To all my loyal followers, I apologize for my extended absence after my debut post. 7 years does seem a bit excessive for writer’s block, but more on that later…
I’m sitting here on the couch, it’s the somethingth of March (I think it’s still March) and I’m, like I’m sure many of you are, trying to make sense of what is happening in the world right now. Unprecedented is the word I keep seeing…seems pretty accurate.
What also may be unprecedented is the way we are all feeling about it, coping with it, trying to find our “new normal”…something we tend to do when life altering events occur. Except now we have the additional challenge of doing it with social distancing and curfews. So, I thought I would share some of my recent thoughts to see if they rang true with anyone else, just in case.
- Netflix. Need I say more?
- OK…maybe just a little more…I want to personally thank Jim Gaffigan, Tom Segura, Jimmy Carr, Joe Exotic, Marty Byrde and the cast of Love is Blind (in no particular order) for helping me shelter in place.
- I keep getting thrown when I look out the window because typically when we are in this situation we are incapacitated with 1/8 inch of snow.
- I now have no doubt that I could survive on sandwiches and frozen pizzas.
- It’s probably a really good thing that we can’t get alcohol delivery in Birmingham.
- Remember when that Sandra Bullock movie The Net came out in 1995? And I thought how ridiculous it was to think you get through life without having physical contact with anyone? I’m feeling a bit Angela Bennett-ish.
- The news is not a great thing to have on in the background these days, especially when you can tend to get anxious at baseline.
- I have always had the upmost respect for the people I work with, but watching what my colleagues across the nation and the world are doing right now is downright inspiring. And I’m not talking about the physicians.
- This is scary. I’m afraid. I have cancelled going for a walk with my best friends 3 times in the past 2 weeks because I am afraid to leave my house to do anything but go to work. I am afraid of unknowingly passing the virus to someone…I’m worried about my 92 year old mother…I’m afraid of getting sick myself because, as I have been reminded, I’m too old for ECMO. I am afraid and anxious at some point every day.
- Somedays I struggle to remain hopeful. I have always known that I have a healthy fear of the unknown and this is no different, but I especially miss seeing that light at the end of the tunnel. Hearing all the conflicting “facts” and seeing the lack of joining together and fighting this as a team at the highest levels can only be described as disheartening. I feel hopeless at some point every day.
- Despite the fear and hopelessness that seems to come in waves, I feel very fortunate. Fortunate to have a job I love and fortunate to be surrounded at work by people I love and respect and owe my sanity (and my life) to. The team of co-workers in the emergency department at Children’s of Alabama are like no other and I wouldn’t want to face what we see every day (pandemic or otherwise) with anyone else. Every single day you continue to amaze me with your strength, your compassion, and your humor. Thank you for being my front line every day. Despite everything, I feel fortunate at some point every single day.
One of my favorite signs from a previous time in my life I think works well now:
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly.
I have it in a place where I can see it when I first wake up in the morning. I use this to remind me to stay hopeful. Hopeful that my sweet boyfriend will stop trying to “cheer my up” by watching Monty Python. Hopeful that my amazing friends from medical school and I can reschedule our much needed annual trip. Hopeful that my tribe knows I am here if they need me. And hopeful that my friends don’t give up on me when I let the fear get the best of me. I do know we will get through this, and I know we will only get through this together. And, for the first time today, that gives me hope.
Thank you for taking the time to read this…I just wanted to share some of my thoughts, because some of you might have some of the same.
Just in case…