We talked to each other at a distance of eight feet. She was feeling well, and fortunately her labs were stable. Not normal, and not even that great, but not worse, meaning the chemotherapy was still holding her leukemia at bay, and not so low that she needed a transfusion. We spent a few minutes discussing Covid-19, the precautions she was already taking, and what measures she could put in place to protect her further.
Then I washed my hands and began a weak approximation of a physical examination, to minimize the amount of time I had direct contact with her.
Whereas normally I cradle my patients’ arms and walk them to the exam table to make sure they don’t lose their balance along the way, I left her to her own devices.
Whereas normally I palpate a person’s neck, searching for lymph nodes, I tried to do this instead