For 2 days in a row I was on clinic duty… yesterday in Taiping, and today in Ipoh. No new cases were referred to me in Taiping. But my time in Taiping Hospital wasn’t wasted. I did get to meet 2 old clients. And when it was almost noon, the nurse came over. Initially I thought she wanted to refer a new case. To my surprise, she said, “Afizah, meh join sama, makan dengan Dr Ker!”
The nurses there organised a pre-Ramadhan makan-makan and they so happened to do it on a day when I was there, so lucky me got to eat the delicacies offered – nasi hujan panas, pulut kuning and meehoon soup. *Burp*
This morning I was at the hospital again for my once a fortnight duty at Ipoh GH. No longer bothered to get a parking space within the hospital compounds, I straight away went to park at my usual far away parking spot where most of the time nobody else going to the hospital wanted to park. Exercise! Exercise! I needed (and still do need) the exercise!
As I entered the doctor’s room to notify the nurses that I was already there, the moment SN saw me, she immediately told the other nurse to get Faridah to see me, although it wasn’t a new case and Faridah had been referred to me before. I did visit Faridah and her husband Jeff at the home of Jeff’s mother before, but that was the only time. After that Jeff wasn’t bothered to go for his appointments anymore. He was only interested to get financial assistance but since they didn’t have any children, I couldn’t offer them our Children Education Fund or help to apply for the Paediatric Aids Fund.
Anyway, this morning before they sent Faridah to see me, the nurses told me that Jeff, Faridah’s husband had passed away recently. And since Faridah had defaulted her appointment late last year, this was the first time she came back to the HIV clinic for follow-up.
Ever since Faridah married Jeff and followed Jeff to stay with Jeff’s side of the family, Faridah had sort of lost touch with her side of her family. It was only when Jeff died recently, they were told about it and went to visit during the funeral. Nobody had known that Jeff and Faridah were HIV +ve. However, during the funeral, the obvious presence of the Inspektor Kesihatan didn’t help to keep it a secret anymore. The whole family found out. The whole kampong found out.
Now the problem is this… while Jeff’s family don’t mind Faridah to continue staying with Jeff’s mother, Faridah’s own family felt it wasn’t right, and furthermore, they felt that Jeff’s family wanted her there so she could take care of their ailing mother. Faridah’s family thought since Faridah herself wasn’t well, it was not right to let her take care of her mother-in-law.
Well then, just take her home right?
Wrong! While they felt it wasn’t right for Faridah to continue staying with her mother-in-law, they felt Faridah shouldn’t be staying at her own mother’s house either. The sister-in-law (wife to Faridah’s brother) who accompanied Faridah to the hospital today, stays with Faridah’s mother. She told me that not only is the house small, she also has to take care of her ailing MIL (Faridah’s mom) and so taking care of Faridah as well wasn’t too practical.
Faridah, by the looks of it, cannot be independent. Not because she’s too weak or anything like that, but because she is somewhat rather “slow”. Anything that needs to be done, she needs to be told, each time. That’s why when her husband decided to no longer go for hospital appointments, she did the same. To go to the hospital on her own, she wouldn’t be able to. Probably because she had always been dependent on other people for everything.
Hmmm… they didn’t agree to Faridah staying with her MIL, and they didn’t agree to Faridah staying with her own mother either. So, where is she supposed to go?
That was why they wanted to see me today. They were hoping I could get her a shelter home.
Whatever it is, both sides of the family agreed that even if Faridah moves out, it should be after her iddah is over. And since her husband just died about 10 days ago, I still have 4 months to think of a suitable solution…