Doctor’s Tales: She Ate Her Children

By Ikenga Chronicles November 5, 2018

Doctor’s Tales: She Ate Her Children

–Uche Anyanwagu,

“That lady did not eat any of her children,” the elderly doctor thundered in anger in response to the woman who had accompanied her son and daughter-in-law to see him for the umpteenth time. “Neither did she sacrifice her womb to the marine spirits. She is not an abiku (ogbanje) either.”

Dr Yisa stood from his swinging chair, forcefully dropped his stethoscope on the table and looked fiercely into Mama Mike’s preying eyes.

Mama Mike was visiting her son for countless number of times in their 11-month old marriage. Her visits were typical of the African mothers/mothers-in-law. She had long nagged them on phone until they all got tired and became measured in taking her calls or giving her the responses.

She has an overbearing attitude and a haughty spirit. Despite the rigid protests from Mike, she remained unbent, defiant and unyielding.

On almost every alternate day of this 11-month sojourn, she had called her son and daughter-in-law, stubbornly probing to have an answer to her usual question on Alice’s pregnancy (or the lack thereof)

She recently changed her tactics. She was always found on the next available bus to Lagos to trouble Mike and Alice sore. Since none yielded to the local herbs she always came with, she resorted to following them to the clinic.

On this day, her sweet quarrelsome being met Dr Yisa in the ‘right’ mood. Since he was no longer finding this funny, he chose that day to end this madness once and for all. So, his anger flowed with such precision that it hit the target fair and square.

I sat at one corner of the clinic in awe and made sure his anger did not miss its target. To be honest, I was terrified to see my very jovial consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist (nicknamed: the ladies’ muse) engulfed in such fury.

“I am taking pain to explain these to you today so that your blind eyes can open to the reality and light that come with knowledge. So that you can allow this innocent poor lady and your self-confessed beloved son to have their marriage in peace and work out solutions to their mutual interest.”

Mama Mike was shocked at Dr. Yisa’s outburst. The puzzled look on her eyes betrayed it. She quickly untied her wrapper and tied it across her sagging breast which now sleep peacefully on her chest.

I could not say if that meant war, but one thing was certain: we all were in for a long thing.

“…Now, let me say this now. This lady here has a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This may not make sense to you but have you pondered why it took long to have Mike, your only child?”

She looked exasperated. She lowered her voice and naively asked: “ejoo, tell me more nah, big doctor”. I assumed I was the small doctor then. Lucky me!

“It is a medical condition which affects a woman’s hormone levels making them to produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones.”

“Male hormones?” queried both ladies in the room as Mike tried hard to grasp what the whole fuss was all about.

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