BN Our Stories, Our Miracles: “Mummy’s Illness Changed Our Happy Little World” Read About Solape Peters’ Survival Story

To celebrate our 6th anniversary, BellaNaija embarked on a mission! Our mission was to share OUR Stories and OUR Miracles – BN at 6, Our Stories, Our Miracles. Each and every African at home and in Diaspora has a unique story. Many have been through experiences which can only be described as miracles. Tragedy and strife converted to triumph through faith and perseverance. 

The response we received has been overwhelmingly positive and BN Our Stories, Our Miracles is now an ongoing feature on BellaNaija. Solape Peters, whose apparently picture perfect life cracked when she lost her mom, shares her story with us. We hope that you’re encouraged by her story.  If you have a story you’d like to tell or share with the BN readers, please send an email to features(at)bellanaija(dot)com. You just might touch many lives.

Who I am
I’m a lawyer, a christian woman from Ijebu Ode. I come from a very close knit family with my dad, two sisters and three brothers. I also have two amazing sisters by marriage.

Growing up
I had a very happy childhood. I grew up in Lagos with my younger siblings. My older siblings were at school abroad so our long summer vacations were usually spent with them in England. A typical weekend started on Friday after school, with swimming, followed by a movie, Saturdays were for piano and recorder lessons and Sundays after church were for family lunches with all of us sat around the table and sometimes we would go to the beach and I remember my dad would sometimes play beach golf. It was hysterical watching him ‘torment’ my older brother with the many rules of golfing! My parents met, got married and lived in England for many years so my mother was a typical “English Rose” and our upbringing reflected their experiences living abroad.

When everything changed
My mother’s illness changed our happy little world. I didn’t realize she was ill for the longest time, I don’t think any of my siblings did either. My earliest memory of her illness was when she slipped into a diabetic coma in the early 90s. Suddenly our world revolved around caring for her as her condition slowly and painfully deteriorated. I remember her many surgeries, skin graft operations; because she was adamant about the fact that she didn’t want to have any of her toes or limbs amputated, her eye operations to save her sight and the many injections she had to endure. Watching someone you love suffer the way she did was really quite difficult for all of us and perhaps that brought us even closer together. We all took turns in looking after her, giving her daily injections, sitting to talk with her, giving her foot massages, doing her make-up.
When she died on the 7th of November 1997, we were all so distraught. She really was the centre of all our lives and she kept everything and everyone grounded, even towards the end when she was very ill, mummy was in charge! I can safely say that her death changed us all.

How it changed me
I was 22 when she passed away. I was an adult, but in many ways, still just a child. Our focus for the longest time was caring for her and there were so many things I didn’t  know, that only a mother could teach a young woman. Her death was truly devastating. We all had to quickly grow up. Earlier on after she passed, I was desperate to have a mother-like figure who would love and look out for me the way my mother did. I would sometimes feel so resentful towards my friends who still had their mothers and that feeling made me feel so guilty. However today, I know that I was quite the pampered princess growing up! Life is really about how you adapt to change, how quickly you recover from its many knocks and what keeps you grounded.

My illness
I was diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure in 2010 and have been on the medication pretty much since then. I had been very ill with various infections before then and just didn’t know what was wrong with me. Eventually after a foot infection which left my foot swollen and oozing and another wrist infection, the diagnosis was made. I initially considered it a relief to finally have a name to call the illness and then I felt it was a death sentence. I wept for what seemed like weeks! My sisters held me together during that period. The slightest thing upset me and for a while, I resisted starting the medication. It took a conference call, with my sister-in-law and my younger sister (who are both doctors) talking to me and all of us in tears when they counseled me to start the medication and make changes to my lifestyle. I immediately made some drastic changes to my diet and started exercising. So far, I have lost 30 pounds through a complete change of lifestyle and habits. I go to the gym at least three times a week and I have recently started taking Zumba® classes.

Solape with her sister and sister-in-law

What I’d say to someone who has these challenges
My advice to anyone facing any illness is to first of all get as much literature about their condition as possible and read up. Don’t let the pity party last for too long! Secondly, to have a solid support system in place. My family is my rock and I am quite blessed to have them and I also have the most amazing friends. They all help to keep me in check.  Not everyone is that lucky so I recognize this, but support is a necessity. Thirdly, if there is available medication or treatment, to start using it as soon as possible. Things won’t change simply because you choose to bury your head in the sand! You are responsible for yourself. Play your part and God will do the rest. Lastly, try and be consistent with your medication and do what your doctor says. You cannot decide to behave for the first six months and lose the plot for the next six months! There will always be days when you pig out, but quickly get back on the straight and narrow. I am convinced that everything happens for a reason and God will never give you more than you can bear. Trusting HIM must be unconditional.

22 Comments on BN Our Stories, Our Miracles: “Mummy’s Illness Changed Our Happy Little World” Read About Solape Peters’ Survival Story
  • olah October 5, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Bless you Solape. Thank you so much for this.

  • deevah1 October 5, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    same way my brother’s illlness (cancer) changed our lives..God bless his soul..R.I.P sweets we love u

  • alexie October 5, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Wow nice 1, May God strenghten u dear, It is well…

  • Christie Obiaro October 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Very inspiring….pray dat D gud Lord will perfect ur healing.

  • dragonmama October 5, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    what an inspirational story! thank you so much for sharing this

  • Mz Socially Awkward… October 5, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    I pray that your healing becomes permanent, Solape because you’re primed to become a source of courage and encouragement to many with similar challenges.

    I love what you said about not burying our heads in the sand and us being responsible for ourselves, I wish this could get preached more and more because doctors, nurses, health workers, etc all exist for a reason… believing in God does not mean that modern health solutions are taboo.

  • zika October 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    This story reminds me of my dad’s battle with diabetes and liver cancer. Everytime seeing my dad cry cos of the pains, he was going thru n d strain it had on the family especially my mum. The only thing that kept us going was faith and the fact that one day we shall all meet again 2 part no more. I rili liked this write up…

  • zozo October 5, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    D lord is ur strength!

  • yummymummy October 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I will like to add that if you know their is a possibility of an illness in your family get checked at least thrice a year by a doctor,Yes we know God heals,but we need to be cautious as well…Writing this I need to keep my self in check…

  • Joshua October 5, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Thank u Solape for sharing ur story with us. We love youuuu…Family is KEY!!!

  • Omolola October 5, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Thank You for this piece. God will strengthen you.

  • cathy October 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    The LORD surely is our strength. without him i wouldn’t want to exist

  • Evilicious October 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    My dear the Joy of The Lord is ur strength. Stand and His words and promises about healing, and you will be made whole in no time. It is well

  • LOUDA October 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Dear Solape, I’m so happy to hear you being positive, I tell you, that is the first step to recovery. You will be surprised how quick you overcome this and become a real encouragement to those who feel discouraged because of their health conditions. The Lord indeed is your strenght and He will continue to keep you strong.

  • @ajiriavae October 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    There is nothing like a healthy and balanced diet combined with exercise. The kind of foods we all eat these days, help to make any hereditary disease become active. I thank God for the support and education that He has brought into your life.
    http://ajiristyle.blogspot.com/

  • duchess October 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Solape, thanks for sharing your story…my dad had cancer of the stomach and it was totally removed(i did not know anyone could survive without a stomach – the small intestines were attached to the large ones) and watching a loved one go through such intense pains; if there was a way we could all take up some of his pains, we would have….His death changed me and my family….it’s been 4yrs and it still hurts but God is faithful forever!

  • Amber October 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Even when u r clinically proven healthy,still keep living a healthy life cos once u knack 40 or even 35,everyone is at risk for all those non communicable diseases.

  • Tope October 5, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    I understand what you must have gone through. My mum is also diabetic and has fallen into a diabetic coma on numerous occasions. Each episode is a sad and humbling experience but I’m glad to still have her.

  • Pd October 6, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I lost my sister to diabetic on Sunday…….we never knew she had ….at just 41…..a week after her birthday……gone suddenly ….just like that……we are going for check ups next week…..thank you for your story solape…..may Almighty God strengthen you n bless you with good health in Jesus name…Amen

  • Purpleicious Babe October 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Hello Hun, thank you for sharing this amazing courageous story. I believe our positive attitude takes us far too.

    My prayer is that your HEALING will remain permanent. We all have our struggles and I pray your TESTIMONY will continue to flow… well done for this…

    Mum is proud of you always….

    so keep on KEEPING ON.. XXX JESUS BEST… always.

    http://lifeinstagesdoz.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Lulu October 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    INSPIRING INDEED!!!

  • ivy April 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    am in tears as i read dis story my both parents are diabetic and have had their fair share of comas and skin grafting, i am only 26 and i have been diagnosed with diabetics and high blood pressure it takes only God to see through every day i keep praying for strength and healing thanks for sharing

  • Post a comment