My Life After Cigarette

//My Life After Cigarette

My Life After Cigarette

Do you take inhaling oxygen freely for granted? Not Ngumbao Kithi, a former cigarette smoker, who understands how something as free as oxygen can be robbed from someone.
I met Ngumbao Kithi, at a workshop, Tobacco Fellowship Grant-2014, organized by the African Media Initiative Kenya. The Workshop was a culmination of a one year program that engaged Journalist in researching and relaying news on the effects of Tobacco in the country.
Ngumbao Kithi was one of the beneficiaries of the fellowship program. When he stood to share his personal experience as a tobacco survivor, I knew he would be the best person to interview as we mark the World No Tobacco day.
He is passionate about sharing his story so as to deter people from engaging in smoking cigarette or any other tobacco product. He explains the adverse and irreversible consequences occasioned by cigarette smoking.
Cigarrette smoking has reduced him to a prisoner of pills that he has to take on a daily basis in order for his blood to be thin enough for oxygen to circulate in his body normally. He compares his situation to that of chronic diseases such as Hiv/Aids whose patients also rely on ARVS to keep them alive.
I called Ngumbao hoping to schedule an interview with him in order to get the story from him; he instead proposed to write the story hoping that it will touch at least one life if not all subsequently saving that life from destruction.
Below is Ngumbao Kithis’s story…
For close to 10 years, I suffered fatigue and poor sleep and lack of concentration without knowing the reason.
The situation made it difficult for me to work and later the situation got worse when I started experiencing breathing problems.
The breathing problems persisted and I decided to visit the hospital and get the assistance.
In most of the hospitals, I visited; the problem was not identified meanwhile I suffered lack of sleep and my breathing problem persisted.
At that time, I was hooked to cigarette smoking and I could not make the connection with my problem.
This was because in the office, where I worked, the bureau chief was a big smoker of cigarettes and I was enticed into smoking as a fad.
Majority of my colleagues at the office were smokers and therefore I enjoyed the club.
I joined the nation media group in the year 1997 after graduating from the Kenya Institute of Mass communication in the year 1994.
While working at the Nation Media group, Mombasa bureau, I was alone and enjoyed the smoking culture. I handled entertainment issues and thus earned me the nickname of an entertainment baron.
The name existed while working at the Nation media group and I could write anything positive or negative on the entertainment arena in Mombasa.
As my breathing problems continued, I was forced to seek help once again at the Aga Khan hospital where, a doctor that I cannot remember his name claimed I had heart problem.
At this time my heart problem was taking a toll on me to a point where I could not attend work and was absent at work on several occasions.
One evening while resting in the house, I collapsed and my wife, Janet Maganga called one of my close friends, Gideon Maundu.
This took place on in the year 2006 at around 7 pm. I was rushed to the Aga Khan Hospital, the doctor on call, Dr Francis Mwaka, found out that I was suffering from a serious heart problem which led to admission at the hospital.
It was during this time that I was instructed to attend the heart clinic for an examination after which it was concluded that I had heart problem.
I stayed in that hospital for two weeks for more examination so that the medics would have an in-depth understanding of my heart problem. I later sought more help at the Kenyatta hospital given that my situation worsened.
At the Kenyatta national hospital, Dr James Munene, decided to conduct his own investigation afresh. It took close to three weeks to unravel what was ailing me .Dr Munene, finally confirmed that i suffered from cardiovascular heart diseases.
He added that the cardiovascular heart problem I suffered was as a result of prolonged effects of cigarette smoking and my situation was so bad in that i required an open heart surgery.
He said due to the adverse damage on my body, the operation had to be delayed and I was kept under close monitoring of the health personnel in order to minimize any big risk on the day of operation. For the next six months, June to December KNH would become my home.
It will be worthy to note that there were ten of us, men, scheduled for the same operation that day. We all suffered from cardiovascular heart disease and the cause-cigarette smoking
Dr Munene, together with five other medical experts walked to the theatre room ready to conduct the operation. I was the FIRST person to undergo the open heart surgery and later learnt, I was the ONLY person who SURVIVED out of the ten of us who underwent the surgery. The remaining 9 died on the operating table due to complications.
I was immediately transferred to the high dependency unit and remained there for a while fighting for my dear life.
In December I was recovering pretty well and was ready to be discharged, the shock that greeted me is when the KNH, handed me my hospital bill, a staggering KSh800, 000.
Unfortunately, I did not have the money, luckily a good Samaritan, a man, from the United Arab Emirates walked into the hospital and paid my hospital bill.
Dr Munene directed me to visit his open heart clinic every Monday for check up. This was because, my blood was thicker than normal and hence it had to be made thin in order to circulate normally in my body.
He said I must take a tablet called Warfarin, this tablet helps to thin my blood and I must take four grams every evening.
Due to the distance between Nairobi and Mombasa and other logistical cost, he referred me to one reputable, Dr Swaleh Misfah, of the Aga Khan hospital Mombasa.
The tablet KEEPS me ALIVE, Warfarin, I must take this tablet every evening. One day I decided to stop using the tablet, a very bad idea that almost cost my life. The doctors and nurses warned that I was tempting death by refusing to take the drugs.
I still attend the open heart clinic at the Aga Khan hospital every Monday and it cost me KSh5, 000 for every visit. At the clinic my blood is tested, and at times I am given additional tablets. A tablet goes for KShs 15 which has to be taken daily.
The weekly clinics are mandatory and hence will continue with them for the rest of my life.
Due to the cost, I have consulted a cardiologist in India to help me get the drugs, warfarin, at a cheaper price for my use.
My success story in the open heart surgery, has built a close relationship to Dr Munene who occasionally visit Mombasa to check on my progress.
He has described me as one of his successful stories in the open heart surgery because I survived while the rest died.

By | 2018-03-16T16:03:41+00:00 December 17th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

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This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.