I was really apprehensive. Why was this man behaving like this? Is it not my money that I will pay? I don’t understand what the problem is with all these doctors?
“Listen my dear, you don’t need to get agitated, these things are no longer the way they used to be,” the man said. “A lot has happened lately and the government and our medical association have taken it upon themselves to damp down on any medical hospital that undertakes any abortion that goes bad, especially the one that takes the life of the patient.”
I looked at Aunty Meg. She was as confused as I was.
“Aunty, say something now,” I said to her, urging her to speak.
“But doctor, this her own case is obvisouly one that is safe enough,” she said to him. “She is not in any bad condition presently, so how can anything possibly go wrong with the D&C?”
The doctor gave a heavy sigh.
“Okay, first, let me even examine you,” he motioned to me to get on the small stretcher bad behind him.
“How many weeks did you say the pregnancy is?” he asked.
“It shouldn’t be more than six weeks or thereabout,” I replied, climbing on the bed.
He examined me. I preferred the way he was touching me, compared to that other stupid doctor. He was by far more professional, touching me without acting funny.
“It’s a little over six weeks, I am sure,” he said as I got down from the bed.
“Okay, I will do it,” he finally said. “ I will give you an appointment for this week Friday.”
I heaved a sigh of relief.”
Finally, I would be able to evacuate this stubborn baby that does not want to go away.
“So, how much will I pay for your services, sir?” I inquired.
“Your bill is N20, 000 and you pay in full before I start anything!” he’d thrown at me.
I nearly fainted!
It’s as if this man just wants to make things difficult for me. Where did he expect me to get that kind of money from in bulk? Back then, in those days, N20,000 was a lot of money. It was money sufficient enough to buy a few stuffs one can sell, unlike now that our money has been terribly devalued and messed up. I’d gone with N10,000, believing that, no matter how classy the clinic would be, N10,000 will be more than sufficient to sort out the bill.
“But, doctor, is that amount not seriously on the high side?” Aunty Meg was the first to speak. She was obviously as shocked as I was.
“No, dear, it’s not,” the doctor responded. “In fact, it’s because of you that I’m doing this and at a reduced rate. If I didn’t know you from Adam, I would be asking you to pay nothing less than N25,000.”
“But, I don’t have that kind of money, doctor,” I said to him. “All I budgeted for was N10,000, and that’s what I have here with me. Please, you must help me, Doctor,” I pleaded with him.
The man didn’t seem the least impressed by our pleas, as far as he was concerned, he was merely doing us a favour. In truth, he was starting to really piss me off.
“No, my dear, that amount won’t do it, it won’t be worth my while,” he stressed.
I turned to Aunty Meg. “What do we do now? I don’t have N20,000 here with me. Aunty Meg opened her bag and brought bout some money.
“Take this, its N5,000, add it to what you have with you,” she handed the money over to me. I counted it and added it to mine.
“Give it to doctor Bambi,” she said to me as she turned to the doctor. “Doctor, please take the N15,000, from her and go ahead with the D&C, she will pay the balance later, please..”
The man just stared at the money in my hand for a few seconds, then, almost reluctantly, he took the money from me. “Because of her, I will accept the part payment. But there’s one more thing though,” the doctor said, ”you can’t get the D&C today, you will have to come back for it!”
That was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. How could he say we should make a deposit of N15,000 and still come back to do the D&C? Why was he making the whole thing like he was the one doing me a favour, like I am not paying for his services?
“But doctor, why are you making this difficult for me?” I’d thrown back at him.
“How do you mean? I don’t understand,” he returned.
“Of course, you know what I’m talking about, doctor!” I fired back.
“Why would you say I should come back again for the D&C, why can’t I get it done today?”
Aunty Meg gently held my hand, trying to calm me down. “Take it easy, Anita, let’s try and talk things over calmly,” he said to me.
“Aunty, don’t you understand what he’s saying? He’s asking me to come back again,” I turned to her. In the same instant, I turned to Doctor Bambi, “:Doctor, please, you must do this thing for me today! I must evacuate this baby from my womb because if my husband finds out about my pregnancy, he will force me to keep it. If it is about your balance, I have promised you will pay up in a matter of days. Money is not the problem.”
Doctor Bambi, just sat there, staring at me speechlessly without saying a word. He was clearly unmoved by all my drama. To be honest, I felt like slapping him hard across the face. The man was really starting to irritate me. He was acting crazy.
“Please, doctor, what can you do to help us? This is really very urgent, she needs to it get it done as soon as possible,” Aunty Meg also pleaded.
Doctor Bambi looked at me and then turned to Aunty Meg. And then he said,”
“Do you want me to tell you the truth?” I can’t do any D&C today, I have given you an appointment to come in two days time and if you’re not pleased with it, you can pick up your money and leave!”
To be continued….