Renu's Week

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Report of 5 Sept 2010

Hello from my bright living room -

Scott is asleep on the floor, laundry dries on the balcony, 1 boy is off being tutored for an exam tomorrow, and 1 boy has gone to attend a play. Jet lag is squeezing sleep into all my pores, but I am trying to stay awake for a little bit.

Settling back into the routine is easy. This morning, I woke Navin up and told him to go run, and he started laughing. Then, "Are you serious?" I was. I had worked out, using several exercises from boot camp, and felt good and invigorated. Clearly, no one else shared my love of the early morning hours, hugging their pillows and writing letters to Kumbakarna (our equivalent of Rip Van Winkle). But off Navin went.

I saw patients until the day before I left, and one of them was a young man of Mexican descent who was being evaluated for kidney failure. He, his wifeand children come up to Indiana every summer from Texas to work for Red Gold tomatoes, and neither adult has health insurance. We have had to extend charity care, but my bigger focus is on coming to the reason, or "etiology," of his kidney failure, which was discovered in Indy. The couple had several questions for me, and I had a lot of time for them, so we went over everything in great detail until the wife was satisfied that all queries had been answered; she was naturally unnerved by what was happening, and I empathised completely, giving her a hug at the end of the visit, and wishing both of them well. I will be curious to see the results of all the blood tests.

There were a couple of fine times before I left the U.S. Shilpa and Ravi Mallur and their kids came over to Colleen's, and we spent a lot of time talking, and playing with the kids; it was an idyllic evening. The following day, we ate leftovers at work - there had been a lovely lunch the previous day, including a very delicious Becky Lewis cake, which I had a piece of for breakfast. I was privileged to get phone calls from Ruth Smith, the former CEO of a clinic I'd worked at, and a very visionary doctor - we chatted and laughed and discussed work and family, all of which was lovely; from Monica Cooley, who taught me ballet at Lady Doak when I was 16, and whose friendship, solid perspective and sense of humor I have valued greatly; from Linda Johnson, my anatomy professor in med school, who knows my family well and considers us part of hers - we talk of several things, not just medicine, and laugh a lot. I had patients to see, and then an exit interview with Bruce Haga, the vice president of the organisation I work for. Bruce is very down to earth, grand fun to talk to, and we laughed as we discussed our respective 2 sons, and life, and working environments and by the way got to the feedback session. Bruce's assistant, Debbie Prier, had escorted me to the venue of the meeting, and I enjoy talking to Debbie as well; she is personable and warm and her eyes laugh when she does. After finishing there, I had some last-minute shopping to do, returned my rental car, Colleen picked me up, and took me to dinner with Mark and Christopher. All 4 Tabers have Mensa-quality IQ, and I loved the discussion on various topics over dinner. Christopher, in particular, has extremely insightful opinions and I love, *love* this kid and his sister, Melinda. I packed, and repacked, and had to throw; we ended up leaving later than expected on Thursday for O'Hare, after picking up some precious movies that Gabe Soukup and Kris Rea had ready for me - that was nice of them. Colleen was very patient with me as I did things at the last minute, including stopping by the post office. However, we made it to O'Hare on time and there was no line at all at the Lufthansa check-in.

I reached safely, and after a solid 8+ hours of sleep, Scott and I went to attend Harini's wedding festivities. Harini is an occupational therapist at the Banyan, and is of considerable calibre, and a very warm and wonderful spirit. I was exceedingly happy that her fiance, Sriram, seemed like a nice person, and both Scott and I were pleased to share in the merriment.

I also told my father of my safe return and he said, "Welcome to India." I think we will see him next weekend.

Last evening, after dinner, we discussed the boys' shenanigans. Naren had checked himself out of the dormand found himself a place outside, paying for it himself and not telling anyone until he told me last week. Navin's grades have not been optimal and that will not fly here - not in India and not with either of his parents. Both boys informed us that it is sometimes difficult to talk to us, because if they tell us of their stunts, they get punished; we countered that we always appreciate the boys' candor but that sub-par thinking will merit consequences. At various points, I yelled and cussed, and cried once; Scott stayed calm and presented his disappointment with gentle words and a mild tone. Naren said it (Scott's message) was powerful. Navin, who has mulled over law school, presented his brother's case eloquently, and it was distractedly nice to listen to 2 opinionated young men talk to us about their views. We finished up, with everyone appreciating the openness of the discussions, hugged with a lot of love, and went to bed.

It is nice to be home. I hope you have similar joys.

Unw -



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