Eighteen Days: My COVID Story

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by mperry mperry (New)

Specializes in Medical/Surgical, Wound Care. Has 6 years experience.

This article is to inform nurses and other professionals of what exactly my family and I went through while my father was hospitalized with COVID.

As Nurses, Our Job Is To Give Hope

Eighteen Days: My COVID Story

Eighteen days. That’s how long it took to lose you. Surrounded by four walls, no windows. No healing touch from loved ones. No last kisses or hugs. Unable to hear your infectious laugh because it was covered by a mask. Your family anxiously waiting on daily calls from you, calling because you knew I would have answers. Calling because all you cared about was how mom was feeling. Never worrying about yourself for one second. I had the answers. I had them and couldn’t tell you because I wanted you to have hope. I wanted to have hope myself. Being a nurse during the COVID pandemic, I had to see both sides of patient care. One as the nurse and the other as a worried family member. I saw things no one should have to see. I took care of those that I was afraid would not make it through the night and there was no way I could help them besides make them as comfortable as possible. Then you got sick, and I had to be the brave daughter with all the answers because I was a COVID nurse while inside, I was a wreck thinking about what could happen to you. What if treatments didn’t work, what if, what if, what if.

You arrived at the hospital on Christmas night and the first thing we were told was “there is a very good chance your husband and father will not be coming back home.” You arrived and that was the very first thing the staff decided to tell us. No words of hope. Nothing. The physicians refused to give you various treatments because they had not any positive results with them. We begged them to try anything to help you. You begged them because you wanted to come home to your family. They refused. A treatment that may not have helped but would not have caused any harm was not even attempted. We are told now that patients who contracted COVID at the beginning of the pandemic were just allowed to die. I think about you, and I think about all the patients I cared for who were just allowed to die. I had to let that sink in. I am a nurse who took an oath to care for those that are ill, and I had to let people die. I was able to care for everyone else's mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, whoever they may be but my own father, I had to leave all alone. I had to give you false hope because I knew you were not getting any better. I knew your test results every day and had to slap a smile on my face because I didn’t want you to lose hope. I didn’t want you to remember me with tears streaming down my face when we spoke the few times you were able to. I had to save the tears for after our conversations and unload that burden on Mom.

That eighteenth day was a blur. The nurses called informing us that you were at the end of life. I couldn’t wrap my mind around that because I had just texted you the night before saying how much I missed you, how I couldn’t wait to see you in person in two days when you could finally have visitors, and just how much I wanted that great big bear hug that you always gave me. All those little things I loved about you; I was about to lose forever. We raced to the hospital so Mom could be by your side. Your son and I had to stay outside in the car to watch you pass away over a phone. The one thing I always wanted to be able to do was hold my loved one's hand when they passed and because of COVID, that privilege was ripped away from me. I would never get to hug or kiss you again, I would never get to hear that loud infectious laugh of yours, my little girl would never get to dance with her beloved Papa, my brother would lose one of his biggest supporters, and Mom would lose the love of her life. As a former COVID nurse and a grieving loved one, I hope and pray that those affected by this pandemic know just how much I understand what you are going through. I pray that those who were lucky enough to not understand this loss will hold their loved ones tighter and make every moment count.

As nurses, it is our job to give hope. Even with the pandemic surging on, never forget that hope is all these patients have. You are all they have.

I love you so much, Daddy.

mperry

My name is Megan Perry and I am a Registered Nurse with 6 years in Medical-Surgical, Emergency Department, and Wound Care experience. I have a love of writing as well and figured there is room for both!

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11 Comment(s)

dee cee

dee cee

Specializes in school. Has 23 years experience. 5 Posts

I am so so sorry

Daisy4RN

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience. 1 Article; 2,081 Posts

So sorry for your loss! I can relate, both my parents died at different times and I wasn’t able to be there for either one, it is devastating indeed. 

mperry

mperry

Specializes in Medical/Surgical, Wound Care. Has 6 years experience. 1 Article; 2 Posts

I'm so sorry for your loss 😞

Daisy4RN

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience. 1 Article; 2,081 Posts

Ty. Mine were not recent losses but it still bothers me that I could not be there. I can’t even imagine what you must have went through working during Covid and then losing your Dad. I hope that with time you and your family’s pain will become less and less. You probably will never forget but it does get easier/better with time. Again, so sorry!

John2018

John2018

Specializes in Occupational Health Nursing. Has 4 years experience. 102 Posts

So sorry for your loss. I  can't imagine the pain. 😞

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in New NP Hospitalist, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 10 years experience. 4 Articles; 2,132 Posts

I am so sorry for your loss. As a nurse that lost so many patients through this horrible pandemic, my heart breaks for all of the family members that were robbed of the final days and hours with their loved ones. I know that since you had already lived it from the side of the nurse, you knew that the nurses caring for your father did their best to provide the best, most compassionate care they could. But nothing can replace the presence of loved ones. I'm sure there are so many people out there still reeling from the horrible losses, I'm so sorry you lost your beloved father. Wishing that happy memories will bring you peace in difficult days. 

mimibrown

mimibrown, ADN, BSN

Specializes in Med-Surg. Has 8 years experience. 72 Posts

I’m sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you are able to find some peace knowing that you gave your dad your best.

zoidberg, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 7 years experience. 301 Posts

So sorry you went through this. To be honest I too stopped giving as much hope as usual because I was broken and had no hope myself. Every time I was remotely positive when it looked like a patient may have been doing slightly better they ended up tanking, so I stopped giving hope because I didn't want to give what felt like a lie of false hope. I was so glad when we started bringing families in the unit to say goodbye part way through. 

grace2022

grace2022

Specializes in Nurse Practitioner. 1 Article; 3 Posts

Sorry for the lost of your Father.As everyone was infected.I was able to make myself calm down to find out that I was Negative again after a series of Covid-19 Test.But,all I know when the virus is already inside of you.The destruction is tremendous.Sometimes,vomits either blood or saliva.Congested nose and shortness of breath.So forth and so on.Their is also an asymptomatic phase stages.But,it's up to you if you let people comes around you.But,for me I was doing the distancing.I never go out.My husband and I got separated by Covid.But,we still going strong.A promise to meet up soon when this pandemic is Over.

2BS Nurse, BSN

Has 9 years experience. 659 Posts

So sorry for what you and your family went through.

"Every time I was remotely positive when it looked like a patient may have been doing slightly better they ended up tanking, so I stopped giving hope because I didn't want to give what felt like a lie of false hope". 

Zoidberg: I could have not done that either. It's very important for me to be honest with my patients and I would want the same honesty if me or my family were receiving treatment.

HiddenAngels

HiddenAngels

Has 8 years experience. 351 Posts

I am sorry for your loss.  You are not a lone! It was the hardest thing any of us have probably ever had to go through.  We definitely have PTSD.  I'm glad you got your thoughts out, countless others share in your grief, you will never be alone and your DAD WAS NOT ALONE.. Prayers to you and your family!