RN Shares HERSTORY about Getting Covid-19 and Lessons Learned

We are on day 271 since the first reported case of Covid-19 in the US. Two hundred seventy-one days, and we are still working to contain this beast. Becky, a Registered Nurse, shares her story about Contracting Covid-19 and Lessons Learned.

Becky is a family friend and has known my daughter-in-law for eighteen years. I met Becky at a playdate about eight years ago. This meeting was not for children; it was a date for our dogs!  

The first thing you notice when meeting Becky is her fantastic curly hair. 

Once you speak with Becky, you find that her “awesomeness” is way more than cute hair. She is a smart, dedicated woman who cares for others. 

Becky is also a mother, wife, and a Registered Nurse. She and her husband Joe, have two young sons. On Becky’s first day back to work at the hospital, she contracted Covid-19. Her description is below, initially printed in the Buffalo News on October 10, 2020. 

 Included in this blog is a check-in to see how the family is faring.

HERSTORY

My name is Becky; I am a Registered Nurse, a former infection control nurse and have been in the profession for ten years. On my first day back to work after a prolonged maternity leave, I contracted Covid-19. I had long conversations with my husband about the well being and safety of myself and my family before deciding that I was ready to return to work during the pandemic.

During my first (and now last) shift back, I was hyper diligent with all infection control protocols. In my role, I was instructing an enthusiastic, ready to learn, group of students at Olean General Hospital. I was excited to be back. On my 50 minute drive home, I thought about all of the steps I took to keep myself, my students, and their patients safe. When I came home to my family, I was masked, said a quick ‘hello,’ and proceeded to scrub up, change, and disinfect appropriately.

 CONTRACTING COVID-19

Three days later, I am hit. Hit hard with Covid symptoms. I am currently on day 9 of running high fevers, sweating, shaking, terrible headaches, and loss of taste and smell. I am isolated in the bedroom of our 1000 square foot single-story home. My husband is working as a teacher from our kitchen table while simultaneously being a full-time dad to our four-year-old and one-year-old sons, all while ensuring I have everything I need. Miraculously, the other members of my family tested negative.

I will be isolated from them for several more days, and we will be quarantined as a family for several more weeks. The only way our baby will sleep is if I nurse him at night. I have to scrub up, change all of my clothes, don clean gloves, and put on an N95 mask to safely feed our baby. My husband and boys go outside to look at each other through the window and blow kisses each day. Regularly, my husband and I are a team, and right now, I cannot help him and our children. Explaining to our four-year-old that he cannot open my bedroom door without causing him fear and anxiety is not an easy task. Needless to say, Covid is real. Aside from recovering from my illness, the effects are numerous.

 LESSONS LEARNED

I know that I am not the only case of Covid-19 contracted on that day. This knowledge should not be kept quiet. My question is if testing is readily available, why aren’t we doing it? I beg hospital facilities to test their staff and patients regularly, asymptomatic or not. A temperature screening at the door is not enough. Covid-19 is a crisis; please treat it like one. As a community, we must be transparent. People need to speak up. We have so much more knowledge about this virus than we did back in March, we must use it.

To my fellow RN’s and healthcare workers out there- if your employer is not regularly testing you because you are asymptomatic and an essential worker, please stand up for your health. Be an excellent nurse to yourself, call the Health Department, and get a test. Lives are on the line. You will NOT be sorry.

It is now several weeks since Becky wrote this article about Contracting Covid-19. I asked Becky how her family was doing and what it was like to reunite with the boys. She replied, “When we were first able to reunite we didn’t quite know what to do with each other, then we all just did a huge group hug and did not want to let go 🙂. Our house is slowly returning to normal. Joe and the boys remain symptom-free.”

Becky urges to add testing for front-line medical workers. Click here  for more stories from health care workers around the globe. Becky’s account has a beautiful ending, so many others do not.

Do you have a story about Contracting Covid-19 and Lessons Learned? Contact me here.

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