Yesterday, along with two of my colleagues, we went visiting a patient at the Cancer Institute at Mulago hospital. When you hear it said in words, you conclude they are words. A visit to the Cancer Institute will spring a grain of life that will out reason your theory of life. When I walked into it, my attention was driven to this ailing old lady, who in unspoken pain turned and moaned on the floor. She stretched out her hand to the nearest point of help. She gripped and groped on whatever there was to hold, may be the pain would go, I thought she thought. She did not have as much space as half a foot away; another lady sought a way out. Only in the walk way lay six women. Their attendants, sat on the cold cement benches of the hospital as they helplessly looked on their patients.
Atop the patients’ heads, passers-by trailed and snailed like in a village footpath leading to the well to access the overflowing ward. The corridors were suffocating with congestion both patients and their aids. Broken beds creaking and rattling scaring off any one non skilled. There is a lot, more than meets the eye. The lavatories are flooded with water. The blocked sinks sit dripping at the expense of the patients’ health.
The hospital is under renovation so most of the wards are closed. It’s only the likes of the Cancer Institute whose services cannot be accessed elsewhere that are still in operation.
When you look at the innocence of the patients’ faces, you cannot stop but ask, “Why?” There are things way beyond our control but some are. There is nothing as much I have done not to be a patient but there is reason to check and know my status.
If I have ever thought of being a smoker, that was deleted yesterday when I saw a young man, barely in his forties endure to the pain. He began smoking as a young boy of thirteen. He smoked since and tobacco in turn smoked out his life. I cried.
There are many questions that stream through one’s mind as they think of how painful and expensive all this process is. One thing remains though; God’s grace has spared me and you for a reason. May be that’s a reason to reflect upon.
Have you stopped to be thankful for the person you are? None of the patient s deserves the cancerous pain, so be grateful that you can smile and laugh. But also remember that cancer is so expensive to treat, spare a coin and contribute towards restoring a smile on someone’s face, you do not know what is next.