09 AMINI: Woman…

You must give it to the Professor for being able to explain medical conditions in a very humorous way. What better medicine! When a clinician uses the terms leiomyoma, dysmenorrhea or ovarian apoplexy, the affected is left feeling like the end is nigh. Worse when the prescription is a unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Something that sounds like only a team of high specialized surgeons in Mumbai or Delhi can comfortably handle. Where will the air fare even come from?

Lach offers practical suggestions on how these maladies can be avoided and stresses the need for proper diet, consistent exercise and – most importantly – annual pelvic checks. Mama Clara, who has incessantly been cheering every point that resonates with her, can no longer contain herself. She stands to testify how the doctor’s recommendations also helped her lose weight. “Look at me! Just look at me!” She does a 360◦ spin in her obviously 1980 ndege-round skirt and continues to testify how a 35 kilograms loss in the last 2 years has made her desire another baby. An uproarious laughter fills the school compound. Mama Clara is about 60.

Question after question begs a response from this man truly covenanted to the Oath.  I’m sure Hippocrates would be proud of him. “I usually advise patients diagnosed with endometrial cancer to consider having their uterus removed. The anger that meets me is something I have had to get used to. Women of Amini, the intent is not to put out the very essence of your womanhood but protract your very existence!” I too – initially bewildered by the doctor’s theatrical opening performance of the fourth chapter of The Good Book of Solomon – raise my hand with questions. No shame at all. Redemption is here!

The next session is facilitated by a representative from Faydar Pharmaceuticals – one of the largest multinationals in the industry. They’ve just introduced a new napkin and the enthusiastic employee together with her sales colleagues display its greater advantages. Each of us receives a hamper. O what joy when the women discover purple t-shirts in their pack. I will never wear it! Nairobi has fashion rules for women my age.

Woman! Never did I think I would be proud to be called a woman. Growing up it seemed highly unacceptable to be referred to as one. I was young, it meant old. Seemed to signify a weakness – a shameful weakness. A someone almost insignificant! Now I bask in the joys of embracing the bone of His bones and flesh of His flesh. Divinely breathed into life. A most fearfully and wonderfully made being. And like David, the Psalmist, I now know that full well.

Its 6.00pm, a whistle blows. We all stand at attention. A group of scouts can be seen lowering the Black-Red-Green Flag. These students are here every Saturday afternoon for their clubs activities. You should see how proudly they march in their cotton khakis complete with tilted velvet green berets. Another whistle marks the end of this government protocol. The professor stands by the gate, greeting the hands of the almost 250 ladies who attended his baraza.  A most rewarding afternoon it has been. Professor Sir, I will definitely be speaking to management to include you in our company’s list of approved practitioners.2

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