Sunday 3-15-2020 Marissa Owens
I've had over a hundred calls from panicked pregnant patients since the National Emergency was declared on Friday. The hospital has put into place emergency protocol. No visitors. No one but the patient in the room with him or her.
My patients are calling asking about husbands, boyfriends, moms, and grandmothers being in the room with them when they go into labor. I get to be the bearer of bad news and tell them there's no one allowed in the room besides medical professionals. We're cutting down the number of those in rooms as well. Just me and a nurse with the mother.
I feel for them. I was so glad my mother was in the room with me when Will was born. I was freaked out as a first time mother. There are first time mothers on my caseload. Mother's due to deliver any day now. And they will have no family support in that room. They'll have no familial support as long as they are in the hospital. And it's now policy to send the mother and baby home as soon as possible. 24 hrs could be all these new mother's spend in the hospital.
My only hope is that I'm doctor and mother enough to help these women through childbirth as both a doctor and their family support.
March 14th, 2020
They shut down the schools yesterday. Abby is distraught, she loves Kindergarten and her teacher. She just wants to go back to school. I don't have the heart to tell her, she'll probably be out for the rest of the year.
Working at home with three young ones is fun. And when I say fun, I mean crazy hard. The twins want to be in on everything. They'll stand and pound at the door during Zoom meetings. At least most of my meetings are with colleagues instead of clients. Julian is used to being home with the twins and sometimes Abby during the day, but usually, we have our parents or baby sitters to fall back on when we need to do something important. Now, not so much.
I've been watching the numbers since the beginning. It's hard not too when you do front line work. How many of our kids are going to end up abused because of the situation they're in? Judge is already modifying parental visitation rights. Giving parents custody who aren't ready for it. Or allowing unsupervised visits. Not only are these kids going back to their sometimes abusive parents, but they're going to be at home. All day everyday. No break for the kids. No breaks for the parents if our state institutes a quarantine. Which I think they should.
I've set my staff up with the ability to do therapy appointments through Zoom and from home. I don't want to put anyone at risk anymore than I have too. I'm grateful that I'm still working and grateful that I am able to work from home and still provide for the needs of my staff. I just worry about the kids.
Friday March 13th, 2020
There are not much worse things that can happen than to be told you have breast cancer in the midst of a pandemic.
I was sitting in the doctor's office alone. They wouldn't even let my sister-in-law come in. Being old counts as a preexisting condition now.
My doctor walked in, dressed in a mask and scrubs. Usually he wears street clothes. Today he walked in to say. "Jackie, the abnormal results of your mammogram turned out to be breast cancer."
Breast cancer. I shouldn't be surprised. They've told me for years having ten kids would catch up with me. My bones aren't as strong as they used to be and now, I get to go to an oncologist to see if we're looking at surgery, chemo, radiation, or a combination of all three.
I'm sitting on the couch staring at Everett. He probably thinks I've gone mad. I can't bare to tell him. Not not. Not ever if I can help it. But I guess if my hair starts falling out due to chemo he'll start to wonder. Laura and my doctor are the only two who know. I'll tell Everett in time, but how can I tell my kids? In the middle of a pandemic even. They'll all want to spend time with me if I do. Acting as if it is the end of my days. No. I won't put any of them at risk by telling them.
Today is the first page of a new chapter in my book. I will do it alone, but it doesn't stop me from being scared shitless.