When I texted SN on Saturday to inform her of Shila’s passing, despite it being her off day, SN immediately called me back as she too, like the rest of us, was shocked with the news.
And since she was already on the line with me, SN took the opportunity to ask about Faridah (see my earlier posting here). I told SN I had not called the shelter home to ask if they’d accept Faridah, because when I spoke to Faridah’s sister-in-law last week, I was made to understand that both sides of the family agreed that even if Faridah were to leave her MIL’s home, it should be after her iddah is over.
When I told SN that they wanted to wait until Faridah’s iddah is over, and that would be in another 4 months time, SN got worried. Due to Faridah’s condition (she had defaulted her appointments before this and her CD4 had gone down) the doctor wants her to start her antiretroviral (ARV) soonest. However, if she continues to stay with her MIL, we can be very sure she will not be compliant in taking her ARV.
You can teach Faridah that she’s supposed to take her medication, say at 10 am for example, but Faridah isn’t even able to tell the time. Seriously! And since her MIL is also unwell, we can’t depend on her MIL to be reminding her either. And nobody else stays there with them. In other words, for as long as Faridah continues to stay with her MIL, there is no point letting her start her ARV. Her side of the family, as mentioned in my earlier posting, is not willing to take her to stay with them, which was why they wanted her to go to a shelter home.
I had earlier agreed to help them find a place for Faridah after her iddah is over – at that time I had not discussed with SN or the doctor about her condition. But after listening to SN, I must agree that the sooner Faridah gets proper care, the better.
So this morning I called up the person in charge at a shelter home for HIV+ Muslim women, and she had no problem accepting Faridah anytime. I then called up Faridah’s SIL, the one I met last week. After explaining things to her, she too agreed that maybe we shouldn’t wait until the iddah is over. I also asked if they could arrange to send Faridah to KL themselves, and by the sound of it, I think it shouldn’t be a problem. Since she will be bringing Faridah for another appointment in Ipoh GH next week, we agreed to meet up and discuss matters further then. I’d need them to decide on a date so I can inform the person in charge at the shelter home.
So far the women I had arranged to send to shelter homes had been young 20-something year old women. This is the first time I’m arranging to send an HIV+ woman who’s almost half a century old to a shelter home. Well, at least part 1 of the problem is settled…