A Day in My Life: January 2022
A day in my life January 2022
I stayed up late on conference calls last night, hearing from experts in California about ways to improve maternal health outcomes. I’ve been having trouble getting to sleep at a normal time when I don’t stop working until 9 or 10 pm, but the good part is that I can sleep in and often don’t have to start working until 10 am. And today’s a good day for that, since we’ve been out of power for 36 hours, then out of water for 24 hours, and now out of power again for 12 hours. We praise God that the tropical storm Ana bypassed the country, but not before it wrecked havoc on the country’s main hydroelectric dam. But we collected rainwater last night and there’s still gas in our backup stove, so I figure today is going to be a good day.
I start off the morning boiling filtered water for tea. I brew my first cup and put the rest in a thermos, no need to re-boil as I re-steep throughout the day. Next I assess the fridge and pull out some of the few remaining items which haven’t spoiled yet: feta cheese in brine, tomatoes, and spinach. I scramble it up with some fresh onions for a healthy breakfast and set aside the rest of the fresh veggies for soup and snacking, they won’t last beyond today. Greg heads out to buy some drinking water and I prep some stove-heated rainwater for a shower. I don’t want to admit how long I’ve waited to wash my hair, hoping for a day when the water and power were both on at the same time. But it turns out that a bucket shower is incredibly satisfying. My hair is longer than it’s ever been, so I have to measure out a few cups of water into a bowl and then dip in my hair, lather with shampoo, then dip again to rinse. In the end I had a very satisfying shower with 3 liters of water. The warm water that I didn’t use will make dishes easier.
Now, it’s time to sit down and work. I spend the first half-hour checking my emails: two email accounts which patients use to contact me, one for ministry, one for friends and family, and one for the work I’m doing in California. I must have logged out of four accounts last night because I have to find passwords and gather access codes through text messages, but overall not too bad. I plan to spend 20 minutes planning priorities for the day, but it takes an hour due to communication about a training, consideration about a volunteer editorial position on an open-source preventive medicine journal, encouraging residents to submit some abstracts to a conference, and communication about deliverables and funding remaining for our Preventive Medicine training program in California.
Suddenly the power is on. Quick break to brew more tea (herbal this time, shouldn’t overdose on caffeine) and to start some soup for lunch. While cooking I decide priorities for today. I shoot off an email to our clinic pediatrician about the protocol for neonatal sepsis, print some forms for clinic, then read some papers for professional development. Took some time for lunch (Greg made grilled cheese to go with our soup). I head off for my afternoon in the clinic, but there aren’t too many patients at first, so I take some time to read through Lifestyle Medicine information on disease reversal and to talk to Todd about plans for the new ER and trainings at ABC. Later, when the patients come, I really feel like a Family Medicine doctor. One family comes in together and I treat the URI in the son, the constipation for the father, and discuss the pregnancy complication for the mother. I also feel like a Lifestyle Medicine doctor as I discuss smoking cessation, cutting back on alcohol, and eating more fiber with the father. The Preventive Medicine side of me comes out as I discuss antibiotic resistance and weight loss with another patient. I only see a handful of patients this afternoon, which is pretty usual for me when I take an hour with each patient, and when I come home I have to send a few emails about test results, clinic protocols, and an electronic follow up form for a patient a few days ago.
The rest of the evening passes uneventfully. We watch a Korean TV show on Netflix and then I read some Chinese comics online. In the future I want to be a bit better about walking and stretching more in the evenings and reading more books that lead to self-improvement, but tonight is a veg night. The power comes off and on, just enough to keep our battery going and our lights on. I go to bed later than I plan, but since I also worked a few more hours than planned, I should be able to sleep in tomorrow.