Day 15

I have only a short check-in tonight. Somehow days just seem to be flying by… they’re full of patients, figuring out how to re-jig resident teaching, regular day-to-day stuff and extra work generated by telemedicine. Here are some updates from today:

One of the bright spots in all this is the quality of my lunches! When I’m at home I like having lunch plates like the one above (the blob is hummus), but at work I’m usually frantically inhaling some combination of almonds, cashews, dried cherries and dried apricots at 3PM.

Usually I’m pretty good at charting while I see patients, but since the video portal we use takes up a lot of my screen, I’m finding myself charting mostly afterwards. Tomorrow I might try a setup where I use one screen (iPad, maybe?) for the video and keep my computer next to it for EMR only.

I did a Youtube workout this morning that seemed pretty straightforward and then burned. my. legs. I’m still wobbling 12 hours later. it was free, bodyweight only, and I was super sweaty in only 30 mins!

I’ve been reaching out to some of my “helper” patients to check in- doctors, nurses, grocery store clerks, firefighters… if you’re feeling worried about COVID, it’s great to remind yourself how many people there are to help. I’ve also been trying to do extra check ins with my colleagues- even a quick text makes a big difference. I had two really nice FaceTime chats today and a brief (socially distanced!) walk with a sweet colleague.

Our house is still pretty tidy despite a lot of working from home. We have noticed, though, that it’s freezing during the day! Earlier in the winter we installed Mysa thermostats, which automatically adjust the output of our baseboard heaters (and I say we, but I mean Jan). You can set the Mysa’s on a schedule, and when we first set it we had the temperature normal in the early morning and evening, but heating only minimally at night and during the day. A few days ago as we were both shivering at lunch, Jan checked the app- it was 16.5 deg in the kitchen! We did save a lot on our energy bill, but updated the settings in the living room, kitchen and Jan’s work space during the day. PS- if you are thinking of getting them, look for a rebate. BCHydro had a great program when we installed ours.

I talked to a patient today who asked me how much longer I thought we’d be social distancing. I said “well, it’s already been 2 weeks, so maybe another 6-8?” She was shocked it had already been that long- it’s funny how everyone I’ve talked to says that in some way or another their sense of time is kind of warped… either the days have felt long and repetitive, or they’ve somehow all melded together. I feel like time is flying by, and I think it has a lot to do with things in medicine still feeling like they’re changing day-to-day.

Have you felt like your sense of time is off? How was your day? If you’ve been bored, what have you been trying to stay busy? I’ve been suggesting Duolingo to people- how cool would it be to get back to real life knowing a whole other language?!

This post is part of a series on my experience providing care as a family doctor in Vancouver through the 2020 COVID Pandemic. You can read the entire series here.

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