“Code blue” reiterates through the hallways as nannies, PAs, respiratory therapists, doctors, custodial proletarians, and PCAs scurry through the corridors in paper scourings, blue whisker covers, N95 cover-ups, and face shields.
That’s five system blues since 9 a. m. I make a mental document as the clock teeters on the 9:45 marker.
Being on the front line at a hospital is something I’ve never seen before, something I couldn’t even imagine as I paraded up to snag my diploma just a few years ago. It’s something I’ve exclusively seen in movies.
Nearly every component in this massive hospice located in New York , now known as the epicentre of the COVID-1 9 pandemic, is a marked COVID unit, and only a few hundred cases reticent of becoming an exclusively-COVID hospital.
These cases are in a non-breathing limbo, where tubes inflate their chests and wet-nurses and doctors do everything they can to keep them alive; admittedly, it’s exactly not enough sometimes. Meanwhile, these medical professionals are struggling to breathe, too, through the hot air in their masks and the squeeze on their neck bones as they push through their 12 – to 16 -hour days.
A mess of numbers indicative of patients’ respiratory rates are listed on the windows outside each patient’s room, acting as a “cheat sheet” of sortings to keep each patient alive. These men and women who wake up every morning, intelligences submitted low as they approach what feels like the battleground, are not just hospital heroes–they are world warriors. They gear up in their PPE and charge into battle, racing toward the virus, unlike the rest of the world that is sprinting away, mandated to the safety of their own homes.
The irony is poetic, actually, with both sides doing what they can to save lives. On one pas, American citizens stay home, told they must “flatten the curve”, while the medical professionals are simply trying to avoid a flat line.
As a infirmary Occupational Therapist, my capacity is to ensure patients get out of bed, multiplication their strong, and relearn the ability to carry out even the smaller enterprises on their own–tasks we take for awarded, like brushing teeth, combing “hairs-breadth”, even putting on socks. These undertakings can be difficult for patients who are cognitively diminished, shaky, and sick. My role is also to ensure cases are moving on to the next height of proper reclamation and care so they can reach their highest potential and return to their lives. I go to work for the patients who still need me, regardless of a worldwide pandemic. While the rest of the world seems to have stopped, theirs hasn’t.
No one ever “ve been thinking about” what happens to these patients after they’re saw medically “okay”.
They’ve been in bed, unable to breathe, let alone move, for two, four, sometimes six weeks. For these patients, they appear to have won the battle but begin to feel like they’re losing the fighting. They come to learn that their arms and legs don’t work the action they used to, and they wonder how they woke up from such a dream but somehow opened their noses to a new hallucination. That’s where we come in: the Physical therapist and Occupational Therapists on the front lines.
As cases become ready for rehabilitation, the therapists look at each other with a merger of eagerness and arrest. We ask ourselves, “How are we going to get these people to sit at the edge of the bunked on their own, let alone walk back into their normal lives? ”
The other daytime, I kneeled in a patient’s berthed with his entire figure weight bending against me because he could not support his own. Why? So he had been able to recollect what it feels like to simply sit up. I was stooping in the bunked of a patient who freshly measured negative after weeks in the ICU suffering from COVID-1 9.
In that time, I was abruptly so aware of how honored I am to be a therapist during this pandemic. He leaned against me and tried, with all his strength, to sit, only sit, up. I was so proud of this stranger who was pulped up against me. Against all odds, he made it. Despite the nervousnes, the illness, the damage to hold on, he survived.
Some people are surviving.
And it’s not just the traditional doctors and nurses on the frontlines. It’s not just the therapists like myself. Since class are unable to visit their loved ones and see subsidize, they connect via FaceTime and paints. This means that social workers are putting in their overtime too, in an attempt to revive a heartbeat in the Intensive Care Units. That daylight, a COVID-1 9 survivor baby-sit up for the first time in a month, and because of our other frontline craftsmen, his family got to see it too.
Each day I don my protective gear, and I picture COVID cases of diversifying medical ranks. Some can breathe with minimum oxygen, while others are struggling each second. I assist them into sitting at the edge of the berthed and stand up just so they can remember what it feels like to be human. A thing they used to do before all this happened at the start of a new day. A period full of possibilities as the sunshine rose in the sky. The loudspeakers send a sweet tune to the ears of hospital craftsmen these days as Here Comes the Sun represents when a patient is extubated. As a patient breathes air in on their own. The daylight is certainly rising. A flame lights even in the dark.
As I ram home after a physically and mentally exhausting shift, grateful for the deep breath I eventually get to take in, I peer out the window at amiable reminders that come in a split second and submerge my soul with appreciation. I learn clues on home spaces that predict “Stand Strong NY” and “Healthcare Heroes, we love you.”
My heart aches. I wish I could do more. I choose I could’ve viewed my patient’s wife’s hand when she was told he overstepped. I bid I could’ve gript my other patient’s baby girl. I wish I could’ve built them suffer less; I wish I could’ve originated his family understand he was cherished by each person who came in contact with him. They were not alone.
The evening hours prompt me that for what might be considered a grumpy city, there is so much affection and breadth of feeling behind the claps and applauds that ovate research hospitals craftsmen at switch modification here in New York. In a age of anguish, uncertainty, and sadness, may we remember that all of our stomaches trounce together.
Though we are isolated, our mettles thump as one.
Stand strong, New York, my metropolitan, and stand strong every other city in every other state that is battling COVID-1 9 through the ignites. There will be a time this will be a memory, a page in a autobiography work, and we will appreciate those instants of stillness–because at one point, that was all we had.
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