Renu's Week

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Report of 21 Dec '09

Hello from the Banyan -

Greetings of the season! May the true meaning of Christmas, replete with peace and joy, stay with all of you throughout 2010.

The week has been alright. Patients healing, the Banyan thriving. We have had some luck with the residents escaping gastroenteritis of the monsoon, thank goodness. The rains continue, though, and I am hopeful of the best. One of my colleagues, who is from a village nearby, said that it is customary for rains to last from Diwali until Pongal (the harvest festival in January). Wow - I had not realised that at all.

Our patient with the broken arm has been advised conservative management instead of surgery. She is HIV+, and it is not surprising to see many surgeons decline to operate on HIV+ patients. This saddens me considerably, especially since a dear friend from med school is now HIV+, and I would not want this discrimination foisted on said friend. I honestly do not know if surgery is indeed necessary, or if the conservative management has been advised due to HIV status, and I have asked for a 2nd opinion. I'll find out the answer this week.

Update on the school kid: after a day of balking at going to school, she is now going regularly and happily, Swapna mentions. We need the girl children educated, I tell you; for that matter, we need all children educated, however educated girls tend to make much more sensible decisions that would haul them out of poverty, and keep them somewhat free from violence and a zillion pregnancies. So young Ms. S going to school is our Christmas gift, and we are happy for it.

The ladies who help us (Weisses) clean the house and cook appear to be getting some sort of reputation in their neighborhood about being helpful sorts, and they asked if I'd see one of their neighbors for a medical consultation. The young lady is 17 years old, a school student, and has not been getting her period regularly. So I saw her at our house, asked that she and her mother sit down (not usually offered to the "lower caste" by the "upper caste," which is too funny/ludicrous) and examined the girl. I then referred her to a nearby Public Health Center where another patient of mine had been; that young lady was well-treated, with appropriate care and the requisite dignity and respect, thus pleasing me greatly. I told the mother not to worry, that the condition was correctable, and to let the other doctors work their magic. The patient herself was unafraid and forthright, and spoke some decent English, and I was happy to see our education system at work.

Some fine times last week. We were invited to Naren's cast party, went, I danced, and we had a great time. Our friend, Anita Sigler, came into town and spent an afternoon with us; that was jolly good fun. Anita also came loaded with goodies, intent on spoiling everyone, and a grand time was had reminiscing, speaking of life as wives and parents, and laughing a bunch. We had dinner at the home of the new Banyan CEO, David Nash, and his family. They are from the U.K. and were originally going to serve South Indian food; I begged for a menu change, being a big fan of non-Indian food, and so we ate British food and it was deeee-lish. David, Kate, Naomi and James are gracious hosts, and young 10-year-old James had made a sinful dessert which all fell upon.

We are off to Madurai this week if train tickets permit, and will celebrate Christmas with my disabled mother, recently discharged from the hospital after dengue, and my father. The rest of the mob will gather as well, and we look forward to that.

The 3 Weiss men and I hope you have every gift of the season, especially peace, joy, lack of war, full bellies and non-leaky roofs.

Unw -



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