2020 has been quite a year worldwide. Coping with the pandemic of Covid 19 has brought many stresses to people’s lives and ways of living that were unheard of for many before. So I thought I’d share how living with a chronic condition prepared me for a pandemic of this magnitude. Not that it has been easy for those of us who are chronically ill…we’ve had out own issues along the way too. Maybe though it will shine a light on how many have had to live for many years prior to this virus wreaking havoc with society this year.
As my current readers know already, I have lived with the chronic condition of Multiple Sclerosis for nearly 16 years now. So restrictions on my way of living with Covid 19 have not been as much a shock to the system as to those who live normal health problem free lives.
How living with a chronic condition prepared me
When one of your symptoms is disabling fatigue that prevents you from even getting out of bed for the day, having to self-isolate after a Covid screening is a breeze. And as we’re encouraged to test for even just one symptom here in New South Wales, having some time to rest and recover at home is so much better than being completely immobile for a day or more.
Putting your health first is another easy thing when you have lived with chronic illness for so long. Nothing is more important than your own health. You need to be okay before you can help anyone else out -whether friend, relative or your own child. So choosing to wear a mask out in public is not a big deal. Plus it protects you from others and helps protect others around you. We are used to not going out in public or visiting friends when unwell. how living with a chronic condition prepared me
Being strict with your winter hygiene is another thing you tend to do when you have a chronic condition. Personally I’m on medication that suppresses my immune system, due to the nature of how Multiple sclerosis attacks the body. Catching a cold or flu might not be a big deal to you, but for me it can take weeks to fully recover. But being in employment as a teacher with children around me every work day has been hard in previous years, as sick children do come to school and cough and sneeze over anyone nearby. Usually me. And that’s how I become sick most years. Having people more aware of their own hygiene practices this year, and being required to wash hands frequently, use sanitiser and wipe down surfaces more regularly has been great. I’ve even improved on the good practices I already had in place. Yes, I’ve still had symptoms that have required me to be Covid tested 5 times so far this year (all negative fortunately). But I’ve been able to rest and recover and haven’t been affected my nearly as many viruses as I would in a regular year. how living with a chronic condition prepared me
Living with a chronic condition you usually have to put up with some social isolation as par for the course. Whether due to fatigue, pain or medical appointments that can’t be re-scheduled we can miss a lot of events with our friends and family. Thankfully social media and video calls have helped a lot with this recently. And we have learnt to treasure and savour our moments with those loved ones when we can get together or catch up in a conversation. Yes it has been harder this year when we’re not allowed to travel everywhere we would like to see others, but it’s not like we don’t have other options in the digital age. Embrace the changes in technology that allow us some contact still, rather than complain about yet another thing we feel entitled to in this day and age.
So I end with cheers to the chronically ill people who have been leading the way in changed behaviours to deal with a pandemic. And for those fortunately healthy ones, remember these conditions will not last forever…but for some people they always have been a way of life and will continue to be long after any possible vaccine. Think of them before you complain about the next aspect of your life being too hard this year. how living with a chronic condition prepared me
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