I’ve an early bird, awake with the dawn. I make tea for myself and my partner Liam and we start our morning with CNN, sipping tea in bed.
Liam works as a pilot for Aer Lingus and has been busy flying PPE from China for the last few months, so he’s been away from home for long periods. It’s quieter now so I enjoy more time with him. I have a 14-year-old daughter, Grace and a 12-year-old son, Sean.
There isn’t a stir out of them when I’m leaving at 7.40 am for work.
I leave a list of work for them to do and sunscreen for them to use on the kitchen island. The chores are rarely done but they know to apply the sunscreen to avoid a lecture.
At work, I change into scrubs and clean all the surfaces in the department with my nurse colleagues Marion and Karen. I’ve worked in dermatology for 15 years and I’m particularly interested in skin cancer and its prevention, so between March and September I’m spreading the ‘Sun Smart’ message to all our patients. Due to Covid-19 our routine has changed. We see urgent patients who are symptom free in a staggered way. We also perform urgent surgeries for patients, most of whom may have skin cancer.
Our phototherapy service for patients with psoriasis has restarted and we are seeing most patients ‘virtually’, meaning we contact them at home to assess their skin condition and plan care accordingly.
We break for lunch. Due to Covid-19 we normally bring our own food and eat at safe distance.
Our day is split in two, with one morning session and one evening session. We plan both sessions to ensure social distancing, screening and cleaning between each patient.
Inevitably, this makes our work slower and more difficult. I really miss the patients coming into the clinic and having a personal connection with them.
When I get home I catch up with the family over dinner, my favourite part of the day. I’m trying a trampolining class during the week which I love as it’s a real stress buster and will hopefully address the Covid stress pounds.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Ireland. Be #SunSmart and protect your skin.