This piece has taken forever to write. A lot happened since I turned 26 and only now did I manage to get to it. It definitely took a lot, remembering all that happened in various times was overwhelming. Others way too personal and still dealing with that I just couldn’t write about but just a glimpse of how my previous year was……It’s rather long than usual but enjoy this one from me to you! (Part 2)
Now 25 was a quarter a century and I honestly believe that if I thought hard enough I can come up with 25 things that happened in my last year. But I will not put you through all that. So maybe just highlights that were pretty big not to ignore.
So just before I turned 25 I got a job, that was July. Well initially it was informed to me as a ‘temporary one/two months gig’. But one promise I made to myself is ‘hakuna kuchagua kazi’ I remember when starting it felt so overwhelming; you guys like a hundred things were happening all around me, I kid you not…..nowadays I juggle them so well you’d think I took classes in the circus (get it…..lol). I worked hard and proved myself and was later confirmed few months down the line. Actually I knew I was to be confirmed 1 week to my birthday. Nice way to start my 25th year.
Around August I remember it was so intense juggling school project and work. Now that was crazy! I needed to graduate I remember a friend posted up a crazy picture on our now IDIS Alumni 2015 Group. You guys it was not funny and funny! It cracks me up to date. Somehow that too came to pass. (Let me just say I was not done by 31st August but had to keep it moving)
Which brings us to about December…….. I graduated!!! International Studies and Diplomacy was not an easy BA. All those treaties we had to learn, The Constitution, WW1, WW2 we even used to joke in class we probably even have to learn how WW3 would go down(Very optimistic it will never happen). Anyway some days I wondered how I got to choose that BA sober minded. But I love that I managed to have a crazy class to go through all of that with.
2016, it was a New Year …… mmmhh it actually started off quite promising little did I know that was bound to change. So around February I had one of the most draining situations in my life. This definitely is among my top 3 Situations in Life so far that have been extremely difficult. It started as of as a cold. It was a Friday and I had taken 2 days leave following week to sort out some personal things I needed to that I had kept pending for too long. Needless to say to date that it is still pending……February to September (Trust me it can happen….that’s all am going to say).
By the time I got home that Friday I was running a high fever. My mum like all mums insisted I should take something for the cold and by morning I should be good as new. I took some meds that night but I just couldn’t sleep. So next morning my mum comes to my room to check on me and I was literally hot. Fever and all. It was so bad I had to go hospital. However my mum had visitors that day. My aunt’s Family from Limuru was visiting. So I told her not to cancel and I would find my way through to hospital. Which I somehow did. By that I mean, I boarded the matatu from Kasarani, my home town and by the time I was alighting in town I was so weak and my vision was a blur. I have never felt my body give up on me like that day. It was too heavy for me, I felt like every single part of my body was on fire.
I managed to cross the road up to the Nakumatt that had burnt down previous years back, just near Ebrahims on Moi Avenue…… (see it) anyway, I could see nothing. Completely Nada! I knew if I attempted to cross that road I would definitely be hit by the Nairobi matatus that quite frankly just don’t care about the people. So plan B. I looked for a Kind face which was pretty hard with all my blurring but I made sure it was a lady. I reached out to this lady who later told me was Agnes (God bless Her). I explained to her my dilemma and asked if she can just get me to the Sarova Stanley side then I could find my way to Aghakhan Jubilee House. (I mean that’s less traffic I had to deal with).
I have never felt a place be so far. Sure I had an option of going to another hospital but previous weeks I had felt a lump in one of my breasts and I did not want to post pone it any longer. At that time I only trusted Aghakhan. Agnes was really kind she opted to take me the whole way. The guards at Jubilee House were so kind they took over and made sure I got up to 6th Floor at Aghakhan. The nurse who did my checkup couldn’t believe I was still standing in spite of the fever. She gave me some paracetamols and took me to a room to sleep. Every test that was needed (they came to me I was never made to walk down the hallway to the various examinations room). Aghakhan gave me a comforting experience.
Long story short I was told I needed a lot of rest and to just take it easy and sent home hours later with a Brown bag full of meds (now those tasted awful). For days I couldn’t move, my body was just not in sync with my mind and soul. I wanted to resume to my life and I thought Wednesday would be it. I could go back to work. Later that night I was just uneasy. So I decided to go to hospital again. The next day, I thought I could start with Chiromo where I was to pick my Certificate but didn’t manage to (Story for another day). Then went by Aghakhan for tests I was scheduled for that day.
A friend of mine accompanied me, (His too private so for this sake we’ll call him Alabama). Alabama Waited for me in the waiting area and I was soon seen by the doctor. When I went in she asked if I was Wanjiku and I acknowledged that I was. And then she followed with the question;
‘How are you feeling? How you standing right now?’
I remember thinking well, am really not myself but I feel way better than the last time I was here.Things happened so quick because the test I had done 2 hours earlier showed my blood count at 1.07.Normally it should be at 7 at least. I was at 1. I was referred to the main Aghakhan in Parklands at 6:00 pm. I remember feeling so confused and thinking can I go home and report there tomorrow? The doctor just told me;
‘We can’t predict what will happen. Your blood count is too low you can collapse anytime. You need to be hospitalized so we can monitor and run some series of tests and know what we are dealing with.’
I called my aunt, her name is Agnes but we call her ‘Aunt Shiro’, she’s like the medic of the family. God bless her. I explained to her how I thought my situation was exaggerated until she asked me to tell her exactly what the doctor said…..and I did. And all she said was;
‘This can’t be happening again. Shiko you have to go hospital. Am done with my shift here so I’ll be driving to Aghakahan. I‘ll meet you there soon. We shall figure it out. You’ll be fine.’
Alabama drove me to hospital. I remember the silence in the car as Alabama was trying to encourage me I’ll be fine. You should have seen his face, he tried put a brave face but I could see through it. Later on my aunt, sister and the husband joined me through the night for tests. Around 1:00am my head was pounding so hard that tears were just falling down my cheeks. My aunt, she was just as scared as I was. My sister was just confused and the husband in a daze. I could see through all of them. She thought what was happening with my cousin was repeating itself. Cancer!
I lost that particular cousin who suffered from cancer months down the line, April. Paul was his name. He was a young man full of Life. Something I Admired most from him was he lived Life to the fullest…..No apologies. It made me think about my life and I realized I survive my life I barely live it. That needs to change!!! I remember going in to the doctors at midnight accompanied by my sister and aunt. The doctor asked of the history of cancer in my family. I was speechless until my aunt went on and on. My sister informed on the history of my dad’s side. I could see how drained she was. I never knew really how cancer had affected loved ones in my family until that point. During this time I was put on bed rest for about 1 ½ weeks and it was tough. Some days were manageable others were just not. I cried and slept and cried some more. I just zoned out. The thought of what the doctors thought was just too much. My life could take a turn in just 2 weeks. Life was draining out of my body.
My entire family was shaken. Myself, scared. I was too weak during that time my mum could serve me food in bed and she’d sit there until I was done. My friends could come straight to my room and sit with me for a while. I had been scheduled for another check up. I remember my mum and I woke that day and went to hospital in Aghakan. I was to see a specialist. We were there for the better part of the day. Tests were done and my blood count was not great but was more. The doctor prescribed more meds and was put on bed rest again for about 4 days. I was not given a clean bill of health but I took what I was given positively. 4 days later I had another test, not the best but again was improving slow.
By then I was strong enough to report back to work, which I did. I needed the distraction rather than play the possibilities in my head. I was on meds still but slowly I felt myself stronger. 2 weeks later I was to do another test and I did and this time I remember thinking it’s not 7 but I will take the 5.9 that I was given. I was asked to re-do the test again a month later and I did…and it was 6.7 if I remember correctly. It was my clean bill of health.
‘Eat well, avoid stress, take time out when your body needs it and when you feel unwell or uneasy then always visit the hospital. Regular checkups are recommended. You should be fine.’
Those were the final words from the doctor. I remember being so happy, I called my sister, my mum, my brother, my aunt and friends to share the good news. I was in cloud nine. I treated myself to ice-cream….COLD STONE.
A lot more happened after, Buglers raided our home luckily neither my mother nor I were home. They ransacked the rooms and stole valuables but our health was good enough, we counted our losses and kept it moving. A home I had known for the better part of my entire life was so quickly taken away from me. Blink of an eye, it happened so fast.
At work, work was okay. In May the entire RP family went to Diani for a Re-treat. I sat in the committee for planning with about 4 other amazing colleagues from work. Planning logistics for 190 people can be a little intimidating but very fulfilling once pulled off. Which is what happened. From transport, programmes, theme nights, accommodation, team building facilitators and awards……We pulled it off. We were very tired when it was all done and happy it successfully came and passed.Real Squad was such an amazing team to work with. We did two projects together that were purely successful and very fulfilling. One in March and the re-treat in May. Work for the most part has been good. Seating in various committees has been exciting and honorable. Winning a Customer Service Award twice has been amazing too!
Despite everything, I probably can’t write all that has happened. It was one intense year and I still haven’t really had a constant breather. I catch my breath, breathe and just when am thinking it has slowed down and I can smell the roses something else happens. It’s basically been a mix of that. Good, bad, overwhelming and repeat again and I celebrated my 26th Birthday. So far it’s been a lot to just take in but then that’ a story for another year. Lol.
I would like to thank my family for when they stepped in, my friends who constantly check in (Baraka, Niel, Alabama), My inner circle girlfriends who know me to the bone Janie (My best friend Since High school), Nungari (A cousin who drops everything when I call), D.Mulwa (A lady who has been through so much, has a big heart, cries with me when am broken and keeps me on my toes when we make a plan) low maintenance friends – Stanley and Camelyne (these two are constant and rare. I don’t see them all the time but when we meet we have good meal and amazing company. I can tell them anything and they never judge me. Crazy, humorous, spontaneous and awesome cousins (Meru and Boina) Colleagues from work who make it easy and enjoyable (Mayasa, Esther, Muthoni, Emily) it’s impossible to mention them all. I must say my bunch of friends is ordained by God. They stay strong for me even when am far from it and sometimes all they ask is I get up and they pick it up for me from there. May God bless them.
Already much is happening. I do hope it gets brighter. I hope to have amazing milestones spread out the year.
I still Ask, I Believe Hard and I Hope to Receive.
I’ll keep going the Extra Mile.