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)
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Thursday, 21 July 2016

And another baby is born...

Ever since I was confirmed as a Buddy more than a decade ago, I was assigned to quite a number of pregnancy cases. From married pregnant ladies, unwed teenage (or even adult) pregnancies, rape cases etc, I'm quite used to dealing with HIV+ pregnant females. Once I even had to go out in the wee hours of the morning to send an unwed pregnant HIV+ teenager to the hospital because she was about to deliver much earlier than anticipated. I've even met a young lady who never married but when her case was referred to me, she was already pregnant for the 7th time. And would you believe it, her mother until now only knows of one of the 7 pregnancies because this young lady gave all but one of her babies away. I've met a married couple who tried all sorts of DIY abortion methods because they thought the baby would sure be infected with HIV if born (but none of the methods worked and after much coaxing, they finally agreed to tell the doctor and eventually the wife gave birth to healthy boy).

I thought I had seen them all. Yet, I was caught off-guard when I went to visit Dahlia today. Dahlia, a single mother with 6 children, also has a teenage daughter, Adila, who was once raped and got pregnant. Both Dahlia and her daughter Adila decided to keep the child after Adila gave birth to a baby girl about 1 1/2 years ago. When I last went to visit Dahlia about a week before Raya, Dahlia only told me that she felt a bit stressed out because Adila had somehow become a bit rebellious of late. Dahlia blamed it on Adila's jealousy of her friends who aren't burdened with so many resposibilities.Today I figured out that Adila probably turned rebellious because of something else.

I was waiting to finish my Puasa 6 before going for my Raya visits. After visiting 2 families on Monday, I decided to visit Dahlia and the kids today. Yesterday I texted Dahlia to find out if she'd be home. When she said she had a hospital appointment in the morning, I asked if she expected to be home by 11 am. She felt it shouldn't be a problem. I promised I'd call her once I arrived in town.

When I called about 10.40 am, I called Dahlia to ask where she was. When she said she was still at the hospital, I told her I'd drop by the hospital first. She just said okay without telling me anything else, so I assumed she was at the ID clinic. Parked my car, went straight to the ID clinic to see if she was there. When I couldn't find her in front, I went to the back door to see if she was there. The staff nurse then came out and was surprised to see me. She thought I got my dates wrong and came for my clinic duty. The moment I told the staff nurse I was there to see Dahlia, her first reaction was, "Oh, akak dah tau ya?" "Tau apa?" I asked. "Dia dah beranak!" the nurse replied.

I totally did not expect that! Apparently I wasn't the only one who didn't know about Dahlia's pregnancy, even the doctors and nurses at the ID clinic weren't aware of her pregnancy as they were never told. They only knew after the nurse at the maternity ward called to inform them. During Dahlia's last appointment at the ID clinic (which was a week before Raya), they did query her if she was taking her medication on time etc because her CD4 dropped and her viral load increased, but she only told them how stressed she was with Adila's attitude. She never even hinted that she was pregnant. With her chubby figure, her pregnancy wasn't obvious. So no, none of us figured out she was pregnant. Not the doctors, not the nurses, and no, not I.

After a while, Dahlia finally texted me to ask if I was already at the hospital and where we should meet. I called to ask her where she was exactly and when she said she was at the new building, I told her I'd wait for her at the main lobby of that building. Again, she never mentioned about the baby or why she was there.

When she finally arrived at the main lobby to see me, she was alone. I told her to wait outside the lobby while I went to get my car. The moment she got into my car, the first thing I asked was, "Kenapa tak bagitau ID clinic?" She smiled sheepishly and said, "Saya takut kena marah, puan."

Sigh... she's afraid she'd get scolded? How long did she think she could keep the secret? I told her she'd better not miss her next appointment at the ID clinic just because she thinks the doctor might scold her. She just may get scolded, not because she got pregnant, but because she didn't inform them.

Anyway, Dahlia gave birth to a baby boy a week ago, in addition to her earlier children age ranging from 3 to 17 years. Which means she now has a son who is younger than her granddaughter who is now 1 1/2 years old.

I hope I won't have to deal with any more "surprise" babies...

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

And my Raya rounds begin...

Having completed my puasa 6 last Saturday, this week I decided to start visiting my clients. Wan, a pregnant client of mine, had been asking me to come by her roti canai stall since last week. I told her I wanted to finish the additional 6 days of fasting first.

So yesterday I decided to start off my Raya rounds by visiting her roti canai stall. Hey, it's not often that you get served with roti canai for Raya ok? Wan looked a whole lot happier compared to the last time I met her in Ipoh GH in June. Back then she was almost at the verge of crying with the problems she had to face (in fact when I spoke to her earlier on the phone, she was actually crying, I couldn't understand what she was saying). Later when she mentioned about needing some cash to start selling roti canai after Raya, I gave them a small amount from my charity account, courtesy of generous friends who donated money through me.

They started the roti canai stall on the 2nd day of Raya. And business so far had been good. The best part was that the lady who owns the stall, let them sell roti canai there without charging them anything. She felt she too would benefit by having them there, because she only sells drinks, rice & other dishes. So by having Wan and her husband selling roti canai there, those who do not wish to have rice may still drop by to eat roti canai, and the drinks will still have to be ordered from the stall owner. She even allowed Wan & husband to use her tables, plates, etc.

I told Wan to make sure they keep a good relationship with the stall owner, and once they start making enough money, to at least give the lady a token amount on monthly basis.

As I was about to leave and wanted to pay, Wan's husband insisted that it was on them. Both Wan and himself repeatedly thanked me for helping out with the initial capital. It may have been just a small amount (I only gave them RM200), but to them it was huge.

I then headed over to visit Fuzi, who stays nearby. I called her first, just to be sure she was home. She took the day off from work at a vegetable farm, so she was home. Some of you blog readers may still remember Fuzi, the Indonesian lady who was facing all sorts of problems when I was first assigned to her case. I used to visit her on monthly basis without fail not only to send groceries but also to check on the problems she had to face. Some problems involving her children's ICs and citizenship status were eventually solved, but her youngest son's problem has yet to be resolved. The boy was born out of a rape case after Fuzi's husband died, and so, unlike his older siblings, he doesn't have a Malaysian father. In fact, he doesn't even have a father. His main problem now is, despite being 10 years of age, he still can't go to school except a Sekolah Agama Rakyat.

Despite all that, Fuzi's family is living a better life now. With her eldest daughter in a local university and her 2nd daughter waiting for the results of her UPU application, things are going quite well. Even Fuzi's son Hafiz (Fuzi's 3rd child) who had been giving his mother problems all these while and stopped going to school after form 4, is a changed young man. He started working in another state, away from his old gang of naughty boys, and since then, has become more responsible. He even buys clothes and shoes for his mother now.

Not bad for one day of Raya rounds, getting positive feedback from the 2 families. Hope to visit more families later this week.