The moment I walked into the HIV clinic this morning, SN told me about the guy whose transportation to a shelter home in Penang was sponsored by us some time ago. The guy ended up leaving the shelter home just like that without even notifying the management of the place. I guess all he wanted was a place to stay where he could do as he liked without being subjected to rules and regulations.
According to SN, the guy passed away last Sunday. I asked SN who claimed his body since he was homeless. SN never thought about that. She said she’d check with the mortuary to find out.
There were supposed to be 3 new cases today but when I first got to the clinic, none had turned up yet. But it didn’t take long before the first case was referred to me. One of the junior nurses at the HIV clinic came in and behind her was a guy on a wheelchair helped by another nurse from a district hospital where the guy had been hospitalised for the past month.
Nizam was initially hospitalised for Hep C and TB, and subsequent tests found him to be HIV infected. In addition, he was also diagnosed with cerebral toxoplasmosis.
Well, he didn’t talk much. Even the questions I asked, he’d just give me a single word answer. I ended up just giving him our brochure and the number to call in case one day he needed to talk to someone.
The next case referred was Lim, a guy in his early 50’s who couldn’t speak much Malay. I was on duty alone today so didn’t have any Chinese-speaking volunteer to help me out. Luckily Lim came with his brother who could at least speak broken Malay.
Lim had been diagnosed HIV+ since 2 years ago when he was working overseas. He had already been on HAART before he came back to Malaysia and so his case wasn’t really a new case. I didn’t really have to brief him about HIV as he was already well informed. But with his asthmatic problem in addition to his HIV, is unable to work and while he is currently staying alone in a rented house (he is unmarried), his financial needs are being covered by his siblings. Since the siblings aren’t well off either, the brother was hoping some sort of welfare help could be arranged for Lim.
Next case referred was another single Chinese guy, in his late 50’s. Again, this wasn’t a newly diagnosed case. Tan had been diagnosed since more than ten years ago and had been going for his follow ups in KL but when he moved back to Ipoh to stay with his mother, he didn’t bother to get a referral letter and so didn’t go for any more follow-ups until recently when he finally decided he’d better arrange to see the doctor so he could start on his HAART soon enough if his CD4 level plunged.
While I was still talking to Tan, SN walked in with another guy to be referred to me. Again, this wasn’t a newly diagnosed case. But according to SN, he needed to talk to someone about the future of his wife and children.
Imran was diagnosed HIV+ since a few years ago and had been on HAART for 3 years. Ever since diagnosed, Imran had been working hard to earn some income for his family and did so quite successfully by setting up his own small business, with the help of his wife. However, of late he had been unwell, easily feeling tired… sometimes to the extent that he had to close shop as early as noon. This had affected his business and so Imran is worried what would happen to his wife and children should he die in the near future. With 3 children, all still in primary school, they have a long way to go to complete schooling.
I assured Imran that we should be able to help out with the children’s schooling. Just as I was about to suggest that he employs someone to help out with his business, Imran mentioned about wanting to employ a worker so that the business can still continue even when he’s not around, but for the moment he doesn’t have enough capital to do so. He had gone to a bank to apply for a loan. Loan was approved but he needed a guarantor, something he couldn’t get. I suggested to him to seek assistance from agencies like MARA to help out.
I could see that Imran wanted to say more to me, but by this time he already had tears in his eyes. He somehow felt that his time will come in the not so distant future and he’s afraid he won’t be able to put the business on track for his wife to just take over when the time comes…