Renu's Week

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Report of 29 April '09

Hello from the library at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio -

It's been a frenetic few weeks. The boys finished exams, we went to Madurai for my parents' 80th b'day celebration, took a family vacation to Dehra Dun and Amritsar to see some of the sights in our own beautiful country, caught up on a couple of Tamil movies in Chennai, the boys went to visit their aunt and cousin in Bangalore, and then I got ready to head overseas for my conference.

The conference of the American College of Physicians (ACP) is annually a good show. It's ego-less, they present data that is to help improve our practice, and all presenters are genially amenable to questions. I learnt a lot at this event, and have been going for the last 5 years. I was happy to meet some nice people at the conference, and reconnect with old friends like Rob Hansen, a classmate from med school.

In Philly, I stayed with Scott's cousins Jeff and Anne, and my friends Glenn and Beth. That was great fun. I was also privileged to see Ann Bagley, and speak to Phil Bagley on the phone. From there to Houston, where I stayed with Sharon Braxton, and saw our friends Latha and Ravi, and Tori and Jerry, and their families. All of this was magnificent and it recharged me considerably. On to San Antonio, where I went to see our dear friends Aurora and Scott, they of immense, warm kitchen fame, and their kids. Then to Linda and Dave Johnson's for 2 nights, and that was eminently therapeutic. I spoke at the med school and was pleased there was some interest in what we do in India. I was happy to see Dorothy and Vick Williams at the talk, and Kozue Shibazaki; these are nice people. Today, I got to see Greg Freeman and that was good, also.

At one venue, I was addressed as "Dr. Weiss" and was a little taken aback. For so long now (at least the last 4 months), I have focused on being a wife and mother and have forgotten that I am a doctor. We tended to a roadside emergency in Chennai before I left, and when the cops thanked me, I thought to myself that I had not done anything heroic, I had simply stopped to tend to an injured and dazed man.

Unw -


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Report of 1 Apr '09

Hello on April Fools' Day -

Navin told me there was a fly on my toast this morning and I didn't believe him. There was one, indeed; it was not intended as an April Fool's joke, flies are unfortunately very common here.

Naren is done with exams and is out jamming with friends; music is that boy's life. And movies. Navin has to contend with the postponed exam, and is not happy about it. But he will finish tomorrow. We had planned to host a giant party for both classes after the last exam, and Naren says he is not a party sort anymore, Navin's class is going to the beach, so it will be Scott and I partying - suits me well. Navin's female classmates were afraid I'd be crushed by this alternate beach plan, but it truly works for the best. We love the healthy interactions that boys and girls have here; Naren played soccer today with boys and girls, and Navin will go the beach tomorrow with his class (no bikinis will be in evidence, heck even shorts won't be).

After many days, I was at the vegetable market. All my patients there, the vendors, are holding up well, and I got lots of the best possible produce - not free, but certainly the best quality, carefully scrutinised and handpicked. It is nice to be paid thus.

The neighbor who had called me a few weeks ago called again. Her husband was not himself, "not mentating" well. So Scott (the real therapeutic presence) and I went to see him, and on my exam, I discovered that his lungs were crackly with fluid, he was retaining water in his legs, too. I thought it best that he be treated in the hospital and he balked; I understood this aversion to hospitalisation, but could not treat him at home as he wished. His daughter's a doctor and when I called her, she asked that I physically witness his getting into the car as he'd otherwise find a way to negotiate treatment at home. So Scott and I did, and the gentleman is in the hospital; he is stable. He and his wife are such wonderful sorts that I wish the best for both of them.

One of the boys' young friends (11 or 12 years old) is going through a bit of a crisis. Her father is having an affair and the mother is moving out. She spoke of this openly with the other Abacus (Navin's school) kids, and when Navin stated that she appeared to be holding up well, she asked, "What do you want me to do - burst into tears right here?" Both our sons are being extremely protective of this child, and include her in play, jokes, general hangings-out, etc. For her b'day, Naren made her a lovely poster and stuck it on her flat (apartment) door; that evening, she showed up with some sinful pastries for us that she and her mother had chosen. It was wonderful. I am so very glad that the boys' core of compassion is firmly in place.

Unw -