Renu's Week

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Report of 7 Dec '09

Hello from the Banyan -

When I joined med school, a senior who was married and a parent told us that there were some days we just would not read - kid emergencies, school activities, family matters might interrupt. I thought then that I would move Heaven and Earth to get time to read. Now I know what he was speaking of - this past week, my grand goal of reading professional material for an hour a day simply could not be accomplished: ferrying kids, school meetings, parent in town. All the activities were exhausting, but fulfilled my role as wife, mother, daughter, chauffeur, etc.

The B's server was not working this morning, as usual, so I could not get online and managed to take the time to read. I have taken to wandering around with a professional journal or 2 and squeak in some time to read.

I got some lovely wishes for Thanksgiving from U.S. friends. We remembered with great nostalgia the meal(s) at the home of our San Antonio neighbor and dear friend, Aurora. She would start the TG meal early, use our oven at will and to our great delight, and then call us when the food was ready. We took over, at most, brownies. An el grande pigout would result, and the 3 men still wax eloquent about it, rhapsodizing about each dish. Navin, who is trying fervently to turn vegetarian, said he'd make an exception for Ms. Aurora's turkey. :) Nice to have such friends, I tell you. We were thankful for several things at TG, including the fact that our Indy YMCA friend, David, has found a job.

There is a patient at the B, Ms. Ma, who is non-verbal. She has gestured that her back hurts, we have sent her for an xray, and there is no fracture. She continues to point to her back and grimace, and I have requested a second opinion on the xray. We need to listen to our patients, especially the non-verbal ones. Ms. Ma has the loveliest smile, which lights up her eyes and entire face, and I am the privileged recipient of it every day. As I looked around the Banyan one day, surrounded by women whose families do not want them at all, I thought to myself that we who work at the B were indeed blessed that we could take care of these ladies, provide them a safe harbor and a chance to redeem their self-esteem, and avail an opportunity to receive some wonderful smiles. I give Ms. Ma an extra wave every day, just to get the extra smile. Last Thursday, I was in a very bad mood due to Teenage Turbulence at home, and spent a bit longer with Ms. Ma, at the end of which I felt better.

What are we giving the Banyan patients? Little, compared to what they give us.

We were driving home one evening after picking Navin up from school, and there was an accident in front of us. I usually stop at accidents and render aid. Navin came with me to the scene, and we saw that a lady had fallen off her scooter. She had a gash on her head and seemed a bit distraught about events and a tad fainty, but overall, she was fine; not fine enough to ride her vehicle, I told her, but fine enough to go home and rest. This is the reason I stop: to give all those involved a sense of the true story, and try and ease some panic. I washed off her wound, and reassured her she was okay; she did want to get evaluated at any nearby clinic and I said that was unnecessary, but alright. Listen to the patient. As we left and got into the car, Navin said, "She should have worn a helmet." Bingo. We got out of the car again, went back to the scene and told her; she mentioned that she had forgotten the helmet due to being in a bit of a hurry due to her exams, and we suggested that she remember at all times.

My father returned from his conference and blew through town again, struggling with his asthma that had worsened due to the cold in Delhi. We got him at the airport and helped him and his colleagues board the train to Madurai. They had tons of luggage, and Scott, my slender husband with a strength that belies his frame, helped heave all the bags onto the train. He touched my Dad's feet, a sign of great respect in Indian culture, and my Dad got so choked up he could not speak. It is nice to have a husband who relates so well to his in-laws and to our culture.

We saw the movie "Ninja Assassin," as one son wanted to. It was at best, a B-movie, but I enjoy seeing fit people on screen, and the training process for martial arts, so it was not a total loss. The new goal is a hand-stand pushup, as the star Rain did onscreen; I have a while to go, yet, but the goal remains. :)

Naren's play is this week (a total of 10 performances) and rehearsals have been hectic. Navin has an exam this week and studying is on. Ultimately, what these boys make of themselves is up to themselves alone; we are grateful that they are unfailingly kind to those who have much less than them.

Unw -



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