I am scared!!
There I said it.
What is making me scared? Life!
I want to write about a recent occurrence with myself and my family, I am just hesitant to make this post for FEAR of what others will think. So……… I don’t care what others will think about this or me right now. I have a voice and I want to use it on my own terms. This Blog is mine to write what I want, and I hope you read it and something resonates with you.
As a Wellness Coach, I “coach” people to find happiness through improving their current coping strategies when dealing with stress, anger or the feeling of insufficiency. I guide my clients to a path of wellness, hope and self love. I advocate for those that may not have anyone else to help them with their medical journey. I spend my time and years of knowledge helping others.
As a Family Nurse Practitioner, I work tirelessly to support my patients, help heal my patients, and provide the best medical care that I have learned how to provide over the last 13 years.
As an Advance Practice Registered Nurse, I will always be a nurse(20 years strong)! Daily, I hold my patients hand, I give them hugs, I support them and their family members, I listen, I educate and I “nurse” them down their path of life. Maybe it is a path of wellness; maybe it is a path toward death. Either way, I guide them in the most comfortable and dignified way!
Why am I SCARED? Because I am also a MOM! Every day I go to work (even before COVID-19) I am scared for my daughter. I fear that she will have illness causing her to suffer; I fear she will see me develop an illness that will cause her to suffer; I fear I may be unable to protect her and prevent illness; and, I fear that I will be the cause of her illness or suffering.
Why am I SCARED? Because I am a WIFE! Every day I leave my house (even before COVID-19), I hope to return later that day. I am scared of losing my best friend. I am scared of my best friend getting ill and I will not be able to “fix” him; I fear that I will hurt him; I am scared that I may develop an illness and pass it onto my best friend; and I fear that I will be unable to protect him from harm.
Why am I SCARED? Because I am a DAUGHTER and GRAND-DAUGHTER! Every day that I wake up (even before COVID-19) I fear the loss of my parents or my gram; I fear they will get ill and I will not be able to help them; I fear I could cause them harm; I fear I will be unavailable for them when I am needed; and I fear I will not hear their voices.
In the past month, fear has taken over most “good” people that I know and admire (since COVID-19). Everyone is talking about how SCARED they are. I hide my fears! I hide them because I think people will feel comfort knowing “If Tina is not scared then I shouldn’t be”. People look at me like I can handle most anything (so I have been told). “You are strong Tina, You don’t need my help Tina, You’ve got this Tina, Let me know if you need anything Tina”. In the past month do you know how many people asked me “Are you OK Tina?” 3! That’s right, 3! (the naysayers are like….. she keeps track?) It’s easy to keep track with such a small number. This used to upset me because I would think noone cared. In reality, It is my fault noone asked me. I put the persona out there that I can handle this , I am fabulous all of the time, I’ve got this, I am strong. When people see me in this manner, they don’t think to ask me if I am OK! They know I am OK. The thing is I am OK!! But, I am still SCARED!
COVID-19 is a virus that many are dying from; but it is a virus that many more are healing from! Why do people have to count the number of deaths? We should be focusing on the living. By counting the deaths, this is a scare tactic. If people know how many are dying, this will scare them into following the direction of the people “In charge of our destiny”. YOU are in charge of your destiny. YOU need to take care of YOU, your loved ones and the people around YOU! YOU shouldn’t have to see how many people die daily from this virus or any other disease. YOU should be sad if 1 person dies and do what it takes to help out. So what SCARES me is those of YOU that are not taking responsibility to care for me, my family, my friends and my patients. YOU think this is a joke! You think it won’t happen to you! Yes it will, and it can happen to your loved ones.
I spent the last 2 weeks sick, presumably the same virus that has everyone SCARED right now, resulting in pneumonia. I have been isolated from all family and friends except when my husband or daughter brought me food on paper plates and plastic silverware and disposable cups; or when they checked on me from a distance while wearing a mask because I couldn’t breath to have a mask on myself so I could protect them; or when I received the occasional call/text from someone checking on me. I couldn’t walk across the room without struggling to breath to get my own water, tea or food. I didn’t have the energy or breath to take a shower. I spent 24 hours a day in my basement and eventually my back patio(now that the weather warmed up). I can’t hug my daughter who looks scared watching me. I can’t hug my husband to let him know how thankful I am for looking out for me. I can’t hug my mom and dad and thank them for worrying about me. I was afraid to fall asleep at night for fear that I would stop breathing and die. My biggest fear was going to the hospital if I got worse. I layed on my blow up bed and developed a plan of what I would do if I got worse; what hospital system I would go to; who I would call for help; I asked my husband to sleep with his cell phone in case I needed him.
I was SCARED to get help from the medical community for which I am a part of. WHY???? I should feel comfort in knowing there are people with capabilities to heal me; make me feel better; prevent complications. BUT NO! I was SCARED of these very people. Social media……… another topic altogether. But, in this instance, social media was an open book which allowed me to read posts from colleagues, friends, co-workers, ex-co-workers and strangers about their current work environments. They posted about shortages of supplies. They posted about why they wanted to quit the jobs they love. They posted about how horrible the hospital system they work for are because they were not getting support they thought was lacking.
You still want to know why I am SCARED! People are reading and watching the process of gowning, gloving and prepping to go in a patient room to help them. A patient can take their last breath while waiting for someone to help them. A patient fears the nurse that is angry at her current situation and will not provide the best care. A patient fears nurses will quit, who will take care of them? A patient fears the lack of knowledge that is being acknowledged by so many healthcare providers. Since when was it OK to have your cell phone at work taking pictures of yourself and your patients? Why is it OK to show the world, who didn’t sign up for working in healthcare, the struggles we may face each day as healthcare workers? DO healthcare workers think it makes them look more like a HERO if everyone sees how they are struggling?
HERO: ” A person who is admired or idealized for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities” (dictionary definition).
That patient was me. I was SCARED to go to the hospital! Instead, I took care of myself at home. I took care of myself with minimal assistance for fear of giving it to someone else. This may have resulted in a terrible situation, but the fear grabbed hold. Would I recommend this to others? I am still thinking about this question.
Luckily for me, I am on the mend. I am getting better. I am coming out of this with a few positive changes. I need the medical community to think about what they are portraying to the public. I understand you are SCARED, as am I! But, you can get help for your fears. Don’t use the social media community as your therapist. If you want to hold up to the portrayal of HERO, then WE need to show that we are courageous and we will do what it takes for our patients, as we do every day of our career. Let’s talk about who we are healing; whose hand we are holding; who’s family member we are calling for updates; the laughter we are able to provide; and of course our medical knowledge and respect that we have earned! As HEROES, we should be taking the fear from others, not causing it.
Stay home, protect yourself and those around you. Human’s are known to be selfish, let’s change that right now! Let’s post and tell the good outcomes of this virus or any illness; let’s educate the public using our knowledge and scientific studies; Let’s stop spreading FEAR!
My HERO(S) include my family for what they endure daily with me having this illness/virus and having to return to work helping others with this illness and others. They did not sign up for this, I did! But, because they love me, they support me and I love them for this. Thank you for being my HERO’s!
Who is your HERO?
Tina Butt, Health and Wellness Coach and Healthcare Advocate
Owner, Qualified Wellness Solutions, LLC https://qualifiedwellnesssolutions.com/contact/