Each month I join up with Cheryl from A Chronic Voice, to use her writing prompts to tell my readers about how I am coping with my health. The May writing prompts are; Foreseeing, Panicking, Upbringing, Accessing and Soothing.
May Writing Prompts
As someone with a chronic illness I think I kept a close eye on the rise of this pandemic and I guess I did foresee how bad it might become. That is probably why we have been staying home a little longer than most. My children and I had a virus (not THE virus) just before COVID-19 became big news and the kids were off school unwell. I took the decision not to send them back and was worried how long I’d be able to do that. Then within a week the school was closed anyway. The kids don’t seem to be bothered about the amount of time they’ve been off school, despite it being longer than the Summer Holidays right now and not knowing how much longer it will be. We’ve not even done any of the fun days out and stuff we generally manage during the holidays.
Maybe not foreseen but prepared. My poor kids are used to not going out thanks to their Mum being sick. It really doesn’t bother them.
I will admit I was panicking about the virus when the pandemic was first announced. I had nightmares, I was scared. My daughter was still working although my husband was taking her in the car so that she didn’t have to catch the bus.
Since being at home for so long our immediate panic is over. We know we are not sick and are less likely to get sick from this virus. We have also been chosen to take part in regular testing for scientific research, so we will know if we have had the virus (I doubt this) if we are immune to it, or indeed if we catch it. It does sort of help with the panic.
There are other things I have had panics about though. I had a confusing letter from the hospital about my MRI scan. It said that ‘something’ was wrong with my brain but I was not to worry too much. What that ‘something’ was I couldn’t work out from the medical terms in the letter. So, I arranged a telephone consultation with my neurologist.
He explained that my brain was under pressure, but it was low pressure which is not as dangerous as high pressure. At some point my brain had bled. This could have been from a blow (which I can’t pinpoint, but I have so many accidents it’s hard to say) or it could be idiopathic. (It just happened) Anyway, I have fluid covering my brain that shouldn’t really be there but it’s not much, not enough to worry about. I also have blood clot, but it’s more like a scab on the surface of my brain, so it’s not in my blood stream, it’s not going anywhere or going to cause me any trouble. (Although, they will keep an eye on it.) I’ve named it Walter, because I always believe that naming things make them less scary. Walter may have caused a little panic at first, but he’s fine now I know what he is.
Finally, I had a panic when I found out that I was robbed! My bank was emptied over the Easter Holiday with someone taking every penny I had. Thankfully the bank was very understanding and I did get my money back pretty quickly. I’m still waiting for Paypal to sort things out though as my account there was hacked too. In fact, I think it was through Paypal that they got my bank details as they were connected.
As Sheryl explained in her list, upbringing is a little mismatched. But I guess it does shape how we live our lives.
I know as a child my family was probably a little different to many. My Mum had five sisters and two brothers and I had many cousins. I also had a few disabled cousins including peers with Down’s Syndrome and Severe Brain Damage. We were brought up to treat them as our equals, and not to focus on their differences.
This prepared me to be more accepting of disability as I grew older and one of my first jobs was working with disabled young adults.
I have three autistic children. The first was a shock, I found it difficult to accept his differences despite my upbringing. This was my child and he was perfect. Over time I realise that he’s still perfect, as are my other children.
I even have to accept that I am now disabled, I do wish my Mum and Nan were around to help me get through this.
As someone who doesn’t get out much, I have had experience of poor access for disabled people. The lock down has meant that I don’t have to worry much about this now. There are some areas where I have seen better access though.
As a vulnerable person I’ve had priority access to online shopping. This is so important as I have a big family to feed. I could send my husband shopping if needed, but then he’d be at risk of picking up the virus and bringing it home, which in turn would put me and the rest of the family at risk. There are seven of us at home and many of us health issues we can’t risk bringing the virus home. We also need to eat 🙂
With three children missing school I’ve also found having access to lots of learning facilities really helpful. The schools have been great with providing the access. I’ve already shared one of the Little Man’s p.e. lessons which made us all laugh but which get the kids moving every morning. The Internet offers access to almost everything and it’s wonderful that we have this resource at our hands. I feel if this had happened when my older children were young then we’d be relying on books and television. I guess we wouldn’t even have been able to access regular e-mails and ‘school pings.’ I feel so lucky and appreciate everyone who has worked hard to make all this information so accessible. Teaching at home is a difficult job.
Every morning, when all is quiet. I open up my patio door and spend at least a few minutes (depending on how cold/warm it is) listening to the birds. Over on my Instagram highlights, I even have a couple of recordings of this sound. This is how I begin my day, and no matter what is to come I find it very soothing.
Other things I find soothing are my crochet and audio books. Sadly, for the first two weeks of lock down I wasn’t able to get motivated to do anything. I guess that was fear and panic taking a hold. I have now started to get into that place now where I can soothe myself with hobbies again. It’s good to spend some time thinking about something completely different.
I don’t know how long this disruption to life will last, I don’t know what we have to look forward to. I don’t think anyone can really predict it. But taking one day at a time is soothing. It’s all anyone can do really. You can’t really plan for an uncertain future. As someone who plans everything meticulously, I’ve found that not planning has not been as bad as I thought it would be. I understand that for many others that the uncertainty can be very scary and that so many people are suffering and will face more suffering. But, we all need to take one day at at time and start to work out how we can plan changes rather than plan to continue our lives as they were before.
Click the image for more blog posts on the same May Writing prompts.
If you enjoyed my May writing prompts you may want to read more with my April prompts.
Lovely post, although some sadness & fear, they are acknowledged. I am doing my best to live in the present as well. I find I am actually enjoying this slower pace of life. I love that you listen to the birds each morning! I want to sort our garden out to encourage more birds to visit, but I am finding it hard to get motivated – I am not much of a gardener – I would rather be sewing! Xx
I used to love looking after my garden in the old house. We had a patch especially for flowers and I had the most glorious rose bushes. I do miss my roses. We are lucky to have the trees so close, it’s very enclosed here so the trees give us a a bit of countryside on the doorstep. Even though we can’t run among them. We have all sorts of birds including owls and in the evening you can see bats flying around. We can hear the ducks on the canal too. xx
You did the right thing taking the kids out of school earlier than most, especially if they’d been unwell anyway. If my girls school and college hadn’t closed when it did I would have taken them out.
I have calmed down a lot since those first few weeks. Gosh, I did worry.
Those letters from hospital can be worrying and confusing. They always seem worse than the results they’re trying to tell you. The letters about my girls hearts always have me turning to Google. I’m glad the bleed on your brain is nothing to worry about.
I am amazed at all the online resources for the kids learning. The internet really is an amazing thing.
Kim Carberry recently posted…Our weekly meal plan! 4th – 10th May. #MealPlanningMonday
I have a compromised immune system and haven’t really gone anywhere in way too long. I understood and shared many of your concerns even if my medical problems are not as bad as yours. I’m glad your family is handling the lockdown well. Just like you, I want to talk to my mother so often – she died in 1986 – it’s been a long time. I’m hoping Walter decides to leave you alone. I’ve got to remember to name things – I agree it probably makes it less frightening. #MMBC
I also had a lot of anxiety during the beginning of the pandemic. Not so much for myself, even though I am high risk and couldn’t leave the house, but my Fear for my family was Overpowering. I had to get that in check and it was hard. I never have much concern for myself because I am used to pain and illness being as it is… as I do for others that I do not want t suffer let alone Lose. It was hard to cope with. And then the isolation aggravated my depression and put me in a slump because people with depression should Not self-isolate it makes us worse… and ruminate and overthink… so another thing to cope with. But the pandemic in Canada is not as severe as it could have been… we have socially distanced well and self-isolated well… there has been a low loss of life as a result although each life lost is something that Matters… but it eases anxiety to know that it isn’t getting worse it is getting better. As long as we are careful and maintain and are slow with our re-start of some activity. But for Me I will still have to social distance for some time being as risk factors as they are.
Nikki Albert recently posted…Fibromyalgia: Restless Leg Syndrome
I also worried about my family, I don’t think any of us would cope of if any of us got ill, and then there is no way of stopping it spreading among us. Thankfully we have been isolating well. We are currently doing worse than most of Europe which is not very encouraging. It’s heartbreaking thinking about the losses. I hope we can all overcome this world wide, but I doubt it will ever be the same again.
I really enjoyed this post 🙂 we really are so lucky with technology, I keep reminding myself of this on the tough days. Sounds like you are doing a great job homeschooling, it must be tough. I love how you listen to the birds each morning too, I might start trying this – it’s important to find things that relax us at the moment.
Louise recently posted…Hello May!
Love your naming of Walter! Such a great idea. I also love the sound of your large, accepting family. I was never that close to my cousins and one of them being gay was the highlight of any ‘differences’ – until I became ill I suppose. Great to read your link up as usual 🙂
Egads! Getting robbed in the middle of all that is going on!? That would have been my breaking point! Glad to hear the bank has taken care of things on their end. Reading about Walter made me giggle. I too name my illnesses and symptoms.
I’m glad you had some response from the hospital. My daughter should have attended a follow up appointment to discuss her MRI and Lumbar Puncture that she had in January. Her consultant phoned me and basically said there is nothing to worry about and we can attend the hospital later in the year when it is safe to do so. She is absolutely fine, chattering away and annoying her big sister during lockdown!
Catherine Green recently posted…How to be a Single Parent during Lockdown
I have to say, in all the years I’ve had dealings with hospitals, this is the quickest response to any testing I’ve had other than when admitted for me or my daughter! I guess some Consultants are not as busy as usual without having their daily clinics. I’m glad your daughter seems to be doing well.
Hi Anne your spidey senses must have kicked in to keep the kids home early good work. I dig naming your clot Walter what a really grounded way to manage something that could otherwise overwhelm anyone. I totally agree with your sentiments “we work out how we can plan changes rather than plan to continue our lives as they were before. I think there’s great capacity for many structures and platforms to change for the better. Thanks for sharing it got the brain fog cogs turning 🙂
Hi Raisie! I totally forgot to write about my COVID19 nightmares in this month’s write-up and related to what you wrote right away. I’ve always been a dreamer, but my dreams have been really weird lately. I’m so sorry to read about Walter (although what a great idea to name these things) and that you got robbed. How stressful!
I think Sheryl’s last prompt for soothing was great this month because finding those hobbies has been key to dealing with the extra stress from all this. I’m glad you linked to your IG. Following and look forward to next month’s update. Take care!
Carrie Kellenberger recently posted…Fibromyalgia Awareness Day on May 12 and Chronic Voices
Hello, I think I’m also feeling less panic than back in March. I agree with you that we need to just take one day at a time.
Hello again Anne, it’s great seeing you for another month. I hope you are doing as well as can be despite the difficult situation we are all currently experiencing at present.
I particularly loved your entry for soothing; it’s an excellent prompt for this month as I think we are all in need of soothing from our favourite hobbies and pastimes to help combat the stress and anxiety that we are all feeling. And also help stave off the boredom that is setting in for so many!
And how novel naming your blood clot Walter! Love this, always think it’s so important to try and see the funny side in situations and this a great way of keeping spirits up despite the horrible circumstances! Good for you! Take care x
Thanks Rhiann. I’ll be writing my post for June any day now…how time flies when you are busy doing nothing! Walter is not giving me too much bother, we’ll be seeing if he is behaving later in the year. Take Care x
Hello Anne, thank you so much for sharing!
COVID19 has hit us all to varying extents, and I am glad to hear that you and your family are getting through it as safely as you can!
So glad that you guys are able to get tested regularly – testing is a big issue here in the US!
Sounds like you’ve had a stressful time, too!
I hope Walter behaves and that the bank issues get resolved – I’m so sorry you were robbed, I’d feel pretty violated by that treatment – I’m really glad your bank was good about it though.
I hope you continue to do well – take care!