It had been quite a while since I last went to Taiping hospital for my clinic duty. The last time was last year I think. I was supposed to be on duty in January, but due to some urgent family matters, I had to cancel at the very last minute without being able to find a replacement.
Yesterday I was on duty again, and this time one of the trainee volunteers finally came along with me. We have a few teams, all with 2 members in each team, except me. I purposely didn’t put any specific “partner” with me so that any of the trainees could join me. But, despite telling the trainees time and again that they could join me during my clinic duty for their “hands-on” training, for the past few months, none of them took up my offer. So it was good that one of them finally took up the offer yesterday.
I fetched the trainee volunteer at our center, then off we headed to Taiping. Just as I opened the door to the doctor’s room to inform the nurse that we were already there, I heard the doctor asking the nurse, “Buddies tak mai ka hari ni?” (the doc’s a Chinese but when she speaks Malay, she speaks more of the northern dialect) and the nurse just answered, “Tu ha!”
Both the trainee volunteer and I then waited at the make-shift counselling room. We waited and waited and waited… but no cases were referred. So I went over to the doctor’s room to ask the nurse and to my surprise she said, “Buat masa ni belum ada yang lain, yang tadi tu je satu.”
“Yang tadi?” I asked. “Takde siapa datang pun!”
The nurse had told the patient to see me after seeing the doctor and taking his medication from the pharmacist. But I guess after taking his ARV, he simply left.
We just ended up meeting one client, whose case had already been referred to us last month, and who came just to pass us some supporting documents to enable us to help her apply for financial assistance for her children. So the trainee volunteer didn’t really learn anything much from this trip. By noon, we left and had lunch at a restaurant nearby; and by 1.30 pm, we were already back in Ipoh.
Today, I was on clinic duty at Ipoh GH, and again, the same trainee agreed to join me. This time we had one case referred to us. A lady on wheelchair was pushed in by a guy and a young lady with a small child tagged along as well.
Apparently this lady was diagnosed HIV+ when she was warded for some stomach problems recently. After she was diagnosed +ve, her husband was also sent for blood test, and he too was confirmed +ve. I’m not sure if they were hiding anything, but according to the husband, they suspect the wife may have been infected during a blood transfusion which took place when she gave birth to their youngest child, now 15 years old. Their daughter who was also in the room with us, then said that her youngest sibling falls ill quite often.
I don’t know how true it is, but I told them to get the youngest child to be tested for HIV just to be sure. The couple has 7 children altogether.
Anyway, after finalising some matters with the staff nurse about this Friday’s PLHIV gathering, today I left quite early.
Later, after lunch and zohor, I headed over to the center… there were quite a number of calls I needed to make… to confirm with my clients if they’re coming for the gathering, and to inform them of the exact venue. As always, there were a few who had confirmed attendance earlier, pulled out for whatever reasons.
I also had to call Sofie and Fuzi – I have registered their children for a leadership camp this weekend, and I needed to confirm if they have everything necessary to bring along for camping. Amongst the items in the list of things to bring include 2 pairs of sports shoes. As I had suspected, both Sofie’s sons and Fuzi’s daughter didn’t have any. All they have is a pair of school shoes. So I told Sofie and Fuzi to buy a pair each and I’d reimburse them with the money when I see them for the gathering this Friday. I will pick the children from their homes this Saturday morning and send them to the office of the organisers where they are supposed to meet up before the bus takes them to the campsite.
By the way, this year again Buddies will be taking part in the Ekiden Run for Charity event, and yours truly will be running (or jogging or even partly walking) to raise funds for my HIV families. This time there will be 4 runners in a team and each of us need to run 3 km (compared to last year’s 2 km). Initially we had 3 runners from Buddies (actually 2 proper runners… this orang tua just volunteered so we can raise more funds), and so I told one of them who regularly takes part in runs, to find any of his friends willing to run for Buddies. In other words, to get us an “import” runner. My colleague managed to get one.
Then today the other colleague who’s supposed to represent Buddies, told me that the coach from her club had already submitted her name to represent the club instead, so she won’t be able to represent Buddies. Oh dear, that meant I’d need to look for another runner to represent Buddies. Definitely none of the other volunteers so I finally decided to call Fuzi to ask if her eldest daughter would like to participate. You see, the girl, Wina, 16, always take part in long distance runs at her school and according to Fuzi, is even eager to join various runs but they simply couldn’t afford to send the girl here and there to participate. I told Fuzi I’d fetch Wina at home if she’s willing to run for Buddies. So that settled it…. I hope…
Now I just need to make sure I keep myself fit enough to be able to complete the whole 3 km. To “test power”, this weekend I plan to go “back to school” and play for our under-60 hockey team against the present students’ under 17 team… :)
Please pray that I’ll survive…