I was on clinic duty again today. No longer limping, I wasn’t quite bothered to look for a nearby parking space. It had been quite a while since I last had any proper exercise, so yep, maybe the extra walk would do me good.
As I was walking towards the hospital, a guy riding a bicycle passed by, shouting to everyone, “WOI! TALAK OTAK PUNYA OLANG!” Not sure who he was talking about though… the people around him… or himself… ;-)
When I got to the doctor’s room, the doctor wasn’t there yet. According to the nurse, there were supposed to be 2 new cases, but both weren’t there yet. So I went over to the usual room, took out my netbook and started FB-ing to pass the time.
It was almost 11 am when finally SN came in with a new case. Fadil, a 30 year old guy, soft spoken but quite chatty I must say. Used to be a make-up artist before he fell ill, making him unable to work. Due to his family’s tendency to go to the bomoh where his own sister was said to have been “kena buatan orang”, he thought he was a similar victim too.
That was until early this year when he was hospitalised and blood tests showed he was HIV+. His CD4 then was as low as 4! He was given HAART immediately. Now his CD4 has gone up to 121, alhamdulillah. What he regretted was, the news was conveyed to his sister first, and the sister told the whole family before they conveyed the news to him. But the family seemed okay, except maybe one of his older sisters who didn’t feel comfortable eating Fadil’s cooking.
Fadil’s cooking? Ah yes, cooking is actually his first love. Yes, he used to be make-up artist when he was in KL, but after he fell ill and became too weak to work, he went back to stay with his parents. His sister, the first to find out about his HIV had even told Fadil’s friends about it, causing his friends to stay away from him now. Actually his sister’s main intention was to make him stay with his parents, but still…
So continuing as make-up artist in KL is out of the question for the time being. Since he can cook, the plan is for him to help out another sister & her husband to cook at their food stall. They were supposed to start last week, but for some reasons, it was postponed until further notice. Told him to inform me once they start business so I can go try his cooking.
Since our Family Day is coming soon, I asked Fadil if he’d like to join us. Fadil said he was interested, but “malu lah kak, nanti kot jumpa orang kenal, macam mana?” I told him there was nothing to worry about as most of those attending would be those “in the same boat” – with the exception of the volunteers of course. In fact I told him we had a few HIV+ volunteers as well and asked if he’d be interested to become one. From my observation, I think he can be a volunteer to help out other HIV+ people.
Fadil did admit though that as chatty as he was, he’d usually feel uncomfortable talking to “jantan tulen”. Although Fadil himself looks and dresses up as a guy, he is one of those who can be classified as “lelaki lembut”. I told him we do get cases from time to time involving guys like him and that I’d be happy to have him on board as a volunteer. He seemed very interested. “Tapi kerja sukarela tau? Takde gaji,” I said. He was still interested… “Elok jugak tu kak, dapat jugak kumpul pahala.”
So yes, he has agreed to join us for the Family Day and on that day, after I introduce him to the rest, he should be able to decide if he’s still interested to become a volunteer.
When I went to the doctor’s room to return Fadil’s file, SN asked about Salina’s case. Actually Salina’s case was referred to another volunteer during last week’s clinic duty, and the volunteer did say he’d refer the case to me, but apparently he forgot to inform me about it and so I was unaware about the case until today. When the case was referred last week, Salina, an unwed pregnant girl who just found out about her HIV, just started her medication. She delivered on Sunday. According to SN, Salina was still in the ward, and so I decided to visit her at the ward immediately after my clinic duty. Dr Ker warned me that Salina shared a room with a non-HIV case, so yes, I needed to be a little careful when I talk to Salina.
By 1pm I went over to the maternity ward to see Salina. I just mentioned Buddies and the name of the volunteer she met last week and immediately she opened up. She said she did feel a bit better after speaking to the volunteer last week and she welcomed my visit.
Salina’s parents do not know about her pregnancy nor HIV. Since she stopped working early this year, she had been staying with a cousin, who knew about her pregnancy but still doesn’t know about her HIV.
Salina however plans to move out and take care of her own baby. The baby? Ah, the new cucu of mine was sound asleep when I went to visit. Let’s just call him Ahmad Albab ok? :)
According to Salina, she and her boyfriend (according to her not Ahmad Albab’s biological dad) plans to get married, probably after her confinement. Although the boyfriend (she refers him as her “bakal suami”, not boyfriend) is negative, according to Salina, he still accepts her and willing to take care of both her and the baby.
Well, it was just my first meet with Salina, and I didn’t get to meet her “bakal suami”, but Salina gladly gave me her phone number and stored my number as well in her handphone. I will need to follow up and monitor her case to be able to really assess her situation.
And follow up I will, insyaAllah…