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)

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Baby So’od – Staying Put

When I first met Liza and she sought my help in getting her a temporary shelter home until she is fit enough to work, she specifically mentioned that she’d prefer a home in KL instead of in Perak as she has relatives in Perak. She didn’t want them to know about her HIV status.

Getting a home in KL for HIV+ women is much easier than getting one in Perak, so there was no problem for me in getting her a place. So yep, made a few calls here and there, and managed to get her a place at the same home that I had sent Zana a few years ago.

However, in Zana’s case, I sent her to KL before she delivered as she had already been told to leave the home she was staying in then (she said it was her foster mother’s home) within a day or two because of her unwed pregnancy.

In Liza’s case, she was married, it’s just that she has been separated from her husband and so was staying with her aunt. Only problem was, her aunt didn’t know anything about her HIV and in addition to that had been babbling that Liza by right should be staying with her mother.

Well anyway, after delivery, Liza was discharged quite early from the hospital. The baby was fine, but Liza was still not fit enough to travel. She had already told the aunt she was staying with, that she’d be moving to KL immediately after delivery, so going back to her aunt’s place was out of the question. Her sister who stays nearby, was staying with her mother-in-law, so it was difficult for her to bring Liza to stay with her. Liza’s mother? Well, she called and gave me all sorts of excuses why she couldn’t take care of Liza herself. As a matter of fact, Liza herself was not too keen with the idea of staying with her mother down south, at her eldest brother’s home.

So, where was I to send Liza after being discharged from the hospital? I couldn’t send her direct to the KL home for 2 reasons… 1. She wasn’t fit to travel yet (in fact she couldn’t stand for too long, she’d get dizzy)   2. She was discharged in the afternoon, and by the time I managed to settle all the necessary (payment, medication etc), it was already 4 pm. Too late for me to send her to KL.

I was earlier thinking that her sister could at least offer to take care of Liza for just one or two nights before I make the necessary arrangements to send her to KL. But nope, her sister didn’t even come to help when Liza was discharged. My next option was to send Liza to Kak Ana’s place, the same home that I sent my little Cek Mek last year. Liza agreed that maybe I should send her to KL after Raya Haji.

Well, after I sent Liza to Kak Ana, first her mother called me… then her aunt (another aunt) called me. I was thinking… Liza has so many family members who’re so kaypoh trying to find out this and that from me, but none of them offered to take care of Liza and So’od! And we’re not even talking about unwed pregnancies here! But maybe, it all started with Liza’s first pregnancy 2 years ago… she was unwed then, and that was when she found out she had HIV. Later after she got married, her husband was tested for HIV, but the results came out negative. Only problem was, her husband was a lazy bum who didn’t want to work. It had been Liza all the while supporting the family.

On Tuesday (before Raya Haji) I called Liza to ask if she was feeling better and to find out when she’d be ready to go to the KL home. She said she was feeling better and that she’d have to discuss with her family first before making any decision.

Last night I got a text message from Liza. Kak Ana suggested to her that she should stay longer at the present home instead of going to KL, and Liza’s sister too had the same thought. Easier for her sister to go visit, she said. Liza was thinking that she should be staying at Kak Ana’s place until after her confinement period; and so she sought my opinion (but the way she said it, it sounded more like she was seeking my approval, not my opinion).

I told Liza that she should make her own decision. It wasn’t my idea to send her to KL in the first place, it was she herself who said she’d prefer a place in KL. I then told her that if she had really made the decision, then I’d be informing the matron at the KL shelter home that Liza & baby So’od won’t be going to KL after all. I didn’t want to be cancelling the place and then later having to call the matron again to ask for a place for Liza.

So yep, since she had made her decision, I’m cancelling the place in KL for her. If suddenly she asks to be sent to KL again, I won’t be entertaining her request.

At the end of her text message, Liza said she found out that her husband had been confirmed HIV+ and she felt guilty about it. Well, her husband already knew she was positive and they still had unprotected sex. He had already known the risks and so Liza wasn’t the only one to be blamed here.

I intend to visit Liza and So’od by the end of next week, to pass her some things including the referral letters for baby So’od’s and her own follow up hospital appointments. Which reminds me, I’d better ask her if she wants to continue her appointments in Ipoh or at the hospital near the home she’s staying now. Her referral letter is for KL hospital. If she decides to continue with her appointments in Ipoh, then she’d better get an appointment date from the nurse here. Right now, as far as the nurse is concerned, Liza is no longer going to Ipoh GH. As far as I am concerned, she’d better make an appointment soon. If it was up to her, she may end up only arranging for So’od’s follow up but not her own. That was what happened after she gave birth to her first child.

Whatever it is, looks like baby So’od will stay put at the present home at least until the end of Liza’s confinement, together with my other ‘cucu’ – Cek Mek…


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