It was the wrap up of grade 8 year, when I fell gravely sick. I was just 14, when a virus overtook my body, leaving me lifeless, fighting for my life.
I recall spending a week at a friends, celebrating the wrap up of grade 8 year! Fully recommended meant no final exams, so friends gathered to celebrate the completion, over a few drinks, and some partying! The week turned to the weekend and we continued living the way youth did, and went to participate in a slow pitch tournament, when this all started.
I was up to bat, and soon I heard run, I was disorientated, and unaware of which base came first! I knew something was wrong, I was lost in which base, so I asked my step dad to take me home, Disorientated and out of place! Just as any parent would respond being half hour from home, “go lay in the shade, drink some water, and you ll be just fine” he said!
I have no clue how long I laid in the shade that day, what I recall next was finding the couch and for three days I stayed.
“She’s hung over”, the judgements came- but I knew I was not, something more was happening!
It was a few days into my sleeping phase, I went to the bathroom, and started throwing up blood, this was a new phase. I was weak and lethargic, and knew I needed help, I was failing to recognize I was dying inside out.
My mom took me the next morning up to the doc on call, and what I remember was asking for a chair, after colliding the wall. I was so weak and unsteady risking collapse.
I was diagnosed initially with pneumonia with a little hum and haw they opted to admit me, for observation and IV. It wasn’t long after my mom had left to collect my things and get me a get well gift, when they realized my veins were collapsed, I was failing, and could not get the iv. It was heart failure moving along silently.
I was air lifted to Saskatoon, where I was revived three times, ? Maybe once on a plane, and upon Arriving at RUH. (Honestly I can’t even tell you, because I do not have the memory of this, just the stories of those who suffered through watching and praying through this)! I required life support, the eckmo machine to keep me alive, my organs all failing as the virus tripled and thrived. My heart once a healthy sinus rhythm state went through every arrhythmia state. From first to second then to third degree, soon I would face asystole.
Hours turned to days, which turned into weeks, and then I was wakening, and surviving all this.
Let’s look ahead at the career Choice I made:
I am a health worker – I am trained to be prepared, trained at disease and protection to prevail! Why then does front line send me those chills?! I am a mother, and my kids ask me this, why must you go out throughout all the risk?
Covid 19 is a lethal viral attack, and I’m scared of experiencing again all that but Equally afraid of staff who feel they cannot! We need one another to help the world through the wonder!
Research has shown genes that regulate inflammation are important in determining susceptibility to the viral myocarditis. Was this the case for me, after all I was healthy, and okay, yet faced death and critically.
What’s right, what’s ethical, how do I protect myself best, I’m scared and lonely , and tired of stress!
My fear is for real. It’s ptsd i am sure, But it could be an immune activated risk-leaving me uncertain for more.
You see, exposure feels like a a real danger. I am fearful I am that girl who can’t fight her way like the regular asymptomatic cases . I am fearful I’m that rare girl who will not be so lucky to experienece the silent symptoms. There’s many of you out there!
I often come to terms with knowing the risk, It is what it is, I will get through all this. I come to thoughts that if I shall not, I was destined to care amongst all the cost.
I will have faith, as I do everyday, and I will try to eliminate exposure perfectly. I have no insight of what could go on! But I’m determined to try to work through this head on.
For today I am safe and I remain okay, . Tomorrow could look different who is to say anyway?!
Take it one moment, one breath and one experience at best, let it guide you to your need and the journey coming next.
Who is my advocate what do I have, all that is left was a diagnosis In hand. I am my advocate , that’s who I am, and I will master this anxiety and fear first hand!
I will report to work, and master success, I will help you, nurture you and give you my best! The team of providers that saved me back then, are my inspiration to care for all of you like back when!
Try to be compassionate, and Remember at best, many might be struggling internally, so we must all take on the empathy quest! Let’s trust in our system, and do what we can, let’s rely on the guidelines “Stay home as directed, wash hands”, please care from the side lines Because we are depending on you, to help hold this moment of safety through!
When you arrive in for care….. Follow the rules, mask as directed, the request is of purpose despite its unnatural perspective!
Working together is all this should take because there are so many vulnerable lives at stake. None of us know how it should react, so prevention is key, to minimize attack!
Please reach out to someone if internal haunts happen to you, Be courageous enough to validate your worth working this through! The past is the past but uncertainties remain!