One Way Street


She held his hands as he was wheeled away into the theatre. Tears flowed down her eyes as the man whom she loved more than anything else in the world had his life in the hands of another man who was about to perform a Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication. She was advised to go home as it was going to be a long surgery due to his age and other medical complications. “I’ll  rather wait”, she insisted as she proceeded to the waiting area.
They had met 39yrs ago while they were in the university and she fell head over heels in love with him. He was quiet, calm, easygoing and humble. Nothing like the other guys she knew. When he asked her to be his, she kept him waiting for some weeks just to tease him and then she finally gave in.

In less than 18 months they were married and had a roller coaster of a honeymoon. They were an inseparable pair and due to the fact that he was a young and budding business tycoon, they were always in the spotlight but this did not affect their relationships. They weren’t just husband and wife as they treated each other like best friends, brother and sister, father and daughter, mother and son and most importantly, lovers. Many said that their kind of love didn’t happen to everyone. They were so close, it was almost annoying.

Ten years passed and though she was yet to conceive, he remained sweet and loving and he never complained. Even when his family started putting pressure on him over their childlessness, he still remained kind and loving. He never treated her with anger or disgust nor did he stand for such by his relatives towards her. Many nights she had gone to bed crying not because of their childless state but because she was overwhelmed at how unreal his loving attitude was to her in the face of their unfortunate situation. She knew he deeply wanted a child, as there was an obvious void in his heart that only a child of his own could fill. They went to all the best doctors they could find and all the tests results came back the same. “You’re both fine. Keep trying.”

And try they did.

Ten more years passed and nothing changed. She was not pregnant and he was not less loving and supportive. She brought up the idea of adopting kids one night but he didn’t want to hear of it. “If they’re not from you then they’re not meant for me” he had said.
Since they were no kids to look after, they had thrown themselves into work. He was the CEO of a group of companies and so had to attend endless board meetings which caused him to work till very late at night. He never let her work so one boring afternoon she had discovered her love for designing & sewing clothes and started a fashion house. Although she mostly worked from home, it was demanding which was why he agreed to let her do it as it would take her mind off their lack of kids.

One night at about 2.00a.m, she was up looking through sketches that some interns had submitted for the upcoming collection and suddenly her phone rang. She remembered looking at the screen with annoyance. She had employed way too many people to handle calls for the fashion house for it to be a dissatisfied customer.

“Can I please speak to Agatha Ohalete” the voice on the other end asked.

“Yes this is she.”

“We need you to please come to St Luke Hospital, urgently.”

“Who is on the line please?” she asked slightly alarmed.

“I’m Nurse Efe. Mr. Ohalete collapsed at his office and was rushed in. As soon as he was conscious, he asked us to call you.”

She immediately jumped up, knocking over the glass of wine she had been sipping from, causing its contents to spill over the papers she had been looking at. Without thinking, she ran out of the house, into her car and sped off to the hospital.

On getting to the hospital, she asked the nurse about her husband, Mr. Ohalete. She was asked to wait while she got a doctor. She was pensive. After what must have been about 15mins, Dr. Smith came and took her to private room 107, asked her to sit down and offered her a glass of water. “Doctor, can you just tell me what exactly is wrong with Nnamdi?” She asked anxiously, almost ignoring the drink  offered her.

“He came in two weeks ago, complaining of chest pains, heartburns, nausea and trouble swallowing. I prescribed some drugs for him and told him to let me know how he felt in a couple of days. He came back complaining that the pains had gotten worse and the drugs had done nothing. To get a proper idea of what might be wrong, we took X-rays of his chest and throat and upon our findings we performed an Endoscopy and discovered that your husband is suffering from Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It normally shouldn’t be serious but he has a few complications and underlying conditions that we are currently  looking into to ascertain what we are dealing with.”

She almost fainted. Nnamdi had never mentioned that he was in any sort of pain. She had noticed that he had stopped eating as much and as often as he used to and that a few times he would clutch his chest but whenever she asked, he would smile and say that he was giving old age a run for her money.

As soon as the disease was confirmed, he was started on Pantoprazole and Gaviscon. Thankfully he was discharged the day after and told to come again after ten days. She put the drama of the fashion house aside and became his nurse. On the ninth day, he was taking a nap and he suddenly woke up moving wildly, clutching his chest with his mouth wide open like he was struggling to breathe. She rushed him back to the hospital.

After attending to him, the doctor asked her to come with him to a private room and the look on his face told her that it wasn’t going to be pretty. “He is asthmatic. It has stayed hidden all along and has only come about by the weakening of his respiratory tracts. We will have to perform a Nissen Fundoplication as soon as possible because medication would not be sufficient. We need your approval for this.”

Without thinking, she signed the papers and gave them the go ahead. A few more days of tests and he was wheeled in for surgery. A few more trips like this to the operating room came over the years. Rehabilitations in India every few months and a lot of expensive drugs also followed. They were spending more money than both his companies and her fashion house were making and she had to apply for loans.

As all this went on, his health continued to deteriorate and the intensity of the pains he complained of increased. Nothing they did seemed worth it. His relatives had deserted them. She vividly remembered one of them referring to him as a lost cause but no, he was her Nnamdi. She couldn’t stop trying, believing and hoping that he would be better. She loved him too much.
******************************************

“Ma’am…..Ma’am…..he is out of surgery and is presently in recovery.”

His Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication was done. This was a more technical surgery and it was usually done for a minor number of cases of GERD but Nnamdi had asked the doctor to do it after his  Nissen Fundoplication had been unsuccessful. The doctor agreed at his insistence.

“Madam, I am afraid this is going to be the last procedure we can do for him. After this he will have to be on medications alone and just go home and take it easy. I suggest you see another doctor for a second opinion if you feel I am not giving you the best but I can assure you that they will say the same thing. It is the last resort”  Dr Smith said.

This lowered her expectations and after a gruelling 10hrs, Nnamdi awoke and asked for water. He was tired, heck, he looked tired. That was what 5 years of hopelessness and countless procedures could do to you. As soon as he was discharged, they went back home and she continued to nurse him. Her entire life revolved around him. They spent as much time as they could together whenever he felt up for it. He was still in a lot of pain but the meds helped keep it under control.

One morning he started to complain about pain again in his teeth and chest but this time he said it was worse than it normally was. She had him lie down and proceeded to contact the doctor. “You can give him a double dosage of Ibuprofen and we’ll send someone to see him as soon as possible.”

She did as she was instructed but the pain did not stop. A doctor came over and gave him more pain killers but to no avail. He cried until he fell asleep. She cried too, her heart was in pain for him.

The doctor had given him 3months to live after it had been found that he had a stricture that had narrowed his oesophagus and his breathing was declining by the day. There was no medical help for this and he just had to wait till he breathed his last.

This was when he called her and told her what he had in mind to do. She immediately got upset and asked him to never speak of such again. He begged her for days and tried to make her understand. “Agatha, please. It hurts so much. Many nights, the pain makes it impossible for me to sleep. I look at you and it breaks my heart to see that all you do is nurse me. All my teeth feel like they’re not mine. My chest hurts so bad, it feels like I might drop dead the next second. My heart feels…it’s really difficult to breathe. I can’t eat because swallowing hurts and so all I do is regurgitate. Sometimes I’m so nauseous, I feel like I’ve already fainted. I feel like my body is being punished for a heinous crime and my mind is trapped to suffer. Please…” he coughed with pain in his eyes and whispered with the little strength he could muster, “…Please.”

She went to church and prayed, weeping profusely. Life had been very unfair to both of them. They didn’t deserve any of the things that they had gone through. Nnamdi was too kind-hearted for this misfortune. She prayed and prayed until she was spent and then she left and went back home to meet him.

The next morning, she went out to get everything they needed and rushed back home. Nnamdi was still asleep and then she woke him up ever so gently. He weakly smiled at her as he woke up and hugged her. He asked for his Whisky which she had duly brought for him. He opened the bottle, put it to his lips and took three gulps.

He then handed her the bottle and noticed that she was shaking.

“Dont be afraid. You’ll be fine.” he said with a smile.

“I need you to do this. You know that right?” She nodded slowly.

Then he closed his eyes, smiled and whispered “I love you.”

She took his wrist, injected him with a syringe labelled “Sodium Thiopental” and watched him drift into unconsciousness as she whispered “I love you too.”

Tears drifted down her cheeks but she was comforted by the fact that he looked happy.

Three minutes later, she drew a deep breath and then pumped him with Pancuronium Bromide which she was told will cause muscle paralysis and respiratory arrest. His body jerked a little and then he lay still.

Watching that felt like someone had twisted a knife in her heart.

She lifted his body up to her and hugged him ever so closely feeling the heavy, slow beats of his heart. She whimpered as tears ran down her face.

She laid him back down and finally sent Potassium Chloride coursing through his veins to stop his heart.

She had granted his wish.
*****************************************

Have you ever had a friend or family member in so much pain that you just wished you’ll wake up one day and they’ll have gone away to rest?

Sadly it is a crime to perform euthanasia on anyone in Nigeria but at times it might just be the only way out.

Do share a comment with us both on the story written or any personal similar experiences using the comment box.

Cheers.

This story was written as usual by @Ms_BeeA and @bule_jr.

 

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32 responses to “One Way Street

  1. First? This is soooo sad. I think that performing euthanasia should be legal. One can’t continue to watch a loved one die. It is very heartbreaking. Just put the person out of his/her misery. Nice story sha. I cried

  2. this hit close to home cuz my dad died from GERD but i don’t think i would have wanted anyone to perform euthanasia on him.

  3. Hmmm…
    This hit way too close to home.
    My mum and I are fighting cancer.
    I got to watch her go through the pain of chemotherapy, I wanted to end it for her, but she was strong, too strong.
    When it came to my turn, however, I begged someone to kill me, my little sister, my parents, the nurses. That was when my dad introduced me to vodka.
    Looking back, I’m grateful no one did.
    I really don’t know how I feel about euthanasia.
    Sorry about the length.

  4. Legalising Euthanasia is an age old argument, wrote an article on it once, like every argument there are two sides to it. Let’s take Nigeria for example, its already hard to leave the hospital in full health because of how incompentent the doctors all seem to be. But when u offer them the chance to kill people, because that is what Euthanasia is, when u offer people the chance to kill another human being based on their own judgements or that of a doctor, u open up a whole can of worms, I’m not saying situations in this story are not possible, I’m just saying it is a law that can be taken advantage of, huge advantage, because sadly human beings are extremely greedy and selfish . That said, I love this story, its so cute

  5. You guys are amazing.
    You have a way of digging deep and bringing out parts of me I never thought I had.

    Gay parts.

    I actually feel sorry for her. She committed murder, but no one will blame her.

    I hope I’ll never have to make that choice.

  6. Very painful story indeed. When I was much younger I watched a documentary on euthanasia and it made me feel sick to my stomach. Nobody wants to watch their loved ones die such a painful death but regardless of the intentions I still think mercy killing is wrong. It’s difficult though.

  7. what a weirdly written story.
    i like the subject. i have been thinking of it all morning. if nothing can be done medically…just let the person go. darris wot I would say…I dunno if I would do it.

  8. Dicey issue. But it all boils down to respect for human life. It’s sacred. No human has the right to take his/another’s life, no matter the reason. Yes, there’s the religious factor. But there’s also the fact that to do so, cheapens life. If I can help someone die, where do we draw the line? I can get pregnant with a child who’s a sickler tomorrow and then decide to kill him, to ‘spare’ him a life of misery. I can kill my quadraplegic husband tomorrow, even if he doesn’t expressly desire death, because I feel he’d be grateful.

    And there is this. Most people who ‘want’ to be ‘mercy-killed’ are emotionally vulnerable. When you’re in pain, you’re hardly thinking straight. Anyone who suffers from regular migraines can testify. Secondly, many of them feel like ‘burdens’ to their families and caregivers. They may actually think that their dying would be best for their loved ones. Isn’t that horrible, that anyone would feel this way?

    Recently, a lady was telling me about her 40 year old sister who suffered from an extreme arthritis for 4 years that eventually killed her. At the end of the 1st year, she was bed-ridden and was in so much pain, she couldn’t be bear to be touched or held. All treatment failed. But she kept up her good humor. She died happy, by herself and inspired everyone else who was in the hospital. This is what we should encourage. I’d never support euthanasia, least of all for my loved ones. I will sit with them, sing to them and pay for palliative care. But kill them? No. They deserve better.

  9. Soo sad :(, I almost cried! Ow wld one go thru dat kind of pain? I av no say to euthunasia really… I dnt think I cld do it, jst end a life like dat. I bliv in miracles!

  10. Sigh. I honestly don’t know what I would do in this situation, and I hope it never comes to that. I don’t think I would make the decision to end the person’s life, though. But if there’s no more hope, I won’t put the person in any more pain while trying to find a solution. I guess I’d just try to make their final days as painless as possible. But if he/she wanted to die… I don’t know. You can’t tell with these sorts of things.

  11. I am fighting cancer and I’ve thought of taking my own life of recent. I am not sure of what I’ll do if faced with this situation..

  12. Femi OMG why do u like sad stories na :'( :'( :'(
    I’ve never been in a situation like this, and I never pray to be. :(

  13. Wow! I’m speechless.. Dis is so so so so SAD! :( :( seriously prayin I don’t find myself in ds situation..
    Nice piece of writing! Was rily impressed with d medical terms (Y)..

  14. I am fighting cancer and I’ve thought of taking my own life of recent, I was thinking of ODing on sleeping pills. I am not sure of what I’ll do if faced with this situation tho, may we never have to make that choice..

  15. Nice touching story. I see you conveniently made them barren to simplify the story. The strength to end the life of a loved one is not as readily available as is portrayed here. In my opinion. About mercy killings, it’s legal in Switzerland. About 70% of the people who indicate interest in the procedure change their minds when they realize that they have actually been given permission to end it all. It is never a cut and dried case. I would not like a life support machine on an unconscious one to be left on after it is clear that he or she will not be waking up.

  16. Ve had to debate on this topic before, Very sad syory, I almost cried. I loved the depiction of the love by the couple. Yea I’m a sucker for love.

    I don’t support euthanasia but its a very painful thing to do. I know how mucch I’m scared of pain, bearing things can be hellish for me so I can only imagine what it feels like.

    But I strongly belive in miracles and happy moments in painful times. I also think cases like this doess sth to both the sufferer and the loved ones. It is some sort if reality check and more, when you see ppl fight thru such situations with courage, the rest of us are encouraged.

    On a lighter note, ve learnt my vodka has a growing resume in terms of usefulness :-)

  17. Awesome writing, but still very sad:'( No one should ever have to go through such an experience. All that said, well written piece @Ms_BeeA…keep em comin;)

  18. *sigh* dis is really sad :'(
    I hope n pray to never be in such a position..i’∂ never kill some1 i love..wayy too painful..

  19. This is just really sad:'( No one should ever have to go through such an experience. Well written one by @Ms_BeeA. Keep em comin;)

  20. Very cool story brosis.

    I think you should have added footnotes at the bottom to indicate what those medical procedures are (not everyone knows)

    The love story was well told but overly linear and simple. Way too simple. Like an outsiders view in. The characters didn’t come through well so it was hard to feel emotion for them, IMO.

    Still, a cool story. (Y)

    I see no reason why euthanasia should be illegal. Yes, there is respect for human but there is also the right to a dignified life that everyone deserves. Whether its right or wrong, they should have the right to decide when to die. Also, most of these people would commit suicide if they were physically able but the pain/illness prevents them from doing so. So they are being forced to live in pain. Isn’t that the definition of torture? Which is also illegal?

    Who are we to insist that someone MUST live against their will? Its just as wrong as murder which is basically forcing someone to die agaisnt their will. In both cases, another human being is exercising control over anothers life. People should have the right to do as they will with their lives. For better or worse. What happens after the end comes is between them and their God.

    That being said, the modalitiiies are tricky. The when and the how and the who will do it. I advocate for simply creating a system that’s almost automated but the final sequence can be initated only by the person in pain. This will help absolve everyone involved of wrongdoing. Or something like that.

    And also, yes it can be taken advantage of by greedy people but can’t every other law in the world?

    I support peoples right to die when they choose to. Though I do not believe they should, they should have the right to.

  21. Interesting topic (although not new); but not I fear, a very intersting story. too little character development, too simplistic, but I’m sure this was deliberate.

    Euthanasia raises too many complex issues for simple Yes and No answers. It does not allow for easy conclusions.

    what gives man the right to kill? what gives one the right to keep another alive?
    Does it keep with your Christian/muslim beliefs?
    Is it subject to abuse?
    Will it not open the floodgates, and excuse other infractions of the law of dodgy ethical standing?

    The quality or dignity of life argument could very well be used in the next decade to make Eugenics national policy once more. Kill the retards, the mongloids (persons with down’s), kids with autism, babies born disabled, Nigerian kids with AS genotype (lol)

    Its a hard, hard issue; and no, this sob…yikes, sad story has not made it less difficult

    Good work still

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