Behind the mask I am just a girl. With the mask on I am heralded a “hero” and “amazing person”, yet I don’t feel like it at all.
I don’t need claps or praise or for everyone to tell me how good a job I am doing, or how “it must be really hard but be strong”.
After months and months of this, after months of working so hard, crying after every shift, being separated from family and friends, I want to be done. I’m not sure I can do this anymore.
My last post was a brief highlight of my life as a nurse in the NHS in London, England. Like many places across the world we are in a fight and we are pushing ourselves to physical and mental limits. I am not aged yet, but I feel a hundred years old. My hair is going greyer by the days, my face is wrinkled and dried up, my energy is barely replenished by sleep and I have pains all over. I am one of the “capable” professionals, but I am not a hero.
We see a patient, we try our best and we move on to the next. Then back to the other, make the rounds again, answer the crash bells, turn the patients, check the ventilators, do the meds, check the tubing, change that drain, transfuse that blood, discuss with doctors, try and call family.
Then have a break.
I love the job, it is an amazing place to be. However, like anything, there is only so far I can go. There is only so much my head can take. I won’t forget to breathe when this is all over, but I don’t know what might happen when I finally do.