Monday, 23 April 2012

OF SEX… AND ITS BATTLES

I think cartoons depict our sickest thoughts: the kind we'd get crucified for if we ever thought out loud. And what’s on our gallery today? She wouldn’t kiss him if she was under anesthesia. Ouch! If a lady ever told any guy that, my guess is she may be having issues, is downright jealous, or the guy is a 'Voldemort'. The last is the worst case scenario. To deal with that, one may need a team of surgeons, a good anesthetist, a psychiatrist and a masseur for their injured ego. *A cheaper alternative would be an appointment with a mortician*

In retrospect to other gender based scripts, I choose to start this by referring to the good book. Just so you know good people, I regard the writings therein as sometimes metaphorical. Let me explain. Adam came first, then Eve was created from his rib. The act of fashioning someone from a rib is not quite feasible. Unless of course one day your sleepy son came to you with a rib ache, and you affirmed his suspicion that it means he is about to have a wife. The good book claims that Eve was the weaker one. The snake therefore tempted her with an apple and she fell for it. So the question lingers: of either sexes, which is fairer?

I must say that the X chromosome is pivotal for the propagation of life while the Y chromosome is abberant. In fact, according to the shrinking theory, the Y chromosome may completely lose function in the next ten million years! *I suppose our gene pool could use a little chlorine?* Life starts with ova and sperms- a pair of them. Both are geared up for the run of their lives when copulation is at hand. The male sperm is the faster runner. It is an epic journey equivalent to a hundred meters' sprint. The distance in real life parameters however stretches from the horn of Africa to some slave town in Guinea Bissau. And the male sperm usually gets there first, but because the Y chromosome is weaker, it's less viable. That’s one for the XX and nil for the XY.

Birth and survival is next. The ratio of male to female births is almost equal. Females are on the higher side. More birth complications are however associated with the males than the females. Male neonates are more predisposed to complications such as respiratory distress than their female equivalents. Other neonatal infections are also likely to affect males more than females. It’s like the world doesn’t want them here or something *whatever they did!?*.

Later in life, the females always seem to thrive better than us. This is due to three major factors. Survival for males is not guaranteed. Competition is mandatory. Secondly, females have to distribute their attention to a myriad other things they ought to care for (males included). Lastly, menses: that time of the month when everything else slows down for the woman so that nature can take its course. Some in fact use it to wreck havoc on the universe; ranging from a few tantrums here and there to catastrophes of tsunami-esque proportions. I give one for the XY here for their ability to deal with such despite their dwindling numbers *vuvuzela*.

On a scale of one to... say, Kelly Rowland, most men rank high up on motivation for their activities. This makes them prone to illness and injury. The number of beds occupied by male patients is always way more than females. This makes me wonder what pick-up line the snake used on Eve: An apple a day keeps the doctor away perhaps? I wouldn’t know. Whatever the case, Eve still ate the damn fruit and we are all screwed!

The most intriguing detail is how women get men to do anything for them. Men vehemently refuse to admit it but that’s the truth. You can even ask Akuku Danger *if you have access to Hades*. My assumption is if it were a world with men only, nothing would ever get done. That’s one more for the XX. Ergo, the person who said ‘it’s a man’s world’ must have been a chauvinist, an alien or a Neanderthal Homo habilis. I think the last one is more likely.

It is said that women are crazy and men are stupid: that women are crazy because men are stupid. However true this is, I'm yet to fathom. The battle of the sexes never wanes. We all want different things; women want men and men want women. Still, me thinks whatever broth we keep brewing in the pot of gender tastes more like fun. Don't you agree?

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Sunday, 8 April 2012

EASTER WITH THE FAMILY

Yesterday was an epic family gathering. One of our beautiful sisters is jumping the broom soon; we had to be there for moral support. The interesting bit for me started with my rather dramatic arrival. These wedding things are quite unpredictable at times. I was accosted at the gate by my other sisters, no greetings or anything: just subtle hints to get me to pay for a badge that would act as my entrance key to that event. Something similar to being coerced to purchase an insurance policy: a brother of mine remarked. And after the tension of rattling my pockets and taking one for the team, things were settled. The usual ‘hugs’ and ‘umepotea sana’ commence.

The first good thing about family gatherings is the food. So after a bit of small talk; I took to the buffet. And I must remark, my mothers and sisters do have a way with the kitchen. The servings were tantalizing, nothing I had eaten in a while could equate. Once my tummy issues were sorted, the mingling and fundraising was next.

The ambience was just what I expected. The sturdy Ngong’ hills in the background, cool winds sweeping down their slopes to amply grace the occasion. The sun above, some fuzzy could cover around it… a picturesque scene. The bark of a country mongrel, a few cackles by the chicken in the farm beyond, the muffled ‘moo’ of a distant heifer and cheerful talks punctuated by bouts of laughter were the sound effects to the occasion.

The master of ceremony rolled in to conduct the fundraising. Like most brothers in my family, he was a juggernaut of a man. I don’t get how these people get to gain that much weight while I don’t. Not that I'm jealous or anything, but I guess that it’s my own way of standing out. I smile at myself as this thought dissipates in my mind. Back to reality now, our sister is getting married. This MC guy is good, real good. I bet he would get the devil to give an offering at his own exorcism. I chuckle at the thought.

Afterwards, my mothers (aunts) summon me to their corner. It’s the usual family drill. ‘Are you ever going to put some meat on those bones?’ ‘How is your very tall brother?’ ‘Why didn’t you bring your pretty girl today?’ e.t.c… I love their concern. I defend myself with the usual wild card, being a medic doesn’t allow me to put on weight anywhere else except in my brain. We laugh about it; they have so much hope in their son, in all their children actually. You never get that elsewhere except in family.

As the evening staggers in, we huddle around to talk about this, that and the other. First is wedding stuff, then the other things. This is my first wedding committee. I put my naivety in the background and listen to the experts as they talk. I have a lot to learn I realize. Despite the creeping cold around, the family company is ever so warm.

Stories come next, with them, a bottle or two of alcohol. Meat is in abundance. We are in Maasai territory. Here infants get weaned on roasted ribs. The mutura is awesome too. Next thing I know, I am being referred to as ‘Daktari wa Wafu’ (doctor of the dead); something to do with how I usually talk about postmortems. I give a different story this time to defend my position as a doctor of the living. The alcohol starts kicking in. You know, those moments when people start confessing their love for each other. Then we pour some alcohol for a fallen brother: R.I.P Leimayan.

Stories go on and on. The laughter is too much. Maybe it’s the euphoria of family. Everyone is elated. It’s a no-holds-barred talk. Everything from Thwathinigga (with lotsa love to uncle) and Maranatha (don’t ask), to some good brotherly advice. At one point, the biggest ‘mzito’ pinches the dog’s ears. He does that twice. That’s officially the funniest moment of the evening. I'm asked to update it on face book and make it official. As we gear up to part, one thing rings again and again in my mind. We always have each others’ backs. These are the moments to remember, times we all live for. I truly love my big family.

Todo para la familia- everything for the family.

Friday, 6 April 2012

TWO THREE STORIES, AND EASTER WISHES

It’s crystal clear that April is finally here, and with it, presumably the longest weekend of the year- Easter. Before I disclose my thoughts on April, let me recap a bit on March. March was the month of new things: a new rotation, new medical information, new experimentation… and a demonstration. As you might have picked from the last blog, surgery was the new rotation,. The rest is blah blah blah until the moment to remember; the new demonstration.

Well, a couple of our older brothers and sisters in the medics fraternity were unsatisfied by the terms and conditions offered by a health ministry crippled with rickets and severe cretinism. The precipitating factor for the demonstration was perhaps acute deafness from those who manage it. So the family had to get together and act, for our rights, and more for the rights of the Kenyan patient. The whole affair was a great success. It is what happened during and after that got me in kicks.

For some, it was the fun of walking along the major streets of the city in solidarity with the other aggrieved. The songs that were sung, the slogans that were written on the hand held boards: one even asking an individual from the health ministry whether medics should go on a diet of rats or something. The highlight of all was the response from the school’s administration after most students abandoned ship for a day. They alluded to an African proverb, something about medicine being a noble profession; a bath which we have already stripped for and we are too far in it to start complaining. I choose not to comment over the matter. Far as I'm concerned though, if the bath is too cold: you don’t quietly bath yourself into hypothermia or pneumonia while you can easily turn up the heat. That was my march with March ergo; I’ll digress to April.

Fools day was rather boring. It was on a Sunday, the foolish-sphere was under heavy heavenly surveillance I presume. I hope it lands on a Monday next year. I'm already imagining a patient playing a sick joke on an unsuspecting doctor. Oh, the irony. Then there is the April cold. This sudden change of weather got me thinking that the global thermostat had broken down or something. A week down the line and I think the cold means business. In fact, I’m barely able to type this.

Well, the cold carries with it some implications. Other than the fact that respiratory infections are on an all time high already, it marks the start of the mating season. I will give you the reasons in an order of most to least importance. One is the need for warmth; that’s where the bachelor envies the married man. The latter has someone to keep his lair warm. Secondly, people would rather stay indoors and avoid the cold outside. They will try and figure out several ways of having fun indoors and guess what will be at the top of the list (pervert’s trap). Last, the rate of spermatogenesis increases exponentially with the cold. If you don’t believe me, stay observant till late August to early December and notice the abrupt rise in the number of abdominally inflated females.

Last is Easter. The good book says that one man subjected himself to severe trauma and death for all to be forgiven. Whether it happened around this time or not, that is still under question. The main lesson here is that of sacrifice and forgiveness. On that note, thank you for sacrificing your time for reading this blog. I hope you forgive all your haters and love everyone else during this season and after. Take good care of thyself as you go about your celebrations.

As for me, ideally; I would be scrubbing into my kitchen in readiness for the debridement of my Good Friday chicken. In related news, someone please turn up the thermostat, it’s taking too damn long to boil them Easter eggs.
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