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, 19 April 2010

What lah!

When I went to visit Ijam at the hospital last week, the nurses seemed to be treating both Ijam and Fuzi well. When one of Fuzi’s neighbors came to visit a nephew at the same ward and bumped into Fuzi, Fuzi slowly whispered to the nurse begging her not to tell the neighbor of Ijam’s HIV. Fuzi no longer cares that the whole neighborhood knows of her HIV, but she couldn’t bear the thought of Ijam’s HIV status being known to all and sundry. The nurse assured her that they would never give such info to others. So the neighbor was only told that Ijam was warded because of dengue.

However, when Ijam was transfered to the end room, a single room, I did suspect that they used the room as an isolation room due to Ijam’s HIV. Oh well, in a way it was a blessing… I had more privacy to chat with Fuzi when I visited.

Ijam was discharged on Sunday, and so I went to fetch them at the hospital to send them home. It was then that I learnt from Fuzi that other than the isolation room, Ijam was indeed treated differently than the other kids at the pediatric ward.

A few things mentioned by Fuzi caught my attention.

1. While the other kids were served their food in trays, Ijam on the other hand was given “nasi bungkus”. In other words, no need to wash the trays he would have been using if his food was served just like the rest.

2. When changing the bed sheets of the pediatric patients in the ward, bare hands were used EXCEPT for Ijam’s bed. Before coming in to Ijam’s room, they made sure they put on gloves just to change the bed sheet.

3. The nurses advised Fuzi that all the utensils used by Ijam at home be separated from the ones used by his siblings!

Fuzi ended up more confused than ever before! When she and Ijam were initially diagnosed HIV+, the doctors told her not to worry about sharing utensils at home. Now, after she had been mixing all the utensils at home for more than 4 years after diagnosed, they tell her a different story?

“Macam mana ni kak? Betul ke saya kena asingkan pinggan, cawan, semua? Selama ni saya tak pernah asingkan pun! Cakap siapa saya nak ikut ni?!”

“Ikut je cakap doktor!”

Thank goodness the doctors had explained to her earlier about the do’s and don’ts. Otherwise, Fuzi would probably panic and send all her children for testing again in case they got infected due to sharing of household utensils! Imagine how Ijam would feel if everything his has to be kept separately, when all his siblings share things at home.

If something is medical-related, people would generally believe the nurses more than they would believe someone like me! Imagine the wrong perceptions they are giving to the public!

And I have been giving talks to the public when the hospital staff themselves need to be given more awareness on HIV!

Sigh…

14 comments:

Naz said...

I guess you must aim your talks to the nurses (+ other service providers) more then. Who are training them and keeping them update with HIV issues all these times, anyway?
I feel sorry for Fuzi and her family. Can only imagine how I would feel to be treated differently :(

mekyam said...

this is so heartbreaking. there will definitely be psychological scars if/when ijam finds himself suddenly being treated differently. poor kid, poor fuzi!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Pi,
I have expletives at the tip of my tongue but my Mama would kill me if I use them - on the nurses! So heartless. They have no business to be in the medical profession. purrr...meow!

Pi Bani said...

Naz,
Hospital gomen, so training bawah MOH lah. Usually the staff yang memang kerja at the HIV clinic has no problem, they are well trained. Yang unit lain ni yang suka buat assumption sendiri. Ni I nak complain to the M'sian AIDS Council president (who was also my classmate kat sekolah dulu). The last time I did that, she forwarded my email to MOH.

Pi Bani said...

Mekyam,
Itulah pasal. Bayangkanlah kalau Fuzi ikut cakap the nurses and start asingkan everything his at home. Then when he wants to use something, everyone at home will go, "Eh jangan, Ijam tak leh pakai kitorang punya!"
Ish, ish, ish...

Pi Bani said...

CiS,
I wouldn't say they were heartless lah. They were rather nice to Fuzi and the boy. I think they did what they did thinking that it was indeed the right thing to do. Ni mesti ada one of the senior nurses yang bagi "ajaran sesat HIV" kat dia orang. Siap bagi nasihat kat Fuzi lagi...

Hmmm... tomorrow's my clinic duty. I think I shall complain to the staff nurse at the HIV clinic. Dia selalu berani jugak gi tegur the other nurses kalau buat something tak betul.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

couldnt agree more, because this happened in a hospital! More courses for the nurses (and some doctors) please!

Pi Bani said...

Kerp,
Itulah, it happened in a hospital, and to a child! More need to be done to overcome the problem of ajaran sesat HIV, particularly for the service providers!

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hi Pi,

It’s not fair for us to judge those in the medical profession, especially the nurses that have to do all the “dirty” work. They have to separate their professional & emotional conduct in carrying out their duties & adhere to strict procedures & policy. It would be ideal if all nurses have the real passion for their work but if that’s the criteria, then we wouldn’t have enough nurses to serve the people in the first place. So sometimes in their line of duty, they have to be seen & act as calm, cool & collected which in most cases can be perceived as being ‘cold & heartless’ by the demandingly irrational general public.

Spare a thought for those nurses & imagine yourself in their shoes sometimes. I’m not directing this comment at you but to the general public as a whole. U ni Kak Pi, bolih kira professional jugak lah in my eyes…hehehe. Well u understand what I’m trying to convey :))

Cheers,
Tommy

Pi Bani said...

Tommy,
Yes, I understand what you're trying to say. As I mentioned to our Sydney cat, probably they thought they were already doing the right thing when in fact they weren't. The thing is, I am not too sure if there are indeed any proper guidelines to the nurses as to what to do in the event they need to treat an HIV patient. Those at the HIV clinic have no problems at all, since they are well trained in that aspect.

As such, they do need to give more awareness to the hospital staff in general. Otherwise, they may just "generalise" the procedures to cover every single infectious disease.

Tommy Yewfigure said...

True Pi, but we are all human afterall too, better safe than sorry mah. Zendra, oops Zebra crossing …hehehe, are meant to be safe, but I still look left/right b4 I cross to make sure it’s ok/safe to cross, don’t know about u tho :)

Pi Bani said...

Gee, I don't know Tommy... I don't use zebra crossings... hehehe...

melayudilondon said...

Maybe the nurses did not want to cross infect Ijam with bugs from the other patients? seeing that HIV patients tend to have a lower immune system and prone to infections.

Perhaps we shouldn't jump into the conclusion that they are 'mis-treating' Ijam. It could be they want to do the right thing.

Pi Bani said...

melayudilondon,
I never said they were "mis-treating" Ijam. I said he was treated differently. Giving him a separate room by himself may be a way to protect him from other bugs at the pediatric ward. But nasi bungkus (taken from the same trolley used to carry food for the others) and wearing gloves only when changing his bed sheet? I doubt the precautions were in his interest.

Actually what I didn't mention in my posting was that when they advised Fuzi not to let the other siblings share utensils at home with Ijam, they did mention, "takut nanti orang lain kena air liur dia".

I've seen HIV patients in other wards in the same hospital. Makan guna tray macam orang lain juga... tak pulak dapat nasi bungkus.

I do however agree that they probably thought they were doing the right thing. That's why I said there is a need for more awareness amongst the hospital staff.