THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Friday, 8 June 2007

Oh makcik where art thou?

Wednesday, 6th June 2007:
When SN told me during my clinic duty Makcik Minah had to be warded earlier, I thought that was the reason nobody answered my calls. Then SN said makcik was supposed to come to the HIV clinic on Friday so I thought I’d just meet her then. I totally forgot to ask if Makcik Minah had been discharged.

5.45pm: Received SMS from Zana asking me to help find her another shelter home for her to stay. She said she was no longer on talking terms with the other occupants of the present shelter home. Aiyo this woman... I told her I would have to ask around. The fact is, I’d need to discuss the matter with Kak Hawa first. Kak Hawa stays at the other house where most of the children are.

Thursday, 7th June 2007:
I was fast asleep when suddenly I heard the James Bond ring tone on my handphone. Yep, my PLWHA client assigned ring tone. Was a bit blur at that time… not sure what time it was… when I answered the call, Mrs. K asked me to call back. I just said okay, and looked at the time… it was 4.30 am. WHAT?? 4.30 AM?!! No more blur… there and then I became wide awake. They wouldn’t call me at ungodly hours unless it’s really important. I called back and was told that Mr. K was having breathing difficulty and they wanted to bring him to the hospital. Mrs. K asked if it was okay to bring him to the nearest hospital (his medical records are all at Ipoh GH). Mr. K was supposed to come to Ipoh GH this very day for an appointment at the TB Clinic so Mrs. K was wondering if she should bring him direct to Ipoh GH. Told her to just go to the nearest hospital and inform the people there. If there was a need, then those at the nearest hospital would bring him to Ipoh GH in their ambulance.

10.30am: Tried to call Makcik Minah at home again. And again, nobody answered. I started wondering if Makcik Minah was still in the ward. So I decided to call SN to ask. I was told by SN that Makcik was discharged more than a week ago and should be back home. Since she’s supposed to come on Friday, I told SN I’d try to come on Friday to meet her. SN advised that I should call the clinic first on Friday just to be sure Makcik comes for her appointment. Otherwise I’d just be wasting my time at the hospital… and torture myself for another round of finding a parking space... all for nothing.

10.55am: Received SMS from Mrs. K’s son telling me that Mr. K was okay and that he was already at Ipoh GH for his TB clinic appointment. Mrs. K also sent her apologies for calling me at 4.30 am… she said she panicked and didn’t know what else to do or who else to call.

1.08pm: Mrs.X called. She said Mr.X did another blood test recently and was told that “Ada bakteria dalam darah”. Mr. and Mrs. X were wondering if the bacteria were caused by HIV. I asked what was written at the HIV section of the blood test results. Mrs.X said it was written as non-reactive. I told her that the results would say reactive if there were any signs of HIV infection. I asked how Mr.X was doing. According to Mrs. X, although her husband is no longer attempting suicide, he is still talking all sorts of nonsense – no matter what people say he still thinks he has been infected. Oh dear…

4.00pm: Called Ani to ask if she has got her medical report for EPF withdrawal purposes. The people at the hospital records department promised it should be ready within 2 months, which they will send by post. It is now more than 2 months. Ani was not around when I called but her husband answered the phone and told me they have not received anything. Since they have to come to Ipoh GH on 20th June for their next appointment, they thought they’d call me then so we could go check on the matter together.

Friday, 8th June 2007:
9.30am: Called SN to ask if Makcik Minah had arrived at the HIV clinic. SN said there was no sign of her yet and told me to try again later.

9.40am: Decided to call Nuri. I haven’t heard from her for quite some time. Nuri and her daughter Farah seem to be doing fine. Since it is still school holidays, she doesn’t operate her food stall this week, but should start operating again next week.

11.30am: Tried calling SN again. Her assistant answered. I was told there was still no sign of Makcik Minah. Today’s Friday and clinic time is only until 12 noon. If Makcik Minah was still not there, chances were she wouldn’t show up for her appointment. Mana pulak pergi Makcik Minah ni…

11.40am: Suddenly I remembered Lily’s children. I have not heard anything since Lily’s funeral, so I decided to call Roy, her possessive friend. He’s my only means of contact with the children for the time being. Roy said the children are now staying with their uncle (Lily’s brother) not far from their old home. So, they don’t have to change to a new school. Roy acted as though he had the authority – he said we’ll see first for 2 months how this uncle treat the children to really decide if the children should continue staying there. I told Roy I’d need the new guardian’s photocopy of IC and bank account number so I can submit it for MAC’s Pediatric Aids Funds. The one submitted earlier was under Lily’s name and using Lily’s bank account number. Roy had the cheek to ask if we could give his IC and account number instead. I politely told him that the person has to be a family member. I asked Roy to get the uncle to call me. Roy instead told me that he will call me back after he gets hold of the uncle. Looks like Roy doesn’t want me to have direct contact with the new guardian. He wants to know every detail of what goes on. Let’s just see… I hope the address on the uncle’s IC will show his present address. Then once I get the photocopy of his IC, I can go visit them direct without Roy interfering…

1.05pm: On my way home from my office, I decided to drop by Zainab’s house. Her house is quite near my office. I’ve been trying to call her for some time but couldn’t get through. The last time I went to visit, nobody was home. I thought I’d just give it another try this time… and yes, was lucky. The door was open so Zainab must be at home. Found out that I couldn’t call her as her handphone was no longer usable. Also found out that Zaki is no longer working. Oh dear, that means they’re back to square one… meaning Zainab has to support the whole family. Not enough money, yet Zaki was still smoking when I visited them.

2.40pm: Decided to give Maria a call. She’s another one I have not contacted for some time. Maria and baby seemed to be doing fine. I told her about our planned Family Day in August. Maria sounded very much interested. I promised to call her again once the venue is confirmed.

3.00pm: Still thinking about Makcik Minah. Why didn’t she turn up for her appointment? As I was writing up this post, I decided to give her another call. And again, nobody answered. This old lady stays alone. What may have happened to her? Before anyone starts thinking that her one and only son is neglecting his mother, bear in mind the son had actually asked his mother to stay with him in KL where he works, but Makcik Minah herself refused because of the usual ayam itik excuse. Ayam itik excuse?? Well, you know… “Kalau mak ikut pergi sana nanti ayam itik kat kampong siapa nak bagi makan?”

Since Makcik Minah was hospitalized recently, my hope now is that Makcik Minah’s son from KL came to fetch her and brought her back to KL with him. But I can’t be too sure unless I can get hold of them.

Makcik oh makcik… where art thou?

18 comments:

Hazia said...

Pi, I'm impressed that despite d high no of people under yr care, u still manage to pay attention to each of them:)

BTW, what happen to Zana's twin baby?

Pi Bani said...

Hazia,
Frankly I wish the PLWHAs under my care are internet savvy so I could easily contact them all together... :) But given their circumstances, I guess being able to contact them by phone is good enough.

Zana's twin baby? You mean the one who died? Well, there was just some sort of complication, not HIV related. The one alive is still with Zana now at the shelter home.

ninuk said...

looks like you've a busy day. i take care of 4 kids pun dah termengah-mengah, esp cuti sekolah ni.

Daphne Ling said...

Wow, Kak Pi, sibuk lar you...

So many clients, and so little time...Good to know Mrs K felt she could trust you so much as to call at such a time, and great to know you leave your handphone on 24/7...

Cos a lot of ppl just don't answer calls after 'office hours' you know? Hehe...

I hope you take care of yourself too...

J.T. said...

What a busy day you had! I have to say this again Pi.. you selfless dedication to every one of your PLWHAs is priceless.

Anonymous said...

Did Mrs K manage to get her bank book and ATM card back yet?

Pi Bani said...

Ninuk,
Hmmm... if all my PLWHA clients (plus 33 affected/infected children) decide to kacau me in one day, I dah semput pun kot...

Daphne,
Yes, my handphone is on 24/7. But that doesn't mean YOU can kacau me at ungodly hours okay? :) Emergencies tak apa...

Pi Bani said...

JT
I hope you didn't get the wrong impression. It has been busy these past few days, but it's not like this everyday.

Anonymous,
YES Mrs K has finally got her bank book and ATM card back. She was so happy to get it back... she said it had been 3 years since she last touched them.

Apandi said...

What can I say ? Go Go Pi.... and take care too.

Pi Bani said...

Apandi,
Go Go tak apa... jangan suruh A-Go-Go dah... nanti habis semua orang cabut lari... :D

J.T. said...

Pi, oh no.. no wrong impressions at all. Everything good... all the way. Some busy days, some not.
Although my previous volunteer work is nothing close to what you are doing now, I get an inkling.

loveujordan said...

PLHWA is very lucky to have a caring volunteer like you.

Just wonder... have you ever turned down any call/ meeting with your clients because you are busy with your own matters ?? sorry for asking ...me the selfish type :(

Pi Bani said...

JT,
Oh good... I was just concerned people may not want to get involved in any kind of volunteer work after reading my posting...

Pi Bani said...

LUJ,
It may look to you as though my life is all about my volunteer work (because I don't blog about my personal life...), but I do have my priorities.

If say I'm in a business meeting, I'd silent my handphone. After meeting if I see any missed calls from my PLWHA clients, I'd definitely call back.

If any of my clients need to see me when I already have other commitments, I'd tell them the truth and arrange to meet up with them on another day. If they need my help and I simply can't, I'd just tell them so and offer an alternative, if I can come up with one.

So I guess I don't really turn them down outright, I just try to make other arrangements.

I have a life too, you know...:)

Daphne Ling said...

Aiya Kak Pi,
I won't simply call you lar...Phone credit can die oh if not...

Pi Bani said...

Daph,
Why did you think Mrs.K called me at 4.30am and then asked me to call back?? She called at 4.30am b'cos her hubby got breathing difficulty, that you know. She asked to call back b'cos her phone credit also got breathing difficulty lor...

stand-up philosopher said...

Hi PI,
I like your reply to LUJ. Thats why your work is called volunteer work. Yet I find that it really do take up much of your time. You will be blessed Pi. And thank you for the help you render to all. Some of them may be my relative, we never know.

Pi Bani said...

SUP,
To me what matters is that I enjoy what I do. And yes, I enjoy helping people, and am especially happy when I see positive results (oops... not positive HIV though!). Re: the volunteer work taking up so much of my time, as I said to JT, it's not like this everyday...