I remember the last time I saw my grandma. I remember walking into that hospital and down that long hall to her room. The very kind nurse said, “She is not responding to anyone, but you can sit with her.” I slowly entered the dimly lit room where my grandma laid with her eyes closed. I moved the chair to her bedside and held her frail hand. Though I had thanked her so much for all she had done for me I wanted to thank her one last time. I thanked her for being such a loving grandma to me and for all the wonderful memories she gave me. I kissed her forehead and whispered through my tears, “You know how much I love you, right?” My grandma slowly opened her eyes, looked right into my soul and said, “I know” and squeezed my hand. She closed her eyes. I never saw her again.
That was a really difficult day for me. To be resilient means to recover quickly from difficult situations. I drove home all those years ago thinking about how resilient you would need to be to work in health care. As I am preparing to speak to hundreds of health care employees virtually this fall, I am learning, it is difficult. Some are not recovering quickly. Health care employees are taught to put the patient first. What I want to say to all health care workers now is: You have certainly been resilient, and you are continuing to do so! Please do what you can to put yourself first. Build up your resiliency by doing a small thing each day to show yourself the love you show your patients. I know it is hard when we are tired and depleted but you have to believe you are worth taking care of too. Then, when all of this is over my hope is that you get the recovery time you so deserve to overcome these really difficult days.
Take special care of you!