I would like everyone to take a few seconds out of your life, stand up, and clap your hands for healthcare providers. This will be the clap heard around the blog world.
Ironically, my first job as a nurse was on a post surgical breast unit at Mayo Clinic. I never imagined that after 16 rounds of chemotherapy, I will eventually be a patient on a unit very similar. As a nurse anesthetist, I am responsible for intubating COVID-19 patients. From doing this, to being diagnosed a cancer patient in such a short period of time was overwhelming. You never realize how much or how little (Netflix binge) can happen in 24 hours until you receive life-changing news. Added to this, COVID-19 was and has been devastating for so many. Everyday we hear stories of people losing loved ones, dying alone, and of the critically ill. Meanwhile, healthcare providers bravely go to work everyday (despite risk to themselves and their families) and continue to care and do their jobs. You deserve the biggest thank you and a pair of free crocs (had to lighten it up a little).
During my transition from nurse to patient, I have gained an enormous amount of empathy and perspective. I have learned what my new normal will be like for the next several months and accepted it. I have grown more in the past few months than my growth spurt in 8th grade. I know when I return to work I will be a different provider. I will be strong when my patients feel hopeless. I will not judge my patients based on their health history. I will listen to verbal and nonverbal cues more intently. I will share my story if it can be empowering. Days can be long and we can lose sight of our goals when we are surrounded by despair. To all providers, please know that you are helping people more than you perceive. You have touched many lives and will continue to do so, as you have done for me.