I was relaxing at home yesterday when a text message came in on my hand phone. It came from Sofie’s number, but was actually sent by one of her children…
“Ck fzh mama kne thn wat dkt hsptl ipoh..”
It was already 6.40 pm then, and so I decided to wait until today to visit her.
I do have the special pass from the hospital so I don’t have to wait until visiting hours to visit her. But I didn’t want to go too early in the morning as during those hours the doctors were probably doing their rounds or she may have been brought elsewhere for tests etc. I decided to settle some other businesses earlier in the morning, went to the bank, went to the center, then only 10.40 am I went to the hospital. Having my car parked nearer to the Specialist Clinic, I figured I might as well drop by the ID clinic first to see the nurse before visiting Sofie in the ward. At least to get a better picture of what was wrong with Sofie as Sofie’s stories can sometimes be unreliable… not because she likes to lie, but because she herself doesn’t understand. (well, the last time she had some brain infections, she said she “sakit otak”)
The nurse wasn’t busy when I got in, so I sat down and had a chat with her.
Sofie actually came for her appointment at the ID clinic yesterday. She was so weak, her eldest son, this year sitting for his SPM, had to miss school to accompany her to the hospital. Imagine having to go up and down the bus when she could hardly walk.
Sofie was warded due to allergies to the new ARV medications given to her. She didn’t seem to adjust to the first regime of ARV given to her, so the doctor started her on a different regime. Apparently this time the side effects were even worse. She was so weak she could hardly walk. The nurse got a shock when she saw Sofie on a wheelchair during her appointment yesterday morning. She didn’t expect to see Sofie’s condition that bad. She had lost a lot of weight too (and she never had much weight to start with!). After she started taking the new regime of ARV medication, she couldn’t even eat. Every time she ate something, she’d vomit. Thus the loss of weight. Although the doctor told her to call the ID clinic if she had any problems, Sofie just decided to continue with the ARV and wait until her appointment day.
The doctor decided to get her warded so she could be put on drips and so she can regain her energy. She’ll be off ARV for 2 weeks before the doctor decides to put her on another regime of ARV. Hopefully her body will be able to take the next regime of ARV.
It was almost 11.45 am by time I went up to the ward to visit Sofie. I knew which ward she was in but I didn’t know her bed number. The board outside the ward didn’t have the names of patients at each bed. I thought I would have to go bed by bed to find her but apparently that wasn’t necessary. She was on the first bed. Sleeping on the chair by the bedside was small-sized Saiful, who spent the night there accompanying his mother. Saiful told me he had problems coming back up to the ward after he went down to get some food from the canteen. The guards didn’t believe he was 13 and so they didn’t let him in. Saiful had left his IC in the ward so he couldn’t prove his age to them. However he appealed, saying that he was accompanying his mother in the ward, one of the guards whispered to him, teaching him to use the back way. That was how he managed to get back in.
Sofie looked a bit better today, but she may need to spend at least one or two more days at the hospital for observation.
Anyway, while I was with the nurse at the ID clinic earlier, the nurse told me about a new case. A 24 year old pregnant lady, got married in Thailand to a guy whom her parents dislike. Until now the parents are neither aware of her marriage nor her pregnancy. The last time she went to visit them was during the last Raya, so I guess her pregnancy was not obvious. Her marriage has yet to be registered in Malaysia. She knew of her pregnancy for quite some time already, but only went for proper check-up last week. Her husband brought her to a private clinic, but when blood tests indicated she was HIV+, the private clinic immediately referred her case to Ipoh GH. The doctor at the ID clinic immediately started her on ARV, while the O&G had fixed her operation (to deliver the baby) for early next week.
The husband didn’t come along with his wife during last week’s appointment. Neither had he come for his own blood to be tested. According to the nurse, the lady gave all sorts of excuses why the husband couldn’t come. The nurse ended up babbling to her, to the extent that even the doctor told the lady, “You tengok! Sekarang you punya makcik (pointing to the nurse) pun sudah marah sama you!”
Hmmm… something smells rather fishy. I have a feeling there may be some other facts she may be hiding… like why her parents dislike the guy… why her husband didn’t come along to the hospital… why they didn’t bother to register the marriage…
I have taken down her details from the nurse just now, but I think I will wait until next week when she gets warded at the maternity ward, and this time I probably should visit during visiting hours… with the hope of meeting the husband as well. If the husband doesn’t turn up at the hospital to visit his wife after the delivery, then there definitely is one big stinking fish!