Hats off to Kai-Lee
By Dr. Amy Hendricks
I last saw Kai-Lee five weeks ago. She took home her computer, office chair, printer and some critical files, and set them up in her bedroom next to her toddler’s crib. No more chats over coffee as we plan the days and weeks together; no more Nova Scotia hugs for distressed patients who come to talk with her, even if they don’t have an appointment with me.
She still books me 70-100 patients per week. New consults, pacemaker checks, stress tests and follow-ups have all turned into phone calls. Most patients have three blood pressures, their current weight and their blister packs ready by the phone, as I adjust their meds, review their symptoms and commiserate over social distancing. Kai-Lee still does the billing, types and faxes every letter, comforts my patients, and sends me questions big and small through the EMR.
We talk daily. She is upbeat, innovative and confident as she runs both her household and my office from her perch in her bedroom. When I’m struggling during 55 hours straight at the hospital (we’ve moved call in-house), she sends me a video of her daughter highland dancing and teasing the baby. So human; there is life, and joy, outside these walls.
Recently, she texted me before ringing the doorbell; my son found freshly baked biscuits and a chicken, raised by my secretary, for our Easter dinner on the doorstep, as her car backed out of my driveway.
She is my secret weapon to keep rural cardiac patients safe during Corona, and she’s my inspiration that, yes, we will get through.
Amy Hendricks, MD, FRCPC, is a specialist in General Internal Medicine in Nova Scotia.
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