Episodes 9 & 10 with Dr. Littlewood | Animal Dermatology Clinic

Dr. Janet Littlewood MA PhD BVSc DVR DVD MRCVS RCVS Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology

Dr. Janet Littlewood (MA PhD BVSc (Hons) DVR DVD MRCVS) is a veterinary dermatology specialist practicing at her independent clinical referral dermatology service in Cambridge, the United Kingdom. In February 2022, Dr. Littlewood will begin a 4-month dermatology locum at Animal Dermatology Clinic – Perth, in Australia.

Join Dr. Littlewood here for her travel blog as she journeys from the UK to Australia during these interesting times for global travel, and begins practicing veterinary dermatology in the Land Down Under!

Episode 9: Life in Quarantine!

Three days done, eleven more to go! Coping well so far. The jet lag has been the worst problem. I had hoped that staying up and not cat-napping, going to bed at a sensible local time, and already being sleep deprived would help get me into the new time zone quickly. Since Saturday night to Wednesday morning I only had about 12 hours sleep, as well as losing 8 hours somewhere across the world, so there was a big deficit to make up. But in spite of this I keep waking up in the small hours and struggling to get back to sleep. By mid afternoon I have that spacey, out of body feeling, which is not pleasant! Yesterday I decided to just sleep when my body told me it needed to, and have now caught up a bit, and slept better last night.

Blog 9 IMG_2615 (1)I feel very fortunate to have ended up in a 5-star hotel for quarantine! The bed is comfortable, room spacious, and food is excellent, supplemented by a care package courtesy of Karla (can’t wait to meet you in person and becoming a  member of the ADC Perth team!). Best of all is having a big window with a good view. It made my first Australia Day – parachutist landing close to the hotel during the day and a great view of the fireworks in the evening. Am keeping in touch with folks back home by a WhatsApp broadcast, have had video calls with my sister and my son in New Zealand – feels exciting to be on the same side of the world as him and his fiancée! They did Managed Isolation Quarantine in November, and were lucky enough to be allowed outdoor exercise time – but I knew that was not going to be an option for me, although it would be nice to be allowed an open window. Strange that in the UK having open windows is a recommendation for managing Covid-19 infection, but here it is seen as a risk! Haven’t seen anyone face to face since the Day 1 sampling for PCR test (still don’t have results), but have had telephone calls from the Medical Team and also the Well-being Team. Good to know that they are there if needed. Keeping occupied with the activities I had planned before departure, and the Australian Open Tennis is a real bonus. So, all is good!

Episode 10: Surviving the Wait

One week done, another week to go! Actually, the first week has passed remarkably quickly – helped by the daily dose of Australian Open Tennis. I struggled for the first few days with jet lag, but now seem to be on local time, physiologically speaking. Interestingly, day 7 was a low point, mood-wise, but I understand that this is not unusual for quarantine detainees. Now that the number of days left is decreasing, I am sure it will get easier.

Blog 10_IMG_2620So, what have been my essentials for surviving this incarceration? Knitting! – salvation of my sanity during Covid lockdowns over the past 2 years; puzzles; reading – excellent insight on my new country of residence from the delightful Bill Bryson – and coffee. My own individual cafetière and favourite Costa Rican Fairtrade coffee were essentials on my packing list from the outset, before deciding on what else to bring!

Blog 10 IMG_2617

All things considered, life in hotel quarantine has not been too bad – food is good, room is comfortable, have had several phone conversations with medical team and well-being team, and seen real people encased in full PPE twice for the obligatory PCR tests (no news after 24 hours is good news!). Have had very welcome video calls with family members back in Blighty and closer to hand in New Zealand, and it was wonderful to hear Dr. Mandy’s voice yesterday evening. We are both looking forward to fun times together over the coming months. Roll on 7 February and freedom!