Category Archives: disability story

The Scream – 2

 

“I’m not going to die here,” I said to myself, “not yet, not on the street like a dog. I’ll see my family and say goodbye to them. I’ll find out what happened to me.” I said to the bright sun and the looming night. I have no idea why I had the thought that I was not yet dead, but it gave me hope, enough to have a little strength. A dark shape appeared above and blocked what little light I had left to see, and then it spoke.

“Pele Aunty, sorry, what is your name?”

“Funke” please, help me. I raised my right hand and he touched it.

“Calm down, I’ll help you. Your phone is dead. This is it” I couldn’t see anything. Do you know any number I can contact? I nodded.

“Okay”. I gave him my brother’s number. My dad was my first thought, but I could picture him falling apart. He would first rush to the toilet and back. Then he would go again, maybe three times before making up his mind on what to do.

“The number is not available. I tried it twice. Do you know another one?”

My tongue was getting heavier and getting hard to swallow. My throat was shutting down the passage to my voice box. I recited my dad’s number. “Couldn’t he just get me out of here first before calling a family meeting? His voice broke into my thought. “Hello, omo yin Funke, your daughter had been hit by a vehicle at Ojoo. Can you hear me? Hello, he cut the line. I can’t reconnect with him.”

“I’ll give you another one, my mother’s.” And I did.

 “Hello, your daughter has been hit by a vehicle. Yes, she was in an accident. We are taking her to UCH now, join us there. Hello, hello, she is not responding. The line is on but she is not talking.”

“My sisters, I know my sisters’ lines too.” He called them both but they all disconnected at the mention of UCH.

“Do you know another one? Funke, answer!

“Yes, yes— 0805—5—” it was becoming awfully difficult to speak, to think. I couldn’t remember. The number was in there somewhere, my brother-in-law’s but I couldn’t remember. Everything was dark and hot like my head. It was too dark to see anything. I couldn’t see the rest of the number. My mind was being wrapped in a thick blanket.

“Hello”, his voice hauled me back again, from the deep dark hole. “Somebody has called back, I think it’s your father. “—ehn, meet us at UCH, your daughter had been hit by a vehicle. Yes, we are going there now.”

“I told you to calm down, I have contacted your father, he would join us at the hospital. I’m going to get a taxi now. My own broke down, but my friend is near. I’ll just call him. I’ll be back.”

I wanted to tell him not to leave me but I couldn’t see anything. So, I closed my eyes maybe the dream would fade and when I opened them I’ll be home in my bed.  My waist kept burning, and the warm thing kept trickling.

I remember the man’s voice. Was I hit? But how? Where was I coming from? And where am I? Why can’t I remember? Did he say Ojoo? Okay I was going to school, to UI for a lecture walking with my friends? My friends, where are they? Were they hit too? I have to ask him.

When did I leave home? Home, my head was too cloudy. No feedback was coming from the main database. The warm fluid wouldn’t stop trickling between my legs. My legs! Why can’t I move or feel my left leg? Then another realisation set in, the heat was coming from my leg. It was in my left leg. Now, I wanted the dream to stop. The chill was overpowering me. I was becoming the chill. But I have to be strong, I just knew it. It was all I had to do, all I could do even as the bright light was being swallowed by darkness just like I’m being swallowed by the chill.

The Scream 1 (Excerpt From South West 1)

I am cursed. I am not sure of much for now but of this one fact; I am cursed. And by the time you finished reading my story, you would believe me.

This was my first thought when I came to, I was not sure of that too. All I knew at first was the sun was bright, and fierce, intending to scorch. It was searing, everything was hot my body was ready to combust. However, I was cold too, somewhere within I could feel a weird chill clutching my heart.

The noise was too much, too loud; so many people speaking, screaming in one voice but different tongues. I couldn’t get up, couldn’t move anything, save my right hand. Some parts of me were missing, numb or malfunctioned. The first on my list was my waist downward. I couldn’t feel it.

Later, I was with my sisters; we were sitting outside, chatting and laughing. I do not understand what we were laughing about. Then I was in our backyard arguing with my brother. He became upset walked in and banged the door after him. I hissed and stormed into the kitchen.

The kitchen transported me back to the street, I looked up and saw Taiwo. He was my childhood friend, I hadn’t seen him in six years. The last time I saw him I hadn’t seen him in ten years. The Six years ago was in Ife at Adventist School of Nursing. I was standing at the gate and then I saw him, but I only waved at him because I couldn’t stop to talk to him.

I was heartbroken. I felt dumped all over again by the guy who disappeared with my heart three years before. He called me that day to tell me why he broke up with me. I had spent those years thinking it was all my fault. I should be relieved that it was not my fault after all but I wasn’t. My heart was being smashed all over again.

That was the last time I saw Taiwo until that day on the street where I wanted to buy Daniel Defoe “Robinson Crusoe”. We hugged and exchanged pleasantries. Then I was back home with my younger sister. She wanted to come with me to the campus to print her project work. It would be cheaper there. And then everything was bright again, and hot.

Then I had a bizarre thought; something had sliced me into two. Everything froze at that moment. I felt something warm trickling out of somewhere between my thighs; it was oozing in a strange beat, the same with my heart as if it was being pumped by my heart beat. A nightmare was my next thought, I needed to wake up, but I couldn’t move, every breath was like the last. Something terrible is wrong with me; I had no idea what. I wanted to cry but I had no tears, I was as dry as clay soil in the harmattan.

Maybe I died and landed in hell that would explain the noise and the absence of anybody to help or tell me where I was. Nobody came, there were so many people, voices everywhere but no one to help. I felt so tired, thirsty and feeble.

“I’m going to die or I’m dead already, and in hell. But why is my mouth filled with sand and stones?” I felt like I was hit or pinned by something. A strong cold hand gripped my throat and clutched my heart; it was fear. The night was beckoning fast though the sun was still shining so bright and fiercely hot; I was not ready for its embrace.

 

 

 

 

The Scream is an excerpt from “South West 1 – A True Tale of Loss, Family, Fate, and Faith. “I would appreciate your honest comment. Thank you.

 

Looking Back

Kierk Gaard said, “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward”.

Like a baby, I was sensitive to people’s emotions during my convalescence at the hospital. Those who came with tears filled eyes made me feel I was worse than I felt, while those with long faces made me silently wish I were dead.

On my third day in the ward, I demanded for a mirror because I thought they had lied to me about my face and head. But when I looked in the mirror there was no scratch.

Nevertheless, there was one countenance I couldn’t understand, the faraway gaze of some elderly visitors. They seemed to be staring at my face but they weren’t; and sometimes they would be gaping so long into some spot above my head. It was disturbing. I couldn’t fathom their unspoken words then. Now, I do.

What I couldn’t see then or didn’t want to see, they could perceive. They weren’t thinking about my present agony because they knew it would pass. They were taking a peek into my future, a life filled with disappointments, solitude, hardship, despair, resentment, and misery. All I had lost forever, all I would lose and the acceptance of the uncanny truth that life would never be the same again.

The day I left the hospital after four months was the biggest day of my life. I had yearned to see my home again. I longed to be in my bed after several nights in the hospital. I was finally getting a break from the choking routines. However, on my first night home, I wanted to run back to the hospital. My bed was too soft. There were no rails on the sides to grip onto for support. There was no chain to grasp to get up. It was frustrating, I couldn’t get up by myself. I didn’t know it was easier because of the gadgets attached to the beds at the hospital.

I should have known it was not over when on our way home I couldn’t open my eyes. I was gripping the car seats like a lifeline. I screamed when a truck took a turn ahead, almost facing our car. My mother held my hand and kept telling me it would be fine, we would soon be home. But I was not fine, not for a very long time. And I never made it home. I was frozen in time on the street that sunny day where my journey began. It was then I understood the distant stares of my elderly visitors.

Since then, every day is a new day for me. Each day a different way of living it, of doing things, a brand new experience. So I learnt not to live them before they arrive because they fill me with dread and anxious of what else life has in stock for me. I found new ways of doing old things. I found strength and pride in my yesterday accomplishments. They gave me the courage and determination to face tomorrow, to never give up, and to never stop believing.

My journey so far have taught me to look back once in a while to see how far I have come. If you are always looking ahead like an athlete, you only see how far you have to go and all you need to overcome. But a glance backward once in a while buoys the spirit, ignites the heart and reminds you why you are on that road in the first place, not how you get to the end of the road. It fills you with pride of all you have accomplished and reminds you why you can’t give up. Most importantly it fills your heart with praises for all you have, all you had and to look forward to all you can have.

After my accident, I had nothing to look forward to. The future was cloaked in a fog of vagueness, terror and uncertainty. All I could see was pain, sleepless nights, pity and sympathy. A future that has no relationship with my past, where my past is severed from my present. Where I would always have to compensate for my lost, make up for it, explain and defend it. It was scary and infuriating.

All I had was the present, where I could trip and fall, where I could barely move unaided, endless therapy, shamelessly depending on others, something totally different from who I used to be. I didn’t want to peek or think. I started with the present, taking it one step at a time, not thinking about the future; one day after the other.

From it, I built a new past, recording my recoveries and progresses. And each time I got to a point of despair, I would picture how far I had come and what a waste it would be to throw it away. I would remind myself how I didn’t give up when my wounds were fresh, when I couldn’t sit, when I couldn’t walk. All the times I fell, got up and kept going.

Looking forward demands more prayers for the will, the strength and courage to keep moving. Looking back is appreciating the Lord for His goodness. It opens doors for more blessings and gives meaning to life. It fuels and propels the spirit to harbour; looking forward keeps living the life.

Thinking back fills my heart with praises and gratitude; I am not where I was yesterday, and if I am here today, I would be somewhere farther tomorrow. I am looking back with gratitude, and moving forward with grace.