Renu's Week

Monday, August 31, 2009

Report of 31 Aug '09

Hello from Indiana -

My neighbor has Persian music playing, and it is haunting and soul-stirring. Where would we be without music? Probably savage beasts.

A giant triumph occurred this week. I have mentioned often about patients asking for unwarranted items like narcotic pain meds and Disability paperwork. A couple of weeks ago, I had a patient, Ms. X, who had apparently been successful in getting excuses for work absenteeism (longer than her illness) from elsewhere. She told me during our appointment that she had missed work the previous day due to a therapist's appointment, and wanted a note from me to that effect; I stated that I could give her a note about my appointment, but certainly not the therapist's and suggested she ask the therapist. I finished my examination, and then the patient started crying, speaking of numerous emotional stressors; the astute front office staff had warned me beforehand of this modus operandi, and I held the patient's arm, told her she could take her time to compose herself and left the room. She later got the note she wanted from another doctor and the nurse who "runs" me (rooms my patients and assists me in other ways) told me several days later that Ms. X had come to our office to make an appointment, stated that she was there to see my colleague (whose name she apparently stressed), and said, "And no, I will not see Dr. Weiss." Quel joy, quel achievement. I slept well that night. It's the types that want to wear you down into giving what they want that are the bigger challenge, but there is much joy in handling - in any fashion, other than succumbing to - the demands of such patients as Ms. X.

Some fine interactions last week - ran into Kurt Broderick at St. V. He's a pharmacist, a wonderful sort and someone who has always been interested in my work, annually making hefty donations in cash or kind (crayons and markers when we tutored). It was great to run into Kurt and we talked a fair amount. I spent a Saturday evening at the home of a new friend, Cindy Belloli, with several of her friends playing euchre and it was a fun, fun time. I took a tap class with a different instructor and enjoyed it. Most of the weekend was spent with in-laws and, as always, it was filled with merriment, fun, laughter and copious food including some delicious watermelon. I have been struggling with a relative wildly strewing the seeds of disharmony in our family, which is very novel to me and something I do not relish: I have seen those with little family support, and have always felt grateful that both Scott and I have robustly good family. Talking of this relative and the antics was therapeutic, and Scott's mother and aunt had a lot of sage insight and perspective, as well as a hefty dose of humor.

Saturday night was spent at the home of Kris and Gabe, seeing movies ad infinitum ("Burn after Reading," "He's just not that into you," "Blade Runner"). It was lovely. I saw "Shrink" yesterday, and being a big Kevin Spacey fan, liked it a lot. And then, the coup-de-grace: we went to a Moody Blues concert. The last time they had played in "my" city (Philadelphia), tickets were sold out and I was sorry. This time, tix were plentifully available and affordable ($35); Colleen, Sonja, Carolyn and I went. (When Naren heard that, he said, "Fun!" Navin said, "Moody Blues?") Anyhoo, the concert was fabulous and there's something so nice about hearing live music, especially when it's familiar. The weather was crisp and cool, I had an outdoor blanket lent by Kris, there were good friends and nice people and apples and chocolate-covered almonds around, the music was fabulous, and all in all, it was an evening to remember.

As I told the Weiss men, I am ready to head home. Time to get to smiling, happy, grateful people and those who would smile in the midst of grinding poverty, those who do not know what they do not have.

Unw -



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