Day 7

Had a good dinner last night, and would like to say I slept like a baby. I did sleep until the alarm, so there is a small bonus.

Mom sent me some scrub caps and I forgot how much I love having my head covered. I am definitely a hat, scarf, do-rag kind of girl. I don’t know why. It could be laziness. I hate doing my hair.

This morning I am listening to Amanda Shires and wishing I had my little Bose speaker with me. TV is depressing these days. I don’t want to watch the news and I don’t want to see life back to normal on reruns either. I just want to hear some soothing melodies. Oh! And for some reason I fell down a rabbit hole yesterday and started watching interviews and videos of and about Townes Van Zandt. He fascinates me.

People want updates. Not much to say. I do not know how this hospital runs during normal times, but now it is chaotic. I have not found a routine, but I am working on it. I think I will figure it out. Today my goal is to find a list of the floors and their names and phone numbers. Keep your goals specific, measurable, and attainable, isn’t that the advice?

I cannot lie. I am the last to know most things at these hospitals. If information is disseminated on a need to know basis, I guess I am one of the ones who does not need to know. One facility sent me the most “current” information on COVID, and it was literally a copy and paste a viral FB post. 

If you want further proof of the level of my cluelessness, let me tell you about yesterday. I was sitting up in an office working on my notes and desperately trying to figure out this new EMR. I am sitting there, my eyes are squinty because I have a headache, and I am steadily muttering to myself about how stupid all of this is and why can’t things just be easier, when I start hearing the loudest sirens. I thought maybe it was ambulance or something coming into the ER. You can’t get mad about that. Except it just kept going. FOREVER. After several minutes I exclaimed “What the hell is going on???” The doctor working in the office turned and told me to look out the window. There were like a million cars and firetrucks and police officers all driving by. It was like the loudest parade I have ever seen. I have to tell you that was the second time I got all misty eyed and emotional yesterday. 

Every time we discharge a COVID patient they play Rachel Platten’s Fight Song overhead. It is similar to the song they play at some hospitals when a baby is born. I think we are getting fewer COVID hospitalizations, but there still seem to be a lot. 

I wonder what hospitals are going to look like once the surge is over. Are our rural hospitals going to get patients again? Am I going to be able to find work? Are we going to have to keep COVID floors from now on? Or will this just die out? 

We don’t know. I suppose we just have to watch and see. 

For now, I want to say thank you to my friends and family who are sending me supplies, masks, caps, and good wishes. You guys are the reason I can do the job I do. Even when we are not in the middle of a crisis I need the support from the ones I love. I am lucky to have the freedom to be able to travel around and try to help where I am needed most. I am lucky to have a supportive family who take care of my day to day life. I would not trade my people for anything. I am so grateful and appreciative. 

Day 5

Day 5

Of course I woke up an hour before my alarm went off. It only makes sense for me to be awake while the rest of the world is tucked away in their beds. I don’t know what they are dreaming of- but I am haunted by anxiety and images of a post apocalyptic world where we never see a smile again.

These masks are hiding the fastest way for us to share our social distancing humanity. I suppose I can only hope my eyes are sending kind messages.

I am struggling a little to figure out how to best be of use. I am doing my job to the best of my ability and I am struck by feelings of inadequacy and fear of missing something important. This is the hardest part of working in the healthcare field. I don’t have any magic answers and don’t believe anyone else does either.

I guess this is the problem with a “novel” disease. It’s brand new and quite frankly I think he is an asshole. I do not think he is a wild animal to be domesticated, and I can only hope he mutates down into something akin to our less virulent influenza strains. Do the virology experts have nightmares about these boogers too? Maybe their knowledge gives them some peace, although I suspect they know more about these microscopic demons and have this feeling of dread as well.

So, even though I am pretty much wracked with a sense of unease, I have to focus on what I can do. I can take care of my patients and the people I love. I can look for solutions and educate myself. I can be a good example for others to follow. Hopefully that will be enough.

I try to dedicate my life to being useful. I want to know I have done my best to be a good citizen and member of society. I do this by doing my job. I look for ways to be of service. I try to the best I can with the tools I have available. Maybe that is all any of us can do.

In the words of the Red Hot Chili Peppers … “these are the melancholy mechanics of my mind…”