Woke up weak and cold, thought it was just one of those lazy mornings. So, I quickly climbed out of my bed, prayed and prepared for work.
I got to work and still felt feverish, and by afternoon it was decidedly worse. My colleagues at work finally noticed how frail I looked and jokingly asked if I was pregnant. So much for loving care. Why is it that if a young woman looks tired or complains about being ill, the first thing that comes to mind is pregnancy. Must be an African thing.
So, off to Healthplus I go, hoping to find drugs to ease my discomfort before I get to my doctor on the mainland, Ikeja to be precise. One of my colleagues offered to come, but I insisted on going in case some ‘questions’ are asked. One can’t be too careful, and anyway, these trips are supposed to be private I believe. Not that I’m really pregnant or anything.
The entrance at HealthPlus Ajose Adeogun Street in Victoria Island was very neat with good parking space that can take at least 3-4 cars, with a guy that directed people to park properly to avoid the ever present risk of parking chaos typical of most establishments in the busy areas of Lagos. As I approached, the guy at the entrance pulls the door open, smiled and greeted me warmly like he knew everything was going to be ok just as soon as his colleagues on the inside had taken money off me. The lighting of the store was bright as sunlight but not remotely uncomfortable. So, if I needed a little more discretion it would be in full 20,000 watt glare! Still, better to see what I’m buying and who is selling than to have a dodgy pharmacist in a dinghy dark chemist selling condoms under the counter. Not that I buy condoms under or even over the counter.
I looked ahead and saw a desk where two young ladies in white coats sat. The interior looked almost perfect, the arrangement of drugs and goods in the store was like something out of a London high street pharmacy. The labeling, the shelving, the shelves even!
By this time I’m wondering how much my trip to a London pharmacy in VI is going to cost me. I press on to the counter. While I waited, I watched the ladies closely as they attended to the customers. They smiled, appeared sufficiently knowledgeable, and seemed eager to satisfy. It’s like perfect bedside manners from an experienced midwife during labour. Not that I care to know what midwives are like on duty.
My turn and the first lady greets me with a ‘smile dear’ (I must have looked a sight). I smiled back and explained what I thought was wrong and really only wanted enough medicine to last me till my doctor’s appointment at Ikeja. She asked a few questions which I answered, and she advised strongly that I should see my doctor, who would probably run a few tests as well.
And now it was crunch time: how much was all this going to cost?!” Not a whole lot is the final answer. HealthPlus was in fact quite affordable I said to myself. As I was about to pay, I saw a scale and a stadiometer (that’s medical speak for the machine used to check your height). I asked if I could use it, and she replied ‘sure, you can, it’s free but there is a card that has to be filled which would help me keep records and also put me in check of my health status”.
I did all that and paid for my drugs whereupon I was advised to stay healthy by drinking a lot of water, and eating fruits daily. If only they sold fruits at HealthPlus.
In truth, those lovely ladies gave me some of my strength back just by treating with me nicely. Like they genuinely cared.
Now, do I really need to see the doctor in Ikeja? Probably best to, I might be back here shopping for wipes and diapers if the girls in the office have their way.
As I walked out, the guy at the door helped me with the handle and beamed his bright smile my way. This time, I was only too happy to return the compliment. All is well with the world once again.
It’s a hefty healthy 9/10 for Healthplus from me.