The first time I gowned in my PPE to walk into a patients room dying of COVID it felt unreal. Since that time many months ago, I’ve seen the unthinkable happen as this disease has wreaked havoc on society. I’ve seen death after death, both from COVID and from the isolation it has brought to our community. I’ve seen how hard people have to work to breathe before they take their last breath. I’ve stood in a patient’s room for a few extra minutes as they approach death – I just couldn’t let them die alone.
I’ve also heard arguments as to why the horrors from COVID are fake. I’ve had my patience tested far greater than it has before. I’ve had so many people ask me about whether or not they should get the vaccine it would make your head spin. I’ve had friends and family turn to Dr. Google and try to peddle me their findings. And I’ll be honest, I’ve been pushed to my absolute limit at times.
Today I sit with tears in my eyes and with gratitude in my heart that I’m one step closer to keeping my family safe. I’m a few days away from developing immunity, which will essentially serve as PPE that can’t be accidentally contaminated. I won’t have to worry as much about being the cause of anyone dying from a preventable disease.
I finally see light at the end of a long stretch of darkness. Today I stand grateful for my friends and colleagues who’ve gone into these rooms with me. So many of you reading this have sacrificed so much to put the health and safety of others first. I’m thrilled to be joining the ranks of those who proudly post “I’m vaccinated” pictures. It’s almost over.
Now I can continue to care for you and your family – to help them breathe easier or to sit with them for a little bit longer – but I get to do with less fear and less distraction. Because I’m finally vaccinated. I’m so happy.
So if you want to know my opinion on getting vaccinated: ANYONE and EVERYONE who is eligible should get the vaccine. Could there be side effects? Sure, but nothing is as bad as this horrible disease that is destroying our country. There are likely long term effects of that too. This vaccine has the potential to save millions of lives – our friends and family, our colleagues, maybe even our own.
If you would like to share your experience amid the COVID-19 crisis or receiving the vaccine, please send us your photos and stories so you can be featured in the #hapcFacesOfCaring campaign.