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)

Monday, 12 May 2008

In Loving Memory of Rose - A Recap

I was going through my old log book (to keep track of the progress of my HIV clients) and noticed that one of my earlier clients, Rose, died in May 2006. Yes, it has been 2 years and In Loving Memory of Rose was the first of my clients’ stories that I highlighted in this blog.

For this posting I’d like to share my notes on Rose, from the first day I was introduced to her until the last day of her life. (*I’ve omitted real names and place of stay.)


15/2 – Was introduced to Rose at the HIV clinic.

5/3 – Went to Rose’s house with a few other Buddies but was told by neighbours that she was hospitalized. Immediately went to GH to visit her.

6/3 – Went to visit Rose again to check on her needs. Was informed she hadn’t been receiving her monthly financial aid from JKM since December. Children’s school fees and bus fares had not been paid. To help out in finding sponsors or get CEF for her children.

8/3 – Rose called to inform that she has been discharged.

15/3 – Called Rose to check on her condition. Was told she has hospital appointment on 20/3 and 28/3.

20/3 – Fetched Rose from GH, brought her to JKM and sent her home.

21/3 – Received call from Rose saying she has to be warded again. Fetched her and sent her to GH.

24/3 – Went to visit Rose at GH. Was informed that doctors had to prescribe her Warfarin.

27/3 – Visited Rose again. She was transferred to 8B.

31/3 – Visited Rose again.

3/4 – Visited Rose again. She seemed depressed after informed by doctors that her cancer had spread. Also met her sister, the one closest to her.

7/4 – Rose was discharged. Fetched her from GH and sent her to her sister’s house.

8/4 – Received call from Rose. She had to be warded again.

10/4 – Went to visit Rose. She was in excruciating pain.

13/4 – Went to visit Rose again. Met another sister of hers.

14/4 – Received call from Rose saying that she was discharged. This time her brother fetched her from the hospital.

17/4 – Received call from Rose. She needed help to bring her to GH the next day for her appointment.

18/4 – Fetched Rose and her sister from her sister’s house and brought them to the hospital.

25/4 – Received call from Rose at midnight asking for help to send her to the hospital the next morning as nobody else was willing. She couldn’t afford a taxi and too weak to go by bus. Told her I had a meeting the next morning and would only be able to send her in the afternoon. Since she had no other choice, she agreed.

26/4 – Went to fetch Rose in the afternoon. She seemed weak and in pain. Had to help her to the wheelchair and from the wheelchair into my car. Dropped by her sister’s house to fetch the sister so there’d be someone accompanying Rose while I park my car at the hospital.

28/4 – Went to visit Rose in the afternoon. She was in too much pain and couldn’t be bothered with her surroundings. Was informed by nurse on duty that they needed to see Rose’s family as they needed to transfer her to palliative care. Called Rose’s sis-in-law to inform her and asked her to get any family members to come to the hospital.

29/4 – Called to check on Rose’s condition. Her sister answered the phone. Was informed that Rose was most of the time sleeping and no longer talks to any of the family members – not even her children.

2/5 – Visited Rose at Palliative Care. She was sleeping. A relative of hers tried to wake her up but there was no response.

6/5 – Went to visit Rose. Again she was sleeping.

8/5 – Received call from Rose’s sister at 7.30 am to inform me that Rose had passed away.


Noticed that during the early stages nothing was mentioned about her family members? And noticed that I went to visit her quite often? Well, I felt I needed to visit her often because she seldom had visitors. It was only after her condition worsened that I began to see her siblings… even then they didn’t visit her enough. They only gathered at the hospital after she was transferred to Palliative Care. By then Rose was unconscious most of the time.

So folks, don’t wait until your family members/friends are dying before you start showing them that you care. Don’t wait until it’s too late…

*Note: From the notes it may seem as though my life is all about my HIV clients. No, it's not usually like that - only for certain circumstances. In Rose's case, she needed all the support that she didn't seem to get from her family members.


Kerp (Ph.D) said...

i wonder what the reason was that only towards the end of her life her family came to visit. nothing to do with any wills, does it kak Pi?

yang sedihnya dah jadi lumrah bila sorang tu tengah down, in many cases even close relatives couldnt be bothered to give that person at least a moral/emotional support. just a little something fyi kak pi, thats what been going on to my family currently. sedih. nak maki tak boleh sebab mak marah...last2 air mata je la berlinangan...

Mat Salo said...

Pi.. sadly this is human nature at work and family ties will not guarantee us 'comfort' for some in their dying moments.

This is where people like you come in, Pi..fill the void. No, not just fill the void.. it's a helluva lot more than that of course.

Eh Pi.. Happy B'Day, ya? Sorry laa if it's belated...

Hmmm, intrigued re: R's dilemma. Wonder what cause of action will she eventually take...

Raden Galoh said...

Al-Fatihah to arwah...

To often it is the situation like you mention, too often it is too late to mention about the feelings to the sick one...too often it is too late for everything...


Pi Bani said...

No lah, I doubt it had anything to do with any wills. Rose didn't really have anything much. My guess is that the moment they knew Rose didn't have much time left, they felt it was only right for them to be there beside her. Patutnya before her condition deteriorated lah they should give more support to her.

And hey bro, memang ramai manusia yang jenis kawan/sedara kita bila kita senang, not bila kita susah. At least we know who our true friends/relatives are!

Pi Bani said...

Mat Salo:
I'll just look at the brighter side lah - at least Rose's family came together to be beside her when they knew she was dying. Yang mati sorang-sorang until the end tak siapa peduli tu lagi teruk tak?

Re: R's dilemma... her blood test results are ready but R herself had not gone to see it. Her son's exams are this week so she didn't want to know her blood test results before her son's exams are over. Takut nanti terlebih emotional just in case the results are positive. Habis exam anak nanti baru dia pergi.

So I guess we'll just have to wait...

Pi Bani said...

Raden Galoh:
Adoi sis, panjang benar mengeluhnya tu.

Itulah dia, kita ni selalu bila ada peluang we don't say what we should say, we don't do what we should do. Bila dah terlambat baru menyesal...

Nightwing said...

Hello kak,

Thanks for the post...although it is a sad one...but it is a good reminder for us that ...don;t leave things to the last moment.

When a person is down, support from family and love ones very important...whether can recover or not...that is different least there is a show of concern from family members.