Blog Book Review

Book Review: Everybody Just Breathe

Earlier this year, I sat down with my cousin, who is a nurse, to talk about her experience as a frontline healthcare worker in the pandemic. She shared the struggles she and her coworkers faced, their fears, and how heartbreaking her job was during this time. Shortly after that chat was posted on my YouTube channel, I saw on my Instagram that a friend of someone I follow was writing a book about being a nurse in the COVID ICU unit, and I immediately thought, “I have to read this book.”

Amanda V. Peterson has been an ICU nurse for over ten years, and she knew she would volunteer to work in the COVID ICU unit when it was announced it would be built. She says nursing is in her blood, and she has loved working and taking care of patients in the ICU unit, but this was a different story when it came to COVID ICU.

The COVID ICU unit is entirely negative airflow. There were huge fanlike machines to pull the air out of the hospital and caused a roaring throughout the unit. She always had to wear a respirator mask, and with the roaring of the machines, she was always yelling when she could speak to patients.

On the outside, we would hear stories of the patients in the hospital who had COVID and needed ventilators to breathe, but she saw it first-hand. She wrote about how sometimes they had to turn the patients over on their stomachs to get them to try to breathe better but turning them exceptionally carefully because of all the tubes the patients had. For example, if they were on a ventilator, they most likely wouldn’t be able to eat, so they had to tube feed them, and then they also had a catheter to drain their urine. At one point, she mentioned that when most of the patients were on ventilators, the building was reaching air pressure capacity. That really shook me.

I loved how raw and honest this book was because she was working in the COVID ICU unit for all of 2020, but she was also going to grad school. She was doing all this emotionally draining work while trying to study, and be a wife, and a mom. On top of all that, no one was able to go anywhere. I feel suffocated just thinking about it. I encourage everyone to read this book to visualize better what this virus can do if you or a loved one haven’t experienced it already. This book is available for purchase on Amazon.

Did you or a loved one experience COVID? If so, how was your experience?

With Love, Heidy

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