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)

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Clinic duty and house visit

I was on clinic duty last Wednesday. It had been quite some time since my last clinic duty. Ever since my mother underwent her knee operation in August, I took a break from the clinic duties.

My mother is doing well now, and things aren’t too hectic (yet) at the office, so I decided it’s about time I go for clinic duty. After all, I needed to get some info from SN about some of my old clients.

There were only 3 new cases referred to us that day. The first 2 were Chinese-speaking patients so I let my 2 colleagues do the talking while I wrote down their particulars for our record. The 3rd one was a Malay guy though, and so my colleagues let me handle the session. But I didn’t really have to say much.

You see, this third guy, an ex-IVDU, did all the talking! He was diagnosed HIV positive when he was still in a pusat serenti and since then he was determined to give up on drugs. Now still on methadone treatment, he has also already started taking his ARV medication. He is actively involved in the activities of AADK (agensi anti dadah kebangsaan) and even gives talks to youths; talking about his own experience – how he got involved in drugs etc. He told us that his “journey” to being an addict began since he was in form 2. He told us how, when he started working in KL, he could get his heroin supply for the day for as low as RM2. During the talks to the youths he’d also openly admit he has HIV.

The moment this guy left the counseling room, my colleague commented, “First time lah, the patient talks more than us.” True indeed, usually the people referred would still be in shock, and feeling rather lost, they wouldn’t know what to say and most of the time they’d just keep quiet and would only answer whenever we ask them anything.

Later in the afternoon, together with another colleague, I went to visit Suhaila and Samsul at their home in another town. We promised Samsul we’d give him a call once we reach the town so he could wait by the roadside. Their house is right beside the main road leading to another town, and while it was easy finding the road, it’s not so easy looking out for the house number!

I have never met Samsul or Suhaila before, so I had to depend on my colleague to look out for Samsul. When we got there, at first I was quite surprised. What I saw was a lovely kampong house which definitely looks much better than the kampong house I'm staying in now! I thought Suhaila and Samsul told us they desperately needed help financially?! Then I looked around, and then I noticed there were a few small wooden houses at the back within the same compound. Ahh, Suhaila and Samsul were actually renting a house within the same compound as the landlord’s.

I had brought along some foodstuff with me in my car, including rice, flour, noodles and some canned stuff (yes Pak Malim, including canned sardines!) and unlike some other clients who’d usually say, “Alaa… buat susah kakak je!”, Suhaila and Samsul just thanked me. Obviously they were already desperate.

When I got into the house, at first I thought it looked rather spacious for a small house. Then I realised it looked spacious because they didn't have any furniture whatsoever. Just a mat. (people with susunitis like Kak Puteri will mati kutu here...)

The couple has a very active 2 year old boy who has been tested negative for HIV. Alhamdulillah. Suhaila is a fulltime housewife while Samsul collects and sells recyclable goods, earning just over RM200 per month. Their house rental? RM150 per month. Just about RM50 a month left for food and other things including travelling to Ipoh for their appointments. How lah to survive like that?

Samsul is willing to work. It’s just that at the place where they live, there are not many job openings, especially those which don’t require him to do medical check up, particularly blood tests. There are many job openings in Ipoh but he’d need to move to Ipoh first. Samsul and Suhaila doesn’t mind moving as long as we could get them a cheap house.

So we are now trying to find a cheap house (circa RM200 rental) for them and there is a very good chance that he can get a job as a security guard (Samsul by the way, is still strong and healthy despite his HIV). If the plan works out, they will definitely have more than RM50 a month to spend on necessities, and since they’ll be staying in Ipoh, the cost of travelling to the hospital for their appointments will be much cheaper!

Not forgetting, it will be much easier for me to visit them too.

I really hope the plan will work out… soon!


Anonymous said...

Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Yay! Yay! Pi Bani bawa sardine dlm tin! kata Pak Malim sambil menuju ke kantin. Walaupun tuan saya, Melayu, kata Pak Malim yg ayu, saya tak berapa biasa cakap, "Ala buat susah2 aje", terutama apabila rasa gembira bila orang tu susah payah bawak hadiah utk kita, kata Pak Malim sambil naik kereta. Macam omputih, kami akan ucap terima kasih dan menjemput orang yg bawa hadiah naik ke rumah, kata Pak Malim sambil duduk bawah khemah.

Kak Teh said...

Pi bani,
Alhamdulillah your mother is well and kak teh sempat baca setakat Puteri Kamalia mati kutu -

will come back to continue as I have things yang belum habis itew, kata kak teh yang sungguh terharew.

Scanned to the last line - yes, Insyaallah I hope the plan will work out. Niat yang baik selalu Tuhan dengar.

Pi Bani said...

Amboi Pak Malim... seronoknya dapat sardin dalam tin, kata Pi Bani sambil tengok news bulletin.

Macam tu lah selalu orang kita, kata Pi Bani sambil pakai cermin mata. Selalu kata buat susah2 je, padahal dalam hati punyalah suka, tambah Pi Bani sambil memegang botol cuka. Just say lah thank you, kata Pi Bani yang tak berapa ayu.

Pi Bani said...

Kak Teh:
Ye lah, Kak Teh selalu sibuk gitew, kata Pi Bani sambil pakai sepatew.

InsyaAllah, I am hopeful the plan will work out.