RIP LITTLE JOEL


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Dear Diary,

     Little Joel died yesterday. He had cancer. He was 5.

Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid cancer in childhood and the most common cancer in infancy.

I know little Joel’s father; a young, passionate and gentle man who always smiles and is good to everyone. He never told me of Little Joel until a few weeks before his death. Now I wish I knew him. I wish I had bought him a sweater or a beenie. I wish I could have taken him to see the Lego movie or Maleficent.  I could have told him about the Universe and the planets.
Or just what a wonderful man his father is.

I never met his mother. But I could have been her friend. We would have diced meat together, laugh at Yoruba movie acting and subtitles together. I could have helped her carry Little Joel when she was tired.

I could have been there.

Dear Little Joel’s Dad. I know you don’t like a lot of attention.  But I will pray for you. You will heal. Someday.  Somehow. Little Joel is laughing and playing with the angels now.
I know you spent all you had to save his life. But it is not in vain. God has seen your love. He will comfort you, and reward you.

It may not seem so. But it will be alright.

RIP LITTLE JOEL

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What really is Typhoid Fever?


Dear Diary,

   A friend told me he isn’t feeling very well and I asked how and what exactly he is feeling. He said he lost his appetite and has a migraine. He is certain he has Typhoid.

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Hold up!!!!

Ope did you just say Typhoid? Do you even know what Typhoid is? What are its symptoms? How is it transmitted? How is it treated? Do you know any other thing about the infection other than that any John or Sarah will have a headache, go to the hospital and the doctor will just dole out the typical Typhoid diagnosis and prescribe a few drugs, That’s it!!!???

Well, Ope, since you don’t know any better, let me give you a little education.
I have studied Wikipedia and other health websites since you refused to and now I’ve tried to break this down as much as possible, so humour me and read it all to save your life from quacks…and yourself.

Typhoid fever, also known simply as typhoid is a common worldwide bacterial disease transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the faeces of an infected person, which contain the bacterium Salmonella enterica enterica, serovar Typhi-something something. (I’m not a doctor).

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS.

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Untreated typhoid fever is divided into four individual stages, each lasting approximately one week. Over the course of these stages, the patient becomes exhausted and emaciated.

  WEEK 1, the temperature rises slowly, and fever fluctuations are observed, malaise, headache, and cough. A bloody nose is seen in some cases, and abdominal pain is also possible.
WEEK 2. Delirium is frequent, often calm, but sometimes agitated. This delirium gives to typhoid the nickname of “nervous fever”. Rose spots appear on the lower chest and abdomen in around a third of patients. The abdomen is distended and painful in the right lower quadrant. Diarrhoea can occur in this stage: six to eight stools in a day, green, comparable to pea soup, with a characteristic smell. However, constipation is also frequent.
(The major symptom of this fever is that the fever usually rises in the afternoon up to the first and second week.)
WEEK 3. In the third week of typhoid fever, a number of complications can occur: Intestinal haemorrhage due to bleeding in congested Peyer’s patches; this can be very serious but is usually not fatal. Intestinal perforation in the distal ileum: this is a very serious complication and is frequently fatal. It may occur without alarming symptoms until septicaemia or diffuse peritonitis sets in. Neuropsychiatric symptoms (described as “muttering delirium” or “coma vigil”), with picking at bedclothes or imaginary objects. The fever is still very high and oscillates very little over 24 hours. Dehydration ensues, and the patient is delirious (typhoid state). One third of affected individuals develop a macular rash on the trunk.
By the end of third week, the fever starts subsiding. This carries on into the fourth and final week.

TRANSMISSION. The bacterium that causes typhoid fever may be spread through poor hygiene habits and public sanitation conditions, and sometimes also by flying insects feeding on faeces. Public education campaigns encouraging people to wash their hands after defecating and before handling food are an important component in controlling spread of the disease.

DIAGNOSIS. In epidemics and less wealthy countries, after excluding malaria, dysentery or pneumonia, a therapeutic trial time with chloramphenicol is generally undertaken while awaiting the results of the Widal test and cultures of the blood and stool.
PREVENTION. Sanitation and hygiene are the critical measures that can be taken to prevent typhoid. Typhoid does not affect animals, and therefore, transmission is only from human to human. Typhoid can only spread in environments where human faeces or urine are able to come into contact with food or drinking water. Careful food preparation and washing of hands are crucial to prevent typhoid.

If after reading this, you sneeze and the doctor tells you Typhoid mixed with Malaria as they usually do, and you believe…well, I can’t help you anymore.