Renu's Week

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Report of 24 July '08

Hello from this wonderful library -

Hope all are well. I got an email message this morning from my older son, Naren. We were in negotiations for me to hire his band for a small fundraiser for the Banyan; I had offered to pay him and they were to set up a date. Naren's email stated that the band had discussed the offer, and that all were reluctant to take money for the show since it was a charity fundraiser. That made my day, let me tell you. We have long stated that we will never leave behind pots of money or huge houses as our legacy, and that our 2 sons will be it; it is extremely affirming to know that they can make the right decision away from us, difficult though it might be, helped considerably by input from *like-minded and wonderful* friends. I adore the boys' friends, and we have parties routinely for them. We have had wonderful conversations with said friends when they have seen fit to speak to us in the midst of a huge gathering of teenagers, and their school, Abacus, appears to have a long tradition of churning out graduates of integrity, wisdom and dignity.

Work has been wonderful. We have had some very busy days with lots of patients, and all providers have pulled together and even seen each other's patients without complaining. It helps matters considerably, I assure you, when coworkers do not complain even under mind-numbingly busy conditions and focus on getting the job done. My coworker, Grace, epitomises this and is true to her name.

One of my patients is HIV+ and is desperately poor and without insurance. He also has Hepatitis C and came to see me as his belly was full of fluid. I had to admit him, and requested that he speak to the hospital's social workers, who would be adept at finding some assistance for him. My coworker stated that his hospital course had been fine, and that he had been discharged; our social worker is hooking him up with a program for HIV+ patients. One of my other patients was in yesterday and we talked about her balking at taking an antidepressant; we discussed the pros and cons of this medicine, and when we said bye, she gave me a hug. She thanked me for listening to her, as did her husband. One can achieve great things when one hears a "Thank you."

I have taken to limiting the people in my exam room to just the patient and not the family member(s) also, unless the patient is much older, in which case collateral history is important. Many people at our clinic treat the doctor's visit as a family outing, and often children and other relatives come along, which tends to complicate the visit considerably. I feel like an enforcer, but the visit goes much, much better when I don't have friends or relatives in the room who suddenly feel compelled to embark on their own medical history to me, or feel the need to toss in all possible details about the patient, whether relevant or not.

The clinic is so great that I am not completely eager to leave, as I might otherwise be at this stage in my sojourn. Returning to my family and the Banyan, though, would be lovely. Also lovely was my get-together with Louise Hass, the former librarian at St. V; we had dinner at a Turkish restaurant and spent the evening gabbing away. Louise is a delightful world traveller, extremely erudite and intelligent, and I had a fine time. I spent time at Kris and Gabe's house watching movies - always a treat. My friend, Jan Dallas, and I had dinner and went to see "Mamma Mia," which both of us enjoyed immensely; Jan's company is good for the spirit. I got together with Carolyn and Will for dinner, also good fun, and have been privileged to meet the mother and sister of one of my hosts, Andy Simon. These ladies are high-spirited and engaging and funny, and I am a big fan of meeting family, so had a great time. Andy's Mom, Mrs. Simon, has donated money to the Banyan out of her own limited budget, and her generosity is extremely touching.

I also saw "The Dark Knight," and might be the lone Emperor's New Clothes person; I found the plot very convoluted and confusing and full of irrelevant details, and the movie entirely too long - 2.5 hours. Mr. Ledger was brilliant, of course, and I have been a huge fan of his for some time, but I have a feeling that this movie would not have been such a hit had the poor young man not died.

Unw -



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