Yesterday I was at the accident and emergency unit of a hospital and while there I was reminded of the reason why I couldn’t have been a doctor. You see, my mother wanted me to study medicine but I knew right from time that it wasn’t my calling. I have always hated drugs, and I’m quite emotional how will I cope if my patient dies?

I knew that since I hated drugs there was no way I could be a medical doctor because I would be surrounded by drugs or the smell of it all the days of my working life. And even though I was a science student, my heart was not in it. In fact, I wrote science subjects in WAEC.

As I was about entering the A & E department, there in the drive way, in the open boot of a police van was a man who looked like he was sleeping. But he was dead. From what I learnt, he was an armed robber who was shot by the police. The police had come to drop his corpse at the mortuary. But looking at him, I still couldn’t believe he was dead, he looked like he was really asleep.

As I was done looking at him and thinking about life, I continued my journey into A & E. Just opposite the entrance was a wailing woman in a car, whose relations were fanning her and trying to pacify her. I just stood wondering how a woman who was clearly uncomfortable and crying could be left unattended to for that long, but honestly, I realised something fundamental about our Health care system in Nigeria.

Our medical personnel especially doctors are highly understaffed and overstretched. There are no adequate facilities to make their work easy. As I entered the ward, I was greeted with a foul smell, the place was dark (there was no light), and stuffy. From today whenever they complain about working conditions I won’t be too quick to attack them because honestly, they are trying their best.

Anyway, I had gone to the A & E Dept. with my mum to see one of her “relations” who was down with cancer. The man was painfully heavily breathing, the patient beside him smelled, looked dirty, and had wrapped himself in a dirty linen. I couldn’t stand the smell so I had to leave the ward. It was then I realised truly the medical profession is not my calling.

As I got out for fresh air, I saw a man in a wheel chair whose two legs had been cut off. I was stunned, I even doubted it at first I had to look again; and this time around the man caught me looking. I couldn’t believe my eyes, this was the first time I would see someone who had no legs. All he had was just a stump still wrapped in bandages. Surprisingly he didn’t look sad or depressed; he was even engaged in a light hearted discussion with someone.

To explain the extent of my surprise, I looked down at my feet and realised my legs are still joined to my body and I could use them. And in that moment, I began to appreciate God for many of the things I take for granted.

I looked around me to take note of those walking; those whose two legs were functioning and I began to wonder if they truly appreciated those legs, or appreciated the fact that they could walk.

I want to use this opportunity to admonish us to appreciate God for the things we tend to take for granted. That man may have lost his legs in an accident, yet you and I go out and come back safe.

You may not have all you want, you may think there’s nothing around you to thank God for, but I want you to know that no matter how bad you think your life is, there’s someone out there who has a more difficult life. There’s someone somewhere who is wishing and praying for what you have. There’s someone who has it worse than you.

Please no matter what you are going through, thank God for the things you have, the fact that you are still alive is evidence that better things are in store for you. And you should know that challenges are synonymous with the living.

Everyday you wake up is another opportunity to be grateful, thank God for life, for health, for your family, for your job, for food, for water, for a roof over your head, the fact that your body parts are whole and functioning, the skills he has blessed you with. Don’t go a day without appreciating your maker, don’t forget; others have it worse than you.

Thank you for reading.

Photo Credit: http://www.materhospitalafikpo.org

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