|WHEN PLACED UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ANESTHESIA|
I do not remember when last I had been so much terrified with fear, but the event of last semester which came suddenly left behind its indelible mark upon the hollow corners of my veiled memory. Memory caught in a mysterious space between waking and dreaming…As I steeped deeper to figure out what was really happening to me, I was caught even more within fragments of memory that left behind only words, partial thoughts, stories without text, songs without lyrics, and empty anthems that trusts the indirect route to a deeper truth that can only be found with the inner eyes alone.
I was so much terrified that I finally realized when I woke up that sometimes, somehow, we can never control our fear or run away from it, no matter how hard we try. I actually realized that that event suddenly strutted in to reveal the weaker aspect of me-a true reflection of every man.
Two weeks to the exams last semester, I had been experiencing a kind of strange but chronic pain in my stomach. This happened on the 3rd of October, 2001. That day, I quickly rushed to my doctor to complain. It was already dark, so I couldn’t go through the major examination. The following day which was Thursday, the 4th of October 2001 at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital; my doctor diagnosed me and later announced to me that the cause of my chronic stomach pain was ‘appendicitis’. He said the condition was complicated and demanded a very urgent medical attention before it would be too late for me.
As he told me this, I understood him right away…”Your case is a case of maximum inflammation of the appendix and we need to urgently operate you, otherwise…Hun…RUPTURE!!!” I imagined. Suddenly my head started pounding like a big drum and my heart raced so fast that I almost lost my breath at that point; my mouth gaped and adrenaline quickly rushed through my spines. I was sweating profusely and my body was shaking, I could not move. I lost my thought completely and never found my speculation. There was too much panicking for me and for a few moments, I stood before my doctor like a lifeless statue. Later, I discovered that FEAR had already stolen upon me leaving behind this deadly terrible cold.
Oh! It was a terrible day that I thought it was all over for me. My doctor stood at a corner right in the middle of his office watching me as I was completely lost in my thoughts. The raging sound of the ambulance outside the gate sent me back to my reality, and as I looked up straight to my doctor’s eyes, I found this brave reassuring expression in his face “Don’t you worry my dear, we will take care of it by God’s permission and you ‘ll get over it”.
In the night, I was finally wheeled into the operation hall (Theatre) and you can imagine what could have happened to me at the theatre scene! Five minutes I was moved into the theatre hall, I was quickly transferred to the operation bed and pulled right against the wall. There, I was left all alone to battle between reality and dream. Few minutes later, I turned my head to the left side and stood on the wall was a very little giant mosquito. With fear of malaria usually caused by this kind of anopheles mosquito, I raised my left hand to destroy her completely against the wall, but something incredible I didn’t know held back my hand. Wasn’t that strange?
I started wondering what could have actually held my hand that moment when I saw something that could complicate my condition. Then, I realized that it was the same FEAR that has dealt its blow once again. The fears of death triggered by the echoes of the mosquito’s warning call “No! Don’t try that! DO NOT TRY TO KILL ME! REMEMBER…? (My thoughts now…”you are already half dead: if you kill me, then soon, you’ll join me! Ha..ha..hahahahahaaaaaa!!!!”)…suddenly my heart jumped and I withdrew my hand immediately. I thought that this mosquito, my companion that night might be right after all, whose death that night might eventually represent my own last.
I had to withdrew my hand completely and seriously thought about death even though I knew I was going to die any time according to God’s will; I knew I could not escape death that night if it comes but I could not even control the strange FEAR that envelopes me that night, though I tried hard to bury such strange but cold feelings.
Finally, I concluded out of fear and decided to leave the mosquito alone to live. I thought may be if she lives, I may survive the operation and come out of my discomfort zone, fine theory! Funny enough, the mosquito, which for many years had been under my wrath incredibly won my love and friendship that night, and I longed for her companionship throughout the operation but she finally left. My fear that had already risen before gradually subsided and there was a great assurance in the mosquito’s absence. “My theory was going to work out for me if God wills” I wished.
At 10:00pm in the night, the surgeon experts came and pulled me into the operation room. Later I was set under a very big round machine with an oval florescent lamps round it and was lured into some funny jokes under the strong influence of anesthesia until I was dead. In my death, I began to chant to the circle of my fellow sojourners in the other world:-
WHEN YOU SNORE DEEP
When you snore deep,
You wish your lord thy soul to keep.
But when death doth beckon,
You snore deeper to reckon.
For little rest thy soul desire,
But now, thou journey deeper than higher.
To a place of no permanent return,
Where thou shall dwell and wished to be reborn.
No reborn! Thy Lord’s servant shall cry and rave,
On the soul that will tremble in grave.
I woke up in the morning at ward 5 feeling serious pain at my stomach. “It’s all over now!” I exclaimed; and then thought that my theory had actually worked out, the mosquito lives and here I am breathing. Thanks to God! But I tell you, this terrible strange but funny experience will never escape my memory for the rest of my life for this was the very first time I came so close to DEATH.