Thursday morning. My Lover has been tossing and turning. I struggle to open my eyes and when I ask him whether he’s ok he responds with a weak: “I don’t feel too good babe. I feel really feverish, my head is pounding and I can’t sleep.”
And so I get really worried (like any proper wife would) and ask whether we should wait and ride it out (like I would). He shakes his head and says no, he needs to see a doctor. It’s about 4am and he says let’s wait a little then go to hospital. I go back to sleep. A few minutes past 5am he says we need to go to the doctor.
Now I’m thinking please Jesus don’t let this be anything serious. I’m also thinking damn! My dream was lit; I don’t want to wake up now!
But I get up because I cannot continue to enjoy sweet sleep while My Lover suffers. I pull on some tracks, hoodie and comfortable shoes. No time to fill in my eyebrows or look cute.
I offer to drive (I never do that) because this guy does not look good. We get to Nairobi Hospital. Casualty is empty save for about three other people like us, but we still have to wait for some time before we can pay for consultation – before actual consultation is done of course – and go to triage.
Nurse begins with the usual temperature check (no fever) asks him how he’s feeling (he says not too well since he has a terrible headache) and asks us to wait to see the doctor because she can’t find anything off.
I get a bit tense, because I wanted the nurse to be the first point of reassurance. We settle into the hospital seats and wait for our turn.
Again, we’re only three there but I feel like we’re made to wait an inordinately long time to see this doctor. I hate hospitals and hospital seats because I’m a germophobe, and I’m wondering whether they sanitize the seats regularly when we’re eventually called in by the doctor, who by the way looked like he’d been hanging during the day. I tell myself to stop judging; maybe he just has one of those faces. Like UK’s.
He does a quick run through the symptoms and says he can’t see anything besides a bit of irritation in the throat. My Lover says he has a pounding headache that won’t go away and wouldn’t let him sleep. Doctor can’t find anything wrong from that preliminary check so he asks us to take some tests to rule out anything serious.
Now you know the lab at Nairobi Hospital is something else. I don’t know anything about blood tests – except that I hate needles and I whine like a little bitch each time I have to take a blood test – and how long they must take before one can get results, but I expected speedy delivery because one, I was still sleepy as hell; two, it was bloody cold and three, we were the only ones in the damn place!
It’s now 7am, we decide to cross over to Java for a quick bite while we wait. My Lover still doesn’t look too good. He can’t even eat. I meanwhile, dig into my chicken pie and hot ginger lemon because comfort is key and my starving would not help the situation. Also, I’m not cute while hangry. And I like to eat. Happy wife happy life, right?
About 45 minutes later the results are out.
By then our doctor has left and we’re referred to another one. She’s pleasant and has good hair.
She guides us to one of those small consultation rooms with the beds that make everything seem ominous.
She looks at the results and says: “You’re fine, it’s nothing serious. Just the flu.”
I’m thanking Jesus and heaving a sigh of relief (both from the outcome of the test and the yummy in my tummy courtesy of that pie), but at the same time I’m looking at the doctor like:
“TF you mean it’s just a homa? I woke up in the middle of the night and drove to hospital in a slight panic to have my husband diagnosed with a homa?”
I believe I laughed a little at that point. I don’t know whether it was the sheer incredulousness of that diagnosis or legit happiness. My Lover doesn’t look as relieved as I am. He knows that what he’s suffering from is much more serious than just a homa, so he even asks for a sick note from the doctor so that he can have some time to recuperate.
The entire time I’m struggling not to laugh because I’m thinking: “IT’S A BLOODY HOMA!”
She writes out the prescription and asks us to pick the dawa from the pharmacy. As we walk there I’m trying to check myself because I don’t want to seem like a cold bitch when bae is clearly suffering, no matter what the doctor says. I mean, only the wearer of the shoe knows where it pinches right?
But I can’t help myself so I blurt out:
“I swear they’ll give you the same medicine I asked you to take at home.”
Of course he says no because this must be a truly serious strain of the flu and therefore requires something stronger. I mean, if only for the fact that we’ve just spent close to three hours in hospital for this.
Guess what the good doc had prescribed? The same medicine I’d asked My Lover to take at home (for his throat, and which I’d bought at a chemist two weeks earlier and he laughed and said the pharmacist looked like a quack and I probably shouldn’t trust him), and some nasal spray (for his blocked nose).
Speaking of noses, I wonder how Eugene (yes, Wamalwa) does it when his nose is blocked. Like, is there a real difference? Or is our normal his suffering? I’m asking for a friend.
So anyway, we head home with our homa and over the counter drugs. And sick note.
Please note that I’d texted my boss earlier – while still in a slight panic – saying I’d be late to work or not show up at all because bae was unwell and I needed to nurse him back to good health.
I worked from home that day, while My Lover drifted between sleep and what looked like barely there lucidity. He couldn’t eat or drink anything. I even made one of his favourite meals (stir fried chicken with rice and veg – yes, I truly am a domestic goddess) and he couldn’t eat that.
I’ll admit; I was worried at first. He’d get up and hold his head as he walked real slowly around the house, chill in a foetal position or speak in a really weak voice when he wanted something. His appetite was shot.
But you know when the worry started fading, when day later he said he wanted something rather strange (for a guy with a killer homa): vanilla ice cream at 9pm, which he asked me to bring him from Moniko’s on Friday night when I went to meet my girls so I could get out of the house. Said ice cream is currently still in our freezer because he couldn’t eat it once it got home.
But after living like that for about five days I was over that man-flu man. I just didn’t get – and still don’t – how a homa could do that to a full-grown Kenyan man. I’d low-key pretend I didn’t hear him when he said something about the homa, and I straight up laughed a few times when he referred to the homa as: “not just a homa”.
I’m still laughing as I type this because I remember how sorry he looked and how it got harder and harder for me to pretend that this was actually something really hard on him and could we please move on from the homa already.
Lesson here: men really are babies when they’re unwell. And we only stick around because we still love them. And to you My Lover, I think I’ve now proved that I truly do love you…in sickness and in health.