I was overjoyed at the fact that I was not denied a visa, due to the circumstances that I had overstayed my welcome after college; God was surely on my side.
I was sharing my testimony with friends and we were all happy that I was going to return to life as we knew it. But in the midst of my holiday arose another issue. My feet were swollen from time to time, so I used that as an opportunity to constantly get massages from my family.
Image courtesy of Pexels
I did not know what caused the swelling; initially I thought it was the stress that came with the festivities, but I was well rested after everything and still they refused to go back to normal. If that wasn’t enough, I began to notice that whenever I laid down flat on my back my stomach had a pulse.
I watched it go up and down at a very fast rate and complained to my cousin one day, who brushed it off as nothing. People started taking note that my tummy was bigger than usual, I just thought it was from all the enjoyment (because I love food).
Then one day my dad insisted that he take me to the hospital to have some tests done, since no one knew what was causing my feet to swell, my stomach to have a heart rate, and also hurt like no man’s business. Even if one day he said—‘Evi you know you can tell me anything.’ Was this man thinking he was about to become a grandpa? Haha. So off to the hospital I went.
“Madam you are pregnant!” said the doctor.
“Me, pregnant ke ? There is no way I am pregnant!” I replied. I had no tasted the forbidden fruit in about four years.
“This is 26 weeks gestation now. Doctor, Doctor! Abeg come and listen” he called for another medical practitioner’s attention. She grabbed the stethoscope from him and listened carefully.
‘Yes sir, there is something definitely growing in her tummy.’ She added.
And I sure knew it was no baby!
So I said to them, “shey you have to do something before you get pregnant abi? I am not pregnant!
“Then we have to send you in for an emergency scan!”
That was when I began to get worried; my stomach all of a sudden became hard like I was carrying stones on the inside of it. After my ultrasound, it was confirmed that I had multiple benign tumors which are known as fibroids. Now these tumors were huge and beginning to crush one of my kidneys. That particular kidney had also swollen due to hydronephrosis and caused a dull pain on my lower back area.
No wonder I was always peeing every hour, like no joke! My sleep at night was interrupted because I had to wake up every hour to use the bathroom. The fibroids were the cause of my swollen feet. Immediately I called my friend who is married to a doctor and sent him my results and he advised that we needed to get those fibroids out as soon as possible, before they damaged my organs.
“There is no way on God’s green earth that I am going to have this surgery done in Nigeria, after all the horror stories I have heard about negligence and medical malpractice happening.” I said to myself one day.
So I went ahead to set up an appointment with a doctor at the Women’s and Children’s hospital in Lafayette to have my surgery pending my return.
Still I was advised to visit some good hospitals in Lagos, just to get a proper check and know what the next steps were. I then went to one like that oh, hmmm the doctor said:
‘madam, these things are huge, we will have to give you an injection to reduce the size of the fibroids, before we proceed to take them out. The first injection costs 11,000 naira, go and pay for it, so it can be given to you.’
“Eh? Just like that? No doctor, let me think about it first.” I said back to him and left.
When I got home, I did my research and most articles I found advised against that injection, because they had the potential to cause even bigger issues like cancer. I also had a dream not to return to that particular hospital. They never saw my break light again.
I determined within myself to do the surgery in the US, even if it was way more expensive to do it there. I felt it was going to be safer to have it done abroad. So I recruited my cousin to come spend that time period with me, to nurse me back to health. With all of that set up, I did not plan for what was going to happen next.
It was like a heartbreak; I was so devastated, the kind of pain I have not felt since the loss of my mother. The rug was yanked from underneath me. The life I had known for 11 years went up in smokes. It was a rude awakening; how was I going to come out of this? I never saw this coming.
A shift was about to take place when these words were muttered: Where did you renew your passport?
Already sweating my socks off, I had to answer the immigration official; I no longer had the privilege to hide behind a computer screen and carefully think through my answers. I had no other option than to say the truth, even if I had an idea of where this was going.
So nervously I responded—Atlanta.
When did you graduate?
In 2014, I replied her.
And you renewed your passport in 2015, in Atlanta? Please step aside ma’am.
The Shift is a multiple part story which covers my journey to moving back to Nigeria unexpectedly. Be sure to check out the website every week to continue with me as we explore this story about one of the most trying moments of my life.
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.