Renu's Week

Monday, May 10, 2010

Report of 10 May 2010

Hello from Indianapolis:

It is 10 May 2010 and the heat is on inside the building. It is cold outside, and so, the heat has been turned on inside. We left 104 degree weather in Chennai.

A very beautiful sight emerged at O'Hare last Tuesday. Our older son, Naren, walked through the doors - quel relief. I had asked that he cut his hair and shave prior to travel, and neither had happened. He got pulled aside for, as he put it, a "random" security check in Frankfurt. He emerged unscathed, from that and from Immigration in Chicago, to our great relief. Naren said everything was so easy, he walked out expecting to be stopped by *someone.*

A belated Happy Mother's Day to all the moms! Trust all had a good day. As Mother's Day is not an Indian celebration, I did not dwell too much on my mother, except for missing her. My friend Sid sent me a nice note, hoping I was doing ok on Mother's Day. The 3 Weiss men gave me a pretty candle, a nice hand-made card and a spectacular poster made by them; it was a collage with words (many complimentary) cut out from media, describing me, and was absolutely wonderful. (I have outgrown candles, which none of the men has noticed :), but no matter because this poster more than made up for that.) Part of the phrases: "Values us" (I am glad they know this) and my favorite, "Her height rules." The best part of Mother's Day weekend, however, was the boys' response to a narrative by Scott's aunt detailing how she and her husband had been to a restaurant, had to wait, and none of the young people in the waiting area offered them seats; the boys looked at each other, and said, "If my mother had been there, heck, regardless of which continent she was on, she'd have come over to us, smacked us and made us get up." That was beautiful. I am happy they know my course of action.

Work has been good. I had a patient come in for a physical exam, and in the course of our conversation, I found out that she had gone back to school and had kicked a cocaine habit. I was extremely impressed with both achievements and said so; I like it when folks haul themselves out of poverty by educating themselves. And, I am unfailingly impressed when people manage to overcome an addiction. I gushed as much to the young lady, and we talked for a while. I had another patient who came in with a belly ache, and as I was sorting through my questioning to find out the cause of the ache, the patient said, "And I drink too much." Osler said it - "Listen to the patient. He will give you the diagnosis." The man went on to say he was on his second marriage, and that he had got divorced because, among other things, his then-wife had become too fat. Deep breath, Dr. Weiss. Count to 10, *count* - 1, 2, 3, 4 - "Well, Sir, don't you think your alcohol consumption might have played a part, too?" (The annual goal to keep the mouth shut fails regularly.) The man said it was a part, but that his romantic notions towards his wife had decreased. Hmmm. At my heaviest, I weighed 178 lbs when Naren was born, more than Scott, and I am a foot shorter than him. If my adoring husband had left me then, I think my life would have been pretty rocked.

Some fine interactions last week: Scott's cousin Debbie met us in Chicago and went with us to get Naren. It was good to see her. We spent 1 night with my sister-in-law, Diane, and her family, and then met the rest of the in-laws the following day for a huge family gathering and Game Day. The in-laws are rowdy people and unfailing good fun, so it made for a memorable day. My sister-in-law, Marybeth (Scott's brother Mark's wife), gave me a nice, extra warm hug as she has lost her mother, too, and we now have this common bond. We visited Scott's grandparents in their nursing home and Scott's grandfather kept everyone laughing with his tales of playing the horses on his last b'day and hating life at the nursing home. We spent the night with Scott's aunt and uncle at their farm, and cooked Mother's Day lunch for all the moms. Naren, Navin and their cousin, Oliver, helped with farm chores ad infinitum on Mother's Day and doing for someone else helped ease my sense of mild emptiness. We saw "Iron Man 2," which was very enjoyable; I was very tired during the flick and kept sighing heavily, prompting the son sitting next to me to announce later, "Ok, someone else sits next to Amma at the next movie." As we ate at a favorite restaurant after the movie (one of the boys' favorite sequences - watch a movie, go out to eat), I looked at the 3 Weiss men, talking, laughing and eating, and I agreed with Perseus in "Clash of the Titans" - "I have all I need, right here."

My Dad got through his cataract surgery well, I talked to him and to my sister-in-law, and all of us had lots of laughs. That was nice.

Have a good week.

Unw -



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