Casey Miller’s sense of urgency about social distancing is personal and alarming.
Speaking from dangerous, first-hand experience, the nurse on the front lines of Delaware’s battle against COVID-19 shared graphic sentiments in a Facebook post last night that’s already been shared 630 times.
The six-year ICU department veteran at ChristianaCare says absolutely nothing in her prior work of handling some of the most extreme emergency cases compares to treating coronavirus patients. “It’s almost hard to remember what normal feels like. It feels like we’ve been dealing with this for so much longer than a month,” she told TSD.
Here is Miller’s reminder to everyone that she hopes everyone will share:
If you needed a reason to continue social distancing…here it is. This is the face of a post 12+ hour nightshift ICU nurse. Not filtered, not edited. Dark circles, red marks, headache, sweat, maybe a few tears shed depending on the kind of night it was.
This is what’s really going on for 12+ hours..feeling utterly nauseated from breathing in your own used air and carbon dioxide for over an hour at a time in a patient’s room, wearing face masks and shields so tight on your face in order to feel safe that you have a splitting headache, don’t feel like you can think straight, that leave red marks on your face well after your shift is over.
While constantly worrying in the room if your mask is slipping or praying it’s tight enough to protect you from this invisible killer. Hearing your own heart pound in your ears and chest in the utter solitude of your patient’s room while YOU alone care for this critically ill person. IV lines, meds, tubes and wires covering the patient that they don’t even resemble a fraction of the person they were in their photo in the chart.
Using iPads or banging on the glass to be able to communicate to the doctors that your patient’s blood pressure just bottomed out, or if you need supplies from a coworker to limit exposure of nurses and doctors in the room.
Calling patients’ families and putting them on speakerphone while their loved ones slip away, alone, with you, a stranger to them.
Driving home sick with worry or crying because you don’t know if you’ll catch this deadly virus, or worse, give it to your family.
I know social distancing is challenging. I know this isn’t what anyone wants. But WE can’t make this our new normal. When you want to go meet up with friends, remember my story. PLEASE I beg you, follow the Governer’s orders. Stay home and save yourself, your family, and your friends.
Miller said she finds strength in her calling and her reliance on her community of healthcare workers, who keep each other focused and trying to stay positive.
“I absolutely love being an ICU nurse,” she told TSD. “This is a terrifying time right now, but I know we are all making such a difference. My team is amazing that I work with, and we are literally holding each other up right now. I’ve never felt closer to them.”