It’s been a whirlwind of emotions during the last few weeks. I started in the hospital when our cases were starting to creep up. The fear. The anguish. The uncertainty. The anger. The sadness. The crazy dreams. The donning. The doffing. The decontamination process. The week, I signed three death certificates (non-COVID), and I sent two patients to ICU (one COVID). Needless to say, I came home every night feeling sad and powerless, knowing this COVID-19 beast has us pretty ...

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Fourteen days of social distancing have passed. Emotions are high all around. The wicked foreboding of the mysteriously menacing novel Coronavirus has spared no one. Everyone is scared. The cleaning staff, scrubbing, and wiping just one more time. The techs, maintaining stoicism behind masked faces. The patients, eyes darting with fear. The nurses, bravely caring for their patients. The reality is that the physicians are scared too. We are all ...

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My first patient of the day has metastatic pancreatic cancer. She's had it, in fact, for two years. Getting chemo for two years. Her hair has fallen out, her pain is becoming uncontrollable and she's been in and out of the hospital. Her daughters came to the clinic with her. She is tearful. Her daughters pull me aside. "Tell her to focus on the positive," they request. I wonder if there ...

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A 60-year-old lady came for follow-up after a recent stay in the hospital. She was diabetic — horribly uncontrolled — the result of which was that she had already been on dialysis for four years. She ended up in the emergency room with chest pain. Diabetic patients are at higher risk than the general population of having heart attacks. She underwent studies to evaluate for blockages in her heart. The cardiologist ...

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My last clinic patient of the day was a frail, elderly man. I initially found him to be ornery. He had the air of someone who was chronically irritated. He was also incredibly hard of hearing. Due to the awkward set up of the exam room and computer, his wheelchair was positioned in such a way that we sat side-by-side. His wife sat sleeping in her chair, her red lipstick ...

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I am working hospitalist right now. On Friday, a man in his 80s was admitted with difficulty breathing. He had a complicated history, including a heart attack at age 35 with all the subsequent sequela of heart disease. He had an abnormal heart rhythm and was taking a blood thinner for stroke prevention. In addition, he had scarring of his lungs (cause unknown). He was transferred to us from another hospital. ...

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