Four Months of Isolation

It’s been a fair while since I wrote one of these “life in lockdown” posts and it’s definitely something I’ll want to look back on in future years so here’s another one. I just put the washing on for an extra rinse so we’ll see how far I can get before it finishes.

Monday was 4 months since I was last in a building other than my house (I went to the gym on Friday 13th March). I’ve probably written this before but although the panic buying that weekend would have made it unsafe for me to go out, I probably would have gone to town in the week after for more supplies if I’d known it would have gone on this long. I’m not sure I’d really have needed them but it feels like I should have done it.

Some hints of normality have snuck back in over the last few weeks.

The carers are now coming three evenings a week as well as the mornings. They are trying to keep it to one specific carer for the evenings or someone I’m already seeing in the mornings. They are managing that but having an evening carer really didn’t work very well for the first few weeks. It’s working better now they’ve changed who is coming but they are still turning up really early (several times an hour early) on a semi regular basis which is tricky. I keep changing my mind between just stop it again, permanently this time, keep it as it is and up to it five evenings. I can’t imagine going back to every night right now just because I like the independence.

The supervisor from the agency also came out with one of the morning carers this week to do what I’ve previously known as a spot check. They didn’t do any during lockdown so it was the first one. It’s done slightly differently to previous agencies but it was good to get it done and have a conversation between the three of us of how things are going. I continue to be very pleased with how well it’s working since I changed agencies. If I’m completely honest, as much as I miss several of the actual carers I had before but I wish I’d changed to this agency much sooner.

I’ve visited my parents house and sat in the garden several times since I last updated (and been for a couple of other walks). We had the entire family there for pizza at a distance early in June. I hadn’t seen any of the family other than my parents since then. But yesterday they had Henry for a few hours and I popped up to see him. That was fun to hear his take on things and see him chasing around the garden doing challenges I set him. He has an interesting press up technique and is good at walking like a crab.

The other hint of normality is that a new wheelchair accessible transport provider came last week so I could try getting my chair in their vehicle. That worked better than expected given problems I sometimes have with that. I plan to see friends in a few weeks and I might use them to take me to meet my friends near a local walk (one that I can walk home as part of).

Sadly, there has been some pressure from a few people for me to get back to normal quicker than I am and “balance the risk to my mental health”. In the case of one person it’s felt like no matter what I do, I’m doing lockdown wrong. It’s upsetting and frustrating to have to deal with that. I have a plan for getting more back to normal and am quite happy with things the way they are.

Some of the pressure to get back to normal is made doubly ridiculous because it’s already my normal, it’s not corona fear. The friends I’m seeing in a few weeks, I’m being told I could meet now. But they live a drive away and the date is the first one they could do. Visiting my parents in their garden has been our normal way of doing things for years because it’s easier than being helped up the steps. I basically only go in my parents house if I’m going to be there most of the day or other people are visiting. This is possibly a topic I should blog more about.

Otherwise I continue to read a fair bit (I’m up to 27 quarantine reads I think, must update on that). I’m not reading as much because I’ve been crocheting more though which I’m really enjoying.

“But what do you do in a crisis?”

I am something of a fussy eater. Much better than I used to be but still not great.

Two things I don’t like are tea and coffee. It doesn’t bother me, I’m more than happy to go to a meeting and drink water or get a coke or some juice in a coffee shop or whatever. It’s probably one of the least problematic of my dislikes. Because you just order something else. But it’s also a dislike that a lot of people find hard to get their head around. Why don’t I like it? I just don’t.

Years ago, someone I volunteered with went to get herself a tea and she asked me about not drinking tea. In all seriousness she asked me, “If you don’t drink tea, what do you do in a crisis?” Because whenever anyone came to her with a problem, the first thing she did was put the kettle on. It was something concrete to fall back on.

I can’t remember what I answered and how the conversation went on. I just remember finding the whole thing a bit of a non issue. If someone came to me with a crisis, I’d just help them deal with it to the best of my ability. And if a drink were required, I find alcohol much better in those circumstances than hot drinks.

A couple of people have been in touch over the last few weeks with crises. Thankfully, not corona related but still scary and unsettling for them.

And it made me think about conversation again. She’s no longer part of that organisation and we were never friends outside of it so have lost touch. If we were in touch however I could give her a much better answer.

It turns out, the first thing I do when dealing with a crisis is reach for my crochet hooks.

Because tea lasts a few minutes. Crochet is forever.