There were two young men who constantly visited my home during this period. While I imposed the “no facemask, no entry” rule on my house, these boys assured me that they were also adhering to it in public. However, I have had cause to spy them through a window in my house just putting on their facemasks as they were about to enter my house. It was obvious they were just deceiving me and didn’t use their facemasks in public for whatever reason best known to them.
If they were the ones who unwittingly brought the virus into my home, I had no idea. This brings me to my second theory which links with the third.
COVID-19 took the lives of lots of people, rich and powerful people inclusive. An example is the case of Abba Kyari. He was the Chief of Staff to the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. Kyari was a wealthy and very powerful man in the Nigerian Political scene, who tested positive for COVID and was admitted to a hospital in Lagos. This hospital was touted to be world-class, containing various medical equipment that you cannot get in a typical Nigerian upper-class privately-owned hospital. Unfortunately, this man died in the hospital due to lack of oxygen.
That’s what the virus does, it steals your breath and burdens your heart till your heart gets tired and gives up. It attacks all your organs and leaves everything in its wake in ruination.
I just received a call that a close family member had succumbed to the virus and was going to be buried. Considering my health and the doctors’ warnings, I couldn’t attend the burial and I promised to visit the family of the deceased privately. I felt safe.
There were less recorded cases of the virus per day and talks of vaccines to combat the virus were everywhere in the media.
I was going to be fully masked-up and I had my hand sanitizer with me, just in case. Nothing could go wrong, or so I thought.
That Sunday in June, I paid my condolence to the family of the deceased in the solemn atmosphere, prayed for them and encouraged them to take heart before leaving. I would later learn that the couple I had gone to visit later tested positive for coronavirus and probably already had it at the time of my visit.
On Monday, the next day, I woke up very weak. I was so tired that I would have appreciated a pay loader lifting me from the bed that morning.
There is some sort of certainty you feel when you know your body is under attack. You just know. I categorized my symptoms. Fatigue, headache, cough, sore throat. Later in the day, I realized that I had lost my sense of smell. I sniffed the air a few times just to be sure.
At that point, I knew I had to involve my wife. She said she was also feeling uneasy. It was as if some strangers had borrowed her body to use in a wrestling match. We called our family physician. He advised that we should call the NSCDC hotline. By the time they came, our suspicions were confirmed. We were diagnosed with COVID-19 disease.
We were advised to go to the nearest isolation centre but we refused to heed their advice. The case of Dr George, a cerebral multidisciplinary medical Doctor who died in an isolation Centre in Lagos, influenced our decision. He had suspected that he had COVID-19. So, taking his mother with him, he went to submit himself for isolation and treatment. He died a few days later.
My doctor had to closely monitor my wife and I.
I went for my regular lab test to monitor my blood count, creatinine level and eGFR but my kidneys were gradually deteriorating. My kidneys were dragging along, trying to do their job with heavy groaning even though it was already damaged. The virus attacked my kidneys immediately.
While I was able to combat the virus with the help of my medical practitioners, family and other well-wishers, it had done its damage; and shortly after I was told that the virus had left my system, I was told that total deterioration of my kidney functions may take up to two to four years.
Panic gripped me and I started listening to people who claimed they had solutions or cures for my situation. I bought supplements which were largely touted to be immediate cures but ended up doing nothing. I wasted lots of money on products which ended up being shams and scams.
In September 2020, I got promoted as the Pastor-in-charge of the Province and I resumed office on the 11th of that month. In October, 2020, barely a month since I resumed office and three days to my birthday, I got diagnosed of kidney failure and I needed a replacement. I also had to commence dialysis immediately.
A lesser man would have cursed God. If He didn’t want me to lead the church, why didn’t He just stop the appointment? Why test me with my health? But I put my faith in God’s healing powers. I believed it was just a phase. This too shall pass.