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)

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Clinic duty: 16/1/2008

Today was my first clinic duty for the year. I went a bit early today as I had anticipated I may take up some time finding myself a parking space. I was right – I had to go 2 rounds before I could find a spot. Even that one was quite a distance from the HIV clinic. The walk would be good exercise, yes, but earlier in the morning I was mowing the lawn at home, so I actually had enough exercise for the day!

When I got to room 9, SN was there, about to explain to a female PLWHA about her medication which the patient was just about to start taking. The other 2 fellow volunteers were not there yet. According to SN there were a few cases she wanted to hand over to us today, but since all the new cases for today involved Chinese speaking patients, we figured we’d better wait for my colleagues to arrive. Not all these patients can speak well in Malay or English, so I’d rather wait so we’d be able to explain ourselves better. When we draw up the duty roster for the volunteers, we make it a point that for every group, there’d be Malay, Tamil and Chinese speaking volunteers. All the volunteers can speak English, so no problem in that department. But not all are that fluent in Malay, especially if the patients we deal with speak certain dialects like the Parit dialect. That's where I may come in handy. As for patients who speak only Tamil or Chinese – you can count me out for these ones!

The first case handed over to us for today was a couple – both HIV positive. No buddies were assigned to them as they travel a lot and so they didn’t see the point of being assigned a buddy. Well, at least they have each other’s support, so I too think they could do without a buddy. Nevertheless, we still gave them our brochure just in case one find day they may need our help. The couple spoke Chinese most of the time during the session, so I don’t really know what the conversations were about. All I did was to jot down the required details from the medical files to our contact report. You see, whenever a case is referred to us, SN would give their medical files to us to enable us to get the necessary particulars. Once we’re done, we’d send back the files to SN before she’d call the patients into the doctor’s room to see the doctor.

The next case referred to us was a patient whose spirit and positive attitude I truly admire. When a guy in his late 40’s came into the room, I thought he looked healthy enough. Since the conversations were sometimes in Chinese and sometimes Manglish (oops, nobody spoke proper Malay or English, huh??), I could understand and join in the conversations.

You know, this guy whom I thought looked “healthy”, was actually already on HIV medication and in addition to that, also has cancer and still needs to undergo chemo treatment. Yet he was so lively and could even joke around with us. His wife, who came into the room a bit later, told us her husband had actually gotten over the initial depression. His positive thinking helped a lot. As a matter of fact, he even asked about our voluntary duty. He said he may even consider helping us out once his chemo treatment is over. I think if he does become a volunteer one day, he’d make a good one – especially in providing peer support.

The next new case was a young lady of Thai origin who married a Malaysian. Oh, none of the volunteers knew how to speak the Thai language, but luckily this lady knew how to speak in Chinese (she married a Malaysian Chinese), so at least one of the volunteers could converse with her with ease. Me? As usual, when I didn’t understand the conversation, I’d just write down our contact report.

This lady, who is 10 weeks pregnant, will be moving to Johore soon to stay with her husband who works there. So her case will be referred to JB and as such we didn’t assign any buddy to her.

SN had wanted to refer another new case to us today, but there were so many patients, SN was so busy that by the time she wanted to refer another case to us, the said patient had gone back.

Anyway, in between SN moving around, walking to and fro the doctor’s room and our room, she did manage to enquire if we were in touch with a few PLWHAs who had missed their appointments. One of them, Helena, never bothered to come for appointments, and worse still, didn’t even bother to bring her kids for tests despite being reminded by the doctors many times! One of my colleagues even went to her house a few times to coax her to at least bring her children, but she was reluctant. To her, it’s better not to know at all rather than finding out they’re positive. Sigh!

And remember Miera, the young Malay lady who specified she didn’t want a Malay buddy for fear she may be looked down upon by fellow Malays? Well, she too had missed her appointment. And since she had already started her medication, missing her appointment meant she must have stopped taking her medication as she would have finished the earlier supply by now (if she did take them in the first place!). SN was rather mad with her, which is understandable, really. Here we are, so concerned about their well being, and yet they themselves are not bothered to take care of themselves!

I also asked SN about our dear Yah Ah Ngau. The moment I mentioned Yah’s name, SN giggled. Yah came last week for her appointment and SN was amused with the changes in Yah. “Aduuuhhh… bukan main lagi sekarang, pakai baju macam orang muda!” And better still, according to SN, the same day last week, Lin (Mr. Darling’s ex-wife) came to the clinic too! I asked SN if Lin and Yah actually met each other. Well, no they did not, but even if they did, I doubt they’d know each other’s link to Mr. Darling. Unless of course, they start conversing with each other, and Lin talks about her useless ex-husband and Yah talks about the romeo who proposed to her! And maybe somewhere along the line, their stories start to ring a bell somewhere…

But don’t let our imaginations run wild… this blog is supposed to highlight true stories about the lives of HIV positive people, not cerita rekaan semata-mata… hehehe…

29 comments:

Akmal said...

Kak Pi,
How are you?
Amboi, sibuk bebenor nampaknya noo?
Actually, how is this buddy system works eh?
You are right kak Pi. It is very unwise not to help ourself, while others cannot sleep thinking about us. I can see that in some of your clients, but it is understandable though, maybe they haven't get the grip of themselves, trapped under pressure as the carrier of deadly vrus. As for Yah, hahaha, I was actually looking for her name in this entry and there she is!
I am glad that the uncle you talk about, with his HIV and cancer, but can still live like everyone else and make others smile. That is truly admirable.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

hey, that chinese dude, i think thats the way it should be, right? to leave the depression somewhere, move on and contribute to society by sharing his/her experience. to live jovially would be a scoop of ice cream on a bowl of ABC.

eh Kak Pi, loghat parit camna ha? meh cite sikit?

trivia- unlike pahang, why perak has Raja Muda instead?

hehehehe...

Pi Bani said...

Akmal:
Yes, I'm keeping myself busy as always. Routine aje every day nanti boring pulak kan?

The buddy system? Well, each time a new case is referred to us, we'd talk to the PLWHAs first and offer our support services to them. Those who prefer not to be assigned a buddy, we just leave them be. Otherwise, those who agree to be assigned a buddy, we'd inform them that within the net 1 or 2 weeks, one of the volunteers will be calling them.

After the clinic, those who were on duty would assign a suitable buddy to the PLWHA. We try to match them with the buddy whom we think may be most compatible with the said client. We'd consider their gender, race, age etc. After assigning a buddy, the assigned buddy will call the client within 1 or 2 weeks to introduce him or herself. And then see lah how it gets along from there. Nama pun buddy kan, so just be their friend lah - for them to talk to especially when they have any HIV related problems, which may include family problems.

As for Yah, wah, ada orang menunggu update rupanya... :)

Pi Bani said...

Kerp:
A scoop of ice cream on a bowl of ABC? Nak describe a jovial life pun kena compare to makan, nooo?

Loghat Parit, susahlah I nak explain in writing. Kena oral lesson lah... I pun tak lah terror sebenarnya, tapi much better lah than all my non-Malay colleagues. My dialect is more of the Kuala Kangsar dialect.

Ni tiba-tiba takde kena-mengena dengan cerita, keluar pulak trivia question pasal raja muda apasal lak ni?

kina said...

Ater Kak Pi, kena le pulok bukak kelas bahasa Parit ni... ater teman kalu ke Parit nun, macam pegi Paris, menganga je, idok le paham deme cakap apa...

Baca mike punye cerita ni, teman rasa macam mike ni idok le tido tido, ader ke keje nak buat yek?

Ape pun Kak Pi, moh le kita makan laksa tepi tebin tu dulu...

Till then

J.T. said...

Hi Pi

I found a few minutes to drop by here and say hello after updating my blog.

First clinic duty for the year and it seems overwhelming just reading your accounts of what happened. But I guess you are used to it. Maybe I am feeling tired over here and that's why it seems too much for me. :)

Anyway, it will be interesting to know the day Yah and Mr Darling's ex-wife start exchanging notes about their personal lives. If they do, they will bound to have an 'aha' moment. (oh I am so 'kaypoh'). hahaha

Take care and keep up the good work.

LaiPing said...

I really admire the chinese guy positive attidute. Have a nice day all of you!

Nightwing said...

Helo Kak,

Sometimes it is sad when ppl are concern with their well being and yet they like 'tak apa' attitude.

I think may be they have issues but should let u all know so that at least ppl know what/how they feel.

Good stuff on the Uncle who has the positive attitude.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

the raja muda trivia is related. it hss something to do with one of perak's loghat.

just imagine if perak has tunku mahkota, and now imagine how perakians would pronounce it....hehehe...

ok, thats rather lame. it was a joke originated from batu gajah, my dad's hometown.

Typhoon Sue said...

it's okay dear. I think u've been dealing with too much realities that u probably need a dose of fiction to shake things up a lil bit. hehe
it's forgivable. we understand

anyway, like JT said, it'll be interesting to know if and when Yah and Lin will be able to put 2 and 2 together. Best of all, if they actually team up and go against Mr Darling, har har har

Mat Salo said...

Ha-ha.. Yah and Lin tag team. As usual after a tinge of bittersweet sadness, I do leave with a smile.. Emo roller-coaster laa Pi!

Tumpang lalu Pi. Goony boy, Batu Gajah tu enclave of orang Banjar or orang Betawi?

Pi Bani said...

Kina:
Mane buleh tak tido... tido tido juge... koje koje juge!

Teman kalo makan laksa lagi suka masak sendighi... kalo makan tebi tebin tu teman lagi suke order pasembor!

Pi Bani said...

JT:
I think you're not the only kaypoh one around lah. Even Akmal was looking for updates on Yah... hahaha!

Pi Bani said...

Laiping:
Yes, looking at his positive attitude, I don't think I should be complaining about the teenie weenie problems I tend to face from time to time!

Pi Bani said...

Nightwing:
The problem with some of these PLWHAs is that they try to avoid facing the problem instead of trying to overcome their problem.

Sometimes when we try to advise them, they say we wouldn't understand because we're not "in the same boat". That's where peer support plays an important role.

Pi Bani said...

Kerp:
Hmmm... come to think of it, I think there is no town in Perak which incorporates the word kota in it macam Kota Damansara or Kota Kinabalu or the likes. We have Bota but not Kota...

Pi Bani said...

Typhoon Sue:
Yah and Lin to team up, eh? Quite an interesting thought... but what are they supposed to do? Ganyang Mr Darling? :)

Pi Bani said...

Mat Salo:
Somehow this Yah seems to be taking centre stage lah in my blog now. Cuba sogok cerita lain, the one paragraph on Yah juga yang jadi topic of discussion...

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

tumpang lalu...

MS,

am not too sure la. could be the former. i have not a slightest clue really.

but imagine if genting is situated on top of maxwell hill. i mean, talking about kota keriangan...hehehehehehe...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Pi,

Such a busy woman lar you...I am imagining you moving the lawn with a biiigggg machine and your tudung labuh flying! =)

Anyway, what caught me was that the SN's give you the patient's medical file...

I wish they would extend that to other departments of the hospital...

I think it would help alot (at least, for me)...

For example, I work with kids kan...It would be of great help if I know stuff like what the kids are allergic to, so I don't accidentally feed them the wrong thing...Would also help if I know their condition in full detail so I can read up on the do's and don't's, kan?

As for the man with HIV, bravo to him! The mind is really a powerful thing ler...

Yang angau tu, tak habis lagi ker? Macam drama minggu only lar!

Rita Ho said...

Hey Pi ... I giggled too when Yah's name appeared at the end of your blog. Couldn't help it. I join the rest in looking forward to the eventual meeting. Hopefully, they end up being friends with Lin bearing an influence over Yah instead of the other way round. Otherwise, you have two "orang muda" in your hands. SN's giggles will turn to chuckles!

How many days of clinic duty do you have in a year? Also, is the clinic part of a hospital or a unit by itself?

Did anyone take a picture of you moving the lawn with a BIG m/c as Daphne described? Not giggling ...

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

pi,

j.t. is not the only kay-poh lah. Me too lah.

Just wondering how this Yah-Lin episode is gonna end up.

Take care & have a nice weekend.

Pi Bani said...

Kerp:
Dah, dah... jangan lebih-lebih pulak...

Pi Bani said...

Daphne:
When I mow the lawn, I'd wear a more suitable outfit laa... tudung not so labuh meh...

As for the medical files, yes, it helps a lot in enabling us to know the clients' background... although many of the terms written in the files I sendiri pun tak faham. I only go for details that I need to write in my NGO's contact report.

Pi Bani said...

Rita:
Yah's story is starting to become a comedy, is it? :) And OH NO! Please dear God, don't let Yah influence Lin. Adoii... I may be the one who'd end up needing counselling if that happens!!

My clinic duty? Since we send our volunteers every alternate Wednesdays, and since we have 3 groups of volunteers for the clinic duties, I'd usually be on duty every once every 6 weeks. And we're given a room at the hospital itself, at the HIV clinic.

Anyway, who would want to take a picture of me mowing the lawn la? So sweaty...

Pi Bani said...

Kak Ton:
Yeah I know, many return visitors to this blog are kay-poh-chees... hahaha!!

Tapi nak tunggu ending for the Yah-Lin episode mungkin lambat lagi kot...

Kifli Bujang said...

You did a great job, keep up a good work!

winniethepooh said...

sometimes, one can only help those who want to help themselves and that chinese dude, cancer and HIV as well? he sure is one tough guy, hopefully he will become a volunteer and i'm sure he can be such a great support to the others..

u hv a good weekend Pi Bani!

Pi Bani said...

Kifli:
Thanks for dropping by and thanks too for your kind words.

Winnie:
Yes, we can only help those who want to help themselves. If they themselves are not bothered to comply with their appointments and medication, there's not much we can do. We can advise, we can encourage, but the final decision is still up to them.