I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared.
Scared every time I walk into a possible Covid-19 patient’s room.
Scared every time I clock into work wondering if they’ll have the proper supplies I need to keep myself safe.
Scared for our future if people don’t start taking things seriously.
Scared for the families that are out of work.
Scared that something invisible to the eye can effect us all so much.
Scared for our patients that might not make it.
We can all admit, this is not what we had in mind for 2020.
It sucks. We get it.
I miss going out to eat just as much as the rest of you!
But this is our reality and until people start to understand that, it will be our future, too.
Tonight I took care of an elderly woman who had come in with shortness of breath and a temperature of 103. A possible covid patient. Eventually she was unable to maintain her own airway and had to be intubated.
The harsh reality? She’s probably going to die.
That could be YOUR grandma. That could be YOUR mom. YOUR sister. YOUR aunt. YOUR wife. YOUR friend.
Yesterday, I took care of a paramedic with shortness of breath. His oxygen level at 77% on room air (for those who don’t know; it’s suppose to be between 90-100%). The doctor sat next to her own coworker and explained the need to be intubated, although he already knew. Tears welled up in his eyes. His fear filled the entire emergency department. A virus that he caught AT work, trying to help others had now landed him in the hospital bed. He said, “I’m scared I’m not going to wake up.”
And the reality? He probably won’t.
That could be YOUR dad. YOUR brother. YOUR husband. YOUR grandpa. YOUR uncle. YOUR friend.
As health care workers, we are walking into a room of complete unknown. We hide our fear because our patient is already fearful enough. But we’re scared, too. I’ve prayed outside the door with doctors before entering.
On top of the fear of the virus itself, our protective supplies are getting used up quicker than we have available. We are reusing equipment that is meant to be tossed after a one time use. We fear bringing home anything to our families. We fear getting sick and not being able to help others.
I’ve always wondered if in the moment I’d have enough courage to take a bullet for someone. I’ve learned now that in a way, I kind of am.
I’m swallowing my fear as best as I can. I’m praying for God to watch over me and my patient and I’m putting myself in front of an invisible bullet to help my sick patient.
I’d be lying if I said my hands didn’t shake as I performed my nursing duties. I’d be lying is I said my face wasn’t imprinted with deep marks from the tight mask I wear on my face. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared.
And it’s frustrating for us. If nursing was just nursing, this profession would so much better. It’s the politics that ruin it.
For instance, you’re telling us that we cannot have our water bottle (which we barely get to drink as it is) at our nursing station but now it’s okay that we reuse a dirty mask all day. You’re telling us that we have to do hourly rounding, tend to every single little need and hold our pee for 12 hours but now we can just look through the glass to check on a patient. You’re telling us that we can use a bandana to cover our face but God forbid if we have a tattoo show in front of a patient, we are just the worst nurse in the world. You’re telling us that Italy has a machine that can detect Covid-19 in 15 minutes but ours still takes 3 days to get back. You’re telling us that in nursing school when they told us how to don and doff our PPE (personal protective equipment) but now we have to put our name on a paper bag and reuse it all day.
This is us. We are YOUR friends. YOUR family members. YOUR classmates. We are YOUR nurses.
So you’re miserable sitting at home. You’ve watched everything Netflix has to offer. You’ve ate through half of your quarantine supply. You’ve done every home workout you can think of. Your nails are outgrown and your roots are showing. You miss your bf. And now Amazon Prime says it’s not going to arrive until April 28th.
Imagine sitting in a hospital bed. You’re alone because there are no more visitors allowed. Your nurses have to come in sparingly due to lack of PPE and exposure. You’re struggling to breath (something so small that you’ve realized you’ve taken for granted). You have a virus that there is limited information on. They’re talking about putting a tube down your throat so you can breath.
Are you still complaining?
So as kindly as we can ask, please sit your ass at home.
Wash your hands.
Stop buying all the toilet paper.
Cancel your spring break. Or you might not get another one. (Harsh but true)
Help your elderly neighbors.
Don’t come to the ER for a bee sting or a hang nail.
Cover your cough.
This isn’t going to get better if people don’t make changes. I promise.
It’s spreading and it’s spreading FAST. Our hospitals are filling up fast, ventilators are running low, we have less protective gear, people are dying…what more do you really need?
Oh but you miss the gym? Go on Pinterest, Instagram or YouTube and search for “at home workout”.
You miss church? Look to see if your church has an online sermon or a podcast! Check out my church if your doesn’t! (they’re amazing— weareradiant.com)
You miss your friends? FaceTime them. Text them. Send them a letter in the mail.
You miss eating out? Order from a local take out restaurant. I’m pretty sure Uber Eats made all delivery free.
You miss shopping? Hello, online shopping!
Brush the dust off that cookbook you never use and learn a new recipe! Pull up a yoga session on your tv. Write down your thoughts in a journal. Do a new home project you’ve been waiting to have the time to do. Catch up on your phone calls to your grandparents. Go for a hike, walk or bike ride. Listen to podcasts while you tidy your house. Play with the kids outside. Bust out the cards and board games. Go on a Pinterest pinning spree. Learn a new hobbie. Make crafts. Read a book.
Simply find the joy in social isolation.
I’d much rather be in isolation at home then alone in a cold hospital bed with a deadly virus.
When all this is said and done, maybe we will learn to appreciate our health and our bodies more. Maybe we will learn to love our neighbors and help each other all the times not just in the midst of a crisis. Maybe we will learn to appreciate our time with one another more. Maybe we will learn to appreciate the freedom we have.
We ask that you please be safe. We are praying for every single one of you. But please, do what you can to help.
We will get through this. But we really need YOUR help.