Tell us again how hard your job is. Tell us how since we only work ‘3 days’ a week we have it easy. Tell us to leave work at work. Tell us to smile and not think about who is in the bed, in our care when we are off work. Tell us that we are just nurses…
An Open Letter to All Puppies With Parvo Virus (That Were Unvaccinated)
Dear Adorable Fluffs,
I’m sorry that you don’t understand what is happening to
I’m sorry we have to poke and prod you every little bit so
we can make sure you stay alive and get the treatment you need.
I’m sorry that your intestines is literally and continuously
sloughing unto the puppy pad diapers that you are surrounded by.
I’m sorry I can’t explain to you why we have to draw blood
so often or why you are hooked up to so many tubes and fluid lines.
I’m sorry that you feel so crummy that you won’t eat.
Puppies should be able to love to eat.
I’m sorry that instead of a bright, hyper puppy you are reduced to being a miserable and dull corpse-like ball of diarrhea.
I’m sorry that your entire body might begin to shut down and
you might go into septic shock.
I’m sorry that even around the clock care might not be good
I’m sorry that even the best medicine might not be good
I’m sorry that even if you walk out of here alive and
possibly eventually happy, you had to endure even a single second of this
awful, cruel, debilitating disease.
I’m sorry that that this was most likely preventable (Yes, there are exceptions, but they are rare and almost always has a valid reason why the vaccine didn’t work- i.e. didn’t store the vaccine correctly, giving it only once without a booster, expecting it to miraculously work immediately right before or during a pravo infection etc.).
I’m sorry that your owner didn’t believe in vaccines or that
“we just want to give them for money.” (Hint: iF we ACTUALLY were in this
career for the money, then why in the absolute world would we give a $20
vaccine when we could refuse to vaccinate and make $1,000-$7,000 ++ on each
critical parvo patient that walked in the door?)
I’m sorry that you could have been playing with your
siblings and being snuggled as a puppy should but instead I’m trying not to sob
I might have to put your tiny, emaciated body into a body bag.
I’m so sorry. You deserve so much better than this.
There is a time, a time to love A time to sing, a time to shine A time to leave, a time to stay There is a time, a time to cry A time to love, a time to live There is a time, a time to sing A time to love
~Mumford & Sons
It was bound to happen.
Especially to me. I verbally
process everything and take things personally.
I was bound to end up in counseling.
It was good. The lady
sitting opposite of me didn’t know me at all.
She didn’t know my work. Had no
idea what kind of nurse I am. She didn’t
know what happened every single day at work.
She didn’t know I was a senior nurse with more experience than 70% of
the nurses I work with.
She asked me how long I had been an ICU nurse and she jerked
back to look at me in surprise when I said quietly “Almost 7 years.”
I knew she was expecting me to have been a nurse barely a
year or maybe just at a year. Surely
someone who was 7 years into this sort of career knew what to do and how to
I always thought I did.
I used to bury myself in soccer and sports. Then I got married and buried myself in
that. Turns out my husband doesn’t want
to hear about my day every day. So I
stopped talking about it. I stopped
finding a way to get rid of the mountain of stress that I acquired every time I
worked. It built up. Until one day when the doctors didn’t listen
to me and the patient died- the guilt of thinking I should have done more
overwhelmed me. I stopped sleeping well
before shifts. I would toss and turn
half the night. I turned to sleeping
aids. I would wake up before my alarm
and lay there with my eyes wide, dreading the shift. I would walk into a room with 6.5 years of
experience on my shoulders and feel a desperate terror that I had no idea what
I was doing. I would be filled with
anxiety and be unsettled. They gave me
an orientee and I panicked. I couldn’t
do it. I felt overwhelmed and terrified.
I took the nurse educator aside and begged to have the orientee switched. I told her I couldn’t do it and was burnt
out. I told her I was in counseling and
needed to get myself straightened out. I was brutally honest and felt a measure
of shame that I was so broken.
The counselor listened to me and asked questions here and
there. I cried for a half an hour the
first session. She gave me some tips for
coping with the amount of death and suffering I see every shift. She told me to
put stones in a jar to memorialize each life that I lost or that was lost when
I was there. So far I have 9
stones. I actually thought there would
be more. And then I realized that 9
stones is absolutely insane. Normal
people don’t encounter 9 deaths in their lifetime- let alone in a month and a
half. Healthcare personnel deal with
death so regularly that 9 sounds like a small number. But that is 9 families that have lost a loved
one. 9 people whose lives have ended. 9 people who I either held their hand or
broke their ribs during their final moments. And, I know the number will climb. That jar will be filled.
The counselor talked to me about PTSD and told me that people
in healthcare get overlooked. She said
that firemen, rescue workers, nurses, doctors are just as susceptible to PTSD
as soldiers. It’s a different horror-
but it is horror just the same. As she
spoke and validated the devastation my soul had been feeling… I felt a small
part of me heal. I wasn’t crazy. I wasn’t weak. I was a 31year old nurse whose eyes had seen
too much. I don’t know how many counseling sessions I
will go to. Whether the ones I have had
so far will be enough to really help me cope.
I just know that I
can’t save lives if I don’t first save my own.