Trinkets of Love:Upper management’s way of showing their appreciation to the Healthcare Professionals during Healthcare/Nurses week

By: Debbie Moore-Black, RN 🩺

Maybe we need to educate upper management, multi-million dollar hospitals with multi-million dollar per year salaried CEO’s and Board members with their financial perks that Health Care professionals and Nurses during “Healthcare/Nurse week” in May of each year…. That we are no longer in the second grade.

Maybe we need to remind “them” that we are college educated healthcare professionals, with degrees such as ADN’s, BSN, MSN’s, RN’s and LPN’s and educators and Nurse practitioners and Respiratory Therapists.

Last year, for our appreciation month, our unit on dayshift received pizza. The night shift received the 2 pieces leftover from dayshift.

Or the year before, when hospital wide staff all received a cookie. If you were a member of the “Resource team” and you went from one critical care unit to another, wherever you were needed, you did not get a cookie because you really weren’t a member of that “team.”

One year we all received lifesavers with a strip of paper that said “thank you for being a lifesaver”, or the institution that gave out real rocks with the statement “You rock” , and you may paint your rock with whatever will “empower” you.

This year, we received shoelaces. That’s correct. Shoelaces. With a sticky note that said: “We’re in this together, Every step of the way.”

Do we need to educate these high powered, upper echelons, that we are not 2 years old?

Do we need to go through a litany of how we save lives, how we bring patients back to life, how we do CPR, Code Blues, Code Cools, how we assist in open heart surgery, and CABG’s, dialysis, assist in intubations, manage ventilators and pressors and assist in inserting central lines and arterial lines, and titrations of life-saving IV medications, and ECMO’s and …

If your exhausted just reading this, imagine a 12-14 hour shift and no break, no 30 minutes, no 15 minutes.

Imagine the 24/7 cerebral perfusion we all do to save your loved ones life, or bring that baby into this world safely, or ease someone into a comfortable painless death.

Imagine giving us key rings, left-over pizzas, chapstick, lifesavers, rocks, shoestrings, a cookie.

Spare us these incredible insults. Disrespect. Disregard.

Of our healthcare professionals.

This year, I collected the shoestrings given to us and donated them to our local homeless shelter downtown.

We refuse to be disrespected anymore.

#Healthcare Week/Nurses Week.

#Empower.

Code Sepsis

By: Debbie Moore-Black, RN

It was a known fact. I was 4’11” but I had a mouth on me to compensate. I was loud and noisy. Fellow nurses called me the “Rebel without a cause.”
But I had a cause. I knew I was Samson against Goliath.
Most everything became my cause.
So I verbally fought my way through this iron-clad heavy management structure.
I had to fight for the betterment of the patients. For their survival.
I had to fight for the nurse that was being bullied.
I had to fight in front of an all management team that failed to uphold a safe 2:1 patient/nurse ratio.

I was invited to a grand Sepsis protocol debate.  The Sepsis protocol rolled out around 2003. This big meeting held Critical Care managers from ICU, Neuro-ICU, Coronary Care Unit and The Emergency department, Pharmacists, Respiratory Therapists, ER Physicians, and Intensivists and other important medical representatives across the country.
And I was invited to this “Think tank.”
I was the little fish in this big pond.

“Code Sepsis”
And at this round table with Heath care professionals who were use to pounding their chests on how good they set up this Sepsis protocol, I had to debunk it.

Sepsis was the new named diagnosis and if not treated rapidly and proficiently a patient could die.
Our numbers showed that our patients were dying.
Cardiac patients have the “golden hour”.
The sepsis patient had the golden hour also.
Sepsis: a raging infection that consumes most organs. Bacterial, viral or parasitic infections.
The symptoms: shortness of breath, dizziness, confusion, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure.

At our institution, a sepsis patient stayed in the ER for hours. Strategic life-saving protocols were stalled and when the patient eventually got to the ICU, precious hours had been missed.
We had to intubate these patients. Put in a stat central line and arterial line. Hang vasopressor drips, get stat labs and administer IV antibiotics. And add liters of IV Normal Saline.
The entire body had to be resuscitated.

I mentioned in the round table that we were doing it all wrong.
I recommended  a “Code Sepsis” should be announced overhead. The Rapid Response Team (RRT) should respond to the ER stat. A central line should be inserted stat and an arterial line. Stat labs. To include a lactic acid level, ABG’s, intubation, electrolyte profile, liver function tests, and kidney function tests.
All in all these procedures had to be preformed stat and simultaneously.
But they weren’t. They came to the ICU after being in the ER for several hours. Precious wasted hours. Precious minutes.

The round table got loud and argumentative.
But we began to settle on the truth. That we weren’t being aggressive enough, medically. And our patients were dying.
Protocols were rewritten and added too.
We fine tuned.
As an aftermath of this “think tank”, Code sepsis was now  called out overhead. The RRT showed up in the ER and with rapid succession of intubation and central line insertion, the patient was rushed to our ICU with the goal of one hour.

Feeling that I productively had added my 2 cents worth, 2 weeks later I was called to the manager’s office.
Our manager told me I was brilliant, my ideas were also “their ideas”.
BUT… she had to write me up.
Why?  Because I spoke “out of term”.
I intruded amongst these professionals. I was out of place.
In years to come, at this institution, I realized that they had to be the ones in control. They had to be the ones with the ideas.
I was just that brick in the wall and they wanted me to close my mouth.
I carried on relentlessly for the betterment of the patients and fellow nurses…. Until I could no longer feel any support.

They wanted me to be a yes person.
To serve, honor and obey.

Lesson learned: pick your battles!!

(Google stock photo)

The Fist

By Debbie Moore-Black, RN

I thought it would be easier than ICU nursing. After 33 years as an ICU nurse, I had to leave. I just couldn’t take the pounding on the chests of little old men and women. Hearing and feeling their ribs crack while CPR was performed. I just couldn’t handle these poor patients that should have had a peaceful death when the inevitable was near.
Family members with expectations of miracles. Denial. Rationalization.
And I had to take a break from my favorite dedication to ICU nursing.

Morally, I could not assist in keeping an end stage multi-organ failure patient alive artificially anymore.
So I chose Behavioral Health as my last “swan dance”. Thinking it would be an easier qpassageway to retirement.

But ICU nursing and Behavioral Health Nursing… they are apples and oranges. Both with incredible complexities.

He came to us from jail. He knew the tricks to get out of jail…. Temporarily. He smeared his feces on the walls in his jail cell. He started to talk about the FBI being a chip in his brain and suicidal ideations. And they knew they would have to admit him to our Hospital: Intensive Management Behavioral Health.
He had a long record: Domestic abuse/violence. Rape. Assaults with a deadly weapon.

Upon entrance to our unit, compared to his jail cell, we were nicknamed “The Hilton hotel”. Your own bedroom, with a bathroom and shower. 3 meals a day with interval snacks/refreshments. Medications to calm you down, to help you sleep, to help stop the voices in your head. To help you to relax. Loads of group therapy and gym time. Anything would be better than being in jail.

I always said my “anti-assault prayers” before entering this Behavioral Health unit. Sometimes they worked well for me, for us. But these patients were so random. Anything could be a trigger.

On this particular night, Sam started to act out. He was already very intimidating. He’d stare at the nurses. A fixed glare. He’d have verbal fights with fellow patients…. And then came the chair throwing, and tossing over tables in our community room.
We immediately called our Public Safety Officers (PSO’s) to assist the staff and to protect us and protect the other patients.
I readied my syringe, haldol, Ativan, Benadryl.
The trifecta.
We could not verbally redirect Sam to go quietly into his room.
So the PSO’s held onto him and guided him to his room.
He physically fought his way into his room, attempting to fight off the PSO’s while shouting out obscenities.
And then a calm came over his face.
I had to give him an injection.
He stood perfectly still. Rolled his sleeve up and said “ok, I’m ready”.
A PSO stood on each side of him.
Sam stood perfectly still and stoic.

For a brief moment, we chose to trust Sam. That he was willing to take this injection in his arm.
With my alcohol swab ready, I wiped his arm and then began to aim the needle.
Out of no where, the perfectly still and calm Sam, got his fist and aimed at my jaw.
I saw his fist coming toward me and I remember saying “Oh no”.
The strength in his fist made my entire body crash to the floor. My eyeglasses flew out in the hallway.
A PSO on each side of him, and we didn’t see him coming at me until it was too late.

Our biggest mistake was that we trusted him.

He then began to physically fight the PSO’s. And he was steadied, another nurse gave him the injection and the patient went off to the seclusion room.

I was immediately wheeled down to the Emergency Department. I was uncontrollably crying and shaking. I couldn’t talk. The physician thought the patient had fractured my jaw, I had contusions on the right side of my face. And I couldn’t move my mouth.
They wheeled me in for a stat CAT scan of my head.
Beyond the contusions, the Cat scan was negative. I was lucky.
I took 2 days off of PTO.
And I was back.

But things were different. I was fearful. Of any of these patients. I realized he could have done so much more damage physically.

But mentally, I was now damaged.
Dead bolting my doors at night at my house.
Waking up at 0300 seeing that fist come at me repeatedly. Dreams of unidentifiable men breaking into my home.

Obviously, I was experiencing PTSD.
And I have sought some long-term therapy.
I pressed charges against this man, but then that became a fear also. He could find me. He could look up my address.

My one comfort is knowing that my male
rat terrier dog protects me.
And though he is small, he would go at someone’s jugular for my protection.

It’s not an easy job.
Another real reason that within one more month I will retire from being a nurse.
If the lay people only knew the physical and mental abuse we take 24/7.

You can hear the angels sing

By Debbie Moore-Black, RN

Last night working in the ICU, a male
nurse assistant approached me to tell me he had read one of my stories about how people can die peacefully, without the breathing machines, without the wrist restraints, without the IV’s and mutiple lab sticks. Without the confusion and chaos and delirium that comes with ICU’s.

He said his 89 year old grandmother, who practically raised him, told him that she didn’t want to live forever. That she had a good long life. And she was ready to go “home.”
He said , “working ICU, I didn’t know anything different. I just thought that was the way people died.” …. On a ventilator.
As he read my article: “Go Quiet into the night”, a peacefulness came over him. He wanted his grandmother to live forever, but he also wanted to honor her wishes.
He had dreaded that day that his Grandmother fell ill.
But he loved granny so much that he respected her wishes.

Granny laid in her bed at her home. The window was open as a sweet breeze came through those Irish lace curtains.
“Amazing Grace” through her radio sang.
Granny spoke of her beautiful homeland; the green fields of Ireland. The magic in the air. “When Irish eyes are smiling”🎶…. her devoted pup at her side.. her family holding hands crying for losing granny, crying for granny’s goodbyes.
And they sang softly with her….

Granny reached out and held her husband’s hand through the mist…. the husband she married so many years ago….how she missed him…. as she drifted in and out until she reached her homeland. Her ever-after.
She was finally home.

☘️ When Irish eyes are smiling…..
Sure it’s like a morn in spring. In the lilt of Irish laughter, you can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy, all the world seems bright and gay,
But when Irish eyes are smiling, sure they steal your heart away☘️

Dedicated to my twisted, funny, Irish dad!!! I’m sure you are always in trouble!!!

Soliloquy: Death of a nurse

By: Debbie Moore-Black, RN

It’s not what you think. It’s not my actual mortality.
It’s that emotional death.
Of being a nurse.
If you’ve never been a nurse. Then you will never know.
It’s that’s giving of yourself: heart and soul.
Constantly and forever.
It’s not being with your family for Easter or Thanksgiving or Christmas.
It’s not being able to go to the bathroom or even take a 30 minute break in 12 -13 hours.
It’s being surrounded by bully nurses who degrade you, who discount you, who don’t help you during an emergency or help you turn that very large patient.
It’s working side by side with a traveler nurse knowing she/he is making $100/hour while you may make an extra $5 an hour.
It’s knowing your CEO makes $ millions per year not including bonus perks.
It’s your management turning their back on you and leaving you dangerously understaffed, with an unsafe nurse patient ratio.

It’s that month of May, the month to honor nurses every year and receive the obligatory pizza and leftovers for nightshift and those small skittles and lifesavers with cute sayings like “thank you for being a lifesaver” when all along knowing the physicians receive steak and lobster and fine glasses of wine.

It’s that degradation and disrespect for us nurses who have college degrees, incredible professional experience dealing constantly with life and death, performing CPR and code blues and assisting in intubating patients and titrating vasopressors and dialysis and balloon pumps and ECMO….
It’s that mandatory contract with management, with the hospital system, with that ICU or ER or Critical Care unit that you never knew would control your life.

Don’t think that I’m all gloom and doom.
I can’t tell you the every day thrill of working in ER and in ICU. The pure love and thrist for Intensive care nursing. The intricate hemodynamics of the body falling a part and shutting down and working with dynamic and wonderful nurses and physicians.
Being the reason for that patient pulling through the odds. The patient that was suppose to die.
Or holding the hand of that sweet little lady whose dying words are “thank you” as a tear slowly falls down her cheek
As I tremble inside and shed my own tears wishing her a peaceful hereafter.

Of the magnificent heroic selfless nurses and physicians and technicians and Respiratory Therapists who intricately weave this thing called life or death.

I am thankful but I am done.
45 years of this dedicated life and profession.
I see you Hawaii, and Paris, and relentlessly watching the waves at the beach roll in and roll out, the sunset, the snuggle with my pups, the waking up to no agenda but a coffee pot brewing just for me.

Behavioral health nurses sending out a sincere thank you to our Public Safety Officers (PSO’s)

By Debbie Moore-Black, RN

We are nurses in Behavioral Health and we want to thank our Public Safety Officers (PSO’s).
We are nurses. We work in highly dangerous and volatile units at hospitals.
We are not working in a prison.
We work in Behavioral health.
The Intensive Management unit, the adolescent unit, Dual-diagnosis unit and the Behavioral health Emergency Department. We are specially trained to protect ourselves and others with CPI. Which is a mandatory nonviolent crisis intervention training.

We have patients who are schizophrenic, bipolar, drug addicts, with assault charges, domestic violence and rapists.

Again, we are not a prison. Many of these patients come to us angry and hostile, bewildered, voices in their heads to kill, to kill themselves or others, to hurt those who have hurt them. They store irrational thoughts and they lash out randomly.

We have alarms in these units should we feel threatened. We easily can use a phone to call Public Safety stat. Sometimes it’s too late. Sometimes the patients are random.
Nurses and technicians easily can and are assaulted, injured, punched to the ground, beaten on the head.
We end up in the ER ourselves, CAT scans to the brain to show concussions, contusions on the head, dizziness and recurring PTSD of that fist coming at us. Random and unpredictable.

What we are thankful for are our Public Safety officers. Without them protecting us, it would be mayhem. We easily call them stat and they show up to our unit in multitudes.
They protect us from the unpredictable assaults. They are trained and professional. At any given moment, a patient will physically attack Public Safety Officers (PSO’s) with a vengeance.
We can not stand alone in this environment.
Without our PSO’s, we would be an unguarded prison.
A dangerous volatile unsafe workplace.

We came to work in this nursing profession to help the mentally ill. We did not come to work at a prison.
This is a hospital.
PSO’s are our lifeline. We are grateful for them.
Their courage. Their protection and their camaraderie.
Thank you PSO’s for all that you do.
Thank you for our small peace of mind.
This job cannot be done without you.

The end of life rally: terminal lucidity

By Debbie-Moore-Black, RN

Granny Rachel, my husband’s mother, was an old country soul. She was a simple lady who loved the Lord.

She accepted me with open arms, when my own parents turned their backs on me.
Granny Rachel made the best sweet tea. The best homemade vegetable soup with corn bread and gave unconditional love to all.

She totaled 2 of her cars twice. Her son would check on her and found multiple candles lit in her house. She left the tub on until it overflowed with water.

Rachel could no longer be independent.
We relocated her to an assisted living center. An almost 5 star-like hotel. Happy, friendly people, and Rachel found a new best friend, her roommate, Sally. They giggled and laughed together over silly things.

After 2 years at the Assisted living center, at the age of 89, Rachel started to deteriorate. Her CHF, her COPD from years of working in a mill in the south where there was pollution and no filters, destroyed her lungs. Brown lung disease.

Granny Rachel was dying. She let out agonal breaths. At any time, we thought, this was it.
It was the grande finale. My husband, and our son and myself gathered around her.
We held her hand and waited for
granny Rachel to let out her last breath.
My son opened up the Bible as he read: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…..
And then we heard a course whisper. From Granny as she recited: “I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff: they comfort me”

Beyond disbelief, some type of chills ran through our bodies …. For one lucid minute, granny Rachel was with us. She was here to let us know she was traveling through the tunnel to eternity.

My mother. Colon cancer with mets to her lungs. Her brain. We did vigils at her house. Us daughters. We took turns watching her and caring for her with the assistance of hospice.
She would slip in and out of consciousness.
The time had come. Her breathing had slowed down. And then she opened her eyes.
She said to us: “I see angels. Beautiful angels.”
Just as clear as could be.
And then she said: “Joe, there’s our baby Terrence”. Joe was my dad. Terrence was the baby she lost at birth many, many years ago.

Sargent Sam (Sarge) A World War 2 veteran. A father of five and a wife of over 50 years.

When it’s time to transfer out of our ICU, like a promotion; that’s a good thing. But this was a transition to our comfort care suite.

Sarge did not want to be on a ventilator with his lung cancer. He knew it was time. He just wanted his family by his side. As the technicians wheeled Sarge on his stretcher out of the ICU, Sarge, who had an incredible sense of humor, shouted out to me: “I’m going to tell my wife you tried to flirt with me!!!” And with that, I blew him a kiss. Sadness filled my heart as I knew this was it. With his entire family by his side, Sarge died comfortably 2 days later.

How do we explain this end of life rally?
Maybe we can’t. Maybe it’s their way of saying goodbye as they enter the heavens.
They are on the brink of death and they wake up. Stable, lucid, they want to talk and eat and drink.

Rallying is a hallmark pre-death sign of improvement before death.
This can last for a few moments even days. They can sit up and talk.
This rallying is also called Terminal lucidity.

Try to cherish that last goodbye.
That one last opportunity to connect with your loved one while still earthly creatures.

They are saying their last goodbyes, with love in their hearts. With peace.
And they want you to know….
All is well.

(Photo cred: Google stock)

The Orphans of COVID: Who will care for them now?

By: Debbie Moore-Black, RN

The 911 call came too late. Her daughter was 32 years old and usually quite healthy. But she refused the COVID vaccinations. She said she took her vitamins and was healthy and that “God is my pilot” and “I don’t want toxins in my body.”

Her mother knew she was running a high fever. She knew she was short of breath frequently … until…

Her 10-year-old grandson couldn’t wake his momma up in bed. “Momma, wake up!” he screamed, shaking her body relentlessly.

Then Jamarr called out to his grandma, “Momma won’t wake up.”

And 911 was called.

The medics could barely get an O2 sat. Her BP was dangerously low. O2 sat 72 percent. Shallow intermittent breathing.

Oxygen mask applied. IV started, the medics turned their emergency lights on and sped to the nearest hospital.

No beds were available.

It is a frequent scene across America. She would have to stay in the ER.

But she didn’t make it to the ER. Medics performed CPR on Maria — rapid CPR to no avail. Asystole. No respirations. No pulse. Despite CPR and IV epinephrine.

The ER physician pronounced her death. Another. Toe tagged. Bodybag.

Body loaded on top of another body in the refrigerated trailer.

Jamarr was hysterical. Screaming. Crying. “I want my momma. Momma, don’t leave me. I want to go to heaven and be with momma now.”

Until he could cry no more.

And this became the most dangerous time.

Jamarr started to act out.

He poked a scissor at his heart, so his grandma could see. At school, he threatened to pierce his heart with a pointed pencil. He’d scribble during math class pictures of him by a tree, hanging from the tree from a noose. He drew pictures of knives and blood dripping down. And he would isolate himself from other students. Non-verbal —but those drawings.
Momma left him behind. He loved his momma.

If only.

Jamarr’s teacher notified the school nurse and principal. The drawings of hanging from a noose in a tree, the knives, the blood, the non-verbal gestures. His teacher and school nurse and his principal decided to call his grandmother to come and take Jamarr to a mental health facility.

Jamarr said he just wanted to die. He just wanted to be in heaven with his mamma.

The social worker accessed Jamarr. She was strong and stoic. But not this time. When her shift was over, she let out a gut-wrenching cry for Jamarr, for the orphaned children of COVID.

A newborn baby girl was delivered by C-section while her mother was on a ventilator in the ICU. The mom was deteriorating. After three weeks, the ICU physicians had determined that this patient was not going to live and that they must take the baby by c-section before the mother died.

The baby’s father had died a week before. He had COVID also. Both were unvaccinated.

This baby girl would grow up to never know her parents.

Five children surrounded their parent’s coffins. Now five orphaned children are grieving the death of their parents.

These parents feared the vaccine more than what might become of their children.

Orphanhood as a result of COVID is a hidden global pandemic in the U.S.

Adverse childhood experiences may be low self-esteem, increased risk of substance abuse, suicide, violence, sexual abuse and exploitation, mental health problems and shorter schooling.

Per the CDC, as of October 2021, it has been estimated that over 140,000 children up to the age of 17, have lost a parent, parents or secondary caregiver due to COVID.

The orphans of COVID — who will care for them now?

……

Originally published on KevinMD.com

**photo: Google stock

What really happens when the unvaccinated get sick with COVID

By: Debbie Moore-Black, RN

“My body, my rights.”

“My body is a temple.”

“I don’t want poison going into my body.”

” I’ve done my research.”

And they refuse to wear masks; they refuse to social distance. They refuse COVID vaccinations and the booster. Essentially, they spit in the face of the population that trusts in science and medical research.

The disrespect and disregard for scientists, medical doctors, RNs and respiratory therapists are astonishing.

Their support groups tout ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and suggest that some drink iodine — any rationalization will do.

“It’s medical tyranny. Rally for freedom.”

“The masks build up my CO2.”

“They prevent me from breathing correctly.”

“They stifle my freedom.”

Let’s go through what really happens when someone gets COVID … someone who is unvaccinated and who gets severe symptoms.

What happens to the “tyranny” and stifling of one’s “freedom.” And not wanting this “toxin” to invade their body.

Sam is 42 years old. He’s done his “research” on social media. He’s in several groups.

He’s actually a leader of one of his groups online.

At one point, he wrote of the “great American hoax.” He frequently adds dangerous misinformation to the public. He’s loud and clear and a popular tribal leader.

So Sam starts experiencing shortness of breath.

He is unable to taste or smell. He gets a cough, cold, fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Sam is now gasping for air. His wife calls 911. His O2 sats are 84 percent.

He is rushed to his local hospital by medics. Sam deteriorates en route to the hospital, and although he had stated he didn’t want any “invasion” of a COVID vaccine, his wife says,

“Do everything.”

And the real invasion begins.

Sam is intubated emergently at the hospital. Several IVs are started. He is given IVP succinylcholine and etomidate … versed IVP.

The patient is intubated, bagged, and placed on a ventilator. His FiO2 is at 100 percent, PEEP of 12 to start. His wrists are restrained to prevent the patient from extubating himself.

An arterial line is placed into his radial artery, giving the nurses and doctors continuous BP readings and accessibility for ABGs and lab work. A central line is placed into his neck, to be exact: the tip of his SVC.

A Foley catheter is inserted into his urethra via his penis.

A rectal tube is also inserted into his rectum to catch the flow of his constant diarrhea.

His BP is dropping exponentially. His BP is 76/39. MAP is 51.

Fluid challenges have been initiated, but he doesn’t respond. So his ICU nurse is wearing goggles, gown, hair bonnet, shoe covers, N95 mask, gloves and has to “gown and glove” every time they enter the patient’s room.

The nurse now adds levophed and vasopressin drips. Remdesivir is also started. All FDA approved.

Day 2: Patient Sam is not progressing. In fact, he is deteriorating. So it will take six health care ICU nurses/CNAs/respiratory therapists to now prone the patient. The patient’s airway is of the utmost importance. We cannot lose the airway.

In synchronized rhythm, the patient is turned onto his stomach. This is supposed to help with better oxygenation, in theory. It is sometimes a last-ditch effort. For 16 to 18 hours, this position allows for better expansion of the dorsal lung regions.

Sam’s kidneys are crashing. His creatinine level is dangerously elevating. So now Sam has bought dialysis, which is another specialized nurse. The nephrologist now places a large bore vas catheter into the femoral venous/artery.

Many days have gone by in the ICU.

Sam is not responding to every possible ICU/COVID protocol and technique available.

Specialized ICU physicians, RNs and respiratory therapists are at the patient’s side in this 12-bed ICU. 24/7.

Sam has coded several times. Code Blue. Three code blues to be exact.

The majority of critically ill patients in the ICU are unvaccinated throughout our nation.

A conference is called for the wife by the ICU physician, ICU nurse, and chaplain. Frequent updates had been given to her.

But this is the grand finale.

Day 10: Sam has multi-system organ failure. Sam has thrown blood clots haphazardly to his brain. Sam is unresponsive. All organs are down.

Despite the endless life-saving events, Sam cannot be saved.

On the 10th day at 21:03, Sam is pronounced dead.

I don’t want these COVID vaccine toxins to invade my body.

My freedom.

My body. My rights.

…….

Originally Published on Kevinmd.com

From the prison of my job to freedom

By: Debbie Moore-Black, RN

It became a prison to me — impending doom.

I knew I had only three months left before I could retire. Three months isn’t long, but it is a lifetime away.

That long drive to work in that heavy highway traffic where there was always a collision. The anxiety of the drive knowing all along there was even more anxiety to come.

The patients that were involuntarily committed — forever schizophrenics and bipolar, usually non-compliant with their medications. That psychotic look in their eyes when we knew this was it. Another assault in the making.

You can feel the threat, the danger, the fear.

You can be surrounded by public safety officers, but it doesn’t matter. Everyone is fighting for their life.

The psychotic patient is fighting against his demons that he was never able to conquer, and the staff members that I work with were all holding onto their own universe of inner turmoil.

I long for my freedom. I’ve been a nurse since 1976. I yearn to breathe again with no agenda on my calendar. Only to wake up slowly each morning, give my dogs a kiss, have my two cups of coffee before Jack stands on my chest to let me know it’s time to take him for a walk, and before Lucy lets out her puppy growl. It’s a mandatory morning walk for these two.

But that’s OK.

I’ll visit my children, my manna from heaven.

I’ll give hugs to my granddaughters and pull out new books and toys for them, always feeling like their Mary Poppins.

I’ll watch movies; I’ll plan breakfasts and lunches with old nurse comrades.

What a journey.

From a shy redhead born into a house filled with stark black-haired siblings. A family filled with dysfunction. The underdog. The invisible one.

Wanting to be a journalist but was pushed out of the house to be a nurse.

The terror and fright of being a nurse to becoming totally entranced by ICU nursing with all of the intricacies of a body filled with multi-organ dysfunction. Watching each organ improve or deteriorate. Holding the hand of a newborn baby to holding the hand of a little lady gasping her last breath.

There is good and bad nursing management. The ones that cared about us as people versus the ones that treated us as a number as a threat to the “budget.”

I’ve worked in ER, surgery, ICU, surgical-trauma ICU, and behavioral health.

I’ve had three beautiful children in a sad, lonely, almost non-existent marriage.

There were years and years of trying to fix a marriage that was not fixable.

I’ve watched my husband ravaged by cancer until he let out his last breath.

I don’t know what’s in store for me on this last trot through life.

Many mistakes have been made.

But I can hold my head up high and say, “I tried!” — loud and clear.

Tomorrow may be lonely.

Tomorrow may be filled with quiet peace.

But I’ve earned my stripes to finally breathe again.

Originally published on KevinMD.com