Slow suicide ; The harms of medication overuse

“Ohhh my head is throbbing again, it will be hard praying in this state o. Abdullah please go and get me pentax or paracetamol, whichever is available, from the chemist next door” Mama Abdullah was saying as she massaged her forehead with her eyes shut close. “Mom! Have I not warned you against this your incessant intake of over-the-counter drugs? It could be debilitating to your health. I am not getting anything for you o, lie down and sleep, by the time you wake up, you will feel better.” Abdullah replied.
“Sho gbadun? Talon basoro bayen?( are you okay? Who are you talking to like that?) Do you want headache to kill your father’s mother in heaven? If you don’t go and get me what I asked you to eh, better go and eat in your new mother’s house this evening.
” Emabinu ma (sorry Ma), but honestly, I’m only looking out for you. You know I’m a medical student; and I know that this habit of yours will definitely tell on your body sooner or later. You are always downing analgesics at the slightest thing. ”
” Our doctor in embryo, thanks for the medical advice even if it is unsolicited. When you are done with your ‘doctor talk’ kindly go ahead and get me what I told you to.” She said rolling her eyes.
” Mum! Didn’t you hear all I said just now? ”
” Of course I heard you clearly, but what am I supposed to do with this headache? It has been really worrying me for a while now.”
” Hmm, does it come and go?”
“Yes, it was just this slight headache before, and I would take drugs to relieve me. But now it occurs more often.”
” Now this Is what I was warning you about; I suspect you might now be experiencing ‘Medication overuse headache’, but let me put a call through to someone I know for a better diagnosis. He is one of my professors back at school and will know more. Like you said, I am still a doctor in embryo” He said, smiling.
He dialed a number and the call went through. “Hello? Assalamualaikum Warahmatullah Wabarakah Prof.Aberuagba,Good evening Sir.”
“Put the call on speaker” his mother whispers.
” Walaykum Salam Warahmatullah Wabarakah, Abdullah my boy! how are you? Hope you are enjoying your holiday? And to what do I owe this pleasure of your call? Prof.Aberu replied on the other end of the call.

“I am doing great Sir, making the most of the holiday. The reason I called you is because…” He explained the whole situation with his mother.
” You mentioned that you think your Mother might be suffering from ‘Medication Overuse headache’? Well, you are right. MOH is very common and can be treated easily. Though in some cases where the drug overused is very strong and radical, it may cause serious complications. Overuse or misuse of any drug can be very fatal to the health really, this is why people need to seek doctor’s advice or get a prescription instead of self-medication. Your Mother’s overuse of pain relievers is what caused her present predicament.”
Abdullah sighs and replied ” I have been telling her, but she never listens to me”
” What she has to do now is stop taking any and all of the drugs she has been using before, I’ll prescribe some preventive drugs that she will start using but that is after we figure out the primary headache type. What most people don’t know is that they don’t have to take drugs everytime they experience the slightest discomfort. An head-ache or body-ache brought on by stress or over-exertion can be nullified by taking a warm bath and getting a good sound sleep. I need to go now, call me later so we’ll know how to start your Mum’s treatment. Extend my regards to her eh, Assalamualaikum.”
“Goodbye Sir, thank you for your time. Walaykum Salam..” He cuts the call.
” Baba mi, esheun o! ( Thank you Sir!) Mama Abdullah exclaims from where she is sitting.
“Mum, I’ve hung up the call already.” He starts laughing while his Mother joins in too.

Written by

Ademola Zulaikha, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, NIGERIA

Slow suicide ; The harms of medication overuse

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