I am no Superhero
I am no superhero
I keep hearing the words superheroes in the news and media. I know people on the front line can feel like they’re superheroes; that they’re above it all. But please remember, behind the uniforms, the smiles, the badges and the duties, are real people. People who are feel incredibly overwhelmed, incredibly scared, incredibly vulnerable and incredibly human.
I am lucky to work in caring and supportive speciality but despite this we are all feeling the strain. The strain of an ever changing work schedule; the strain of watching our colleagues burn out and breaking down. Some of us are living in hotel rooms and empty flats whilst we isolate from those we love. We are going from work to home, home to work with no respite in between.
This week we lost all of our junior colleagues to the adult wards and our senior nurses too. The fear, the whispered anxiety and the worry for them was palpable in the air as we said our goodbyes. We are all changing the way we work to make sure we can make it safe for our patients as much as we can.
From this week onward we will mainly work back to back 12-13 hour shifts and it’s going to be tough. All of my normal coping mechanisms are gone. I can’t go to the gym, or to my mums for tea, or ask my family to take the kids so I can rest. I can’t hold my kids close when I get home. Each evening is a meticulous operation of making sure I am safe enough to be around those I love. Each cuddle, each hug, each kiss is riddled with anxiety and worry that I’m giving them something I shouldn’t.
I can’t speak for my colleagues, but I definitely don’t feel like a superhero; I feel immense guilt for not doing more. Guilt for placing my husband and kids at risk. Guilt for feeling all the things I am, and great guilt that my resilience is failing me.
Today my son asked me if I was going to die and it broke me. I am no superhero. I am a mum, a wife, a daughter, a sister and I am a doctor. I am all of these things, but above all I am scared.
I pray for all of you, all of your loved ones and I pray for my nearest and dearest.
May we all find light at the end of this long dark tunnel.
For more reflective journal entries, check out our Coronavirus Doctor Diaries.