Lockdown Blog: Day XVI

In the end the on call shift was very quiet, with no phone calls at all. In hindsight I don’t think this is so surprising. In normal times the consultant is only called for very tricky and difficult decisions, and at the moment the mental health services in Leeds are holding themselves together. We have a total of two patients with COVID19 on our wards, and with lockdown just into the third week, it is likely the numbers of people needing mental health services will not have gone up drastically just yet.

This were so quiet that I even had time to take a picture of last night’s supermoon. I know, it’s not about to win any photography awards, but for an iPhone taking a picture of the night sky, it’s not bad.

Even though things were quiet last night, I still found myself waking up a few times. I am used to receiving numerous calls per night when on call, so much so that I wake to check I have not missed a call. I have been doing what are called non-resident on calls, basically being available from home, for five or six years now, and I have yet to actually miss a call. Even knowing that I still wake up, so I was a little on the tired side this morning.

As usual the day started with the team huddle. Spirits seemed high today, and there was nothing much to report from management down to us. After this, I spent most of the morning reviewing a patient who is finding it difficult to stay home, and by the time I had a plan in place it was nearly lunch time.

I decided to choose lunch from the Narnia cookbook today, with sardines on toast. Darwin was positively salivating at the sight and smell of the sardines, so I was lucky to get to eat my lunch myself without a dog but lite being taken out of it. After eating the three of us spent a few minutes in the garden enjoying the sun and throwing the tennis ball around.

This afternoon, I spent most of the time catching up with paperwork and personal development. Even in a pandemic it is important to keep my knowledge and skills up to date. While I was doing this, Sarah took Darwin on the grass for a run. Unfortunately he had other ideas and rolled in fox poo instead! It stank, so it was straight in the bath, which he hates. This is him after the bath sulking, but do not worry, his moping did not last long. After this I received a message from my boss saying we will be required to wear scrubs if/when we need to go into one of our hospitals, so they needed my measurements to order my gear. For those of you who have never met a psychiatrist, I need to stress just how unusually this is. Typically at work I will be wearing a shirt and trousers, maybe even a suit. To have reached the point where psychiatrists as needing to wear scrubs alongside PPE shows just had serious the situation is, and emphasises more than ever the need for people to stay at home where they can.

At five I signed off for the day, and in fact for a few days. I had a days annual leave booked for tomorrow from before the current situation began, the idea being to tag it onto the four day bank holiday. After discussing colleagues and my manager, it was agreed I could still take the leave, so here I am on a very strange five day weekend.

After a walk with Sarah and the dog this evening, I rustled up a pan of sweet and sour chicken and rice for dinner (and of course for lunch tomorrow as well) while Sarah wrote a shopping list for tomorrow and called her mum. Right now as I write this? Darwin is having a conversation with the dog next door, while Sarah and I are deciding what tonight’s television choices will be. Friends is once again topping the list, I’ll let you know tomorrow if plans change.

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