Oh, Crap!

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My hands are actually shaking as I am writing this. I had another post planned but I need to get this off my chest first.

Let’s talk Ebola.

Ebola is here. Where I live. Where I work.

We have been planning for this for months but honestly everyone here thought it was going to show up somewhere else first. Like New York (sorry, guys…it’s just that you always seem to the brunt of the crap for this country).

So, now everyone entering my clinic is getting asked screening questions for Ebola exposure and symptoms. We have the Ebola exposure kits. We have the Ebola exam room. I am getting panicked calls from teachers at the schools of the exposed kids. I am trying to keep everyone calm… patients, staff, myself.

I hope… I pray… that this all going to be OK. That this, too, will be a tiny blip on the radar and we will all laugh about it down the road.

But what IF? It is the what if that bothers me and all of the other doctors here that I know.

I will smile and laugh and act cool. You won’t see me running away. But inside…

Inside, I am terrified.

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95 thoughts on “Oh, Crap!

  1. Oh my. I wish you, and Dallas, and really everybody a lot of luck. Yesterday when I read the news, I cursed fate that would send this plague to a state with a high poverty rate and the lowest percentage of insured residents.

    But mostly I’m hoping that all this is hyped a bit more than realistic (by the media, not by you). So that we will be scared enough to prevent the spread but not really in much danger.

    Good, good luck . I am sending you uncontaminated hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have the exact same hope. There is a lot of mistrust in the community about how contagious it is, mainly because our only frame of reference is how it has behaved in a place lacking in medical infrastructure. I am hopeful that this will turn out to be just fine.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve been so curious about where you live…you’ve mentioned that you live in the south, and for some reason I had it in my mind that you live in Georgia. But you live in my same state (different city)! I’m still fairly new here but so far I love it. So this post thrills me only because I learned where you live. BUT obviously the news you’re sharing here is frightening. My best friend’s family member is one of the healthcare workers that has been brought to the US for treatment, and hearing about the process from someone who saw it firsthand is really scary. I’m praying that this situation stays under control and that you stay safe.

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  3. Sending bubbles of prayers, hugs and safety to you and your colleagues. It is a damned frightening time and I know how much a front line defence you are at present.
    I still blame the Govt for all their bio development. Perhaps that’s unfair but how I feel none the less.
    Stay safe and whichever God (s) you pray to, may they be doing double duty. 💖💖

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  4. I recall asking my father – I was just a little boy – if he were scared in battle. (He flew B-24’s in WWII.) He laughed and told me “son, only an idiot isn’t scared when he ought to be.”

    Blessings on you, you are in my thoughts!

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  5. I would never have imagined Texas as a first contact either. I was worried certain European cities would be more vulnerable since there is heavy plane traffic with West Africa. I watch the CDC guy saying over and over, “We have the knowledge to contain this.” I am sure we do, but we lack infrastructure even in the US for an ebola epidemic. If Texas has a patient, other cities will too. So I am scared for you and with you. It is odd the way the African epidemic has slowly left the front pages, although I haven’t been in the US, whole African cities are under siege and we pretend it doesn’t affect all of us on the planet. Our thoughts are flying to you, the patient, any people exposed, and all the staff! Ebola used to pop up in an isolated village and then disappear back in to the murky jungle where it came from. I guess there are no isolated villages anymore.

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    • No, there are no longer any isolated villages. And I have felt the same way about the Ebola coverage. I find myself searching, digging, for up to date death stats…not that those numbers mean anything anymore now that the disease has spread beyond the ability to measure it in Africa.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Be safe and stay strong. I worked in a hospital when we got one of the first AIDs cases before they knew what AIDs was. I was pregnant and the other nurses kept me away from all the really infectious cases. I was afraid of catching anything that could affect my baby. I was sitting at the Nurses station and this young guy came up to me with full blown mumps. I did not catch it thank goodness. I know not as bad as ebola.

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    • The fear was probably just as acute and real for you! I was pregnant during the swine flu epidemic. I was the only doc in my office at the time and had to work. Of course I got sick with it before a vaccine was even released. Thankfully that turned out much better than the CDC and WHO were predicting. Hopefully this will, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I commented earlier, but after reading about this ebola case all night, I have a question for you……
    How will the treatment of this patient be paid for? Since he’s not a US citizen, he likely doesn’t have US health insurance. I know the treatment is lengthy and very costly. Just curious and I thought you might have insight.

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    • Not sure of the answer to that, truthfully. In other situations, there is a bill that would be sent. Not that it would be expected to be paid. The hospital would write it off. In this situation, we all need to learn how to treat it. All of humanity needs to have him treated. Perhaps we should all pay for it?

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      • I completely agree, and that is likely what will happen. I’m hoping that because it’s a national concern, the federal government will step in and take off most of the burden from the hospital. And I’m also hoping that, now that it’s on our soil, it will hasten the efforts of coming out with a more widespread drug treatment. I haven’t read a lot about the treatment (I thought it was called a vaccine when the first doctor in the US received it, but I’m not sure if it actually is a vaccine…), but the little bit I do know sounds like it is a very costly drug and also a very slow process to make it. Maybe this will be a catalyst to get that drug more readily available.

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  8. Ebola is a terrifying disease and I wouldn’t want you to catch it, but you have to remind yourself that you are not in the bush of West Africa. The chances of catching it are minimal. It can’t spread in a hospital environment if adequate precautions are taken. The problem is going to be stopping infected people bringing it into the country and taking it home with them. Then into work, their children taking it into the schools. Screening the passengers of every flight coming in from the affected countries is the only way. I get frightened too.

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    • The problem was mainly that I knew we were ALL unprepared. Any hospital in Dallas and most across the country would have been just as bad at this as Presby was. No one knew what the hell they were doing and there was not much support from people who did know. The guidelines we have been given have been ever changing. Hopefully, the worst is over here. At least for now.

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  9. I don’t like that you’ve had to deal with this, but I like how you deal with it: writing honestly and with a touch of humor. It reminds me of that quote about courage not being the absence of fear, but facing it. Sending a prayer that you and your family remain well.

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  10. Oh, I’ll be praying for you and your staff and now I offer up this passage of Scripture: Fear not for I am with you! Stay safe and worry not for worry is praying for what you don’t want to happen! Blessings and hugs to you and your staff, Victo. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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