I was on clinic duty again yesterday. This time alone because the trainee volunteer who usually joins me on 4th Wednesdays was outstation. Not a problem for me since I’m already used to doing my duty alone.
There were supposed to be a few new cases, but after more than an hour, still no cases were referred. I was beginning to get sleepy and bored (I am known as the “tak reti dok diam” type) when a familiar looking lady walked in smiling. It was Kak Mar, a client referred to me a few months back. Kak Mar is one of the very few clients older than I am.
Kak Mar, being the happy go lucky and chatty type, loves to have new friends. Being relatively new as a client of Buddies (before this she was in another state) she had yet to meet most of the other volunteers and clients. Needless to say, she’s excited to join us for our Family Day this coming Sunday. She will be coming with her youngest daughter, who loves outdoor activities and is just as excited to join the Family Day.
The youngest daughter is still of schooling age, and I thought she’s in form 5. Apparently she’s supposed to be in form four this year, but I was quite surprised to find out yesterday that the girl had actually stopped schooling since last year without even sitting for her PMR. Kak Mar was at that time, bedridden, and so the girl decided to stop schooling to take care of her mother. Her other siblings, all married, hardly even call to ask how they were doing.
When Kak Mar got better, she did try to arrange for the girl to go back to school, but the girl was no longer interested. So now Kak Mar works as a cook at a canteen, while the girl works at the same place, washing the dishes. Hmmm… not good, she may be okay now, but what about her future? I asked Kak Mar if the girl had any special interests. Seems the girl loves sewing. And when I suggested that the girl takes up a proper sewing course, Kak Mar agreed that her daughter would indeed be interested. At least a skill which can be used as a good source of income for her!
Anyway, I told Kak Mar I myself will be fetching her & her daughter at the bus station this coming Sunday. So we will meet again soon, insyaAllah.
Right after Kak Mar left the room, finally the nurse came in with a couple to be referred. New case, she said, but when I spoke to them, I found out that there wasn’t much that needed to be explained to them. They may be newly referred to Ipoh GH, but both husband & wife had been on HAART for a few years already. They just moved back to Perak recently. The husband’s CD4 had increased to 800+ while the wife’s was 400+. Certainly an improvement because when they were first diagnosed, their CD4 was only circa 100+.
Later in the afternoon, I went to visit Imran. I had earlier called on Monday to confirm if he and his family would be joining our Family Day. We needed to confirm the number of pax and in previous years’ Family Day events, we’ve had clients who decided to pull out without even informing us. Apparently on the day that I called Imran, that very morning he was involved in a motor accident. And so he and his family had no choice but to pull out.
On Tuesday, Imran sent me a message, asking if I had a wheelchair he could borrow temporarily until he gets better. Coincidently we do have a wheelchair at the centre. It was supposed to be for Sofie’s use but Sofie never had the chance to use it. She passed away before I could deliver the wheelchair to her. I did tell Imran that I’d try to deliver the wheelchair either Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning, and so when I went yesterday afternoon, I didn’t bother to call first. Depending only on the address I got in the first contact report, and my ever faithful GPS, I set off to Imran’s house.
Just when I arrived, I saw Imran’s wife outside. Ahh, so I got the right house. They were quite surprised to see me, probably because they didn’t expect me so early and they thought I would have called to ask for directions. Imran’s wife, Yati, was getting ready to bring Imran to the hospital again. They went earlier in the morning for x-ray, but there were so many people, by lunch time they couldn’t get to see the doctor yet. So they were going again in the afternoon with the x-ray to see the doctor.
For the moment, Imran will be unable to work. Being self-employed, not working means no income. So the wife has started making putu kacang samples to be sold for Raya. I saw the samples in small tupperwares in their living room. I had helped Wani get customers for the sale of her Raya cookies for the past few years, and so I thought why not help this family too. Besides, Wani sells modern cookies like almond london and pineapple tarts, while Yati makes putu kacang, a traditional delicacy. And so, Yati gave me 3 of those small tupperwares as samples for me to get buyers.
Yesterday I posted the pic on my facebook page, and already I have orders for BEFORE fasting month. My friends didn’t even need samples to taste. Hopefully I can get more orders for Raya. It’s the least I can do to help the family.