As I’ve been inpatient for the past six days now, I’ve been talking with the nursing staff here about what they have witnessed with COVID-19 and I’ve been reading the news and trying to understand what’s happening as restrictions are lifted in my state – and there are several things weighing on my mind and heart that I’ve seen and heard over the past few days that I want to share.
The first part of this post will be several news links and whatnot – and the second half, more personal thoughts.
In The News & On Social Media
First, though I’m sure most of you have already seen this, I would be remiss not to mention that, as states are abruptly lifting restrictions, we are seeing dramatic increases in the number of cases of COVID-19, as well as the number of deaths.
In fact, we have seen the highest number of deaths in a single day to date in the United States.
This is not coincidence.
And it is only going to get worse.
As the above link reports, the CDC – and, therefore, the White House – is aware that the daily death rate in the United States will likely be 3000 by June 1st.
It’s also becoming clear that certain disadvantaged people groups, like the Navajo Nation, are being hit particularly hard by this crisis – as this article states, they have more deaths than 13 states combined – and this is not being addressed.
It’s truly heartbreaking.
And, as the nurses here in my hospital have been telling me what they have been experiencing (more on that in a bit), I also read this, written by a nurse from New York, processing the absolute hell she is living. It is long and I am going to share all of it. Please take a minute to read what is happening, both to these patients and to the healthcare staff who are doing their best to help them.
Her pain is palpable in this post and my heart hurts for her and for this young man and his family.
And this is happening everywhere.
From another perspective, I saw this on Twitter. . .
. . . and was reminded again how horrific this virus is when it turns bad. It is unpredictable and we DON’T understand it. We can’t vaccinate against it – and we don’t have an effective treatment for it.
Wear your masks when you MUST be out – and STAY HOME when you possibly can.
So, from an outside news perspective, these issues are where my head and heart have been the past few days. . .
My Perspective As An Inpatient (Who Is Also An Old Nurse)
While I’ve been reading and thinking on all of this, I’ve also been an inpatient myself, on the cardiac unit of a local hospital, not allowed to see my family due to COVID-19 restrictions.
I have been so fortunate to have amazing nursing staff – and, because there is a camaraderie between nurses, and mine have all been with me for several days at a time, they have often stayed to talk with me about the goings on with COVID-19 and my past work experiences and my family and my writing now and just life in general, as well as all their lives and interests. This has made my stay so much happier.
I have also been well enough to stay in touch with my family through calls and texts and FaceTime, a true blessing. ❤
STILL. . .
I have not seen my family since I came to the ER on Thursday of last week.
Not my husband. Not my daughter. Not my Henry.
And Henry the Service Puppy is my anxiety wonderpup.
So, yesterday morning, I woke up with the worst anxiety attack I have EVER had.
It was awful – and that is despite my having the best possible circumstances given the situation we are all in.
It’s still very difficult.
So, for the patients and families dealing with COVID-19? Being separated from a critically ill family member – and sadly often having them pass away without getting to even see them again?
I cannot imagine their pain, the grief and suffering they are walking through is just unbearable.
I am so devastated for them.
Still, I know that God is in control of this mess – no matter how it is managed or mismanaged and I am praying oh-so-hard for this whole crisis and its victims.
Yesterday, a staff member left my door open as they were leaving – their hands were full – and I overheard a conversation between two administrators in the hall outside of my room.
They were saying that they would need to test all patients for COVID-19, “even the direct admits,” from now on.
I’m not sure if someone who ended up being COVID-19 positive was missed on admission or if this is just out of an abundance of caution – but something brought them to a floor that is far removed from the COVID-19 unit to make that decision.
Things are changing as restrictions are relaxing.
As for me, I’ve had several more tests ordered today – assessing my heart as I’ve been septic several times now and also my hip as it is still giving me fits – and then I pray we will have a discharge plan in order.
All prayers, good vibes, and warm fuzzies are appreciated.
Be well, everybody. Take care of yourselves and each other.
Grace and Blessings.