Jackie shares in her latest blog posts some difficult feelings. This is the Nurses International Community response:
Jackie, I’ve thought of you each day while you’ve been working in NYC. Your honesty, smarts, and willingness inspire and challenge me. Thank you for letting us be your community of love and care when things are difficult. We love you! – Miriam
Jackie, what you’ve been able to do, on both micro and macro scales in the last month, is a model of what health providers do at our very best. Proud, inspired, and delighted to be associated with you. – Erica
Jackie, I’m not a medical provider but my wife’s a PA and my brother’s an MD. They’ve both experienced that numbness you wrote about in your lung transplant post. When they go through that experience I admire them all the more; they’re making a deep sacrifice in service to their patients. Thanks for your sacrifice, which is making a difference even as you learn a new role. So many people couldn’t, or wouldn’t, do what you’re doing. May you find peace today. – Pete
Dear Jackie, warm greetings from Nepal! I want you to know that we are grateful and inspired by the sacrifices you are making to save lives during this hard time. I hope you will be able to stay strong and find peace! – Bimala
Jackie, Your posts resonate so deeply with me. As a MICU nurse practitioner now dealing with COVID in SE Wisconsin, I want to stand in solidarity with you, knowing all too well that feeling of numbness and staring down what appears to be at times insurmountable. May you have peace this day. Your labors are not in vain. You are not alone. Much love to you! – Adrienne
Hi Jackie. You have earned your compassion fatigue. I experienced this while working on an Indian Reservation. Death and despair were overwhelming. I think we develop a protective shell for our survival. Each crack in the shell will be painful, but it also allows light in. Take time to recover. If you must work, consider a new area for at least a while. Recover, rejuvenate, rejoice. Judy in Arizona.
Hi Jackie. Thank you for sharing such raw emotion and experience with feeling numb. I believe that the numbness that follows tragedy is a time of introspection and healing. Having worked in the operating room on patients who were really at the brink of death, it was so gut wrenching when the patient you worked on for hours passes away. You no sooner wrapped up the case and cleared the OR suite, before administration was scheduling another case. The only way to persist was to allow some bit of numbness to set in. That said, numbness turns to other emotions such as sadness, anger, confusion, and calm. Allow yourself to feel and to heal. I am inspired by your heart and your devotion. – Nancy in South Carolina.
Thank you, Jackie, for sharing your story. The contributions that you have made to the fight against COVID-19 in the field and in educating other healthcare workers are immeasurable and far-reaching. After everything that you have experienced you are allowed to feel or not feel any emotion that pops up along your journey to healing. I’m praying for a peace that surpasses understanding to surround you. We are here for you. -Madison
Dear Jackie, I am praying for your strength during these unprecedented times. The work you are doing to help others is remarkable. Please know you have fellow colleagues praying for you. You are not alone. Here’s one of my favorite verses I would like to share with you: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” It looks like he is doing that so continue to lean on him. -Stephanie in Virginia
I did my internship in a very busy tertiary referral center and struggled a lot with the fact that many patients had already had all treatments and we seemed to have little impact on preventing their deaths. I often felt hopeless and depressed wondering what good it was to be in medicine if it didn’t make any difference. The long hours and frequent overnight call added to it as I became more and more fatigued. So I can identify with what you are feeling. It’s hard to get perspective on what is generally happening in the world when we find ourselves in such dire situations in a limited space not experienced by others. Praying for rest which can help a lot and for God’s comfort and peace. Thanks for all you are doing! I’ve felt bad that I’m no longer in practice and couldn’t find a way to help. – Shari in New York
Hello Jackie. I read your blog about just feeling numb when your patient died. Obviously, that’s not something I can relate to. But I did ask my husband, an ex Army Ranger, Viet Nam vet, retired firefighter. He said “I was there and that’s where you should be. If you can’t be numb right now, then you will not survive. The ones who took their own life (soldiers or otherwise), couldn’t go numb. You are where you are supposed to be. He further told me that you save who you can and pray for the rest. Hold onto your victories, no matter how few. You have to hold on to those victories” So, that is what my husband said. I hope that helps somewhat. Do you know that I applied for every Covid-19 NP position that I could find? I even applied for strike teams to serve at nursing homes in Maryland. I was rejected by them all. Lol. The strike teams in Maryland are volunteers. I was rejected by a volunteer project. Just saying that you were chosen. Not everyone was chosen. But you were, and you are making more of a difference than you will ever realize. Remember, the enemy has no recourse against the blood of Christ. You have taken up your cross and are serving the Lord in a way that most of us cannot imagine. I plead the precious blood of Jesus over you. You are going to be Ok. Love in Christ, Bonnie Velez
Jackie, you are seen, you are loved, and you are prayed for. I can’t even fathom the things you are seeing and experiencing, but know that you are being lifted up in prayer: for peace, for sleep and rest, and for times of quiet and stillness. –Lindsay in Norway
Jackie, I am so impressed by the expanse of your skills and knowledge that are evident through your stories. From overseeing/directing/educating nurses, technical intubation and IV skills, and your compassion in advocating for and communicating with patients and families, you seem to embody all aspects of the huge role that is nursing. I am in awe of your resilience in continuing to serve in COVID hot spots. Thank you for all that you do. -Sara
Jackie thank you so much for sharing your story with us.I pray that the Lord will be with you, give you strength, restore your spirits and guard you while you are working and traveling. You are a blessing to those in your care, even if you don’t think or feel that you are. May God give you peace, and know that you are never alone the Lord is walking with you and we are keeping you in our prayers. Lillian
Jackie, thank you for sharing your experiences. Your stories give focus for prayer and remind all of the reality of suffering that is occuring. I will add you to the local prayer chains with emphasis on strength and a refreshed spirit – and peace of heart for all those you care for. God walks with you as you touch each life.
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