Brain Tumour could be a cancerous or none cancerous growth of abnormal cells in the brain
Many different types of brain tumors exist. Some brain tumors are noncancerous (benign), and some brain tumors are cancerous (malignant). Brain tumors can begin in your brain (primary brain tumors), or cancer can begin in other parts of your body and spread to your brain as secondary (metastatic) brain tumors.
The signs and symptoms of a brain tumor vary greatly and depend on the brain tumor’s size, location and rate of growth. General signs and symptoms caused by brain tumors may include:
1. New onset or change in pattern of headaches
2. Headaches that gradually become more frequent and more severe
3. Unexplained nausea or vomiting
4. Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
5. Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg
6. Difficulty with balance
7. Speech difficulties
8. Difficulty making decisions
9. Inability to follow simple commands
9. Personality or behavior changes
10. Seizures, especially in someone who doesn’t have a history of seizures
Primary brain tumors originate in the brain itself or in tissues close to it, such as in the brain-covering membranes
Primary brain tumors begin when normal cells develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. A cell’s DNA contains the instructions that tell a cell what to do. The mutations tell the cells to grow and divide rapidly and to continue living when healthy cells would die. The result is a mass of abnormal cells, which forms a tumor.
Secondary (metastatic) brain tumors are tumors that result from cancer that starts elsewhere in your body and then spreads (metastasizes) to your brain. Secondary brain tumors most often occur in people who have a history of cancer. Rarely, a metastatic brain tumor may be the first sign of cancer that began elsewhere in your body. In adults, secondary brain tumors are far more common than are primary brain tumors. Any cancer can spread to the brain, but common types include:
Diagnosis of a brain tumor begins with a physical exam and a look at your medical history. The physical exam includes a very detailed neurological examination. Your doctor will conduct a test to see if your cranial nerves are intact. These are the nerves that originate in your brain.
The treatment of a brain tumor depends on:
the type of tumor
the size of the tumor
the location of the tumor
your general health
The most common treatment for malignant brain tumors is surgery. The goal is to remove as much of the cancer as possible without causing damage to the healthy parts of the brain. While the location of some tumors allows for safe removal, other tumors may be located in an area that limits how much of the tumor can be removed. Even partial removal of brain cancer can be beneficial.
Me Before You has always been one of my top romance books (even though I’m not a fan of romantic novels)
The story of Louisa Clark and Will Traynor is beautiful but yet devastating and heartbreaking The book showed love and its beautiful nature and also the reality of life
It also handled the challenges of being quadriplegic and the quality of one’s life which challenges the reader to think beyond what they know
Quadriplegia, which some people refer to as tetraplegia, is paralysis that results in the loss of movement and sensation in all four limbs. It can also affect the internal organs in the trunk
Damage to the brain or spinal cord can cause quadriplegia.
The spinal cord is a long, tube-like structure. It consists of bundles of nerve fibers that relay signals between the brain and the rest of the body. The bones of the spine, the vertebrae protect the spinal cord from physical injury. However, a blow or a fall can break or dislocate a vertebra, damaging a segment of the spinal cord.
Will was quadriplegic and couldn’t imagine living his whole like in a wheelchair compared to how his life was before his accident
As much as Lou tried and loved him, it wasn’t enough
I love how the book had a deeper meaning than the usual romance books, it shows the length one can go to make someone they love happy even though it means sacrificing theirs
You open the doors of wonder to lands and near and far. You inspire ideas local and global. You instilled life values and skills and prepared me for challenges. You gave me what I need to seek further knowledge on my own.
I remember the conversations, the times you cared about my well-being, doing your best to protect me. To every teacher who goes over and beyond for their students, you leave indelible memories. To all teachers who show up in spite of war, pandemics and barriers, I hope that your contributions are appreciated more. In every space, I find teachers ready to propel me towards greatness, pushing through as I rise above difficulties and helping me pass this on to others.
To the teachers of my best subject. It was fun applying mathematical concepts to real life. All of the quizzes and intercollegiate competitions were among the best experiences of my life. You helped me be the best and I still find your foundation a solid place to stand on today.
I drink a glass of water and hear my physics teachers talking about refraction. I see flowers and am taken back to those afternoons learning pollination and the Venus flytrap image in Modern Biology. I see my kitchen as a big chemistry laboratory and marvel at all of the reactions going on at the same time in the universe.
I still remember Mrs Obe reciting these lines in poetry class: He that is down needs fear no fall•He that is low no pride•He that is humble ever shall, have God to be his guide. || I am content with what I have•Little be it or much•And Lord contentment shall I crave• Because thou savest such” (John Bunyan). All of my English teachers built me to be the IELTS coach I am today.
Thank you to my Islamic Religious Studies teacher for telling us the story of the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, meaning of Surahs which I still remember today, story of the Prophets and the Caliphs.
I learnt about Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Salawa Abeni, Mozart, Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from my music teachers. Learnt how to make recipes, soap, household cleaning products, embroidery and fashion design from my home economics teachers.
Budgeting, market forces , law of diminishing returns etc were beautiful concepts to absorb thanks to my economics teachers. My geography teacher gave me National Geographic issues to read and we will spend break time talking all about them. He could go and on about climate, forests, oceans, rocks, anthropology. It is no wonder it became one of my favourite.
Quiz and debate teachers taught me how to handle competition and imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship. PE teachers brought the history of the Olympics alive and made me understand the intricacies of football as a sport.
To all who taught me the Quran, supported me in reciting, memorizing, learning Arabic , helped me understand my faith and serve humanity. To my aunts and uncles for teaching me to love reading, for giving me an upper hand in the science and arts, helping me ace school assignments and believing I could conquer the world.
To my father for teaching me about faith, politics, finance, the corporate world, how official things worked, strategy, overcoming challenges, philanthropy, leadership, service, integrity, agriculture, cars, security, focus and discipline.
Most of all, my dear mother, who set me on the path to being a multilingual by teaching me French as my third language, for the nights spent by the lantern teaching me how to put àmí ohùn as I was having challenges in Yoruba class. For making sure I aced English and Literature with ease. For exemplifying kindness, faith, dignity, hardwork, diligence, self-confidence, beauty and being an exceptionally amazing woman. For teaching me psychology, early child development and all of the wealth of knowledge possible for any human to pour into another.
This week, Farida and Damilola spoke with an infectious disease specialist working in the COVID19 management team.
What is your current role in the COVID-19 response and what was your role before getting involved?
Primarily, I work as a clinician, I am a doctor; I see patients and that’s what I do on a day-to-day basis. For the response, I see patients and I work in the infection, prevention and control unit. I do training for doctors. I also help to assess health centre standards for COVID-19 management.
I specialize in infectious diseases.
From your background, it’s evident that you worked during the Ebola period.
Yes, I did.
Based on your experience managing both outbreaks, what are the major differences so far?
They are both RNA viruses, though Ebola is a type of hemorrhagic fever similar to Lassa fever. However, COVID-19 is a bit different because it is more of a respiratory virus so the route of transmission is different. Also the major difference between these viruses is that the Ebola virus outbreak was quite short, it basically lasted from July to October before Lagos was declared free. In addition, the confirmed cases in Nigeria were not up to 20 patients. However, with COVID-19 the confirmed cases are in the thousands with no end in sight for the response, so it’s more of a marathon.
Why was Ebola controlled in a shorter space of time?
When you look at the global response, we have never dealt with something like COVID-19 before in recent world history, of course, we had the Spanish flu in the 19th century. The problem is that we have never dealt with something on this scale. So it has been quite difficult.
When you look at Nigeria, Lagos state had a tremendous advantage over other states because of the extreme experience we had with viruses like Ebola. So there was a more coordinated response but these are two different viruses and no one has experienced COVID-19 before, so we are all learning as we go.
Cool. How do you feel about the federal government’s imposed lockdown, as seen by the developed countries of the world?
It would be difficult to make a judgment call on that now. This is because all over the world people have been placed on lockdowns and there are many arguments on whether lockdowns are effective or are not. The U.S tried to lockdown but they currently have the highest cases of COVID-19 patients in the world. Now that they are trying to reopen, we can see a surge in cases. Sweden didn’t lockdown and the virus dealt with them rather badly. For Nigeria, based on the situation we were in at that time, I think a lockdown was inevitable. The effectiveness of the lockdown can be questioned. Did we achieve what we sought to achieve? I don’t think so but like I said, we wouldn’t beat ourselves too much over many of these things. We just rather move on, learn, and go.
On treating patients, what’s the mental effect it has had on you?
As physicians, we face one of the highest levels of mortality. It’s not very strange to see patients die; sad to say. The problem with COVID is that it has been difficult to predict. We see patients who get into critical situations and go home. Some get in similar conditions and die. The most disturbing aspect for me is those that talk until they die. You examine them breathing well and all of a sudden, like the snap of a finger, they are here and the next minute they are gone. I’m like, “What?! Is this the man I just spoke with?” So it’s been challenging, you know.
I have been practicing medicine for years now so I have kind of built a fortitude against these things. However, you can’t be hardened. These things still consume us and we just try to move on to the next patient.
Any highs and lows so far?
Well, I will start with the lows; In the early days of the response, especially when we saw a lot of funds being spent on unnecessary PPEs and the guidelines weren’t being followed. Personally, it was a hard time for me because I saw things sliding and I couldn’t do much about it. Change is difficult. It was only about two to three months after that we were able to win people over and people started coming around. I was happy that people were trying to conserve PPE like hazmat suits, as they knew they could do well with just a surgical gown. This aided in the preservation of limited PPEs.
Furthermore, I am happy with every patient that survives COVID, we have had a 98 year old survive, and for every patient I discharge, I reiterate the fact that they are very lucky to survive. It has been quite challenging, I have never been this stressed in my life. I am chronically tired, a lot of times I wake up but I doubt I have the energy to get up but I just have moved on. I pray we just get out of this phase because this has very challenging for all of us.
As an experienced doctor, we realize that you are used to this, however, have you heard of other doctors breaking down?
Yes, we have had other doctors suffer a physical and mental breakdown which is quite worrisome. However, for me, I have not suffered either, although I get very tired. I wish everything could be over because it has been very stressful. Thankfully. we have not been as swamped like other parts of the world but we have also been strained. I have been close to breaking down but due to my reserve I am yet to suffer one
How has this affected your family life?
Interestingly, I got married in September 2014 which was smack in the middle of the Ebola response. My fiancé then, now my wife used to drop me off at Yaba; so she has been extremely supportive. There was also an outbreak of yellow fever at Bauchi in 2019. We went on vacation to the Yankari game reserve and all of a sudden, there was an outbreak. Immediately, I started case investigation and she was there with me.
Earlier in the response, there was the challenge of either going from home or staying in a hotel. And all she said was that it was also my house and we would get through the situation together.
End this for us on a happy note
We should thank everyone involved in the response. It’s been challenging for us in every single way. I think I want to salute everyone that has poured blood, sweat, and tears to get us to where we are today. We just need to keep pushing until we get rid of it. We have been through this from the very first patient until now. We have seen all the ways we have evolved. We have become stronger, harder, tougher, better, and more skilled. We pray that God will shorten the days and we will go back to our normal lives sooner than later.
We are grateful to this doctor for graciously granting this interview.
First, explain the role you play in the COVID-19 response?
I primarily drive the ambulances used in evacuating confirmed cases from their homes to the isolation centre. Before we leave for any evacuation, we are given PPE like gloves, nose masks, and hazmat suits. While in motion, we put on our sirens to ensure swift arrival to the evacuation site. We drivers usually don’t get down from the car during an evacuation, the nurses and members of the evacuation team usually go into the house to evacuate the patient into the bus. Due to the nature of the virus, we do not use the air conditioners when we pick people that have tested positive to the coronavirus, this is to promote the circulation of air. Then they are transported to the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba.
Other than driving evacuation ambulances, what other role have you played?
Initially, when I got enlisted to join the response from my LGA, I was asked to help transport the samples from collection sites to the laboratory for testing.
How has the work affected your family?
The work has not been easy on my family, I have not been able to go home. I have been living at a hotel. Unfortunately, most Nigerians do not believe in COVID-19. Due to my exposure and experience, my family is very aware of the risk involved. Hence, they are very concerned about my safety.
Is it that they are frightened about your status?
Of course, they are. Usually, when I come home, they keep a distance from me *laughs*. I have not ever had symptoms that relate to COVID-19. Well, the thing is I have had the opportunity of conversing with medical doctors who have laid down precautionary measures needed to protect myself and boost my immunity against the virus. I have been encouraged to take vitamin C and fruits, to mention a few.
Since you work as a frontline driver, have you experienced any patient in a critical condition?
Yes o!!! I have seen patients that have had to be revived or stabilized with oxygen masks. For example, there was a patient in critical condition that we had to evacuate. Fortunately, we arrived early and were able to revive her with oxygen while for others, when they get sick with COVID-19, they assume that they can self-medicate which can be dangerous at times. I try as much as possible to inform confirmed patients, to seek professional medical help instead of taking unnecessary medication from local dispensaries. The biggest dilemma facing Lagosians in general regarding treating medical conditions is the misuse of medication. For example, one may have a common cold and proceed to use medicines for headaches while the actual condition worsens. This is exactly what is happening with the COVID-19 response in Lagos.
Have you seen anybody that has died during evacuation?
Yes a few about 3 to 4 deaths.
Have the deaths had any effect on your mental health?
Not at all, I am not affected. As I said earlier, the major issue affecting most people is the lack of awareness and information on preventive measures needed to prevent being infected with the virus. Like me now, after a long day, I always take my medication, supplement with fruits, and get enough rest.
Give me a breakdown of a typical day for a frontline driver.
First, I work Sundays to Saturdays. Luckily, I do not sleep a lot, “Kerosene ni mi” (I am kerosene). I am ready for duty anytime around the clock, my roommate can attest to that. For example, a few days ago I was called by a doctor to evacuate a critically ill patient from a hospital to an isolation centre. Even though the rain was pouring heavily, I was able to evacuate the patient successfully.
What advice will you give the public?
My advice to the public is that no one is above the virus and immediately you discover you have been exposed to a confirmed case or notice any symptoms, do endeavour to visit your local health care centres or hospitals. Another thing is that for some people the fear of the virus is responsible for their deaths. In one of our female wards, a patient died after hearing of her roommate’s death. On a positive note, few of my colleagues have been infected and have survived, So COVID IS ONLY A DISEASE AND NOT A DEATH SENTENCE.