Renu's Week

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Report of 6 June 2011

Hello from exhaustion -

A couple of late nights in a row - would not have fazed me 20 years ago - and I am distinctly fatigued and feeling unwell this morning. Yeesh.

Our fun patient, Ms. M, has died. She was the one who always used to ask about my husband and if he was still with me. Her own husband had left her and the Banyan had gone after him to pay her a monthly allowance. He did, and Ms. M was one of the wealthiest at the B, many getting no money at all from families that abandon them. Ms. M was diabetic, and I have to guess at her cause of death, as a post-mortem is not a viable option for our patients. Not for the expense, but because the request for a post-mortem has to cast blame on someone (either at the hospital or at the Banyan) - which entails the police landing, demanding a bribe, etc.

As always, I am grateful that Ms. M died surrounded by people that loved her and cared for her, instead of on the streets. Hema, our intrepid person in charge of Friends of the Banyan, U.S.A., had sent Ms. M a big sheet of stickers and Ms. M was thrilled! She told me the sheet was the size of a big photograph and was very pleased; the stickers are now stuck on the walls of the sick room, including the wall near Ms. M's bed, and sure do brighten up the place. Thank you, Hema, for making our day and that of one of our patients.

We were in Madurai last week to see my Dad and that was lovely. My Dad and I have long, philosophical talks about all matters, and also chats about the profession. The cook at my parents' house, Ms. A, is expecting a baby in August and the bangle ceremony had taken place some days prior at her in-laws' place. This is a ceremony where many glasa bangles are placed on the expectant mother's arms - for many purposes, such as that the other occupants of the house are alerted by the jingle of the bangles that the expectant mother is approaching (so no one barges into her) and so that the baby hears music. After this ceremony, the young wife is taken to her parents' house so that she gets to rest a bit (away from the chores of the in-laws' house) and nourishes herself prior to delivery. My father had brought Ms. A back, and she was pleased; I told her our house was indeed her house as well, and that I was glad her ceremonies had gone well. She brought me her ultrasound report, and I assured her and her husband that all was well; it is nice to have the knowledge to read and interpret such reports. Ms. A asked if the ultrasound showed the gender of her baby; it cannot, by law, and those tell-tale pictures are removed to attempt to thwart the practice of female foeticide.

We were at a friend's brother's wedding yesterday and that was fun. KK is actually Naren's friend, but he is now a friend of the whole family. My salsa knowledge has faded almost totally and I could not get my rhythm when KK kindly obliged me to dance. So embarrassing. The Weiss men did not want to dance, but Naren also kindly danced with me when I wanted to dance to "La Bamba," and such.

We will take a short holiday starting tomorrow and then I will return to work on 20 June.

Unw -



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