[Continuing from previous email: Side Effects Part 1]
If tomorrow, surgical procedures returned to 120% of their previous volume, it would take almost a year just to get through the current backlog of cancelled patients.
When considering the lives lost due to economic loss, missed health care, and emotional distress…the prescription we’re following to beat the virus could be causing more deaths EVERY MONTH than the deaths that have been attributed to the virus since it began.
And, with a very sad, very heavy heart…I need to let you know of another casualty of the lockdown, SiSi Beaver.
I met Sisi at Perfect Form, a local Pilates studio owned by my friend and colleague, Ann Taboda. SiSi was in her 80’s and had multiple chronic conditions that had left her body bent and crooked…but her eyes were bright, her mind was sharp, her wit was quick, and she always had a warm smile for me when I saw her. Sisi’s Pilates instructor at the time was Heather Raglin…and I could see that Heather cared deeply for Sisi, when I occasionally saw her leading Sisi through a session. I also came to know Phillip, Sisi’s husband, who is quite a character and an awesome human…and her caregiver, Zaneta (aka, “Z”), another awesome human…both of whom occasionally brought Sisi for bi-weekly Pilates sessions.
Some time later, after I opened the BBS movement space, I was over the moon when Sisi visited and ultimately became a Founding Member. In our bi-weekly sessions, I came to know her as a wonderful, warm, and witty woman. SiSi also began working with, Janet, our awesome occupational therapist and BBS staff member…she became a regular in a movement class (along with “Z”)…and came to game night s(along with “Z”).
In fact, meeting and working with “Z”, Sisi’s long time CARE-giver has been another unexpected benefit. Working with the OWLS program over the years, I have seen MANY caregivers…most of them sub-par…but, “Z” is unquestionably the best CARE-giver I have had the opportunity to work with. She not only helped Sisi participate in our movement classes but also participated herself, smiling and contributing to the energy of the class each week.
I mention Ann, Heather, Janet, Philip, and “Z” because I have always been inspired by seeing people take care of others. Our entire BBS family treated her like a Rockstar as soon as she entered the room…Members and Staff, always quick to get her exercise equipment or just spend time connecting with her before or after class. Sisi loved people…and we all loved SiSi.
After Governor Cooper cancelled movement classes, I continued to go to SIsi’s home and exercise with her, through her glass door. She helped me make video clips to encourage others to keep moving and stay healthy during confinement…delivering the message to all that would listen, “if I can do it, then YOU can do it”. She became known as the window warrior.
According to the Governor’s Executive Order, I wasn’t supposed to be in SiSi’s yard, guiding her through a movement session (even though we were separated by a pane of glass). But I knew the negative effects of isolation, we all do. And, maybe selfishly, seeing her and talking to her during this dark time gave me hope for our future.
As the lockdown continued, it was harder to meet with Sisi. She became depressed and found it harder to get up and start moving each morning. The last session I had with her ended up just being conversation, no movement…she talked about her depression…she said she’d rather face the virus than the isolation. And I remember crying after I left. I felt helpless…I was sad…and I was angry.
I got a call Friday morning, July 24.......SiSi had died from cardiac arrest.
My awesome staff at BBS subbed classes for me…and I went with “Z” to see Philip. Later, I went home and just sat on my couch in a daze. I just stared at nothing and thought to myself…what are we doing?
Are we considering the side effects of this “prescription” that we’re all taking for the virus?
What if it’s like the NDMA in the Zantac and it just gets worse and worse the longer we’re in isolation?
I don’t know about all of the data and statistics Dr. Atlas used to determine the lives lost from economic loss…but, I know there will be a debt coming due on all of the missed health care. And I don’t know if this would’ve happened to SiSi, even if the virus never existed…but, it sure feels like she’s a casualty of Governor Cooper’s lockdown.
So, I want ALL of you to listen to me right now…even if you don’t agree with anything in this email…even if you’ve come to hate me for my position on this…
If you need care, GO TO THE DOCTOR.
If you have an emergency, GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM.
If you are lonely or depressed, CALL SOMEONE AND GET TOGETHER, IN-PERSON, FACE-TO-FACE.
You can do it in a safe manner…you can get together in person and keep physical distance.
And now I’m going to tell you to do something VERY controversial…if you disagree, I don’t care to hear about it, I probably already know how you feel…
YOU NEED TO HUG THE PEOPLE THAT YOU LOVE!!
You can do it safely…breath out before you start…don’t breath while you’re coming in…go full-hug, chest to chest…put your chin on their shoulder…now breath in while you hug…hold your breath again as you separate…and BOOM!! Safe Hug!
We have inside classes…we have outside classes…we have mask only classes. If you need a class, we have one that can fit your comfort level.
We have a 1,500 sq ft room…we have tables and chairs…we can create a safer environment than any restaurant. If you have any ideas on anything we can do to safely to become a community again…please let me know. We need this. We need each other. We need YOU.
>>>Click here for SiSi, Z, and Christy doing Cupid Shuffle<<<
>>>Click here for a message to YOU from SiSi<<<
With LOVE and HUGS…and a heavy, heavy heart,