It has been quite a while since my clinic duty ended later than noon. Of late, there’d usually only be only one new case, maximum 2, or the case that’s supposed to be referred didn’t turn up at all.
Today however was an exception. There were 2 new cases and one old case referred, with one more case which was supposed to be referred but by the time the nurse wanted to refer the guy to us, the guy had already taken his medication and gone back. I ended up getting home only at 2pm.
The first case referred was that of an Indonesian lady married to a Malaysian. She had previously started her medication when she was in another state, when she followed her husband who initially worked in Perak, but went back to his hometown last year after he fell ill and was diagnosed HIV+. He was so weak back then that his sister decided to take him home.
Halfway through the session, the lady mentioned her husband’s name and suddenly I realised… hey, I know this guy!! Yep, I remember when his case was referred to us last year, this couple was not married yet but had been staying together for quite some time. And I remember after this guy was brought back to his hometown, his sister called me up to seek help for this Indonesian lady. You see, without a valid marriage cert, while she can get treatment from our government hospitals, she’d have to pay for the medication.
It was only then that they decided to legalise their marriage. With proof that she is married to a Malaysian, she could get free treatment just like her husband. According to her, her husband is doing much better now and has started doing odd jobs to earn an income for the family. This lady herself, who once only weighed 37kg when she first started treatment, now already weighs 52kg. So yep, it looks like things are getting better for this couple.
We had to wait a while before the next case was referred. The next case referred was actually an old case, a client of mine, Azi, whom I had lost contact with after she lost her hand phone. The nurses decided to refer her case again, because the girl has since married and is now pregnant. Her husband has so far been tested negative. They are staying together with Azi’s mother-in-law, who is excited about the prospect of getting a grandchild. The MIL however, doesn’t know that Azi has HIV, and chances are she’d want Azi to breastfeed the baby. Azi and her husband better be prepared to deal with all the questions.
There were supposed to be 2 more cases referred to us after Azi’s, which resulted in us having to wait. However, one had left after he got his supply of medication, while the other only came to see us at 1 pm. By then, another client of mine, Aini, who was warded recently, gave me a call, trying her luck to see if I was at the hospital. You see, she had an appointment at the hospital for her kidney problems, and if I was at the hospital, she wanted to see me to seek some help.
Thank goodness the last case referred to us didn’t take long as the guy has family support and didn’t really need our support services.
As I got out of the support service room, Aini and her 18 year old son were already waiting for me. Usually Aini would be accompanied by her eldest daughter Erin, but Erin is currently in her final semester at a polytechnic.
Aini wanted to seek my help as she can’t afford to settle her hospital bills. With the many procedures that she had to go through when she was warded recently, including all sorts of tests and a minor surgery, the bill came up to a subsidized amount of RM500. Previously she didn’t have any problems with hospital bills because as a recipient of monthly financial aid from the Welfare Department, all she had to do was show her welfare card and she’d be exempted from paying.
However, ever since she became weaker, Aini, together with her children, moved to her parents house. When her case got reviewed by the welfare department, her father’s pension was included as part of the household income for Aini, resulting in the monthly financial assistance for her being discontinued. Other than the monthly educational assistance she’s getting from us for her youngest son’s schooling expenses, Aini has no other source of income. Since then her father had to support them with his pension.
Thank goodness we have our Clients Welfare Fund, basically to be used for one-off payments like this one.
Anyway, Aini’s son today expressed his interest to become a volunteer. Wow! Before this his sister Erin had expressed the same to me, and now him? I am so pleased and proud of course that I managed to inspire them to do voluntary work, but today, I told him to volunteer to take good care of his mother first. It is good that he wants to be a volunteer, but a mother must always get top priority.
One fine day, when the situation is better, I can take both sister and brother under my wings and train them to become volunteers.