Sunday, May 3, 2020

The end is in sight

As I contemplated what to share in this post and what to title the post, I googled "the end is in sight" and clicked on images. Some were funny, some serious, but none seemed to fit what I was looking for. I have good news for you all, especially for my family! I have 8 working days left here- 4 days this week and 4 days next week. I am alive. I am healthy. I am supported and loved. I bought a color by number coloring book on Amazon to help me de-stress while I am here. When off work, I am stuck at the hotel. I was studying, but since I graduated with my Masters today, I think I can lay off on the studying a bit for now until I am ready to study for my national certification test. 😁

The end is in sight for me here and also for all of you who are quarantined or under a shelter in place/stay at home order. I consider the future with great trepidation as I have seen, heard, and experienced unspeakable things here in NYC during this crisis. Things I cannot even begin to explain. I am not called to live in fear, so I am trying not to be fearful as the world begins to open back up and people begin to come out of their homes, but deep down that is what I am feeling if I am really honest. Fear is crippling, thus as I attempt to re-frame my thoughts, the word cautious begins to fill my mind.

 I have been a nurse for almost 6 years and I could not have ever imagined the state of things here in NYC. No one could have prepared me for what it is like here. It was a real life nightmare. I have been trained at some of the biggest, best hospitals that our country has to offer, and I have also spent time in some of the smaller, not so top of the line hospitals. Believe me when I say could never have imagined running out of IV pumps or feeding pumps (I was only thinking about the news and ventilators and beds), adult diapers, incentive spirometers, pillows, or washcloths. I could never have imagined a hospital environment of complete chaos with people in stretchers on the units and no one knew who they were or where they came from. Hospitals are typically extremely structured and at least labeled as organized chaos. I have never had to wait until 8am or after to get my assigned patients (because no one knows who will show up to work and how much relief staff they will get each morning/night) and needed to then go check that they were actually alive and breathing. I have never seen doctors refusing to enter patient rooms, or respiratory therapist who will not enter rooms to administer nebulized medications. I have never seen nurses or other medical personnel wear so many layers of protective equipment and still have fear in their eyes. I cannot explain the feelings that washed over me each morning as I walked to the hospital and walked past 4 refrigerated semi trucks filled with bodies. Every morning and evening, this is what I passed.

The bright side is that things are slowing down here! I have had empty rooms the last few days! In regards to the bodies, they are being brought into the hospital to be processed and we are now down to 3 refrigerator semis.

This virus is all that the world has been talking about and focusing on. Day in and day out, this is all I see on facebook, instagram, and TV. I don't have any answers and this virus has me baffled. The typical things we (medical professionals) do don't work. We have been doing all we can for these patients and they continue to die right before our eyes. Friends, as you begin to live your lives, please continue to say a prayer for your fellow Americans in NYC and elsewhere who will continue to watch as their friends and family die. Please take time to image what I have been through and shared with you. This is not fake news. This is real life and people are dying. As we begin to move forward again, please treat one another with compassion, patience, and caring. Not everyone feels the way you do and that is okay! God is still in control! Friends, I am surviving because of your love, prayers, encouragement, and support. Thank you all so very much!

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