My next clinic duty in Taiping is supposed to be in early July. However, both the volunteers who are supposed to be on duty today couldn’t make it as they had to be elsewhere, and so they sought my help to switch duties with them.
And so I was in Taiping Hospital again this morning. I no longer worry about finding parking in Taiping Hospital ever since their multi-storey parking was opened to public. No luck getting parking space on the first 4 levels usually, but so far I haven’t had any problems parking my car at level 5. If you’re worried about having to walk down (and later up) the staircases for 5 or 6 floors, there’s a lift provided. As usual, I walked past the lift lobby, heading straight to the stairs. A security guard who was doing her rounds, called me and said, “Kak! Kak! Situ ada lif!” She probably thought I didn’t know there was a lift. I, on the other hand, opted for the exercise.
Anyway, the moment I got to the HIV clinic, I saw a patient just outside the room, on a stretcher. I figured that could be one of the cases to be referred to me. I checked with the nurse, and she told me there were very few appointments today, mostly old cases. The only case I may want to see she said, was the lady on the stretcher I saw outside.
But since our make-shift counselling room is the praying room just across the doctor’s room, and the lady was on a stretcher, there was no way for me to bring the lady into the praying room to talk to her there. I had no choice but to talk to her outside, with people passing by from time to time.
Of course I made sure I didn’t mention HIV and AIDS in my conversation. Even when I needed to ask, I’d just say “sakit ni” and she’d understand.
She was brought to Taiping in an ambulance from a district hospital where she was warded. According to her, her husband, who also has HIV, used to work as a bus driver, but now works as a rubber tapper to support the family. She herself used to open a food stall for some extra income for the family, but stopped doing so ever since she became too weak to work.
With 3 school-going children, all in secondary school, I’m sure it’s not easy for the family especially now that both parents are not well. I promised her we’d try to help out with the children’s education expenses. I told her I needed copies of some documents and she could either post them to me, or she can bring them along during her next appointment and pass them to the volunteer on duty.
Let’s see how it goes…