At Vuori, we aim to inspire others to be happy, healthy, and live extraordinary lives. From that came our tag line —The Rise The Shine. The rise represents the climb of the mountain, staying present in the face of challenges, and making the choice to keep going. The shine represents the feeling you get when you reach the summit, the feeling of being truly inspired. This month we are featuring ICU Nurse, Adley Parriott.
Adley Parriott decided on a career in medicine because she wanted to help people and make a difference, however, when she began her career as a nurse, never in her wildest dreams did she imagine that she would live and work through a global pandemic.
At the outbreak of COVID-19, Adley was working in the cardiac ICU at Emory Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, which works in close proximity with the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Originally from Nashville, TN, she moved to Atlanta to pursue her dream job working in the ICU at Emory, with the end goal to become a nurse anesthetist. After the outbreak, Adley’s unit was turned into a COVID unit. With Emory having a serious communicable disease unit and also previously being responsible for care during the ebola virus outbreak, Adley felt she was in the best possible place to be handling such a crisis.
As many hospitals across the country faced Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shortages, Emory was no different, however, the community really came together to help out in as many ways as they could. “People in the community donated masks, gloves, and Clorox wipes, and it was so helpful because we did run out of things. Also, local restaurants would make food and drop it off for us so every shift I worked, there was food provided. The community really rallied together for us, and it was so cool.”
The last year were unprecedented times and the healthcare industry faced huge obstacles. According to Adley, one of the most difficult parts was the uncertainty of it all. “There were so many unknowns at the beginning. There wasn’t always clear guidance about how to handle patient care and things ranging from protocols to medications were constantly changing as the medical industry grappled with learning more about COVID-19.”
Speaking of how the uncertainty, Adley says, “At times it was challenging to keep up with things. It was also hard going into each new day wondering if the numbers were going to keep increasing or thinking about how many people I may have to watch die. One of my most difficult memories is holding the hand of a COVID patient as he died because his family wasn’t allowed to be there. It was definitely anxiety inducing. Additionally, not being able to go see my family, because of fear that I could be asymptomatic and transmit it to them, also took a toll on me. My family and friends are my biggest support system so it was incredibly difficult to be going through this and not be able to physically see them.”
Because she was unable to see friends or family, while also dealing with an intense amount of stress and anxiety, self-care became even more important for Adley. She recognized that in order to show up her best self to care for her patients and do her job, it was important that she find different and creative ways to take care of physical, emotional, and mental health outside of work. Adler did this by reading a lot, playing with her dog, engaging in a movement and fitness practice at home, and FaceTiming with her loved ones.
Despite the challenges, one year into the pandemic, Adley is reflecting on all that has occurred and finding beauty in the ashes. When asked about her thoughts, she responded that she feels “‘hopeful.” With the vaccination becoming more available and numbers decreasing, Adley is seeing light at the end of the tunnel. “One year later, I’m realizing that although this was incredibly challenging and filled with so much loss for so many people, we still came out stronger and with a greater appreciation for things that we previously took for granted.’
While collectively we are all still processing our grief and trauma from an overwhelming year, those on the frontlines, who put their health and wellbeing at risk every single day to serve the needs of others, especially healthcare workers, have undoubtedly experienced the pandemic in a way that the rest of us may simply never truly understand. Adley doesn’t consider herself a hero, but the fact remains, she is. In the words of Adley, “I was just doing the job I signed up for, and I was so incredibly grateful that I was able to remain gainfully employed during a time when so many people lost so much.” As cliche as it sounds, it’s true. Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes, as in the case with Adley, they wear scrubs. And when she’s not wearing scrubs, Adley is lounging in her Vuori Joggers. “Every morning I get off work, I immediately throw on my Vuori Performance Joggers to lounge in and fall asleep in because they are so comfortable. Thank you so much for making these!"