Renu's Week

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Report of 9 March 2013

Good afternoon!

The sun is shining, the apartment is clean, quite a bit of junk has been thrown, my new set of self-learning books from the American College of Physicians is here - oooh, life is good.

My keyboard is skittish, so if you see extraneous characters anywhere, I apologise.

So now, I have had some challenges with the mentally ill populace.  When I get to Adaikalam on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I sit at the lone available computer near the reception area and work; of late, everyone has stopped there and voiced their litany of complaints.  I am not patient at the best of times, and with the amount of work I have to get done before the next person needs the computer, I am totally not inclined to empathize.  The complaints are of the nature of "AM stole my skirt," and "What's for b'fast?  I can't walk upstairs and find out" and "I shared my tea, no one is sharing theirs with me."  Honestly, I think people think I care.  Vandana and many of my colleagues are singularly amazing in how well they respond to such complaints, and I try to learn from them.  I'd much rather, however, deal with medical issues.

It is good for me to keep in mind that these ladies have endured considerable turbulence in their lives, and seeing their families is a forgotten luxury.  I can see my family when I want, and they endure my whines.  The issues I have to deal with can be handled, and I can ask for assistance to make them manageable.  A raging mental illness and family who has abandoned the patient or is ignorant of her whereabouts are something else.

We walk a fine line between mental illness and mental health.  There were many times I thought I'd wig out: soon after the birth of our 2nd son or when Manu died or when my mother was hospitalised and family came unglued. 

Classes for the health care workers go swimmingly.  This week, the topic was kidney failure and it generated a lot of questions.  A couple of the health care workers had taken care of a friend of the Banyan who'd had kidney failure and regretfully died at a young age, and they recognised the symptoms and management.  They are getting to be fine providers, these ladies.

Kovalam is fine.  We have a patient who is very hard of hearing and who needs blood tests, which must be done elsewhere.  She cannot fully hear or comprehend this, and we have bellowed every week that we need her family members to come and talk to us.  The social workers and community workers have also done their share of yelling, to no avail.  So, we do our best with this patient, educating her on her illness and again, trying mightily (literally) to make her comply fully.  

The 3 Weiss men are in their various corners of the U.S. and I am here.  Friends and neighbors have said I must be wilting in my loneliness.  Not yet.  I am enjoying the time to read and study, and can find many things to occupy my interest.  There are several vats of food in the fridge after Naren's farewell parties and I eat very well - salads and meat and yogurt.  We have a new lady to help clean our house and she has whipped it in shape.  Work is busy and challenging and rewarding: it is great to work with visionary colleagues.  The one thing I have not done is see movies, because a woman going to the theater alone sometimes attracts unwanted attention.  But life is good.

Unw -



  • being alone in the house is great for a while but slowly the loneliness creeps in and soon we actually look forward to the messy beds and the constant chatter- amma, you know what, amma you know what...
    Luckily NBI has the Tuesday 11 am ladies only show at all the cinemas- ladies weekly day out!!!

    By Blogger Latha Rengachari, at 12/3/13 9:30 AM  

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