When I got to the ID clinic this morning, the nurse told me there were 4 new cases to be referred. Wow! It had been quite some time since there were any more than 2 new cases referred to us in a day. In fact during many of our clinic duties of late, there’d be no new cases referred at all.
I was actually anticipating a busy day at the clinic after the nurse told me there were 4 cases to be referred. I waited and waited… yet no cases were referred. Thinking that the nurse might be busy (2 of the regular ID clinic nurses were on leave) to refer the cases to the support service room, I went over to the doctor’s room. The nurse then told me that she needed to refer 2 cases, the other 2 new cases didn’t want/need support service.
One of them was seeing the doctor at that very moment, so I’d have to wait until the doctor was done. The other one was still waiting for her turn to see the doctor, so might as well let her see me first. So I took the file and the nurse brought the patient to the support service room.
The new case was of a 26 year old female who recently found out about her HIV infection during the mandatory pre-marital testing. She’s supposed to get married this coming November. The rapid test done on her came out reactive, while her partner’s was non-reactive. After thinking things over, her partner decided to call off the wedding.
She was devastated of course, firstly to find out that she HIV+, and secondly when her partner decided to call off the wedding. But her own mother had been emotionally supportive, and that helped her a lot.
Her eyes did seem a bit watery when we started talking, but after a while, she became more and more comfortable. I started joking with her and it was good to see her laughing. I am pretty sure her family support played a major role.
She welcomed the idea about being assigned a buddy. I think I’m going to give her some time, and observe to see if she has what it takes to become a volunteer herself. Unlike most of my female clients, this one is financially independent and doesn’t have any children to support. Getting herself busy by becoming a volunteer might help increase her own confidence.
The other case referred today was that of a young guy with CD4 of only 1. He was warded for lung infections and difficulty in breathing and initially he thought it was due to the haze. But his blood test results showed that he was HIV+. For the time being, nobody in his family knows of his HIV status even though he is staying with his parents. He’s simply not ready to share the info with anyone. While he agreed to be assigned a buddy, his condition was that the buddy shouldn’t visit or call him at home.
So yes, we will respect his request. The assigned buddy will not visit him at home.