Where are my friends? Asks Louis Otieno as world crumbles around him
One-time celebrated TV anchor Louis Otieno has laid bare his sorry state of health in a tell-all interview that was aired on Thursday night.
It all started with a stomachache which he brushed aside as food poisoning: “You think of something you’ve suffered before. I did not think beyond that.”
But when it worsened, the presenter sought medical help and was sent straight into the laboratory. While on his hospital bed, he overheard the doctors say that he needed to quit the bottle.
“I was in the laboratory for all I know…that’s the first time I heard a doctor say he’s got to stop drinking. That this is alcohol and these are doctors around my bed and they’re having this conversation. And I’m thinking to myself who is going to explain to these people I don’t have a drinking problem? They never actually told me this particular thing crushed the pancreas,” he recalled.
He says he left the hospital but was back barely eight months later when his world fell apart. Otieno, who has worked for KTN, NTV, Citizen, K24 and KBC, has since lost all hearing abilities and has to depend on lip reading and written notes.
CAN’T HEAR THE NURSE
“One morning I wake up and I can’t hear the nurse just like that . I was in shock. How do you wake up one morning and your world is gone? I lost the world in one single day,” he said.
“I ended up with a hearing aid but what it did, I opened up the noise around me but I could not discern speech. I literally live in a cave I have no idea whats going on in the world.”
The journalist, who is now appealing for help, has also lost his centre of gravity.
“I immediately went into a very bad depression. I just sunk…my spirit sank, everything sank. All of a sudden I cannot walk a straight line, very basic things like standing in the shower became a risk. You’ve got to put a stool in there. Why am I falling down in the house? I have a scar,” he offered.
On the day of the interview with KTN News, Louis had to be supported to the set by his daughter Tunu.
“I don’t know my voice level so you’ll have to find it because one of the things I’m struggling with is hear myself also so I don’t want to end up shouting,” said guiding the cameraman. The reporter Dr Mercy Korir handed her written questions.
His doctors have told him that he needs electronic implants inserted in his cochlear, the inner part of the ear responsible for detecting sound.
“One of the things I hope for once I get the implants is get my body balance back and I can get out and I can go back and help and work,” he said. “My daughter comes from school I can’t hear my daughter every day. It’s painful.”
But he says all his friends have deserted him.
“You can’t walk straight because you’ve lost your centre of gravity and I’ve lost body balance. Now the effect of that is nobody is touching you. I had friends…changed… they changed, that’s what it is. Because I look for them and I can’t find them. I’m from a life where I had two phones that would ring 24/7. I had people on speed dial who were supposed friends. There are people who are now leaders. I have people who are governors, literally…opinion leaders…they are all there. Parliament has them. And no one is interested,” he said.