Renu's Week

Monday, October 15, 2012

Report of 15 Oct '12

Hello from breezy Chennai!

Life is back to routine - as though I'd never left.  Today was a busy day at Kovalam.  I had pulled in there last week and as the security officer wished me, I heard a little voice echo, "Good morning, Madam!"  It was little A, the daughter of one of our patients with mental illness, saluting me and wishing me.  A is everybody's child and sharp: this morning, as I pulled in, I heard a sweet little voice say again, "Good morning, Madam," with no one's prompting and there she was again.  She is a little more than a year old, and came to sit by me as my room was being cleaned, took the newspaper from me and sat on it, then put her dolls on it; she saw a picture of a deity and took my right hand and put it on the picture as she has probably been taught to do.  It was a fine moment and this is our one starfish for today.

The seaside village, Kovalam, produces many patients and we had a house full today.  I started at about 0830 and finished at 3 PM.  One of the more memorable ones is a lady who came in stating that her R eye had blurry vision; in a monotone, she stated that her husband beat her regularly and this time, her head had been the target, resulting in the blurry vision.  Ohhhh.  She stated matter of factly that her first pregnancy had ended in a miscarriage due to the beating.  I could not move or think; I asked for our psychologist to come down and told her the tale.  As it turned out, it was the psychologist who had referred this patient to me and she (the former) plans to do a home visit.  The husband is an alcoholic and I do not know to what extent reform can happen, but we can hope, can we not.

I am fiscally tired.  The calcium for our patients - all of whom have brittle bones - has been stopped due to lack of cash, and my personal favorite, fruit, is non-existent, as always.  If I can get 365 people to donate Rs. 1000 or $20 each, perhaps we can get some fruit and some calcium.  Let us see.  I am struck by the inequality of it, and now see why practices and hospitals operate at a profit - they must.  Otherwise, the basic medical necessities simply will not be available.

Last weekend, I went to Madurai.  It was great to see my Dad and we hung out, attending a meeting on critical illness.  He ended up sick, with fever and trouble breathing, and I treated him; I slept on the spare bed in his room and he said that reassured him.  I am sure I would not have been much use to my father in the middle of the night because I was sleeping off jet lag and could not have been awakened easily; Scott gently told a neighbor that once, and suggested that she call an ambulance for her ailing father.  I speak gibberish when awakened abruptly (jet lag or no jet lag) and quite like the life of no call/pagers. 

I returned yesterday and we got to Skype with Navin, which was grand fun - good to see him.  We went to see Naren in a comedy show in the evening.  There were a bunch of skits and he was in a couple of them, wearing a skirt ("somebody's curtain," said Scott) and with hairy legs in full view.  It was a fun time.

We hope for fruit and calcium and I'll keep you posted on that quest.

Unw -


Post a Comment

<< Home