“Don’t eat anything after midnight and make sure you have your bath before midnight.”
The nurses said to me as they were preparing me mentally for what was about to take place. I had not had major surgery before and all surgeries come with one risk factor; the possibility of bleeding to death. I channeled all the fear I had into prayer, and trusted God to hold my hands through it all.
The night before my operation, I slept like a baby. In fact my aunty had to call to wake me up at 5am to start getting ready, because she was coming to get me. My brother, his wife and my cousin also accompanied us to the hospital. On getting there, when they were about to put my IV in, I was fidgeting. The nurse laughed saying—weren’t you the one anxious to get this done?
I know, but I just hate needles! I’ve been traumatized by those little suckers since I was a little kid.
Before I went into the OR, my family prayed with me and waited anxiously for the procedure to be over. The doctor estimated that it was going to last for about three hours and they had blood ready for transfusion, just in case I lost a lot during operation.
The anesthesiologist came into the room trying to scare me, just to see if I was full of fear. But I wasn’t shaken by his antics and he was surprised. He went ahead to say—“this must be the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. Did you sleep the night before?”
Yes I did, I answered back. The sleep was so good, that I had a hard time getting up. He was in awe! He said that most people when they know they are about to have major surgery which requires them going under anesthesia, they get so fearful and don’t sleep the night before. But your girl loves her sleep; nothing is worth her losing sleep over. Although I wanted epidural instead so I could be awake, but the team advised against it, stating that I would move during the procedure.
Count from one to ten, they said. 1,2,3,4zzzzzzzz... and I was out. This was about 9am, and the next time I opened my eyes was 10:30am, yes the surgery lasted half the time the doctors had predicted, there was minimal blood loss but no need for transfusion. Everything went well.
As soon as they woke me up, I was screaming—Pain! Pain!
I was in some much anguish, but they said they had to take me to the recovery room before I was going to be put on any pain medication. The surgery site hurt so badly. Then I struggled to take the oxygen mask off and the nurse put it back.
“Hold my hand, hold my hand!” I said to her.
Okay I will, let me record this information on the database.
“Hold my hand!” I continued
Poor nurse, she had to leave what she was doing to have her fingers interlocked with mine. Then I felt safe. Maybe I thought I was slipping away, it also felt like I was running out of breath and I just needed someone to be there with me. Plus I love to hold hands, so hey! That was what I requested for when I woke up.
Then they careful wheeled me back to the recovery room where my family came in to see me. There were no complications during or even after the surgery, thank God. The surgeon did a great job and you can rarely see the place he made the incision. A lot of people are often left with bad scars, but mine is as good as invisible.
I also recovered very quickly. With each passing day I got stronger and stronger. In fact the doctor brought a patient into my room one day asking me to talk to her about what I went through and also answer her burning questions because she was afraid to go under the knife.
I felt much lighter, once I was free from those tumors. They were so huge that my aunts couldn’t believe I had no clue I was carrying those things around for months until I came home.
After my recovery I arranged for my personal items to be sent to me from America. Thank God for the friends I have who are more like sisters to me. They packed up my apartment, sold my furniture and car. And then had the remaining things shipped to me. I don’t know how I would have done it without them. I had to cancel the lease on my apartment plus pay them one month rent. I explained my sad situation to them and they were like yeah, we are sorry that happened but you have to pay us one month rent because you broke your lease. Ah Martha! I thought we were friends?
Once that was out of the way, I went ahead to register for the dreaded NYSC program. Can you imagine, old mama like me doing camp with people who just graduated college. Well I spent only one night at camp, I used my recent surgery as an excuse; no time!
The Creative Journey
But before camp started I had a few months. People were suggesting all sorts for me to do with my time. I knew I was no longer interested in engineering (shhhh… don’t tell my father), so I really had to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. My brother suggested that I go into some business venture of some sort.
But Lord knows I don’t have it in me to drag people for money. My friend asked me to go see her former boss for a possibility for an internship and quite frankly I had no business going there. Because they operated in a field I did not have interest in. Still I went to see the man.
He went ahead to advise me to apply for a masters in engineering, and I’m like who gon pay for that? I am not interested in going back to school. He then went ahead to ask me what my passion was and honestly at that moment I did not know. Then he told me to go and think about my life. I just wanted everything to fall into place and in my own timing, but that wasn’t happening. Looking back now I am wondering why I was stressing myself when I still had a full year of service to do.
So one day I stumbled upon a program on bellanaija.com titled girls love tech. They were going to teach you things about technology and business. On the questionnaire I filled out, when they asked what skills I possessed, I mentioned writing, even if it was just short posts I had written at the time. So they advised for me to join their digital marketing program.
I started scribbling things together back in 2014, after one intense heartbreak since I needed to let all my emotions out. That was the first time I dabbled into storytelling. After that I would write a few short posts and send them to my friend to read. She always said I was a good writer, but I never dreamt of becoming one.
During the girls love tech program, we were given an assignment to create a website. I went ahead to do that. For me I thought; what am I going to put on this website? It needs content and it’s not like I have any goods or services to sell. Then a light bulb went off! You can actually write a post, and publish it. And on February 15th 2018, letstalknationblog.com was born!
All I wanted to do there was tell my story; the one I wrote back in 2014 because I felt people could learn from my journey. After I did that, I thought what other interesting story do I have to tell? No one would visit my site. Plus what other topics can I talk about? And how am I going to keep this up? Would I always have something to say?
You see the shift in this story occurred for me when I decided to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard like I love saying and tell my story. The way it resonated with people made me remember some other promises which God had made to me in the past. I could now see why He told me those things because at the time, even if I was excited about my future, I did not know how the journey would begin. If I was not ejected or shifted from my comfort zone, there wouldn’t be any letstalknationblog.com; or better still, I wouldn’t have found my purpose. So He had all of this planned out.
God gave me the name for this platform, He told me the different categories to create on it as well, He led me to share my first story and He has continued to inspire me to write almost every day. He is my partner in all of it.
After NYSC, I worried if I would be able to land a job; a well-paying one at that in the creative industry. I did not want to sit home and not go to work. Even if my passion satisfied me; giving me a sense of purpose and then He spoke again—“I see your excellent blog, you will work for many people.” Not too long after those words, I landed my first job with a writing agency and also got opportunities to create content for other platforms. My blog became the resume, which showcased my writing skills.
You shall not leave empty-handed
In the beginning of my writing journey after I wrote my first hit—Revisiting Ground Zero, I feared that I would not have any other story to tell and you know people love stories, people love real-life experiences that they can relate to knowing that they are not alone. If someone else can overcome some blows life has dealt them, then they too can overcome whatever they might be facing. We are all humans and go through similar challenges. So when we share our stories, we are able to help others or at the very least, give them gist.
So while I was busy worrying about where inspiration would come from, little did I know that I had multiple stories to tell! After Revisiting Ground Zero, I went ahead to write the Mr. Perfect series for Bellanaija.com, Loss, Situationships, A series of Unfortunate Events and now The Shift which is an expanded version of Loss. Not to talk about over 200 articles/blog posts I have written for my platform, excluding the content I create for others, outside of my 9-5.
God gave me a gift which was deeply rooted in me, that did not find its way out until after I came back to Nigeria. There must be something about this land. When people compliment my writing skills, it makes me feel good but at the same time I am not taken aback by their words, because I know who the real author of these stories are.
Without Him, I would be clueless. Now people around the world get to share in this journey with me. Out of 195 countries we presently have, people from 109 countries have come in contact with my blog! not too shabby for a girl who didn't know what her purpose was two years ago.
The Shift was a story that I doubted I would ever tell because of the shame I felt towards the experience. But one day a former toaster of mine who I shared the experience with, didn’t judge me and encouraged me to share it with the world. That was when I became confident about my journey. I mean I messed up, but it’s still part and parcel of the person I am becoming. Although we didn’t end up together (maybe he ran away because of it haha) I am grateful to God for using him in that moment to boost my confidence and encourage me to use my voice!
See me concerned for months about what I was going to make out of my life, not knowing the answer was right there, in the palm of my hands.
Ah my God was right sha! It all makes sense! Now I see it, I totally get it—“and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed.” I sure did not leave America that fateful day on June 20th, 2017, empty-handed. I was loaded with my gifts and purpose even if I could not see it. Now when people ask me—why don’t you relocate to Canada? My response is usually-what will be the reasoning behind that move? I am home and I am not complaining.
I may not have the white picket fence, but my fence is black; I can work with that.
I may not be working that dream job right now, but I am living my best life regardless; being faithful with little until He makes me ruler over much.
I may not have a green card, but my passport is green; what else am I looking for?
I may not be in a relationship with Mr. Perfect just yet; but the one who God has for me is on his way; I ain't complaining.
If there is one thing you can take away from my story and life-experiences is that: Difficult times are not forever. If you stick with God through out the dreaded process, you will come out victorious.(Now thanks be unto God who always causes us to be triumphant in Christ Jesus, 2 Corinthians 2:14).
The lyrics to Moriah Peters song—You Carry Me, comes to mind:
“Every moment of my life, God you never left my side, every valley, every storm, you were there, you were there, I don’t need to know what’s next, you’ll be with me every step, through it all, through it all, I can see, you carry me."
He carried me indeed. And guess what? Nigeria is the best thing that ever happened to me.
Okay now God, no more trials; let me rest small…phewww
The Shift is a multiple part story which covers my journey to moving back to Nigeria unexpectedly. You have now come to the end of this series. Thanks for making the commitment to read every part, and also being engrossed in it. I am appreciative of you all! Catch up with all the parts below if you haven't done so yet.
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Don’t stop here; click this link to explore more on our Short Stories page.
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.