Happy new year, lovelies.
Allow me welcome you to your best year yet.
Yes, that’s how I feel about 2019.
In the days and weeks that I haven’t put up a blog post, a lot has happened revolving around work and life generally.
My last blog post was about my internal medicine experience and there was a lot of cheers to my tenacity, and I earned a community of friends and family who were counting down with me to the end of the posting.
Weeks after I made the post and had most of my seniors at work, who are thankfully my friends also, read the post, one said to me, ‘You better go and tell your blog readers that you are suffering now. You had not gotten the real taste of Renal when you made the post.’
His comment left me reeling with so much laughter.
Even though I would miss most of the persons I worked with, I would not miss the stress.
Life should not be that hard, please.
We are given a one-week leave after every three months – the duration a posting should last – and while I looked forward to my leave, I was not sure I would have the energy to travel. All I wanted to do during my leave was rest.
Thankfully, the last days of my stay in Renal was not as stressful and allowed me make plans to travel and plan activities to fill my days with.
Every step of the way, I almost talked myself out of my plans, but plenty naira down, many hearts touched and a fine load of happiness to last a lifetime, I am thankful and proud of myself that I pulled… even though not all, but most of my plans off.
My first stop was completing my Hepatitis B vaccine; my last dose fell on the first day of my leave.
As a medical doctor whose line of work puts her at risk, it is paramount that I protect myself against vaccine-preventable diseases.
I am thankful to my friend who constantly reminded me of my vaccine appointments and drove me down for them.
One time he reprimanded me, ‘I can’t believe I am the one who reminds you of your vaccine appointments.‘ When I replied that I didn’t forget, he said he didn’t believe me. Hilarious.
‘Yes!‘ to friends that look out for us more than we do for ourselves sometimes.
So, this is my gentle reminder to you who is yet to get vaccinated against hepatitis B and other vaccine-preventable diseases, or to you who is yet to get a booster dose.
Complete immunization against hepatitis B lasts ten years, after which you should get another, and you take three doses one month apart to have a full vaccination.
My second stop was Lagos. I term Lagos the land of dreams and fulfilment of opportunities – that’s how I view the city.
Thanks to social media and bloggers like Cassie Daves and Ufoma that help you experience the world through their social media pages and photos, I added Ofadaboy restaurant, Surulere, Lagos to my wishlist.
On new year’s day, a blogger-friend, Desire, alongside wishing me a prosperous 2019, said she hoped to meet me in person this year.
I responded excitedly that I thought meeting her in person would be wonderful too.
So, when I got into Lagos, I ringed her, and asked about her itinerary. ‘I am in your city!!‘ I informed her, ‘I am spending a day and a half, when can we see?‘ It happened that she had also been looking forward to visiting Ofadaboy restaurant. So, we arranged to meet there at 3 pm the following day.
Cassie was right when she said their prices were good and customer service excellent. Ufoma was also right in saying their food tastes great. I ordered the poundo yam and Afang because I had missed Southern Nigerian soups, and even though I thought I wouldn’t finish my meal and considered taking away the leftover, I eventually did and was truly satisfied.
I also visited my aunts and cousins.
The highlight of hanging out with one of my cousins, who I hadn’t seen for over a decade, was having him treat me like a lady and noticing that he hadn’t lost his Nigerianness to years of living outside the shores of the nation and continent.
My third stop was Port Harcourt. I must say that months of living far from family and home has made me appreciate this city the more; the home of Bole and black soot fame like my friend described it in this post.
Some days as I work in Ife, I internally compare what life as a doctor in my alma mater, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) would have been like. I made a mental note to visit when I went home on leave.
I am happy I was able to do that. Like I told a friend, ‘I am not visiting with a plan to see anyone in particular. I simply want to walk through the corridors and wards, take in the sights and sounds of the place I first learnt what being a doctor entailed.‘ Minutes after indulging I was satisfied and ready to leave.
I also planned to see #UpNorthTheFilm but when I asked the friend who I was out with if he wanted to see a movie or simply eat, and he said he didn’t feel like seeing a movie, I had to pass on that wish.
When I hugged my friend, he was devoid of the excitement that usually accompanied him and I was worried that the job was stealing the joy he usually exuded. He is also a doctor, and you see, Medicine has a way of taking things from people. From things as little as the fine handwriting t,hey get into medical school with to things as large as their alternative skills and talents, and things as unforgivable as their joy and even their humanity.
Thankfully, it wasn’t the job, it was other things that were glaring enough to permeate the surface of the happy facade he wore for me. I found myself singing Bruno Mars Count On Me. He smiled, told me I had a good voice, to which I giggled at. Minutes later, he was sharing with me stuff that only true friends can share. I was thankful for that moment, nd thankful that I was available for him.
He showed me around the hospital where he worked, I saw beautiful sights and I took photos of them. The last had me saying aloud, ‘I would love to come to work in this place.‘ The ambience of the place left me feeling that way even though I noticed the absence of cultural diversity Ile-Ife provided me.
Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH), Port Harcourt.
I didn’t get henna on my leg/feet like I planned and have no explanation for that. Maybe I did not feel the strong need to get one like I did when I wrote out my plans? Or maybe I would on a later day.
So many times in the course of my leave, I kept thinking I am having a perfect time. There were plenty of perfect moments, and I am thankful for the opportunity to have these to reflect and relive for a long time.
I am also thankful that my 2019 kicked off on a positive note and look forward to more of these.
Today, I resume Paediatrics and Child health posting. While I am (eagerly) looking forward to it, I am careful to be moderate with my expectations.
I am toasting to friendship, living my best life and doing the things that truly matter in 2019.
How are you doing? How is 2019 coming up for you? Care to share your hopes, expectations and aspirations with us in the comments?
As always, I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts and reading your comments.