Renu's Week

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Report of 5 June '08

Hello from Carmel library -

What a place this is. And free. Internet, magazines, newspapers, books - free. Anyone can just walk in and read. Quel paradise.

So, I have a day off today. The clinic I work at has Saturday hours and physicians take turns working. This Sat, I will. Last weekend, the Weiss family rented a minivan and drove with Colleen Taber to the East Coast. We stayed with cousins Jeff and Anne in Philadelphia, which was absolutely great fun, then toddled to JFK the following morning and dropped the men off. We turned around and drove to Indy, and it was a fun drive - 2 stops to change drivers, and at the last stage, we put in an audio book and that was lovely. (I remember using an audio book during long drives when we lived here; at about the time the boys got crabby on hour 8 of an 11-hour drive, we'd toss in the tape and all would listen, riveted.) I held my breath until hearing that the men had reached safely, as safe arrival is a great blessing.

Last week had some fun times, too. Carolyn Scanlan- and Will Craighead were gracious enough to lend us their house, and the 3 Weiss men and I cooked Indian food. We were privileged to see Kris Rea and Gabe Soukup and their darling daughters, Isabella and Rosalia; Diane, Pat, Sarah and Daniel Healey; Rich Bastian; Kirk, Daneal and Kirsten Holston; Mandy, John, Nick, Sam, Sophie and Olivia Sparzo; Scott Semester; Shilpa, Ravi and Keerthi Mallur; Colleen, Mark and Christopher Taber; Sonia and Anna Inger; and my boss, Terrance Drake. We had a grand time with everyone; to a person, all were easygoing and delightful, and the day was so beautiful that Naren and Navin entertained the children outside. Email id's were exchanged, and ostensibly, N and N made a prank call in a heavy Indian accent to a guest's friend; such is the stuff memories are made of. Our children and Christopher Taber went to the home of Maryam Massoumi and her husband, Ali, the day before we left for Philly; the boys adore her children, Rostam and Golbarg, and enjoyed the evening immensely. We were privileged to meet Maryam's mother - such a treat - and see her friend, Atafeh, again. It was a nice, genteel evening, full of the courteous hospitality Iranis are renowned for.

Work is on in earnest, now that I am full-time. Rural Indiana has its share of strange people. A nurse at work told me that she had a couple of skinhead parents once, complete with swastika tattoos, and strange messages; their child was named Violence, and the name had to be written starting with the Roman numeral for 6 - VIolence. And I thought the "Aryan Nation" tattoo was odd. I had a patient yesterday who proceeded to rant and rave at us for not controlling his pain; I asked if he would like to see another doctor, as I did not appreciate being yelled at on the first visit. No other doctor will see him. I told him he needed to lose some weight, he said he had trouble walking, and I offered swimming as an option; he had a counter for every suggestion I made, and then stated that he could not be around swimming pools as he was a convicted sex offender. My. He then proceeded to bleat about how poor he was, and I'd had it - I told him where I worked during the year, and stated that my patients in India could not even afford the Nike headband he was wearing. He told the nurse later that I did not appear to know what I was doing, and he could be right; there have been occasions when patient illnesses have mystified me. It is a bloody shame, however, that Americans cannot appreciate what they do have, and must always hark after something else.

I had another patient, a young lady with wild makeup on, who came in with Herpes. Her husband (now ex-) had apparently given her the disease, and the pain interrupted her work as an exotic dancer. I looked at the young woman, still so young under all the vivid paint, cautioned her about other diseases and the need for condom use; as happens so often during my practice in India and the U.S., I again felt the need to kiss the ground my parents walk on. Thank goodness they stayed married in spite of very tough times, slaved for the poor, showed us by example that all are equal, emphasised education (there was never an option for us not to go to college), have powerful senses of humor, and always, always gave us stability of spirit and composure. So none of us was motivated to go into risky professions, or choose lousy spouses, or waft about in the wind with no sense of worth.

Lakers and Celtics tonight. Our beloved team, the Spurs, is regretfully out of the tournament. My current favorite - anyone but the Lakers. Young Mr. Bryant is not an example I wish to adore or cheer for; those successful athletes who do not let adulation go to their heads are truly exceptional.

I'd better wind up. Enjoy your week.

Unw -



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