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, 2 May 2008

Hospital visits...

I wasn’t on clinic duty this week. But I had arranged for Hamid’s mother to bring him for his appointment on Wednesday through some funds I managed to get for their traveling and I thought it would be best if I could meet up with them personally to enable me to help arrange for some fixed monthly financial assistance for them.

I was also told by SN during my last clinic duty that Kak Som’s appointment would be last Wednesday, and I figured I might as well meet up with her too as I have not had the chance to see or speak to her yet.

So Wednesday, after settling some things at my office, I took about an hour off to go to the hospital.

This is Ipoh, so hey, it didn’t take that long to drive from my office to the hospital. But as usual, getting a parking space at the hospital can be hazardous to your health especially if you have hypertension! (Thank God I don’t…) After a few rounds (and almost at the verge of giving up) I finally managed to get one spot outside the hospital. Had to walk a bit but not a problem for me.

I headed straight to the HIV clinic, wanting to see SN first and to ask her if Hamid and Kak Som came for their appointments. I have never met them before and as such I needed SN to show me which of the many patients were these two.

Before I headed to the doctor’s room to look for SN, I decided to take a peek out front to see if there were any familiar faces around. And whaddaya know, I saw a familiar face. Yah (yes, Yah Ah Ngau) stood up the moment she saw me and headed right towards me. Hmmm… she did look a bit different. When I first knew her she looked like the typical kampong girl. Then when she got infected by the angau bug from Mr Darling, she looked like a kampong girl trying to look like a city girl. Well, when I saw her on Wednesday, she no longer looked odd in her modern dressing. She now looks like a typical city girl. Ah well…

Anyway, no, Mr. Darling was not around, so I didn’t get the chance to see how this supposedly charmer look like. Yah told me that after the appointment she’d be going to KL as the next day (Labour Day) was a holiday. I asked if there was any specific reason for her to go to KL, to which she answered with a sheepish smile, “Tak lah, saja pergi jumpa kawan” and then gave me that “you-know-what-I-mean” look. Uh oh… I wasn’t going to ask for more details; so I excused myself saying I needed to see SN. After all, I needed to go back to my office after that, so I didn’t really have the chance to have a long chat. Darn! I even forgot to ask Yah about her children!!

Off I went to look for SN at room 11 – that’s where I usually find her. But she was not there. I then went to look for her in room 9 – the room where we usually have our counseling sessions; as sometimes SN may be there to explain to the patients about their medication. But SN was not there either – just the pharmacists. Luckily when I asked the pharmacists where SN was, another nurse happened to pass by behind me and told me that SN was in room 12. Apparently there were so many patients that day, they had to use room 12 as well for the HIV cases.

When I got to room 12, SN was explaining to a patient about his medication. She stopped when she saw me as she knew my presence there must be to enquire about any of the HIV patients. I was told that Hamid was outside with his mother and it would not be too difficult for me to find him as he was the only one on a wheelchair. When I asked about Kak Som, SN told me that Kak Som was warded in ward 8A (or at least that was what I heard lah!).

Then I went back out front to look for Hamid and his mother. I saw one guy on a wheelchair and an elderly lady sitting not far. I figured the elderly lady must be his mother but I couldn’t be too sure. So I went to speak to Hamid first and asked for his mother. True enough, it was the elderly lady sitting nearby.

When I introduced myself to Hamid’s mother, calling her makcik, she instantly remembered me as the lady who had called her earlier. She kept referring to herself as Opah no matter how many times I called her makcik. Ah well, Opah it shall be then, even though eventually I found out that she was actually 2 years younger than my own mom (although I have to admit, she does look older).

I asked Opah who else stay with her other than Hamid.

“Dengan Atok lah, tapi Atok dah umur 80 lebih, dah tak larat nak buat apa dah. Ada cucu makcik sorang, tahun ni tingkatan 5.”

So, Opah’s husband is still alive. And she also has a 17 year old grand-daughter staying with her. The grand-daughter is actually Hamid’s daughter. Apparently Hamid was married before and when they got divorced, Opah took care of the daughter.

When I asked Opah about her source of income, she said, “Entahlah, tak tau Opah nak cakap. Kadang-kadang ada, kadang-kadang tak ada.” Atok used to do some kampong work to make a living and now that he is already too weak to work, they no longer have a proper source of income. And with Hamid’s condition, Opah can’t rely on Hamid either to make ends meet. I then asked if Opah had any other children. She seemed reluctant to answer that question, but she did finally say that many of them had passed away.

Opah doesn’t seem to be getting any welfare assistance either although I personally feel both Atok and Opah should qualify for Bantuan Warga Tua as they don’t have any of their children taking care of them. I suppose the welfare department is not aware about of their situation while Opah herself doesn’t know how to get help. My responsibility now is to bring up the matter to the welfare department.

I told Opah I’d try to arrange for some help but at the same time I told her I could not promise her anything as it was not up to me to decide who gets assistance and who doesn’t.

I spent about 15 minutes talking to Opah, after which I headed back to my office. It wasn’t visiting hours yet so I figured I’d come back later to visit Kak Som at the ward.

After my asar prayer, I went back to the hospital. This time, getting a parking space wasn’t too bad. I headed straight to ward 8A, hoping the list of patients would be displayed outside the ward (usually it is) but was disappointed to see the list empty. I went in, looking from bed to bed for Kak Som but couldn’t find her name written at any of the beds. Finally I decided to ask one of the nurses, but since the name I mentioned didn’t sound familiar at all to the nurse, she decided to check her list. Nope, no such name. Even if Kak Som was discharged or transferred to another ward, they would still have her name in their records. Either I wrongly heard SN or SN had mistakenly given me the wrong info.

I tried looking for Kak Som’s name in 8B – still no luck. So no, I still haven’t had the opportunity to see or even speak to Kak Som. I will have to check with SN later.

I guess I am not fated to meet Kak Som yet...


Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Pi,

Happy belated burfday! I know I wished you thro sms di, but the backside gatal, nak wish you again ;)

Ah, Kak Pi, you lost a patient ar? What lar you...Hehe...Just kidding! Anyway, hope you get to meet Kak Som soon...

You know, I went to the hospital today morning...Lar...The neonate ward was like a pasar...It was wall-to-wall babies, and all screaming and crying away (You know lar, one start means the rest will join)...Tapi, bukannya dia orang faham kalau suruh diam...

After a while, I felt like screaming and crying too...=(

Nampaknya, the hospital is full not only in the HIV clinics this time around...

PS: Aunty Pi doesn't sound as nice lar ;)

Salt & Turmeric said...

Pi, i hope ul succeed in getting the necessary assistance for hamid's mom & dad.

abt yah, can i say she boleh blah? lol. tak kuasa dah nak dengar pasal dia.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

kak Pi!!!!

eh, actually it sounds friendlier to refer an elderly as opah. anyway, this opah and her other half shouldnt encounter any problem regarding the financial assistance from them JKM people. i spoke to one of the officers recently and according to him, janji cukup syarat and the bantuan will be on its way. for the disabled to get elaun perkerja cacat, as long you're cacat and working with salary not exceeding more than rm750, you're qualified.

Pi Bani said...

Which backside yang gatal? :)

Anyway, I didn't lose a patient lar... I never found her in the first place!! Aiyah, dah lah nak call susah because the number given is her son-in-law's and he's quite reluctant to talk!

I noticed parking lots kat hospital dah bertambah... but somehow it's getting harder to find a space to park. How lah?

Pi Bani said...

Yah boleh blah? Hehehe... actually I pun dah mula malas, but my concern is anak-anak dia (they were the ones who gave me a present last time remember?). Tapi every time I meet Yah, she tends to talk more about her own love life yang I tak berapa rajin nak dengar... and in the end I forget to ask about her children. Haiya!

Pi Bani said...

Friendlier to be called Opah? Pernah 2 kali budak kecik panggil I Opah... they were trying to be friendly, issit? Haha!

Anyway, hopefully the assistance for Opah and Atok can be arranged as soon as possible.