Sleeping your way to the top

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I read a post on this topic on bella naija today and I refused to comment because I didn’t want the blog nazis to come after me. However, it reminds me of a patient I had some years ago. She was a very beautiful, shapely, and arrogant bank manager. Unmarried, in her late 30s, she was so rude that no one really liked being the one to attend to her.

Of course, she demanded the best of care. Only the most senior of doctors could lay hands on her and she kept them on their toes. I pity the nurses assigned to her. Her acidic tongue was enough to make you feel like handing in your resignation. One day, she was brought in while I was on duty. Some how, I had won her over during a previous visit, when my MD paid me compliments to her hearing. Reluctantly, she allowed me to see her.

She had a very high fever, was very pale, rather weak and nauseous. I recommended somelaboratory tests. She immediately protested.

“Why? What are the tests for?”

I was surprised. Such people are usually sticklers for doing things by the book. I would have expected her to even insist on those tests.

“They are to confirm exactly what is wrong”

“You mean you don’t have a diagnosis? “, she looked at me like I was incompetent.

“I do. However, the tests will help me rule out other possibilities. Are you worried about the cost?” I knew she would balk at the thought.

“No! I just want to know exactly what tests you are doing. Explain them and why I have to do them”

I picked up the request sheet and explained each test to her.

“Full blood count will tell me your hemoglobin level, and the white blood cell count will give me an idea of possible infections. The ESR is a non-specific marker of infections. The thick and thin film will show if you have malaria. Urinalysis will help me rule out a number of diseases and the culture will detect infections”, I reeled off calmly.

By this time, she was holding the request form, perusing it carefully. I could only conclude that she wanted to ensure that a particular test was not done. You don’t have to work in health care for long to realize how fearful HIV tests make patients. People literally break out in cold sweats as they mentally review all their unprotected sexual encounters.

The quickened pulse, melting knees, throbbing groins are forgotten. All that flashes through their minds, is the thought of carrying a disease whose cure is still being worked on, for life.

While she was on admission, my phone rang. It was a Senior colleague who had resigned from the hospital earlier.

Couple lying in bed together

“Is Ms. So and so in your care?”, he asked.

I said she was and gave an account of her symptoms.

“She doesn’t want you to do a HIV test. Please ensure that you don’t. I diagnosed her few months ago and only the MD and I know her status”, he informed me.

“I guessed as much. Her ESR was very high”, I replied.

“Just keep it to yourself. She doesn’t want the other staff to know”

I thought to myself how selfish she was. She wanted the nurses to expose themselves to the risk of her infection but, would not even treat them kindly.

How mean! Later, my MD told me that she had slept her way to the top. She was in a relationship with a very prominent citizen who ensured that she was untouchable in any bank where she worked. In fact, many banks went cap in hand to get her on their staff. She could attract huge deposits and cripple any bank she resigned from.

Madam was discharged the next day, feeling much better. For the first time, she actually said thank you. I pretended not to know her status, as agreed. This is not to vilify the banking institution.

I write this because, you cannot sleep your way to the top. What is the top, anyway? Anti retroviral drugs for life? Mocking glances from the men who have either seen you naked, or know friends who have? Sneers from staff who know you are an empty skull?

No, there must be something you can succeed in without compromising your dignity. Your own top is different from my own top. A musician’s top is not an engineer’s top. Stay in your lane, keep your head down, burn the candle, and acquire the experience.

It may take longer, it may be harder, but, when you succeed, you will be able to say, “We did it together, God and I”

Cheers, Dr. N

ESR: Erythrocyte sedimentation rate

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41 thoughts on “Sleeping your way to the top

    StupendousGrace said:
    July 24, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Thank you so much Dr. N.
    Oh yes, this post brought it home. Thank you for sharing
    Actions have consequences!!!
    “No, there must be something you can succeed in without compromising your dignity. Your own top is different from my own top. A musician’s top is not an engineer’s top. Stay in your lane, keep your head down, burn the candle, and acquire the experience.It may take longer, it may be harder, but, when you succeed, you will be able to say, “We did it together, God and I””
    God bless you.

    Tii said:
    July 24, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Nicely written.
    We really need to avoid the easy way out and the short cuts.
    May God help us all

    Honey Dame said:
    July 24, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Oh Lord! This is ….. I dnt even have the words for it!

      drnsmusings responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 6:27 am

      Pks come back when u find words

    ifegirl said:
    July 24, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Good one, dr N! But I guess you had to finally comment on the bellanaija article…smiles. Cheers

    P:S – (in whispers) Please next episode of Adire…pleaseeeeee

      drnsmusings responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 6:28 am

      Yes, couldn’t help it, lol. Adire coming up

    titisule said:
    July 24, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Thanks for this blog post. I saw the blog on BN today but I did not click on it. There are just some articles that are not worth reading because no one can convince me that this is the right thing to do. Women should encourage each other to believe that they can accomplish whatever they choose to without having to sacrifice their body for it. That is my stance, no need to read any further.

    Inthe... said:
    July 25, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Hmmm… Pls help me tell them. Her denial is actually hurting her… I hope she’s on treatment sha.

    Great post!!

    Ps, when we get difficult patients, the staff sends them to me. Just one look on my face and your madness will leave your body. I don’t play! Respect is reciprocal…

      drnsmusings responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 6:29 am

      I like. Face fear face, huh? Lol

        Fola said:
        July 25, 2014 at 8:29 am

        A great reminder. Some women are the reason people stereotype women at the top of their careers as professional prostitutes. Meanwhile, if I slept my way to the top especially without the required brains, I would feel so empty and guilty till I resign. I mean, where is the dignity in labour?
        By the way doc, what if the woman stumbles on this article?

        drnsmusings responded:
        July 25, 2014 at 4:21 pm

        Yeah, what if? She would then have to put her name and face to it. I think not

    Fola Daniel Adelesi said:
    July 25, 2014 at 9:18 am

    You remember my post on ‘Temptation for compromise?’ It’s amazing how things that used to be ridiculous to the hears have become the norm today. So many children of God also brush over it casually like it’s nothing! Yet these people who cut corners look down on those trying to do it right.

      drnsmusings responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      That is why we have to speak up. To give others hope

    Tohmee said:
    July 25, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Dr N, God bless you richly. You just spoke my mind. I wonder when misnormal became the new normal. I just wonder how they defend their accomplishments. I am scared for the next generation. Parents should TRAIN their children in the LORD before releasing them into the world!!!

    Oyinda said:
    July 25, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Dr. N I have so much respect for you! You’re awesome!!

      drnsmusings responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      Wow! Blushing here. Thanks. So are u

    praisegeorge said:
    July 25, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    A few years ago I spoke at a program on relationships. After the program I did some counselling. A lady ‘confessed’ how she had lived a very promiscuous life but has since ‘changed her ways.’ The first thing I asked her was, ‘have you done HIV testing?’ At that question she started weeping uncontrollably. Apparently she had too many partners to count and she couldn’t recollect how many of them used protection. At that time in her life, the money was more important to her than her health, so she never gave a care.
    This same scenario has played out with some other people I have counselled. It took one lady over one year before she overcame her fear and went for the test.

    My primary concern for these ladies was that they should be aware of their status and do what they can to take whatever treatment is available to prolong their lives.
    Using sex as a tool to get money, power, position or accelerate their career is a deadly boomerang set in motion that will return to haunt them some day.

      drnsmusings responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      There are men and women in positions of influence, spreading diseases. You think you are out smarting them, using them but, they are actually laughing at you. And they often refuse to use protection. Sometimes, they tell us doctors about their “conquests” knowing we have to keep their secret.

    Olusola said:
    July 25, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Poetic Justice.

    Olusola said:
    July 25, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Lol. Sorry. There was nothing else I could add to the comments above. Great article though! You’ll be amazed how common these situations are.

    Elder said:
    July 25, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Bottom power will leave you just there. At the bottom.

    Amana V.J Idoko said:
    July 26, 2014 at 4:20 am

    Right on point Dr. N.

    I’ve heard many similar stories about Men and Women trying to sleep their way to success and they never end well. Even out of the few who realize they are going the wrong way and make a decision to change, not many come out unscarred.

    Like you wrote ” there must be something you can succeed in without compromising your dignity”, it’s about having true value in who one is and what one can do, working hard to improve one’s self and bring out the best of one’s skills and having the courage to never give up no matter how difficult things may seem.

      drnsmusings responded:
      July 26, 2014 at 8:56 am

      Hey, Idoko. Thanks for d insight

    Feyi's Dairy said:
    July 26, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Lool @ blog nazis
    The last paragraph pretty much sums it up for me:
    It may take longer, it may be harder, but, when you succeed, you will be able to say, “We did it together, God and I”
    Lovely article!

    Jules said:
    July 27, 2014 at 10:29 am

    It’s so common these days. You graduate with good grades and things are so tight but you see mates of questionable character making it.
    It is well. We can’t be bothered.

      drnsmusings responded:
      July 27, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      They ain’t making it. Some are walking corpses. Just hang in. God is preparing d righteous to take their place

    Anonymous Chick said:
    July 27, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    A lot of girls in Nigeria need to hear real life stories like that of this woman. It is now common trend for a lot of girls in uni and in work places to have that man with connections who will help them go places.

    And unfortunately, just like Elder said, bottom power leaves them at exactly that – the bottom.

      drnsmusings responded:
      July 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      That’s why I share. We envy these ppl their “success”, not knowing they are on medication

    niki said:
    July 28, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Dr N,
    you sneaked one real story in. Yay!
    You know this ur stories are life changing. Keep up the good work. Xx

    jcsgrl said:
    July 28, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    My love you’re always on point. Keep preaching that uncompromising gospel baby. As for me and my household we will serve the lord. Its either God’s way or no way at all. We will all get there.I remember when my classmates in college were marrying for paper after school for a better chance at jobs and opportunities. I refused to taint the sanctity of marriage. I told God either you do it or I go back home. My dear it look 6 painful years of lost opportunities and working a job you hate because they were the only ones who granted me work permit. Finally met my Boaz and got my citizenship. Now I have gone so far in my career and God has restored the lost years that I’ve overtaken most of them financially and job wise

      drnsmusings responded:
      July 28, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      See testimony! Wow! God’s way is for our good

      niki said:
      July 29, 2014 at 2:03 am

      *claps hand*
      Beautiful testimony!

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