THE BUS ENCOUNTER

08:00am – 10/05/2018

I found myself at the STC yard with the aim of traveling from Kumasi to Accra to spend the month there with family and friends.

Double checked my ticket number – it had the number 005 on it. But I had numbered six people who were already seated in this bus. To my surprise, A lady then, at an arms breath, said the seat I was looking for, was right close to hers; after inquiring of my ticket number.

The black dress she wore, together with the resemblance she shared with an older woman and a younger boy, also in black, drew my attention. So I assumed they were related.

I pitched my seat close to her and asked of her name. “Judy”, she said scanning my face. I also had to introduce myself, like I was a journalist about to take notes with my Ipad.

Her reason for being on the bus was to travel for a funeral. I was fixated by the incessant complaints about the state of the bus, and the fact that this particular one did not have a urinal and good seats. This was my first time in such a bus, so I just observed, unable to give comments.

The bus set off, after she had told me this was her 60th time in a bus. I hid my surprise when I counted the number of journeys I had embarked on, with the fingers in my head…1, 2, 3…5. 60/5 is 12! ( I did my best not to subtract).

Where she worked, was as a Structure and Development planner, in a very remote part of Ghana. In addition, she made several comments about the poor sitings of many buildings in Ghana.

I was awed by the amount of knowledge she showcased! Before I realized, she was talking about the benefits of several fruits and vegetables I knew nothing of.

Her next demonstration, was the fact that she could tell, a person had contracted HIV from his/her presentation and her buttress on the fact that HIV was punishment from God. Symptoms described by her included: intractable Diarrhea,generalized skin rashes which did not respond to conventional treatment, and sores in the mouth and throat. However, I challenged her that, God did not punish people but we humans, brought bad things to our lives.

I decided not to introduce myself further, not to take over the topic because I enjoyed the demonstration. Ignorance isn’t bliss but knowledge is!

It got to the point where I had to explain things further to her to clear the air – that the progression from HIV to AIDS varied for everyone, and that antiretrovirals taken, delayed the progression of HIV. I wasn’t going to let her steal the show.

The next topic, was about her- the fact that she was hated because she had chosen to be different from the women in her community. She had the affirmative not to dress in any provocative way, and indulge herself in any gossips and idle talk – for which she was branded with the “Not being sociable and friendly” caption. However, she wasn’t bustled, because she could predict that would happen. “Illiteracy is a disease” she continued.

When she alighted, I realized we had spoken close to five hours in the bus. She hoped to further her education, and seek a work transfer from her location. I wished her the best of luck as I continued my journey.

Trust me, I was pleased and enlightened, not just from her beauty but her brains. And how she had dared to be different from everyone else.

This brings me to the question- How do you dare to be different? How do you set yourself apart from God? Being set apart from this world doesn’t imply we can’t have fun, but not to indulge in the sinful activities of this world.

In Him, we are holy. Therefore, we must allow our lives to echo our appreciation and love for the great price that was paid for us on the cross of Calvary for our sins.

Not only should we set ourselves apart by our lifestyle, but we should set ourselves apart by getting away to be alone with God in prayer. God desires an intimate relationship with us.

1 Peter 2:9 says, we are a chosen people, royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very priced possession.

It also goes ahead to brace the point in Deuteronomy 14:2, that we have been set apart as holy to the Lord. For he has chosen us from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.

Part company with parts of your lifestyle that prevent you from seeking Jesus with your whole heart. Take a hard look at how much time you spend in prayer and Bible study versus other, far less important activities, and realize the need to reconnect with your Father in Heaven.

When you live a set-apart life, you’ll likely encounter antagonistic responses from others who are disquieted with the extent of your faith. Don’t be derailed or perturbed by persecution. Live your life to please God, not other people.

God bless you for reading!

Eliezer.

PEACE OF MIND

What is the most valuable thing in your life? Multi million dollar question! I was talking with a friend recently, who told me everything in this world is vanity. This statement happened because she had seen me in a black shirt with the image of my grandfather embossed on the front. She stated that we would all die one day, irrespective of the number of good deeds we had accomplished, the number of mansions we had built, and the amount of accolades we had won. This world made her feel empty and kicked, that she wondered if it is all worth it?

This has got me doing a lot of thinking lately about my purpose in life and what I value most. I am deciding not to ponder over so many unnecessary things anymore, but let the direction of God take its natural course in my life. I have also realized that being in sync with the spirit of God, draws Good to your life.

My next question, I asked her was, what she valued most, with the exception of her life. The least answer I expected was salvation. She valued her salvation!

What does it mean then to be saved? It implies one has to freed from impending danger. We have watched a countless movies, where a superhero appeared just in the nick of time, to prevent a calamity from happening – then back in primary school, I remember running around, carrying my football on my head thinking it was the globe- funny me, with no concern at all, oblivious of how big and wide the world was.

Are we saved thoroughly as long as we firmly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? Or it requires a lot more? I believe someone saved neglects his own will, and walks in the will of God, with living faith as his steps.

Interestingly, a reply I had from another friend in response to the most important thing in life was her relationships- family and friends ;the feeling of knowing someone thought constantly about her and cared for her in every way possible. How sweet?! Our relationships, she thought are the fundamental building blocks and most important thing in the world.

I knew I would have gotten different answers if I kept asking different people. But his fast paced world seems to be moving in the direction of acquisition of a lot of things, that would fade away with time- wealth, property and fame. These things are short lived, and provide us with momentary happiness. There are a countless number of times I have envisioned myself becoming a top doctor, cruising around with the latest ride in town. But is that what God wills for me?

Honestly, I think the most important thing in life is to have inner peace; with enough understanding and knowledge to keep my mind strong in the face of discord. Not to constantly ruminate about my past experiences nor cogitate my future aspirations.

Close your eyes for a minute! Imagine yourself in a green meadow with blue skies- a world spiced with the bright colors of life; with birds chirping over your head to the sound of a melodious tune which has played in your heart for ages; and the knowledge that God has got you inscribed in the palm of his hands.

Next, Imagine a fountain flowing with milk and honey at the centre of this meadow pouring out complete goodness and love.

Lastly, imagine, all the people you love, in white gowns, coming in your direction with hands held, beaming with smiles. How I yearn for such a day? It is all in the mind!

The Bible says in Philippians 4:6-7 not be anxious about anything, but to be thankful in every situation. And with prayer and petition, present your requests to God. Following that, the peace of God, which transcends our understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

So I’m deciding to take this month away from home to reflect on myself and lay my future bare before my father and Creator. It’s my prayer He moulds me into a priceless instrument for his worthy cause, and let me discover my true purpose in life .

What is your true value in life?

Eliezer

AMANDA

She woke up to a familiar tone from her phone – Beep!  With one eye open and the other half shut, she checked the alarm close to her bedside – 2:25am. She wondered who would send her a text at such a weird hour of the day; hoping it would be confirmation of the paycheck she had earned from her employer. It was the end of the month.

However, she found herself hurrying for a handkerchief, after she had held her phone close to her face for close to a minute. Tears flowed uncontrollably from her face ;It wasn’t a paycheck but a payback for everything she had said and done. The phone giving a few flashes, highlighted the unknown number anytime she took a glance at the message. Looking askance, she wondered what she would have done if she was back in France.

Reporting to work the next day, was a figure with scuffled hair and pulsating eyes. Her pupils were dilated with fear and the fine tremors of her hands made her usual neat work clumsy. She kept turning her head left and right, looking for hidden cameras. Her colleague brought her back to her senses, when she was reminded she was not acting a reality show. But the serial messages did not make sense.

The phone beeped again- What followed was a shallow breath which made her lose the pager in her hand- to fright. She wanted to pay heed to the advice of ignoring the messages, but she was scared! It was just like she had her twin in custody, and that she had to follow command within her means, to ensure her sister was bailed out.

The message read “You are not forgiven, I know what you did and I am telling everyone”. Screenshots of conversations she had engaged in, followed like a thread. This threw her into a frenzy and drove her nuts. She had been tagged with an explosive, patiently waiting for detonation in the hands of her predator. She was scared stiff and did not know what to do, and who to trust. So, she took a cab home.

She is Amanda, A Christian career woman who had gained a lot of fame in the business market recently. She had just began working in a reputable firm, and had the skills and guts required to progress the corporate ladder very easily. She was willing to go above and beyond the sky, for what she stood for, and boy! She climbed the ranks- hitting the position of Chief Finance Officer in the next 3 months. There she worked overtime, making all her field goals attempted and filling any voids in her work. It appeared she was loved by all because she was hardworking, friendly and eager to learn. She was a firm believer of good will, and the fact that hard work paid in huge amounts at the right time. Unfortunately, she had made quite a number of false friends and true enemies.

Inadvertently, she had raised the eyebrows of quite a number of suitors from every mansion and den. She wouldn’t pass by without necks being turned and glasses dropping. Ceramics in restaurants were even knocking their heads anytime she passed. Her hair was silk stranded, long and dark, flying with any slight breeze of wind. Her glasses were state of the art- designed to conceal her beautiful features. Her eyebrows and lips? Darn!! Enough of the imagination, Reality beckoned.

It was a cold, blustery night so she didn’t expect anyone to be out in the car park but then, she found a note plastered on the windscreen of her car. She was thrilled at how the person could have evaded the parking lot cameras and sent her the blackmailing message. This sent chills down her spine; so she left her car behind, and took a cab to her best friend’s place, to narrate everything that had happened over the past few days and seek a safe haven for the night.

Chris, her childhood friend, sensed the terror in her eyes when he opened the door on her arrival. She was soothed with a cup of coffee and slow dazzling music- soft spot. When she had calmed down, they tried to narrow down the suspects but tallying the people she had met recently with the contact she had, just to find the missing link.

Not surprising, Chris dialed the number. phone off. He then tried to access the number from the phonebook directory on his phone.the number was registered, however such classified information warranted the nod of a number of signatories. She spent the night at Chris’s, hoping to unravel the identity of the mystery man the next day.

6:00 am the next day, she awoke to a welcoming breakfast in bed with a ‘best of luck’ note from Chris. She showered down and set off, ready for the day.

Then, the phone beeped! With a message from Chris this time. “Meet me at the parking lot, I have something to tell you. We have found our person. It is Esi Akoto!”

Right afterwards, the phone beeped again, she hurriedly swiped the screen, like her life depended on it, hoping the message would be from Chris but then, it was another blackmail message. “Send 5000 Ghana cedis to the stated account number or everyone would know what you did”. She would have brushed the message off, had it not been for the numerous intimidating photos that followed.

An hour after meeting Chris, she had no time to waste; she picked up her phone and dialed the ‘known’ digits of her former best friend.

Esi was her classmate, throughout primary school to the world of work where she was her colleague. They basically did everything together which included exchanging phones for a week or two, to sharing the same desk at work. Their friendship, however grew sour, when Esi’s boyfriend dumped her and went after Amanda, some months ago. What killed her was that fact that Amanda had a new office of her own with her name written boldy on the door while she still worked at the front desk.

Amanda had asked of her help a countless times, anytime she got to work distressed, but Esi always had a cool head; feigning signs of concern and love.

“Can I come and spend a few days with you? I’m so scared!” Amanda said, over the phone, when she had already packed her things for a week. “You know my house is always your house” Esi replied, smirking on the other side of the phone.

The next 2 hours, Amanda found herself at the doorstep of her friend’s house. Esi’s welcoming smile made her swallow a gulp and clench the backpack she had brought along. ‘Friends!!’  She thought, as she entered the house.

Amanda took a seat, and examined the room; it looked like recent renovations had been done. The internal décor looked fresh and brand new. ‘The girl must be making a lot of money out of me’ she thought, as Esi returned from the kitchen.

Lodging her seat right beside her, she listened attentively to Amanda’s ordeal, shedding tears a number of times, until the message got to the point- “I have found who she is”

Esi stole a glance at her friend, whose demeanor had changed now. Guilt fell on her face when she attempted to ask who the blackmailer was. However, what mirrored her face was a 3mm gun in the hands of her ‘best friend’

“Why me? Esi? Why me?? After all these years. Why?” Amanda cried, holding the gun up close. Esi was dumbfounded.

Then she leapt, in an attempt to seize the gun from her hands. In shock, Amanda pulled the trigger, landing a bullet on her chest with a resounding blast.

Esi let out a scream, and landed on her own carpet in a thud, covered in blood. Realizing the harm caused, the gunwoman attempted to stop bleeding but then, how do you stop bleeding from a ruptured vena cava, when you are not a cardiothoracic surgeon? Her last words were “I did it out of jealously and envy” and she kicked the bucket. Like a staged play, Amanda fainted.

9:00am, Amanda found herself in her bed, with a towering figure over her. Surprised, she wondered how she got to her room and why she was still in a night gown. It took a minute before she made out Esi; in her executive dress. “Amanda!! I’m quitting my job if you aren’t fired today. I called your phone a couple of times, so I had to come over to see if you were okay”

Amanda shook her head a couple of times, wondering if this was real. It was then she realized it had had a nightmare she could not wake up from.

“Thank God it was all a dream” she said as she hugged Esi, hurriedly showered, and got ready with breakfast, as her best friend ironed her clothes.

The End!!

PhotoCredit: Google Images

Eliezer Bernard Owusu Ntim.

EMBRACE

At 03:09 a.m., glimmers of light streamed across my ward cubicle, as the main door of my hospital room opened. It wasn’t unusual to see a nurse come and go at any hour. I remained wide awake as I found no peace or rest from the inner turmoil I was facing.

My previously “nearly perfect life” was wrecked by the cruel intrusion of stage 2 breast cancer. I could not understand how this had happened, to begin with. Mike and I had been happily married together for the last 15 years, and we had three sons of the ages of 3, 10 and 13. We were planning to move to a new home, which Mike had custom-built for the five of us.

Anyways, one day following a mastectomy, I tried “picking up the pieces” in regards to my breaking life, and simply trying to analyze how to best cope with this new turn of events.

The nurse who had entered my room had a familiar face. I had known her from church, a place where she always appeared both quiet and reserved. And for some reason, our lives had never intersected outside of the occasional crowded church foyer greetings. We’d maybe say “Hello”, and that was it.

But on a particular night, she happened to be the one assigned to take my vitals. She did something beyond extraordinary and completely unexpectedly —- pulling up a chair to sit by my bedside. My left ventricle contracted pushing blood through my eyes.

Without uttering a word, she took my hand. For the next five minutes, she held it in calm silence. Her very presence was so sensitive that I cried away every last word and remained 100 % speechless, not knowing how to respond.

Others, of course, had previously offered several encouraging — and even often clumsy —- words and well wishes when I was admitted at the hospital. Some went to the extent of even leaving behind a novel, for me to read, which, to me, meant absolutely nothing in such a dark hour-When death kept barging on my door.

But this special lady, instead, gave me something significantly more invaluable: a gentle touch that made everything get better, by providing the gift of understanding through human presence.

With her, I did not struggle to hold any conversation or simply make excuses for why this terrible thing could have happened to me. With her silence, she would simply let allow my soul to rest as she then gave me a supernatural comfort with each kind touch. It felt so heavenly; like I had a healing angel holding my hand, enveloping me with the weight of her full, miraculous love. Words alone cannot fully express this —- you have to have lived it to understand.

Later, those dark days came to an end, and the breast cancer went back into its bud. My life had moved on — one filled with a great family, wonderful friends and a bright future.

I never saw this nurse again when I returned to church, and asked around for her by mentioning her first name. To my surprise, the other church members — and even the church staff — had no recollection of her, when I described her to them.

Very little did I know that God would have sent me a miraculous angel at the hospital, a deep compassion that took root with the embodiment of one sweet nurse.

As a result of this encounter, my husband and I have told this story, even several years later, in an effort to help all women who have no means with which to help themselves be free of breast cancer, once and for all, just as I am.

Why do we, as imperfect human beings, so often feel that we need to fill our atmosphere with mere words, as if everything we’d say would make things “all right”?

Next time you encounter someone battling breast cancer, kindly commend the person for being a fighter. You could start by observing their needs ;Then, reach out with a sincere touch of affection. You never know what could happen from a touch of your hand.

In my case, it became nothing short of a miracle.

Eliezer.

#DoctorDiaries

MY JOURNEY WITH HOLY SPIRIT (Guest post by Mary Magdalene)

Senior High School

I started my relationship with Holy Spirit in St. Louis Senior High School. At that time, my father was going through a bit of a struggle and I didn’t want to be a burden to him. I had made a terrible decision to combine my chopbox with a friend’s and when my provisions finished, I couldn’t call home. I was sad and I remembered that daddy had told me that if I ever wanted to change and be a better human, I should start by reading the “Book of Proverbs”.

I came across Wisdom and I prayed for that Friendship and then someway somehow, I believed that I was never alone and that I had a Friend with me and that was when I starting fellowshiping with Holy Spirit.

Prior to this, I remember when I was in class 6, I heard Someone share His heart with me. He asked me, “Why is it that when people have problems, they tell their friends about it and then their friends give them bad advice and then they come to me when things go bad?” I remember that question so well and I will never forget it. I didn’t see Who asked that question. I didn’t hear a voice like you would if I had called you. But, I heard Him and I knew it was Him and not me. I knew it was the Lord even when I didn’t know Him…but my spirit did. I believe my spirit has always been in tune with His. My spirit has been His from the very beginning.

I knew He was with me in the times when I was crying in the woods and and pitying myself for my mistakes. I know He was that Friend Who was with me in the darkness when I thought no one saw me. I walked a lot by myself and I prayed (actually talked to Him a lot). I recall how once, a Priest Uncle of mine told me that if I didn’t take care, someone would say I was going mad…hahaha Glory to Jesus !!!

Trust me when I say that He stood by my side through it all. When I was appointed as the Head Girl of my school and I didn’t know what to do, He led me. He took control. I did nothing. He did everything. My Headmistress praised us for the work. I praise Him because I know I did nothing. He Is my Friend and He helped me.

When WASSCE came and all others were chasing after questions, He taught me and He helped me maintain my resolve to not cheat. He was with me when others were wailing because of a Physics paper that didn’t go well, I was filled with joy even when I knew i wrote nothing. For my final paper, in which I had ten days to prepare for and the one for which I had worked so hard to study for, I went in the exam hall and I went blank. I believed in myself that I had studied and prepared myself adequately. But, I entered and I went totally blank not being able to do a thing. I am learning right now that He never wanted me to do things by my own strength. Lord, have mercy.

University and the life after

I kept hearing Him direct me. He told me to leave the drama ministry and join the music ministry. I suffered a major attack that led me to denounce God. I know I hurt Him and I know He wanted me to believe that He Is Able to work things out for my good. This singular act put me in a dark place… a very dark place. It is well.

He brought me out from that dark place and I had to learn to trust Him.

Over these years, if there be anything He keeps echoing to me concerning my life and my destiny, it is the simple phrase, “Trust Me”.

I am learning to trust Him.

I am learning to run to Him first.

And now, I am learning what it means to be Partnered with Him.

I am grateful Jesus.

😊

I pray this piece blesses you enough to BELIEVE that there Is A Friend that sticks closer than a brother.

With love,

Mary Magdalene.

Blog : http://sharinglifewithmag.blogspot.com

RELATIONSHIP (Guest post By Josephine)

RELATION-SHIP

As simple as the word implies, – a simple ship that carries on board the people we relate to. In this ship, we, you and I are the Captains. And so must we be cautious who we let on board because there is no doubt somewhere along the journey they could be a raging storm.

Flashback and this was me!

Everyone was a friend. I couldn’t differentiate who to share a dream with and who to simply smile at, who to reveal vulnerability to and who to simply say a good morning.

Making friends out of people is a good thing but I have always weighed the word ” Friend” in a lot of cases.

I’ve met acquaintances who often complain how bad my relationship seems to be with them because I couldn’t seem to feed them with ” exclusive attention” and honestly that is how I have loved to let certain encounters be.

There have been friendships I have worked heaven and earth to belong to, an exact spot, without thinking if there was a seat for me. I had taught maybe the “me” possibly could revolve around the “them”. How pathetic it feels not to know where to get attention from and not.

Sometimes we handle co-workers like they are personal friends and no doubt we open ourselves up for the possibilities of offenses and betrayal. Just because you share an office doesn’t mean you should share secrets.

Even at church, and I know a lot of you out there will not agree with me. No doubt the church should have been the safest people with the safest people but a church folk is not necessarily a God friend, making us to think if we can tell God, then we can tell them too- after all we are Children of God we perceive.

Our disappointments come from the lack of delineation between which ship best fits which person.I realize we mostly get personal with people we should have kept at a respectful and cordial distance.

I have often had my own resentment with this simple phrase ” can you tell me about yourself. I will like to know you more”

I feel is one dumb statement. You don’t need simple words to know deeply about a person. Because if you have lived longed around people you will realise it’s virtually impossible to really know all about someone, to see into their hearts and know what’s going on below the surface.

My point is this simple. As we journey in life we must know at one point who we need in our Relation-Ship because sometimes crowd can sink a boat in the most turbulent times.

Take no offense when people show you where you belong, somehow truthfully that is the best place they will want you to be.

And take caution who you let in a special seat in your ship, they may be a Captain on their own and you know it-No two Captains can drive the same Ship.

Show some love on her blog : https://josiefin.wordpress.com/

THE ZEPHYR

Tick, tock, tick tock, Michael counted the clicks, as death flashed a light as he strolled by. He attempted to avoid death’s gaze by looking left and right but the beam directly fell on his face in whichever direction he turned his head. He couldn’t escape today. There was no way He was breaking free from the spider’s web. “Mama!” He called out! But then even He could not hear himself. He lay afloat the sea of desperation and envisioned a raft dancing from a distance.
Then, he heard the gentle sobs of his mother and felt the agonizing heart of his father, as imperceptible hands clenched his cold fingers. His heart skipped another beat on the monitor in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the doctor strenuously pressing on his precordium, forcefully pushing his strong palms against his frail, weary heart.
Every moment happened in succession and his worlds began to drift apart, the broken framework continued to shatter, revealing pieces of the other world, – So beautiful and lovely! The thin thread affixing his soul to his body wavered. With every tick, the thread detached from its fastness and propelled him further downwards. Tick, tock, tick, tock.
There was my hand, fiddling for a pulse, just a single pulse! The sign of a persevering life. His pulse however kept tapping my finger lightly like an oscillating pendulum- So faint and thready.
The story then unfolds, Michael was wheeled in by the nurses after He was triaged a code of red, which meant he had to be seen immediately. He was involved in a road traffic accident, as a restrained passenger, in a top speeding bus. On that day, He was sandwiched between his grandmother and his mother who were seated on his left and right respectively; His two guardian angels. They had said a word of prayer as they set off to their destination. – The airport.
Daddy had returned from a 7 year expedition which earned him the title “Specialist Physician”. He waited patiently for the arrival of his family because he had not set sight on them in a very long time. He longed to see his son; who looked so much like him.
Rewind to the bus, Michael read a bedtime novel he bucked in his backpack before the journey. Mother enjoyed her playlist from her favorite musician –Joe Mettle, and Grannie went back to the blues; keeping her gaze fixed on the moving glass window, seemingly reminiscing the past – the good old times with Papa Mensah. She held back tears, as she aroused her last moments with him – on the hospital bed.
The man writhed in pain and gasped for air, battling so hard to set himself free from the terminal stages of prostate cancer. She clinched her grandson closer retaining the presence of her husband in the boy, Michael.
It all happened in a flash, Misery in motion. Her mother recalls recoiling herself backwards to take a nap, the driver throwing the car in a berserk motion to avoid collision with the big truck, frantic screams, convulsions and gasps from the passengers, in different motions of recovery, from the front to the rear of the car, dilated pupils bracing themselves for impact, rigid flexed knees ready to take a knock for being hard headed, and bloodshot ears which screeched to the sound of the bang.

Fast forward to the hospital, Grandmother, mother and grandson are being wheeled to the emergency department. Michael was in a coma, not responding to command, touch and pain. He was triaged RED and images from his head to his foot were taken.
The head and neck CT scan showed a large bleed on both sides of his brain with associated fractures of the cervical spine vertebrae. A chest x-ray showed serial rib fractures with collection of blood in the right lung and a pelvic x-ray showed widening of the pubis symphysis. He spiked a constant fever of 40.6 which was unresponsive to anti-pyretics. Even his lungs denied the oxygen being impaled through his nostrils.
He then began to deteriorate, very fast! The call was made and pride of doctors surged in. Surprisingly, his father too joined. His pulse glowed faintly and diminished with every shot of adrenaline being pumped in, eventually moving into hibernation. The atmosphere hinted it was his time to leave; the doctors reclined when the zephyr disappeared.
After 30mins of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Michael’s pupils were fixed and dilated; unresponsive to the touch of a cotton wool. There was no respiratory effort and no carotid pulse – The pulse we had fought to bring back.
I gently closed his eyelids and checked the time: 11:25pm. I wished I could have done something more to save his life but then, I had ran out of options and so He had assumed room temperature. I bowed my head as I exited the emergency department breaking the unfortunate news to his uncle. Rest in peace Michael.
#DoctorDiaries

Eliezer Bernard Owusu Ntim.

THE UNPLEASANT SURPRISE

I paced through the wards frantically trying to adapt to the new ballgame at hand. In this case, I was no longer that medical student jumping from one patient to the other, but the doctor to whom a patient’s life would be entrusted to. As usual my white lab coat was neatly ironed. Did I say as usual? I mean it’s because it’s the first day. With your first day at work, impressions matter. I smiled to every patient as I was being introduced to them, intently taking notes.

To my right was the Senior Resident of the team; dictating our schedules for the week, and to my left, were my colleagues who were co- house officers, Dr. Akpaloo and Dr. Adu Poku. The work seemed to submerge us because we did not know what to do a particular time. Belinda would ask, “When are we taking blood samples?”, “Where are we retrieving the patient’s labs from?”, “Which drugs are covered by the Health Insurance?”, “Should I wait for the relatives to come over so I discuss the prognosis or should I call them over the phone?” The work was a lot but we knew we would definitely come through. It was all a matter of time.

Making things worse, we met the lead clinician and team head who taunted us with a few of the medical school questions. “What are the complications of a thyroidectomy?”, “For clean cases and contaminated cases, which one would you operate first and why?”. The why part thrust me into dandelions of wonder because I knew this was common sense. You obviously bath your face first before your feet but I couldn’t look askance. I was as cool as a cold cucumber. I tried so hard to rhyme.

The patients on the ward had cases ranging from appendicitis through hemorrhoids to gastric and rectal malignancies. There were lots of distended abdomens which rendered the wards not a pleasing sight to behold. I then thought to myself “These were all ‘normal’ people. What could have possibly gone wrong? This situation would not last forever.”

I came to work the next day, noticing two empty beds which were occupied the previous day. Empty beds signaled good news. The patient has been discharged. The question then would be discharged where? Home? Or the other side of town? In that sense, Doctors tried all they could but the patient just couldn’t survive. It was just their time.

The first patient on the male ward I encountered was a 36 year old man diagnosed with rectal carcinoma a year ago. I used carcinoma? I mean cancer. He was “in his usual state of health” until he noticed a bulge emerge in his perineum as he passed stools. Making things worse, He also noticed his faeces were stained with bright red blood.

These red lights brought him to the hospital in a swift. He looked so energetic and well at that time. He was just a worried man concerned about his health. Laboratory investigations confirmed he had a rectal carcinoma in situ.

Rectal carcinoma in situ means the cancer was just in the bud. Just like a caterpillar growing in a cocoon. Being in its early stages indicated the cancer had not grown beyond the inner layer of the rectum.

Chest X- rays and CT scans excluded the possibility of metastasis (spread of the cancer). Risk factors for rectal cancer include old age, drinking three or more alcoholic drinks per day, smoking cigarettes, and being obese. However his risk factor could not be determined. He was just 36 years, had a health weight, had never smoked cigarettes nor drank alcohol. It was idiopathic.

Then he began to lose weight. The scare. His workplace was thrown into a frenzy. Everyone thought he had AIDS because he kept wasting. He had his own shop where he sold and repaired computers and according to his friends, he was so good at it but they were bad at sympathizing with him.  At this rate, He could not wear his clothes any longer and continued to spew out anything he ate.

He was brought to the emergency department one day when he suddenly lost consciousness on his way to work. All his laboratory values checked were deranged. Notably, was his hemoglobin level which was 1.7g/dl. Normal ranges are 13.0 -18.0 g/dl. He had bled out.

He was given 8 units of blood and further tests revealed the cancer had spread to a large area of his large intestine. His forebodings were now justified and he cringed on the bed, weeping like a baby. Why him? At this crucial stage of his life? He was just married 6 months ago to a beautiful lady and there was no way he was starting life this way.

He was counselled for surgery to limit the spread of the cancer. The surgery involved resection (removal) of the part of the large intestine affected, together with the rectum. In order for this to be possible, a permanent colostomy had to be done.

A permanent colostomy meant the healthy end of the large intestine had to be brought to his abdomen, creating a channel for the passage of feces on his skin. This was heavy news! But that was the only feasible way to save his life. It took 3 days with the clinical psychologist before He budged on his decision. “The rapture that was associated with being alive, was what mattered.” His wife told him.

He had his surgery done and started chemotherapy a week afterwards. This was the state I had met him – A week after his first shot of chemotherapy. He always lay in bed because he did not have the strength to get up and walk. Amazingly, his wife never left his side despite the state he was in. He had all the love and support he needed. He was aware of his prognosis and he gave up most of the time, but his wife always stood by him when he faltered.

A week after the surgery, He was rushed back to the operating theatre because the surgical intervention failed. It took a lot of steady hands which worked tirelessly, quick feet which rushed for blood, and a miracle before He made it out of the operating room alive.

Fast forward to 4 weeks later in the consulting room, I can’t help but stare at a young man taking strides confidently into the room. I couldn’t hide my joy. “Kweku!! You look good!” Surprisingly,  He had no complaints just a headache which resolved upon taking a tablet of paracetamol in the morning. He smiled and said a big thank you to the team for saving his life, and left the consulting room exactly as He came.

Grace has the power to give beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning and peace for despair.  It is true tough times never last but tough people do. Two men may have the same affliction but to one it shall be as gall and wormwood, yet it shall be wine and honey to another. So hold on!

God has a thousand ways to turn your situation around that you’ve never even thought of. Just because you don’t see a way doesn’t mean God doesn’t have a way – Joel Osteen

Thanks for reading.

Eliezer

THE GOOD SHEPHERD

A Beautiful face, a wonderful heart

Comforting hands that wrap the blessed piece

For the sake of love


A loud cry, shrouding the tears of a mother

The product that willingly offers to its offspring

He fills his heart with all of his mother’s words

His lips are pursed to speak but wide to breathe

Widespread arms extend for his frail hands

Welcoming them is a seat of rejection

And an emblem of smiles.

Healing hands that redeem their sight

He walked on the sea just to cleanse their fright

Taming the same sea’s entanglement, Faith demonstrates

A precious shield, I yearn to carry

Praying and fasting, He outlined his death

Being tempted, He showed His way

The way, which is truth and life!

Demons tremble at the mention of the name Jesus

Jesus, The Good Shepherd – I love You!

VICTORY BELONGS TO JESUS

Who can stand against the Lord.

No one can, No one will.

 

Who will stand against the King.

No one can, No one will.

 

Victory Belongs To Jesus

Victory belongs to Him.

 

Who can stand against the Lord.

No one can, No one will.

 

Who can stand against the King.

No one can, No one will.

 

Victory Belongs To Jesus

Victory belongs to Him.

 

 

We turn our trust in you.

We turn our hope in you.

 

You will deliver, you’re a provider

I find my victory in you.

Forever victorious, forever we win.

I find my victory in you.

 

Victory Belongs To Jesus

Victory belongs to Him.

 

Victory Belongs To Jesus

Victory belongs to Him.

 

Victory Belongs to Jesus – Todd Dulaney

This song gets to me anytime I listen to it. It is the song of a worshipper’s heart. What is worship then? It is dedication of our selfless hearts to God by renouncing our sins altogether. To begin by making ourselves a new heart possibly with a new conducting system intricately connected to Him, that He can unleash his spiritual gifts on us at any given time.

God reigns over the nations; and is seated on his holy throne.  Worship empowers the heavenly King seated on his throne to rise up to our aid anytime we face engulfing challenges.

Worship is not the slow song that the choir sings. Worship is not the amount you place in the offering basket. Worship is not volunteering in children’s church. Yes, these may be acts or expressions of worship, but they do not define what true worship really is.

True worship is to honor God with extravagant love and extreme submission, to present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is always faithful [to His word which states that He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].

The nature of the worship God demands is the prostration of our souls before Him in humble and contrite submission. Contrite according to the Merriam Webster is the feeling or showing sorrow and remorse for a sin or shortcoming. “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Before you can worship, it involves the realization that we, fallible humans need a infallible God. The high and exalted One who lives forever and whose name is holy who dwells in a high and holy place, also lives with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

The doctors might have diagnosed you of that incurable malignancy but Victory belongs to Jesus.

You might be feeling so negative after a working diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia that gets you high and low that you need shots of Haloperidol just to control your symptoms but then remember that Victory belongs to Jesus.

The only car that gets you places gets caught in that fatal car wreck and you are rushed in with a subarachnoid hemorrhage which is a rare life threatening condition that could claim your life but then Victory belongs to Jesus.

There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, He wants me as His friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given His Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose. not merely that we know God, but that He knows us. –  J. I. Packer.

Photo Credit : Google Images

Have a great day!