Boniface Mwangi has been suffering silently despite making noise everywhere. I was also shocked to hear that the activist is in the ICU undergoing serious surgery. After the surgery, he revealed what has been ailing him. This is what he posted on his Facebook Page:
I used to snore. I snored so badly that my wife would go and sleep in the kids’ bedroom. It started about 2 years ago, and this past August my wife pushed me to see a doctor. Contrary to what most people think, l discovered that heavy snoring is not normal. The noise that had caused so much trouble was due to my left nostril being completely shut. The doctor speculated that I had been hit (most likely at a protest) and had been breathing from only my right nostril and mouth ever since.
I was scheduled for surgery to open up my nose, remove my tonsils and adenoids while at it. I checked into the hospital on October 26th with some books, my laptop, and an internet modem; all smiles with lots of swag. I was planning for quick surgery and much needed chill time.
I went into theatre at 4pm and left at 8pm, four hours later. The procedure went very well but when l finally woke up in the recovery ward, l couldn’t breathe. My throat was swollen and I was unable to speak. My nostrils had been sealed post-operation to stop the bleeding, something I had been told would happen but couldn’t remember in that moment. I spent that first night in the hospital crying, afraid that l would forget to breathe and die. My wife spent the entire night holding my hand. Nurse Celestine was incredibly helpful (Thank you!).
These last 12 days have given me a lot of time to think and reflect. Here are the lessons I’ve learned since having my surgery:
1. Faith. I’m a firm believer in God and l had faith that all would go well. But even if l was wheeled into theatre and never came out, l believe I have lived my life to the fullest without regrets. I also know that God has the road map for my life and will ensure that I see it through.
2. Love. Love someone so deeply that if you’re on your deathbed they will stay by your side, unwavering. After surgery l was in so much pain that I couldn’t help but cry. But because my wife was there holding my hand, l had peace in my heart. The pain was personal but her love made it bearable. The doctor discouraged me from having visitors, since l couldn’t talk or eat. I only notified a few of my closest family and friends who came to visit me. And although we couldn’t talk, their presence was reassuring. Money can buy you pain killers but it won’t give you peace and can’t buy you genuine love. Love is a pain reliever and an assuring companion while in pain.
3. I had long mental conversations and they were incredibly enjoyable. I got to know a part of myself that l didn’t know existed. The first few days after the operation l was heavily medicated. I couldn’t eat, or read (which I love to do), or even distract myself by watching a movie; so l was forced into silence. And surprisingly, I enjoyed the silence. I had long discussions with myself. Try silence some time and take a journey into discovering yourself, the real you, without any distractions. You will be amazed.
4. Most importantly, everyone who can afford should have a medical cover. Basic medical covers range from a few thousand shillings to tens of thousands but they come in handy. My bill was over a half million shillings and my insurance provider paid the bill. There will be no goat-eating to pay for Boniface Mwangi’s bill. Every day l come across medical appeals from people who could have afforded to have a medical cover but decided not to. As someone who has been admitted thrice in hospital in the last five years, medical covers are money and lifesavers. I know not many of us can afford them and that’s why we have to push for free medical care for the less privileged. Its doable if we prioritize.
Until Wednesday this week l had stayed for 10 days without speaking or eating anything. I have started eating soft food, even speaking a little bit, I have lost weight and it’s going to take a few more weeks before I’m back to my usual self again.
Doctor Macharia, thank you for a job well done. My wife is happier and I’m not snoring anymore. I thank God for a second chance at life; many people go to theatre and never come out. I did, and I’m happy to be alive to post this