A New Normal…..

Like everyone we are figuring out a new normal…for me at work at for everyone at home. The homeschooling this isn’t new to us, so it’s been business as usual on that front. But the rest of home life has been a little different. We are doing church and Bible Studies via computers or this past Sunday Clint put church on in the theater room. Caedmon started online ballet classes this week which have been fun for all to participate in. Leighton is really missing his gymnastics and so this week he started coaching Paxton on top of practicing what he can on his own. We usually go on a lot of walks this time of year but it’s been even more. And as we see our neighbors out walking too it’s talking and holding conversations as we each stand on the opposite side of the road. The kids are learning to make bracelets with thread and facetiming their friends to stay in touch. Figuring out how to stay connected during this time.

Work also has a new normal. And we are still waiting for the wave to hit….right now it is the calm before the storm….but we all know it’s coming. I’m changing into hospital scrubs when I get to work and showering and stripping everything before I leave after every shift. I’m not kissing my kids but rubbing elbows with them. I know I’ve been exposed but I’m also taking every precaution and wearing all my gear. Even for a patient with ankle complaints I put on goggles and a mask with a shield and now over that I’m wearing a homemade fabric mask to protect and prolong the life of my regular mask. I’m washing and sterilizing my stethoscope after every patient and not only using the sterilizing foam on my hands going into and coming out of every room and wearing gloves with every patient, I’m also scrubbing my hands with soap after every patient. I wipe my work station down a few times every shift. If I have a potential patient with Coronavirus then I gear way up with everything. But we are only allowed one N95 mask per shift now….so I’m doing all I can to spare it and extend the life of it. And I have added gear to wear over everything when we do have to do procedures on a Coronavirus patient. We are having beginning of shift huddles every day to talk through new things, new recommendations, plans for 2 weeks from now when our ED looks like Italy because we know it will and how to prepare and get through that time. Our hospital has a plan for which floors to open and when and already setting up different air flow. And we’re checking in with each other and making sure emotionally everyone is doing ok. During my huddle Sunday morning I looked around the group and said “I know the reality of it is that its very likely in a couple of weeks one of you will be one of my critical patients and we will work and do all we can for you.” We all know that some of us are going down and so we are doing all we can now to prepare and prep and protect each other. And it’s been amazing to see the community rally and support my staff with sending cookies and food for staff or figuring out how to make masks or working with 3D printers to make face shields. I’ve gotten texts from numerous people just checking in to see how I’m doing and letting me know I’m in their prayers. We will come out of this, but not without a significant number of battle wounds.