2021 was a rumbling, steaming, forceful train that sped towards us and collided into 2022. As a healthcare worker family, we battled burnout, lack of childcare, and chronic sleep deprivation, but sought joy in the small, seemingly mundane moments. Let’s recap!
Despise, Despair, Depletion
Despised fall until 🍂
Winter’s despair: Covid surge 🦠
Let’s rewind back time ⏮Continue reading
Heads shaking side to side
Hands together, lips shut.
They declined a life saving vaccine
My head hung low in defeat
The Crushing Weight
Her hand burrowed into her purse, grabbed a rectangular object.
Stretching up and over the wires connected to her belly, she clutched the device in her palm and reached towards me.
Her fingers released.
My hands fumbled a bit. My forehead wrinkled.Continue reading
The Nights that Haunt Me
Masks 😷 goggles 🥽 Enter.
“I feel sick cuz…(sigh) COVID.”
All the unslept hours
The moon flickered into the dark hallway. The kids tucked asleep.
“How many minutes were you in that room?” he asked.
“An hour.” I answered, from upstairs.
“How many patients?”
Hurt/ Helpless/ Hopeful
With the door ajar, I heard a voice. “Love you, see you in the morning.“
She walked out the room and headed towards the elevator. “If there’s anything, call me,” she waved at me.
“Your mom is so sweet,” I handed over a cup of pills. As a new nurse, I tried to juggle both- caring for my patients, while getting to know my patients. “How are you feeling?”
“Hi Soapie, it’s good to see you again,” she tried to smile. “But my chest feels tight.”
I checked her oxygen level, listened to her lungs, then ran a marathon: rushed to the medication cart, back to my patient to put her on a nebulizer, and reassessed her breathing. I repositioned her, raised the head of the bed, called respiratory and her attending, and gave all the PRN and STAT meds.
But her breaths became more shallow. The pink in her lips disappeared.
Please don’t die… you are too young to die… Before I knew it, my legs pushed her bed out the room and sprinted down a long hall.Continue reading
Fighting Foes Without Armor: 2020 Year in Review
In 2020, the world began the battle against Sars-Cov2 (COVID19) and unexpectedly, we became a frontline family. It’s been such a difficult year, but there were some highlights too. Let’s recap!
My top 3 nursing stories:
3. Release that Dam – good things still happen in a pandemic
2. What is That Sound? – the chaos of coronavirus (and lack of PPE)
- When There’s No Room – the surface of the iceberg that healthcare workers face
Top 3 characteristics I learned about God:
3. God is just. The death of George Floyd was horrifying, exposing the inequality and continued systemic racism in our country towards the Black community. In addition, racist attacks against Asian Americans during the pandemic also increased. As we wrestle with our imperfect justice system, and continue to “seek justice, defend the oppressed” (Isaiah 1:17), I am reminded that God is the ultimate Judge.Continue reading
Release that Dam
Whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh
Hearing the baby’s heartbeat from outside the door, I stepped into the exam room to check the patient on the monitor.
“Hola, soy Soapie, una enfermera (Hello I’m Soapie, a nurse),” I introduced myself, while looking at the curvy lines on the gridded paper.
“AHH!!!!! Soy yo! (It’s me!)” she exclaimed. Her eyes widened above her mask and grinned in the corners.Continue reading
No Turkey, but Tombstones
When the sun rose on Thanksgiving morning, I inhaled a deep breath.
It was a holiday like never before.
As a family with a baby and toddler, no relatives nearby, no help with childcare, and both of us as healthcare workers, we had been running on empty since March. How our chests ached, yearned to see our family! But we chose not to travel, and told our family not to visit us, for everyone’s safety during the pandemic.
Despite our sheer exhaustion, I was still thankful. We’re still alive, thanks be to God. (As I write this, there have been 1425 healthcare workers who have died in the U.S. from fighting COVID.)Continue reading
She frowned and kicked her feet in frustration.
“We have to be apart right now.”
“But I miss Baba!!!” she wailed.
A few months ago, my husband decided to quarantine in a separate room, just in case. He had some symptoms, and we didn’t want to risk getting me sick (since I have asthma), nor our young kids.
“BABA!” my daughter exclaimed. Her eyes lit up as she looked at the screen.
Then, a pair of brown ears and an animal face appeared.
“You’re a monkey?!?!” she giggled. We had never used the animoji setting on Facetime before.
Her laughter was a fresh breath of air; it gave me the boost I needed to get through the longest, most exhausting days.
~ ~ ~
A few weeks ago
Bright sun light poured into the room. But it didn’t wake him. He probably arrived home around 4 or 5 a.m.
I took one glance at him, then ushered my baby and toddler towards the stairs. “Let him sleep. We have to stay far for now. Just in case.”
He was wearing a mask… while sleeping.Continue reading