We can never truly predict the future, but I usually have a relatively good sense of where I am going and what life will look like in months ahead. However, I can guarantee that at the beginning of March, I did not realize how much things would change in our lives by the beginning of June. In many ways, we were in this together, but our experiences were so different from one another. At the very start of the pandemic, I laid off six of my seven staff. I wanted to protect them from exposure to the virus. I also wanted them to be first in line for unemployment because I knew if I could not do elective surgeries, I wouldn’t be able to pay them anyway. I was still going into the office every day.
Although I went from seeing 30-40 patients in a day to four patients at most, I was busier than ever. In addition to being the doctor, I was the receptionist, the medical assistant, and the cleaning crew. I spent my days working on EIDL and PPP loans through the Small Business Administration. I read articles and articles and email after email about how to appropriately bring telehealth visits into my practice and how to bill for them, what software to use, and how to merge it with my electronic medical record. After each patient who came into the office, I cleaned every surface they could have possibly touched. No patient used the bathroom without me wiping down every surface from the last patient. I had no idea how contagious the virus was at that point, but I didn’t want to take any risks. At the same time, I was fielding texts and facetime calls with my 14, 13, and 9-year-olds who were at home doing chores I assigned them and working on their schoolwork.
Once the dust settled, my loan applications were in, and telehealth visits were running smoothly, I was finally able to ease up a little and enjoy some of the silver linings quarantine life offered. I learned how to make sourdough bread from a starter my brother gave me…it only took me about 15 tries to get a good loaf; kind of a humbling experience. I also pulled out my sewing machine and went to work making masks for family and friends. I tried to exercise every day to keep my sanity. Now things seem to be turning around. The office is open and in full swing. I have brought back almost all of my staff. My days are busy seeing the patients who make all of this worthwhile and bring a smile to my face (they can’t see it, of course, behind my mask, but hopefully they can feel it).
Our mission is to provide an environment that puts women at ease when presenting with sensitive problems and pelvic floor issues. We treat patients the way we would want to be treated. We listen to each woman’s concerns and tailor her treatment options to her specific needs. Our long-term goal is to continue to provide care as a private medical practice in a state of the art facility. In the current healthcare climate, we want to be able to provide excellent, expert care but at a very personal level.
We do offer some televisits, which patients seem to love, but life is feeling a little more normal. Yet, now I can say that I really have no idea what the future holds. We just need to take life one day at a time. If you are experiencing urogynecology symptoms or have questions, please contact me at 234.205.2040 to schedule your appointment.
Conditions We Treat
Urinary Tract Infections • Pelvic Organ Prolapse • Urinary Incontinence • Vaginal Atrophy
Mary South is a native of Northeastern Ohio. After growing up in Wooster, Ohio she graduated from the College of Wooster and earned her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She and her husband then moved to North Carolina where she completed a four-year residency program in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and then a three-year fellowship in Urogynecology at Duke University Hospital.