Examination Crisis

February 5, 2024

It was a fortnight until my school examination. I was not worried because I had been preparing for it. I read books upon books, browsed the internet, visited the school library, and more, being the scholar I am. 

I was in a relaxed mood. I even watched movies. On WhatsApp I did tutorials for my peers as a way to refresh my memory. I was just counting down the days, eager to sit for the examinations and move to the next level. 

Then it happened.

I am a night owl. So, I went to bed late that night. My fan was turning, the atmosphere was calm like a baby. My bed and pillow were soft and comfy like a banana. I had just been transported to the dreamland when I felt a sharp pain in my abdomen. I recoiled and held my stomach, yet the pain persisted. Initially, I thought it was my dreaded monthlies announcing its arrival, but I had finished it three days ago. My examinations were near, and I didn’t want to sit for my papers in pain.  

I stood up and switched on my flashlight. I walked to my table and searched quickly for my painkiller. After I found it, I took the prescribed amount and drowned it with a ton of water.  My fan was still on, but I was sweating like a goat.

I am a sickle cell warrior, and my cells do break and curve. When this happens, I undergo a series of pains called “crisis.” 

After taking the drugs, I said a prayer and went back to bed. I had insomnia, so I turned on my music, reduced the volume, and played a soft tune on repeat. I still held my stomach as the pain refused to let go, but I was certain that by morning I’d be one-hundred percent healthy. 

Unfortunately for me, the pain found a home in me, and I was admitted to the hospital. My mum sternly warned that I should focus on getting better, rather than panicking because of my examination. I listened, then started forcing water, food, and drugs down my throat. I didn’t want to be a cynosure for sympathy. I didn’t want to be vomiting or look like a broomstick among my peers. I didn’t want to hear the word “sorry” at all. So, I put on the whole armor of God. I faced my crisis squarely, gave it a punch with all of my might, and sent it packing from this body of mine. 

I was glad when the doctor and nurses said I was responding to treatment. My happiness elevated when I was successfully discharged four days after my admission. I used the remaining days to rest and exercise my body. I also spent some time studying my books, and my brain was boosted, and my memory became active. Everything I knew in the past was intact. 

I was relieved. 

The night before my first paper, I had a dream that I encountered pain in my examination hall. Funnily enough, someone handed me gloves and boots. I wore them and dealt with the pain. I fought like a girl. 

When I woke up, I wore a sheepish smile. 

Anytime “crisis” wants to ruin my show, I fight like a girl, like a warrior, like a winner, and like a queen.


Ojo Victoria Ilemobayo is a Nigerian Literary Enthusiast. She is a dynamic poet and a creative smartphone photographer. Some of her works can be found in brilliant magazines and anthologies. Follow her on Twitter @ilemobayo-ojo.


Featured image by John Arano.