Renu's Week

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Report of 4 Oct 2010

This is exhausting.

I am trying to find a venue to speak in Houston on 24 Oct, and am drawing a blank. The needs are a wall, a computer with Powerpoint and a projector. No luck so far.

Uthscsa, my alma mater, is paying for me to attend the reunion and speak there. Halleluia! I am delighted, because the Continuing Medical Education program I was eagerly awaiting is *this* weekend, and the reunion is on the 22nd-23rd. So I get to go, and speak, and was wanting another venue in Houston. It gets awkward for me to push the issue; I don't pass the hat at speeches, but most people fear the worst. Anyhoo, que sera sera.

The patients have been healing, though the incidence of gastroenteritis is on the increase. A couple of weeks ago, I had it too, and sort of thought the B's food was the culprit. Leptospirosis is also on the increase and we have to find the darn rodent and eliminate it - lepto is transmitted by rats. One of our older patients was looking very puny the other day, and when we checked her BP, saw that it was low. She's recovering from an upset stomach, and we started IV fluids, which appear to have worked. The older patients have very little reserve to survive an attack of diarrhea, same as little people, and I view this rampant gastroenteritis as a personal failure. Leela, our able nurse, suspects that the ladies are drinking from the taps, which we never do in India. Leela has instituted some measures to try and stem this problem, and I am hopeful of results.

Ms. V, our patient who gets delighted at all relatives' visits, got to talk to our cook's son the other day. He (the cook) had brought the boy to be checked by me (I am not a pedatrician by any stretch, but that does not appear to matter), as he was worried the child was a tad slow, especially compared to his younger sister. I did not find the child slow at all, merely contemplative and quiet, and mentioned that comparisons between kids should not really happen. The cook was a tad mollified by that, and took the boy over to the sick room to be weighed, at which point Ms. V saw him and was delighted by the visitor. I do wish more of our patients' relatives visited.

I had to refer the cook's brother over to Anu's institution; the diagnosis was suspected hepatitis, but that was ruled out. A scalding poultice has been applied to the young man's arm by a local mendicant, and as always, the burn is a bigger problem than the hepatitis. It is nice to know resources we can refer our patients to. The other day, the owner of the salon where I get my hair ironed on occasion mentioned that a friend of hers had her hands full with her daughter's depression; a phone call to Vandana later, the lady had an option for help.

It is oh-so nice to try and be of help to others, and connect people and resources.

Some fine times last week; we saw a beach volleyball tournament featuring teams from several countries and the quality of play was very good. I love live sports, and both Scott and I could get past the little bikinis on the female players to watch the actual play; the average repressed Indian male could not, however, and we were surrounded by men who were there for 1 reason only. We also saw a dance performance from Brazil; it is nice to see dances of other nations, and this one was good for a while. Bare-bodied men, attractive women, all oozing raw sexuality and dancing to the music - and then the acts got very repetitive, so we left. At one point in my younger days, I attended a friend's bachelorette party at a male strip club and enjoyed the novelty of the first 2 acts, then hoped fervently that the subsequent ones would juggle or tell jokes; just stripping and dancing was monotonous. Yesterday, Naren and a friend came for lunch, and that was a blast. I like interacting with young people, and young Nicole Norton in Indy was a particular treat - feisty, opinionated, genial. This friend of Naren's is an actor and has been selected to represent India at a 3-month theatre workshop in South Korea. Naren and he love each other dearly, in the manner of a healthy friendship, and we are always reassured when our sons pick good people as friends. After lunch, these 2 young guys dropped Navin at a nearby art gallery which had a showing of work by underprivileged girls; I would have loved to go, but grabbed the chance to watch "The Hurt Locker" with Scott, and we enjoyed our time together. It was better for Navin to go by himself, as he coincidentally met friends there, and they appreciated the art with the young, tender hearts that teenagers have; better this way than for him to see me wiping tears at the show and perforce seeing the effect that underprivileged folks have on his family.

Some grand news last week: Leela reconciled with her brother after many years of silence. Her sister-in-law helped bring this about, and I am very pleased. No point to not talking at all, especially to family members. I am especially appreciative of the sister-in-law's efforts, as I know of families where it is the spouse who foments the acrimony and prevents all efforts at reconciliation: pointless, wasteful and malignant, in my view. I was happy for Leela, who feels that prayers have been answered. That thought echoed in my head as Anu stopped by last week, and we had some giggles.

Unw -



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