COVID19 life Parenting Work

Day 10: Telemed & A Few Normal Things

March 25, 2020


I will be officially starting my telemed practice this morning! I have just 3 patients scheduled as a pilot. Today, I’ll do this from the office, just in case there is troubleshooting needed with the staff (many of which are not yet working remotely). After that, I will plan on moving my operations home unless there are specific objections.

Full Focus page ready to be filled in!

There has been a lot of concern about productivity loss due to lack of face time in the office. My goal is to a) figure out a way to be very productive without said face time and b) communicate that productivity to upper management. I think that if I go into each day with clear goals (see X patients, finish YZ projects) I will be able to accomplish this. I can’t necessarily change official policies, but I hope to serve as a role model on what can be accomplished remotely during this time.

ALL of that said, I am also going to admit something slightly shameful for a physician. (READY?)

Part of me wishes I could just be home with the kids during this time. I would never ACT on this impulse; taking a leave of absence would be terrible for my practice and my patients and would not be an honorable thing to do, so I am not considering it in any real way.

But they are stuck at home all day, and I feel both sad and yes — slightly guilty that I cannot be with them more. I am hopeful that with remote work, I will be able to take breaks from work to help/participate in key parts of their day. On the up side, Josh has been (and for now will be!) home more! And they are loving that. We had a lovely family dinner last night (Taco Tuesday) that had me feeling wistful that it was not our weekday norm.

ANYWAY. Lots of feelings. Plenty of doubts and fears. And sharing it all here!

Normal superficial things

I ordered a box of stuff from Madewell earlier this month, but most of it did not work out. I have “New jeans!” on my 20 for 2020 list, and am determined to find a new comfortable but flattering pair.

these were not it

My most recent jeans (circa 2016) fit fine but are looking old/worn and not in a fashionable way. Does anyone have a die hard favorite? I am not averse to spending $$$ (the 2 pairs I wear most often were by AG and Madewell; AG in particular is pricey but 4 years of fairly frequent wear is pretty good!).

I am tempted to try Everlane (great price point). OBVIOUSLY I will not be going shopping in person right now, but I figure buying online (and returning if needed) is okay right now! Stimulating the economy?

NOTES: I like the high waisted look, but the waist can’t be SO high that it looks silly on me (5’1″ on a good day). I also like the less constricting vintage-y look, but the pair I tried on in this style looked too horrendous to even post. I don’t think nearly-40-year old moms can really pull off mom jeans . . . though they look amazing on some of my teen patients!


  • Reply Sue March 25, 2020 at 6:35 am

    HIGHLY recommend J.Crew’s 9″ rise toothpick jeans for petites! I have 10″ rise and 9″ rise, and the 9″ are much more flattering on my 4’9″, short-waisted self. They are cheap compared to designer jeans and fit great.

    • Reply LF March 25, 2020 at 10:12 am

      The J. Crew toothpick jeans are great, I also recommend them.

    • Reply Sarah Dambrosio March 26, 2020 at 6:32 am

      Another vote for J. Crew!

  • Reply sophia March 25, 2020 at 7:16 am

    I like everlane jeans. I have the black high rise authentic stretch and denim mid-rise jean which hit right at my belly button. I’ve had them about a year and wear them a lot and they have faded some but still look good imo. I’m 5’6 and a different build so not sure how they will work for you.

  • Reply Jennifer March 25, 2020 at 7:39 am

    I’m a mom who suddenly was laid off from her Broadway job almost 2 weeks ago. Hopefully I will have a job to go back to when this is all behind us, but who knows? I went from missing nearly every afternoon after school/dinner/evening/bedtime to being here for every single one. That is the silver lining I have for this stressful situation, but I’m also afraid that I am liking it too much and wonder if I will want to go back to work. I will have to, financially, but it feels like everything may have changed. I thought my work was a big part of my identity, but am wondering if it really was. Hang in there. And thank you for your daily blog posts.

  • Reply Lori C March 25, 2020 at 8:11 am

    I asked for jeans in a recent Trunk Club and got a pair of Wit & Wisdom that I like. I am pretty picky about how they fit, and i have short legs so most jeans are an epic fail (regulars are too long, shorts are too short, I think the length is a 2″ differential and I need exactly 1″!) The Wit & Wisdom have more stretch than I thought, and are a dark wash with some spots that are a little distressed. Not enough to make them look trendy if you know what I mean. The leg is straight but not super tapered. Alas I need more jeans and haven’t found any others I like, so I will be following the other comments! Some stretch is key for me to make them comfortable.

    PS Are you still planning on Disney in December? We would like to go next year so I am very curious to hear how Davids works out for you. (Or was that an old podcast I listened to? I am losing track!)

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 25, 2020 at 8:57 am

      David’s worked out great — assuming no travel restrictions by December!!!

  • Reply A. March 25, 2020 at 8:14 am

    Everlane is great. They have good transparency policies, ethical/greener production, etc. And you can see with your measurements what other customers with same measurements bought, it helps a lot to chose the good sizing. The quality of jeans are exceptional.

  • Reply Jen March 25, 2020 at 9:05 am

    I had really good luck with Loft petite jeans but I am just a bit taller than you. It’s such a treat not to have to get them shortened.

    Also I am also enjoying the ‘normal ‘ – we also did taco Tuesday yesterday… A bit unintentionally.

  • Reply Amnada March 25, 2020 at 9:36 am

    I have Frame capris and Paige full-length jeans. Both fit well on petite frames. If you have a good seamstress, s/he can always adjust the bottoms to be the perfect length for you. I have a pair of Madewell from 3+ years ago that fit well, too, but I find they stretch out over time.

  • Reply ehartung7 March 25, 2020 at 9:51 am

    Now that everyone is home I am loving reading blogs more than ever and I am so grateful for your posts. I love that you were real about wanting to be home with your kids. I think that is so important to acknowledge.

  • Reply felicia March 25, 2020 at 10:33 am

    As an internal med PA with two young kids still going to daycare – I share your (slightly shameful) desires and fears. Thanks for being honest and putting it out there!

  • Reply Beth @ Parent Lightly March 25, 2020 at 10:42 am

    If you are able to reschedule your NC trip, I LOVE my Raleigh Denim jeans. They will hem and repair for free if you can make it to the store in downtown Raleigh.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 25, 2020 at 12:16 pm

      Josh has Raleigh jeans bought at a cute boutique from when we lived in Durham!!!

  • Reply tricia March 25, 2020 at 11:07 am

    I’m talllllll so have slightly different jeans requirements than you – but my favorites over the last few years have been the Gap and Joe’s Jeans! Lots of different styles, washes, etc, and you can find options that aren’t super stretchy. (And joe’s jeans is on ShopRunner so two-day shipping and returns are free!)

  • Reply Gillian March 25, 2020 at 11:55 am

    I like Joe’s Jeans and Everlane. I get the Everlane ankle length and I am 5’3″ and they fit well without alteration. Fit is similar to their work pant (which I think you ended up getting the black pant search).

    I have also be doing telemedicine this week and with most of my patients it has been super smooth. It is amazing how much easier it is than trying to figure out what is going on on a phone call. I have my patients upload sensor data and send it to me via our portal the day before. I even did a video pump training yesterday with my CDE. My biggest issue is the stray kid or husband walking into my room (also my office space) to pick something up off the printer (interestingly neither my au pair or may sitter seem to have this issue). Luckily patients have been very understanding.

    • Reply Kat March 25, 2020 at 6:52 pm

      See if your conferencing tool allows for a virtual background. Zoom has this functionality and it’s great at blurring out people walking around in the background.

      • Reply Gillian March 25, 2020 at 8:59 pm

        We are using a not-so-fancy web-based tool because it is HIPPA compliant. Of course no background can blur out the chugging of my home printer churning out yet another math worksheet.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 25, 2020 at 8:46 pm

      Yes! We also have patients send or share their downloads and Dexcom reports. Amazing that you did a pump training remotely!

  • Reply omdg March 25, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    I have a pair of Lucky Jeans in some sort of boot cut…. before that I got a pair of Paige denim. Both are about 5-6 years old. I’ve been finding that I like wearing leggings more the past two years or so. The only issue with leggings is the visible panty line issue. I just don’t like the way jeans look on my body anymore. For some reason I’m able to get past this when I wear leggings, which are probably even more unforgiving. Maybe because they are more comfortable? In any case, if you want leggings, I’d recommend Title Nine, and if you want fleece leggings, I’d recommend Athleta. I also got a pair of joggers from Lululemon last year that looked nice. If I need to dress up (like to a casual restaurant or something) I throw a casual dress over the leggings instead of a t-shirt, or I just wear a dress. I like theory pants for work wear. I have three pairs: Navy straight leg, black wide leg, and tapered black cropped. They are 4, 5, and 5 years old respectively. I also have some other pairs of dress pants that are older that I can’t quite yet bear to part with, but I’ll get there. 🙂

  • Reply Kathleen March 25, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    Coming out of the woodwork to comment. I am also a physician and I feel a strong pull to be home. I doubt for either of us it is a desire to shirk my professional duty–its just that the instinct to tend to one’s kids and keep them safe is SO strong. (in fact, I’ve been mentally preparing for the possibility I will be called in to the hospital, atrophied inpatient skills be damned, as I am an adult MD.)
    I am jealous that your organization is going to let you do telemed from home! We switched over to that format a few weeks ago but have been told we need to be in the office, on our same hours, as before. It would help that tension between work and family, if I could be home for part of my work hours or shift them around.

    • Reply Jessica March 25, 2020 at 2:58 pm

      Sarah and Kathleen-
      Another MD here, and your comments are really hitting home with me.
      I’ve dreamed of being a doctor since ninth grade, and have never before doubted that path…but now, there is a part of me that wishes I was in another line of work.
      First off, yes, I’m unmoored in a thousand ways, and truly focusing on my patients (usually a natural habit) is taking great energy — it’s draining in a way that I don’t usually experience.
      But, second, being in healthcare right now feels extremely isolating… almost to a person, my non-medical friends and family are working from home; their situations are hard and taxing, but that availability of self-isolation (which I don’t have — even with telemedicine, there is still call and there are still sick patients who need in-person care) is something of which I am extremely jealous. Perhaps self-isolation is nothing more than a veil of safety, but — as someone who feels very physically at-risk right now — it’s one I wish I could have.

  • Reply Teresa March 25, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    I love Levi’s. 505s. Classic straight cut. Timeless. I normally find mine at kohl’s but several stores carry them. They are affordable and I get more than 2 years of wear from them. Look for the thicker denim without much stretch.

  • Reply Gretchen March 25, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    I’ve noticed that lots of instagrammers rave about these jeans (good for all shapes and sizes):

  • Reply Sarah March 25, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    I just want to add another thanks for keeping up these posts. I’m in a bit of the opposite situation in that I cannot do much work remotely (research lab is closed) so I’m home full time with two young kids. That has also meant many mixed feelings. I’m glad I can focus on family now but I also miss my research and regret the loss of progress towards my own professional goals. I really appreciate your posts to see the other side of the situation, and acknowledge that even from a place of financial and health privilege, this is really hard.

  • Reply Maria March 25, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    For jeans, I love Agolde—the Riley or Nico cut. I am 5’4 with a short torso and they fit a dream (they’re ankle cut so length may work for you). They take a minute to break in because there’s little stretch but that’s part of why they’re so great on. I get them on Shopbop.

    Second the rec for Joe’s Jeans, as well. I have a 5ish-year-old pair that I still wear often and the denim washes beautifully.

  • Reply Flor Hernandez March 25, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    I completely feel you about the staying with the kids instead of working. Five ppl were laid off from my job and they also announced everyone would be getting a 20% cut in salary. Work is extremely stressful right now and both of my kids are home and I think to myself maybe I should enjoy this time with them instead of constantly thinking about work. I feel I’ve been running a marathon and there’s no end in sight. But one day and client at a time.

  • Reply Ann March 25, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    Have you tried American Eagle (Short) jeans? Cannot beat the price point and they fit me nicely (I’m 5’3” on a good day).

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns March 26, 2020 at 9:08 am

    I actually really like Banana Republic jeans. I’ve had several pairs and really like how they fit. I prefer their fitted/skinny cuts. They have some mid-waist jeans that I like. I don’t think I can pull off high waisted jeans. They would look like mom jeans, not fashionable. I’ve also had Joe’s Jeans that I really liked. They were pre-pregnancy jeans, and I’m not back in them even though our son is 2. Oh well. Maybe I need to just get rid of them. I do have them packed away so I don’t see them in my closet.

    I really appreciate how honest and candid you are. These are really weird times. I am WFH and our son is home with us. It’s super challenging. So I’m actually kind of wishing for some time away from him. Is that bad? Ha. I love him dearly but am not used to caring for him 24/7…

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 26, 2020 at 11:22 am

      I used to have a pair of Joe’s that I loved!! Forgot about that brand.

  • Reply Tyra March 26, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    I love Nudie jeans, and they let you choose leg length. They’re an ethical company that offers repairs for life too!

  • Reply Sarah Jedd March 27, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    I don’t think that’s a shameful thing to admit AT ALL. I have a PhD, so I understand the investment in education and career, but if I couldn’t be home with my kids right now and work, I would still choose being home with the kids. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to NOT choose.

  • Reply Erica S March 31, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    My current favorite brands of jeans are 7 for all Mankind and Joe’s. I think they are worth the price, but also, I order them from Nordstrom rack for 50% less 🙂

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