July 9th 2014: I open my eyes…
I can´t move my hands, body-wide pain is unbearable, something out of my throat and I am not at home. I don’t know where I am or what time is, there are photos of my son and my husband, some drawings with my name, an image of the Virgin of St. Nicholas and a rosary. There is an amethyst and a quartz, as on an altar.
I hear noises, many, I look to one side and I see a device that sounds, many cables out of my body that go to different places
Then comes Fabian. Turn off the machine. He calls me by my name and ask me how I am while he brushes my hair telling me that outside it is dawning.
Two girls of my age come into my room, Lali and Julia are residents and tell me that I’m in CEMIC in the Intensive Care Unit. I was 26 days sleeping and they wonder how I feel. They evaluate my vital signs, help me to move the legs, explained that rest generates a loss of mobility. They are very kind, say that my family is coming and that I am beautiful. All the time doctors come in, thousand of specialties, Sofia, Ignacio, Paul, they are thousands!.
They explain me that I was admitted here with a serious pneumonia, in Toxic Shock by a fairly rare Bacteria (Staphilococcus aureus resistant to Methicillin). They say that I had some complications, and need the respirator longer to heal me. They are positive and explain me everything whenever I ask.
I ask them for juice, I just want to drink fluids but still I can’t.
Anyone who come into the room are happy to see me, I don’t even know them.
My husband and my family arrive, I get excited…Lili and Edgardo have come also, they are medical friends who always has been allowed to accompany us, end up explaining everything to me, they tell me that I missed the World Football Cup among other things.
I’m aware and begins the arduous path of rehabilitation.
It is not easy, it is too much for body and mind. I ask them to bring me a watch and my music. My desire is fulfilled and things get more entertaining, I can already hear another sound that is not of the teams. Every day come the physiotherapists, Cora, Hernan, Pablo, Susana, Marcelo, Mariano, Melisa, I think I remember them all. With Melissa, I went back to walking, with Cora ate, and thus I memory as each one of them helped me to return my body.
Nurses are awesome people. They tell me things of their lifes to make my time pass more quickly. Quique is from Leo as my husband. Cordobés is from San Lorenzo just like my son, Luis and Angel have a band together, Mariana has twins, Ines a child fan of video games as mine, Mauricio is married to Romina, another nurse and they have a beautiful baby, Patricia spokes me of Buddhism to make me relax. They are thousands I don’t remember the names of all, but there is one single that treat me in a bad manner, all made me part of their lifes.
I take home memories from my ICU stay (52 days), of every member of the team. From the Dr. Valentini, Head of theICU until Carina, the girl who was cleaning my room. She has the most cute and long hair have ever seen.
There were difficult moments. I only could think of seeing my son, and the timetable of visit was so short that the days were becoming impossible. Then came Shiry, one of the coordinators and I told her of how distressing were the nights. I cried and she touched my shoulder and after talking several times, she gave me special permission to be accompanied by a family member 24 hours, only my relatives had to commit to not interfere with the work of the team.
From that day, my recovery was very fast. Everyone was surprised. Love they gave me was infinite. When I was discharged, I knew I was never going to forget this team.
I arrived at home, and I understood how difficult is to humanize the care in an Intensive Care Unit: every patient, every family, and every institutional context is different.
But I have no doubt that in my case they did it and this is why today, only 7 months later, I don´t remember the pain and the suffering. I remember these people who saved me life; when they saw my suffer, they calmed my pain, and when they saw me crying they sat on my bed, looked at me in the eyes, they called me by my name. They told me how strong I am and got me a smile while they did their work without forgetting that primarily are people who live to care for people.