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.
My eyes lit up, behind my goggles and glasses. “Estoy tan feliz de conocerte (I’m so happy to meet you)! Como estas? (How are you?) ” In the beginning of the pandemic, many of my encounters with patients were over the phone, so I hadn’t met all my patients in person yet.
“Estoy bien. Cada vez que estoy aquí, te busco. (I’m well. Every time I am here, I look for you),” she answered. “Mi esposo siempre me pregunta después de mis citas, entonces, ¿la encontró? (My husband always asks me after my appointments, did you meet her?) ¡Encuentra a la enfermera Soapie y dale las gracias! (Find nurse Soapie and tell her thank you!)”
“¡Aww ..! Sí, lo recuerdo, hablamos hace muchos meses cuando tenías COVID. ¿Cómo fue? (Yes, I remember, we talked many months ago when you had COVID. What was it like?)”
“Terrible,” she replied, in Spanish. The Spanish pronunciation had more emphasis on the “i” so it sounded like “terr-ee-blay.” She shook her head with eyes closed, as if she didn’t want to remember it. It sounded miserable.
“Pero ahora, no symptomas. Gracias a Dios (But now, no symptoms. Thank God).”
After we finished talking, I stepped out the room so she could finish her testing and chat with the doctor.
~ ~ ~
Standing in the hallway, a door opened behind me, and I heard the shuffling of feet coming out of a room.
A gentle, light hand landed upon my right shoulder.
Looking up, I found my patient standing a few feet away. Her appointment was over. She tilted her head towards my direction and gave my shoulder a squeeze, for a distant hug.
“GRACIAS Soapie !!!! Muchas gracias por todo!!!”
My brows narrowed and my lips pursed together, to dam up a deluge of tears. Inside, I was bursting at the seams. Back then, we didn’t know too much yet about COVID and pregnancy. She had been worried, and I had been so worried for her too! We were all learning, helping her get through her pregnancy, together.
It had been such a scary time for her, getting sick with COVID and the unknown risks to her and her baby. But she had survived, she was doing well, made it to full term, and ready to deliver her baby soon…
Good things still happen, even during a pandemic.