Today was a beautiful day. My intubated patient who has been squeezing my hand for the last several days finally was strong enough to get extubated.
This morning I gave her her morning medications and when I told her I was leaving the room she shook her head no. I asked if she wanted me to stay longer and she shook her head yes. I stayed in the room for 15 minutes just holding her hand. When it was time to extubate her this afternoon she squeezed my hand the entire time. We successfully extubated her and placed her on BIPAP.
A few short minutes later she mouthed her first words to me—I love you.
My heart exploded. I started to sob in the room. Tears were running into my N95 mask as I stood there and held her hand. It was a beautiful moment. She repeated the words again this time stronger. She has been my patient from the first day our unit opened.
I have had her for 15 days—she has been vented for that entire time. I asked her if she heard me talking to her for the last 15 days and she said yes. She is very fatigued but manages to give me a thumbs up and continues to try and mouth words. She wants me in the room constantly to hold her hand and I have been spending a lot of time in there with her today.
RELATED: “I Remember Your Eyes.” This Touching Story About a COVID Patient and His Kind Doctor Moved Us To Tears
Today is day 21 for me and the last day of my contract. I have said I will stay but today at 3 p.m. found out the hospital does not need us back tomorrow as they have brought in other nurses who are starting a fresh contract.
My time here at Metropolitan Hospital is complete.
I am just thankful that on day 21 I had this experience with my patient. I feel my purpose in coming here was to save her life.