face down on the bare floor in the passageway; another man with a gun stood over them, the gun pointed at her father's head.

Shola was shoved to the floor and ordered to lie face down.

"For the last time, Where is the money?" The tall one with the bushy eyebrow and gritty voice barked at her father.

"I don't have any money, I just celebrated my daughter's birthday." Her father was pleading, tears in his voice.

Then she heard it - the sound that changed her life, the sound that made her jump at loud sounds even to this day, the sound for which she never watched any action or violent movie. Three shots fired in rapid succession.


"Doctor please save me, I don't want to die!"

Dr Shola was brought back again from her reverie and looked at the dying patient in front of her.

"Please save me," he said again with his gritty voice.

She looked at him, saw those blue eyes underneath bushy eyebrows.

Suddenly, her world stood still. Doctor Shola stared.

"Doctor, do something, can't you see I'm dying!"

Doctor Shola smiled at him.

"Don't worry, I will save you," she said as she picked up the syringe...