Tuesday, 15 March 2016

THE BURST CONDOM TRAGEDY


It was 4:30am on Monday morning and I had just returned from attending to the road traffic accident victim that was rushed in about an hour ago. The weekend call had been quite eventful and I needed to get at least two hours of sleep before preparing for work.
"Grrrgh grrrgh..." It was my phone ringing. I rolled my eyes in irritation and picked it up to
identify the caller.

It was Rukewe. My "friend that is more than a brother" in whom I reposed a lot of sterling respect and trust. A conscientious, courteous, intelligent and disciplined young man amongst others... quite the gentleman indeed. The last time we spoke, he called to tell me that Joyce had finally agreed to be his wife. They had dated for over three years and when he seemed uncertain as to his choice of a spouse, Joyce had decided to give consideration to other suitors. The young man had literally scrapped his knees on the ground to get her back.
"Hello. Ruks good morning" I answered.
"Ibuchukwu good morning. What's up?"
"I'm good. Is your relationship on tenterhooks again?" I asked.
"Nne, there's fire on the mountain" He responded.
Hmmm... I guessed as much. Afterall, "Awo adighi agba oso ehihie n'efu" which means "A toad doesn't hop in the daytime for nothing (there's no smoke without fire)". Firstly, it was too early for a social call. Secondly, Ruks rarely ever calls me Ibuchukwu.
As the conversation continued, I resigned myself to not getting my anticipated rest.
Rukky had gone to Bayelsa last Thursday to represent his organization at a business meeting. While there, he had drinks with Tega, his friend and colleague who had convinced him to stay at his place for the duration of the visit. Tega is quite the ladies man, a casanova of sorts.
In the course of the weekend groove, Tega had organized a "chic wey gbedu wella" for Rukky to cool off with, afterall, Joyce was far off in Lagos and "Ihe onye amaghi a maghi  ya" in otherwords, "What one doesn't know doesn't hurt".
And so my dear friend pounced on the offer. In his words, the young lady was enticingly voluptuous and seductively glammed up.
Unfortunately, "Oke soro ngwere maa mmiri, mmiri koo na-aru ngwere o koola n'aru oke?". This was indeed the instance in Rukky's case. The proverbial rat that took to swimming with the lizard forgetting it didn't have the same capability as the lizard to dry off quickly.
And so while my dear friend was pounding in sexual splendour, the condom he was wearing ripped and in the throes of passion, he wasn't aware and let his sperm loose within.
I was quiet as he narrated his ordeal all the while my mind was bombarded with different thoughts.
Wowww!!! I never thought Rukky, my very circumspect friend would be the victim of such an untoward circumstance.  My disciplined, composed and... I was quite perplexed. How much trust is too much trust? I wondered.
 He usually had a firm stand against cheating and one night stands so I always took it for granted that he wouldn't be caught dead in such vices. Oh well!!! Like the rest of us, he was made of clay and thus fallible.
I knew this wasn't the time to apportion blames as he needed my calmness and direction to deal with the matter. I decided to keep the reprimands for later.
He had been unable to sleep after the act and had moved to the sitting room where he could still hear the creak of Tega's bed. He wasn't sure if that was Tega's fourth or fifth round since they came in.
Besides the moral strokes he was receiving,  his mind was busy churning out scenarios where he came down with HIV, other sexually transmitted infections or worse still, the young lady returned to claim she was pregnant. Anxious, he put a call through at such an inappropriate hour.
Shaking my head to clear my thoughts, I focused on the matter at hand.

Burst condoms are an unfortunate experience. They seem to occur more frequently in the green horns in the sexual field but alas... None is completely exempted.
Possible causes include:
-Wrong technique in putting on a condom
-Use of the wrong kind of lubricants (water-based lubricants are advised)
-Expired condoms
-Condom-penis disparity (too small condoms)
-Opening the wrap with sharp objects (Nails, teeth, rings,etc)
-Improperly stored condoms (kept in wallets and glove compartments of vehicles) amongst others

When noticed, it's best to assert the willpower to get up and change the condom as "life no get duplicate".
In the various scenarios of torn/burst condoms, the foremost fears are the risks of pregnancy, contracting  HIV and other sexually transmitted infections(STIs)... (I lie?).
So the condom has burst and we are panicking, but we need to do something so we don't jump from the frying pan into the fire proper.

Here's some guidance:
-Stop!!!
-Withdraw the penis.
-Wash the genital area with water (No douching as it distorts the natural protective barriers of the vagina thereby increasing the risk of infection).
-Go to the nearest pharmacy and get emergency contraception.These are most effective if taken within 72hours of the incident.(Unless ofcourse you are trying to ensnare the young man then... O.Y.O is your case).
-Visit the hospital, HIV clinic or a standard laboratory with your partner to get tested for the virus. If your partner is unavailable you can go solo.
-It's sure risky to vouch for anyone in this day and age so do yourself a favour and get Post Exposure Prophylaxis(PEP).
PEP is a 28day uninterrupted course of antiretroviral medications that are most effective if started immediately but may work up to 72hours after exposure. Talk to a doctor, a pharmacist, go to the nearest HIV clinic and talk to medical staff. I believe you will find them helpful.
Once prescribed, compliance with the PEP medication is encouraged as it can make the difference between becoming and not becoming infected with HIV.
If you were found to be non reactive to HIV 1and 11 (HIV negative) during the initial testing, remember to go back 90days or 3months later for confirmation of your status.
Don't die in silence, don't die in Ignorance. Like my people say, "Agba oria oshi, o naa" which means "Problem identified/exposed is problem solved".

Do I need to tell you about my follow up discussion with Rukky? I guess not. But I'm sure it ll ring in his ears for while.
Of course, Joyce didn't need to hear about Rukky's indiscretion. In some cases, ignorance can truly be bliss. Moreover, not every mess we clean up needs to be a told story.

Do Stay Safe And Live Clean With Dr Ib.
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