It was one of those days when one literally woke up on the left side and in accordance with Murphy’s law, everything that could go wrong started going wrong: from waking up late to dropping the kids off late at school to getting involved in an act of road rage. Truly Murphy’s Law was in full bloom when I arrived at work.
And in walked this Lady carrying a baby that appeared very stiff, unmoving but conscious. In between sobs the history unfolded. Her son was two years old but could not hold up his head, neither was he able to sit unsupported, not crawling and not walking yet.
The pregnancy had been normal until the 36th week when her obstetrician did a pelvic assessment and informed her that her pelvis was not roomy enough to permit passage of the baby’s head. The conclusion was that preparation for a Caesarean section be commenced.
She vehemently rejected the medical assessment and the conclusion. It was not her portion, her portion was to deliver like the Hebrew women. She had then moved over to a faith-based maternity that ‘agreed’ with her and after an excruciating labour that lasted for about three days her son came forth.
Following full clinical assessment and examination, a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy was made. That’s the medical diagnosis, though; the common sense diagnosis was Syndrome of the Hebrew women.
Tons of diagnoses are made daily by doctors. The common results in our clime being Malaria, typhoid fever, Nephrotic syndrome and less common ones like syndrome of inappropriate ADH secretion. With advances in skills and technique, the evolution of diagnosis is simply an unending process. A disease may be named after the discoverer like a kind of cancer called Burkitt’s lymphoma named after Dennis Burkitts or after the place where it was first discovered like Lassa fever named after the town of Lassa in Northern Nigeria.
Syndrome of the Hebrew women as at now is yet to be certified, yet to be included in medical dictionaries and textbooks and not yet known to WHO but it remains a common sense diagnosis that is steadily gaining grounds in the country, especially in the Southern part.
It assumes it’s name from the biblical Hebrew women who showed prowess in delivery during the days of the Pharaoh who metaphorically did not know Joseph. The Pharaoh had instructed midwives to kill every child born to Hebrew women but the midwives did not obey, their reason was that the Hebrew women delivered before they even got to them. Let’s leave the full details and the theology to theologians. Afterall wetin concern fish with raincoat or Agbero with overload?
Suffice it to say though that the midwives were not telling the whole truth or rather in the words of Ogbuefi Trump, the midwives gave a set of alternative facts in answer to Pharaoh’s question.
A Syndrome in medicine is defined as a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality. In the syndrome of the Hebrew women, the symptoms and signs include prolonged labour, maternal and foetal distress culminating in conditions like Cerebral Palsy, birth injuries including Erb’s palsy, Clavicle fractures, and soft tissue injuries. In some cases, death of the baby occurs.
In cases that do not result in death, the child often ends up scarred and marred for life. In cases where cerebral palsy, commonly known as CP results, the child would require extensive, expensive and often times lifelong medical care with the attendant inability of the child to achieve his or her full God-given potentials.
Every pregnancy that ends in an alive and well mother and child combo in most countries in Sub-Saharan African is a miracle and a potential testimony. The route of delivery is most irrelevant.
Finally, like one sharp guy tweeted, doctors and the devil are not in cahoots and neither do they have an arrangee. Your testimony, therefore, does not have to be that ….God disappointed both the doctors and the devil.
Doctors go to church too, we no chop winch!