Questions and answers
Dear doctor, I am a regular of your Sunday column. Well done doctor. I appreciate your selfless medical advice given through Sunday PUNCH. Sir, in the medical field, is the “arrow of enemies” recognised? If yes, is it detectable in the body of a person? If yes, has there been any research on it especially on how to deal with it or the drug that can effectively neutralise its power? Spiritually, I believe it is a poison; I have had this thing in my body for the past five years. It manifested itself in different forms to cause sickness for me. It will always sting me like mosquitoes on my legs. It has defied spiritual applications and I wonder why there is no drug that can neutralise the poison. I have visited different doctors who do not seem to understand what I am saying or do not believe what I am saying. That is the reason why I am asking the above question. I have been told by people that scanning cannot detect its presence in the body. Doctor, what is your advice? It is because of this poison that I cannot go for the Covid-19 vaccine. I am already hypertensive and 74 years old and these will now constitute underlying factors that can further endanger my life. As a matter of fact, when it stings me, it raises my blood pressure. 0905xxxxxxx
Thank you so very much for your contribution. For one, if science is not able to replicate the same set or nearly the same set of effects in response to a given condition, it cannot be given credence. What you describe sounds more like something which occupies your mind and now modulates your experiences or even your thinking. To that extent, these complaints you have laid here cannot be detectable on any form of scan. While spiritual matters are occasionally seen as physical ailments in the hospital, they are merely noted after all proper investigations and diligent examination have repeatedly been done. It is not something that is achievable in one day or by one doctor but with educated elimination of all possibilities that could cause the condition noted, a certain condition could be given a spiritual appellation but this is not common. It is, therefore, not a barrier to your tolerance of the COVID-19 vaccine and you could indeed stand to suffer more if you were to contract COVID by accident. Your age and your hypertension will be key factors in determining how you fare, not this still misunderstood ailment. So, it is in your interest to take the shots. In summary, “the arrow of enemies” is not recognised in medical practice, no research has been conducted on it, and it is not detectable by any means I know of and there are no medications that can deal with it.
Dear doctor, since I took the drug Sildenafil, I have not been able to ejaculate sir. What I need from you is whether there is any drug that I can use because I am suffering from retarded ejaculation. I cannot release sperm through penetrative sex. Please help me, sir. 0708xxxxxxx
Frankly, this is not a problem.
If you are able to ejaculate when you masturbate but not when you have sex, it simply means that you have not yet had enough sex. When you have reached the point of saturation, you will ejaculate. It is strange to be asking for any medication that will help you attain the opposite, which would be premature ejaculation, and that must be part of what you did not want when you went to get Sildenafil. It is ironic in the extreme and it must serve as a lesson to you to avoid taking medications that have not been prescribed for you to use.
Dear doctor, kidney dialysis and surgery involve a lot of money. Actually, healthcare is not cheap in Nigeria. Thank you.0806xxxxxxx
Thank you very much for your observation. neither of those services is cheap anywhere in the world. What has made the citizens of some countries able to afford them is the provision of health insurance whereby every worker contributes a small amount of their income into a common pool such that when any contributor falls ill and requires any of the above services, it is provided to them. In nigeria, a lot of noise has followed the introduction of a national health insurance scheme, and certain states such as Lagos and edo have established the state government-secured variants. Sadly, only a tiny percentage of people have access to this as of now. In countries where such a system works, the greater proportion of the population gets access to proper care. There are incidents that have arisen in many awkward situations in the past in a number of hospitals where the prescription written by a doctor is substituted for a cheaper, probably Indian or Chinese copy of that drug with unsatisfactory results but that is the reality of the nigerian environment.
Dear doctor, I have a sixyear-old daughter who is going on 7. She is normally a good eater. Over the last four to five months, however, she has complained almost without ceasing about tummy pains. Sometimes, the pain stops once she eats, and sometimes, it is worse when she eats. I notice that the pain is most severe when she wakes up in the morning and before now I assumed that she feigns stomach pain to avoid eating certain foods. But I first took those foods off the menu and the pain has not gone away. I have gradually re-introduced them but there is no change in the frequency of the complaints. I took her to the hospital on two occasions but the doctors both assured us that she didn’t have a problem. What should we do? This is a real problem for us now because I am now convinced that she is not pretending. Thank you. 0802xxxxxxx
Thank you for your question. You have done well by taking her to see doctors and it would have been better still if she was taken to see a paediatrician. However, in case you may not have access to one right away, it will be prudent for you to ask for a referral to undergo an abdominal
ultrasound scan which could be of use to determine what the problem might be. I would advise that you do this or you see a paediatrician. In the end, that paediatrician may ask you to do this scan as well but a clinical evaluation is usually important.
Dear doctor, of late I have had a problem with my shoulders. The two of them will just start aching me badly once I do any small amount of physical activity or household chores. When I lie on any side, the shoulder on that side becomes painful. There is no swelling there and I still move the joints freely to some extent. But I also have observed that I can no longer wash my back when I am bathing. One of my kids will normally have to assist me in doing that. What kind of problem can this be? And what do you advise me to do? 0703xxxxxxx
I sympathise with you. I believe you may have developed either osteoarthritis of those joints or inflammation of the tendons surrounding the joints. You did not help us by not disclosing your age but one can deduce that you are a woman since you talk about household chores. You will benefit from a visit to an orthopaedic surgeon who will conduct the required examinations on you and advise you on what to do based on the results obtained. For this kind of problem, a combination of pain relievers, physiotherapy, and even an operation may all be needed but I am sure you will start with the simple things first.
Dear doctor, I want to appreciate you for an article I
just came across in the Sunday PUNCH on “The problem of acne,’’ Seriously I am damn tired as a victim of this occurrence. I have seen different doctors about it and various drugs were prescribed for me all of which I took religiously but to no avail. There is nothing to show for all the effort put into using the medicines. I did go back to make complaints on two occasions and was now introduced to “NeoMedrol Acne Lotion” but instead of seeing changes, it became worse, so much so that l now do feel ashamed while going out. Now, I am sick of it especially when it has appeared on my breast. I even changed my soap but found no changes. Please help me, doctor. I am 28 years old. To worsen matters, my face now has two colours; one part is dark from the ears towards the cheeks while the face proper is lighter in colour.0807xxxxxxx
Well, as the essay pointed out, many things contribute to the pattern and distribution of this disease. Often, people place the blame on issues that have nothing to do with it. Some say it is because they have eaten groundnuts and others say margarine is the problem. neither of these is correct. You should begin with the proper expert to deal with your condition and that is a dermatologist. If you have been seeing a particular doctor all this time and ended up with the sort of result you now have, you can obtain a referral from him or her to see a dermatologist. There are several medications now available that should do you good, clear the acne to a large extent, and restore your selfesteem.