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, 11 November 2010

A day at the hospital

I was on clinic duty again yesterday. Yep, with the expected parking problems… but yesterday it was somehow worse than usual. After going 4 rounds, I finally managed to park my car by the roadside. Not a proper parking space, but as long as I didn’t block any other vehicles, that space just had to do.

After leaving my stuff at the counselling room, I went over to the doctor’s room to check with the nurse if there were any new cases and to find out if she managed to get the photocopy of Ina(the pregnant orang asli lady)’s bank book. I had 2 weeks ago informed Ina (through her good friend since Ina herself doesn’t own a phone) that to apply for PAF, she’d need to have a bank account either with Maybank or Bank Simpanan Nasional. The friend told me they’d go open up the bank account the next day.

Yesterday when I asked the nurse, she told me that the copy she got was Ina’s account with Amanah Saham Nasional. I took a look at the date the account was opened… indeed it was opened the day after I called the friend. Instead of opening an account with BSN, she opened up an account with ASN. Adoiii…. now I still need her to open another account. Maybe this time I’d better go bring her to the bank myself to make sure she opens up the correct account!

The nurse also told me there were 2 new cases but she couldn’t refer the cases to me yet as one of them was not there yet while the other was supposed to see the doctor first. I took the opportunity to ask for the file of another PLHIV, May, whose name and contact number was earlier SMS-ed to me by the nurse, as the lady needed financial assistance for her child.

I had to wait quite a while before the first case was referred to me. Meanwhile I just chatted with the pharmacists with whom we Buddies had to share a room with since there were no more rooms available for counselling purposes. And since the pharmacists had to speak loud and clear to the patients to make sure they understood the prescriptions, I heard all their conversations without having to eavesdrop! There was one makcik who took her medication as and when she liked and selamba-ly told the pharmacist, “Bila makcik rasa malas, makcik tak makan la.” Luckily the pharmacist wasn’t a garang one… :)

The first case was finally referred to me after 12.30 pm. The patient, Mohan, came with his wife. When I asked if the wife had gone for testing, she said she did her blood test the moment her husband was diagnosed HIV+ (he was earlier warded at a private hospital – that was when he found out about his HIV), but to date she doesn’t know the results. Well, if nobody called her, that only meant her blood test came out negative, otherwise the doctor would have asked her to go for another testing, and their children would have to be tested as well.

Mohan used to be a contract worker. But ever since he fell ill, he hasn’t been able to work. His wife, a full time housewife, used to work only before getting married. So now both of them are without income, and they have 3 children aged 9, 7 and 4 to support. I promised them I’d try to help with their PAF application, and that we should be able to at least help out with their “back-to-school” expenses. They had no problems about having us visit them at home, and since they were quite comfortable speaking in Malay, they didn’t really have a preference as to whom I’d assign as their buddy (Melayu ka… India ka… Cina ka… mana-mana pun boleh…)

I had to wait until after 1 pm for the next case to be referred to me. The guy, an ex-IVDU, was actually diagnosed since 2000 and was already on anti-retroviral earlier, but somehow stopped and was only referred to the ID clinic again recently after he was warded for some ailments including Hep C. When I asked why he didn’t continue with his earlier medication, he said, “Ubat tertinggal atas bas.”

He left his medication on the bus and he stopped going for his appointments altogether. Hmmm… I think I prefer the makcik’s “malas” excuse. :)

Anyway, by the time my clinic duty ended it was almost 1.30 pm. I went straight to the maternity ward to check on Liza and my little So’od. Alhamdulillah, little So’od looked well and fine (and so cute!). He was too comfortable sleeping, it was hard to get him to wake up for his milk. But somehow, giving him his medication every 6 hours wasn’t a problem.

I told Liza that I had already called the lady in charge at the shelter home in KL and that I’d be sending Liza and her kids there next week but couldn’t confirm the date as yet. It will all depend on when Liza will be discharged. Right now we will just have to wait and see and make plans only when the time comes…


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