The Meat of our Myths by Uche Anyanwagu 

I recall an event which happened during the twilight days of my national service at a very busy district hospital in Abuja. I was the only doctor on call that day at the ever busy Accident and Emergency (A&E) department of the hospital. 

Normally, people prefer to come to the A&E, nOt because they have conditions that require emergency attention, but for the promptness with which they will be attended to, compared to the long waiting times at the hospital ever-busy general outpatient department (GOPD). 

So, it is not unusual, between 4pm to midnight to find a cloud of real, imaginary and anticipatory patients encircling the A&E environs. This is a shame as it ends up overburdening the only Dr meant to take care of real emergency cases. 

On this fateful Thursday evening, I was trying to take a nap in the doctors’ call room, having consulted in the GOPD clinic earlier that day till 1pm when I was released to take a rest for the busy night A&E call. I was rudely woken by an unusual noise. 

This noise, unlike the ones accompanying road traffic accident scenes, was mixed with excitement and anger. As I stepped out to see if I’ve lost control of the space I was meant to man, a crowd surged into the A&E unhindered. Some had clubs, stones and bottles. 

At the epicentre was a few fierce-looking (do they look fierce sef? Lemme use that for now cos I’m fast losing touch of appropriate English words) policemen, dragging a middle-aged young man with another who looked so torn, sick and depressed. 

From his look, you could see a seared emotion and a heart blighted by despondency. 

The two men with two policemen approached the reception as their colleagues tried to wade off the rapacious crowd. They were quickly attended to by the Nurses who told them I can only attend to the “supposed patient” not with the “accused”. 

As the man walked into my clinic with one policeman (who was allowed in as a witness or observer), you could see that he has given up hope and resigned to fate. 

As I tried to inquire what the problem was, at least, to confirm the info I gathered eavesdropping on the crowd’s conversation, he burst into tears. 

He couldn’t explain. He simply reached out to the loose ends of his pants (pair of trousers) ripping off the tiny rim of cloth that held his almost torn pants.

The policeman took over from him and explained how they saved the other mate from the mob who accused him of making my “patient’s” penis to disappear. 

I became instantly interested and wanted to have a feel too. I have heard several stories about the disappearance of “manhood”. Sincerely, I wanted to see how the perineum (apologies to non medics. What is google or wiki for sef) looks once the penis takes its leave. 

I barely listened to the policeman as I fixed my gaze on his loose waist. The only barrier between what my being yearned to see and what my eyes could see was his light-blue flowered “boxers”.

As if he read my mind, the first tearful words he could mutter seemed to provide the energy with which he pulled down his “boxers”. 

“Doctor! That man touched me and my manhood disappeared…” he said, pointing outside the clinic where he suspects his assailant was, even as torrents of tears flowed from his eyes. 

I quickly stood up and made my way towards his local government. I searched and combed the entire place with “maniacal bewilderment” (apologies to Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon).

At the epicentre stood his manhood, ably supported by the two unambiguous unyielding bases. I reached to his scrotal sac and felt it and the testes were there – firm and brilliantly anchored to the epididymis. I felt his phallus and could remember all I was taught in my anatomy classes a few years earlier. 

As I raised my head to look at him, our eyes caught. Seeing the shock on my face, he quipped “Doc this is not how my thing is. I can’t just feel it…”

I quickly lost the same words with which I wanted to reassure him. I turned instead to the Police officer to explain my findings to him.  And just then, the victim’s wife (who has heard the news as it managed to filter home), crashed into my clinic. She headed straight to her Oga’s local government, clutching it with her left hand and weeping profusely. 

Without even taking a good look at it, she shouted “Doctor, this is not the way my Oga’s thing is o! I know my Oga… I know my Oga!” She continued shouting as she bent over it and engulfed the entire mass in her mouth. This left both the policeman and myself in a type of shock that amused and saddened me simultaneously.

After a few minutes of BJ (whatever that means, mbok) she couldn’t stimulate it. She has totally lost the control and loyalty of territory she once lorded. I then called her folly to order and strongly advised her that nothing, at this level of tension, can arouse her Oga at the top. Though they never believed me, I made it very clear to the Police and documented same that the innocent “villain” should be released and that the whole drama has no stand or basis. 

As they left my clinic, I sank into my chair disappointed – not just at my people’s folly, but by my inability to see, in my medical practice, a case of missing penis and “blank” perineum. You could have imagined such a great breakthrough. 

For many years, I’ve kept this event in my heart but with a great suspicion at any stranger touching me. After all, doctors can be patients, and usually the worst patients. 

This is the 1st in a series of essays on “Medical Myths – Tales by Doctors”

Dr. Uche Anyanwagu is a medical doctor, a PhD holder and lecturer. He lives in the United Kingdom where he works and occasionally writes. 

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