I want to try something. I have made no secret over the last many years, the huge amount of respect and appreciation for those who chose the field of medicine as their life. They did so in complete disregard for their physical and emotional needs, for one reason, because they were special. They possess an ability and skill to care that we could only aspire to possess. Over their careers, I am certain they have had their shares of successes and tragedies. But nothing could have prepared them for what they are dealing with today, Covid19.
I have many friends and acquaintances who are doctors, nurses, EMT’s, techs that I could not possibly name them all, not just because my memory is no longer what it used to be, but I would not want to forget and leave anyone out. So, instead, what I want to do, is share a personal story about two nurses that show why everyone on the front lines in the hospital deserve our respect and appreciation for the sacrifices they are making. And then, I would like you to offer a story of a nurse or doctor or tech that you dealt with, that went above and beyond, in a time when Covid19 was not even a thought.
It does not matter if you comment here, or on Facebook. And I want you to share this story. I want to fill social media with stories that show how much these heroes mean now, and what they have meant to us before, and what they will mean to us after this crisis has passed.
I have one experience involving two nurses. At the beginning of my heart issue, when I went in for a simple catheterization, I had a nurse named Heather. She spent a lot of time talking to me, and comforting me knowing I was scared with the uncertainty that I faced with a potential heart problem.
Fast forward to the discovery that I actually needed and went through an emergency heart bypass, thirty six hours later, when I came to in the ICU, Heather was at my beside along with my ICU nurse Joe. She was happy to see me and that I was alert. I was unable to talk because of all the machines that I was hooked up to. She had completed her shift in the angio unit, and had heard that I underwent this surgery. As one of her patients, she wanted to see how I was doing. And it was not the only time that she checked up on me while I was there. The point is, she did not have to. I had so many nurses, and saw so many doctors, but she was the one that was concerned about me, and my outcome.
Meanwhile, Joe, my ICU nurse for the first twelve hours, was relieved by Jackie. Jackie would be my nurse, seemingly for longer than a twelve hour shift. I had no concept of time, but I do not remember seeing any other nurse. I was more alert. I was taking off the ventilator. I could finally see that she had another patient that she was responsible for observing.
The time eventually came for me to leave the ICU for the next level of care. Two days later, in the middle of the evening, a shadow had peeked through the door of my room. It stayed there for a couple of minutes, and then quietly began to exit when I called out. “Who’s there?”
“It’s me, Jackie.” I scolded her for attempting to leave without giving me the chance to say “hello” and “thank you” for all she did. She had been off from work the prior day. She decided to track me down on her break, and come to see how I was doing.
In my life, I have been blessed to have the best care for my health. And I am not just talking about the actual care, I am talking about the compassion, a facet of their career that is just as important, especially to the patient. The doctors and the nurses that I have, or have had, have gotten me where I am today, still alive. The majority of them now face the biggest challenge of their careers, and it is not just Covid19 risks itself, but emotional and physical stamina.
So I ask you, to comment and share, your story/stories, of a health care worker that is your example of proof of the unwitnessed extraordinary sacrifices you know are being made today, because you have personally witnessed them.