Renu's Week

Monday, September 24, 2012

Report of 24 Sept 2012

Hello from Indy!

We are well, and hope the same with you.

Work has been good, and things usually happen at this time in my stay, aligning the cosmos for my departure.  Last week, one of my colleagues regretfully said something (unwittingly) disparaging about a patient with a mental illness who collects disability, or payment to compensate a person for being unable to work for reasons of illness.  Said colleague indicated that she would like disability benefits; as I told Scott, no, she would not.  As with Pistorius, anyone who thinks having a disabling illness is an advantage has never had such an illness or had friends/family members with the same.

Time to go.

One of my patients was sent back to the hospital from our rehab facility, as her heart was racing and her breathing was becoming more rapid.  She was 90 years old, and had bacteria in her blood.  She worried me.  She subsequently died in the hospital, in the care of Hospice.  It was saddening, but I was glad Hospice was involved. 

We had dinner at the home of my able colleague, Dr. Angela, and her family.  It was a home-cooked meal at their table, and we had a very nice time.  Her husband and 2 of her 4 children joined us; I am unfailingly delighted to meet children of friends.  These 2 young folks were lovely additions to the evening and were opinionated and chatty, which added to the fun.  It was very cool to see the "loving wife and mother and hospitable host" side of my doctor colleague.

Scott turned a year older last Saturday and we celebrated with a visit to Terre Haute, a quick b'fast with our busy son and some time watching the Track and Field team celebrate their championship.  Navin's event is the triple jump and he is ably coached by the junior coach, the senior coach's son.  We also met the senior coach's wife, and the whole event was truly a family affair; it was a fun time.  Navin is privileged to have some fine professors and mentors at his college.  We then Skyped with Naren, and that was fun, too.  The boys got up to their usual male humor, somewhat bawdy, but it was all funny and we had a good time. 

Scott and I then saw "The Master," which was excellent.  Scott found it weird and I thought the acting was excellent, depicting mental illness in a respectful light; this is big for me after starting work at the Banyan.  We also saw "Trouble with the curve," and that was okay.  Amy Adams is starting to prove herself as a versatile, capable actress.  We then went to the farm and cooked dinner for the relatives.  It was a merry, loud affair and I laughed quite a bit.  It was cool to do for others - cook, clean, indulge. 

I tried to talk to my Dad and the connection was poor.  No matter, I'll be home soon. 


Monday, September 17, 2012

Report of 17 Sept 2012

Good afternoon from Indianapolis!

Hope all of you are well.  We are fine, in our respective corners of the world.

Work is good and our patients who had come in with catastrophic strokes are well on the mend.  The young man with the lovely wife is now slowly walking and talking, as already mentioned, and his engineer sense of humor (I know this well, trust me) is well to the fore.  Our marine person's wife is also on the mend and she is talking slowly.  These are grand successes for us, which I count as such; at one time, there were other things I wanted but age and perspective set in.

Some grand times this past weekend - Boni, Tami, Ruth and I got together for b'fast at Boni's place.  These folks worked at St. Vincent during my time there and we have remained friends since, to my great delight.  B'fast and the chatter were great, and we also shared tips that have worked for us with our kids.  There was a lot of laughter and the camaraderie that women share when getting together.  Scott and I then went to have lunch with my young Indian physical therapy colleagues; it was at Priya's house and her husband, Rakesh, endured us well.  Himanshu joined us and it was a merry time, with Priya's tasty cooking; she is vegetarian but cooks meat for her husband and she had made some delicious shrimp as part of lunch  There was a lot of laughter here, too, comparing the quirks of both cultures.  These folks represent the new South Asia (Rakesh is from Pakistan) - intelligent, goal-oriented, mobile and motivated.

Scott then went to see my in-laws, and do farm chores.  I stayed here, saw "Arbitrage" and ate some favorite restaurant food.  The movie was good; surprisingly, we had seen no preview for it.  I also went to a Zumba class and had a blast - music, Black women dancing in perfect rhythm, and just the sheer joy of the music and dance.  My knee did not appreciate these joys.  In the evening, Louise Hass and I met for our annual dinner; Louise is also ex-St. V, and someone I enjoy getting together with.  We discussed all manner of topics, including politics and religion (there are very few people one can do this with, aren't there), and it was a fun evening.  Louise treated me to dinner, and recounted some of her travels; she is off again soon and I am happy that she does what she enjoys.

I finally got to talk to my father; he had been busy with cultural activities such as plays and dances.  My mother and he did much of this, my mother more so.  As she became disabled, she had to hear about our sons' various performances on the phone and I used to think that must have been difficult for such an aficionada.  One year, the boys did sing to her; that makes for some fond memories. 

Unw -



Sunday, September 09, 2012

Report of 9 Sept 2012

Good afternoon!

I am waiting for the U.S. Open women's finals and the men's semis, and it will be a long wait as football is on.  The matches were postponed due to inclement weather.

Last week went flying by.  We'd gone the previous weekend (a long weekend) to Baltimore and visited Scott's friend, Craig.  That was nice.  The drive up was spectacular; Scott picked a route with much scenic grandeur and I loved it.  He is also rivetingly good company on long drives, and we talked of Stonehenge and Easter Island and our sons and it was all good.  We stayed at a nice hotel en route, and I have morphed into a Goodwill and Aldi junkie; these stores were near the hotel and I got to indulge.

It is clear and cool today, and we have taken a long walk at Eagle Creek park, which is spectacularly beautiful, complete with bodies of water that don't reek.  It's all relative when you come from India.

The patients are well, and the young man with the devastating stroke is starting to walk and talk.  It is grand good fun, and all of us are cheering.  When he passed his swallow test and ate for the first time, it was as though all of us were partaking of a special treat for the first time also.  His wife remains strong and upbeat, and it is a treat to see her as well.

We also have another patient, whose spouse has told us he is somebody important.  He spent the entire first day telling me about himself, and that was of no use to me; the next day, I told him that I had learnt nothing of his wife as he had talked of himself.  He then updated me on her, which was a relief.  He also said he was in charge of 88,000 (or 89,000) marines and I said I was one of the people in charge of his wife; that impressed him as much as the marine story impressed me.  It does take all sorts of people to make up the world, doesn't it - including crotchety doctors; I tell you, as I get menopausal, I find that I get very, very snippy.

We saw "Lawless," which was excellent and "The Words," which was not.  In fact, the latter was easily one of the worst movies I have seen this year.  We went down to Rose-Hulman yesterday to deliver a paper to Navin, and it was good to see him.  He has figured out his routine and is studying, as all have realised that it takes a good GPA to open doors.  We phoned Naren from there and all of us got to speak to him; that was also nice.  Our sons remain in open communication with us and we are glad.  It is a particular relief to not have to enforce consequences or dangle rewards; this new adult interaction is a matter of immense joy and relief for me.

I could not talk to my Dad today as he must have been busy.  The Banyan calls, and it is time to go.  To see the patients who seem happy we take care of them; to treat outpatients who come from miles around; to laugh with the health care workers and share laddus, a treat that they cannot afford; to see Vandana and Vaishnavi, and to experience their powerful senses of humor and the nonchalant attitude with which they accomplish wonders.

Unw -