These are the transformational stories of our team and our patients. Get to know us and join us in this incredible journey.
“As a cosmetic surgeon, I was seriously questioning my ability to keep my COVID19 patient alive.”
65 is way too young to die! The typical 65 year olds I see in my practice look younger than most 40 year olds and are all living full, active, vibrant lives. Our motto after all, is "age backwards".
So, when 65 year old George with COVID pneumonia dropped his oxygen level down to 89%, I was not ready to put him on a ventilator and send him off to the ICU where he only had a 50% chance of survival.
On a wickedly cold night in April 2020. I was the physician on duty at one of the makeshift COVID Field Hospitals set up by the National Guard. I had accepted George’s transfer from the hospital earlier that day. His oxygen saturation was at a steady 96% when he arrived. He had been considered stable enough to leave the real hospital where the ventilators were, but he was not well enough to go home because patients with COVID pneumonia could rapidly turn and deteriorate at any minute as too many of them did. George was just one of many who came to the field hospital that day.
Amy was the nurse who noticed his oxygen levels dropping as he started to have an ominous coughing fit. She quickly alerted the rapid response team which I was heading. We jumped to action, and turned up his oxygen flow. The protocol at the time dictated that when a patient started deteriorating this fast, we insert a breathing tube down his throat and send him back to the hospital so that he could be placed on a ventilator. Looking back, it turns out that we probably saved his life by doing exactly the opposite of what we were trained to do… (continued)
“As I Lay on My Driveway, I Watched My Car Roll Over My Right Leg”
It was a dark night in December 2019, before COVID came along to disrupt our lives. I had left work after a late meeting at Omni Aesthetics with Dr. Song and Michelle. During the short 5-minute ride to my home, I must have been distracted by the exciting new laser we were discussing because the next thing I knew, my own car was rolling over my leg.
I stepped out of the car—and then I was on the ground. Screaming, as my car tire made its way over my right thigh in slow-motion. How could this be happening??
I’ve always driven stick shift cars. (The guys at the gas station called me a “Badass!” for driving a stick) Normally, I would put it in gear, pull up the handbrake, and get out. As the Registered Nurse for the practice, I develop procedures and train our staff to always use systems to check and double check for safety, wear their laser googles, follow infection control measures… Pause and be mindful about their next step. How could I forget to do this essential safety measure with my car?
After rolling right over my leg, the car kept going, stopping only when its trajectory was stopped by one of the evergreens along the edge of our driveway. I worried that our neighbor’s fence might be damaged. Nobody heard my screams. My husband and our dog, who usually signals my arrival by barking at the window, apparently went to bed early. They didn’t hear me either. I laid on my driveway in a state of shock. I was all alone.
In my trance-like state, I did not think to use my phone to call my husband, call the police, or summon an ambulance. No. I got up, and somehow walked up the stairs, down the hallway, and opened our bedroom door. “My car just rolled over me!” I exclaimed to my husband. We both stared at the tire tracks by my knee. It was now really starting to hurt.
Wow, apparently I’m not the only one who has been run over by their own car. The ER doctor told me of two other cases in the past year alone.
From the hospital, I called Dr. Song to let him know what happened and texted Michele. “Wait. What?!? “Your car ran over you?” They were both a bit shocked! I hadn’t wanted to bother them, but I thought they should know that I wouldn’t be into work the next day, which actually ended up being 6 days. You’ve got to have a sense of humor about things. Michele informed the team, “Well, Beth wanted to take a few days off, so she ran herself over with her car.”
As I waited on my gurney, while being rolled and parked around the hospital hallways to get multiple X-Rays, CT and MRI scans, and doppler ultrasound to see if I had any blood clots blocking my blood vessels, I had time to think. This was scary. The car could have rolled over my pelvis, my ribcage, even my head! I could have been dead. I was sent home in ace bandages. All my tests were negative, not a broken bone, no damaged blood vessels. A couple of large hematomas (bruises) within my right thigh, but these would resolve on their own over time. I did develop a tiny fracture in a non-weightbearing bone near my knee, detected several weeks later at a follow-up visit with the orthopedist, which didn’t require any treatment. Must have been my mother’s “milk with meals rule” that kept my femur from fracturing.
I thought about why I didn’t just pull up the brake and place my car in gear, something I’ve done countless times over more than 40 years of driving. I realized, “My car didn’t run me over. I ran MYSELF over.” By not following my own advice to use mindfulness, ‘practice the pause’, breathe for a moment, follow the steps, I had caused this unnecessary accident to happen.
What happened to the car, you might wonder? Not a scratch on it. But I turned it in for one with an automatic shift, newer version. I figured it can’t hurt to be too safe. What did Dr. Song have to say about the new car? “Well, you didn’t have to give up being a “badass”. I’m sure you would never have gotten out of your car again without putting it in gear and engaging the handbrake.” Very funny.
Beth Tansey Peller, RN is a registered nurse at Omni Aesthetics. She is a faculty trainer for the Advanced Aesthetics Education Group and a certified Well Coaches wellness coach.