Tammy came home over the weekend. She had signed up for another week, but it wasn’t meant to be. I won’t deny she had me worried, but she is fine. On her 20th day, she scheduled It off. She hoped that she would rest and recoup for the next week. When I talked with her that morning, I knew she was exhausted and so tired. I had noticed in the last week she was getting more quite. I was already uneasy. Late that afternoon, she text and said she was leaving. She had a car scheduled in an hour and she was driving home. I wanted her to fly, but it wasn’t going to happen. She want to get out now……She needed to drive, and have alone time….I was getting more worried. I really didn’t want her to leave that late from New York City, a city she had never driven in. But everyone who knows Tammy knows she loves to drive. I think that is where she gets her peace and alone time. She can drive straight through from Illinois to Harlingen Texas, (near Mexico Border) in 22 hours…..Crazy Driver…..I decided to text Katherine, her best friend at home. She is a Nurse at IVCH in Peru. If she would contact anyone else, it would be her. Yes, they had already been talking. As she left New York City, she called and I could tell she was already feeling better. The weight was lifting.….Katherine sent me texts all evening and night. Then I was up at 5 to make sure she got home…..What a Saturday it was….Yes, she pulled in Sunday by noon…..THANK YOU KATHERINE for helping me keep my sanity through the night…. here is her story in her words….
22 hrs ·
I am gonna start this off by saying today is day 22! And the 1st day in 21 days that I have woke up in my own bed! I have missed my family and my friends so much! I might even say that i have missed Illinois!
New York was a beast! I have seen thing and did things that i have never dreamed of. And I met so many so many great nurses, APN’s and Drs! They were from all across the United States! The staff was very welcoming as well. They would have lunch donated at times. My last day they had breakfast donated and brought in to us! And REAL coffee! 😍 lol
while I was there I worked on 9 different units. I worked a couple of units more than once but for the most part everyday was like starting a brand new job. Everything was always new. The staff, the nurses I worked with, what supplies were available, what type of patients there were. Every unit was like opening a door to the twilight zone. You never know what is gonna be there. And the attitude was strong and everywhere! That is the best way I can describe it. It was not easy for me to go on every day with 5-6 hours of sleep mixed with the constant change. I was never able to develop “a work rhythm”? I’m not sure if that’s the word I am looking for but… And As many of you know, I have struggled with depression my whole life. And I ended up finding myself in a very very low spot. Around day 15 I started to cry everyday and I think day 19 I almost cried all day! (Fyi it’s very hard to tell if someone is crying when they are wearing all this head gear!) It was sooo hard. Even though we were there to help and shine some light into the darkness that is going on in New York right now, I lost control of myself and the darkness crept inside me... On the 20th I had the day off. They allowed us to have 2 pto days in this 21 day contract. My plan was to destress as much as possible and trudge through work one more time… and then cancel my 1 week extension and go home! But by the end of day 20 all I could think about was getting out of this cold dark place that I had found myself in. So rented a car and got the hell outta there at 7pm! It was truly one of the best things that I have ever done for myself. As I began driving away from NYC I could truly feel the heaviness of it all leave my body… and I could smile! A real smile! I talked to my mom and my best friend Katherine almost all the way home. I even had Cassidy on the phone for an hour and an half! And we had a great conversation! I was excited to surprise Cameron at the house so I never told him I was coming! Lol And I thank god my family and my friends are here for me everyday! A part of me is very ashamed or dissatisfied in myself for leaving a day early. But not any more. I am so proud that I was able to help in such a terrible situation! I have learned many things about myself through this experience. I will never regret it! But I don’t think I want to go back to NYC... ever! Lol thank you to everyone that sent us stuff! You guys really really really helped me personally!! And we shared with many others as well! I will never forget this experience! Aunt Connie told me that I would not be able to come back from this the same person. At the time I didn’t think to much about it. But…. she is so very right... not always! But this time! Lol I am just so happy to be home!❤❤❤
ps. Britt Novak is still rockin it in NYC! You got this girl!
Tammy is now home and doing well. Now she has 2 weeks of quarantine before she can return to work. I know she has missed the kids tremendously. She has come back a changed person in so many ways…..She has learned a lot about herself and will be stronger for it. She will never forget the patients, nurses, doctors, and all the experiences of New York….She has accomplished something not many of us could or would ever undertake. But she is a Nurse…..She took that Oath….She Believes in what she does….
WE ARE ALL SO PROUD
….She is an Amazing Nurse….
Now it is time for all the …..THANK YOU’S…. Her days were so busy. 14 hours of the day were work and transportation. That didn’t leave much time for eating, sleeping, waiting for your mail for 45 min. and of course a through shower and disinfecting. She became more physically and mentally exhausted every day. So she didn’t have a lot of time to show her appreciation. The one Company that needs a HUGE THANK YOU is Vactor Manufacturing from Streator Illinois…..
Tammy mentioned to us she could use some Safety Glasses. Aunt Connies’, Son in Law, Matt Rinaldo works for Vactor in Streator Illinois. He went to HR to ask about Safety Glasses for the girls. By noon, he had been given around 50 Safety Glasses. HR also game him many FACE SHIELDS. Their parent Company Federal Signal had sent them to their employees. The employees had decided to give them to the Front Line people in the Medical Field that needed them. They had already given a number of them to Morris Hospital. Matt brought them to Connie who boxed them up and sent them to the girls.
They were so needed. As soon as she received them they were gone. So not many pictures were taken. I had been reading posts on the FB site of the Staffing Agency from the other nurses. Those who had connections, were ordering them in quantity’s for their friends. The hospitals didn’t have any. They were pretty desperate to get them. These Shields were so Appreciated. So …..THANK YOU VACTOR…. also Matt and Connie for sending them to New York…..
So many other items were sent. So here in Tammy’s words again are all her Thank You’s
15 hrs ·
There are so many people I need to thank besides my family that have donated their time to make sure that we have what we needed! I want to make as many as I can but please dont be upset if I forget to mention anyone because you all made this so much easier!
1. Vactor Manufacturing in Streator Il donated a box full of safety glasses and face shield! ❤❤❤!! They are in very high demand in New York! And as soon as people seen them… they were gone! The hospitals no longer supply face shield because they are just not available anymore. I wish I could have got more pictures but there just wasn’t time. But I assure you that they were amazing! Thank you Connie Malavolti, Ashley Malavolti and Mat Rinaldo for the hook up! It was definitely needed! The shields protect us from much more than the glasses alone cuz there is a lot of coughing and spraying going on!
2. Amanda Davis for the goodies and the wonderful prayer that came with! It was very special!
3. Chauntelle Biagi-Bruer for the goodies and kind words!
4. Aunt Connie and Jeanie Lutz for getting several hand made masks for me to take at the very last minute!❤ and thank you Connie for the bag of super healing rocks! I wore them everyday!
5. Tammy Schlesinger Gunter for all the goodies and kind words!
6. Baily Jane and Betty Parks for the awesome lotions and cookies! ❤
7. Jeny Orozco for the amazing words of encouragement and all the awesome gifts!
8. Tiffany Gebhardt for the awesome gifts and kinds words!
9. Mary Jaegle Milashoski for the awesome gift of dry shampoo! (it seriously made Britt Novak’s day!)and the other goodies as well!❤❤
10. Jessica Torres for all the amazing goodies and encouragement!
11. Frances Ilnicky Van Ameyden thank you for the goodies and the great conversation that definitely brought a smile to my face!
12. Tina M Wenzel for the gifts and (over the top!) Encouragement! I am so very thankful!
13. Brenda Bickerman thank you for delivering the lysol wipes to my house before I left! I could not find any anywhere!
14. Gale Reno for the bag of snacks, gloves, mask crochet ties and other things that you sent at the last moment.
15. Nicole Bouxsien and family made several masks for us to take with.
16. The Eastgate Quilter ladies for making all the masks and redoing the design to include the laces to save our ears!❤
17. Theresa Fisher for the crocheted ear savers!
18. Bobbi Van Schaick for the box of goodies! That came along with a great story! Definitely something that I would have done! Lol
19. Sharon VanLanduit for the amazing shoe inserts! They helped soooo much!
And lastly, Katherine Twardowski for taking care of my 2 older babies while I was gone! (I really hope you will recover quickly! Lol). Tina Bergen Dolder and Ed Dolder for being everything for Carly while I cant! And for all the school teaching! And Margaret Bergen for the daily encouragement and text messages! Scottieonepaw ScottBergen and Brandy Lockett for all the love and support!
And there has been so many others who have said some of the best things! I will never forget!
Cameron Bergen and Cassy Cruz I am home! And I love you both so much! We WILL be spending some quality time together real soon! Like it or not! Lol
I truly can not say how thankful I am to have you all in my life! I have the best family and friends that anyone could ever ask for!❤❤❤
I am feel very blessed to have been a part of NYC at this time of need. But this Is definitely my home! ❤❤❤
Jeny Orozco Love you Tammy!!! ❤️❤️❤️
Betty Parks Thank you for giving your ALL.
Tiffany Gebhardt Np Tammy Bergen…just my way of saying thanks for what U guys went and did! U went above and beyond what u had too! Hope to see u back around soon until then take care of urself and know u got friends who care! ❤️
Tina Bergen Dolder A shout out to Brenda Holloway Bickerman, Jerimey Bouxsein Nicole and family, Gale Reno ( Erin Marie Megan Holly let your mom know!!
Megan Dose Glad your back!!! 😘❤️❤️❤️
Bobbi Van Schaick The least I can do
Mary Jaegle Milashoski So happy that what we could do for you .. made a difference and brightened your day ..!💜💜
Amanda Davis 💜💜💜💜💜
Frances Ilnicky Van Ameyden Your selflessness in this horrible time of Covid19 has shown us what Love of Neighbor is all about. God bless you!
Jeanette Brewer Stay safe and you r a hero
Thank You to All who has supported and followed Tammy. I as MOM want to give a SPECIAL THANK YOU, to Tina, for being the BEST SISTER Tammy could ever have. She has done so much that you all will never know. She was their from the minute Tammy made this descion to go, by getting supplies ready and MANY MANY other things concerning Carly’s care. My Kids are all so AWESOME….Brittney is still their finishing her extended week. She is doing ok. Everyone has been so supportive of the girls and of all the Medical Personnel. These people are helping and reporting the truths of what is happening in New York City. They have answered the call not knowing where they were going to work, where they were going to stay. They all knew they were putting their life on the line…..But they all went anyway…..They worked 12 hours straight covered in PPE. So many had shortages of PPE, and much hospital supplies. Some of the story’s I read were mindboggling to think nurses had to operate in such a manner and do things that were so unethical in the hospital setting. And then the stories of the patients. So heart wrenching……So many that passed alone….With only the nurse present….The last words from the family’s on the cell phones of the Nurses….