“I Am Living My Life To The Fullest”- Adenike Oyetunde, Disabled But Not Incapacitated
“I attended primary school was at Command, Bonny Camp and then secondary school was at Queens College, Yaba. QC was a great experience and after that it was off to Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye.
While in University, I slipped and landed on my right knee, this caused an incessant pain that would not go away. Later, I was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma (a malignant bone tumor) and I was told I was going to have to amputate my right leg in order to save my life. I was in my second year at the University and I was going to have to take off my leg?
It took me over about six months of excruciating pains, agony and other medical opinion before I finally agreed to the initial diagnosis. I couldn’t accept the diagnosis. I even tried the trado-medical route. I guess I was in the denial phase at this point. Nothing worked.
Money was a huge issue. It reared its ugly head at every point but somehow, every time God always provided. I remember this particular day when my folks informed me that all we had was ten thousand Naira and they were going to get a drug which cost exactly N10,000. Barely two hours later, some people came to see me with different money filled envelopes. God has always used different people to bless us at different times and six years later we’re still standing by HIS grace.
A lot of people called to encourage me and it was amazing. Even people I didn’t know would just randomly call me up to talk to me, to encourage me. I must confess I went through really difficult times. I would literally just break down.I look back now and wonder how I coped through those difficult times and I must say that my parents were my primary source of support and then my friends and then members of my campus fellowship.
I had moved around for about a year with my crutches and I think that prepared me mentally to welcome a prosthetic limb. I got one prosthetic limb. It was made here and fitted here in Nigeria with some imported parts. It was a misery. It was really uncomfortable and I knew I had to get another one but the issue of money came again. Walking with it wasn’t easy,even though I had briefly taken some physical therapy classes. I got another limb fitted abroad and even though it would never ever feel like nature’s own,I am very appreciative and always look forward to learning new things about my limb.
In an environment like ours, it takes extra work to walk with your head held up high. How do you explain the fact that a right thinking person would deem it fit to spite my mom with the fact that her only child is an amputee? How do you come to terms with the fact that public places don’t have specially reserved parking or spaces for people with disabilities? How do I explain that getting into a bank or a building where you hope to transact business or just even need to be, is not accessible to people with disabilities.
I know we’re slowly waking up to the realities of people living with disabilities in our society but the pace is slow.
When our personal struggles (in its varying forms) come, it may only seem like your world would end, in fact you’ll be convinced that your world is ending but you have to decide to fight to live your life to the fullest. You will live. My life hasn’t ended and yours wouldn’t either. I haven’t even started on this success journey, but I know am getting there with hard work and God. Don’t give up, never do!”
Narrative culled from Bella Naija