Had utilized one of the numerous car parks, paying the N200.00 parking fee and then walked through the covered walkway in the direction of where I was headed.
A painful cry came from the monstrous block which was obviously the general ward:
‘Abdullahi . Abdullahi . Abdullahi’
A mysterious, yet very obviously painfully moan. I had slowed down my walk momentarily to commiserate with whomsoever that was, a cry for help it sure was.
One of the things about visiting an hospital. It takes you back to ‘reset’ mode – Bringing you to reality. I’m often told you get that exact same experience visiting a prison or attending a burial ceremony.
Experiences that make you sober and know how lucky life has dealt you, despite your many other unrealistic expectations and wishes.
I walked and stopped at the doorway of where I was meant to see someone that early morning. It was still locked at past 7.00 am so I decided to wait it out. Standing with my arms in my pocket as I watched from the corner I positioned myself.
People; patient’s relatives and nurses trooped up and down the walkway. Each and everyone with a clue of either pain or peace on their faces.
I watched, bewildered as a youngwoman walked towards the ‘lift’ – Pressed a button and the doors swung open, she took some steps and it shut after her. Someone else, this time a youngman also did the same procedure a few moments later, entering the ‘lift’ and then disappearing . . .
As in, the lifts – 4 of them actually work herein, a public place, a government establishment so to say. It was a huge shock for me . Totally unbelievable . Huhnnnnnnn.
I saw a guy conveying cylinders of oxygen up and down the walkway to the lifts too and then ferrying them upstairs – An obvious indication that a number of people needed it to stay alive. The exact same thingy (oxygen) that is absolutely free, which you and I also take for granted.
While these thoughts were crisscrossing my by now dejected mind – The cries came again, even much more louder this time around:
‘Allahu Akbar . Allahu Akbar . Allahu Akbar’
Everyone walking around temporarily surprised by the cries, I understood it all anyway – It was the same man from the ward, the mysterious somebody. I could tell he was in unimaginable pain and trauma.
As I stood, transfixed to the corner I had been for what seemed like eternity now, I remembered how as a youngster in 1978, myself as a 10 year old and now late older sister at 12 years, would run about and play at the far end of this same walkway –
Our driver in the car park, while we waited for our Mum who had gone into the ward to visit Dad, then on admission. He sometimes would come to the louvred windows to wave at us if and when he was strong enough.
Extremely strange, or what then would you or anyone call it, that my same sister, aged 29 years in 1995 passed on while on admission right here in one of the rooms, same compound we both used to run around years earlier.
The mystery man’s cries, pains and moans brought back the painful memories of her passage too.
The eerie and therapeutic thingy about hospital visits and an indication that health surely is wealth . . .
My visit to LUTH !
‘LUTH’ is the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba – Lagos.
@ O’Shine Original . . .