One of the differences that I am feeling strongly is an overall lack of independence. I have not wanted to be very mobile to begin with, but when I felt the importance of getting my baby more of her immunizations, it required getting out of the house. The doctor that Derrill saw about his amoeba was willing to give her the shots, would be 40 minutes away from us by car.
We had been assured that shuttles could give us a ride most places and that we could request a UseMe service (like a taxi) to go other places. Another option is to hire a regular driver, and of course buy your own car. So, I contacted the shuttle service to see if they could give me a ride to the doctor. They let me know that their shuttles did not travel that far away from the school. We have requested phone numbers of UseMe services multiple times in the last week and had received no information, so I was feeling… impotent might be the word. Incompetent was not the word, I just didn’t feel like I could find a way to take care of my child. I haven’t felt like this since I was a child and unable to care for myself because of others.
Derrill called Rama. Rama really has been a angel of mercy for our family. He has helped us solve our small and large difficulties that have arisen with our challenges with this move of adjusting here. He is also the one that is letting us use his washing machine. Rama found us a phone number for a reliable UseMe, someone named Mohammed. Yeah! I called and his phone was turned off. Boo!?!
The next morning I didn’t know if we had a ride to the doctor yet or not (my planning sensors were going crazy). I called Mohammed that morning (the morning that we intended to go to the doctor). He said that he would give us a ride. I must add at this point that I did not have an appointment for the doctor yet. I called the doctor and he said that he would call me back to tell me the time we could meet. About 9am he calls and tells me that 11am will work. (times will be more important later). I next called the UseMe and could not get a hold of him for a half hour, but he said that he would pick me up at 10:15 for the 40 minute drive. I figured that would give us plenty of time to get there. I think that I forgot that people are VERY flexible in their time frames here.
Prince, Princess, and I went out to wait for our ride a little after 10. We waited and waited. At 10:30 I start calling the doctor to see if he would still take us when we were late. His phone was busy. I didn’t end up getting a hold of the doctor until after my appointment time. At 10:45 I called our driver. The driver said that he would come in 10 minutes if we would wait for him. I agreed. More than 15 minutes later (about 1 hour after he said he would come) our driver picked us up.
When I called my driver I had told him that the person that referred me to him said that 3 hours was about 3,000 Naira, so maybe that would be the amount for our trip. People here sometimes try to charge you more than Nigerians for things so I put that forward at the beginning, but he had said we will figure it out when I get there. (I had even told him where we were going.) So when we got going and he said he need to call the doctor to find out where we were going I realized he hadn’t listened to me at all. Then I knew it was true, when he got off the phone and pulled over letting me know that 3,000 would not be enough because we were going so far away and he would take 5,000 stating that it usually cost 8,000 for that distance.
Well most of my stress was finally at an end by this point except for one thing that happened just as we were picked up. When our driver arrived, Prince panicked and finally realized that we were really going somewhere. I had tried to convince him to let me take him to the restroom before, but he had refused (and diarrhea has been rampant among us). Apparently he already needed to be changed when I asked, but wanted to wait until we got home. (I am concerned that may mean something for not wanting to potty elsewhere, but I will just have to see about that later.) Since we were not going back into the home and leaving, Prince started to cry and say he needed to go to the potty.
I decided we needed a lot after waiting an hour, so I told the driver that he needed to wait for us now. We went upstairs, changed toxic stuff and grabbed peanut butter, a butter knife, and bread and some water. At least we had something to eat since we didn’t get home until after 1:30pm.
All went well at the doctor’s office. Princess is over 11 lbs and got 3 immunizations (polio, tuberculosis, Dtap), and Prince got one for tuberculosis. The doctor was very nice and we got home just fine. I was worn out by the stress of the morning though. Prince has not gained any weight. Also I lost about 10 lbs.
We love you all, sorry this post was so long. Sometimes it has to be long or nothing. I have writer’s block if I don’t just let myself write.