I was just about to park my car near my office this morning when I heard the SMS tone from my hand phone. I ignored it until I got to my office. The message came from Lin...
"Kak, kalau CD4 saya OK, nak bagitau doktor ke pasal saya tak makan ubat?"
I told her to tell the whole truth to the doctor. Otherwise, the doctor may think she has no problem whatsoever with the present ARV medication.
About 12.15 pm, I texted Lin, asking if she was done at the HIV clinic. She replied, saying that she's just waiting for whatever documents - drug prescriptions, and next appointment dates, etc. So I told her to wait at the waiting area in front of the Klinik Pakar once she was done. I would be leaving my office at 12.45 pm and should reach there in 10 or 15 minutes.
When I got to the hospital, I didn't see Lin at the waiting area. There was no available parking space nearby, so I waited a while behind one of the cars and tried calling her. My call couldn't get through. Tried a few times with the same result. So I decided to go one more round. By the time I got to the front again, Lin was still not there. I tried calling Lin again, and again the call couldn't get through. Apparently at certain areas at the Klinik Pakar, the reception may not be clear or there may be no reception at all.
Finally I decided to park my car at the open area behind the hospital and go look for Lin. Had to carry along my laptop as it wouldn't be safe to leave the laptop in the car. As I reached the pharmacy I tried calling Lin again. This time my call went through...
"Lin kat mana ni?"
"Ada kat depan kat tempat akak suruh tunggu tu."
"Saya dah 2 kali lalu situ takde pun?"
"Baru sampai kak, baru lepas ambil ubat."
I told her to walk back to the pharmacy and meet me there. No point for me to walk all the way to the front and then walk back again to get back to my car.
"Semua dah settle?" I asked.
"Tak, nurse tu suruh pergi makan dulu, lepas tu datang balik jumpa dia dalam pukul 2.30."
There were quite a number of patients at the HIV clinic today, and the doctors were also late (probably had to go round the wards first), and so by lunch time, there were still a few pending cases. Although Lin had gone in to see the doctor, the staff were rather shorthanded to prepare all the letters etc. So they told her to go for lunch first and come back after that.
"Amacam? Dah puas kena bambu?" I teased Lin. She smiled, "Nasib baik mood depa baik hari ni. Taklah kena teruk sangat."
Besides, she told the truth before the doctor said anything, including the reason behind her fear (as mentioned in my previous posting), so SN ended up giving her a hug instead.
BUT... her CD4 had gone down drastically to 26. Oh dear, she definitely needs to start taking her medication now. And she promised me she will.
I then took Lin out for lunch. Took the opportunity to ask about herself and her children. Lin used to help out at her brother's food stall. Now she has started her own corner there, selling pisang goreng. Her brother encouraged her to do so - he couldn't afford to pay her more, and she should be able to earn more with her own pisang goreng stall. According to Lin, she gets her supply of pisang abu at the market nearby.
At least now I know what to bring her whenever I visit. There are banana trees behind my house, and sometimes we just leave the fruits on the trees to be eaten by the birds. There's not much that my mother and I can eat anyway, and quite a number of folks cannot tahan pisang abu... angin... so they say. If it's pisang tanduk or pisang asam, then my neighbours would be glad to have them. (Yes, I do know quite a few types of bananas, even the ones which are not available at my house, including pisang emas (bawa belayar?), pisang rastali, pisang awak & pisang nangka... and I also know pisang kaki but it's not a type of banana!)
There are times when I have an abundance of pisang abu at home. Now I know where to send them - and Lin can cut down a bit on costs when I get to do that!
It's good to know that there are people like Lin who at least makes an attempt to earn a living. I don't mind helping this kind of people. Unlike some people I know who depend totally on welfare aid... and complains when the welfare aid comes in late.
Yeah, if you had been reading this blog from the start, I'm sure you know who they are...
And here's a little update on Baby K...
Mr & Mrs K brought the little girl for her second appointment at IJN earlier this week. The doctors have confirmed that the little hole-in-heart girl should be ready for surgery in November. The cost for the surgery is RM20K, but after appealing, the Yayasan IJN (I think) has agreed to cover RM19.5K, while the couple will have to fork out another RM500. I think the RM500 is just to make sure that the parents would at least make an attempt to contribute a minimal amount for the surgery.
Frankly, if it is up to them, I doubt they'd be able to come up with the RM500. They don't even have enough to cover their monthly expenses... always hutang here hutang there.
Well, I don't think there'd be any problem for me to get contributions of RM500 needed for Baby K - plus maybe an additional few hundreds for the guardians while they're there. Mrs K will definitely need to take leave from work. As such she will be earning less that month. Of course, I didn't tell Mr & Mrs K I'd try to find donors - if I did, they'd probably just goyang kaki from now until November. And if I do get the contributions now, I will only hand it over to them when it's time for the girl's surgery. If they get the money too early, they'd probably use it for other purposes and then go back to square one when the time comes for Baby K's surgery.