Barely Surviving – Onwubariri Emmanuel Chidube

Emmanuel looks at the camera.

At the end of the three years of laying on the floor, I was able to get a wheelchair through a donation. I soon became active but did not know what to do with my life. Where to go, whom to be friends with and how to live. The worst is that my environment isn’t suitable for me to wheel around or go out due to water lumps and big potholes. Every day I got frustrated with life, soon anger started to set in. Managing my anger became an issue to me. Many times, I easily became annoyed because I’m just passing the time and I didn’t know what to do with my life.

During all this, I was also battling with not being provided with medication, supplies and food. Things got very difficult for me. I remember for four years; I was without a catheter to control my urine. My urine was just running out, pouring on me and on the floor where I lay. When I finally I got a bed with a tiny mattress. I had to get a plate to collect my urine.  I would pour it out in small bucket.  In the morning my mom would empty the bucket into a pit. I could struggle all night without sleep trying to collect the urine. In the daytime, when I got into my wheelchair, I couldn’t really wheel or move around or go out because there was no way I could control my urine. I usually sit naked with a plate in between my legs to collect urine then pour it out into the bucket.

As time went on, I discovered that a small nylon bag could actually help me collect urine instead of a plate. I tried it and it worked much better.  I bought a lot of them.   I would tie it on my manhood to hold the urine. I soon discovered that once the nylon bag became heavy with urine, it would come off and the urine would spill on me. Usually, I would not be conscious of the fact that the nylon bag had pulled out. But once I perceived the smell, I would immediately wheel back to my room to clean myself up.

At night, I could sleep very well with the use of the nylon bag tied on my manhood to collect urine. I would only wake up two times to make a change. Eventually discovered that the nylon bag was causing an injury to my manhood. I had to obtain a lighter nylon bag which could hold urine without leaking. I found it effective and continued using it as I moved around on my wheelchair. I could tie it up on my manhood and go out but was afraid to sit close to people. This wasn’t easy for me as I was always in fear of when the bag would pull out. One time, I went for a checkup in the hospital. My urine bag got filled up and pulled out without me noticing. I felt so embarrassed as people close to me noticed what Hd happened. They all fled from me and from a distance was all looking at me like some kind of alien. As time passed, I got better in using the bag.  Yet I was still frustrated with life, not knowing what to do or how to live.