Non-Fiction Saturdays

A burst of Spring

Stay At Home

Please, Just Do Your Part

I left my windows open overnight. The chilly North Carolina breeze helps when the warmer months rage forth. Doing this, lent my ears to the songs of the crickets and the various melodies of every bird lifting their sweet voices. On Friday, March 27, 2020, Governor Roy Cooper issued a “Stay-At-Home” order to begin Monday, March 30, 2020.

However, my city’s Mayor issued a similar ordinance and it began yesterday.  Governor Cooper’s ordinance will end on April 29, 2020, and my city’s ordinance is set to end on April 16. 2020. I’ll be following the State issued ordinance, as you probably guessed.

The article states the Governor’s decision came from the urging of many hospitals and healthcare officials fearful of not being able to combat Covid-19 if people aren’t doing what they truly can to prevent the spread of the virus. One of the most essential ways to do this is to simply stay at home. Two others are: practicing social-distancing and proper hand and body hygiene. We also need much more testing done to be able to locate carriers and quarantine the healthier ones versus the immunocompromised.

What I have noticed with many of the changes being implemented in my state is that people are becoming more friendly. Passersby keep their distance, however, they bid me “Good morning” or “Good evening.” They nod a “Hello” or comment from afar on how cute Jernee is.  People hold doors open for each other to keep another from touching them if they’re coming out of a particular building. It’s as if a central love shift is taking place, one we needed, and it’s all coming at the terror and fear of an invisible foe.

I hate to say this, but did we need this wakeup call? Did we need something to slap us all pretty hard on our faces to begin to show a decent amount of humanity toward one another? Some people are afraid of being lonely and most are even more afraid of dying, so it is taking a global pandemic to instill love, care, kindness, and selflessness back into the characteristics of human beings? This baffles me.

We should have been doing this anyway!


Me, at work, nearing the end of my shift yesterday.


I urge all of you residing in various states and countries to abide by the guidelines, recommendations, and ordinances issued by your city/state/country/ officials. Do your part. If your job is not on the essential services or workers’ list, stay home. Don’t go out unless it’s absolutely necessary. And when you do, make sure you’re staying protected, that you’re practicing social-distancing and not gathering up in parties more than 5-10.

Really, to be honest, I’m staying at home. I have not visited any family or friends and the most I do when I am done with a work shift is walk Jernee. That provides me with a greater sense of peace after the types of days we’re currently experiencing at work.

Next week, we begin our reduced hours’ schedule. I am on to work only 24 hours next week and this is subject to change based on patient volume. Now that these ordinances have been announced, many of our patients are canceling their procedures and exams. They’re fearful of coming out and they know that if it’s not emergent, they can simply reschedule. Yes, I am worried about not working enough so that I can continue to take care of myself and Jernee, but I am far more concerned and willing to stop the spread of this thing.

Whatever needs to be done, should be done.


I am offering each of you love, peace, and the fact that you’re not alone in this. Most of us will struggle. We’re doing it together. Most of us will break down. There’s no shame in that. This is a life-altering experience and many, if not all of us, have never lived through something of this magnitude before.

Be careful. Be kind. Be wise. Do your part. Now is not the time to test boundaries and break rules. You’ve got the rest of your life, should you live through this, to be stupid.

Think more about others and less of yourself. I think we should all want to save as many lives as possible instead of being possible contributors to killing them.

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Corona, Corona

Musical Selection: Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley|Thanks for My Child

Corona, Corona

Knowing Unknown

I know not the pain a mother feels,
the concern or worry
releasing her child
into a world that
plagues, disrupts, bends, & changes
without c a u s e
the torture it must lay
on her heart, the constant
ripping of it breaking
from her body,
shattering to the ground
left in pieces.

she stands at the window
eyes watching the cars
counting them as they pass . . .
which one will carry
death to her door?
a phone call after
every shift — the sound of
a familiar voice, letting
her know the day is done.

there is no sleep, she presses
her hands against the wall,
feels the pulse of
the room on the other side
and wishes her child
was within reach,
far away from the
d a m a g e s
of the wicked.
she pulls back
pain instead.

I know not, mother —
how you suffer,
how you kneel on
bruised knees, prayerful
for a positive outcome.
the vessels from your womb,
servicing in places many
miles away from you,
wear their wounds proudly.
yet, you still harbor
fear, unable to dissect
the discomfort or turmoil
and remove them from
your soul.

I know not . . .
I cannot know.


Originally published via Medium.

Today, I Wanted To Tell You I Love You

*I am sharing this here as well.

Today, I Want To Tell You I Love You

Because I Do

Photo by Hush Naidoo via Unsplash

Many of you know I work in the medical field. This is my sixteenth year being in some form of this industry and I do not recall senses and anxiety levels as heightened as they are now. What I want each of you both here in A Cornered Gurl and on Medium to know is: I love you. The work I do puts me on the front lines of our facility and my face, along with my six co-workers’ are the faces our patients see first. I work for a prominent imaging facility in my area and as of today, we are still open.

We will be open, We are there to provide scans and invasive procedures to those who need them. This is our job.

I have a background in medical claims accounts receivable with a focus on insurance. Prior to this job, I worked as an Insurance and Patient Accounts Representative for five years and prior to that, as a Medical Billing Specialist for five years. At the very beginning of my adventurous tour of the medical world, I worked in primary care. What I did then, prepares me for what I do now.

I register anywhere from forty to sixty patients on a daily basis. Many of their questions used to be; “Is my insurance going to cover this?” “How long will this procedure take?” “Will I need to fast (be NPO or nothing to eat or drink for a certain amount of time) for this scan?” The questions I get now are far more difficult to answer, however, my organization equips us with the tools we need by keeping us up-to-date with numbers and medical terminology to be able to direct our patients to the professionals who can better assist them when we cannot.

I can tell you many stories ranging from happy to sad to indifferent to overwhelmingly fearful. People are wrought with fear mostly and the media does not make it any better. Am I afraid? Sure, I am. What I do puts me in close contact with many who have communicable diseases and it has for nearly two years. But, we are trained and taught how to operate in a facility such as this one so washing my hands, using hand sanitizer, wearing the proper PPE whenever necessary, making sure my vaccinations are up-to-date, taking multi-vitamins, and disinfecting exposed surfaces throughout the day is second nature to us. But, this does not mean we will not contract COVID-19.

What I hope for all of you is that if you can, you practice social-distancing, quarantine or isolate yourself whenever you feel any symptoms related to COVID-19 (properly research them and communicate with your Primary Care Physician), adhere to any curfews or lockdowns your city, state, and countries implement, and be smart, be kind, and be loving.

Over the next few weeks, there will be challenges at our facility that I have never experienced. I want all of you to know that I will be using all the tools given to me during orientation and throughout my career to properly handle those that arise. I work with an awesome group of people and we do what we have to in order to provide the best care for our patients.

If you need an uplifting word or a virtual hug or just someone not too far away to let you know they care — I do. I love you. Be safe. Help others when you can, but by practicing the best methods so as to not harm them or yourself.

I am working the closing shift tonight and I can already envision a bit of havoc, but I will conquer it as best as I can. I wanted to let you all know what I am facing — from my perspective.

Peace and blessings.


Originally published as a letter in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

Dear, God–cover him.

Lune #13 of 25

Caisonasleep
Caison, asleep. Taken a few months ago. My baby cousin Caison is hospitalized with pneumonia. I went to visit him and my heart just couldn’t take it. I was in and out of teary fits. I miss my little buddy.

Dear, God: cover him–
take this child
heal him with your love.


*A lune (rhymes with moon) is a very short poem. It has only three lines. It is similar to a haiku. A haiku has three lines, and it follows a 5/7/5 syllable pattern. The lune’s syllable pattern is 5/3/5. Since the middle line is limited to three syllables, it is often the shortest line of the three. This makes a lune curve a bit like a crescent moon.

For the next twenty-five days, except Saturdays and Sundays, I will share a lune with each of you. This is Lune #13 of this project.

Non-Fiction Saturdays

beneath

a haibun, 3 parts

Photo by Sébastien Conejo via Mixkit.co

The wonders of the world lay deep beneath her hair. The very essence of what there is to gain from a stressful day full of anguish and the sounds of beasts rapping at closed doors is nothing. I tell her to press forward and find her strength in the pulse of a tiger’s breath, but she is not interested in climbing up the optimistic ladder tonight. I smell safety around the corner. She runs for cover. I stand with my hands held high — raised above my head. I surrender to the depth of this defeat. She claims my trust.

beneath her red locks
is a star-spangled blue moon
a wondrous new world

Broken babies and haunted Mamas wield their way into our midst. We shield ourselves from their pressure. The room is ice. There is no fire for warmth. I rub my hands together and watch the steam sift in through the cracks. She takes two steps forward, purses her lips against the air, and lets out a sigh of relief. The floor is empty. Patients are packing up — discharged by their residents or attendings. We dance alone. A tango. A foxtrot. A waltz. I simmer in the darkness with her.

lonely in this place
of impatience and patients
dancing the foxtrot

Big Pharma called the shots on the drug saving his life — it’s no longer covered. He’s in room 213 of the ICU. Death is standing by his door. She pulls a mask on to her face, laces her hands with gloves, and walks in to oversee the cleanliness of his space. He is barely breathing. The sun skips on the open blinds — his hair never touches the pillow. There, in the silence of the room, she prays to a God who walks the halls but forgets to open the doors.

on-call patient care
fills up her nightly duties
death is still coming


Author’s Note: I wrote this piece as a reflection on the most recent book I read which was In Shock: My Journey from Death to Recovery and the Redemptive Power of Hope by Rana Adwish, MD. If you’ve not given it a read and you’re interested in knowing what a physician has to say about being the patient who dies, is brought back to life, and lives to see just how medicine needs transforming — this is a book I’d recommend for you. Peace.

*Originally published in The Junction via Medium.