Thursday, March 19, 2020


High points of yesterday:

- Reading Wolf Keepers to Dylan 
Yesterday our ap asked us what we wanted her to do since I was doing a lot of the math teaching, and Dylan was doing the other stuff herself.  She felt weird just sitting there.  I told her not to worry about it.  She was doing fine.  That I wanted to spend as much time with Dyl as I could before I was called back to the hospital (or my vacation ends, whichever comes first) because who knows what will happen at that point.

- Starting a sewing project with Dylan
Dyl has become very interested in sewing projects, which is quite cool.  We bought her a sewing machine last year, which we still haven't used because I don't know how.  Maybe at some point she will become motivated enough to figure that out.  But for now she is hand sewing flowers with ap.  They are turning out really nicely!

- Eating baked chicken our ap made for us -- it was really good!  
Today I was planning on making a vat of my famous Italian sausage spaghetti sauce, but I accidentally ordered one sausage rather than five, ran out of tomato sauce, and discovered we had no dried basil.  Whoops.  So I made a makeshift mini version with the one sausage, and the two small cans of sauce we have left, salt, pepper, dried garlic powder, and olive oil, and cooked some tri-color pasta.  I made everyone promise to eat all of it and tell me it wasn't horrible.  And they did!  For the record,  it was totally edible.  Not delicious, but just fine thankyouverymuch.

- Talking with my mom on the phone
I rarely do this because she has a hard time with phone conversations, and she has huge holes in her memory, but yesterday my dad suggested it and actually passed her the phone (he normally doesn't, and she won't get up to get the phone herself).  It was lovely.

- Reading that China has no new community cases of Coronavirus!
'nuff said

- Reading that Italy has fewer cases yesterday than the day before
May be a statistical blip (one data point does not equal a trend), but I'll take it.

- Sleeping well last night for the first time in days
I decided to take a Zyrtec.  What can I say I am a cheap date.

- Talking to my neighbors across the porch
If we had to band together in the event of an apocalypse, at least I like them.  Haha.

- Getting a working draft done of my manuscript
I've decided my work goal for the next few weeks is to get a draft of this manuscript done and submit my two data requests.  I think that should be completely doable.  As of last night a draft has actually been completed of my manuscript!

- Snuggling with my dog in bed
My dog has become too old to get on my bed anymore (which is nice in a way, because she used to sleep on it and leak pee everywhere).  So I've started taking her out to pee, and then lifting her onto my bed to sleep next to me while I do work.  It makes her so happy!


Look guys, this is going to be a long and painful process.  We NEED:
- More ICU beds, ventilators, trained personnel
- More PPE (bandanas?  Seriously CDC?)
- better more widespread testing

We now know that there are a ton of asymptomatic carriers.  Healthcare providers are worried about exposing themselves by caring for them, and elective procedures have been put on hold.  If patients could be tested before they came in for procedures, and effectively isolated from others with the disease if they came in, I think most people would feel comfortable caring for this group of patients.  Maybe this is what we should be doing for urgent cancer surgeries and such.  Maybe even for some elective procedures.

If we ramp up capacity to treat critically ill people with this virus, and we can do it safely, then a lot of people will still die, but at least the problem won't be amplified by shortages, and doctors and nurses won't have to be cannon fodder in this war.

Wish I could be doing more to help.  I feel so impotent typing this here from my bedroom.


dolce vita said...

Suggestion for the sewing machine-whatever the model is, youtube usually has videos of people threading and doing simple things. Dylan and AP could maybe watch those videos and try it out (and take it from someone with YEARS of sewing experience, it's very easy to identify and solve mistakes in threading!), with something easy, like a bag or an apron? I think Youtube has great videos of easy projects for kids/novice. I just haven't used those ever, but my friends have used them for their kiddos on snow days. I do use Youtube videos when diagnosing how I f***ed up something with my machine, and 99% of the time, I solve it myself!

Ana said...

Omg, yes, I feel pretty useless at home, but I'm not sure I even have a pandemic-worthy medical skill to put to use. YOU on the other hand---will be quite in demand should shit hit the fan.
Also a big NOPE to bandanas. fuck that. are you kidding me?
Threading the machine is the hardest part, IME, like DV's idea above about videos, and YES, give that one to AP. So glad you have a great AP that is helping and not hindering in this stressful time! So key.

OMDG said...

Oh Ana, in some ways I am happy I did peds and not critical care (LOVE cardiac critical care and Ecmo, but not the rest of it). In other ways I feel I should have so I could help more now. In still other ways I wish I had done psychiatry instead so I could just hide in my house for the next 12 months. 🤣 will see if ap is open to that suggestion tomorrow.

All this icu capacity stuff is actually my area research-wise. Many of my mentors basically wrote the book on icu capacity strain and total available ventilators. Honestly THAT is where I think I could theoretically be most useful. No idea how or if I could get involved with something like that, or if my input would even be valued.

Anonymous said...

Lol to psych. If it's any consolation, I'm considered essential and expecting to continue working in the hospital and clinic through this pandemic and there's talk of reassigning us in a myriad of ways. While I don't intubate and get exposed to secretions like you do, I don't have access to any PPE and my outpatients largely live in shelters or the street which are high risk for exposure. We are moving to tele psych for outpatients its a slow process

OMDG said...

@Sophia -- Gah the PPE issue for you as well??? I want to vomit. The shelters are going to be a complete mess.