Nosike knew he was the most exhausted pharmacist on earth! No one could be “tired-er” than he was right now after such an excruciatingly long day at work. He dragged his hungry and bone-tired body up the stairs, hoping his roommate would have some food for him. Otherwise, a long night lay ahead.
He unlocked the door and met his roommate, Michael, grinning widely, like someone who just won a jackpot. The grin was still plastered on his face five minutes after.
“Ok…so would you like to tell me what’s going on Michael?”
“You talking to me?” Michael replied feigning ignorance.
“No, I was just talking to the microwave.” Nosike replied sarcastically.
“He he. I’m floating on cloud nine bro. Chief Ayomikun’s retirement party was lit and you missed!” Michael replied with unusual excitement.
“Missed what? Did they share money? Or did Queen Elizabeth come?”
“Nah! You missed the food! THE F-O-O-D! For starters, there was pepper soup and small chops. Then Jollof rice, Fried rice, Ofada rice, Basmati rice and about fifteen other types of rice were in one corner. At another angle, there was Pounded yam, Semo, Fufu in short, all the swallow meals and imaginable soups. Continental meals at another corner, with wines and assorted drinks. Ha! How could I forget the proteins? Almost seventy different types of fish and meats- peppered, grilled, fried, breaded… just name it!”
“Mike, Mike! Your exaggeration is on another level.” Nosike said.
“I’m not exaggerating. All those things were there in 3D, loading on 5G network! Ha! My brother, the aromas in that hall alone could wake the dead!”
Nosike’s intestines churned faster and his mouth watered as he imagined the display. He was drooling already.
“To crown it all, IT WAS A BUFFET!” Michael continued in a higher pitch. “And because I’m not a learner; I took the biggest plate I could find, loaded everything and… the rest is history! As a matter of fact, it took me two hours just to be able to stand.”
Nosike’s tummy twinged again. It seemed his hope for eating tonight was not in vain. “So what did you bring for me?” he asked Michael.
“Ummmh… Well… actually… there was no takeaway, so I didn’t…I couldn’t bring anything.”
Nosike froze for one second, then clutching his chest, he fell to the bed in slow motion. “My chest! My chest!” he repeated.
Michael scrambled to help him, thinking he was having a heart attack or something, and was rewarded with a punch from Nosike.
“Why? What did I do?” Michael asked him.
Nosike fired his reply in Pidgin. “Yeye boy! You no carry anything come you come dey waste my time… dey gist me about food wey I no go chop. You sabi the kain hungry and tire wey pursue me before I reach house? Ehn? Abeg no try dat kain thing again!” [Meaning: Silly boy! You didn’t bring any food for me and yet you were wasting my time telling me about food I can’t eat. Do you know how extremely hungry and tired I was before I got home? Don’t mess with me like that again.]
The serious look on Nosike’s face made Michael erupt into laughter. “Sorry o. I didn’t know. But you asked me questions, I answered, and you’re vexing?”
“Why won’t I vex? You should have just summarised instead of giving me full details. Now I’m terribly hungry. If you’re not careful I will just eat you.”
“Please don’t eat me o. There’s a little garri in the kitchen. No vex, just manage it.”
After drinking the garri, Nosike went to sleep but was awoken some hours later by a strange noise: Michael was rolling on the floor.
“What’s the matter?” Nosike asked him drowsily.
“My tummy… it’s turning on its own.”
“Aha! When you were eating everything at the party you didn’t remember that this is how it will end right?”
“Seriously, it’s not funny at all. I’ve stooled about three times now and I can feel the urge for another one coming on. I desperately need Flagyl tablets.
“Flagyl tablets for what exactly?
“To calm my stomach and stop the loose stool.” Michael responded.
“You’re kidding right?”
“Is there mucous or blood in your stool? Or is your body hot?”
“No. Nothing unusual. Its just loose stool.”
“So why do you want Flagyl?”
“Because it always works. In fact, whenever I travel, I take along either Flagyl tablets or Tetracycline capsules, and as soon as I sense my tummy preparing to be upset, I quickly use it. After all, prevention is better than cure!”
“What?! That is just so wrong! And very dangerous! Don’t you know that Flagyl and Tetracycline are strong antibiotics? The fact that they are cheap and available doesn’t mean they should be abused! They are not to be used for this type of loose stool!”
“This type of loose stool? Are there different types?”
“Yes. Some people have loose stool because of allergies, while others may experience watery stool after eating food contaminated by germs. But you’re stooling because you either ate too much or ate a weird combination of foods that your body system isn’t used too.”
“Actually, both.” Michael said, remembering all the things he had combined together.
“Aha. And when the body breaks these foods down and releases different gases, the gases collide and that is what causes the stomach to be upset. It will usually resolve by itself in a few days. All you need to do in the meantime therefore, is to ensure you are not dehydrated. In other words, keep drinking lots of water and Oral Rehydration Salts.
“Really?” asked Michael.
“Yes.” Nosike replied.
“But what if I have to go out? I can’t keep running to the toilet every ten minutes.”
“In that case you can take anti-diarrhoeal drugs like Imodium or Lomotil. But they are not for children o. And you better don’t start taking them anyhow because they have a maximum dosage.”
“Noted. So when is someone supposed to use Flagyl for stooling?”
“Only when the loose stools are caused by bacteria and that is determined in the hospital, not at home.”
“Alright. I’m convinced. But I still have nothing to lose if I use Flagyl… just in case it’s an infection that is causing the loose stool you know…”
Nosike glared at him. “Oh boy! It seems this upset tummy is not letting you understand English Language anymore. Let me say it in Pidgin: Flagyl no be for purging! Tetracycline no be for purging! You hear me so?” [Flagyl is not an anti-diarrhoeal drug and neither is Tetracycline. Do you understand that?]
“Yes Pharmacist Nosike sir!” Michael replied with mock salute.
“I’m serious! Don’t you know that using drugs when you don’t need it can lead to liver or kidney failure which can cause death?”
“Really?” Michael asked wide-eyed.
“Yes really. Remember Papa Ejima that died last year?”
“Yesss… It was liver failure! I remember.”
“Exactly! And there is also the danger of antibiotic resistance where the drugs no longer work again.”
“Wow! Thanks for saving my life! I solemnly pledge not to abuse Flagyl or Tetracycline again.”
“Excellent!” Nosike said. “You can thank me further by getting me some good food like the one you ate at the party.” Nosike said teasing.
“It’s already gone… and so am I. I need to go before my poo explodes.” Michael said rushing to the toilet.
- Swallow meals: traditional African meals usually eaten with vegetable soups.
- A learner: slang meaning an inexperienced person.
- Vex, vexing: Pidgin word meaning upset
- Garri: cassava granules
- Gerrout joor: Get out of here
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