I’m current a PGY2 resident so you can imagine the busy-ness in my life between rotations, projects, teaching, and research. My productivity came to a halt in the beginning of this year when I tested positive for Covid-19 and I am still dealing with long haul symptoms of chest pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath. I know I’m not the first resident to have Covid and, sadly, I probably won’t be the last. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you my journey of health and wellbeing.
I had to take a significant amount of time away from my rotation during the month of January due to the illness and the quarantine period. However, I was determined to stay on top of things and not get behind. This led to a lot of make up projects and work from home time. When I was finally released to begin rounding in the hospital, I worked very hard to make my interventions, educate patients, and provide support services to the medical team – essentially squeezing a month worth’s of work into a 2 week timeframe. In February, my body just said no more which ended in me being treated in the emergency department. After a serious talk with my RPD and lots of support from my mentors and preceptors, we made the decision to pull me from my February rotation to focus on my health, longitudinal projects, and job interviews. It was an extremely difficult decision to make and honestly, I felt like I was failing because I wasn’t able to perform to the level I thought I should be at.
This experience has given me a whole new perspective on what it means to prioritize health and wellness in my life. Wellness looks like asking for help. I have found peace and grace in not being able to do everything that I expect of myself. I have learned to lean on my amazing support system and just how strong that support system is. I have developed deeper relationships with my mentors and preceptors through communicating my needs and shortcomings. I’ve learned to set boundaries in a profession that will always ask just a little more of you. Finally, I learned it is okay to not be okay.