Our voluntary duties at the ID Clinic at Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun are usually on Wednesdays. In the past, it used to be on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month. Then with special request from the ID Clinic, and with the availability of more teams of volunteers from our side, we started sending volunteers to the ID Clinic every Wednesdays (except the 5th Wednesdays of the months, if any).
However, since last month, the ID Clinic had set the appointments of newly referred cases to either Mondays or Thursdays. That means the chances of us being referred any new cases on Wednesdays are very very slim. There’s no point sending in volunteers when we already know that the chances of being referred any new case is slim.
We don’t have enough volunteers to go for clinic duties twice a week, so going on both Mondays and Thursdays is out of the question. And so, during our Board meeting last month, we decided to opt for Mondays.
So yes, since my clinic duties are on the 2nd and 4th week of each month, yesterday was my first Monday clinic duty. I used to have a terrible time looking for a parking space near the hospital whenever I went for my clinic duties. Then when the hospital started their shuttle van services, seeing that not many people use them, I wasn’t sure if I should use them either.
But the parking nightmare got even worse lately ever since a part of the parking lot at the hospital is no longer available as they are constructing a new building there. People now simply park by the roadside of the busy road in front of the hospital, right to across the road just beside Anderson School. While most people are still not using the free shuttle van services (either they aren’t aware of its existence or they aren’t sure if the service is good enough for them), I no longer wanted to endure all the trouble of finding a parking space for my car. So yep, I have been making full use of the free shuttle van services for quite some time now. All I need to do is to park my car at the velodrome parking (which so happens to be very near my kampong), and take the shuttle van from there. Easy peasy!
Anyway, 2 cases were referred to me yesterday. Both men. One 50 year old man, married but has yet to tell his wife. I told him that his wife not only needed to know, but she’d need to get tested as well. He promised he’d inform his wife ASAP, and I offered him my help, telling him that if his wife needed a woman to talk to, she could count on me. Meanwhile, I have assigned a male volunteer to be his buddy, and I’ve told the assigned volunteer to follow up on him later, to make sure he had indeed informed his wife.
The second case was a young guy, still single. He claimed he only had sex with one girlfriend and he had never taken drugs before. However, when he started getting ill, the girlfriend simply left him and even changed her phone number so he wouldn’t be able to get hold of her.
But while he is staying with his parents, he doesn’t want his parents to know. He doesn’t want his mother to worry.
He does however, need someone to talk to. And that’s where we come in. He welcomed the idea of having a buddy assigned to him. And he welcomed it more when I told him I’d assign an HIV+ volunteer to be his buddy. Someone he can freely talk to about his health condition. Someone he can relate with. Someone he can really open up to.