THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Thursday, 3 October 2013

A day (half a day actually) at Taiping Hospital

I now no longer worry about finding a parking space when I go for my clinic duties, be they in Ipoh or in Taiping. For Ipoh clinic duties, I’d just park my car at the velodrome parking and use the free shuttle van service from there. As for Taiping, they do have multi-level parking and so far I have had no problem parking there, although most of the time I’d only be able to find vacant parking space at the 4th or 5th floor of the 6 storey parking.

Today I was on duty for the Taiping ID clinic. I got there quite early, and when I took a peek at the doctor’s room, I was told there’d be one new case to be referred, but as at that moment, the patient was not there yet.

So yep, I headed over to our make-shift counselling room (the prayer room actually) and waited there. While I brought along my YES huddle, and the signal was very clear outside the building, once I got into the building, there was no signal at all. The hospital has its own WIFI, but not knowing the password, I wasn’t able to connect to the internet.

With one less available thing to do while waiting, I ended up playing some word games on my android tablet. After almost 1 1/2 hours of waiting, finally the nurse came to tell me that a patient needed to see Buddies.

In came a lady in her fifties, accompanied by a man of about the same age. When I asked which one was the patient, the guy pointed his finger to the lady.

“Encik ni siapa?”

“Saya suami dia?”

“Encik dah buat ujian darah belum?”

“Belum, nak selesaikan masalah penyakit dia ni dulu, lepas tu baru check saya pulak.”

The moment I started asking some history on how she found out about her HIV, they decided to call their son. Thank goodness, it was much easier to communicate with the son then with the couple.

Apparently this lady already knew about her HIV more than 6 years ago, not long after her first husband passed away. I didn’t ask much about the first husband, but her children were the ones who arranged for their mother to get tested.

So this wasn’t a new case after all. But the lady only went for follow up for a short while and after that stopped going altogether. According to the son, the doctor did mention that the lady’s CD4 was quite low but because she felt okay, she didn’t bother to go for follow up appointments. And when she remarried, she already knew about her HIV but did not inform her 2nd husband.

That was until recently when she started feeling weaker and weaker. When I asked if she had any other illnesses, they all said no, “just HIV”. I guess they didn’t really understand. When I asked if she was already on medication, I was told she needs to take 10 different pills each day. 10? Ahh, so she does have other complications other than (or rather, arising from) HIV.

Anyway, the son wanted me to talk to the mother, to give her some encouragement. I told her she needs to be really disciplined with her medication in addition to seeking help from God. I told her she needed to think positively. She looked like the overly sensitive type of person, and true enough, she herself admitted she’d easily cry if anyone scolded or raised their voice at her. I guess she meant her husband, because immediately her husband said, “alah, biasalah tu, sekali-sekala meninggi suara sikit, dari masa sihat dulu pun memang macam tu.”

I told them I couldn’t help them much. All I could do was give them advice, The rest, was up to them, especially the lady. She did say she wanted to get better, and so I made her promise she’d be positive about the whole thing, adhere to her medication and have faith in God.

It will not be easy, but I do hope she has the right attitude in facing the situation. Her son seemed very supportive, so at least that’s a good sign.

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