Renu's Week

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Report of 14 Oct '09

Hello from the Banyan -

Always good for the doc to know what it feels like to be a patient. I have a stomach ache today and have been short-tempered and irritable. It does not hurt to be this way at the Banyan; as Scott's friend, Craig, and I discussed, it's always good to have a bit of an edge if you want to get anything done. Niceness does not go very far at all.

The B has been good, but with "creative chaos," as our new CEO calls it. Everything is done at the last minute, with massive pandemonium and late nights, but it gets done. I can't usually work this way in the medical world, and thus there is a lot of adjusting to do. But there is grand good humor all around, and we can live.

I am thunderstruck to find that Ms. SA, whose recovery from a stroke was so magnificently achieved by our physical therapist, has had another stroke. Her blood thinner had been inadvertently left off her list of meds, and she had not received it for a lengthy period; I am trying to find out why. And now, the second stroke. It is a massive stroke, and the patient can respond to her name, but that's all. I look at her, and I consider her present condition a personal failure; yes, I was not here when the error occurred, but that's irrelevant as it is my team that takes care of this patient's affairs, especially medical. And I am in charge of said team.

On a good note, one of the sweepers at the B had told me a couple of years ago that her adult, married son was not to be seen or heard from. She had asked his in-laws and replies had been vague. She is a widow, with an only child, and wanted to find her son. Having 2 of my own, I could completely relate, and thus spoke with Vandana (one of the founders of the B) and the social workers, and a massive effort was planned. The first step involved procuring his photograph, and the lady did not have one. The exercise looked like it would be derailed before it began, but no one wanted to give up. So we kept after the lady to get his photo (maybe from the in-laws), or ask relatives, or inform us his last point of contact, etc. I used to get periodic updates from her over the years as she consulted astrologers (very, very common here), investigated with relatives, etc. Yesterday, I heard from her that he had been found. I was elated! He has remarried, apparently, and the mother states that there is little she can do about that. The first wife has stated she does not want any part of married life; it is not unheard of at all for multiple wives to maintain separate households and lead some kind of lives, though polygamy is eminently illegal in Hindu law. So there we are; I am very happy that this mother has located her son, and it so showed in my eyes that this lady pinched my cheeks and kissed her hands, a gesture used to show affection.

Some fine times last week. A nice volunteer from the U.K. named Karen spent a night with us and that was fun. Karen is married and has a stepson, and we found we could talk about all manner of things; wifehood and motherhood are so universal, aren't they. The men enjoyed meeting Karen as well. For Game Night this week, we played "Outburst Junior," and it was hilarious, as any game with the boys is wont to be. The game involves narrating a list of examples of a particular title, e.g., "Girl Scout Badges," and the boys deliberately distorted sane titles such as those to "Species of Turkey," and "Broccoli-eating Weasels." It was a blast. On Sunday, the boys and I saw a Tamil movie called "Eeram," while Scott was at a meeting of the committee of our apartment complex (the president had asked me to be on the committee and I'd pointed out that Scott was a much better candidate, being rational and intelligent and patient). Then all 4 of us saw "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." I, of course, salivated at Mr. Jackman, and the men enjoyed the movie for reasons of their own. The boys then went off to see a play, and Scott and I (being big Richard Gere fans) saw "Nights on Rodanthe," which was dreadful.

A vat of chocolate pudding was made on Sunday, which is a communal endeavor: someone has to dissolve the gelatin, someone makes the chocolate sauce, yet another the coffee, and then the whole mess is whisked together to make a somewhat foul dish, but one the men enjoy. The joy is in cooking together, and for me, marvelling that the men eat this stuff.

Unw -



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