Falling Stick by Dr Gbenga Adeyemo

When I was younger, I would sometimes go with my elder brother to pluck fruits from trees by the wayside. We used to pluck the fruits by throwing sticks at them. He did most of the throwing while I picked the fruits. I used to be so scared that the stick might fall on me. So whenever he threw the stick, I would run away and put my hands over my head. I would stand still like that, waiting for the stick and, hopefully, the fruit, to fall to the ground. Then I would run back to pick the fruit.

This continued until one day the stick fell just centimeters away from where I had run to. I was terrified. It was a close shave. If I had been standing just a little closer to the tree, the stick would surely have landed on my head. It was then I realized that it was better to look first to see in which direction the stick was going to fall before running.

This scenario plays out sometimes when people have a health challenge or condition. The fear of possible eventualities is so strong for some people that it prevents them from stepping out to seek help. I have seen some (actually many) skip clinic appointments after they have been told they have a serious health challenge or condition such as glaucoma. They would seek solace in the “arms” of alternative therapies (many of which have not been documented to be effective) only to present back to clinic with advanced stage of the disease.

It is alright to be scared – even to be angry. But it is better to seek help: proper, tested and reliable help.

Take charge of your health. Ask questions.

Your doctor is not the enemy.

Do not run away from the hospital.

Do not run away from your problems.


Dr Gbenga Adeyemo


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