Renu's Week

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Report of 11 July 2010

Hello from the warm and loving Rea-Soukup home -

The family is away at church. The girls, Isabella and Rosalia, are being "dedicated" today, and all were very well-dressed as they embarked on this momentous occasion. I managed to get a picture of this lovely family, and will preserve it.

Work has been fine, does not really seem like work. There have been the standard poison-ivy, blood pressure, diabetes patients. One of my patients, Ms. X, is a nurse married to an older man; they have adopted 2 children and live next door to an Indian family. The Indians do not celebrate Halloween (I suppose "observe Halloween" is a better phrase) or Christmas, and my patient said she asked their permission to celebrate these occasions with their son. I have no doubt this child appreciated it. My sons' favorite memories are of these 2 events. Free candy, who wouldn't like it. Ms. X epitomises to me all that is good and kind about the U.S. - welcome neighbors from another country, share all with them, treat the neighbor kid like their own, etc. Ms. X and I have had scintillating conversations, and isn't it true that motherhood has the same joys and challenges everywhere.

I had another patient come in requesting Valium for an "anxiety-driven" skin rash. "Requesting" is a polite term; "demanding" is likely more accurate. The dermatologist had agreed to the Valium but refused to prescribe it, the patient refused a referral to the psychiatrist, I too refused to prescribe the Valium, and the impasse has stayed. My father has often wondered why more providers don't work at such clinics in the U.S., as sometimes there is a premium in salary or loan forgiveness to work in such underserved areas. I pointed out this reason, that the demand for controlled substances supersedes all reason or rationality, and the visit deteriorates into an acrimonious encounter.

Some quiet times this week, and a chance to catch up on movies. I saw "The last Airbender" somewhat reluctantly, but quite enjoyed it. I talked to my Dad, and he's doing well; at the end of the call, I said, "Nice talking to you," and he appeared to really like that. I like communicating with my family; I am aware that there are families in which non-communication and vendettas are the norm, but I find these pointless. The 3 Weiss men are well. Naren is in the dorm and does not hate it as much as he had indicated; the young man had outgrown us - to kick a soccer ball around at 8 PM, or play his guitar, or take a walk at 10 PM with like-minded people, he needed to be in the dorm. We are happy he secured a spot. Navin is in the throes of studying - huge board exams loom in March, which will be here all too soon. Scott is holding the fort quite competently, and sends nice, detailed updates when we are not talking on the phone. The boys send messages, sharing much of their lives, and I feel very privileged; there are certainly secrets they don't share, which is appropriate, but they choose to tell me of other things, and that is very cool. One of the best things they have said before: "I wanted you to meet K/U/A; I knew you'd like him."

I attended a salsa (dance) workshop and enjoyed it. I also managed to chat a bit with Kris and Gabe, and enjoyed that, as always.

Unw -



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