Renu's Week

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Report of 22 Sept 2013

And the time is a-flying.

Today is Scott's b'day.  One of the best 52 year olds I have ever lived with.

Aloha!  We are post-Hawaii.  We went there to celebrate our 25th anniversary, having deferred it from July, when I was in the thick of working and fares were astronomical.  It was good to go now; I am still working in the U.S. and am exhausted, thus it was good to recharge the spirit.  Scott planned the entire holiday; ostensibly, there's a hilarious ad about and it fits.  We did lots and lots of outdoorsy things - climbing mountains, walking around gardens, swimming in the beautiful Pacific.  Scott is a museum kind of vacationer and eschewed it, he said happily.  I guess that's how one makes it to 25 years: by compromising and accommodating.  I told him we could do the museum, he demurred.

We took swimsuits, not really planning on spending any length of time in the water as we had things to see.  However, a sunrise, a run and a sweat later, it was heavenly to dip in the cold water.  Swimming there was fun, especially floating on my back and watching the blue, blue sky and wisps of clouds. 

The food in Hawaii is a lot of starch and meat, nary a salad.  So, many of the indigenous Hawaiians we saw were overweight.  But happy, and cheerful. 

I spent a day in Seattle - Scott's temporary residence - on the way to Hawaii and back, and we saw plenty of sights there, too.  On the way back to Indy, on my day in Seattle, Scott and I went to Mt. Rainier national park, and that was also beautiful.

Work has been okay - very tiring.  The call of the Banyan gets louder, too. 

One of the patients, Ms. X, came in to the ER after having fallen.  On xraying her back, the radiologist saw something resembling cancer everywhere.  The patient did not want her family told.  It was an unusual relationship, with the patient not having seen a doctor for about 8 years, trying to treat her high blood pressure herself with weight loss and keeping the family away from health matters.  After the physician assistant spoke to the patient, Ms. X lifted up her shirt and showed a breast that was very suspicious for cancer: the breast had dimpled, and the nipple had nearly involuted.  We got an oncologist involved, and then the family had to know. 

I can totally relate to not wanting to see a doctor, etc.  With staggering weight loss and a breast that looks suspicious, though, it is time to haul one's a-- in to see the doc. 

I spoke to my Dad and that was great.  Scott and I were chilling in Seattle airport - our flight had to return due to airconditioner malfunction and we were waiting for the spare plane - and I phoned.  There were chuckles and lots of chatter; it was nice.

May you have lots of laughter in your life.

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Thursday, September 05, 2013

Report of 5 Sept '13

Happy Teachers' Day!

Today is the b'day of Dr. Radhakrishnan, one of our great leaders and the 2nd president of India; it is celebrated as Teachers' Day.  I remember well the many teachers who put up with me and taught me fine things, and feel grateful.

It has been a while since I blogged.  Work, then a trip with Naren to grad school in NYC, then work again and finally, time to blog.  What a relief.

I was fired by a patient a few weeks ago.  He had come in complaining of abdominal pain and was admitted.  When someone has pancreatic or gallbladder disease, the pain is very typical and this guy had nothing: belly was soft, I could moosh on it without eliciting the slightest tenderness and I said so.  I also told his sister that when she talked about how the inflection in his voice corresponded to pain.  Our physician assistant called me later that day and stated that the patient did not want to see me any more.  I did introspect: I was very happy to be off the case, but you sure do not want to miss anything.  This patient had stopped his psych meds on his own and that does not bode well.  A surgeon took out his gallbladder, and I saw later that the patient had continued to call the surgeon's office complaining of pain.  I did not feel bad for being off this patient's case, though I have plenty of experience dealing with mentally ill patients and their physical complaints.

We had several colleagues over for dinner and that was great.  I love getting together with people outside work - lends a nice dimension to folks and helps us understand each other better, especially in hairy, stressful situations.  Several friends also joined us and the gathering was merry.  We also worked "India Day" in Indianapolis and spread awareness of the Banyan; Priya, a physical therapist friend, was instrumental in this endeavor and she was invaluable.

Naren and I went to NJ and stayed with dear cousins, Prita and Guna.  That brought back several warm and lovely touches of home, especially the Tamil.  Naren and I took the train to NYC, went to Brooklyn College, met his professors and saw his place of residence.  All of it was fabulous: I love NYC and Brooklyn was particularly alive and vibrant.  I got back to Indy, Navin and I caught up on movies and then it was work, work, work.  Scott came to Indy for Labor Day and the time flew.  We visited his folks at their farms, which was the ceaseless fun-fest it always is.  We also got together with colleagues at their houses for dinner, and it was a wonderful time.

This week, Navin and I have seen practically every movie there is to see.  A rare gem: "In a world," an indie piece written and directed by Lake Bell.

Navin is working and will try to make some $ for school: this is the joy of the U.S. - hard work never hurt anyone.  Different in India - children go to work as early as 5 or 6 years of age, it is not humane, and even if you do work hard, changes of progress are not guaranteed: the caste system and workplace politics rule.  The system is slowly changing, halleluia.

I talked to my Dad last week and that was fun.  He had been to Thailand with a large group of friends/acquaintances and their families, and had had a good time.

The Banyan's call is getting louder.  I will be heading home soon, to the land of the happy people, where bright smiles abound every morning, and 1 little paracetamol/acetaminophen can break a fever and cause much joy.

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