Quarantine Life

Monday marked one month since I last went anywhere. I spent the week before I started isolating limiting my trips out, not avoiding it but for example I didn’t go to town one day but waited and went after CAB then next. Then I went to disability active at the gym on Friday 13th March and then I came home and I haven’t been anywhere since. It wasn’t exactly the plan but it’s how things turned out.

In the week that followed I went for two wanders around the area that I live in but I haven’t even done that since 20th March, I took the decision not to go for my state sanctioned one trip out for exercise a day because 1) it’s not really exercise in a powerchair, 2) I have a garden for fresh air and 3) I’ve been hearing reports about needing to suddenly cross roads etc to maintain social distancing and that’s not really doable in a wheelchair.

I’m actually coping a lot better than I expected to (based on how I’ve coped in the past when housebound due to either snow or a broken wheelchair). But I think the difference this time is that there is something of a timescale to this – I don’t know when I will be able to go places again but I do know it won’t be anytime soon so there’s no hope and expectation that maybe it will be today. Also, everyone else is in vaguely the same position so I’m not missing out on trips to the theatre or drinks with friends or whatever.

That’s not to say that I’ve not had teary or upset moments or that I’m not scared of the situation. And I think I’m probably getting frustrated with my carers more easily than before because they are the only people I’m seeing. At the moment I’m not having my evening care calls but I am having the morning ones (apart from one day this week when I did have an evening call because I forgot that I needed to contact the agency and cancel some more). That’s because I have to have a specially trained team to do the mornings which means I see 3 people one week and 4 people the next. But the evenings I can have anyone and I felt the agency were sending too many people.

It’s strange because I feel that my new (or as it’s been practically two months probably not new) care agency are probably managing to staff my calls and do things better than the old one would have done under the current circumstances due to the fact they cover a smaller area – and they’ve definitely been more responsive to what I need/would like, such as slightly later morning calls at the moment. But I miss some of my former carers in terms of chatting to them and having “company” for the 30 minutes they are here. Which in a big part is just because I’ve only known these ones since 20th Feb and I’d known some of those for over two years. That said none of the current ones dump all their problems all over me and my stress levels are much less.

After some trial and error we’ve found an appropriate aid and a way that I can safely remove all of my own compression. I do have to yank at the wraps and stockings rather and one of my pairs now has some minor damage but it’s working for now. Applying my moisturising cream is more tricky (it’s part of the protocol when you wear compression and/or have lymphoedema) and I’ve been getting it done but wasting a lot of cream in the process and not covering the whole area as well as I really need to. Luckily my skin is currently in good condition so my rubbish efforts combined with Mum coming down to do it thoroughly every few days has been enough so far. It’s all very temporary and the plan is I will have evening care calls back at some point.

I feel like I haven’t done anywhere near as much stuff as I expected during this time but I’m getting into a routine of sorts and I’m as happy as I can be. Which is all anyone can ask for right now.

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