Patients, Checklists, and Discussions.

Maria Rebello-Valdez, MPH
6 min readApr 14, 2022
How to Cope With Anxiety and Depression | Everyday Health

It’s amazing how humans work. Our physiology is all interconnected to allow us to walk, talk, move, have a functioning heart and brain, and all other organs. It’s amazing how all our body connects to make us a physical human. I used to find this so fascinating and intriguing, and I still do, but after going through some experiences I have come to fascinate over something else, the human mind.

Let me take you on my anxious filled journey so you can understand.

Starting around January of 2022, a lot was going on. A lot of good, a lot of positive, but also a lot of stress, a lot of change, a lot of discussions, and some of those discussions may have opened old wounds I didn’t anticipate… I was working as a frontline worker at this time, in public health. During January I noticed small things, my lack of empathy, my lack of reaction to situations, my lack of emotion. I would have a patient who lost their home, their whole family due to covid, no income, almost homeless, and I would need to carry that and help them rebuild their life, but yet, my mind would feel nothing, nor my heart. I would have discussions that afterwards I would think, wow, shouldn’t I feel mad or sad, why don’t I? Despite this, I carried on. Stress, I told myself. It’s stress but it will go away soon after whatever deadline or thing on my checklist is checked off. Truth be told, the stress never went away, it only toppled. From Jan to March, I started developing odd symptoms, I had a high heart rate all the time, and I would feel like I was there but wasn’t there, it was like if I was a robot. But there was too much to do, patients to see, checklists to get done, more discussions of old wounds that never healed. I also started developing random headaches and dizziness spells. At first, I thought I was pregnant, and that in itself sent anxiety through my spine, but no, it was not that, nor was it anything else. They would last a few hours and then I would get extremely sleepy and fall asleep but as I would wake up, I felt better and carried on. I also noticed an increased blood pressure but, again, I ignored it, and thought it must have been from stress or cramps, or something else, but I feel better so lets’ carry on with our checklist, discussions and patients. Then March came and I couldn’t ignore what happened.

Maria Rebello-Valdez, MPH

Contributor writer for Medium and former contributor writer for HuffPost. I focus on disparities in education and medicine. #Latina #Hispana #Medicine