May 10, 2021

Ladna



One day, the sister came to me to inform about a new antenatal case coming up that we were expected to handle. It's not always, but from time to time the sister will inform doctors of any foreseeable complicated antenatal cases so that extra care is required for those patients. As the patient is from my care zone, the sister came to me, all whisper-like, of which I initially thought, "eh, sister ada hot goss ke nak cerita?"


I am only just been working here for 1 year, 5 months, and 8 days. I am also not from here. I know nothing about some of the more distinguished local people here. So when she asked me whether I knew about this one particular patient that just became pregnant, I just politely shook my head. In my head, I was already making few educated guess about what high-risk conditions that the patient had in the past. On top of my list: uncontrolled DM, pre-eclampsia, anemic, some cardiovascular conditions, etc. 


It turned out she has a myriad of social and health issues. Something like a bad apple of the community. A heavy smoker that takes occasional drugs, having multiple partners, no family members, unmarried, moving places so often that it was hard for nurses to come and check on her, has uncontrolled diabetes, but most importantly were also pregnant. The nurses all had a collective groan when they talked about her. Everyone knows something about this woman, except me. It turns out that small communities really talk the loudest.


One of the earliest issues we had was her address. She had changed partner, meaning that the one she was staying with at that time was not the one who impregnated her. She doesn't have any home, so she stayed with her current partner. But often when the nurses came to do house visit, she's not at home. She also smokes a lot, and after repeated nagging from us she cut down the smoking. She complied with the hematinics, and she went for her appointments as instructed. 


Her diabetes was manageable, but it kept us on the edge of our seat throughout her pregnancy. Our next concern next was on postpartum, on how she is going to take care of the baby once delivered. We were unsure on her family support, the logistics, etc. But she assured us that she will stay with her partner's family. We were skeptical, but didn't press on.


Her labour went well in the end. The next time I saw her was during her baby's check-up. I did a small double take when I saw her. She looked different somehow. More reserved and looked at ease with herself. She was cooing her baby while waiting for their turn, and the baby looked very healthy. The nurses all cheered her on, and I thought to myself that she was alright after all. Of course, our next management is to make sure she registered with our PPC (Pre-Pregnancy Care), and to continue her diabetes treatment. 


This week I was informed that last weekend, she came to the clinic with her now 1 year old daughter, distraught and near panic. She was bathing her daughter that morning. When the water touched her daughter's body, she cried suddenly. Her private part was red and she cried in pain when her mother touched it lightly. Fearing the worst, she brought her straight to the clinic with the heavy suspicion that her 70 year-old father in law had molested her daughter. My MA who examined her daughter brought them to police station to lodge a report before referred her immediately to the tertiary hospital. 


I was stunned silent. How cruel it must be to have this wretched accident happened to your most loved one. Her life was hard enough, and when she finally had the chance to turn over a new leaf, this devil disguised as a decrepit old man dared to molest her child? Both of them are admitted to the ward for a few days before being discharged. While admitted, I asked the nurse for a daily update on her case.


This all happened end of last year. Much had happened since then, of which I think the outcome is much regrettable. When she was discharged, she made a decision to move to her brother’s place in another state. She gave no contact details that can be reached, and the name of health clinic that she’s supposed to go was not given. I suppose she wants nothing to do with us here, seeing that being in touch with us will also trigger her trauma. I pray that she and her daughter find solace at the new place, far from the evil human can make. 


This draft has been sitting in my folder for 5 months, and in conjunction with Happy Mother’s Day. I dedicate this writing to remember the hardship all mothers endure in raising their children and hoping for a better treatment to the injustice that they have.



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