When I woke up last Wednesday morning, I saw a message on my handphone from an unfamiliar number. The message read:
"Kak, saya minta maaf kalau mengganggu. Suami saya ada HIV, macam mana saya nak buat kerana dia la ni asyik menjerit macam hilang ingatan."
The message came in at midnight, I was fast asleep then (I am a morning person). By the time I got to read the message it was in the wee hours of the morning. So, I waited for daylight before attempting to call the number. Somehow my calls didn't get through.
I began to wonder who this person was. My PLWHA clients' numbers are registered on my handphone so I should be able to identify them easily if they called or sent any messages. The only person whom I thought would fit in was Mrs X, whose husband had attempted suicide before because he THOUGHT he had HIV. He would definitely fit the "menjerit macam hilang ingatan" description. Maybe Mrs X used her husband's handphone instead of her own.
I called Mrs X and asked if she was the one who sent me the SMS. Nope, not her... now who could this be?
After a few more calls which didn't get through, I decided to reply the SMS, asking the sender to identify herself. I also told her that my calls didn't get through. About half an hour later, the reply came...
"Saya isteri kepada Rashid yang temuduga di Ipoh pada bulan lepas."
Oh... then I remembered meeting up with the husband and wife during my HIV clinic duty last month. The "temuduga" she meant was the counselling session. Rashid himself was feeling very very dizzy during the session so most of the counselling was with his wife, not him. His wife had been tested negative. I gave them my NGO brochure with my phone number written on it in case they needed help. That was how she got my number.
I was unaware of whatever happened after the counselling session. Apparently, after seeing the doctor, Rashid was supposed to be admitted to the hospital for further checks. For whatever reasons, he didn't want to be admitted, so he disappeared after the appointment. His wife went frantically searching for him. He was nowhere to be found. His wife almost gave up and was already on the way to the police station to report the matter when finally she found him in town like a lost man. She took him back to the hospital to be admitted but after one or 2 days, he insisted he wanted to go back. His wife finally gave in and took him back, for fear he might run away from the hospital.